E-Paddock catches Fire in Jerez during Tests for the FIM ENEL Moto-ETM World Cup
The FIM was informed this morning that a serious fire broke out in the E-Paddock at the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto in the early hours of today causing considerable material damage and losses but fortunately no injuries.
Dorna has assured the FIM that it will work hard to overcome this major setback and ensure that the World Cup is up and running as soon as possible in spite of all the additional work that will now be required.
The FIM President expressed his great regret at the destruction of the motorcycles and equipment associated with the FIM ENEL Moto-ETM World Cup, which is due to start in Jerez in May : “It is a terrible blow but I am sure that all those working for this exciting new venture will find the strength and motivation to overcome this unfortunate occurrence and make the Championship a success. We look forward to putting this behind us and are confident in the future.”
MV AGUSTA and LEWIS HAMILTON SIGN A NEW PARTNERSHIP
Varese, 6th September 2017 – After the great success obtained with the Dragster
RR LH, which sold out in a few hours from its launch, MV Agusta and Lewis
Hamilton have partnered together on yet another exciting project. The collaboration
sees Hamilton design a brand new model.
Giovanni Castiglioni – MV Agusta Motor President states: “I met Lewis a few years
ago when he called up our Customer Care asking in a very humble way to buy
a special bike. After having developed some 1/1 bikes for Lewis we turned our
common passion into a partnership with the creation of the successful Dragster RR
LH produced in 244 units. I’m very excited and proud to continue this cooperation
that will see new MV Agustas co-designed with Lewis entering the market in the
Lewis Hamilton: “I am very excited to continue my partnership with MV Agusta.
I love working with Giovanni and the guys at MV Agusta, their passion for engineering
and attention to detail produces quite stunning, original looking bikes. My projects
with MV Agusta are a great way to combine my love of riding bikes with my interest
in creative design process so I am very much involved with the CRC (Castiglioni
Research Department) design team throughout."
Steve Roberts – “Tin Basher”, and a legend.
Well known throughout the motorcycle fraternity, not only New Zealand but world-wide, for his skill building motorcycle petrol & oil tanks, frames, exhaust systems & chambers, etc. Steve is one of the most modest retiring persons you could meet. But his quietness tends to bubble when he starts talking & reflecting on his creations built over the past 62 years, they are all a work of art, if the project wasn’t a work of art, it wouldn’t leave his work shop.
Many New Zealand riders & teams have reaped the benefit from this 77 year old who is rarely seen in public but whose products have taken on the world. Not a centre fold person, but he did make it once!
Teaming up with the then notable motorcycle personalities Dick Lawton, Rod Coleman (MNZ Hall of Fame) to build specialist New Zealand made TR Suzuki race motorcycles to rocket names such as Keith Turner, Geoff Perry, Dale Wyllie , and other notable riders in the seventies.
Dave Hiscock (amongst other things, 3rd in F1 Motorcycle World Championship 1982, 1st Australian Swann Series 1982, 3rd in British Road Race Champs, NZ Road Race Championship 1983/4) Robert Holden (NZ Road Race Champion 1984/5, Isle of Man TT, but a legend where ever he went).
Plastic Fantastic #1
At the Boxing Day Cemetery Circuit event 1982, they all had a chat about how to make it all better. Kevlar was coming on stream so all agreed this was the future product for strength & weight reduction. As a result. the “Plastic Fantastic” was born. #1 the Prototype, #2 went to Dave Hiscock, while #3 went to another New Zealander, Norris Farrow from Kumeu, who later became Team Manager for the Rumi Honda Team.
To recognise Steve’s ability he was awarded first equal TV’s UDC Finance “Inventors Award” in 1983 for “Kevlar Motorcycle with Tension Suspension”- the “Plastic Fantastic”, now stored by “Spider” Staples & proudly displayed at the Centenary of Motorcycling New Zealand function at Te Papa.
Rod Coleman built countless Velocette KTT & Norton Manx models using Steve’s expertise for petrol & oil tanks, mudguards, etc. Another Kiwi, Ken McIntosh specialist road race classic builder, who uses Steve Roberts made petrol and oil tanks.
A Canadian restorer asked Steve if he could buy his stamp templates for tanks, etc. The answer was astounding – there isn’t one, they are all made individually by hand!
Some other outstanding projects from the Brunswick workshop included a revolutionary sidecar for Andy Kippen, which Steve is pointing to on his “Wall of Fame”. It was an alloy monocoque chassis, fully streamlined fibre glass body with the engine at the rear, hub centre steering, with a non-fibre glass passenger, well known race commentator “Spider” Staples. Ironically Kippen’s main opposition was Dick Leppard who used a sidecar body made by Steve Roberts!
Other Kiwis benefitting from Steve’s skill were Dallas Rankine & Luke Taylor’s “Fast & Fragile” Ducati based racer. Fuel in frame, Ducati V-Twin bottom end engine, with Godden barrels, 4 valve heads & 1000cc of rip snort.
A customised Yamaha for Wayne Marshall (on the right, Steve on the left), converting the road bike to a TZR500 similar to that of 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee Paul Treacy factory bike, & so the list goes on.
Moving forward through many projects & restorations, many of which included rare cars that only an odd photo exists, building an exotic from just an old black & white photo is a rare skill.
