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Australia Supercross History – International supercross racers down under – Chapter 7

Australia Supercross History – International supercross racers down under – Chapter 7

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International supercross riders down under

This section is a library listing the top international supercross riders who have competed in Australia, with links to interesting stories and videos on each. 

The Australian Motocross History website was established in 2020 to preserve Australian motocross history for fans to enjoy now and pass onto future generations.

You are invited to suggest riders to be included in this section and contribute stories, photos, and videos to share online.

Note: This is a works in progress and all top riders featured in this website will gradually be added to this section.   Send in your photos, videos or results via email to: amxhistory@outlook.com 

Visiting international supercross stars

RIDERS IN ALPHABETIC ORDER
Bell, Mike (USA, 1970's - 1980's)
Mike Bell - Three-times Stefan's Superbowl of Motocross winner - 1979 to 1981

Mike “Too Tall” Bell was one of America’s leading motocross and Supercross racers of the late 1970s and early ’80s. Three times he competed down under in the Stefan’s Superbowl of Motocross in Queensland, winning the event on each occasion (1979 to 1981). His biggest claim to fame was winning the 1980 AMA Supercross Championship. That was his greatest year, where he won a record seven AMA Supercross races enroute to that year’s championship. Throughout his seven-year professional career, he won a total of 20 AMA and Trans-AMA nationals.

Brayton, Justin (USA, 2010 - 2002's)
Five-times Australian Supercross Champion - Justin Brayton (USA)

Justin Brayton, from Dodge City in Iowa (US), twice created history in Australia in 2022 – winning both a record five Australian Supercross Championships, as well as five successive titles between 2016 and 2022. Brayton’s biggest victory in the USA came on 10 March 2018, four days prior to his 34th birthday, when he became the oldest rider to win a Supercross race. His best overall AMA Supercross Championship series came in 2012 when he was fourth. In 2022, he finished fourth overall in the World FIM Supercross Championship, finishing second in the Melbourne Grand Prix in October.

Button, Jimmy (USA, 1990's)
USA Supercross racer Jimmy Button

Jimmy Button from Phoenix, Arizona competed in the AMA Motocross Championships from 1990 to 2000. Button twice finished second in the AMA SX East series (in 1992 and 1994). In 1994, he won the Daytona, Florida, Irving, Texas and Charlotte rounds. Then, the following year, he finished fourth in the 125 World Motocross CS. Before his successes back home in the United States, Button competed down under and won Round 2 of the Queensland Supercross Championships on a Honda In Townsville (QLD).

Carlqvist, Hakan (Sweden, 1980's)

Fresh from winning the 1983 World 500cc Motocross Championship, Swedish rider Hakan Carlqvist raced down under with other world champions and international riders. Carlqvist’s first motocross event in Australia was on 23 October 1983 at Broadford, where he was the outright winner on his 500cc Yamaha at Broadford, running away with wins in all races contested on the day. Then, over the following weekends, Carlqvist contested three International Supercross events in Penrith (NSW), Fremantle (WA) and Melbourne (VIC).

Dubach, Doug (USA, 1980's)
American supercross racer Doug Dubach

Doug Dubach from Costa Mosa, California in the United States was a top 10 racer in the AMA MX/SX championships between 1984 and 2001. On 15 June 1991, Dubach won the San Jose SX 250 round and his highest AMA championship result was fourth in the 1989 AMA 500cc class. That year he toured down under and won two rounds of the Queensland Supercross Championship – in Townsville and Cairns. He returned to Australia the following year and won the 1990 Rockhampton SX Super Challenge and Chandler round of the Queensland Supercross Championships.

Ellis, Jim (USA, 1980's)

Jimmy Ellis (Honda) Supercross event winner in 1982 with Ray Vandenberg (Suzuki) and Trevor Williams (Kawasaki)

United States rider Jimmy Ellis, US motocross legend, was one of the most popular International Motocross racers to compete in Australia. The 1975 AMA Supercross 250cc National champion – and two-time Los Angeles Coliseum winner from Middletown in Connecticut – actually quit the sport after a serious knee injury in 1980. But in 1982, he was coaxed out of retirement by an Australian Supercross Promoter to race down under, which reignited his career. Initially Ellis raced at the Burswood Stadium Supercross event in Perth. But because the fans liked him so much, he ended up racing in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane that year. He returned to call Australia his home in the 1980s and won three Australian Motocross Championships.

Faith, Gavin (USA, 2010's)
Sydney International Supercross and Round 5 Australian Championships in Sydney Night 1 winners (L-R) 3rd - Dan Reardon ; 1st - Chad Reed and 2nd - Gavin Faith: Action Plus Sports/Alamy Live News

2015 Sydney International Supercross – Night 1 winners (L-R) 3rd Dan Reardon; 1st Chad Reed and 2nd Gavin Faith (Action Plus Sports/Alamy Live News)

Gavin Faith from Fort Dodge, Iowa in the United States was a regular supercross competitor down under, winning back-to-back Australian MX1 Supercross Championships in 2013 and 2014. Back home, the privateer had eight 250SX top 10 finishes—three of those in the top five – as well as two Amsoil Arenacross championships. He retired from racing in 2018 after a crash left him with a broken back.

