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Jim Ellis wins inaugural Western Motocross Classic at Noble Falls

Jim Ellis wins inaugural Western Motocross Classic at Noble Falls

Jim Ellis wins inaugural Western Motocross Classic

1983 Marty Moates leads Graeme Smythe in the Western Classic at Noble Falls
Jimmy Ellis, Jeff Leisk and Trevor Williams at the 1983 Western Classic at Noble Falls WA
1983 Inaugural Western Classic Sidecar winners Mick Wimmer-John Steyntjes and Joe Grasso-Peter Williams - Yamaha EML

Photos: [Clockwise) The late Marty Moates (USA, Suzuki) leads local  Australian and WA champion Graeme Smythe (Honda) in the 1983 Western Classic; Inaugural winner Jim Ellis (USA, KTM), Jeff Leisk (WA, Honda 2nd) and Trevor Williams (VIC, Kawasaki 3rd); and inaugural Sidecar Classic winners Mick Wimmer-John Steyntjes and Joe Grasso-Peter Williams – Yamaha EML(By Peter Kitchingman)

American international KTM rider Jim Ellis wins inaugural Western Classic at Noble Falls, WA

On 14 August 1983, American expatriate Jim Ellis won the inaugural Western Motocross Classic at Noble Falls in Western Australia, competing against the Nation’s top riders, including fellow countryman the late Marty Moates (Suzuki), Trevor Williams (VIC, Kawasaki), Anthony Gunter (NSW, Kawasaki), Darryl Willoughby (SA, Yamaha)and WA Honda riders Graeme Smythe and Jeff Leisk.

Young up and coming rider Jeff Leisk was returning to his home circuit at Noble Falls at Gidgegannup, east of Perth and finished second to international KTM rider Jim Ellis with Trevor Williams in third.

Throughout the 1980s, the Western Motocross Classic lived up to its name becoming one of the biggest events on the National motocross calendar featuring World champions, International teams and National motocross champions.

The WA Sidecar Social Club initiated and sponsored the ‘Classic’, running it with a syndicate of four motorcycling clubs with the circuits being rotated each year between Noble Falls, Coastal Park and Rockingham.

The inaugural ‘Classic’ was held on Sunday, 14 August 1983 then held annually on the second Sunday of that month – the week after the King of the Cross – to capitalise on the visiting riders being in town. And the formula worked!

Big prizemoney was offered, the National solo and sidecar riders came in their droves for the two National events, with the sidecars given equal billing.

Sickening sidecar crash dampens the day

Mick Wimmer-John Steyntjes won the inaugural Western Sidecar Classic in 1983, which was run over 4 legs finishing on 50 points (1-1-1-3) ahead of reining State Champions Joe Grasso–Peter Williams on 43 points (5-2-3-1), with both teams on brand new 998cc Yamaha EML outfits. 

Max Hills – Simon Cassell were third on 34 points (2-3-2-DNF) and were in a strong position to win the Classic on their Weslake Wasp, but crashed out in spectacular fashion in Moto 4 when passenger Simon was thrown from the chair and the machine rolled into the bush.

In coming years, the Western Classic would feature reigning and two-times World Sidecarcross Champion Emil Bollhalder (Switzerland, 1984), three-times Joseph Brockhausen and Hubert Rebele (Germany, 1985) and National motocross champions Darren Williams and Mark Kendle (SA, 1986), who all won the event the years they competed.

1983 Western Class winners Mick Wimmer and John Steyntjes in action at the King of the Cross, Southern Cross the weekend before
1983 Joe Grasso and Peter Williams King of the Cross winners at Southern Cross

Photos: Yamaha EML sidecar teams [Left] 1983 Western Class winners Mick Wimmer and John Steyntjes in action at the King of the Cross a week earlier at Southern Cross; and  placings reversed  at Noble Falls with 1983 Kings of the Cross Joe Grasso and Peter Williams finishing second  (By Peter Kitchingman)

1983 Western Classic Results

Solos

1. Jim Ellis (USA, KTM)
2. Jeff Leisk (WA, Honda)
3. Trevor Williams (VIC, Kawasaki)

Sidecars

1. Mick Wimmer-John Steyntjes (Yamaha EML)
2. Joe Grasso-Peter Williams (Yamaha EML)
3. Max Hills-Simon Cassell (Weslake WASP)

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