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Mister Motocross Series 1984

Mister Motocross Series 1984

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1984 Mister Motocross series - Leisk wins his first title

1985 MISTER MOTCROSS SERIES - Broadford (VIC), MALLALA (SA), TIVOLI (QLD), RAYMOND TERRACE (NSW), AND BROADFORD
1984 Mr Motocross - Jeff Leisk - Team Honda Australia promotional postcard
Jeff Leisk twice won the prestigious Mr Motocross title, in 1984 and 1985

Photos: [Left]  Team Honda Australia postcard promoting  Jeff Leisk’s and Honda’s first victory in the Mister Motocross series in 1984; and [right] Newly crowned Mr. MX winner Leisk celebrating at the Final Broadford round on the podium with Vaughan Style (NSW, Honda) and Stephen Gall (NSW, Yamaha).

Leisk dominates Mr. MX to win his and Honda's first titles

The 1984 Castrol Mister Motocross (Mr. MX) series shaped up much like the year before with the opening and closing rounds at Broadford, Victoria – with the exception that the double points on the last round were removed and the opening round run in the reverse direction to normal. The five round 4 x 20 minute moto format, however, remained.

Backwards or forwards, it didn’t make much difference to Jeff Leisk; he dominated the proceedings at Broadford, as he did at every other round during the course of the year.

Ray Vandenberg switched from Suzuki to team Honda. So with Leisk and Vaughan Style also on Team Honda it looked to be a big year for big red. Big it was, because Leisk blitzed the established stars.

His only real competition at times came from US imports Marty Moates and Jimmy Ellis. Suzuki mounted Moates was a great competitor, although he was nagged throughout his Australian tour with numerous injuries, pulling out of the final with an injured foot.

Ellis was really fast, but couldn’t keep his bikes together long enough to take even a round win. Vaughan Style was very consistent and would take the runner up spot, capping a solid year and earning the nickname of “Mr. Consistency” by which he would continue to be known.

1984 was the inaugural year for yet another addition to the programme. A 250cc series was added to the existing 125cc series, Kid Motocross and Mr. Motocross. Emerging champions Glen Bell and Craig Dack vied for these new series with Bell taking out the 250cc National win ahead of Craig Dack. The 125cc series was vice-versa with Dack beating Bell for the overall. The rivalry between those two was fierce then and continued throughout their illustrious careers.

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Reigning Mr Motocross Ray Vandenberg - riding for Honda in 1984
1984 Mr Motocross Glen Bell won Mr MX 250 Nationals - Australasian Dirt Bike

Photos: [Left] Reigning Mr. MX Ray Vandenberg – riding for Honda in 1984; and [Right] Glen Bell (1, NSW, Yamaha) won the inaugural Mr. MX 250 Nationals ahead of Craig Dack (2, NSW, Yamaha) with the order reversed in the 125cc series (Australasian Dirt Bike)

Round 1 - Jeff Leisk arrives at Broadford opener

At the opening round of the Castrol Mr. MX series on 9 May 1984 at Broadford in Victoria, 19-year-old Jeff Leisk had arrived – emerging as the favorite to win the prestigious series.

Leisk dominated the Broadford circuit, which was run in reverse direction to usual, on his Honda CR500. And when the dust had settled at the end of the day, Leisk on 55 points had a 16 point lead over his nearest rival – Marty Moates.

Moates came the closest to Leisk, picking up 39 points for second place. Moates won the holeshot in the first race ahead of Stuart Bennett and Leisk with Moates leading Leisk for two laps with the pair clearing away from the field until Moates went down in the stutters and remounted in dead last place.

Moates fought his way through the field in race 2 to get within 17 seconds of Leisk at the half-way mark, with Stephen Gall finishing third in this race behind Leisk and Moates. The four-time Mr. MX winner and ever-reliable Gall picked up third place with 33 points.

Noticeably missing from the line-up was the reigning Mr. MX, Ray Vandenberg with Leisk’s new Honda partner sitting on the sidelines with a debilitating knee injury.

 

1984 Jeff Leisk wins the opening Mr Motocross round at Broadford ahead of Marty Moates and Stephen Gall
1984 Mr Motocross Round 1 Broadford - 12 David Armstrong chasing 10 Stuart Bennett

Photos: [Left] Jeff Leisk celebrates his win at the opening 1984 round of Mr. MX at Broadford with American Marty Moates (2nd)  and Stephen Gall (3rd); and [Right] Stuart Bennett (12, NSW, Yamaha) leads David Armstrong (10, QLD, Yamaha) in round 1.

Round 2 - Leisk creates history at Mallala, SA

1984 Mr Motocross - Jeff Leisk leads Marty Moates

Unlike his ordinary performance at Malala in 1983, Jeff Leisk put it all together at Mallala on 6 June 1984, scoring a maximum 60 points from four heats in front of a record crowd of 6,500 spectators.

That day Leisk became the first rider in the history of the series to win all four 20-minute heats of the gruelling event. He never looked like being headed on his factory-entered Honda 500 and now enjoyed a commanding lead in the series, with the nearest point-scorer fellow Honda Australia team mate Vaughan Style with 42 points at Mallala.

In third on 32 points, American Suzuki rider Marty Moates was unlucky not to finish higher than third overall after riding consistently all day. Stephen Gall finished a disappointing fourth after suffering shock-absorber problems on his Yamaha with the handling problems causing him to crash twice in the final heat.

Photos:  In round 2 at Mallala, Jeff Leisk became the first rider in the history of the Mr. MX series to  win all four 20-minutes heats on the one day.

Round 3 - Team Honda riders go 1-2 at Tivoli

After two rounds and heading into Round 3 at Tivoli in Queensland on 6 June 1984, Leisk now led the Mr. MX series on 115 points from Style on 73, Moates, 71, and Gall, 61.

