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Mister Motocross Series 1980

Mister Motocross Series 1980

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1980 Mister Motocross series over four rounds

1980 MISTER MX SERIES - broadford (vic), Jilliby (NSW), canberra (ACT), Amaroo (NSW)
1980 Stephen Gall - Yamaha Racing Team in action
1980 Round 3 Canberra - Stephen Gall 1, Trevor Williams 2 and Grant Cramer 3

Photos: [Left to right]  New South Wales  Yamaha rider Stephen Gall  took out his second Mister Motocross title  in 1980 at Amaroo Park (NSW);  and Trevor  Williams  (Kawasaki) finished  second in the series, as well as second here in Round 3 Canberra and third-place-getter in the  ACT – Grant Cramer  (VIC, Yamaha).

Gall emerges as Australia’s No. 1 rider to win his second Mr. MX title

Anyone who knows Stephen Gall well, knew that he would be even more determined to win the 1980 Mister Motocross title, having led all year in 1979 – only to be pipped at the post by Anthony Gunter.

Gunter surprised all when he arrived at the final round at Amaroo Park with a brand new Factory works Suzuki and convincingly won all four races to win his third Mr. MX and take back the reigning title from Gall. 

Best friends, but arch-rivals on the track, the pair from New South Wales travelled together to the Unites States during the off-season to practice and race in preparation for the 1980 motocross season back home.

Gall, in particular, came back wiser, fitter and faster and upped his pace to such an extent that he was rarely beaten during the year aboard his revamped Yamaha YZ465G machine.

After several years in the shadow of Anthony Gunter – who faded from the scene in 1980, fraught with the frustration of injuries and illness – Gall finally emerged as Australia’s number one moto-crosser and won almost every title he contested that year.

Victorian rider Trevor Williams was the main rider to pose any threat to Gall in 1980, justifying the faith that Team Kawasaki Australia had in nurturing him for several years, along with South Australian Yamaha rider Daryll Willoughby.

Continually growing since marketing guru Vince Tesoriero introduced the Mr. MX series in 1974, but in 1980 it almost didn’t survive. To make it financially viable, the series was reduced to four rounds – two in NSW (Jilliby and Amaroo), one in the ACT (Canberra) and one in Victoria (Broadford).

The opening round in Broadford on 1 June saw three new riders figure heavily in the results. Two of the “newbies” Trevor Williams and Grant Cramer (VIC, Yamaha), tied on the day to lead the point score after the opening round, with Williams the round winner on a countback.  Another Victorian, Suzuki rider Mark Hill finished in third.

Reigning Mr. MX Anthony Gunter didn’t start due to a broken collarbone, while Stephen Gall finished back in fifth place, which surprised many.

Round 2 at Jilliby in New South Wales on 29 June saw another surprise, with Queensland Suzuki rider Stewart McLauchlan winning the day to shoot up the leader board into third, just 10 points off the new Series Leader Darryl Willoughby (Yamaha) on 67 points, who had just edged ahead of Williams on 64.

Gall improved his position to be only 11 points off the lead – tied with McLauchlan in third on 57 points. Gunter’s first appearance was successful and he was now in seventh position, just behind Hill and Cramer, who were tied on 41.

Finally, in round 3 at Canberra on 17 August – the first time that the series was held in the ACT – Gall hit top form.  Heading into this round Willoughby led the series (67 points), ahead of Williams (64) and McLachlan and Gall, who were tied in third (57) with Grant Cramer (VIC, Yamaha) and Mark Hill (VIC, Suzuki) tied in fifth (41).

On a day which saw some spectacular crashes and retirements due to injuries and mechanical failures, it was Stephen Gall who put on a virtuoso riding display to score maximum points and jump to the top of the leaderboard with one round remaining.  Williams finished second overall (2-2-2-2) behind Gall, with Greg Cady (VIC, Yamaha) in third (6-6-4-5).

