Australian Motocross History

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Australian Motocross History

Australian Motocross History

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AMX History - February 2024

Jett Lawrence creates more history and is second in his debut 450 season

 

The AMA Supercross West Series kicked off at Anaheim on 6 January 2024, with the Queensland Team Honda riders Jett and Hunter Lawrence both contesting the premier 450cc class for the first time.

The opening round was a dream start for Jett, creating history to become the first rider to win on debut in the AMA 450cc Championship.  With the season already up to round 5 on 3 February 2024, Jett is now in overall second on 97 points, just one point behind the leader Chase Sexton (KTM, 98) and one point ahead of Aaron Plessinger (KTM, 96).

After Jett’s big win in Anaheim I, he has been one of the most consistent riders but failed to podium with the wet and slippery conditions in rounds 2 at 3 in San Francisco and San Diego evening out the competition with different winners at each round.

Getting a good start is critical in the wet and this is what reigning AMA 450cc SX Champion Chase Sexton did in round 2 and Aaron Plessinger in round 3.

In round 4, which was run over three legs, Cooper Webb (Yamaha) won on consistency.  Jett was in second overall, but dropped his Honda with just a few laps remaining in the final leg, slipping out of the podium placings on the day and overall leaderboard.

But Jett’s convincing win in Detroit after qualifying fastest and winning the holeshot has again put him in a strong position to challenge for the premier AMA 450cc SX title.

This year’s title chase is wide open and the closest in the history of AMA Supercross with only 11 points separating first to eight with Cooper Webb (Yamaha) in fourth, Jason Anderson (Kawasaki) fifth and Eli Tomac (Yamaha) in sixth, with World Supercross Champion Ken Roczen (Suzuki, Germany) and Dykan Ferrandis (Honda, France) tied in seventh.

Jett Lawrence’s older brother Hunter is in tenth on 52 points, finishing eighth in Detroit.  Considering his disappointing start to the year, Hunter is still within reach of the leading riders.  The opening round was a disaster where he crashed and failed to qualify for the final.  Then in rounds 2 and 3 he struggled, like most riders, in the wet scoring his best result for the season in round 5.

 

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Preserving our motocross history for future generations

Latest updates and most popular stories

The tribute to Australian Motocross Legend Anthony Gunter on his birthday in January was the most popular story during the month, closely followed by Anthony Gobert’s win in the 1992 Australian Supercross Masters series

Sadly, just a few days after this story was released, the master entertainer on two wheels passed away on Wednesday, January 17 at the age of 48.

Mark Pace’s story generated much interest and many comments in social media, as did motocross pioneer and ambassador for the sport Bill Watson’s induction into the AMX History Legends section.

Other popular posts were the Inaugural Bunbury Supercross in 1981 and tribute to the late Ray Fisher who was a multiple Australian Champion and overseas pioneer of the sport.

Coming up in 2024

Leading up to the opening round of the Penrite Australian Pro MX Championships at Wonthaggi in Victoria on 17 March, AMX History will feature our past all-time great Australian Champions and lists dating back to 1953.

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.

John Steyntjes
AMX History Author

https://amxhistory.com.au/

Penrite ProMX Series points and reports

Photo: 2023 Penrite ProMX MX1 Motocross Champion Dean Ferris  (NSW, Yamaha) – 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)

You contributions

1963 australian championships in queensland

During the month Glen Mottram sent in his father’s motocross photography collection,  including this one of the presentations at the 1963 Australian Motocross Championships in Amberley, Queensland.  Glen’s father Colin (left) and his rider Max Annear (centre) are receiving their sashes after winning the Unlimited Sidecars class on an Ariel outfit, ahead.  It was a sweet win after leading at the Rope Works in Mosman Park, WA in 1962 after they were forced out with machine problems.

1963 Australian Unlimited Sidecar Champions Max Annear and Colin Mottram WA at Amberley, Queensland

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

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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