Victor Palomo
Page updated 25-Apr-2011
On the Gus Kuhn Seeley

Victor Palomo was born in Barcelona on 25 May 1948. He began water skiing in 1959 at the yacht club in Barcelona. Four years later he was champion of Spain and European Junior Champion, a title he won twice more. By the late sixties he was riding in local motorcycle races, but the Spanish Ski Federation banned him after an accident at Massana. In 1968 he competed at the Olympic Games in Grenoble in bobsleigh. Victor was World Water Ski Slalom Champion in 1969, but the following year he broke both knees during training. When he recovered he went to Belguim to buy a CZ and started racing in Motocross.

Victor Palomo with Vincent Davey

After completing his law studies in 1971, Victor gave up skiing to concentrate on motorcycle racing. He raced off-road on an Ossa Enduro. In July 1972 Victor was riding a 750 Norton Commando in the Barcelona 24 Hour race for the Spanish Norton importer, Challenge Motors, operating in the pit next to Gus Kuhn. Victor and his co-rider Millet retired in the ninth hour but this meeting led to him riding a Gus Kuhn Norton at events in the UK and Europe. In London, Barry Sheene was also instrumental in helping Victor prepare his private TZ250 Yamaha for Grand Prix racing. Click here to read Victor's exploits with the Gus Kuhn team in 1972.


Victor had his first GP podium in 1973 at Hockenheim in Germany riding his 350 Yamaha to second place behind Teuvo Lansivouri. At the Italian GP at Monza that year he was involved in the tragic accident that took the lives of Jarno Saarinen and Renzo Pasolini. A fall at the Yugoslavia GP in June led to him missing the rest of the 1973 season and part of 1974. He won his home 350GP at Montjuic in 1974. In 1975 he competed in the 250 (3rd at Hockenheim and 4th at Andersdorp) and 350 championships (3rd at Brno ) on the revolutionary monocoque SMAC Yamaha of Eric Offenstad, and F750 on a TZ750 Yamaha, combining several podiums with numerous mechanical problems.

In 1976 Victor rode for the Freddy Swaep team, with uneven performances in the 250, 350 and 500 classes. He also competed in F750 championship on a TZ750 Yamaha, coming second at the controversial Jarama event. In the latter part of the season problems with the team meant he had nothing to ride for the race at Silverstone but Sonauto Yamaha gave him the injured Patrick Pons bike. Victories in the next two races at Assen and Hockenheim meant he won the Formula 750 European championship, just two points ahead of the American Gary Nixon and his Kawasaki.

Victor started the 1977 season with good bikes, a good team and a powerful sponsor. Early results at the Venezuela GP (3rd in the 250 and 2nd in the 350) were promising, but a crash at more than 200 kilometres per hour during practice for the Moto Journal 200 event at Paul Ricard caused serious injuries to his spine. A hasty return resulted in another fall that forced him to temporarily leave competition.

1978 was dedicated to contesting the Spanish F750 Championships. Victor got two wins as well as a great ride at the Montjuic 24 Hour race partnering Benjamin Grau. The following year, fully recovered from his injuries, Victor planned to race in the 250 and 350 Grand Prix as well as partnering 250 World Champion Mario Lega in World Endurance on a Ducati. But at the 24 Hour race at Montjuic Victor suffered another serious accident. In front of the stadium, and going over 190 kilometres per hour, he hit another competitor who was off line. The accident shattered his leg and the operations led to further complications which kept him away from racing for 1980, not returning to racing until the autumn of 1981 for a 500cc ride at Jarama.

In 1982 he entered several World Championship events in the 250 and 500 (on a Suzuki RG500) classes, with some good performances but marred by yet another accident.

The complicated operations, treatments to promote bone recovery, the powerful painkillers, combined with his diabetic condition, caused serious side effects with heart and liver failure, which led to Victor's death in March 1985, aged just 36. Although he was living in Ibiza, Victor died during a visit to the Costa Brava.

If you have further details of Victor's career or would
like to add any memories and/or pictures, please contact us.