One of his several current projects on the stands now is a 1924 one off Jappic “Cyclecar”, powered by a 350cc J.A.P. engine, of which only one was made specifically to break a record at the English Brooklands race track & it was destroyed by fire in 1932, so only a very few photographs remain. Ironically the rules required a mechanic, so it was designed so the mechanic lay flat on his stomach alongside the driver with head towards the rear!
So where did all this skill come from? On leaving school Steve took a sheet-metal & coppersmith apprenticeship with De Havilland in his homeland of UK. Moving to London Jaguar dealer Henley’s where his first job there was to repair the door on the Queen Mother’s maroon Jaguar Mark 7!
Then to Aston Martin for a period until a new horizon beckoned for Steve & wife Pam.
Five weeks later they arrived in Wellington on a ship, but let’s stress that they were NOT “10 pound Poms” they paid their way here & arrived here with 7 shillings & 6 pence (75 cents) in their pockets.
Employment at Wellington Polytechnic as a tutor from 1963 to 1975 saw him train many of our NZ apprentices, but motorcycle scrambles were also in his blood so he built his first Spartan (as he found the price of buying motorcycles in NZ was exorbitant), followed by many others for many other Spartan worshippers.
1970 - Proud owners of Spartan MX bikes constructed by Steve Roberts. – from left Brian Zemanek, Dennis Thetford, Keith Cheriton, Dave Bridge, Don Elliott, & Steve himself
Steve is a very worthy 2017 nomination for “Design & Engineering” Motorcycling New Zealand Hall of Fame.
A CHANCE TO MEET SOME OF THE LEGENDS 100 years of motorcyclesport history
One of whom is featured on this website - Go to "Road Racing" > then read about "Paul Treacy... from ......", just one of many New Zealand technical engineers who have worked behind the scenes to make an outstanding difference to motorcyclesport in NZ & world wide
ALWAYS ONE OF THE SPORT'S BIGGEST SUPPORTERS
MAY 17, 2016: Everyone associates the name Mike Pero with real estate, and he has certainly built his reputation on providing a quality service in that field, but there was a time when Mike Pero was renowned for "gobbling up real estate" on the race track as a motorcycle road racer.
A former top New Zealand motorcycle road racer, Pero and his company – Mike Pero Real Estate – returns to his sporting roots by sponsoring Motorcycling New Zealand's annual awards dinner in this centenary year for the organisation.
Pero is the patron of MNZ and his highly-recognised and trusted Mike Pero Real Estate company is the principal sponsor for MNZ's 2016 awards, to be held at Te Papa Museum, in Wellington, this coming Saturday night.
Pero was six times a national motorcycle road-racing champion – between the years 1977–82, twice in the 350cc & 500cc racing class as well as winning two times in the 410cc Production Series.
Pero set the New Zealand land speed record for a 350cc motorcycle in 1979. The record of 238 km/h still stands today.
In addition to primary sponsor Mike Pero Real Estate, the MNZ New Zealand Motorcycle Awards function is supported by several other organisations. The awards categories and sponsors are: Female Rider of the Year (Bike Rider Magazine, Dirtrider Downunder); Service to Motorcycling (Crombie Lockwood); Best Up & Coming Off-Road Rider (Precise Print & Design); Best Up & Coming Road Rider (Suzuki); Male Rider of the Year (Mike Pero Real Estate). Supporting sponsors: BikesportNZ.com, Gibson Sheat Lawyers, Spark New Zealand.
Credit: Words by Andy McGechan,
GUEST SPEAKER TO SHARE HER WORLD-BEATING EXPERIENCES
MAY 16, 2016: A Kiwi and world champion of the past will talk to the current crop of champions of the past, present and future when Motorcycling New Zealand's centenary celebrations wind up on Sunday.
Katherine Oberlin-Brown (nee Prumm) will be the guest speaker at breakfast on the function's third and final day on Sunday (May 22), just prior to MNZ's annual general meeting, the last item on the agenda that will wrap up the annual conference and awards weekend.
New Zealand's Oberlin-Brown put her country on the map when, as a sparkly-eyed and fresh-faced 17-year-old, she first arrived in Europe in 2005, remarkably finishing runner-up that year to Germany's Stephanie Laier in the Women's Motocross World Cup, the forerunner to what was later to become recognised (in 2008) as the women's world championships.
She returned to Europe in 2006 and this time won the world title outright, beating Laier, before once again the following year she headed halfway around the world from her home in Bombay, South Auckland, to successfully defend her title, this time beating French rider Livia Lancelot to the crown.
As a sidebar, it is interesting to note that Lancelot, now aged 28, currently leads the 2016 title chase, although she is only in that position because 20-year-old New Zealander Courtney Duncan, who had been leading the series, was the victim of a freak crash at the latest round in Germany just over a week ago.
But, a decade ago, it was South African-born Oberlin-Brown who commanded the women's side of the sport.
Oberlin-Brown also won both her races at the Women's Motocross Association (WMA) Women's Cup in Floresville, Texas, in 2007, to add that title to her world crown that year.
It was through gritted teeth that Oberlin-Brown talked about her failed bid in 2008 to make it three women's world titles in a row.
Though riding injured – her ACL knee ligament ruptured in a pre-season crash – Oberlin-Brown still led the 2008 world championships after three rounds and she looked well on target to defend her 2007 crown with only two rounds to go.
That was until another crash, this time while practicing, just days before round four of the series in Germany, sent her tumbling again to the sideline, her collarbone snapped into four pieces.
