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Australian Motocross Championships Mount Kembla 1967

Australian Motocross Championships Mount Kembla 1967

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Australian Motocross Championships Mount Kembla

8 october 1967, mount kembla, woolongong - new south wales
1967 Mount Kembla NSW Australian Championships – Start of the 500, includes Geoff Taylor (14), Leon Street (27), Laurie Alderton (590), Graham Smith (88) – By Merv Whitelaw
1967 Mount Kembla NSW Australian Championships – Start of 500cc race – Len Main (6) and Matt Daley (15)

Photos: [Left] The start of the 500cc race at the 1967 Australian Motocross Championships  in Mount Kembla (NSW) – includes Geoff Taylor (14), Leon Street (27), Laurie Alderton (590), Graham Smith (88); and [right]  Matt Daley (15) won Husqvarna’s first ever National motocross titles in the 250 and 350cc  Motocross Championships and pushed Len Main (6) all the way in the 125cc until his chain came off on his B.S.A. (By Merv Whitelaw)

Daley wins Husqvarna's first Australian Motocross title at Mount Kembla

Matt Daley, aged 22, was the standout rider at the Australian Motocross Championships in Woolongong, New South Wales – winning both the 250 and 350cc titles aboard his new Husqvarna machines on 8 October 1967.

The Championships were the first held in New South Wales since Moorebank in 1961, with more than 2,000 entries received from all across the country for the new exciting Mount Kembla circuit, which officially opened a year earlier on 15 May 1966.

The Mount Kembla circuit was built on 23 acres of a disused mining site, known as O’Brien’s Gap in the hills above the city of Mount Kembla , which featured several running creeks.

Daley, originally from Queensland, was lured to Woolongong in 1966 for better racing opportunities and beat pre-race favourite Geoff Taylor on his proven Bultaco machinery on his new Husqvarnas and new home circuit.

When Competition Motor Cycles obtained the Australian distribution of the world 250cc championship marque, Husqvarna in mid-1967, they were quick to get Daley onto one of the lightweight machines.

And Daley responded to their confidence in him by taking the 250 and 350 Australian titles – winning all four legs – and finishing third in the 500 and Unlimited classes, behind Ray Fisher (VIC, Montessa) and Laurie Alderton (NSW. B.S.A.) in both events.

His breakthrough victories aboard Husqvarna’s were a contributing factor in the demise of the once-dominant British four-stroke machines down under, which up until that point in time, had won the most manufacturer’s titles in the Australian Championships since it began in 1953.

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Fisher wins the larger 500c and All Powers titles

Photo:  Victorian Ray Fisher won both the 1967 500cc and Unlimited Australian titles at Mount Kembla (NSW) on a Montesa

Dailey even had a chance of winning the 125 class on a BSA Bantam, pushing eventual winner Leon Street all the way. Only a chain derailment by the Bantam, offered Street any respite on his borrowed Bultaco 125. The bike was owned by 1966 champ Ray Owen, who contested the Australian Short Circuit title on the same weekend (and won).

In the 250cc class, Blair Harley fielded the first Kawasaki 250 MX machine in this event, though it would be sometime before the Japanese machinery would gain a strong foothold.

The larger classes, which had smaller fields, saw Fisher take easy wins on his Matchless Metisse. His major opposition came from Laurie Alderton (NSW) on a Jeff Smith replica BSA 440 cc Victor; the last of the purpose built four-stroke scramblers and the bike which would nearly win the world 500cc title in the hands of John Banks in 1968.

Fisher also took great delight in jumping away first every time from the hand-on-head clutch start. While some of the BSA riders would operate the clutch (via the actuating arm) with their left heel, Fisher’s answer was simple – the torque of his Matchless allowed him to simply kick into gear without using the clutch at all.

On the smooth Mt. Kembla circuit, the weight of the big singles was not as tiring and the expected challenge from the 220 lb, 360cc CZ’s of Richardson and Glen Britza (WA) did not eventuate.

Adams and Williams share honours at Mount Kembla

Two Australian Sidecar Legends retained their crowns at the 1967 Australian Motocross Championships at Mount Kembla.

Victorian Ken Adams – with Dennis Cook in the chair – retained his Unlimited sidecar title when the potent 650 Bonneville-engined outfit of Murray Williams-Herb Castle (SA) fouled a plug while leading. 

Williams won the 500 class though, relegating Adams’ JAP to second place.

West Aussie, and dual 1965 Australian Sidecar Champion, Stan Smith made the 5000-mile round trip to debut a steered and driven sidecar wheel outfit – with little effect.

Photo:  Junior  Sidecar Champs – Murray Williams and Herb Castle (Triumph)(By Merv Whitelaw)

Photo: Bob Young crashes at Mount Kembla at the 1967 Australian Championships after the front suspension on his Cotton collapsed (By Merv Whitelaw)

1967 Australian Motocross Championship Results

125cc

1. Leon Street (VIC, Bultaco)
2. Blair Harley (NSW, Kawasaki)
3. Col Crandall (Bultaco)

250cc

1. Matt Daley (QLD/NSW, Husqvarna)
2. Geoff Taylor (VIC, Bultaco)
3. Chris Richardson (TAS, CZ)

350cc

1. Matt Daley (QLD/NSW, Husqvarna)
2. Geoff Taylor (VIC, Bultaco)
3. Graeme Smith (VIC, Bultaco)

500cc

1. Ray Fisher (VIC, Montessa)
2. Laurie Alderton (NSW, B.S.A.)
3. Matt Daley (QLD/NSW, Husqvarna)

Allpowers (Unlimited)

1. Ray Fisher (VIC, Montessa)
2. Laurie Alderton (NSW, B.S.A.)
3. Matt Daley (QLD/NSW, Husqvarna)

Junior Sidecars

1. Murray Williams – Herb Castle (SA, ESO)
2. Ken Adams – Dennis Cook (VIC, J.A.P.)
3. Alf Dickenson – K. Hull (VIC)

Unlimited Sidecars

1. Ken Adams – Dennis Cook (VIC, J.A.P.)
2. Murray Williams – Herb Castle (SA, Triumph)
3. R. Shoemark – R. Klavins (NSW, Triumph)

 

 

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