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Australian Motocross Championship List MX3 and history of junior racing

Australian Motocross Championship List MX3 and history of junior racing

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Australian MX3 Champions and history of junior racing

2019 Regan Duffy - MX Farm QLD - Moto Snaps media
Leisk Family on minibikes - Jeff with Father Bob, mother Helen, brother Mark and sisters Sharon and Naomi.
Young Lee Hogan - Junior Motocross in WA, by Peter Kitchingman

Photos [Clockwise] 2019 Australian MX3 Champion Regan Duffy in action (WA, KTM); the Leisk Family were heavily involved in the establishment of junior motocross in Western Australia; and a young Lee Hogan who raced Junior minibikes in WA before moving to Victoria to pursue his senior racing career.

How junior motocross evolved from minibikes to the MX3 class

In 2007, Queenslander Brenden Harrison became the first rider to win the Australian MX3 Championship aboard a Yamaha.

Formerly known as “MXD”, this class is an opportunity for up and coming young riders to compete in the Australian Championships and learn the style of racing and track conditions of the professional racing circuits.

As part of the Penrite AMX Pro Australian Championship series, in 2022 the MX3 age structure was modified to include riders from 14 to under 18 to be able to compete on 122cc to 150cc 2-Stroke & 200cc to 250cc 4-Stroke capacity machines.

Riders with exceptional talent and speed are able to graduate early into the MX2 category at 15, to be more in line with FIM international age groupings.

The early junior motocross riders

Junior riders first started racing motocross in the late 1950s. But in those days, everyone raced together – regardless of your age or size – and rode the same bikes, which were road bikes converted for the dirt.

To get an Auto Cycle Council of Australia (ACCA) – now Motorcycling Australia – competition license, you needed to hold a road traffic license.

In 1959, Bunbury rider Don Collins, who was aged 14 at the time, had his license application knocked back from the ACCA of WA for this reason. However, later that year, the WA Police Department issued Collins a special license to ride only on dirt tracks.

At the time, Collins road a BSA in the ‘Up to 350cc’ class and had to be lifted onto the bike by his uncle, who balanced the bike for him on the start line before the race started.

Collins, who started racing at age 12, went on to win multiple WA State motocross titles, as well as a South Australian 250cc title when he competed in Adelaide at the 1967 National titles, where he finished fourth aboard a Husqvarna. 

Two years earlier (in 1965) he became the first ‘Husky’ owner in Australia.

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AMXH Australian Motocross Champions List - Poster - MX3 Class Updated 2023

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1959 Dailey News article - Don Collins - A veteran scrambler at age 14
1962 - Don Collins at the Mandurah Scramble in 1962 (WA)
1968 - Bunbury's Don Collins 250 and 360 Husqvarna's Photo Tony Forsyth

Photos: [Left to right] 1959 Daily News article featuring 14-year-old scrambler Don Collins from Bunbury (WA); Collins (at 17) racing against the seniors in the 1962 Mandurah Scramble; and in 1965 Collins became the first Australian to own a Husqvarna scramble bike.

First Aussie Junior Motocross titles in senior ranks

Anthony Gobert 1990 Australian Junior RLH Motocross Champion

The ACCA first introduced a National Championship for junior riders in the mid-1970s, called the ‘Restricted License Holder Class’ for 14 to 16 year-olds.

The earliest available records discovered by AMX History, indicate that on 16 November 1975 South Australian Don Bowey became the first Australian RLH Champion at the South Arm Road circuit in Sanford, Tasmania.

Western Australian Jeff Leisk twice won the Australian RLH – in 1979 at Wanneroo (WA) and 1980 at Dargle (NSW), with these competitions becoming a springboard for his success an National and International level.

Other Australian RLH champions included Lee Hogan (WA/VIC), Stewart Bennett, Phil Robinson and Anthony Gobert (NSW) and Phil Sargent, Rodney Hamilton and Stephen Maguire (VIC).

New South Wales rider Anthony Gobert  – 1990 Australian Junior RLH Motocross Champion

Minibike competitions emerge across the country

In the early 1970s, separate motocross minibike competitions took off across Australia, which were not controlled by the ACCA. Races were held for all junior age groups and bike sizes, with bikes ranging from 50cc Pee Wees up to 125cc machines.

Jeff Leisk’s father Bob was involved in the embryonic stages of minibike racing in WA and his sons Jeff and Mark competed in the very first competitive events to be held in the state.

In 1974, Jeff and Mark also competed in the first ever Australian Mini Cycle Championship in Pakenham, Victoria with Jeff winning his class in his first attempt. 

Jeff Leisk won this Championship three times between 1975 to 1978, becoming the World Minibike champion for his age group in 1978 in the United States.

In 1979 Leisk took out the World Minibike GP in the United States

In 1979, Jeff Leisk took out the World Minibike Grand Prix for his age group in the United States

How junior motocross has evolved internationally

2009 Jett Lawrence at the South East Queensland Junior Motocross series Kilcoy 7 August - By Peter Coward

Motorcycling Australia now regulates junior motocross, including the National Junior Motocross Championships. The likes of Chad Reed, Craig Anderson, the Lawrence Brothers (Hunter and Jett) and Jed Beaton all rose through junior ranks to win Australian Junior Motocross titles and succeed internationally.