She had to settle for fifth overall in 2008.
Oberlin-Brown had planned to be back on the start line in Europe at the start of 2009 but a massive crash, again while practicing, sent her straight to hospital. Her spine was damaged and fears were held that she might never walk again.
She later made a full recovery, but her motocross racing career was over.
Now aged 27, happily married and living in Hamilton, although no longer a regular visitor to the motocross race tracks of the world, Oberlin-Brown is still nonetheless heavily involved in elite sport.
She graduated from university with a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science and then completed her Masters Degree, the culmination of five years of hard study.
She now works as a physiologist for High Performance Sport New Zealand where she plays a key role helping the current generation of elite Kiwi athletes fulfil their ambitions.
Oberlin-Brown's work has been with Olympics-related sports people, those involved in athletics and now mainly with rowing.
"I will talk (at the MNZ conference breakfast) about my journey through motocross and about what I achieved and what I learned and I will discuss how another world also opened up for me."
The awards and centenary weekend is supported by principal sponsor Mike Pero Real Estate, with a number of category sponsors also backing the event. The categories and sponsors are: Female Rider of the Year (Bike Rider Magazine, Dirtrider Downunder); Service to Motorcycling (Crombie Lockwood); Best Up & Coming Off-Road Rider (Precise Print & Design); Best Up & Coming Road Rider (Suzuki); Male Rider of the Year (Mike Pero Real Estate). Supporting sponsors: BikesportNZ.com, Gibson Sheat Lawyers, Spark New Zealand.
Credit: Words by Andy McGechan
NO SHORTAGE OF KIWI MOTORCYCLING SUPER HEROES
MAY 11, 2016: There are no shortages of sporting super heroes in New Zealand and the motorcycling community will recognise, honour and reward some of their elite individuals at a special function in Wellington in less than two weeks' time.
It is 100 years since Motorcycling New Zealand (MNZ) was formed in 1916 and the organisation will celebrate its centenary during its annual conference with the New Zealand Motorcycle Awards ceremony, to be held at the Te Papa Museum, in Wellington, over the weekend of May 20-22.
A key part of the weekend's festivities will be to honour great achievements by a handful of intrepid New Zealand motorcycle sports men and women.
"Our annual awards and conference is the industry event of the year and a fantastic opportunity to sing the praises of our many outstanding athletes," said MNZ general manager of operations Vicky Hicks.
"An organisation that has survived 100 years is worthy of celebrating and we'd like to also acknowledge the clubs and volunteers who have been involved over the years."
Award categories for the function will be male rider of the year, female rider of the year, best up-and-coming road rider, best up-and-coming off-road rider and there will be a special award for services to motorcycling.
The finalists among the nominees come from all corners of the country and from a wide variety of the diverse motorcycle codes that MNZ embraces.
Finalists for the Service to Motorcycling award category are Christchurch's Wendy Ashmore and Huntly's Sandra Healey.
Both women have been tireless workers behind the scenes at motorcycling activities in their respective regions and choosing to announce just one winner here will perhaps be MNZ's toughest task.
Finalists in the Best Up & Coming Off Road Rider category are Wellington's Dylan Ball, Ngatea's Benjamin Broad and Palmerston (Otago) rider Courtney Duncan.
Finalists in the Best Up & Coming Road Rider category are Ashburton's Lewis Dray and Hamilton's Jacob Stroud.
Finalists for the Male Rider of the Year category are the sidecar pairing of Auckland's Colin Buckley and Tauranga's Robbie Shorter, along with Hamilton motocross ace Josiah Natzke.
There is only one finalist in the Female Rider of the Year category and so, not wanting to spoil any surprise on the night, the name of that rider will be kept under wraps for now. Suffice to say, her win will probably surprise nobody in the end.
All of the finalists are world class riders who will no doubt, over the coming years, continue to enhance their sparkling reputations and just being named as finalists already serves to do this.
The awards and centenary weekend is supported by principal sponsor Mike Pero Real Estate, with a number of category sponsors also backing the event. The categories and sponsors are: Female Rider of the Year (Bike Rider Magazine, Dirtrider Downunder); Service to Motorcycling (Crombie Lockwood); Best Up & Coming Off-Road Rider (Precise Print & Design); Best Up & Coming Road Rider (Suzuki); Male Rider of the Year (Mike Pero Real Estate). Supporting sponsors: BikesportNZ.com, Gibson Sheat Lawyers, Spark New Zealand.
Credit: Words Andy McGechan
MAY 10, 2016: Motorcycle racing heroes of the past will be out in force as the sport's governing body in New Zealand celebrates its centenary later this month.
With this year marking 100 years since Motorcycling New Zealand (MNZ) was formed in 1916, it is appropriate that some of the champions who brought national and international attention to motorcycling activities in this part of the world should be keen to come to the party.
MNZ will celebrate its centenary during its annual conference and the New Zealand Motorcycle Awards, to be held at the Te Papa Museum, in Wellington, over the weekend of May 20-22, and it will be during the official welcome function on the Friday evening that the legends will feature.
The welcome function will be an informal "meet and greet", featuring some of New Zealand's most famous and successful racers, MNZ Hall of Fame legends Ginger Molloy, Hugh Anderson and Graeme Crosby (Croz).
This Friday night function will be hosted by well-respected motorcycling commentator Neil Ritchie, who will interview these legends of the sport, and there will also be plenty of opportunities to mix and mingle with them.