Glover, Broc (USA, 1980's)
1988 Americans Broc Glover, Brock Glover, Mike Kiedrowski and Doug Dubach in Australia

Americans Broc Glover (seated),  Doug Dubach and Mike Kiedrowski in Australia during 1988

Six-times AMA Motocross Champion Broc Glover, from San Diego in California (USA) competed several times in Australian supercross and motocross events during the 1980s. Glover first competed down under on 29 November 1981 in the Ratshirts Yamaha International Motocross at Amaroo Park (NSW). But machine failure let him down, then the following week he won the Melbourne Supercross Masters against a world-class line-up. Glover returned to Australia several times to compete in various supercross events, winning the 1988 Chandler Superbowl of Motocross run by promoter John Fenton in Queensland.

Keller, Jo-Jo (USA, 1980's)
American Supercross racers Jimmy Ellis (left) and Jo Jo Keller (right)

American Supercross racers Jo Jo Keller (right) with Jimmy Ellis in Australia during 1986

Jo Jo Keller from New England in the United States in 1986 won the very first Supercross Masters event that was held indoors in the plush confines of the downtown Sydney Entertainment Centre. On 1 November 1986, he barnstormed his way to victory and grabbed the whopping $8,000 first place prizemoney ahead of countryman Guy Cooper, with Jeff Leisk in third – returning from his first full season in the United States.

Kiedrowski, Mike (USA, 1980's)
1988 Mike Kiedrowski supercross rider - By Peter Kitchingman

Mike Kiedrowski in 1988 (By Peter Kitchingman)

Michael Kiedrowski, from Canyon Country, Santa Clarita, California in the United States raced in Australia at the very first Motocross Promotions Supercross event at the Chandler Superbowl of Motocross in Queensland on 24 September 1988, along with fellow countrymen Doug Dubach and legend Broc Glover, who won the event. Kiedrowski competed in the AMA Motocross Championships from 1987 to 1997 and was a four-time AMA motocross national champion. After Jeff Ward, he is only the second competitor in AMA history to win national championships in the 125, 250 and 500 classes. Four times he represented America in the Motocross des Nations, winning iot three times. In 2007, he was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

LaRocco, Mike (USA, 2000’s)
1992 Motocross des Nations - Mike LaRocco USA - By Peter Kitchingman

American Mike LaRocco in action at the 1992 Motocross des Nations at Manjimup, WA (By Peter Kitchingman)

Mike LaRocco from Michigan City, Indiana in the United States, competed in motocross professionally from 1988 to 2006. During his nineteen-year professional motocross career, LaRocco won two AMA Motocross Championships and one FIM World Supercross title. LaRocco raced supercross down under in the 2000’s, winning a round of the Australian Supercross Masters, along with fellow Americans Jeremy McGrath and Travis Pastrana. In 2014, he was inducted to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2014. In 1992 he was a member of the winning USA Motocross des Nations team at Manjimup (WA).

La Porte, Danny (USA, 1980’s)
1983 Danny La Porte at Fremantle Supercross with insert

Danny LaPorte, from Los Angeles, California, toured Australia in 1983, winning all the International Supercross meetings he contested – in Fremantle (WA), Penrith (NSW) and the Supercross Masters at the Melbourne Showgrounds (VIC). America’s first World Motocross Champion (1982), he was joined on the Australian tour by reigning World 500cc Motocross Champion – the late Hakan Carlqvist from Sweden.

McGrath, Jeremy (USA, 2000’s)
2001 Program cover - Jeremy Mcgrath competing in the Australian Supercross Masters Rod Laver Arena 11-12 August

Jeremy McGrath was the star attraction at the 2001 Supercross Masters  in Melbourne (By Peter Coward)

Jeremy McGrath, from San Francisco in the United States won the Melbourne round of the Australian Supercross Masters series on 11-12 August 2001. The seven-times AMA Supercross Champion beat Australia’s top racers at the Rod Laver Arena riding a Yamaha. McGrath was nicknamed the “King of Supercross” because of his domination of the sport during the 1990s winning the most AMA Supercross titles. He won seventy-two 250cc Main Events and captured seven 250cc supercross championships between 1993 and 2000, a time now known as the “McGrath Era”.

