Australian Motocross History

Visiting International Motocross Riders

Visiting international motocross riders to Australia

Since the 1960s, Australia has held many International Motocross events.  

In 1961 Australian scrambles rider Tim Gibbes, who raced on the continent and later moved to New Zealand, organised an International Grand Prix in New Zealand. 

In 1964-65 he established the Gold Leaf International Motocross tour of New Zealand, bringing over three international riders from England and Europe – George Hauger (Germany – Wabeha), Authur Harris (England, Harris Triumph Special) and Max Morf (Switzerland – CZ).

After its success, in 1967/68, Gibbes decided to add Australia to the tour with the inaugural Australian New Zealand International tour featuring Swede Gunnar Lindstrom (Husqvarna), JN Roberts (USA, Husqvarna) and John Lewis (UK, BSA).

Snake Gully in South Australia hosted Australia’s first international motocross meeting on 12 November 1967, followed by Christmas Hills (VIC), followed by Woolongong (NSW) before the tour crossed the Tasman for seven more events at different venues across New Zealand.  Swedish Husqvarna test rider Gunnar Lindstrom won the inaugural series.

Note: This is page is a works in progress and all riders identified in this website will gradually be added to this section. You are invited to suggest  any missing international riders and contribute stories, photos, and videos to share online.

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International motocross champions down under

Riders listed by years, in alphabetic order


The very first Australia New Zealand International Motocross Tour was in 1967/68 with the first round at Snake Gully (SA), Christmas Hill (VIC), followed by Woolongong (NSW) before crossing the Tasman for seven more events at different venues across New Zealand.  This tour featured International riders: Andy Roberton (Great Britain) John Lewis (Wales), Gordon Lindstom (Sweden), J.N. Roberts (USA), Morley Sherriffs, Gordon Holland, Ivan Miller, Brian Martin, Tim Gibbes (New Zealand), plus top Australian riders Laurie Alderton (NSW) and Ray Fisher (Vic).

gibbes, tim - new zealand


Tim Gibbes racing in Europe

New South Wales rider Tim Gibbes contested the 1966/67 & 67/68 Australia New Zealand International motocross tours, representing New Zealand after settling there after a ten-year racing career in Europe and the USA.  Gibbes organised the first two international tours down under, after establishing the International Gold Leaf series in New Zealand.



Matt Daley leads Welshman John Lewis during the 1967 International meeting

Welshman John Lewis competed in the 1967/68 International Motocross series that toured across Australia and New Zealand.  His bike didn’t arrive in time, so he rode burrowed BSA machines in the opening three rounds, but still performed well. This photo is at Mount Kembla in New South Wales, where he is chasing local Matt Daley.



Gunnar Lindstrom Husqvarna - International Motocross rider

Swedish rider Gunnar Lindstrom competed in the 1967/68 International Motocross series that toured across Australia and New Zealand.  The factory Husqvarna rider was fast and won the opening race at the Christmas Hills round in Victoria.  He travelled down under to promote the new Husqvarna bikes.

MArtin, brian - new zealand


New Zealander Brian Martin, winner or 125cc Australian Championship at Manjimup 1974 (pictured here on a Suzuki)

New Zealand rider Brian Martin competed  in the 1967/68 International Motocross series that toured across Australia and New Zealand.  The New Zealander, who was also a road racer and desert racer, settled on the east coast of Australia. He won the 125cc Australian Championship at Manjimup in 1974 on a Honda (pictured here on a Suzuki).

Miller, ivan - new Zealand


1971 Australian Championships - Ivan Miller headshot

New Zealand rider Ivan Miller first rode in Australia during the 1967/68 International Motocross series that toured across Australia and New Zealand.  He compete in many international series in Australia, returning regularly and won two Australian Motocross titles (500cc and Unlimited) at Clarendon in South Australia in September 1971 up against a high quality international field.