Ritchie will entice Molloy, Anderson and Crosby to open up about some of the most memorable and mad-cap experiences of their racing careers, learn about how they achieved the successes they did and perhaps find out from them what traits they think they might had or needed to have had to enable them to become champions.
The function, which includes drinks and canapés, starts at 6.30pm, although there are only limited tickets left available. These can be purchased by contacting Monique at MNZ. The cost is $30 per person and are only available until May 15.
The Friday night welcome function will be the perfect lead-in to festivities on Saturday night which will include the induction of new members into the MNZ Hall of Fame.
As a country, New Zealand has boxed well above its weight on the world stage and, although motorcycling is perhaps considered a minority sport in this small part of the world, literally dozens of Kiwi riders have won at the ultimate level of their chosen codes and command enormous respect internationally.
At an occasion not to be missed, some of the current crop of intrepid Kiwi riders will be recognised and honoured by their peers in Wellington in less than two weeks' time.
Details of all Hall of Fame Members can be found at this link: https://www.mnz.co.nz/hall-of-fame
Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan
THE BONDS GROW STRONGER
Motorcycling New Zealand president Glen Williams (left) with Motorcycling Australia's general manager Peter Doyle.
MARCH 30, 2016: The spirit of co-operation between Motorcycling New Zealand and trans-Tasman neighbours Motorcycling Australia continues to grow.
Motorcycling New Zealand (MNZ) president Glen Williams managed to catch up with Motorcycling Australia (MA) general manager Peter Doyle when he was over in Sydney for a recent holiday break.
"It was convenient timing, as the second round of the Yamaha Motor Finance Superbike Championship was being held just two hours' drive south of Sydney, at Wakefield Park," Williams explained.
"The meeting with Peter reinforced the developing bond between Motorcycling Australia and Motorcycling New Zealand, and further recognises the strong similarities between the two FIM affiliated Oceania organisations.
"New Zealand and Australia are exposed to many of the same challenges in both the on-road and off-road sectors," he said.
"Challenges include things like ever-improved safety measures needing to be met and the establishment of structures within our organisations that allow new riders to become involved while also providing pathways for riders to develop.”
The two men both agreed that identifying and maintaining sustainable commercial partnerships within the sport of motorcycling that provide benefits to all parties was an important ingredient for the futures of both groups.
They further agreed that the potential to provide an improve trans-Tasman pathway for riders between our countries was certainly something that both organisations would be welcoming and fostering.”
If any MNZ riders are wanting to head across the Tasman Sea to Australia or would like information on any upcoming events – they should contact the MNZ office on 07-8287852.
Kiwi riders who have already seen the advantage of mixing it up with Australia's best include just-crowned New Zealand superbike champion Sloan Frost, from Wellington, and Christchurch's Ryan Hampton.
Frost and Hampton finished fifth and sixth respectively in the premier superbike class at Wakefield Park at the weekend.
In recent times, New Zealand motocross riders such as Cody Cooper, Kayne Lamont, Ben Townley and Hamish Harwood have also crossed the Tasman to tackle the Australian nationals.
And the "hopping across the ditch" has not just been one-way traffic, with road-racers such as Alex Phillis, Linden Magee, Robbie Bugden, Troy Guenther and Dan Stauffer, to list just a handful, and motocross racers such as Kirk Gibbs, Dean Ferris, Todd Waters, Jay Wilson and Jed Beaton, to name a few, seeing the benefits of racing in New Zealand in recent years.
Long may this friendly rivalry and co-operation continue.
Credit: Words by Andy McGechan,
SPORT'S GOVERNING BODIES WORKING MORE CLOSELY TOGETHER
CAPTION: Motorcycling New Zealand president Glen Williams (left) with Motorcycling Australia officials Simon Maas and Peter Doyle at Hampton Downs at the weekend.
MARCH 8, 2016: If it's true that two heads are better than one, then surely if two national governing bodies join forces, the benefits can be massive.
Motorcycling New Zealand and Motorcycling Australia are currently enjoying a new spirit of co-operation, the likes of which has only rarely been seen before to such a degree, and both parties stand to benefit hugely.
Motorcycling New Zealand president Glen Williams met with Motorcycling Australia officials Simon Maas, the MA Superbikes Operations and Safety Delegate, and newly-appointed MA Director of Sport Peter Doyle at Hampton Downs at the weekend and they discussed strategies that could benefit both organisations and both countries.
"The (world governing body of motorcycling) FIM is placing more faith in the regions now and Australia and New Zealand are the main players in the Oceania region," said Doyle, who had previously worked in international race team management and most recently as the National Technical Officer for Motorcycling Australia.
"We have gone through a lot of changes with personnel at Motorcycling Australia and the FIM is now giving us more responsibility as a separate federation.
"It is a no-brainer that Australia and New Zealand should work closely together."
Williams said a lot of work had been done to set up closer co-operation between Australia and New Zealand and both federations will be able to "move forward" in all disciplines.
"We have seen what things were and what they can be in the future and have put the building blocks in place. We will be more proactive than reactive," said Williams.
All three men agreed that much could be shared and learned from one another.
Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan
HALL OF FAME THE HIGHEST HONOUR
FEBRUARY 9, 2016: Winning a national title may be the dream of many motorcycle racers, but being inducted into Motorcycling New Zealand's Hall of Fame is surely the ultimate accolade.
