Finnish enduro legend and five-time world champion Mika Ahola died because of severe internal injuries on 15 January 2012, at a hospital in Barcelona, just a few weeks after crashing while training in Girona, Spain, and two weeks after the announcement of his retirement from racing because of the injuries sustained on that accident. He was 37 years old. The sudden passing of the reigning champ left the enduro world as well as the whole motorcycle community shaking heads in disbelief, while a few days ago Ahola’s wife confirmed in a statement that the late champion died because of “internal injuries not immediately diagnosed“, following a “troubled hospital course, because of the occurrence of serious complications“.
Announcing his retirement from racing at the very beginning of this year, Ahola said: “I have given everything I’ve got for this sport and although it has taken much, it has given me back more than I could have ever imagined when I started racing“, then adding that “My ambition for this sport has been completely satisfied and I feel like it’s time for me to move on and see what else the world has to offer than racing.”
Here is our little tribute, a couple of photo galleries dedicated to one of the greatest enduro’s riders ever, winner of five consecutive world-championship titles from 2007 to 2011 (in all three classes) and seven International Six Days Enduro with the Finnish national team, being the fastest overall in the competition in three occasions. The funeral will take place in Hämeenlinna, Finland, on February the 4th. May he rest in peace.
Honda is at the 2012 Motor Bike Expo in Verona with most of the models showcased at the 2011 EICMA, dispatching its massive fleet of motorcycles and scooters in one of the biggest stands at the event. Obviously, the brand new Crosstourer, Integra and the twins NC700S and NC700X are the ones which drawn the most attention, but the crowd in Verona seemed to enjoy all models as well as Honda’s own clothing line and gadgets. Honda did not forget to pay tribute to the late Mika Ahola, the 5 times Enduro World Champion who died about a week ago back, honoured in a special area of the stand.
View the full Honda Live @ Motor Bike Expo 2012 photo gallery