Leisk convincingly won again at Tivoli – winning three of four races – putting him a massive 45 points in front at the end of the day’s racing ahead of fellow Team Honda Australia member Vaughan Style, who was second overall.

But compared to the opening rounds, it was not all smooth sailing for Leisk. Due to a number of bad starts, he had to contend with determined challenges from Style and Toshiba Yamaha dealer team rider Stephen Gall, who finished second and third, respectively in the round.

The placings at Tivoli were the same as the overall series points with Leisk leading ahead of Style in second and Gall in third.

1984 Mr Motocross Vaughan Style leads Jeff Leisk

Photos:  By midway through the 1984 Mr. MX series, the title chase was a two-horse race between Honda Australia teammates Jeff Leisk (4) & Vaughan Style (60.

Round 4 - Leisk in box seat after Raymond Terrace

1984 Jeff Leisk - Mr Motocross Round 4 Raymond Terrace NSW

Photos:  Jeff Leisk did enough at Raymond Terrace to virtually sew up the 1984 Mr. MX title, needing only 8 points with Honda team mate Vaughan Style needing to win all final races.

The fourth round of the Mr. MX series – at Newcastle’s Raymond Terrace circuit – welcomed the return of Jim Ellis. Unfortunately he wasn’t allowed to accrue points even though he was allowed to ride, which didn’t make sense.

Jeff Leisk won his fourth straight round in Newcastle. But even though he did not dominate the day’s racing as he had in previous rounds, after the points were tallied up Leisk was a mere nine points away from having an unconquerable series lead, an impressive feat.

He won the first two heats in easy fashion and looked set to clean-sweep the day. After a false start in heat three, team mechanics noticed broken spokes in the back wheel of Leisk’s machine. With little time to repair the problem he was sent out to take it easy, leaving Vaughan Style to take the win ahead of Jim Ellis.

The fourth heat featured a classic duel between men and machines. Leisk crashed in a first-turn melee and put in a superb ride to finish just behind the heat winner Style.

Leisk now led the series with 219 points from Style on 168 points. In third position was the Toshiba Yamaha dealer team rider Stephen Gall, who had now scored 138 points after a mediocre fourth round.

Marty Moates held fourth position with 78 points and fourth in the series. Fellow American Jim Ellis also experienced problems coming to grips with the difficult Raymond Terrace circuit.   Although the series was theoretically still wide open, it was going to take four DNFs from Leisk and four wins from Vaughan Style in the final at Broadford to have any other but the obvious result.

Round 5 - Leisk clinches his first Mr. MX title

Despite only needing to collect 8 points to win the 1984 Castrol Mr. MX title, Jeff Leisk declared at the start of the final Broadford round that he was going to do his best to try and win all four races and not take it easy.  And that’s exactly what he did! 

Had he not had to pull out of the fourth race when leading when a bolt came undone at the bottom of his Honda CR500 frame, he could have won all four races and maximum points on the day.

Leisk put together three superlative rides to make it five straight round wins – something that had never before been achieved in the history of the series.

With Leisk dominating to win the five round series – finishing on 264 points out of a possible 300 – the minor placings were between Style, Gall and Moates.  But with Moates pulling out of the final round due to a foot injury, the final podium positions would go to Style and Gall in that order, with Style finishing second in the final round on 44 points, just one point behind Leisk with his three wins.

The consistent Style was also second overall in the series on 212 points, ahead of Gall (146) with David Armstrong (QLD, Honda, 118) and Stuart Bennett (QLD, Yamaha, 118) in fourth and fifth places, overtaking Marty Moates.

1984 Mr Motocross - Jeff Leisk, Stephen Gall and Vaughan Style
1984 Mr Motocross Jeff Leisk the new King - Australasian Dirt Bike

Photos:  [Top] Jeff Leisk celebrates his 1984 Mr. MX victory on the podium at Broadford with Stephen Gall and Vaughan Style; and [Bottom] Leisk, the WA Honda rider created history becoming the first rider in the history of the series to win all five rounds – his first, Honda’s first, and WA’s first title.

1985 Photo Gallery

1984 Mr Motocross Poster
1984 Mr Motocross Marty Moates USA Suzuki - Australasian Dirt Bike
1984 Mr Motocross Stuart Bennett Yamaha - Australasian Dirt Bike

[Left to right] 1984 Mr. MX  promotional poster;  American Marty Moates was one of Leisk’s only challengers on his Suzuki early in the series before withdrawing with a foot injury in the final round; and NSW Yamaha rider Stuart Bennett at Broadford  (Australasian Dirt Bike)

1984 Mr Motocross runner-up Vaughan Style NSW Honda - Australasian Dirt Bike
1984 Mr Motocross Stephen Gall NSW Yamaha - Australasian Dirt Bike
1984 Mr Motocross Trevor Williams VIC Kawasaki - Australasian Dirt Bike

[Left to right] 1984 Mr Motocross action – Runner-up series champion Vaughan Style (NSW Honda );  Four-times Mr. MX Stephen Gall NSW Yamaha) was third in 1984; and Victorian and Australian Motocross Champion Trevor Williams on his 500cc Kawasaki  (Australasian Dirt Bike– Australasian Dirt Bike)

1984 Mister Motocross Final Overall Points

Photo:  Honda poster promoting Jeff Leisk’s first Mr. MX  title, and Honda’s first.

1984 Jeff Leisk Mr Motocross - Honda Poster

1. Jeff Leisk (WA, Honda, 264)
2. Vaughan Style (NSW, Honda, 212)
3. (Stephen Gall (NSW, Yamaha, 146)
4.  David Armstrong (QLD, Honda, 118)
5. Stuart Bennett (QLD, Yamaha, 118)

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