World Junior Motocross Championships are now also held, including a Junior Motocross des Nations.  In 2009, Australia won the Nations Trophy at the FIM Junior Motocross World Championship in Taupo, New Zealand.

At that same event, 85cc rider Jay Wilson became Australia’s first ever Motocross World Champion held by the FIM, while 125cc rider Tye Simmonds finished second in his class to ensure the title for Australia.

Queensland rider Jett Lawrence at the South East Queensland Junior Motocross series in Kilcoy 7 August 2009 (By Peter Coward)

Australian MX3
Motocross Champions

2021 AMX Championship - Round 2 MX3 winner - Blake Fox jumping high

2021 MX3 Champion Blake Fox (NSW, GasGas)

2007 Brenden Harrison (QLD, Yamaha)
2008 Tye Simmonds (NSW, K.T.M.)
2009 Luke Styke (NSW, Yamaha)
2010 Josh Cachia (VIC, K.T.M.)
2011 Errol Willis (NSW, Suzuki)
2012 Kayne Lamont (NZ, K.T.M.)
2013 Hamish Harwood (NZ, K.T.M.)
2014 Egan Mastin (NSW, Husqvarna)
2015 Wilson Todd (QLD, Yamaha)

2016 Mitchell Evans (QLD, Yamaha)
2017 Cody Dyce (VIC, Yamaha)
2018 Bailey Malkiewicz (VIC, Yamaha)
2019 Regan Duffy (WA, K.T.M.)
2020 Not held
2021 Blake Fox (NSW, GasGas)
2022 Kayden Minear (WA, K.T.M.)
2023 Byron Dennis (NSW, GasGas)
2024

Photo Gallery

Victorian juniors Robin and Andrew Bailey in 1974

Victorian juniors Robin and Andrew Bailey in 1974 started racing juniors  in Frankston, Victoria  (Courtesy: Robin Bailey)

Jeff Leisk won his first Australian Junior Motocross Championship in 1974

That same year, Jeff Leisk won his first Australian Junior Minibike Championship in Pakenham, Victoria

Broomfield came up through junior minibikes to win two Australian Junior titles

The late Paul Broomfield came up through junior minibike ranks to win two Australian Junior titles and forge a professional racing career

2007 Aussie titles Coolum - Wilson Todd - Juniors - By Peter Coward

Queenslander Wilson Todd leads his class at the 2007 Australian Junior titles in Coolum, Queensland (By Peter Coward)

Jared McNeil when he won the 2007 Aussie junior title at Coolum - Peter Coward

Jared McNeil, who hails from the NSW / VIC boarder region, won his class in the 2007 Aussie Junior titles at Coolum (By Peter Coward)

2022 Penrite AMX Pro - Round 2 MX3 - 1 Kayden Minera, Ryan Alexanderson and Cambell Williams

2022 Penrite AMX Pro – Rnd 2 MX3 – 1 Kayden Minear, Ryan Alexanderson and Cambell Williams – Junior MX has come a long way

Videos
Australian Junior and MX3
Championships

Fabry Films – Hunter Lawrence at the 2015 Australian Junior MX titles in Bunbury, WA

Blake Rountree – 2018 KTM Australian Junior Motocross Championship in Penguin, Tasmania

Motorsports TV – Penrite Australian MX1, MX2 & MX3 – Round 3 Wodonga VIC – 1 May 2022

MX3 Timeline

1950s

First junior riders allowed to compete in senior motocross (scrambles) competition

1971

First time the ACCU of WA hosted separate junior races at senior events – at Herne Hill, on the outskirts of Perth.

1974

The inaugural Australian Mini Cycle Championship was held in Pakenham, Victoria

1975

South Australian Don Bowey became the first Australian Junior (Restricted License Holder) Champion at the South Arm Road circuit in Sanford, Tasmania.

1978

Jeff Leisk wins World Mini World championship for his age group in the United States

1980

WA rider Jeff Leisk wins back-to-back Australian Junior Motocross Championships at Dargle in New South Wales

2007

Brenden Harrison becomes the inaugural Australian MX3 Champion, first Queenslander to win the title and wins Yamaha’s first title in this class.

2008

New South Wales rider Tye Simmons becomes the first rider from New South Wales to win the MX3 title and chalks up the first win for KTM.

2009

Australia wins FIM Junior Motocross des Nations Trophy, with Jay Wilson winning World 85cc Championship.

2011

KTM rider Josh Cachia becomes the first Victorian rider to win the MX3 Championship.

2013

New Zealand rider Hamish Harwood wins K.T.M.’s fourth constructor’s championship.

2015

Victorian rider Cody Dyce  wins Yamaha’s fifth MX3 title to overtake KTM to lead the constructor’s championship.

2018

Victorian rider Bailey Malkiewicz wins the MX3 title to extend Yamaha’s wins in the constructor’s championship to six.

2019

KTM rider Regan Duffy becomes the first Western Australian to win the MX3 Championship and notches up KTM’s fifth title in the constructor’s championship.

2020

Penrite ProMX Australian Championship series canceeled due to Covid-19 pandemic travel restrictions.

2022

2022 MX3 class age group changed from Under 19’s to include riders from 14 to under 18.

AMXH Australian Motocross Champions List - Poster - MX3 Class Updated 2023

Other Australian Champions (by class)

Click on the photos below to view the Australian Champions list for all classes

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Australian Motocross History