Motocross Legend Granquist
"Mr Husqvarna" Pelle Granquist
Swedish rider Pelle Granquist came to Australia in the late 1970s and took the motocross scene by storm.
Based in Sydney, New South Wales, in two years Granquist won four Australian Motocross Championships (1978 and 1979) and was a challenger in both Mr Motocross series.
Granquist’s nickname must have been “Mr Husqvarna”. He was born in Landskrona, south of Sweden, but grew up in the town of Huskvarna (where the famous bike factory was located). He raced Husqvarna bikes throughout and was brought out to Australia by the Husqvarna factory and rode for the new Australian Husqvarna dealer Rick Andrews, also working there part-time.
On 8 October 1978 at the Australian Championships held at Reg Hunt Park in Broadford, Victoria he won both the 250 and 500 classes ahead of Stephen Gall (NSW, Yamaha).
Peter Boyle (Vic, Suzuki) and Gary Flood (Vic, KTM) came third in these classes, respectively.
Heading into the final round in the 1978 Mr Motocross series at Amaroo, NSW on 10 September, Granquist was in second place – just 12 points behind race leader Stephen Gall.
His performance in this final was special, pushing the eventual series winner Stephen Gall right to the end . Granquist finished third overall in the series 34 points behind Gall and just one point behind another Yamaha rider Trevor Flood.
Granquist convincingly won back-to-back National titles in the 250 and 500 classes at Wanneroo in Western Australia on 9 September 1979.
He won the 250s ahead of locals Kevin Russell (Kawasaki) and Graeme Smythe (Yamaha) and the 500s ahead of Neville Cutts (Suzuki) and Trevor Williams (Kawasaki).
That year Shane Kirkpatrick from Bunbury, WA also rode a Husqvarna to victory in the 125cc class.
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When Granquist competed in Australia he rode and showcased the latest Husqvarna machinery, securing the race plates for the model he was riding throughout the year – 78 in 1978 and 79 in 1979.
But for special events in 1979 he proudly showcased the No.1 plate as the reigning 250 and 500cc National Champion.
Likewise, for the Mr Motocross series that year, he rode with the No.3 plate reflecting his position from the previous series.
Granquist travelled the country and twice rode the King of the Cross in Southern Cross. He became a crowd favorite after his heroic feat in 1978 completing the grueling 20-lap race – riding the last 11 laps on a flat rear tyre.
Pelle Granquist at the 1978 King of the Cross, sporting the 78 number to match the year of his Husqvarna machine
Granquist in action - Photo gallery
Left – Round 1 racing in the 1978 Mr Motocross Series
Granquist flying high in the
1979 Mr Motocross Series
Granquist cornering on his Husqvarna motocross bike
key career highlights
250cc and 500cc Australian Champion, Reg Hunt Park, Broadford (Victoria)
3rd Mr Motocross Series
1st Mountain Man Motocross, at Echo Valley (QLD)
250cc and 500cc Australian Champion, Wanneroo (Western Australia)1st Mountain Man Motocross, at Echo Valley (QLD)
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