Belgian and Suzuki great Gaston Rahier passed away on Saturday in Paris after a long illness. He was 58 years old.
Rahier was a founding member of Suzuki’s participation in the 125cc
Motocross World Championships, with three consecutive world titles in
1975, 1976 and 1977 established Suzuki’s unprecedented run of 10
consecutive world championships. He still holds the record of 29 Grand
Prix victories in the 125cc class.
His motocross career came to an abrupt end in 1982 following a serious
accident in which he almost lost a hand. He recovered, and in 1983,
participated for the first time in the demanding Paris-Dakar Rally but
retired following a mechanical breakdown while leading. He returned in
1984 and 1985 and dominated again, becoming the first non-French rider
to claim victory.
Rahier made a tremendous contribution towards making Rally racing a
more widely popular sport. His Paris-Dakar and Pharaoh’s Rally
victories in 1984. 1985 and 1988, his professional approach towards
Rallies, and his open personality made him a celebrity, known not only
by fans and supporters of motorcycle sport, but also by a much wider
As a member of the Belgian Motocross Team, he also won the Trophy des
Nations in 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1978 and the Motocross of Nations in
Everyone in the industry, including Suzuki Motor Corporation, wishes to
express our deepest sympathy and offer our condolences to his family at
this sad time.