Tony Rickardsson

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Tony Rickardsson
At the Swedish Sports Gala in 2014
Born (1970-08-17) 17 August 1970 (age 53)
Grytås, Sweden
Career history
1988–1990Stockholm United
Great Britain
1991–1994, 1997–1998Ipswich Witches
1999King's Lynn Stars
2001–2004Poole Pirates
2005Arena Essex Hammers
2006Oxford Cheetahs
1991Polonia Bydgoszcz
1992Ostrów Wielkopolski
1993Zielona Góra
1994–1996, 2004–2006Unia Tarnów
1997–1998Stal Gorzów Wielkopolski
1999–2000Wybrzeże Gdańsk
2001–2003KS Toruń
Individual honours
1990, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2004Swedish Champion
Team honours
1989, 1998, 2000Elitserien Champion
1987Allsvenskan Div 1 Champion
Tony Rickardsson
Medal record
Representing  Sweden
Speedway World Championship
Gold medal – first place 1994
Gold medal – first place 1998
Gold medal – first place 1999
Gold medal – first place 2001
Gold medal – first place 2002
Gold medal – first place 2005
Silver medal – second place 1991
Silver medal – second place 1995
Silver medal – second place 2004
Bronze medal – third place 2000
Bronze medal – third place 2003
Speedway World Team Cup
Gold medal – first place 1994
Gold medal – first place 2000
Gold medal – first place 2004
Silver medal – second place 1991
Silver medal – second place 1992
Silver medal – second place 1998
Silver medal – second place 2005
Bronze medal – third place 1993
Bronze medal – third place 1997
Bronze medal – third place 2001
Bronze medal – third place 2002
Speedway World Pairs Championship
Gold medal – first place 1993
Silver medal – second place 1992
Golden Helmet
Gold medal – first place 1992
Gold medal – first place 1993
Gold medal – first place 1995
Silver medal – second place 1997
Silver medal – second place 1998
Silver medal – second place 1999
Bronze medal – third place 1994

Jan Tony Soren Rickardsson (born on 17 August 1970) is a Swedish former professional motorcycle speedway rider.[1][2] He competed in the Speedway World Championships from 1989 to 2006. Rickardsson is notable for winning six Speedway World Championship titles in 15 attempts. In 2011, Rickardsson was named an FIM Legend for his motorcycling achievements.[3]

Career summary[edit]

Promising talent[edit]

Rickardsson was born in Avesta, Dalarna County, Sweden. In 1989 he became Swedish team champion with the now defunct Stockholm U team. The next year, he won the Swedish Championship, a title he's won six times since, including three times in a row from 1997 to 1999. That year, he also won a bronze medal at the Junior World Championships in Lviv. In 1991, he made his debut at the World Championship in Gothenburg, and surprised many by winning silver behind diminutive Dane Jan O. Pedersen. Rickardsson was lucky to actually make the 1991 World Final after having missed qualifying when he finished 10th in the Nordic Final in Denmark, but got his chance when as first reserve he replaced injured English rider Andy Smith for the World Semi-final in Germany and ended up finishing a strong 5th to qualify for the Final.

This promising performance was followed up by two fourteenth-places at the next World Championship, before he won the last single-event World Championships in an extra play-off race against Danish triple World Champion Hans Nielsen and Australian Craig Boyce. In 1993 he won the Speedway World Pairs Championship with Per Jonsson and Henrik Gustafsson. He also won the 1992 and 1994 World Team Cup Championships as a member of the powerful Swedish teams which included 1990 World Champion Per Jonsson, Henrik Gustafsson, 1988 World Under-21 champ Peter Nahlin, Jimmy Nilsen and Mikael Karlsson.

World dominance[edit]

He won the Elite League Riders' Championship, held at the Abbey Stadium on 11 October 1998.[4]

Despite being on or near the top of the tables in the new Speedway Grand Prix series, organised as six events where points were tallied at the end, Rickardsson failed to win a single individual Grand Prix event in the next three years, and only won a World Championship silver and a Swedish Championship in that time. However, from 1998 onwards, he was dominant. He won three of six events in 1998, including a home win in Linköping, and ended up beating fellow Swede Jimmy Nilsen by 12 points. Joining Hans Nielsen as the only 2 riders to have won world titles in both the single meeting and grand prix formats. This year, he also won the Elitserien with Valsarna of Hagfors, being the highest averaging rider that season, and he won the British Elite League with Ipswich, averaging the highest for them as well. 1999 was an almost equally stunning season, although it started badly when he got disqualified in the first race at Prague, finishing eleventh. After three races, he was third, 24 points behind Tomasz Gollob, who looked to be cruising to victory. However, Gollob ran into trouble in the fourth race at Coventry, being forced to retire after the introductory stages and finishing eighth, meaning that Rickardsson caught up 15 points in one race. With one event left at Vojens, Gollob still led by four points, but in a quarter-final heat where Ryan Sullivan had been excluded and he only had to finish in the top two to qualify for the semi-final, Gollob finished third, and the pressure was off Rickardsson - who would now win if he finished in the top six. This recovery gave him Swedish sport's arguably greatest award, Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal (lit.: The Achievement Medal), for the best achievement of the year.

