The sport of Trial has lost one of its Kings with the sad and recent passing of Sweden’s Ulf Karlson who lost his fight against illness earlier this week. Born in Alvangen, Sweden on 6th March 1952, the sixty-five-year-old Scandinavian rider was one of the true masters of the slow speed discipline and captured the FIM Trial World Championship back in 1980. This was the first world championship for Montesa.
“Today, all the Montesa family are in mourning. We have lost a great friend, an athlete and a great world champion. We are really sorry for the loss of Ulf Karlson, who had a long-lasting professional relationship and friendship with us for many years. We send our deepest condolences to the family and all the friends in the world of trial. Rest in peace. Repsol Honda Team, the official team of Montesa-Honda would like to express their deepest sympathy for the loss of Ulf Karlson and wish to offer their condolences to the family in this difficult moment.” – Miquel Cirera, Team Manager
During his esteemed career Karlson recorded fifteen Grand Prix victories and finished on the podium a total of 40 times during the eight seasons that he contested the FIM Trial World Championship.
Aged just nineteen Ulf scored his first World championship points at his home GP back in 1971, but he had to wait until 1974 before he achieved his maiden win on the World stage. After securing his one and only FIM gold medal in 1980, the respected Swedish rider stepped down from the World series in 1983.
Back in his native Sweden Ulf was an eight-time winner of his national championship and twice victorious in the Scandinavian series.
Recognized not only as a great champion of Trial, but also a true gentleman, Ulf will be greatly missed by the global Trial community.
The FIM Family extends its condolences to Ulf’s family and friends.
PHOTO: Robert W Price