ROBERTon, andy - great britain


Andy Roberton British Motocross Champion 1970s

British rider Andy Roberton contested the second Australia New Zealand International Motocross tour in 1967/68.  In 1971 Roberton the Trans-AMA series and contested the 500cc World Motocross Championships, finishing in the Top 10 in 1972. In his early years he was a member of the British A.J.S. Factory Team, later switching to Husqvarnas.



JN Roberts - International Motocross at Christmas Hills 1967

United States rider J.N. Roberts contested the inaugural Australia New Zealand International Motocross tour in 1967/68.  Roberts, from Indiana, was a professional off-road and enduro motorcycle racer and a film industry stuntman  At one point in his desert racing career, Roberts won 27 consecutive desert races, earning him the unofficial nickname of King of the Desert.

sherriffS, morley - new zealand


Ray Fisher (Vic) Morley Shirriffs (NZ) in the 1967-68 Australia New Zealand International Tour

New Zealand rider Morley Sheriffs (right, pictured here with Ray Fisher) first rode in Australia during the 1967/68 International Motocross series that toured across Australia and New Zealand.  He was a regular member of this tour, which was run by Australian motocross pioneer, who settled in New Zealand after retiring from international racing.


As the 1967/68 Australia New Zealand International Motocross Tour was a big success, Tim Gibbes organised a second tour in 1968/69, including Western Australia (Herne Hill) and Tasmania.   This tour featured International riders: Gordan Adsett, brothers Randy and Rowley Owen, all from the UK and Freddi Postman from Austria.

ADsett, gordon - great britain


Gordon Adsett Great Britain motocross rider

British rider Gordon Adsett competed in the 1966/67 Australian and New Zealand International Motocross tour. That was the first year of the series and the other international riders included Freddi Postmann (Austria), Tim Gibbes (NZ), UK riders – brothers Randy Owen and Tony Owen.

OWEN, Randy - great britain


1971 Australian Championships - Randy Owen and Gary Flood

British rider Randy Owen first competed  in the 1968/69 International Motocross series that toured across Australia and New Zealand, becoming a regular down under.  The British champion (pictured here with Gary Flood at the Australian Championships in Clarendon, SA) finished second in both the 125 & 500 classes and third in the Unlimited.

OWEN, rowley - great britain


Rowley Owen, Great Britain - with portrait

British rider Rowley Owen, Randy’s younger brother,  also competed in the 1968/69 International Motocross series that toured across Australia and New Zealand, then returned again to Australia in 1971.  Here he is pictured in the opening round of the tour at Herne Hill on the outskirts of Perth in Western Australia.

postmann, freddi - austria


Freddi Postmann Australian Motocross rider at Perth Airport with Tim Gibbes

Austrian rider Freddi Postmann competed  in the 1968/69 International Motocross series that toured across Australia and New Zealand.  The Austrian motocross champion is pictured here (second from left) with Tim Gibbes (to his right) at Perth Airport with other riders at the start of the tour at Herne Hill, on the outskirts of Perth (WA).


Only two Australia New Zealand International Motocross tours were held as, once the word spread and the Australians learnt from Gibbes how to host these events, many individual international events were held right across the country. The A.J.S.  Motorcycle Club annually held an international event at the Herne Hill Circuit and in 1971, a second round was held in WA at Manjimup, before the International riders headed east.  The 1971 tour featured Internationals Jim Aird (Scotland), Ivan Miller (NZ) and brothers Randy and Rowley Owen (Great Britain), who returned to Australia.  Rowley later immigrated to New Zealand.

aird, jim - scotland


1971 International Motocross Herne Hill - Race winner Jimmy Aird, Scotland gets his trophy from celebrity Alexander the Great

Scottish motocross champion Jim Aird regularly raced in Australia during the 1970s and 1980s.  He won the 1971 Australian New Zealand Tour International tour, after competing in the Australian Championships at Clarendon in SA.  He also competed several times in the King of the Cross and Manjimup 15000 in WA.


In 1972 a South Australian entrepreneur staged a new International Motocross series bringing down under for the first time – three World Motocross Champions – Belgiums Roger De Coster and Joel Robert and Swede Bengt Aberg.  De Coster would go on to win five Motocross World Championships and Robert six.  Per Klitland (Denmark) and Hans Applegren (Sweden), who migrated to Australia, also competed in this series, which was contested in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.