Moates, Marty (USA, 1980’s)
1983 Marty Moates at Fremantle Supercross - By Peter Kitchingman

1983 Marty Moates at Fremantle Supercross (By Peter Kitchingman)

The late Marty Moates, from San Diego in California in the United States, raced down under between 1981 and 1985. Moates and three other Americans – Legend Brock Glover, Gary Semics and Warren Reid – competed in the 1981 Ratshirts Yamaha International at Amaroo Park in New South Wales, then the Melbourne International Supercross the following night. In 1983 Moates was the runner-up 500cc Australian Motocross Champion at Acusa Park (SA) and won the Newcastle Supercross (NSW).

Pastrana, Travis (USA 2000’s)
AMA Supercross [L-R] Travis Pastrana, Chad Reed and Craig Anderson

AMA Supercross [L-R] Travis Pastrana, Chad Reed and Craig Anderson

Travis Pastrana, from Annapolis, Maryland in the United States raced supercross down under in the 2000’s, winning a round of the Australian Supercross Masters, along with fellow Americans Jeremy McGrath and Mike LaRocco. Pastrana is very versatile as a professional motorsports competitor and stunt performer, winning championships and X Games gold medals in several disciplines, including supercross, motocross, freestyle motocross and rally racing.

Smith, Marty (USA, 1980’s)
US motocross racer Marty Smith

The late Marty Smith, from San Diego, California in the United States was a professional motocross racer, competing in the AMA Motocross Championships from 1974 to 1981, most prominently as a member of the Honda factory racing team with whom he won three AMA National Motocross championships. With his long hair and Southern California surfer looks, he was a popular figure among race fans, including Australia when he contested the 1980 International Coca-Cola Superbowl of Motocross in Sydney, where he came second to fellow countryman Rex Staten. Smith was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2000. Sadly, on 27 April 2020, both Smith and his wife Nancy were killed in a dune buggy rollover accident at the Imperial Sand Dunes in Southern California. He was 63.

Staten, Rex (USA, 1970's-1980’s)
American Rex Staten 1980 Daytona Supercross Champion with insert

Rex Staten, from San Bernardino in California raced down under in Australia’s earliest supercross events, including Brisbane’s Stefan’s Superbowl of Motocross and the 1980 International Coca-Cola Superbowl of Motocross in Sydney, which he won in controversial circumstances. Considered a nice guy off the track, he had a reputation as a tough competitor who never backed down and this trait was on full show in Sydney, where he took down local hero Stephen Gall who was leading the race with just laps remaining. That year Won the 1980 Daytona Superbowl of Motocross. He also raced for the US team in the Trophee des Nations and Motocross des Nations in Europe.

Sun, Chuck (USA, 1980’s)
1982 Chuck Sun at Fremantle Supercross - By Peter Kitchingman

American Chuck Sun at the 1982 Fremantle Supercross in WA (By Peter Kitchingman)

Chuck Sun, from Oregon in the United States, was the first Chinese-American motocross racer.  In 1977 he won the 250cc Trans USA series and in 1980 the US 500cc motocross title.  That year he contested the Stefan’s Superbowl of Motocross in Brisbane.  In 1981, Sun was a member of Honda’s world champion motocross team – winning the 1981 Trophee des Nations in Belgium and Motocross des Nations in Germany.  The following year he raced in Australia at several supercross events, including the 1992 Fremantle Supercross, near Perth in Western Australia.

Warren, Eddy (USA, 1980’s-1990’s)
American supercross racer Eddie Warren in action at the Perth Superdrome - By Peter Kitchingman

American supercross racer Eddie Warren in action at the Perth Superdrome in the 1987 (By Peter Kitchingman)

1985 AMA 125 ESX Supercross Champion Eddie Warren was born in Flint, Michigan in the United States. Warren first raced in Australia at the 1987 Burswood Supercross in Perth (WA), then in a round of the Supercross Masters in Adelaide. Six months later he migrated to Australia, basing himself in Rockingham (WA), but racing across Australia. The following year Warren won the 1989 Australian 250 and 500cc Motocross Championships, then the Australian Supercross Masters Championship in 1991. Between 1992 and 1994 he also raced in Japan, winning the 1992 All-Japan Motocross title, returning to WA in 1995 to win the Manjimup 15000 in the South West.

Weinert, Jimmy (USA, 1980’s)
American supercross racer Jimmy Weinert

Jimmy Weinert, from Middletown, New York in the United States was a professional motocross and supercross racer competing in the AMA Motocross Championships from 1972 to 1980.  Weinert won 22 AMA National races and three AMA national championships during his racing career.  In 1973, he became the first American to defeat international-level riders in the Trans-AMA motocross series.  That victory marked a turning point that brought American motocross up to par with the then dominant European riders.  After competing in the 1980 AMA supercross and motocross seasons for the last time, “Jamming” Jimmy competed in the 1981 Sydney International Supercross Masters in Australia, finishing second to local hero Stephen Gall who narrowly lost to the Americans – Rex Staten and Marty Smith – in this same event the year before.

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