Australian Motocross History

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Australian Motocross History

Australian Motocross History

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AMX History - April 2024

Craig Dack inducted into the Australian Motorsport Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Craig Dack who, in March, was inducted into the Australian Motorsport Hall of Fame.

Dack, from Cronulla in New South Wales, joins Jeff Leisk (WA), Stephen Gall (NSW) and Victorians Ken Rumble, Gary Flood and the late Ray Fisher as the only motocross inductees.

The “Dack Attack” as he was nicknamed, dominated the Australian Motocross scene in the late 1980s winning five National Motocross Championships and four Mr. Motocross series.

Following Dack’s induction, AMX History included a new feature section on the Australian Motorsport Hall of Fame – featuring the motocross inductees and taking a look at other all-time Australian greats who also deserve considering for inclusion in this prestigious club.

Jett Lawrence leads AMA 450 SX series and Hunter scores first podium at St. Louis

Queensland teenage sensation Jett Lawrence still leads the AMA 450 Supercross West Series in the United States in his rookie season in this class, but lost valuable points after a disastrous round 12 at St. Louis.

The young Honda HRC Team rider has now won five rounds in 2024 – the most of any rider – winning at Anaheim (1), Detroit (5) and three in a row at Daytona, Birmingham and Indianapolis (8-10)

After finishing second in race 1 after being caught up in a first corner accident then winning race 2 pulling away from legend Eli Tomac, Jett looked like he was going to extend his 10 point lead in the championship.

But the weekend suddenly turned sour when Jett was dropped two placings for failing to slow down on the final lap when the red cross flag was out and crashed out of podium contention in the final, giving Tomic overall victory with a 1-1-1 result.

Cooper Webb (Yamaha) was second, gaining two points on Jett (244) with Chase Sexton (KTM, 224) in third and Eli Tomac in fourth (Yamaha, 202).

Jett’s older brother Hunter podiumed for the first time in the 450cc class, behind Webb, showing increasing speed and results in recent rounds – also in his rookie year in this class.

Now well past the half-way mark in the Championship series, hopefully Jett Lawrence will recover from his hard hit.  Obviously in pain, Jett showed strength and determination to get back up after his heavy crash finished race 3 in 21st place, but 8th overall (2-3-21).

Click above to contribute content, photos or results to the Australian Motocross History website, or email: amxhistory@outlook.com

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Latest updates and most popular stories

In the lead up to the opening round of the 2024 Penrite Australian Pro MX Championships at Wonthaggi, Victoria on 17 March, AMX History featured stories on our past all-time great Australian Champions dating back to 1953 and up-to-date Championship lists (See updated National MX Championship Lists attached).

Check out the 2024 Penrite AMXPro Championship Overall-standings.

The most popular story during the month was the anniversary of Jeff Leisk and Stephen Gall’s inclusion in the Australian Motorsport Hall of Fame – at the inaugural event in 2016.

The other most popular posts during the month were these stories.

Coming up in 2024

As 2024 is the 50th Anniversary of the prestigious Mister Motocross series in the 1970s and 1980s, AMX History will release a new feature to celebrate its success and compete the reports for each year.

Work is also under way on capturing the history of Australia’s longest and most successful annual motocross – the Harley Scramble – which regularly drew crowds between 10,000 to 20,000 people each year between 1928 and 1964.

Thanks for supporting AMX History and continuing to contribute photos, results and stories to preserve the history of our exciting sport.  We welcome your feedback, ideas and nominations for any rider feature stories not already covered.

Penrite ProMX Series points and reports

Photo: Penrite ProMX 2014 Australian Championships Jedd Beaton (TAS, Yamaha) won leads the Thor MX1 class after two rounds (Foremost Media)

2024 Rounds

1 – Mar 17, Wonthaggi (VIC)
2 – Apr 7, Horsham (VIC)
3 – May 5, Gillman (SA)
4 – May 26, Maitland (NSW)
5 – Jun 23, Murray Bridge (SA)
6 – Jul 21, Toowoomba (QLD)
7 – Aug 11, MX Farm Gympie (QLD)
8 – Aug 17/18, Queensland Moto Park Coulson (QLD)

Your contributions

GUNTER RECOVERS FROM NEW ZEALAND OPENING ROUND CRASH TO WIN SECOND mR. MX TITLE in 1977

During the month, Bruce Biltoff shared this photo of Anthony Gunter winning back-to-back Mr. Motocross titles at Amaroo Park (NSW) in 1977.

The reigning Mr. MX champion recovered from injury at the inaugural New Zealand round of Mr. Motocross where he crashed heavily and seriously injured his leg to finish without any points on the day. 

But ‘Grunt’, as he was nicknamed, displayed his fighting ability and after several months of physiotherapy, was ready to defend his title in Round 2, Tivoli (QLD).

With series leader Ivan Miller (NZ) breaking his leg in round 3 at Wallan (VIC), Gunter and Gall bridged the points gap on Miller.  Gall was the overall winner on the day with three wins and a second, but a win and three second placings was enough for Gunter to win the overall series. 

Updated Australian Motocross Champions List

1994 Australian Team Motocross of Nations Ruggenburg Switzerland - Lee Hogan Honda 500cc

Photo – 1994 Australian 500cc Champion Lee Hogan (Honda – WA/Vic) in action at the Motocross des Nations in Roggenburg, Switzerland 

Click on the banner (right) to view the updated Australian Motocross Champions list up to 2022, featuring first to third place-getters.

When AMX History was originally established two years ago, its aim was to capture all the results back to the very first event at Korweinguboora – Daylesford in Victoria in 1953.  Thanks to your help, we now have a complete list of all champions and are only missing the placings from the Australian 500cc Championships between 1994 to 1996.