In a bid to throw a brighter spotlight on the Hall of Fame, Motorcycling New Zealand (MNZ) is launching a new Hall of Fame section on its web site, a space that will feature information about and photographs of the existing Hall of Fame members – Len Perry, Hugh Anderson, Ronnie Moore, Shayne King, Ivan Mauger, Graeme Crosby, Ginger Molloy and Rod Coleman – and also highlight those whom are added in the future.
The announcement of inductees into the MNZ Hall of Fame had previously been included in the big motorcycling awards dinner, last held in May 2014, in association with the New Zealand Motorcycle Trader magazine.
"The MNZ Hall of Fame acknowledges outstanding performances by members of our organisation, so that their achievements in the sport are recognised and not forgotten and so that they can perhaps also inspire future generations," said MNZ general manager of operations Vicky Hicks.
"We have now taken the Hall of Fame and have expanded on it. We have created categories for the MNZ Hall of Fame. There categories highlight outstanding ambassadors of New Zealand motorcycle sport or industry; road racing, off-road racing, design and engineering, leadership and motorcycle rights advocacy and contributors in speciality competitions."
The MNZ Hall of Fame can have inductees twice a year, if the MNZ board sees fit, one being at the AGM, held in May each year, and the other being during the first week of December.
MNZ this year marks its 100 years of existence and will celebrate this at Te Papa, in Wellington, over the weekend of May 20-22.
There is no shortage of worthy nominees to the Hall of Fame as every year that goes by produces golden moments in the sport and, with support always from MNZ, Kiwi riders continue to branch out and compete with great success overseas.
Last year, for example, Orewa road-racer Avalon Biddle won the FIM European Women's Cup section of the European Junior Cup competition earlier this year, beating the elite female racers from throughout Europe and gaining recognition in New Zealand too when she was named on the short-list for the prestigious Halberg Awards, while Hamilton motocross rider Josiah Natzke finished runner-up in the European 125cc motocross championships.
A lot of work goes on behind the scenes in motorcycling too, with those individuals much less likely to receive any public recognition.
"We are calling for nominations to the MNZ Hall of Fame as we know there are many deserving sportspeople not yet among our current list of Hall of Fame honourees," said Hicks.
"To rebuild the MNZ Hall of Fame and to have created a dedicated section for it on our website is very important to MNZ and probably more so in the year that we celebrate 100 years of our sport," she said.
The opportunity to be honoured in the Hall of Fame is extended to those well beyond just the sport's top competitors or international stars, with team managers, bike tuners, mechanics, event organisers and promoters, designers, manufacturers, distributors, dealers, journalists, photographers, artists and officials also in line for acknowledgment and appreciation.
There are many and varied components and numerous individuals who have worked over the years to make this sporting code great and MNZ believes recognition and celebration of those contributions deserves to be spotlighted.
Visit www.mnz.co.nz on the internet for further information.
Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan
The Dakar 2016 Calendar : Follow it on http://www.dakar.com/dakar/2016/us/calendar.html
The countdown to the Dakar is underway and the whole off-road rally family will soon be reunited!
Before they embark upon the Argentine route, competitors in the 2016 edition will follow a tight schedule combining physical preparation, mechanical fine-tuning and logistical adjustments. The following deadlines are not to be missed:
As with the 2015 edition, administrative and technical checks will be carried out at the Tecnópolis exhibition centre to the north-west of Buenos Aires. Two days of festivities for the public and two final days of preparation for the teams.
Podium, Prologue and night at the “light bivouac” in Rosario
1st stage of the Rally
Rest day in Salta
Finish in Rosario
At the end of the race’s 13 stages and this extraordinary adventure, the most dauntless competitors will climb on the podium in Rosario, in front of the “Monumento de la Bandera” (National Flag Memorial), one of the symbols of Argentina, which played host to the start of the Dakar in 2014.
AMCC’s Avalon Biddle wins the 2015 European Women’s Championship:
Four years of European competition came to a climax for Auckland
Motorcycle Club member, Avalon Biddle, when she secured the 2015
European Women’s Cup title last weekend at Jerez in Spain.
With just one round remaining this coming weekend in France, Biddle has
an unassailable points lead, following five wins (Aragon, Donington,
Portimao, Misano & Jerez), and two DNF’s, in the seven races to date.
Running as part of the European Junior Cup, in support of the World
Superbike Championship, the result came on the eve of Biddle’s 23rd
Having started riding at age 5 in mini motocross, Biddle’s racing career
took off when she started in Auckland Motorcycle Club miniature
road-race at the Mt Wellington Kart Club circuit in 2006, quickly
followed by Streetstock and 125GP.
Since that time she has been a regular competitor in both the Auckland
Motorcycle Club Summer Series, and the New Zealand National Road-Race
Twice runner-up in the National 125GP category, Biddle has won both the
NZ Grand Prix and NZ Tourist Trophy titles in this class.
More recently her summer focus has been on the 600’s, however for the
2014-2015 National Championships she accepted an invitation to compete
in Superlite, and delivered a National title on the Yamaha R450 of
road-race commissioner Greg Percival.
2012 was Biddle’s first season in Europe. Based in Italy and competing
in the Italian Women’s Championship, Biddle secured a fine second
placing Overall, on a Honda CBR600RR.
