Australian Motocross History
Australian Motocross History

Australian Motocross History

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AMX History - May 2024

Jett Lawrence wins AMA 450 SX Championship and "Rookie of the Year"

Congratulations to Australian motocross rider Jett Lawrence who wrapped up the 2024 AMA Supercross Championship in Utah on 11 May 2024.

Just 20 years old, the Queenslander is only the third rider to secure the premier-class Supercross crown in his rookie season, so it was no surprise that leading into the final race at the at Rice-Eccles Stadium it was announced that he took out the AMA 450SX Rookie of the Year award.

In doing so, he became the third rider in the history of the sport to earn the premier-class SX crown in his rookie season.  

Heading into the final round, Jett – the Honda HRC Team rider – had a comfortable 20 point lead in the series over Cooper Webb (Yamaha).  Jett was in the box seat to win his seventh AMA MX / SX title after winning the last three rounds in Nashville, Philadelphia and Denver – rounds 14 to 16.  At Utah, he virtually just had to finish to be guaranteed the title, which he did – cruising home in 7th place with reigning champion Chase Sexton (Yamaha) and Justin Cooper (Yamaha)and Webb filling the podium in that order.

Up until Nashville (round 14), the 450 SX series was the most evenly contested Championship in the history of the event with points close between the Top 6 riders.  But with both Sexton and Roczen having brutal crashes in separate incidents in the main event and Eli Tomac missing the final round with a hand injury, just two riders were left battling for the 2024 championship – Jett Lawrence and Webb.

In 2024, Jett won 8 of the 17 rounds, finishing on the podium 11 times finishing on 351 points – 15 ahead of Webb and 44 ahead of Sexton.

Jett’s seventh AMA title was preceded by his wins in the 2021 and ’22 250 Pro Motocross Championships, the ’22 250 East Supercross Championship, the ’23 250 West Supercross Championship, the ’23 450 Pro Motocross Championship (in a perfect season!) and last year’s inaugural 450 World SuperMotocross Championship.

Jett’s older brother Hunter, also in his rookie season in the 450cc class, finished ninth in the Championship – continually improving as the year went on, finishing on the podium last weekend in Denver and at St. Louis on 30 March.

Jett and Hunter won’t have much time to celebrate their AMA Supercross success with the AMA Pro Motocross series kicking off in Pala, California, in two weeks, with the SuperMotocross series set to commence in Concord, North Carolina, on 7 September.

2024 AMA 450 Supercross Champion Jett Lawrence and Rookie of the Year

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Latest updates and most popular stories

The most popular stories during the month were the tributes to two popular racers who are no longer with us – the late Paul Broomfield and American motocross legend Marty Smith who raced down under in 1980.  April was the four-year anniversary of the tragic Californian dune beach buggy incident that took the lives of Marty and his wife Nancy.

Also, continue to check out the 2024 Penrite AMXPro Championship Overall-standings with upcoming rounds at Gillman (SA) on 5 May and Maitland (NSW) on 25-26 May.

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.

We’ll promote the Australian Team fundraiser for the 2024 Motocross of Nations  training event leading up to 3 August at the Queensland Moto Park.  Jeff Leisk, Mark Luksich, Stephen Gall, Gary Benn, QMP’s Ray Buchanan, MQ & MA have organised this a one-day course also featuring other Australian motocross legends Craig Dack and Glen Bell, with assistance from current factory pro riders Dean Ferris, Kyle Webster, Jed Beaton and Todd Waters.

Work is progressing 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.

Help the Australian MXoN's team go one better in 2024!

Training course fundraiser at Queensland Moto park on 3 August 2024

2023 Motocross des Nations Ernee France - Australia 2nd - Motorcycling Australia - Alex Kelly Photos

Riders across the country are invited to a training day with Stephen Gall, Jeff Leisk, Craig Dack and Glen Bell!

On 3 August 2024 at the Queensland Moto Park, Motorcycling Australia will hold a fundraiser for the 2024 Motocross of Nations. 

All money raised at the motocross training day with Australian jumps legends Stephen Gall, Jeff Leisk wil lgo towards the 2024 Australian MXoN’s team to help boosy our chances of winning the World Team’s event for the first time.

Craig Dack and Glen Bell, with complementary wise counsel from current ProMX Championshipfactory racers Dean Ferris, Kyle Webster, Jed Beaton and Todd Waters will also be there.

Penrite ProMX Series points and reports

Photo: Penrite ProMX 2024 Australian Championships  Thor MX1  leader Kyle Webster  (WA, Honda) by 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

Painting of Marty Smith by David Lockyer
Drawing of American Motocross Legend Marty Smith - By Richard Hart

Images – [Left] AMX History subscriber David Lockyer’s painting of American Motocross Legend Marty Smith; and [Right] Richard Hart’s drawing of Marty.

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, MX3 and MXW racers, as well as the Sidecars, or to view the souvenir Australian Champions posters.  

Latest motocross champions inducted as legends

Popular new content

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


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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
AMXH Author - John Steyntjes

AMXH Author, John Steyntjes
About the author and acknowledgments

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