Per-Olof Serenius

FIM Track Racing Legend

Born on 9 March 1948 in Hedemora, Sweden

One of giants of Ice Speedway, Sweden’s Per-Olof Serenius is one of the few western riders to have successfully challenged the Russian domination of a sport that originated in his homeland.

‘Posa’ as he is affectionately known throughout the sport, first tasted Ice Speedway in 1976 after seeing a World Championship meeting in Berlin. Already experienced in various motorcycle disciplines, he was immediately attracted to the spectacle of racing on frozen lakes and ice tracks and swiftly acquired a suitable racing machine.

Within two years he had reached world standard and started a world championship career that was unbroken for 32 years. His racing record includes 2 World Individual Championship gold medals, three World Team gold medals, 32 World finals, 22 national championships and eight Nordic Championships - a record which will surely never be surpassed. His best year must have been 1995 when he won his first world individual title in Germany then helped the Swedes to a gold medal in the Team Championship in Norway.

A fireman by profession, he has now retired and spends his leisure time at home with his wife Ulla but still rides motor cycles for pleasure. In 2002 he completed a marathon two month ride from South Korea to St Petersburg along with fellow Swedish track race veterans Ove Fundin and Olle Nygren.

He is truly a motorcycling legend.

Tomo Igata

FIM Gala Women Legend

Born on 30 October in Tokyo 1965, Japan

Tomo Igata is the FIM Women's Legend for 2016. Her career in the FIM Road Racing World Championship was distinguished and she was chosen for the prize after two decades since her final appearance in the FIM Road Racing World Championship. Igata made her first road racing debut in 1985 and started to race in the All Japan Road Racing Championship 125cc class. She finished sixth in the Championship in 1991. In 1992, she participated in the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka as a wild card rider. She became the first Japanese woman to compete in the FIM Road Racing World Championship125cc class for full season in 1994. She scored points in the Australian GP, the Czech GP and in the Catalun GP. In the Czech GP, she finished twelfth ahead of the legendary names like Garry MacCoy, Luchio Cecchinello and Haruchika Aoki.

Brno was Igata’s favourite track and in 1995 she finished seventh – women’s equal best result in Grand Prix achieved by Finnish legend Taru Rinne. Igata also finished eighth in Malaysia. The total points won by Igata in her Grand Prix Road Racing career was thirty points and till now this record remains the higest ever points won by a woman in the history of the FIM Road Racing World Championship.

After retiring from road racing, Tomo Igata has organized her own instructing team teaching safety riding to Japanese women motorcyclists. Over 14,000 motorcyclists had joined Igata’s school within past twenty years. 

Gilles Burgat

FIM TRIAL LEGEND

Born 16 November 1961 in Albertville, France

Gilles Burgat became an instant trials icon in 1981 when at the age of just nineteen he was crowned as the youngest ever FIM Trial World Champion, a record he still holds to this day. Having begun practicing the sport a mere seven years earlier, following his father on the mountain trails of the Savoie region in the French Alps, Burgat blossomed as a competitor in regional events and then took the French Junior Championship in 1978. However, his immediate success on the world stage was still a shock, his debut season starting with a surprise victory in the 1981 Scottish Six Days Trial and finishing with the title of World Champion before the final event of the season in Germany.

Although he was unable to repeat that level of individual success during a professional career that spanned the 1980s, Burgat cemented his legendary status alongside French team-mates Thierry Michaud, Fred Michaud and Phillipe Berlatier, winning the first ever FIM Trial des Nations in Poland in 1984, a title they successfully defended in 1985 and 1986. A five-time French champion, Burgat remains a trial fanatic and this year competed in the Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) in Fort William, although purely for fun.

Heinz Kinigadner

FIM Cross-Country Rallies Legend

Born on 28 January 1960 in Uderns, Austria

Tyrol’s Heinz Kinigadner becomes an FIM Legend in 2016. Best remembered for his back to back 250cc Motocross World Championships in 1984 and 1985 and his duels with another FIM legend Jacky Vimond, he was the pioneer who literally pushed KTM into the desert adventure as early as 1992.

