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Australian Motocross Championships Tivoli 1976

Australian Motocross Championships Tivoli 1976

Australian Motocross Championships Tivoli

29 August 1976, Tivoli, Ipswich - Queensland
1976 Australian Motocross Championships Tivoli Ipswich QLD - Trevor Flood Unlimited Champion
Geoff Worrell, possibly at International Motocross meeting at Tivolii QLD
1976 Australian Motocross Championships Tivoli Ipswich QLD - Mike Landman 250cc Champion on a Milledge Yamaha

Photos: [Left to right]  Victorian Trevor Flood won his fifth and last National title at the 1976 Australian Motocross Championships at Tivoli, QLD on a Maico;  NSW Grace Bros Suzuki rider Geoff Worrell (NSW) was second to Flood and won the 500cc title; and Milledge Yamaha rider Mike Landman (VIC) won the 250s.

Victorians dominate 1976 Australian Championships at Tivoli in Queensland

The 1976 motocross season was dominated by New South Wales riders, including Suzuki riders Anthony Gunter and Geoff Worrell – who placed 1-2 in the prestigious Mr Motocross series that year ahead of a young emerging rider Stephen Gall.

But strangely, it was the Victorians who dominated the Australian Championships at Tivoli in Ipswich, Queensland on 29 August 1976.

Worrell (NSW) was the only non-Victorian rider to win a National title that year – winning the 500cc class – with Steve Cramer (125cc (Suzuki), Michael Landman (250cc Yamaha) and Trevor Flood (Unlimited, Maico) winning the other solo titles. Stephen Smith – Jim Colligan (Norton Wasp) and John Delima – K. Heres (Norton) won the Junior and Unlimited Sidecar titles, respectively.

1976 was also the year in which riders throughout the motocross ranks added colour with brightly coloured leathers and jerseys. The upper echelons also found sponsorship from a host of non-trade related businesses, including Grace Bros who sponsored Geoff Worrell, Stephen Gall and Brian Martin.

It was the year after reigning World 125cc Motocross Champion Gaston Rahier from Belgium toured Australia to promote Suzuki’s, where he won three Australian motocross titles in Tasmania.

In 1976 Suzuki released a complete range of RMs (125, 250 and 370) which were generally acknowledged as the top machinery that year. And when the dust had settled at Tivoli , the highly fancied Suzuki team had won two titles and almost a third.

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Worrell - the only non-Victorian rider to win at Tivoli

Andrew Bailey Australian Championships Tivoli QLD 1976

Andrew Bailey (QLD, Honda) and Steve Cramer (VIC, Suzuki) battling it out for the lead at the 1976 Australian 125cc Championship at Tivoli.

1975 Swedish expatriate Hans Applegren in action

1975 Swedish expatriate Hans Applegren in action. Applegren made a comeback to racing in 1976 at age 27.

Suzuki rider Anthony Gunter was the unluckiest man at the titles, winning several motos but dropping out of the corresponding races to go home without a crown.

Gunter won the first 125cc moto convincingly, but his RM125 loaded up on the line in the second leg, allowing Steve Cramer (Suzuki) to power to a win and the title. Now a Queensland resident, Andrew Bailey – the son of five-times Australian Champion George Bailey – was second amongst the Suzuki’s on a Honda, with WA Champion Neville Cutts in third.

Gunter was the fastest rider in the Unlimited class on his RM370 Suzuki, convincingly winning the second moto and leading the first until he was sidelined with mechanical problems.

This gave Trevor Flood a surprise victory on his Maico with the consistency of two second placings to steal his fifth and final Australian title – ahead of Geoff Worrell (NSW, Suzuki) and Jack Pengelly (NSW, Maico).

Worrell made amends by winning both legs of the 500 title from the Husqvarna of Hans Applegren and Steve Cramer’s RM370.

Two second places on his YZ250 Milledge Yamaha gave Mike Landman his first Australian Motocross Championship in the 250cc class. 

Unknown West Aussie Bevan Blakers from Manjimup shocked the stars by easily winning the first leg from Landman, NSW–based Graeme Smythe on a Kawasaki, who was also from WA, and John Behrens on a Honda.

Blakers pulled in behind leader Landman in the second moto and looked to have the title sewn up, when John Behrens and Suzuki-mounted Peter Boyle steamed past. Boyle won the race, Landman held off Behrens for second and Blakers dropped to fourth.

Landman (2-2, 24 points), won the 250cc title over Blakers (1-4, 23 points) by a point with Behrens finishing overall in third.

Norton WASP outfits dominate the sidecars classes

Victorian sidecar supremo and Australian WASP sidecar chassis importer Stephen Smith won the National Junior Sidecar title on his Norton WASP with Jim Colligan in the chair. South Australians Barry Buckley – Chris Harris (CCM Wasp) and Kevin Taylor – Peter Menz (Yamaha Wasp) were second and third, respectively.

In the Unlimited Sidecar class, John Delima and passenger K. Heres (VIC, Norton) made amends for their 1974 mistake by winning the 1976 title. Taylor-Menz (SA) and Smith – Colligan (VIC) were second and third, with both teams on Norton WASPs with the British engine manufacturer filling the rostrum placings. 

Photo:  Victorians John Delima and K.Heres won the 1976 Unlimited Sidecar title on a Norton.  

1976 Australian Unlimited Sidecar Champions Delima and Colligan (VIC)

1976 Australian Motocross Championship Results

125cc

1. Steve Cramer (VIC, Suzuki)
2. Andrew Bailey (QLD, Honda)
3. Neville Cutts (WA, Suzuki)

250cc

1. Michael Landman (VIC, Yamaha)
2. Bevan Blakers (WA, Maico)
3. John Behrens (NSW, Honda)

500cc

1. Geoff Worrell (NSW, Suzuki)
2. Hans Applegren (Sweden, Husqvarna)
3. Steve Cramer (VIC, Suzuki)

1976 Nationals Tivoli Program cover

1976 Australian Motocross Championship Program, Tivoli (QLD)
Click here to view program

Unlimited

1. Trevor Flood (VIC, Maico)
2. Geoff Worrell (NSW, Suzuki)
3. Jack Pengelly (NSW, Maico)

650cc Sidecars

1. Stephen Smith – Jim Colligan (VIC, Norton Wasp)
2. Barry Buckley – Chris Harris (SA, CCM Wasp)
3. Kevin Taylor – Peter Menz (SA, Yamaha Wasp)

1300cc Sidecars

1. John Delima – K. Heres (VIC, Norton)
2. Kevin Taylor – Peter Menz (SA, Norton Wasp)
3. Stephen Smith – Jim Colligan (VIC, Norton Wasp)

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