2013 proved more challenging; and for 2014 Biddle reverted to the Moto3
class, still running in the Italian CIV. It was a development year for
the brand-new Rumi Moto3 machine, but valuable experience was gained,
and tangible progress was made with both the engine and chassis of the
250cc four-stroke weapon.
For 2015, the lure of the European Women’s Cup led to Biddle’s first
International Championship victory.
On the world stage, in a one-make class (running Honda CBR650F’s),
Biddle has been the class of the Women’s field in 2015, setting a
benchmark for fellow Auckland Motorcycle Club members, and the wider New
Zealand road-race community, to emulate.
‘It’s a long shot for a Kiwi to win a motorcycling championship in
Europe, which is the mecca for our form of racing. There are few people
who have done it, (with one being my boyfriend Jake Lewis who won the
European Junior Cup title in 2013). He’s supported me massively this
year, as well as ex-pat Kiwi MotoGP racer, Simon Crafar.
These guys inspired me - and in turn I hope I can inspire other Kiwis
and females to persist in following their dreams, no matter the
obstacles or criticism they face along the way.
I’ve been racing for 10 years now so it’s a long road to get here.’
Avalon – September 2015
2015 European Women’s Cup Champion
New Zealand’s Avalon Biddle of Orewa.
Credit: Dave Jackson
How about this for a Vintage treat?
Hampton Downs Motor race circuit changes hands to Tony Quinn.
Quinn excited by Hampton Downs’ potential to complement Highlands
Tony Quinn, the owner of Highlands Motorsport Park, is excited about seeing the full potential of his recently-acquired Hampton Downs facility realised over the next 16 months, and how it will complement his existing motorsport venue in Central Otago.
Quinn confirms that the purchase of the north Waikato race track and its surrounding 150 hectares was completed on 2 June as scheduled and is already progressing plans to undertake a number of projects which will see the facility completed as per its original plans and re-launched with a major international event in November 2016.
“I’ve been sharing some of my plans with Hampton’s managing director Tony Roberts, operations manager Gary Stirling, and business and marketing manager Claire Gullidge, who are all staying in their existing roles for at least six months,” Quinn says. “What I’ve asked them to do over the next week or so is write down all the things we should be doing that will make a practical benefit to the park, its operation, and look and feel, so we can get all these things going.”
Quinn then intends to have tender documents produced fairly quickly for the bigger projects, such as the construction of corporate suites and a control tower above the pit-lane garages, a go-kart track, a second skid pan and a track extension which will add a kilometre to the existing 2.8km layout, so quotes can be obtained and contracts issued over the winter for work to start in spring.
“There are four or five different projects which can all be tackled by different contractors at the same time without affecting the day-to-day track operation. There’ll be a flurry of activity when spring sets in and I expect a fair bit of finished work by Christmas and into early New Year.
“There are a couple of important things I want people to be clear on. Firstly, I don’t want people to confuse Hampton Downs with Highlands. Highlands is a totally separate business model to Hampton’s – Highlands is a tourist venue that caters to tourists year round with a small number of high profile motorsport events each year. Hampton Downs is an absolute flat-out race track. It’s used 330 days of the year for racing, corporate days, testing and the like. That will continue.
“Secondly, the track is absolutely open for business now and will continue to be; nothing’s going to change. Anyone that’s got a booking now, that’s fine. All the projects we’re doing are outside the normal day-to-day operation of the track, but people will start to see the new facilities being completed and used as we head into next year and the GT extravaganza we have planned as the park’s re-launch in November 2016.”
Quinn stresses his desire to complete Hampton Downs the way it was originally intended to create a world-class motorsport park that complements Highlands.
“I was excited, like everyone else, when Hampton Downs was first talked about and Chris Watson and Tony Roberts embarked on this ambitious plan to build a fantastic facility on the outskirts of Auckland, in the rolling hills of North Waikato. It seemed like an idyllic project within easy reach of Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton. I want to finish it properly and it’s going to be an exciting project.”
“In about 16 months’ time it’s going to be a truly fantastic facility to visit and there’s no doubt that Hampton Downs and Highlands are going to be the two best tracks in New Zealand. If we have any international categories here, it would be sensible to expose them to fans at both Hampton and Highlands.
“Already we’ve told our Highlands’ members that they are most welcome to use Hampton Downs as one of their membership privileges, and we will also introduce memberships at Hampton Downs that will give members certain privileges including access to a pretty fancy members’ lounge where members and their partners can mix and mingle and enjoy the premier status of being a member.
“There’s another thing to remember – Claire has a great saying that Hampton Downs is a friendly track. Everyone’s got different things that they want to do at the circuit, and the role of Hampton’s staff and the facility itself is be friendly and accommodate what people want to do.
“We just ran a competition in Australia amongst our 900 staff asking them to give us some ideas what we should do with some of the facilities – it was amazing, we got about 40 fantastic ideas that we’re now working on. We want to listen to people’s suggestions for Hampton Downs, so what we’re saying to people and to staff tell us what you think would be a good idea, what would work, if it’s practical and doable, we’ll do it.”
More news about the developments at Hampton Downs will be shared on the park’s website www.hamptondowns.com and Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/hamptondowns in coming months.
A message from Glen Williams, President of MNZ - Dear Life Members of Motorcycling New Zealand.
To those life members that were able to attend this year’s AGM Thank you. I offer a further welcome to this year’s new members, Sandra Perry, Trevor Heaphy, Del Morgan and Dave Craig. The late Kevin McCleary was also re-instated as a life member.