In 1989, “Kini” took part in Franco Acerbis’ “Incas Rally” and got bitten by the bug. He went on to tackle the “Road of Africa”, the “Nevada Rally, the “Pharaohs’ Rally” and many more besides. In 1992, he took on the ultimate challenge: the “Dakar”. He took part in seven career “Dakars” but never made it to the finish. “Hard, harder, Kinigadner” always had a hard time finding the right balance between safety and speed. Four mechanical breakdowns and three injuries got the upper hand and knocked him out of contention. Still, in his native Austria these adventures boosted his popularity even more than his exploits in Motocross. A thigh fracture in 2000 ended his career as a rider but not his involvement in racing. By that time he had claimed victories in the “Pharaohs” (1994), the “Paris-Peking”, the “Dubai Rally” (1995, 1996, 1998) and the “Brazil Rally” (1998), as well as in several stages in the “Paris-Dakar” and “Granada-Dakar”.

Kinigadner then became Sports Manager at KTM and has worked with them ever since. Together with his children Hannes and Isabell, he started the “Kini Sport Management GmbH”, selling “Kini” racing clothing on-line. The tragic motocross accident that paralysed his son Hannes prompted him to found “Wings for Life” together with Red Bull’s Dietrich Mateschitz in 2004.

Gualtiero Brissoni

FIM Enduro Legend

Born on 20 February 1954 in Scanzorosciate, Italy

Gualtiero Brissoni joins the pantheon of FIM Enduro Legends in 2016, a destiny he set about making his own over four decades ago. Young Gualtiero quit his studies to dedicate himself completely to Enduro, honing his riding on the hills of his native Scanzorosciate, near Bergamo, and building up his technical knowledge whilst working at Angelo Tadini’s famous motorcycle workshop close to his home.

After some promising results in regional competitions he joined Gilera in 1973 and won the American six-days in the 50cc class. That same year he also won the most difficult edition of the Valli bergamasche as the only one of 32 competitors to cross the finish line, repeating victory the following year and then winning the Junior Italian Motocross Championship in 1975. Over the next ten years he would win the European Enduro Championship twice in the 250cc class to add to three consecutive 125cc titles, eight Italian Enduro class titles and four Italian absolute titles. After retiring in 1991, Brissoni returned to action in the late nineties and secured his legacy by clinching the Italian Enduro Championship in the Major 400cc class in 2000 and 2001.

Jacky Vimond

FIM Motocross Legend

Born on 18 July 1961 in Saint Tribehou, France

Jacky Vimond becomes an FIM Legend in 2016, exactly three decades on from making history as the first French rider ever to win the FIM Motocross World Championship. Vimond was born into the sport and started riding from the age of ten, together with his brothers Denis and Christian. Spotted as a promising youngster by the great Jean-Claude Olivier, who was quick to sign him up for the legendary Sonauto Yamaha team, Vimond made his first appearance on the world scene in the 125cc class in 1979. He continued in this class for the next four years but, plagued by injuries and health issues, the results were not a true reflection of his talent.

After twice finishing second to Heinz Kinigadner in the 250cc class in 1984 and again by just two points in 1985, 1986 would be Vimond's year, winning eleven out 24 races and seven out of twelve Grands Prix. However, what was supposed to be a celebration in “Le Quartier Latin” in Paris turned into horror. As he was lowered from the ceiling on his Yamaha, the cable came loose and he fell nine meters down and broke his back. Vimond never quite returned to his former level as a rider but proved to have a keen eye for talent himself, coaching the likes of Tortelli, Vuillemin, Demaria, Paulin and Paturel to success.

Luigi Taveri

FIM Circuit Racing Legend

Born 19 September 1929 in Horgen, Switzerland

Luigi Taveri is not only one of the most decorated riders in the history of the FIM Road Racing World Championship but also one of the most versatile, as the only man on record to have scored points in six Grand Prix classes: 50cc, 125cc, 250cc, 350cc, 500cc and Sidecars. Making his debut in the 350cc class in the Swiss Grand Prix at Berne in 1953, Taveri claimed his debut win two years later in the 125cc race at Montjuich, Spain; the first of his 30 wins and 89 podiums in all classes, including three Isle of Man TT victories. After runner-up finishes in both 125cc and 250cc during the 1950s with MV Augusta, Taveri's career blossomed when he joined the Honda factory team in 1961.

Their first world title together came in 1962, in the 125cc class, a season that also wielded podiums in the50cc and 250cc classes, including a win at the first ever Finnish Grand Prix at Tampere. A further 125cc title followed in 1964 and then again in 1966, Taveri's final campaign, aboard Honda's famous 20,000rpm, five-cylinder RC149. A final win at the 125cc Italian Grand Prix in 1966, some 11 years and 133 days on from his first, remains one of the longest winning careers in the history of the sport.