Aberg, bengt - Sweden


Swedish World Motocross Champion Bengt Aberg

Swedish rider Bengt Aberg competed in the 1972 Australian International Motocross tour. Aberg was one of the top riders in the Motocross Grand Prix World Championships during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He won the FIM 500cc Motocross World Championship in 1969 and 1970 while riding for the Husqvarna factory racing team.



Hans Applegren - Swedish rider in Australia

Swedish rider Hans Applegren various Australian International Motocross events and stayed.  He first lived in Perth (WA) and won three State Motocross titles in 1973 and 1974. He was the R-up Australian Champion in the 125cc and Unlimited classes at Manjimup in 1974, then moved to Sydney.  In 1976 he was the R/up National 500cc champion.



World Motocross Champion Roger De Coster

Belgium rider Roger De Coster contested the 1972 International Motocross series in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales – a one-off event run by a SA promoter and featured many world champions.  De Coster won five Motocross World Championships between 1971 to 1976 tallying a record 36 500cc Grand Prix victories.



1970 World 250cc Champion - Joel Robert from Belgium

Belgium rider Joel Robert contested the 1972 International Motocross series in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales – a one-off event run by a SA promoter and featured many world champions.  Robert, the reigning 250cc World Champ, was Belgium’s first motocross superstar winning six motocross world championships between 1964-72.

Klitland, Per - Denmark


Danish Motocross Champion Per Klitland

Danish rider Per Klitland competed in the 1972 International Motocross Tour and other events, racing down under full time between 1973 to 1976.  The Maico rider won the 250cc Australian Motocross Championship at Mulbring (NSW) in 1973 and challenged for the Mr MX title between 1974-76, finishing second in 1975 behind Gary Flood.

weil, adolf - germany


Adolf Weil German motocross champion, winner of the 1973 Trans AMA Series in the United States

German Maico rider Adolf Weil was a professional motocrosser and was the Runner-up 1973 250cc World Champion. Weil won 14 German motocross national championships and competed in the 1972 Australian International Motocross Tour, which was run by South Australian promoter Tim Prouse.

Adolf Weil – Wikipedia
Australian New Zealand International Motocross Tour


With Belgium rider Gason Rahier winning Suzuki’s first World Motocross Championship in 1975 in the 125cc class, three Suzuki Factory riders and a host of other internationals came to Australia for a promotional tour and also competed in the Australian Motocross Championships in Sanford, Tasmania.  The other Suzuki riders were Gerard Camel (Belgium) and Masanori Ozeki (Japan) and the other Internationals were Victor Allen (Scotland), Gualtiero Brissoni (Italy) and Micjel Combes (France).

Allen, Vic - scotland


1975 Vic Allan Wales British 250 and 500cc Motocross Champion at Australian Championships in Tasmania

Scottish motocross rider Vic Allen toured Australia in 1975.  He finished second to reigning World 125cc Champion Gaston Rahier in the 500cc class on a Bultaco at the Australian Championships in Sanford, Tasmania. The British 250cc and 500cc Champion was quick – twice beating Suzuki rider Rahier on the tour.

Brissoni, Gualtiero - Italy


Gualtiero Brissoni at 1975 Australian Motocross Championships in Tasmania

Italian motocross rider Gualtiero Brissoni toured Australia in 1975, fresh from winning the Junior Italian Motocross Championship. He competed at the Australian Championships in Sanford, Tasmania. Over the next ten years he would win the European Enduro Championship twice in the 250cc class and three 125 titles, to become one of Italy’s greatest enduro riders.

Camal, Gerard - Belgium


1975 Gaston Rahier World Motocross Champion in Australia with Gerard Camel, Belgium - right

Belgium motocross rider Gerard Camel competed in the Australian Championships in Sanford, Tasmania in 1975. The Suzuki Factory rider finished third behind newly crowned World 125cc Champion Gaston Rahier, also from Belgium, in both the 125cc and 250cc  Australian Championships. Camal competed in the World 125cc Championships in 1976.