I was very pleased to be part of a special meeting with many of you on the Friday afternoon of this year’s AGM where Life Members and the current board were able to speak openly and discuss matters in an open forum together. Your opinions are valued and they carry a great deal of weight with myself and our board.
For those Life members unable to attend, we would hope that we will get to meet at some point soon – or as part of the 2016 AGM when we will all celebrate the 100th Year of our organization.
Please do not hesitate to raise any matters as and when they might arise directly with myself, I make a promise to you that I will do my best to provide a response. Vicky Hicks at our Huntly office is also available to assist with any operational questions that you might have.
Please find below a Newsletter update on the AGM and recent matters from the office.
Motorcycling New Zealand
(Personal contact details Email firstname.lastname@example.org, Mobile Ph 021 718240)
Announcement of the voting results were made at the AGM on Sunday 24th May 2015. Glen Williams was elected President of Motorcycling New Zealand, this is a two year term for Glen. Seth Devereux was successful in the role of South Island Road Board member, this is a two year term.
Carmen Davidson stood unopposed in the role of North Island Off Road Board Member, also a two year term.
Congratulations goes to these three members, who re-join/join Noel May (South Island Off Road Board Member), Dean James (South Island Representative) and Ray Broad (North Island Representative) to form the Board.
There is one remaining vacant position on the Board, Road North Island, as Glen Williams vacated that position when becoming successful as the MNZ President. The Board will discuss this position at their next meeting and look at the best way to full the position, as per the Constitution.
New Life Members
On Sunday 24th May at the MNZ AGM Motorcycling New Zealand had four new Life Members, we are proud to include Sandra Perry, Dave Craig, Del Morgan and Trevor Heaphy to our esteemed Life Members. The late Kevin McCleary was also reinstated as a Life Member.
Congratulations goes to our new Life Members who have had many years of contribution and dedication to the sport of Motorcycling.
MNZ Conference & AGM
Over the weekend of 22nd to 24th May 2015 the MNZ Conference and AGM was held in Queenstown, this was well attended with Life Members, Board, Commissioners and 40 Clubs being represented as well as the Club delegates most also had observers it was also pleasing to also have some other (licence holders & officials) members attend.
We take this opportunity to thank everyone for attending, we know that being at the Conference/AGM takes you away from work, family and in some cases even competing, the Conference/AGM is such an important event on the Motorcycling calendar and again we thank you for your attendance.
Friday was the MNZ presentations with the Board Acting President, Glen Williams, advising those in attendance of the Board Governance Model that they are now working to and the training that has been undertaken around Governance. Vicky Hicks, GMO, presented the 2015 Budget, explaining that Motorcycling New Zealand is currently in a healthy financial position turning a expected loss in 2014 into a profit which goes back into the sport, that turn around was due to a very slight increase in income (against budget) and some prudent decisions made by the Operations & Board not to spend in some areas. The budget is continually revised through out the year.
In 2015 we are expecting another loss of $89,000, however this will be monitored very carefully.
Vicky Hicks, also provided a presentation on Health & Safety, notes to this will be provided and placed on our website in the next few days.
Also discussed was the 100 year celebrations, a Committee is being put in place and they will work together to prepare for the Celebrations. See the work that has already been completed by Ian Dawson creating the history of Motorcycling New Zealand by clicking HERE
Saturday was a full day of Commissioner Workshops, notes to these workshops will be available on our website within the week.
Sunday started with the Officials Workshop, notes to this will be available within the week.
The formal Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Motorcycling New Zealand was then held, the draft minutes to the AGM will be available within the week.
Of note for members is the following:
The minutes of the last meeting were made with some small alterations.
The financial statements were accepted as read.
The subscriptions for the new season were announced, there are some increases as follows:
Senior and Junior increase to $225
Mini, Moto Trials & ATV increase to $175
Increase to $125
The proposed remits, some with changes were accepted at the AGM, please see the amended Constitution that outlines all of the changes (bold and underlined). These have been submitted to the Incorporated Societies for approval of change.
Constitution effective 26 May 2015
2014 Awards were made at the AGM
Club of the Year – Mosgiel District Motorcycle Club
Administrator of the Year – Ian Dawson
Innovation & Technology Award (Presented by Neil Ritchie) – Christchurch Off Road Motorcycle Club
Chief Governing Officer (CGO)
At the conclusion of the AGM the Board met, Carmen Davidson has been appointed as the CGO. As per the changes to the Constitution the CGO helps the Board be true to its group and individual commitments, if necessary forces the GB to confront itself, and ensures the GB efficiently get its job done. The CGO acts as a liaison between the Board and the GMO of MNZ. The CGO may act as a mentor and counsel to the GMO, ensuring they always reflect written Board policies. (To avoid any doubt the CGO has no authority to direct or supervise the GMO, this authority belongs solely with the GB).
2015-2016 Licence Season
All MNZ Licences expire on the 30th June 2015, however it is our intention to start renewing licences on Monday 8th June 2015, prior to this all current licence members will receive notification that your licence can be renewed. We are very aware of some areas the postal going down to three days a week, therefore encourage you to renew your licence early to prevent having to purchase a One Event Licence at events.
We do provide a courier service for those who require it, there is an additional cost of $10 main centres $14 rural delivery. You must indicate that you require your licence couriered to you at the time of application.
