Since the 10th anniversary of the event, the name of Yvon Duhamel has been associated with the Grand Prix circuit. Behind this name stands an athlete dedicated to the world of motorcycling, who has raced in all styles of motorcycle racing, ranging from motocross to dirt tracks and drag racing.
Born in 1939 in the greater Montreal area, Yvon Duhamel quickly developed a new interest in another sport on two wheels, cycling, going so far as to open his bike shop at the age of 13. It was a friend who introduced him to motorcycles two years later, giving him a ride on a Triumph motorcycle. The adrenaline felt by Yvon on this motorcycle seduces him so much that he gets his first motorcycle the following week.
From this point, Yvon Duhamel gradually took part in races, first on the ice and then on dirt tracks. He quickly gained a reputation as a relentless runner. At that time, Yvon was supporting himself as a racer by working with his brother at a gas station. His performances, however, caught the attention of George Davis, a major promoter of motorcycling in Quebec. This partnership was fruitful for both men, leading among other things to Yvon Duhamel’s first victories in 1961. His performances in the 1960s also enabled him to win the White Trophy awarded to the best performance by a Canadian rider, all disciplines combined.
It was also through his association with promoter George Davis that Yvon met Trevor Deeley, a Canadian distributor of Yamaha motorcycles. After numerous victories in the United States and Canada with Yamaha, Yvon turned to Kawasaki, which then had
very powerful engines that few riders were able to master. From 1971 to 1973 Yvon was the most successful rider for Kawasaki, winning 5 events for the team. Yvon’s successes also carried over to the snowmobile trails, becoming one of the first true professionals in snowmobile racing. He was also selected as part of the first Ski-Doo racing team in 1969.
Passed away in August 2021, Yvon Duhamel’s passion for racing and competition is still felt in the world of motorsports, his death has led to several testimonials from various pilots. The Grand Prix Ski-Doo de Valcourt team will pay him a tribute worthy of his talent at the next edition.