1980, Jon Ekerold, "THE PRIVATEER"
Film of the 1980 German GP (Nurburgring) in the 350cc class. Jon Ekerold (nr. 8) won, by half a wheel, after an epic comeback that is still celebrated today, beating Anton Mang (nr. 4) in the KAWASAKI KR 350
Jon (Jonathan) Ekerold was born in Johannesburg (South Africa) in 1946, started racing motorcycles at the age of 21 and in 1975 participated in two GPs in the 350cc class. In the first participation, in Austria, he was in second position behind Hideo Kanaya (YAMAHA factory driver) and in Holland he was in 10th place. After these two experiences, Jon was firmly determined to participate regularly in the World Championship, yet he did not have the necessary means at all. By strategy or by chance, he got married, and in agreement with the bride, he sold all the wedding gifts and with that income and some little support, he started his regular career in the GPs. All his GP participations until 1981 were as a private rider, his team grew over time, in the first three years (1975/6/7) the team was himself, often participating in more than one class in each event, tuning, repairing the bikes and of course cooking to eat. In 1978/9 it admitted one mechanic and in 1980/1 it admitted the second mechanic. In 1980 he became 350cc World Champion riding a private BIMOTA/YAMAHA. In addition to some minor support and the very important support of two great coaches: Harald Bartol and Helmut Fath. The following year, with the same structure, he was Vice-Champion. These results still produce great admiration when considering that it fought, with a much inferior structure, against factory teams and other budget structures immeasurably superior to its own. In 1982 and 1983 he participated sporadically in the 500c at the controls of a factory CAGIVA (only it was the least well armed factory in the paddock...), he had no outstanding results, the best position - in a total of 7 races in these two years - He finished 10th at the 1982 German GP. It should also be noted that he achieved outstanding results in traditional road racing, won the Ulster Grand Prix and was twice in second position in the Isle of Man. He also participated in an endurance race, 8H of the Nurburgring, having reached an honorable 3rd position riding a HONDA.
Jon Ekerold "The Privateer" is an autobiographical book detailing the sporting career of the South African rider culminating in the title of 350cc World Champion in 1980.
The adventures that allowed him, as a private racer, to have achieved such a glorious aim by overcoming huge setbacks, are matters of prime interest to all lovers of motorcycle history.
Apart from the great interest of the narrative and the historical photos that fill the book's 192 pages, the rarity of the book (only one edition, 4.000 copies in 2002) also makes its acquisition desirable.
All copies are numbered.
Fan drawing, then 15 years old, Enric Coll Marsinyach, depicting Jon Ekerold's 250cc days in 1979