Combes, michel - france


Michel Combes - French Motocross Champion

French motocross rider Michel Combes competed in the Australian Championships in Sanford, Tasmania in 1975.  At the time, Combes won the French 250cc Motocross Championship (1967).  He had a long distinguished career and won his second French Motocross Championship in the 500cc class in 1983.

Ozeki, Masanori - Japan


1975 Japanese Suzuki Factory rider Masanori Ozeki

Japanese motocross rider Masanori Ozeki toured Australia in 1975, competing at the Australian Championships in Sanford, Tasmania. The tour included the three Suzuki Factory riders – Ozeki, Gerard Camel (Belgium) and newly crowned World 125cc Champion Gaston Rahier, also from Belgium.

RAHIER, Gaston - belgium


1975 Gaston Rahier - headshot

Belgium motocross rider and reigning World 125cc Motocross Champion Gaston Rahier toured Australia in 1975 and 1976, competing at the 1975 Australian Championships in Sanford, Tasmania. Rahier also won the 250cc and Unlimited Championships, he competed at other events in the Eastern States and ran several riding schools promoting the new Suzukis.


After the success of the 1975 Suzuki International Motocross promotional tour – where World Champion Gaston Rahier (Belgium, Suzuki) cleaned up Rahier returned the following year after winning his second world 125cc championship.  This time he was joined by Suzuki Works riders Frenchman Frank Logney and New Zealand legend Ivan Miller and up and coming British Maico rider Neil Hudson.  With Rahier riding under duress with a wrist injury, 19-year-old Hudson emerged victorious, cleaning up in Queensland (Tivoli), Victoria (Wanthaggi) and New South Wales (Jilliby Park), also racing at Noble Falls in Western Australia.



British Motocross Champion Neil Hudson

British rider Neil Hudson raced at the Australian International meeting with Gaston Rahier at Tivoli, in Queensland on 14 November 1976.  He was a sponsored Maico rider when he came to Australia, but later became a Yamaha Factory rider.  In 1981 he became the first British rider to win a 250cc World Motocross  Championship.


With Suzuki and Maico promoting their latest motocross bikes down under, Husqvarna followed suit sending Swedish rider Pelle Granquist to Australia for two seasons.  Born in the Swedish town of Husqvarna (where the bike factory was located), Granquist rode for the new Australian Husqvarna dealer Rick Andrews, also working there part-time.

granquist, pelle - sweden


1979 Australian Championships Wanneroo - Presentations - Pelle Grandquist and Kevin Russell popping champagne

Swedish rider Pelle Granquist came to Australia in the late 1970s and took the motocross scene by storm.  Based in Sydney, New South Wales, in two years Granquist won four Australian Motocross Championships (1978 and 1979) and was a challenger in both Mr Motocross series.


The introduction of Supercross to Australia saw an influx of International motocross riders down under, with several loving the country and deciding to stay. In 1980 Rex Staten and Marty Smith (US) competed in the Sydney Supercross.  Three other Americans Jimmy Ellis, the late Marty Moates and Eddy Warren all came over to Australia for Supercross events, then stayed. Also with the King of the Cross being an International event in 1979 to coincide with Western Australia’s 150th anniversary and the Manjimup 15,000 taking off in 1980, visiting International riders down under became a regular thing.  Jeff Leisk’s profile on the International circuit also raised the country’s profile and many riders attended Supercross events promoted by Jeff’s father Bob. In 1983, reigning 500cc Motocross Champion Hakan Carlqvist (Sweden) toured  down under to promote the Yamaha bikes, along with team mate Danny LaPorte (US), 1982 World 250cc Champion.



1983 World 500cc Motocross Champion Hakan Carlqvist - Yamaha

Swedish rider Hakan Carlqvist competed in Australia in 1983, fresh from winning the 1983 World 500cc Championship, aboard a Yamaha.  The late Carlqvist competed at Broadford (VIC) and supercross events at Penrith  (NSW) and Fremantle (WA) over three weekends. He convincingly won all races at Broadford, but had crashes at Penrith and Fremantle. 



