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Australian Motocross Championships Mulbring 1973

Australian Motocross Championships Mulbring 1973

Australian Motocross Championships Mulbring

24 june 1973, hosted by the HUNTER MOTOCROSS GROUP
1973 Jim Scaysbrook finished third in Australian 500cc Motocross Championship at Foster Park, Mulbring in NSW
1973 Australian Motocross Championships Mulbring NSW - Dave Basham Unlimited Champion and Duke of Edinburgh Trophy winner

Photos:  [Left] NSW’s Maico rider Jim Scaysbrook finished third in the Australian 500cc Championship at Mulbring in 1973;  [Right, top and bottom] South Australian Dave Basham won the prestigious Unlimited class and Duke of Edinbugh award aboard a CZ.

Basham wins prestigious Australian Unlimited Motocross title at Foster Park, Mulbring

Likeable South Australian Dave Basham took out the prestigious Unlimited crown and the coveted Duke of Edinburgh trophy at the 1973 Australian Motocross Championships on 24 June at Foster Park, Mulbring, near Newcastle in New South Wales.

Run over one 20 lap race, Danish expatriate Per Klitland -mounted on the radically-finned 227 lb 400 Maico – looked set to add the Unlimited title to his booty, after winning the 250cc title. But a fall dropped him to second place behind Basham. In his haste to make up for his mistake, another fall dropped him further down to third (behind Victorian Gary Adams, AJS) and injured his right thumb, which had been gashed and stitched just prior to the meeting.

1973 was highly significant in the history of motocross as it marked the beginnings of the suspension war, as well as the dominance of the Japanese lightweight two-stroke machines. Yamaha debuted its Lucien Tilkens – designed monocross rear suspension system in the year on Hakan Andersson’s works 250, and by the end of 1973, Yamaha had deposed the Robert/ Suzuki combination as world champions.

Equally significant was Willi Bauer’s works Maico, which went within two points of dethroning Roger de Coster. Bauer’s Maico had the rear shock absorbers moved further up the swing arm to increase rear wheel travel. After initial problems with damping rates, Bauer’s improvement was obvious and many riders took notice.

Per Klitland and Jack Pengelly were two of the first in Australia to modify their Maicos and Trevor Flood did likewise. 

Flood had what was arguably the most influence of any Australian rider over the general public, and when he moved the shocks forward on his Yamaha (much to the initial disgust of the distributor) and won, the general MX populace followed. Suspension movement increased from 3½ to 5½ inches on the frontrunning machines.

The tide began to turn in favour of the Japanese bikes when Milledge Yamaha signed up Trevor Flood in June, 1973. Flood rode a pair of limited supply works replica YZ250 and YZ360 machines and a special 125 machine, which arrived that month and Milledge was rewarded almost immediately with the Australian 500cc title, which he won ahead of NSW’s Maico riders Jack Pengelly and Jim Scaysbrook.

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Maico rider Jack Pengelly Australian 500cc Champion for a week

Victorian Maico rider Jack Pengelly was third in the 1974 Mr MX series

Victorian Maico rider Jack Pengelly was initially awarded the Australian 500cc title, which was later overturned and awarded to Trevor Flood

Flood’s 500 win was surrounded by controversy as the gearbox on his YZ360 blew (as they often did) when he was leading the Unlimited heat race. Between races he changed the motor, then went out and won the 500 title. Officials initially excluded him for “changing bikes” and gave the title to Pengelly. But a week later it was ruled that Flood had not changed bikes and he was given the title again.

Trevor Flood could possibly have won more than one title but for bad luck at the meeting. Brother Gary fought hard to hold him out in the 125 race, winning narrowly on a Bultaco prepared by father, Bert, with Peter Heagney (NSW, Bultaco) in third.

In the 250 event, Trevor Flood and Per Klitland swapped the lead for several laps before Trevor crashed. Klitland’s Maico consequently took the title from South Australian Dave Basham (CZ) and Graeme Smythe (Honda). Smythe was coming second until the foot peg broke off the frame on his Honda Elsinore after landing off a jump, forcing him to limp home in third.

South Australian legends Williams and Buckley share sidecar honours

In the sidecar events, reigning champ Murray Williams and Wayne Kearvall (SA) had no trouble in winning the Unlimited crown on their Pitmans Yamaha 750 outfit, but it was the Junior event which saw all the action.

Victorians Steve Smith – Jim Colligan led the early laps before their J.A.P. motor seized. Fellow Victorians John Delima – Jim Colligan (J.A.P.) then took up the front running, mistaking the blue flag (one lap to go) for the chequered flag and pulling off the circuit. In his absence, Barry Buckley, who couldn’t believe his luck, rode through to win.

Photo: Sidecar teams at Mulbring – Victorians Colin Winzar-Peter Cole (6) and Queenslanders Allan Hill-Mal McNaught (209)

1973 Australian Motocross Championships Mulbring NSW, Sidecar - 6 Colin Winzar-Peter Cole VIC, 209 Allan Hill-Mal McNaught QLD

1973 Australian Motocross Championship Results, Foster Park, Mulbring, NSW

1973 Australian Motocross Championships Foster Park, Mulbring NSW - Program Cover

125cc

Gary Flood (VIC, Bultaco)
Trevor Flood (VIC, Yamaha)
Peter Heagney (NSW, Bultaco)

250cc

Per Klitland (Denmark, Maico)
David Basham (SA, C.Z.)
Graeme Smythe (WA, Honda)

500cc

Trevor Flood (VIC, Yamaha)
Jack Pengelly (NSW, Maico)
Jim Scaysbrook (NSW, Maico)

Unlimited

David Basham (SA, C.Z.)
Gary Adams (VIC, A.J.S.)
Per Klitland (Denmark, Maico)

Junior Sidecars

Barry Buckley – Randy Harris (SA, Jawa)
Allan Hill – Mal McNaught (QLD, Triumph)
Colin Winzar – Peter Cole (VIC, Triumph)

Unlimited Sidecars

Murray Williams – Wayne Kearvell (SA, Yamaha)
Barry Buckley – Randy Harris (SA, CCM)
Allan Hill – Mal McNaught (QLD, Triumph)

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