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Motocross Champion Deakin

Queensland Motocross Champion James Deakin

1988 Norwest Supercross winner James Deakin Marlborough Yamaha Team
1987 James Deakin Supercross Masters winner
1987 Mr Motocross Tivoli presentation Craig Dack, Glen Bell and James Deakin

Photos: [Clockwise] Team Marlboro Yamaha rider James Deakins (QLD) in action;  in 1987 Deakin won Australia’s biggest event and prize purse – the Supercross Masters  in Sydney; finishing third to teammate Glen Bell (NSW) and winner Craig Dack (NSW, Yamaha) at the Tivoli round of the 1987 Mr. Motocross series.

Deakin, one of our top National MX and SX riders

In the Golden Era of Mr. Motocross back in the 1980s, Queensland champion James Deakin was one of Australia’s top motocross and supercross riders and a household name.

For three years in a row (1985 to 1987) Deakin finished third in the prestigious National Mr. Motocross Series in an era dominated by Jeff Leisk (WA) and Craig Dack (NSW).

Riding for the Marlboro Yamaha Team in 1987 – Deakin won the Australian Supercross Masters event at the Sydney Entertainment Centre (the biggest prize purse in Australia) and the Queensland 500cc Championship.  

He had a knack for winning the events with big prizemoney up for grabs, the following year also winning the Adelaide Grand Prix Supercross, which was the precursor to the 1988 Adelaide Formula 1 Grand Prix.

At age 21, Deakin podiumed for the first time in the 1985 Australian Motocross Championships at Noble Falls (WA) – finishing second in the 500cc class behind Victorian Trevor Williams.  

In 1987 he was third in the Australian 250cc Championship at Smithon (TAS), then the following year came third in the 500cc class in Mackay (QLD) behind Jeff Leisk and Glen Bell, with Leisk returning to Australia before his assault on the 1989 World 500cc Motocross Championship.

At an international level, Deakin was the 1987 Runner-up New Zealand 125cc Champion, winning the Malaysian Motocross Championship the following year.

1985 Australian Motocross Championships Noble Falls, No 16 James Deakin

Photo: James Deakin podiumed for the first time at the Australian titles in 1985 at Noble Falls (WA), finishing second to Trevor Williams (By Peter Kitchingman)

Deakin emerges through Queensland Junior MX

Queensland motocross champions - David Armstrong, James Deakin and Steven Dinsdale

Photo: Three local Queensland motocross champions who progressed through juniors to succeed at National level [L-R] David Armstrong, James Deakin and Steven Dinsdale.

James Deakin’s first bike was a Suzuki RM 125 and he started racing junior motocross in 1979, at age 14. He rode juniors for four years, winning the 1982 Queensland State Junior 125cc Motocross Championship before moving up into seniors.

In 1983, after taking out the King of the Outback enduro at Mount Isa aboard a Honda, Deakin earned a sponsorship with Gaythorne Yamaha for the upcoming motocross season.  The following year, at age 20, he won the 1984 Queensland 500c Motocross Championship.

In 1985 Deakin rode for the Queensland Yamaha Dealer, winning his second senior Queensland Motocross title on 3 June 1986 at Tivoli Raceway, taking out the 125cc class.

Deakin had now emerged as one of Australia’s top motocross and supercross racers.  

Deakin's National success in MX and SX

Between 1985 and 1987 he podiumed three years in a row in the prestigious Mr. Motocross series, with Jeff Leisk winning in 1985 and Craig Dack the others, when Leisk was competing in the United States.

He also podiumed three times at the Australian Motocross Championships – in 1985 at Noble Falls (WA) in the 500cc class, in 1987 at Smithton (TAS) on a 250, then the following year at Mackay (QLD) in the 500cc class.

Deakin had one of his most successful years in 1987 while riding for the 1987 Marlboro Yamaha Dealer Team.  On top of his success in the Mr. MX and National motocross championships, he won the biggest race of the year with the biggest prize purse – the Australian Supercross Masters at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. 