Do you have any memories or information of the 1994-1996 Australian 500cc titles – who placed, where they were held or when? Maybe, you have a report or photos from these event that you could share!

During that era, the 125cc and 250cc Championship had just moved to a series, but the 500cc class and Sidecars remained on one-day at different venues.  

The dominant 500cc riders were Glen Bell (1990-91 Australian Champion), Lee Hogan, (1994), Kim Ashkenazi (1992-93), Dale Britton and Shane Watts (1996) who went on to win the 1997 125cc World Enduro Championship.

Click  below to see the full statistics on Australia’s greatest ever  125cc, 250cc, 350cc, 500cc, Unlimited, MX1, MX2 and MX3 racers, as well as the Sidecars, or to view the souvenir Australian Champions posters.  

Latest motocross champions inducted as legends

Popular new content

TRIBUTES TO LOST AUSTRALIAN MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONS
INTERNATIONAL MOTOCROSS, PLUS AUSSIES OVERSEAS
Australia's Motocross des Nations journey
Australian Championships and other motocross / supercross stories
mister motocross series (1974 to 1990)

"It’s important to preserve the heritage of the sport and where it came from – so people can enjoy their era again and the young people can see what it was like."

Jeff Leisk quote – Motor Sport Retro interview, March 21, 2012

Photo: Australian Jeff Leisk, 1989 Runner-up World 500cc Motocross Champion

Jeff Leisk wins a Supercross

HOLDEN ON TIGHT

This website is supported by Rosco Holden.

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Follow and contribute stories to Rosco’s Mr Motocross Legends and Stars Facebook group, to help preserve Australia’s Motocross History.

Australian motocross champions

Australian Motocross Champion Jeff Leisk

West Australian Jeff Leisk was the first Australian to place in the World Motocross Championships, finishing second in the 500cc class in 1989.  He competed during  the 1970’s to 1990’s and won a Junior World Championship in 1978 at age 13.  He twice won the prestigious National Mr Motocross  series before he headed over to  the US and Europe, opening the door  for other Australians.  He also won eight Australian Championships, including all classes at Mackay, Queensland in 1988.

Top International Australian competitors Jeff Leisk, Chad Reed and Andrew McFarlane picked up many Australian Motocross Championships between the 1980s and 2010.  

They would have won more championships had they remained in Australia.  The same applies to ‘all-time great’ Gary Flood who won eight Australian Titles while also racing scrambles and pursuing an International solo speedway career in England. 

The 1970s through to the early ’90s were possibly the ‘Golden era’ of Motorcycling in Australia peaking with the World Motocross des Nations, World 125cc Grand Prix being held in Manjimup, Western Australia in ’92 and ’93, respectively.  The West held three big International events each year during the eighties, with the prestigious Mr Motocross series in the Eastern States the pinnacle for national riders.

During this era New South Wales riders Glen Bell, Stephen Gall, Craig Dack and Kim Ashkenazi racked up a handful of National titles each.  

In earlier times, Ken Rumble (Vic), Ray Fisher (Vic) and Charlie West (WA) won the most Australian Championships in the 1950s to 1960s, with seven, seven, and six titles each, respectively.  Fisher and West too spent time racing in Europe.

The South Australians dominated the sidecar class for many years with Murray Williams winning nine titles in the 60s-70s and Barry Buckley eight in the 70s-80s.

Top 10

TOP 10 most popular pages ON THIS WEBSITe

Order motocross photos from this site

1992 MX des Nations Manjimup Western Australia

The majority of photos on this website are kindly provided by Australian professional track photographer Peter Kitchingman.  

Get in touch with Peter to buy any of these photos, or past photos of yourself.

Email: Peter Kitchingman  Ph: 61 (03) 0419 044 906.

Create your own motocross achievements video

Are your favourite motocross photos and videos still buried in your computer, phone or garage – unsorted, unseen and unshared?  

Let Life and Times Video review your footage and edit together an entertaining cinematic style film for you or montage video of your still photos, like this sample.  

Put simply, you provide your home videos and photos, then we create for you a short video capturing your favourite moments.  

Call John on 61 (08) 0423 789 009. 

World Motocross Champions

1975-77 Gaston Rahier 125cc World Motocross Champion in Australia

Gaston Rahier  from Belgium won three World 125cc Motocross Championships between 1975 and 1977.  In 1975, he was the first reigning World Champion to race in Australia competing in various events across Australia, including the National Championships in  Sanford, Tasmania.

World Motocross des Nations

Motocross des Nations - Australian Team 1992

The Australian Team in the 1992 World Motocross des Nations team at Manjimup, Western Australia – Jason Marshall (500cc), Dale Britton (250cc) and Kim Ashkenazi (125cc).  Team USA took out this event  winning 13 consecutive times between 1981 to 1993.

World Sidecarcross Champions

World Sidecarcross Champion Emil Bollhalder

Reigning Swiss World Sidecarcross Champion Emil Bollhalder toured Australia in 1984.  

He competed at and won both the King of the Cross (Southern Cross) and  Western Classic (Noble Falls) events in Western Australia after competing in a host of other events across Australia.

World Supercross Champions

World AMA Australian Supercross Champion

Australia’s own Chad Reed is the record holder for most main event starts in AMA Supercross history.  He had 228 starts as of 2018, with his career spanning almost 20 years.  He won the World Championships in 2004 and 2008.

Most popular videos on this website
1 - TIM GIBBES MOTOCROSS STORY
2 - WESTERN MX CLASSIC DOCUMENTARY
3 - KING OF THE CROSS DOCUMENTARY
4 - SIDECAR DAREDEVILS AT NOBLE FALLS
5 - CHARLIE WEST MOTOCROSS STORY
AMXH Author - John Steyntjes

AMXH Author, John Steyntjes
About the author and acknowledgments

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Australian Motocross History