PETROLHEAD IN THIRD GENERATION
I’m a Finnish motocross and enduro rider from Vantaa, Seutula. I have a day job as a vehicle mechanic but the evenings are spent with motorsports. Motorsports have always been part of our family. Dad rode motocross and enduro when me and my siblings were small. The whole family travelled in a caravan trailer all around Finland to the races. When dad was younger he also had drag racing cars, american cars and the story tells he even spent the wedding gift money to dragster tyres. His biggest achievements are from enduro, winning B-class national races here and there. Dad was fast and if he had had the change to ride more, there is no telling what he could have done. Grandpa, Kauko Eriksson, drove a BMW in track and ice track races in Finnish Championship level. He won several gold medals in track racing. Unfortunately I never got the change to meet him because he passed away in an accident during midnight summer race practice in 1971 at Kemora motordrome. There is also a family legend of great grandma, Kauko’s mother. It is told she was the passenger in side car races. No facts about this can be found but nevertheless motorsports is very strong in our family blood.
I got my first motocross bike at the age of 3. It was a 50cc Honda QR with training wheels. At first I was riding it like crazy around the home yard and after the training wheels were taken off, I moved on to ride on a track nearby. Most of my childhood friends also rode mx and that increased the passion for riding. There it started. After the first motocross race at 12 years old, I have also tried my hand in trial, biketrial and enduro. When I was younger, I rode mainly just for fun. It’s still fun but by age I started doing it more serious when I realized, I had a change to win races and stand on the podium.
In 2002 I decided to get a vehicle mechanic’s degree (3 years) and chose to study in Haaga vocational school, because it offered specialized training in motorsports. It was a good program me and this kind of degree is offered by the school even today
My breakthrough in motocross was when I won an overall of the MX3 World Championship GP race that was held in Vantaa, Finland in 2010. I became the 12th Finnish rider ever to win a World Championship GP. The next year I got a change to ride the MX1 World Championship series for Kimi Räikkönen’s Ice1Racing team. The year as a professional didn’t go as planned due to injuries and other hassle. As an experience the year was still amazing and I’m very grateful to be given the chance.
Until now motocross has been my main sport but in 2012 I rode a few enduro races to test it again. In 2013, I surprised myself and everyone else by capturing a total of 5 Finnish Championship titles in motocross, supercross, enduro and Cross Country. I won personal Finnish Championship titles in motocross MX1, Cross Country, Supercross and Enduro A3. On top of that, I won the Finnish motocross team championship title along with my teammates Ludde Söderbergin and Henric Stigell. Pretty amazing season I would say!
As a rider, I’m steady nerved and calm and my vast racing experience has brought lots of consistency in my riding. My physical trainer is Toni Haikonen who has done a long notable career as a snow cross racer in the US. He pushes me hard and I’m grateful for that. Dad has been my mechanic all these years. From travelling to his races we changed basically straight to traveling to my races. He does his job well and bikes are always in outstanding condition, even after the racing season.
On top of motocross and enduro, my hobbies are cross-country skiing, golf, biketrial, mountain biking and BMX cross. If there is any spare time left that is spent in the garage fixing cars. I try to be involved with riding camps for juniors and grown-ups interested in this sport whenever possible.
My goal and dream is to make riding motorcycles my profession or at least a semi-profession where I will be able to train full-time. I would like to find out how much I can progress in the offroad-sports and see where my limits are.
Toni Eriksson #277
Missed a significant number of races because of injury.
Cross Country Finnish Championships, Team motocross Finnish 2nd, Team Enduro 3rd.
3rd in MX1 Finnish Championships, 2nd in Enduro A3 Finnish Championships, 3rd in Cross Country Finnish Championships, 3rd in Finnish Supercross Championships, Team motocross Finnish 2nd, Team Enduro 3rd.
MX1 Finnish Champion, Enduro A3 Finnish Champion, Cross Country Finnish Champion, Supercross Finnish champion, Team motocross Finnish Champion, Team Enduro 2nd.
MX1 Finnish Champion, 2nd in Finnish Supercross Championships
Rode Motocross MX1 World Championship series in Ice1Racing Team, 2nd in Finnish Team Motocross Championship
MX1 Finnish Champion, 1st overall in Finnish MX3 GP, 14th in MX Of Nations (Team Finland), 2nd in Finnish Supercross Championships, Finnish champion in Motocross team Champioships