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Sydney Supercross 1980

Sydney Supercross 1980

1980 Sydney Supercross trailer 3M

"Rocket Rex's" controversial win in Sydney Supercross

On 18 April 1980, US rider Rex Staten won the international Coca-Cola Superbowl of Motocross in Sydney in controversial circumstances.

The Sydney stadium event was one of the first international and true supercross events in Australia, as we know the sport today. After staging the inaugural Stefan’s Superbowl of Motocross at the Archerfield Speedway in Brisbane in 1979, Australian speedway speedcar champion and promoter Blair Shepherd took the Supercross show to Sydney.

Shepherd staged two magnificent events at the Sydney Speedway in 1980, which was held at the then Sydney Showgrounds at Moore Park, and filled to capacity.

The April 1980 event was promoted as an International spectacular and exploited the “Australia vs USA” theme. It featured Americans Staten, the late Marty Smith, with US stunt Rider Doug Domokos entertaining the big crowd and doing wheelies around the track before the cameras on press day and at the event.

Both Staten and Smith had just finished 1-2 in the 1980 Daytona Superbowl of Motocross, with Rex taking home the big money. That year they also raced for the US team in the Trophee des Nations and Motocross des Nations in Europe.

Staten, from San Bernardino in California, was considered a nice guy off the track. But on the track he had a reputation as a tough competitor who never backed down and this trait was on full show in Sydney.

Local hero Stephen Gall was leading the final for the majority of the 20-lap final with the crowd going crazy, cheering him on from the start when he took the lead. Despite dropping the bike around lap 15, Gall managed to regain the race and maintain his lead. But this allowed Staten to close the gap on him.

With two laps remaining Staten ‘T-boned’ Gall in one of the corners, bringing both riders down. According to Staten, this was a planned tactic to win the event, as felt he would recover first from the fall, which he did.

Staten went on to win the race to the boos and disappointment of the vocal large home crowd. Fellow American Smith finished in second, with Gall re-joining the race to finish in third.

Placegetters in the 1980 Coca-Cola Superbowl of Motocross in Sydney [L-R] Rex Staten (first), Stephen Gall (third) and Marty Smith (second)

Placegetters in the 1980 Coca-Cola Superbowl of Motocross in Sydney [L-R] Rex Staten, USA (first), Stephen Gall, NSW (third) and Marty Smith, USA (second)

Race videos

1980 Coca-cola Superbowl of Motocross in Sydney highlights

Full Channel 7 Television  feature of the 1980 Coca-cola Superbowl of Motocross in Sydney

US Stunt rider Doug Domokos mono-wheeled the Sydney Harbour Bridge to promote the event.

The Rex Staten Story

Edison Dye Lifetime Achievement Award 2020 – Motocross Action Magazine

Rex Staten US motocross and supercross rider (2)

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