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Australian Motocross Championships Mackay 1988

Australian Motocross Championships Mackay 1988

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Australian Motocross Championships Mackay

15-16 october 1988, gum valley koumala, mackay - queensland (mackay and districts MCC)
1988 Australian Motocross Championships 125 start – Leisk (3) Adam Cotterell (23, Mark Craig (26) and James Clark (16)
1988 Australian Motocross Championships 500 start – Leisk (3) and Craig Dack (1) at the start of the 500cc race
1988 Australian Motocross Championships Mackay QLD - Leisk leads Bell and Dack in the 250cc class - By Mick Hanson

Photos: [Left] Jeff Leisk (3) wins the holeshot in the 125cc Championship at the 1988 Australian Motocross Titles in Mackay (QLD) ahead of Adam Cotterell (23), Mark Craig (26) and James Clark (16); [Centre] Leisk (3) and Craig Dack (1) at the start of the 500cc moto; and [Right]  Leisk (3) leads Glen Bell  (2) and Dack (1) in the 250cc class  (By Mick Hanson)

Leisk wins all Aussie Motocross titles at Mackay before assault on 500cc World Championship

On 15-16 October 1988, Western Australian rider Jeff Leisk won all three classes at the 1988 Australian Motocross Championships at the Gum Valley circuit in Koumala, near Mackay in Northern Queensland.

At the time, Leisk became the second rider to achieve this feat after Gary Flood became the first to win all classes in 1969 at Saint Leonards in Tasmania.

Leisk was competing in the 1988 AMA Pro Championship in the US and, with a round of the 500cc World Championships being held in America, he  was given the opportunity to compete against the elite in the US Motocross Grand Prix.

And he grabbed the opportunity with both hands, winning the second moto and finishing third overall alongside World Champions Eric Geboers (Belgium) and David Thorpe (England).

From this performance, Leisk secured a lucrative contract with the Honda Factory Team for the coming 1989 500cc World Championships, which he ended up finishing second.

Just before his assault on the World Grand Prix circuit, Leisk returned briefly to Australia and contested all classes in the Australian Championships, which were hosted by the Mackay and Districts Motor Cycle Club.  Winning the Australian titles meant that he would boost his start money at international meetings in Europe.

Leisk last contested an Australian Motocross Championship in 1984 at Broadford in Victoria, winning 250cc title.  After securing both Mr Motocross titles in 1984 and 1985, Leisk headed to the United states to begin his international racing career.

In Mackay – in very hot and humid conditions in the middle of a sugar cane country – he beat Glen Bell (NSW, Honda) in both the 250 and 500cc classes, with Craig Dack (NSW Honda) and James Deakin (QLD, Yamaha) finishing third in these classes, respectively.

But in the 500cc class, Leisk actually tied on points with Bell – with both riders securing 1-2 finishes – with Leisk winning on a countback.

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Photos: [Left] The start of the first 250cc moto at the 1988 Australian Motocross Championships – Jeff Leisk (3), James Deakin (6), David Armstrong (7) and Craig Dack (1); [Right] The start of the Junior Sidecars.

1988 Australian Motocross Championships Mackay - 250 class - Craig Dack - By Edan Wilson
1988 Australian Motocross Championships Mackay - 500 class - Glen Bell - By Edan Wilson
1988 Australian Motocross Championships Mackay - 500 class - Jeff Leisk - By Edan Wilson

Photo: [Left]  Reigning Australian 250cc and 500cc Champion Craig Dack (NSW) switched back from Honda to Yamaha in 1988 and had to settle for third in both classes at Mackay behind Jeff Leisk, (WA, Honda) [right] and Glen Bell (NSW, Honda) [centre] – By Edan Wilson

Mueller-Duke win both Sidecar titles

Victorian team Bernard Mueller and Robert Duke (KTM VMC) won both the Junior and Senior Sidecar Championships.  It was Mueller-Duke’s third Australian Sidecar title, having won the Junior Championship on home soil at Broadford in 1984.

The pair won convincingly ahead of fellow Victorians – brothers Terry O’Keefe  and Chris O’Keefe (VIC, Honda VMC) in both classes, with John Robinson – Simon Chapman (SA, Honda VMC) third in the Junior Sidecar Championship.

The Unlimited Sidecar title was more of a challenge for Mueller-Duke after a huge incident on the opening lap of the first 7-lap moto, with the majority of the field getting tangled on the opening lap.

This enabled Western Australians Cliff Cook and John Steyntjes (Honda VMC) to open up a commanding lead.  But Mueller-Duke showed superior speed and fitness to mow them down before the finish.

Mueller-Duke convincingly won the second moto and Championship ahead of the O’Keefe brothers and Cook-Steyntjes, who finished second and third, respectively, in this moto and the overall title chase.

1988 Australian Motocross Championships - Senior and Junior Sidecar Champions Bernard Mueller and Robert Duke

Photo: [L-R] Victorians Bernard Mueller and Robert Duke – winners of both the Junior and Senior Sidecar Championships at the 1988 Australian Motocross Championships  in Mackay, Queensland.

1988 Australian Motocross Championship Results

125cc

1. Jeff Leisk (WA, Honda)
2.  Phil Sargent (NSW, Yamaha)
3. Peter Melton (QLD, Yamaha)

250cc

1. Jeff Leisk (WA, Honda)
2. Glen Bell (NSW, Honda)
3. Craig Dack (NSW, Honda)

500cc

1. Jeff Leisk (WA, Honda)
2. Glen Bell (NSW, Honda)
3. James Deakin (QLD, Yamaha)

Junior Sidecars

1. Bernard Mueller – Robert Duke (VIC, KTM VMC)
2. Terry O’Keefe – Chris O’Keefe (VIC, Honda VMC)
3. John Robinson – Simon Chapman (SA, Honda VMC)

Senior Sidecars

1.  Bernard Mueller – Robert Duke (VIC, KTM VMC)
2 . Terry O’Keefe – Chris O’Keefe (VIC, Honda VMC)
3.  Cliff Cook – John Steyntjes (WA, Honda VMC)

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