Mister Motocross Series 1982

Mister Motocross Series 1982

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1982 Mister Motocross series over three rounds

1981 MISTER MX SERIES - broadford (vic), TIVOLI (QLD) AND Amaroo (NSW)
1982 Mr Motocross placegetters - Stephen Gall, Darryl Willoughby and Jeff Leisk
In 1982 Jeff Leisk rode for the Toshiba Yamaha Team and won the 500cc National title
Mr Motocross Poster 1982

Photos:  [Left] Final 1982 Mr. MX placegetters – Stephen Gall (NSW 1st),  Darryl Willoughby (SA 2nd),  Jeff Leisk (WA, 3rd); [Right]  That year Leisk switched from Honda, joining Gall in the Toshiba Yamaha Team; and [Right] and  advertising poster  promoting the 1982 Mr. MX series.

Gall creates history with three Mr. MX wins in a row and fourth title

In 1982, the Mister Motocross (Mr. MX) series reverted to only three rounds, with the SA and ACT rounds dropped and rounds scheduled for Broadford (VIC, 2 May), Tivoli (QLD, 6 June) and Amaroo Park (NSW, 5 September). 

To make amends for the dropped rounds, the Grand Final at Amaroo Park would feature double points.

Heading into the series, Gall was on the verge of creating history – vying to become the first rider to take three titles and three in a row and first to win a record four titles.

With three Mr. MX titles to their names, both Gall and Anthony Gunter had now earned the major respect of many fans across the country. 

At the time, Gunter’s name was synonymous with both Australian motocross and Suzuki and Gall’s with Yamaha. 

That year, up-and-coming WA Motocross Champion Jeff Leisk – a long-time Honda rider through juniors – defected to the Yamaha camp to become Gall’s Toshiba Yamaha teammate.


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Round 1, Broadford - Gall's title defense under way with big win

Stephen Gall being interviewed by journalist Neil Crompton at the 1982 Mr MX presentation

In the first round at Broadford in Victoria, Gall blitzed the opposition on his Yamaha YZ490 and looked on track to retain his Mr. MX title and win a record fourth title. 

Throughout the round, Gall dropped just one win to South Australian Pitman Yamaha rider Darryl Willoughby – out of the four heats contested.

Young Victorian Suzuki rider Ray Vandenberg emerged at the Broadford round as a future star after finishing the day in fourth place with 28 points. The circuit continued to be a voodoo track for Anthony Gunter, after his four starts resulted in four DNFs.

Gall’s new Toshiba Yamaha teammate Jeff Leisk trailed in fifth place – 31 points off the lead.

Broadford Round 1 winner Stephen Gall being interviewed by journalist Neil Crompton, on track to create history and win four Mr. MX titles in 1982.

Round 2, Tivoli - Leisk challenges for the lead after round win

Round two saw the emergence of Jeff Leisk as a star, with the 18-year-old winning overall to challenge Gall for the series lead. His two wins and two seconds saw him shoot up the points table to be just 15 points behind Gall after the Tivoli round.

Gall finished second overall in the round with 3-3-2-5 placings, 16 points behind Leisk with Suzuki rider Robert “Beetle” Bailey in third (1-0-3-0) despite failing to finish to races, but winning the first.

Leisk continued to improve throughout the day – winning the third and fourth legs ahead of Gall and Gunter, respectively. In leg 1 he was unable to get passed Bailey, who led from start to finish. Then in leg 2, it was South Australian Willoughby ahead of him.

After his second race win and fourth in leg 1, Willoughby was on track to take the series lead off Gall until he crashed heavily in the third race and was unable to finish and line up for the final. 

In that third race he was caught up in an accident on the opening lap, breaking his brake lever off the handle bars, but he still managed to work his way up into second before he crashed heavily on a tight corner leading up to the main straight at the start of the second lap.

After two rounds, Gall was on 95 points ahead of Leisk on 80 and Willoughby on 63.

1982 Jeff Leisk Yamaha, winner of Mr. Motocross Round 2 at Tivoli, QLD

Photo:  18-year-old Jeff Leisk from Western Australia emerged as a serious threat to win the 1982 Mr. MX series, winning at at Tivoli in Queensland.

Round 3, Amaroo - Willoughby wins round and Gall the series

1982 Mr Motocross at Amaroo Park - Darryl Willoughby jumping his YZ490 Yamaha on the main straight
1982 Mr Motocross placegetters at Amaroo Park - Darryl Willoughby wins round, Stephen Gall the series, and Jeff Leisk the crowd - Revs

With the Grand Final at Sydney’s Amaroo Park on 5 September boasting double points – meaning that the riders were shooting for a possible maximum of 120, the 1982 Mr. MX series was wide open with Gall, Leisk, Willoughby, Bailey and Honda rider Vaughan Style all in contention.

But with Gall breaking the scaphoid bone in his wrist in a race accident in June, the opportunity to win a record fourth Mr. MX title was now in doubt and there was now a real chance that we would see a new Mr. MX winner emerge – joining Gall, Gunter and the Victorian Flood brothers (Gary and Trevor).

Two weeks before the Amaroo final, at the Australian Motocross Championships at Echo Valley in his first race in two months, Gall was still able to win his third National 250cc title in a row and would again be a threat.

Round 3 belonged to croweater Darryl Willoughby, who won the day with three wins and a second, ahead of Jeff Leisk (2-3-3-2) and Stephen Gall in third (4-2-2-3). But third placing and 84 points was enough for Gall to carve his name in history as the only rider to have won the coveted Mr. MX title four times, winning the series by just six points.

Gall finished on 179 points, with Willoughby’s final round win rocketing him up into second (173), five points ahead of Leisk (168) in one of the closest ever Mr. MX finishes.

Photos: [Top] Darryl Willoughby (SA) jumping his YZ490 Yamaha on the main straight at Amaroo – the final round winner with three wins and a second,  [Bottom] 1982 Mr. MX placegetters –  Willoughby wins the round, Stephen Gall the series, and Jeff Leisk the crowd  (Revs Magazine)

1982 Mister Motocross Final Overall Points

 Mr. MX winner Stephen Gall (NSW, Yamaha)
1978, 1980, 1981, 1982

1982 Stephen Gall - Toshiba Yamaha Racing Team

1. Stephen Gall (NSW, Yamaha, 179 points)
2. Darryl Willoughby (SA, Yamaha, 173)
3. Jeff Leisk (WA, Yamaha, 168)
4. Vaughan Style (NSW, Honda, 97)
5. Robert Bailey (NSW, Suzuki, 86)

Photo gallery

1982 Mr Motocross Round 1 Broadford - Stephen Gall, Yamaha - Revs
1982 Mr Motocross Round 1 Broadford - Darryl Willoughby, Yamaha - Revs
1982 Mr Motocross Round 1 Broadford - Jeff Leisk, Yamaha - Revs
1982 Mr Motocross Round 1 Broadford - Anthony Gunter Kawasaki - Revs

Photos:  Mr. MX Round 1 pictures from Broadford, Victoria [L-R] – Stephen Gall (NSW, Yamaha), Darryl Willoughby (SA, Yamaha), Jeff Leisk (WA, Yamaha) and Anthony Gunter (NSW, Kawasaki) – Revs Magazine

Revs Magazine, Australian Motorcycle News, Australasian Dirt Bike, Rosco Holden, Vince Tesoriero and Stephen Gall.

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