He also took out his third Queensland Motocross Championship, winning the 500cc title and was the Runner-up New Zealand 125cc Champion.

1988 was also successful for Deakin.  He won the Adelaide Grand Prix Supercross, Norwest Supercross in Port Hedland (WA) and Malaysian Motocross Championship.  That year he also rode the Finke Desert Race, winning the 250cc Class.

In 1989, Deakin switched from Yamaha and raced for Team Honda Australia, finishing third in the prestigious Mountain Man event at Toowoomba in Queensland, in the 500cc class.

1985 Mr Motocross - James Deakin (QLD, Yamaha) leads Jeff Leisk (WA, Honda)
1985 James Deakin motocross

Photos: [Top] James Deakin (QLD, Yamaha) leads Jeff Leisk (WA, Honda) in a round of the 1985 Mr. MX series; and in flight at another race meeting.

Life after professional racing

James Deakin on the podium with world caliber riders Doug Dubach and Kurt Nicoll at the VMXdN

Two shoulder reconstructions forced his retirement from racing in 1993, at age 26.  But Deakin would later return to racing in the VMX class for veterans and enduros, where he took out the Australian (A4DE) Enduro Masters on 7-10 July 2011 in Mackay, Queensland.

In 2017, he was third outright in the Veterans MXdN’s (Over 50 Pre-90/500 class) at Farleigh Castle in the United Kingdom. Then two years later, he was the over 50 Veterans MXDNs Champion at the same circuit.

Since retiring from professional racing, James Deakin has forged a successful career establishing his own  car dealership business in Morayfield, Queensland. 

Photo: James Deakin on the podium with world caliber riders Doug Dubach and Kurt Nicoll at the VMXdN’s in 2017 at Farleigh Castle in the United Kingdom.

Photo and video gallery

1988 Australian Motocross Championships 250 start – Leisk (3), Deakin (6), Armstrong (7) and Dack (1)
Stephen Gall Supercross 1989 - Last ride with James Deakin

James Deakin (3) in the 250cc class at the 1988 Australian Motocross  titles in Mackay (QLD) against Jeff Leisk, David Armstrong (7) and Craig Dack (1).

Deakin with Aussie Legend Stephen Gall, at Gall’s last  Supercross race in 1987.

James Deakin’s brilliant winning performance at the 1987 International Supercross Masters at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in New South Wales.

James Deakin's key career highlights

Queensland Yamaha Dealer Team motocross rider James Deakin

Photo:  James Deakin rode for the Queensland Yamaha Dealer Team  before joining the Marlboro Yamaha Team in 1987.

1982
1st Queensland State Junior 125cc Champion

Team – Gaythorne Yamaha

1983
1st King of the Outback, Mount Isa (Honda)
3rd Australian 125cc Championship

Team – Qld Yamaha Dealer Team

1984
3rd Mountain Man
1st Queensland 500cc Motocross

1985
2nd Australian 500cc Motocross Championship
3rd Mr. Motocross series

1986
1st Queensland 125cc Motocross Championship
3rd Mr. Motocross series

Yamaha Marlboro Team

1987
1st Australian Supercross Masters, Sydney
1st Queensland 500cc Championship
3rd Mr. Motocross series
3rd Australian 250cc Championship

2nd NZ 125cc Championship
3rd Queensland 250cc Championship

Hansford City Yamaha

1988
1st Malaysian Motocross Championship
3rd Australian 500cc Championship
3rd Queensland 250cc Championship
1st Norwest Supercross, Port Hedland
1st Adelaide Grand Prix Supercross
1st Finke Desert Race 250 Class

Team Honda Australia

1989
3rd Mountain Man 500 Class

2011
1st Australian (A4DE) Enduro Masters

2017
3rd Outright VMXdN Over 50 Pre-90/500

2019
Over 50 VMXDNs Champion

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