1985 AMX CS Noble Falls WA - Jimmy Ellis 250cc Champion awards ceremony - Landscape

United States rider Jimmy Ellis competed in Australia during the 1980s.  Ellis was one of the USA’s top Supercross riders and became one of Australia’s leading riders.  After winning the 500cc Australian Championship at Broadford (VIC) in 1984, he won both the 125cc and 250cc Australian titles at Noble Falls in 1985 and the King of the Cross in 1986, both in WA.


1981 to 1989

Broc Glover racing in the Rat Shirts International at Amaroo Park in New South Wales

Dubbed the “Golden Boy”, Glover from San Diego in California (USA) competed several times in Australian supercross and motocross events during the 1980s. 
Glover won the Melbourne Supercross Masters in 1981 against a world-class line-up and Australia’s top racers.  His farewell supercross tour ended at the Burswood Superdome, Perth in October 1988.



1983 Danny LaPorte at Fremantle Supercross

United States rider Danny Laporte competed in Australia in 1983, joining Yamaha team mate Hakan Carlqvist who had just won the 1983 World 500cc Championship, aboard a Yamaha.  America’s first World Motocross Champion (1982 250cc) competed at the Penrith (NSW) and Fremantle (WA) Supercross events in October and November.

Leask, Perry - Great Britain


Perry Leask British Motocross Champion

British rider Perry Leask competed at the Manjimup 15000 in 1985 at Manjimup (WA).  Leask was the British Schoolboy Champion and runner up British Champion in both the 125cc and 250cc classes.  He won two New Zealand Motocross Championships and six British 4-Stroke championships.

Patterson, Bryan - New Zealand


1984 500cc New Zealand motocross champion Bryan Patterson, of Rotorua

New Zealand rider Bryan Patterson contested the King of the Cross motocross spectacular at the Southern Cross Gold Mining town in Western Australia.  Patterson, from Rotorua, won the 1984 500cc New Zealand Motocross Championship.



Marty Moates -second at the 1983 King of the Cross

United States rider, the late Marty Moates, made Australia his home in the mid 1980s.  Marty received world recognition in 1980 when he won the 500cc USA Grand Prix at Carlsbad, in California. He was a privateer at the time and beat the World’s top factory riders. Marty was the runner-up 500cc Australian Motocross Champion in 1983 at Acusa Park (SA).

sMITH, MARTY- United States


US motocross racer Marty Smith

United States rider, the late  Marty Smith (far right), won three American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) National Motocross championships in the 1970s.  Smith competed in Australia at the 1980 Sydney Supercross – coming second in this event.  Earlier that year Smith represented the US team in the Trophee des Nations and Motocross des Nations in Europe.

staten, rex - United States


Rex Staten US motocross and supercross rider

United States rider Rex Staten competed in Australia at the 1980 Sydney Supercross – winning this event.  Staten, from San Bernardino in California, had just won the Daytona Superbowl of Motocross and represented the US team in the Trophee des Nations and Motocross des Nations in Europe that year.



1989 King of the Cross winner Eddie Warren USA

United States rider Eddy Warren competed in Australia between 1987 to 1995, winning both the 250cc and 500cc Australian Motocross Championships at Acusa Park in South Australia in 1989.  That year Warren, from Michigan, was at his peak and took out many other titles across the country, including the King of the Cross in Southern Cross, Western Australia.

1992 to 2001

In 1992 Australia hosted the World Motocross of Nations at Manjimup in Western Australia.  it was the first time ever that the International team event was staged outside of Europe and held in the southern hemisphere. The event on 5 June attracted more than 20,000 spectators and was a huge success, enabling the Manjimup Motorcycle Club to host a round of the World 125cc Grand Prix circus in 1993.  In 2000 Australia hosted a round of the World 500cc Motocross Championships at Broadford in Victoria. Once again, due to its success, a round of the 125, 250 and 500 World Championship was held at Broadford the following year – under the new format with all classes competing at the same venue.