Series leader Willoughby had a disastrous day, crashing heavily twice.  In moto 1, he crashed on lap 1 while vying for the lead with Gall and lay on the middle of the track as the whole field went by and luckily managed to miss him.  He then restarted in last place and stormed through the field to finish fourth.

But he would score no further points on the day. On Lap 4 in moto 2, while trying to pass Williams in second and catch leader Gall, he landed awkwardly of a jump and crashed heavily over a tyre wall, dislocating his shoulder.

With McLachlan unable to race due to suffering the effects of a heavy crash at the Winternationals, Mark Hill crashing out in the first moto in Canberra and Willoughby injured, Galls four wins shot him into the lead after three rounds, making the final a two-horse race between him and Williams.

Just five points separated Gall (117) and Williams (112), with Willoughby in third on 75 – the only other rider with a mathematical chance of winning the title.  Everybody expected Gall, the Amaroo specialist, to win the final round and series, which is exactly what he did! 

He convincingly won the Amaroo Park round on 7 September to win the series on 174 points, ahead of Williams in second (144) and Willoughby in third (108) – with Cramer (105) and Greg Cady (94) rounding out the top 5.

Two weeks later on 20-21 September in Dargle (NSW), the elusive Australian title finally fell to Gall when he picked up both the Unlimited and 250 crowns and capped off his most successful season so far.

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1980 Mr Motocross - Pepsi advetisement Stephen Gall and Anthony Gunter

Pepsi  Cola advertisement featuring Anthony Gunter (1, Suzuki) and Stephen Gall (2, Yamaha) during the 1980 Mister Motocross Series.

1980 Jilliby Mr Motocross winner Stewart McLachlan RIP

The late Stewart McLaughlan won the second Jilliby round in NSW  to tie with Stephan Gall for third.

1980 Mister Motocross Photo gallery

1980 Round 2 Mr Motocross June at Jilliby Park, Wyong - Stuart McLachlin (6) leads Anthony Gunter (1), Trevor Williams (5) and Darryl Willoughby (4)

1980 Round 2 Mr. Motocross at Jilliby Park, Wyong –  The late Stewart McLachlan (6) leads Anthony Gunter (1), Trevor Williams (5) and Darryl Willoughby (4). 

Team Pepsi - Anthony Gunter and Stephen Gall

The Team Pepsi Gall vs Gunter battle didn’t eventuate in 1980 with Anthony Gunter impacted with injuries.

1980 Trevor Williams wins opening round of Mr motocross at Broadford - tied on points with Grant Cramer and Mark Hill in third

Round 1 podium at Broadford – Trevor Williams tied with Grant Cramer  on points, with Mark Hill in third.

1980 Jilliby Mr MX Stewart McLachlan (6) leads Trevor Williams (5)
1980 Mr Motocross Round 2 Jilliby Park (NSW) 6 McLauchlan, 13 Benson, 1 Gunter and 4 Willoughby
1980 Jilliby Mr MX Darryl Willoughby (SA, 4) leads Stephen Gall (NSW, 2)

Round 2 winner Stewart McLachlan  (QLD, Suzuki) leads Trevor Williams (VIC, Kawasaki).

McLachlan (6) leads Gunter (1), Willoughby (4) and Peter Benson (13) at Jilliby.

Darryl Willoughby (SA, Yamaha) leads Stephen Gall at Jilliby and emerged as points leader.

Colour Jilliby photos by David Goldsmith

1980 Mister Motocross Final Overall Points

Photo:  1978 and 1980 Mister Motocross Champion  Stephen Gall (NSW, Yamaha)

Stephen Gall Pepsi Yamaha

1. Stephen Gall (NSW, Yamaha, 174)
2. Trevor Williams (VIC, Kawasaki, 144)
3. Darryl Willoughby (SA, Yamaha, 108)
4. Grant Cramer (VIC, Yamaha,105)
5. Greg Cady (NSW, Yamaha, 94)

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