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Motocross des Nations 1989 Gaildorf, Germany

Motocross des Nations 1989 Gaildorf, Germany

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Team USA wins nine MXDN titles in a row in Germany

1989 Motocross des Nations, World Teams Event – GAILDORF, GERMANY (9-10 September)

1990 Australian Motocross of Nations Team at Vimmerby Sweden – Jeff Leisk (500), Glen Bell (125), Craig Dack (250)
1989 Motocross of Nations, Gaildorf Germany – Jeff Leisk leads Jeff Ward, Dietmar Lacher and David Thorpe

Photos:  The 1989 Australian Motocross des Nations Team. [Left]  Riders Jeff Leisk, Glen Bell and Craig Dack with team manager Stephen Gall.  [Right] In Moto 3, Leisk leads Jeff Ward (US), Dietmar Lacher (Germany) and David Thorpe (UK). (By courtesy: Rosco Holden)

Aussies strive for their first MXdN podium finish with Leisk at his peak

Heading into the Motocross des Nations World Teams event on 15-16 September 1989 at Gaildorf in Germany, Australia had its best chance to finish on the winner’s podium for the first time with our own Jeff Leisk being crowned the Runner-up World 500cc Champion just three weeks earlier.

The year before, the Aussies – Leisk (500), Craig Dack (250) and Glen Bell (125) – achieved Australia’s highest placing at the time, cracking a fourth place at Villars-sous-Écot in France.

The same experienced team was assembled for 1989 with all having represented Australia on multiple occasions, with Leisk (Honda 500) now teaming up with Dack (Yamaha 250) and Bell (Honda 125), who proved in 1986 in Maggiora, Italy (along with David Armstrong, 500) that they were capable of mixing it with the best when they finished seventh overall – beating motocross powerhouse countries France and Germany.

The Americans were again the hot favourites having now won eight-consecutive titles, with the 1990 team consisting of legends Jeff Ward (500), Jeff Stanton (250) and Mike Kiedrowski (125). The British Team too would be hard to beat, featuring newly crowned World 500cc Champion David Thorpe (500), Jeremy Whately (250) and James Dobbs (125).

And of course the Germans – Dietmar Lacher (500), Roland Diepold (250) and Harald Ott (125) – would be competitive on their home circuit in front of more than 30,000 screaming parochial fans.

The Aussie team got off to a great start in Moto 1 for the 500/125 classes, with Leisk finishing third behind Ward (USA, Kawasaki) and Thorpe (UK, Honda) and Bell finishing 18th, ninth overall in the 125cc class, which started from the second line. 

Things were looking promising for the Aussies in Moto 2 for 250/125 riders with Dack finishing seventh.  The Americans again showed their dominance with Stanton (Honda) easily winning ahead of Billy Liles (Kawasaki), who was also American – but was riding under a Luxemburg license. Unfortunately though, after a promising start, Glen Bell crashed and did not finish the race.

Heading into the final moto for 500/250 riders, the American’s had already clinched the title. But a podium finish was still within reach for the Aussies as scores only counted for 5 out of the 6 races, enabling Bell’s Moto 2 DNF to be discarded.

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Video – Gary Bailey – 1989 Motocross des Nations

Ninth title in a row all sewn up for the Americans after two motos

1989 Winning American Team at Motocross of Nations Team at Gaildorf Germany – Jeff Stanton, Jeff Ward and Mike Kiedrowski

Germany’s Lacher won the holeshot in Moto 3 ahead of Leisk, with Dack back in the pack of 250cc riders. Luxemburg rider Jacky Martens passed Leisk on lap 2, as did Stanton, who was on the smaller 250cc machine. The other American Ward passed Leisk on lap 3, but this was short-lived as he fell, losing many places.

With the British in a strong position to finish second, Thorpe was storming through the field. Unfortunately for the Aussies, when he came up to Leisk, the two collided in a corner and Leisk went down.

Thorpe moved into second, seven seconds behind Stanton. But by the end of the race, he was passed by Italian rider Trampas Parker (KTM).

Leisk recovered to finish in 8th – four places ahead of Dack, who finished 7th in the 250cc class, giving the Aussies a commendable 7th overall place.

KTM rider Parker’s win over Thorpe in the final moto saw the Italians finish second ahead of Great Britain. The Italians were the surprise package at the event, with their 125cc rider Alex Puzer (SuzukI) finishing 5th overall in Moto 2 against the 250cc riders to win his class, while their 250cc rider Michele Fanton (Suzuki) finished 4th and 5th, respectively in his class.

Photo:  1989 Winning American Team at Motocross of Nations Team at Gaildorf Germany [L-R] Mike Kiedrowski (125), Jeff Ward  (250) and Jeff Stanton (500).

Photo Gallery

1989 Motocross of Nations - Australian Team - Jeff Leisk, Glen Bell, Craig Dack
1989 Australian Motocross of Nations Team at Gaildorf Germany – Jeff Leisk (500) in action
1989 Motocross des Nations Gaildorf - Leisk, Dack, Bell and Team Manager Gall

Photos:  [Left] 1989 Motocross of Nations Australian Team [L-R] Team Manager, Stephen Gall, Jeff Leisk (40), Craig Dack (41) Glen Bell (42), Len Williamson Motorcycling Australia official, with the rider’s mechanics kneeling – Peter Luczkowski, Grant Covus and Mark Luksich; [Centre] Leisk in action, finishing 3-8 on the day; and [Right]  Gall, Dack, Leisk and Bell.

1989 MXDN Team Placings and Race Results

Team Placings

1. United States 4
2. Italy 11
3. Great Britain 15
4. Luxemberg 16
5. Germany 17
6. France 19
7. Australia 20
8. Sweden 20
9. Belgium 25
10. The Netherlands 31

Moto 1

1. 500 WARD Jeff US Kaw
2. 500 THORPE David GB Hon
3. 500 LEISK Jeff AU Hon
4. 500 LACHER Dietmar DE Hon
5. 500 MARTENS Jacky LU KTM
6. 500 JOBE George BE Hon
7. 500 PARKER Trampas IT KTM
8. 500 HANSSON Peter SE KTM
9. 125 KIEDROWSKI Mike US Hon
10. 125 VAN DOORN Gert-Jan NL Suz
18. 125 BELL, Glen AU Hon

Moto 2

1. 250 STANTON Jeff US Hon
2. 250 LILES Billy LU Kaw
3. 250 VAN DEN BERK John NL Yam
4. 250 FANTON Michele IT Suz
5. 125 PUZAR Alex IT Suz
6. 250 JOHANSSON Peter SE Yam
7. 250 DACK Craig AU Yam
8. 250 DIEPOLD Roland DE Kaw
9. 125 KIEDROWSKI Mike US Hon
10. 250 GEBOERS Eric BE Hon
DNF. 125 BELL, Glen AU Hon

Moto 3

1. 250 STANTON Jeff US Hon
2. 500 PARKER Trampas IT KTM
3. 500 THORPE David GB Hon
4. 500 LACHER Dietmar DE Hon
5. 250 KERVELLA Yannick FR Hon
6. 250 LILES Billy LU Kaw
7. 250 JOHANSSON Peter SE Yam
8. LEISK Jeff AU Hon
9. 500 HANSSON Peter SE KTM
10. 250 FANTON Michele IT Suz
12. 250 DACK, Craig AU Yam

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