SGP ICONS | ANDREAS JONSSON
SpeedwayGP.com looks back at the icons who have made their mark on the FIM Speedway Grand Prix stage. Today, we feature Andreas Jonsson.
04 / 12 / 2018, 12:00
SpeedwayGP.com looks back at the icons who have made their mark on the FIM Speedway Grand Prix stage. Today, we feature Sweden’s former world No.2 Andreas Jonsson.
Being expected to step into the shoes of the greatest SGP star ever is some task. By the time Tony Rickardsson bowed out of the World Championship in 2006, he had amassed a record-equalling six titles and reached a level of fame that took Swedish speedway to new heights.
While AJ didn’t manage to follow TR all the way to the top of speedway’s highest mountain, he certainly flew the blue and yellow flag proudly for his 15 straight seasons in the SGP series.
The Stockholm-born racer made his debut in 2001 as a wild card at the Swedish SGP in his home city. After scoring seven points, he earned a full-time spot for 2002 and began to make his mark.
After finishing 14th in the first full year, making his first SGP final appearance when he was fourth at the Slovenian round in Krsko, Jonsson stepped up to 10th in 2003, taking fourth place in Hamar, Norway.
AJ hit another milestone in 2004 when he reached the rostrum for the first time, claiming second place in Copenhagen on his way to seventh in the world.
He was eighth in 2005, but in the year Rickardsson exited the stage, Jonsson cemented his status as Sweden’s new No.1 when he blazed to fourth in the 2006 World Championship, claiming his first SGP victory in Malilla and second place in Cardiff.
Jonsson endured a difficult 2007 season, finishing 10th overall, but victories in Copenhagen and Gelsenkirchen helped him earn a wild-card return for 2008.
He stayed in the top nine for the next five seasons, winning the 2009 Nordic SGP in Vojens and the 2010 Polish SGP in Bydgoszcz.
But there’s no doubt 2011 was the highlight of his career as Jonsson raced to silver with a performance in the second-half of the season which would have earned him gold had his form caught fire two months earlier.
Jonsson failed to score double figures in any of the first four rounds, before registering 10 in Cardiff.
He then reached four of the last six finals, winning three of them in Terenzano, Torun and Gorican, as well as taking second place in Malilla to score 89 points from the final six events – four more than eventual champion Greg Hancock.
It was a performance Jonsson wasn’t able to repeat. Despite taking sixth spot in the 2014 series, which featured his most recent SGP win at Vojens, he lost his place in the World Championship at the end of the 2016 season.
But with nine wins from 158 appearances plus 1,377 points, AJ will go down as one of Sweden’s icons of the SGP era.