PICHON, Mickael - france


1993 World MX 125 GP at Manimup Mickael PICHON France

17-year-old Frenchman Mickael Pichon raced in Australia at the 1993 World 125cc Motocross Grand Prix at Manjmup in WA.  Pichon went on to win two AMA SX Championships in the United States, then won back to back World 250cc Motocross Championships.  Pichon is the fifth highest Grand Prix winner in the history of the world championships (2001 and 2002).



When the New Zealand King brothers returned from their successful racing careers on the World Motocross Grand Prix circuit in Europe, they competed regularly in Australia.   Darryll, the younger brother of World Champion Shayne) won three Australian MX1 Motocross Championships (2001, 03-04).   Fellow kiwis Daryl Hurley won the Australian MX1 Championship in 2005, and Josh Coppins won the Australian 2012 MX1 Championship after competing in the World Championships from 1993 to 2012.

Coppins, josh - new zealand


2012 MX1 Australian Motocross Champion Josh Coppins from New Zealand

New Zealand motocross rider Josh Coppins won the Australian 2012 MX1 Championship after competing in the World Championships from 1993 to 2012 . Coppins posted four top three results during his career including a second place in the 2002 250cc motocross world championship and a second place in the MX1 world championship.

hurley, daryl - new zealand


Daryl Hurley 2005 Australian MX1 Champion

New Zealand motocross rider Daryl Hurley won the Australian 2005 MX1 Championship. Hurley won four New Zealand 125cc motocross titles (in 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2004) before moving on to win the New Zealand MX1 title in 2007, following by his winning the New Zealand MX2 crown in 2008.

King, darryll - new zealand


Darryll King - three time Australian MX1 Champion - from New Zealand

New Zealand rider Darryll King is a three-time Australian MX1 Motocross Champion (2001, 03-04).  King contested the World Motocross Championships in the 1990s. He finished in the top five six times and was second in 1997 and 1998. King, the younger brother of World Champion Shayne, is also a 19-time New Zealand motocross national champion.

NZ Hall of Fame

King, shayne - new zealand


Shayne King World Motocross Champion New Zealand

New Zealand rider Shayne King competed in several events in Australia before competing in the World Motocross Championships becoming the Word 500cc Champion in 1996. King is the first Kiwi to win an FIM motocross world championship. King, the older brother of Darryll, was inducted into the NZ Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2008.

International sidecarcross champions down under

Bollhalder, emil -Switzerland


1984 Western Classic presentation Emil Bollhalder and Russell Ellis

Swiss rider and reigning World Sidecarcross Champion Emil Bollhalder toured Australia in 1984.  With South Australian Russell Ellis in the chair, Bollhalder competed in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria.  In WA, Bollhalder won the King of the Cross at Southern Cross and Western Classic at Noble Falls.

Emil’s EML Model
King of the Cross
Western Classic

Brockhausen, josef and rebele, hubert - Germany


1985 Western Classic - Josef Brockhausen - Hubert Rebele

German Sidecarcross Champions Jo Brockausen and Hubert Rebele toured Australia in 1985.  The three-times runner-up World Champions competed in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria.  In WA, they won the Western Classic at Rockingham on a brand new lightweight Honda VMC 2-stroke.  This machine did not arrive in time for Southern Cross.

King of the Cross
Western Classic

International riders in the Australian Grand Prix events and World Motocross of Nations

Click on programs to see International riders
1992 Motocross des Nations, Manjimup (WA)
1992 World MX des Nations Programme - Manjimup Western Australia
1993 World 125cc Grand Prix, Manjimup (WA)
1993 World 125cc Grand Prix Programme - Manjimup Western Australia
2000 world 500cc grand prix, broadford (VIC)
2000 World 500cc Motocross Championship Round Broadford, Victoria - Program Cover
2001 world 125, 250, 500cc grand prix, broadford (VIC)
2001 Australian Motocross Grand Prix - 125, 250 and 500 - 1 Prorgam Cover
Australian Motocross History