World 500cc Motocross Grand Prix Broadford 2000

World 500cc Motocross Grand Prix Broadford 2000

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Aussies rise at Broadford World 500cc Grand Prix

2000 world 500cc motocross grand prix, BROADFORD, VICTORIA (19 MARCH)
2000 World Grand Prix Broadford, Andrew McFarlane and insert
2000 Australian 500cc Grand Prix - Broadford - Andrew McFarlane and Michael Byrne win the start of the first moto
2000 Australian 500cc Grand Prix - Broadford - Belgium World Champion Joel Smets leads fellow countryman Flip Van Dijck

Photos:  The late Andrew McFarlane (QLD, Kawasaki) wins the holeshot at the start of the Broadford 500cc Grand Prix, then keeps the world’s best riders in his dust for more than 20 minutes in front of more than 15,000 spectators; and [right] Belgium World Champion Joel Smets leads fellow countryman Flip Van Dijck.

McFarlane and Byrne launch international careers at Broadford

The Australian round of the 500cc World Motocross Championship at Broadford, Victoria in 2000 will long be remembered for the inspiring performances of two local riders who launched successful international careers at this event.

On 19 March 2000 – and in front of a 15,000-strong crowd – Queenslanders Andrew McFarlane and Michael Byrne finished in the Top 10 against the world’s best riders, with McFarlane winning the holeshot on his Kawasaki 500 machine in the first of the two Grand Prix motos, the first round of the season.

The late Andrew McFarlane kept the world’s best riders in his dust for more than 20 minutes, eventually finishing fourth overall after coming third in the first moto ahead of Byrne in fourth aboard a Honda.

It was, and always will be, a defining moment for Australian Motocross and it typified both riders fighting spirit, national pride and can-do attitude.

Three-times world champion Belgium KTM rider Joel Smets – who convincingly won his fourth world title in 2000 with 25 Grand Prix moto wins – got his season off to a brilliant start with two wins at Broadford.

Fellow countryman Marnique Bevoets – who starred in Australia eight years earlier at the 1992 Motocross des Nations at Manjmup, WA – finished second overall after 2-3 placings at Broadford.  

New Zealand Husqvarna rider Darryl King was third finishing 6-2 in both motos.

After McFarlane’s performance at Broadford, he was picked up by the Rinaldi Yamaha Factory Team and moved to Italy to contest the 2001 500cc World Motocross Championships in Europe.  

Byrne took a different path, moving to the United States to contest the AMA MX and SX championships.

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How Australia won the rights to host its second Grand Prix

The Broadford Grand Prix was the brainchild of Stephen Webster, the then President of Motorcycling Victoria (MV).  Following the 1998 ISDE at Traralgon, he pitched the idea with success to the Victorian State Government who backed the event.

In the history of the sport of motocross, this was the second time a World Motocross Championship round was held in Australia.

Following the success of the 1992 Motocross des Nations, Australia applied for and was awarded the rights to host the 1993 World 125cc Motocross Grand Prix at the Cosy Creek Circuit in Manjimup.  It was the final round of the 1993 World 125cc Championship, held over the weekend of 27-29 August.

Although the event organization was first class, the Cosy Creek circuit was immaculately presented and the racing was thrilling, the event ran at a big loss – largely due to crowds being down  to the wet weather.  

But also, a single 125cc Grand Prix did not have the same drawcard as the des Nations, which featured 40 of the world’s best riders in all classes and included multiple world and AMA champions.


Broadford 500cc Grand Prix Results

Overall results
1. Joel Smets (KTM, Belgium) 20/20 – 40 points
2. Marnique Bervoets (Yam, Belgium) 17/15 – 32
3. Darryl King (Hus, NZ) 10/17 – 27 
4. Andrew McFarlane  (Kaw, Aust) 15/7 – 22
5. Andrea Bartolini (Yam, Italy) 9/13 – 22

9th Michael Byrne (Hon, Aust) 13/1 – 14

Moto 1
1. Joel Smets (KTM, Belgium)
2. Marnique Bervoets (Yamaha, Belgium)
3. Andrew McFarlane (Kawasaki, Aust)
4. Michael Byrne (Honda, Aust)
5. Shayne King (KTM, NZ)

Moto 2
1. Joel Smets (KTM, Belgium)
2. Darryl King (Husqvarna, NZ)
3. Marnique Bervoets (Yamaha, Belgium)
4. Andrea Bartolini (Yamaha, Italy)
5. Peter Johansson (KTM, Sweden)

9th Andrew McFarlane (Kaw, Aust)
15th Michael Byrne (Hon, Aust)

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