21st century[edit]

Rickardsson continued to win titles throughout the new century, although Mark Loram won the 2000 World Championship despite not winning a single event. Rickardsson won one - at Wrocław, but was too inconsistent to win the overall title. However, he again won the Elitserien, this time with his local team Masarna from Avesta, as he and team-mate Leigh Adams were the two highest averaging riders in the entire league. In 2001 he was back on the World stage, winning the World title with a record 121 points from six Grand Prix events, only missing one final - the last, at home on Stockholms Stadion, which was really academic as only a thirteenth place could possibly have robbed him of the title. He managed to win at home in the next Grand Prix series in 2002, which gave him three individual wins as he won his fifth World Championship.

In 2003, he finished third overall. Thirteenth place finishes in Gothenburg, Bydgoszcz and Hamar ruining his bid for the title, and a concussion kept him out of the Swedish team that won the World Cup at Vojens (though he was part of a qualifier race and hence stands with a World Cup medal - his only title that year). The following year he managed to win the Swedish Championship at Målilla, but consistency eluded him as Jason Crump pipped him to the World title by three points (although the lead was 17 points before the final race).

He followed this up with another extremely strong season in 2005. With six first positions at Wrocław (1st Event), Krško (3rd), Cardiff (4th), Copenhagen (5th), Prague (6th) and Lonigo (9th); a second in the Swedish event at Eskilstuna (2nd); third in the Scandinavian held in Målilla (7th) and a lowly 9th in the Polish Grand Prix held at Bydgoszcz (8th Event). Even with such a poor finish in Poland, however, he had already virtually sown up the Championship in the 7th Grand Prix in Målilla, ahead of Jason Crump.[5] After the sixth event held in the Czech Republic, he was first in the points per event table of the Elitserien (the Swedish Domestic Elite League). Though Tony stated that he would give up racing after the 2006 season, he announced his early retirement from both World Championship and Domestic Speedway on 1 August 2006 at a press conference in Stockholm, in order to pursue his interest in racing cars instead.[6] Rickardsson was a contestant on the TV4 television show Let's Dance 2008 in which he finished 2nd.

Summary of Titles[edit]

Other honours[edit]

In 2024, Rickardsson was honoured by Carl XVI Gustaf for merits in Swedish sport.[7]

World Final Appearances[edit]

Individual World Championship[edit]

World Pairs Championship[edit]

World Team Cup[edit]

World Cup[edit]

Individual Under-21 World Championship[edit]

Speedway Grand Prix results[edit]

Year Position Points Best Finish Notes
1995 2nd 88 2nd Second in Austrian and Swedish Grand Prix
1996 4th 86 2nd Second in Polish Grand Prix
1997 4th 90 2nd Second in Danish Grand Prix
1998 1st 111 Winner Won Czech Republic, German and Swedish Grand Prix
1999 1st 111 Winner Won British and Danish Grand Prix
2000 3rd 94 Winner Won Polish Grand Prix
2001 1st 121 Winner Won British and Danish Grand Prix
2002 1st 181 Winner Won Norwegian, Swedish and Danish Grand Prix
2003 3rd 127 Winner Won European Grand Prix
2004 2nd 155 Winner Won Slovenian and Norwegian Grand Prix
2005 1st 196 Winner Won European, Slovenian, British, Danish, Czech Republic and Italian Grand Prix
2006 14th 41 4th Retired from all speedway following 5 rounds of the series


  • He was nominated for the most prestigious Swedish sports awards for many years before finally winning in 2006 . For the last four years the Swedish comedian Robert Gustafsson often appeared as him, talking sarcastically about how the winners deserved the prize while he was annoyed about never winning.


  1. ^ Montague, Trevor (2004). The A-Z of Sport. Little, Brown. p. 528. ISBN 0-316-72645-1.
  2. ^ "Tony Jan Soren Rickardsson Szwecja". Polish Speedway Database. Retrieved 2 April 2023.
  3. ^ "FIM Legends" (PDF). Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  4. ^ "Screen provides the chief thrills". Manchester Evening News. 12 October 1998. Retrieved 8 June 2023 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  5. ^ "A Year in Summary". Speedway Plus. Retrieved 14 March 2024.
  6. ^ "Rickardsson announces retirement". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 9 August 2008.
  7. ^ "Royal honour for Swedish speedway King Rickardsson". FIM. Retrieved 13 April 2024.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal
Succeeded by