Australian Motocross History
Australian Motocross History

Australian Motocross History

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AMX History - July 2024

Beaton wins prestigious Manjimup 15000

Since 1980, the Manjimup 15000 – Australia’s most prestigious annual open event – has been held and, this year’s event was back to its best after a break in 2023.

The historical and high-profile event that draws riders from the US and Europe as well as Australia’s best riders, with our own international pioneer Jed Beaton taking the win, in his first attempt, and big prizemoney.

Jed Beaton, from Latrobe in Tasmania, showed the experience he gained contesting the World MX2 Championships between 2017 and 2022, leaving Australia after winning the National 2016 MX2 Championship as a teenager.

After a slow start in the first of four motos throughout the day at the Manjimup Cosy Creek circuit, the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy rider found his mojo in the afternoon and dominated the final two motos to snatch victory and have his name etched on the Manjimup Honor Board.  Beaton finished with 3-2-1-1 results (90 points) to take a popular victory ahead Kayden Minear and Kyle Webster, who tied in second on 85 points.

After Round 5 of the Penrite Australian ProMX series at Murray Bridge on 23 June, only five points now separates the leaders in the premier MX1 class – Kyle Webster (Honda)and Jed Beaton (Yamaha).

As we head to Toowoomba (QLD) on 21 July, Webster and Beaton remain in a titanic battle for the overall Championship lead with Webster on 252 points, just 7 points ahead of Beaton (245) with KTM rider Nathan Crawford – 35 points further back (210).

Looking across to the United States and the premier AMA Pro 450cc class, the news doesn’t get much better with the Australian Honda Factory Team riders – the Lawrence brothers – leading the series after 5 rounds.

In his rookie season debut in this class, Hunter now leads the Championship on 213 points, just three points ahead of Jett and KTM rider Chase Sexton, who are tied on 210 points.

Jett Lawrence’s 24 race winning streak in the AMA Pro Motocross Championship came to an end when he crashed heavily while leading Moto 1, losing valuable points.  But despite recovering from a shoulder, leg and other injuries, Jett has managed to win rounds 4 and 5 at High Point (1-1) and Southwick (1-2) and is back on track to defend his National AMA Pro 450 title.

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Preserving our motocross history for future generations

New Mister Motocross History Section unveiled

The new Mr. MX History page and stories from that section were the most popular ones during the month:

Iconic Mister Motocross series launched today 50 years ago
– Stephen Gall – the first rider to four Mister Motocross titles and three in a row
– Anthony Gunter – the first rider to win multiple Mister Motocross titles
– Vandenberg – The youngest winner of the prestigious National Mister Motocross series
– Flood brothers keep Mister Motocross title in the family
– Trevor Flood wins inaugural Mr. MX in 1974

Mister Motocross promoter Vince Tesoriero inducted as a legend

Coming up in 2024

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the prestigious Mister Motocross series in the 1970s and 1980s, during the month AMX History released a new feature on the Mr. MX history and inducted promoter Vince Tesoriero as a legend.

Check out the new Mr. MX History section and follow the series via the AMX History Facebook group each week through to the end of July.

We’ll continue to promote the Australian Team fundraiser for the 2024 Motocross of Nations training event leading up to it on 3 August at the Queensland Moto Park. 

Work is also 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.

John Steyntjes
AMX History Author

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

Training course fundraiser at Queensland Moto park on 3 August 2024

2024 AUSTRALIAN TEAM Motocross of Nations Fundraiser

Since Australia’s first National motocross team entered the Motocross of Nations – World Teams event in 1984, our riders have been competitive and regularly finished in the Top 10.

In recent years’ we’ve been edging closer to winning the event for the first time with the Lawrence brothers (Jett and Hunter) and Dean Ferris finishing second last year to the hosting French Team at the Moto Club Ernée circuit in western France, 60 miles from Le Mans.

It was the third time ever that Australia has podiumed with the Lawrence brothers going one place higher than the previous year (2022) in America with Mitch Evans.

Australia’s first podium came in 2011 at St Jean d’Angély, France with Chad Reed, Matt Moss and Brett Metcalfe finishing third.

With the Lawrence brothers now two of the fastest riders in the world in the prestigious MX1 class, we’re in our best position ever to win our inaugural World MXoN Teams event.

So to boost our chances, legends of the sport – including Stephen Gall, Jeff Leisk, Craig Dack and Glen Bell – are hosting a training day at Queensland Moto park on 3 August 2024 with all monies generated going directly into the 2024 Team Australia MXoN assault.  Current ProMX Championship factory racers Dean Ferris, Kyle Webster, Jed Beaton and Todd Waters will also be there.

Riders from across the country are invited to participate in this incredible one-off opportunity in the lead up to the 2024 MXoN’s – to be held at Matterley Basin in the United Kingdom on 4-6 October.

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)

Blasts from the Past - Your contributions

1978 REVS Motorcycle News - Australia's first stadium motocross event at Claremont Speedway, WA on 20 May 1978
1978 Paramatta Supercross, Granville NSW - Program Cover for 10 November event

Keen motocross historian Paul Gogarty from New South Wales contributed these two images for the AMX History Supercross section.

For many years, it was considered that the first stadium motocross in Australia was held at Sydney’s Parramatta Raceway on 16 July 1978, run by speedway promoter, Sid Hopping. But the Rev’s article from May 1978 proves that Claremont Speedway promoter Con Migro organised the stadium motocross on 20 May 1978 with the A.J.S. Motorcycle Club as part of the inaugural three-day Perth Motorcycle Show. 

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


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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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
AMXH Author - John Steyntjes

AMXH Author, John Steyntjes
About the author and acknowledgments

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