Battle of the Clubs
Entry Forms are available for Clubs to enter the Battle of the Clubs to take place in Taupo on the 27th June 2015.
The event is a fundraising event to assist the team to attend the 2015 Motocross of Nations to be held in Ernee, France on the 26th & 27th September 2015. The event is proudly hosted and organised by the Taupo Motorcycle Club
The Club based teams consist of six riders, three juniors and three seniors competing on 85cc, 125cc 250cc and 450cc machines. Each rider rides twice with the two worst results dropped so only ten of the twelve results are counted. Last years winters were the South Waikato Motorcycle Club, previous winners have Pukekohe, Bay of Plenty and the hosts Taupo (twice).
To download an Entry Form please click HERE
Dion Wiremu Apology
At a training course held by Motorcycling New Zealand Inc. on 15/16 September 2014, Jim Tuckerman, who was President of Motorcycling New Zealand Inc. at that time, made comments about Mr Dion Wiremu, the President of the Canterbury Mini Motocross Club.
Those comments were unjustified and are unreservedly withdrawn. Jim Tuckerman has never met Mr Wiremu. Jim Tuckerman and Motorcycling New Zealand sincerely apologise to Mr Wiremu for those comments.
Craig Tonkin has left his role, Marketing & Sponsorship Co ordinator, effective immediately. We are currently re-visiting the role and the requirements of MNZ in this area, you will be kept up to date around this role
Victory Motorcycles to Race Prototype Electric Motorcycle at the Isle of Man TT Races
MEDINA, Minn., USA (May 12, 2015) - Victory Motorcycles is announcing their intention to race at the 2015 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy on a Victory electric race prototype motorcycle.
The prototype electric race bikes will be piloted by William Dunlop of the legendary Dunlop dynasty and by Lee Johnston known in the racing world as "General Lee".
Victory Racing will compete in the Isle of Man TT electric class, marking the first time that Victory Motorcycles has entered a professional motorcycle-racing event in Europe and raced an electric motorcycle. Parker, the world's leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, is providing the race-proven, high performance GVM PMAC motors for both machines.
"The entire Victory team is excited to make history with this effort," said Rod Krois, Victory General Manager. "We know that William Dunlop's experience and the continued Victory Motorcycles development of this electric race bike through work with Parker will propel us into a strong future with electric motorcycles."
The SES TT Zero Challenge class event for electric motorcycles is a one-lap race round the island's 37.73 mile Mountain Course scheduled for Wednesday, June 10, 2015.
"I'm more than excited to race this prototype at the Isle of Man," said William Dunlop. "Electric powertrains have many advantages, and the Isle of Man is one of the greatest tests in motorcycle racing."
Lee Johnston will be riding the second entry for Victory Racing in the SES TT Zero Race and said, "I'm excited to make history by racing the new Victory electric race prototype. It's thrilling to be part of the emerging electric motorcycle movement."
Ben Furnish, Marketing Manager for Parker Hannifin said, "Parker is thrilled to be involved with Victory Motorcycles in this historic event with these talented riders. We look forward to working with Victory to develop high performance powertrains for electric motorcycles. "
The Victory Racing prototype electric race bike features a dedicated electric racing motor and power cells as well as highly sophisticated electric controls to maximize the top power, power delivery, and durability under racing conditions. Victory engineers have further refined the electronics and chassis for the upcoming race with private test sessions in North America.
Victory Motorcycles will host a continuous news feed of updates and photos from the Isle of Man TT and will have more information available on the Victory electric prototype race bike at www.VictoryMotorcycles.com. Be sure to follow Victory on Twitter @VictoryBikes and on Facebook at facebook.com/VictoryMotorcycles for additional updates. To learn more about Parker and their production version of the GVM traction motors visit http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eparker%2Ecom%2Fhev.
About Victory Motorcycles
|Friday 8th May 2015|
Isle of Man TT Mountain Course Tribute for Geoff Duke
Geoff Duke's final lap of the TT will take place this weekend, ahead of a private family funeral next week.
Geoff, who won seven races on the Mountain Course in a stellar career that included six World Champion titles, passed away on the 1st of May at the age of 92.
A hearse carrying his coffin willdepart the Grandstand at 2.30pm on Sunday (10th May) to complete a final tour of the circuit where he made his name, and gave so many fans such pleasure with his successes.
David Cretney MLC, a former MGP competitor, will wave the flag to start the hearse on its journey.
Geoff's sons, Peter and Mike, will follow on motorbikes while other family members will join the lap in cars.
The family would welcome any fans who would like to pay their last respects to Geoff to join them for the lap*.
Speaking ahead of the procession Geoff's eldest son Peter said 'Mike and I think dad would have really appreciated a last run around the course. It's not going to be 10mph cortege, we'll stick to the speed limits but we're going to open it up a bit over the Mountain. Dad would definitely have liked that.'
Peter added 'Anyone who wants to come and join us for the ride will be made welcome. It's not exclusively for bikes; Dad was as handy in a car as he was on two-wheels so if it's got wheels, bring it along!'
Geoff's TT victories, first for Norton and later Gilera, helped to secure his place as a household name in the 1950s, becoming the first true superstar of motorcycle racing.
Reflecting the importance of Geoff's place in post-war motorsport, national newspapers including the London Times, Daily Telegraph and The Guardian have all carried obituaries.
Further afield Fox Sports and CycleWorld in America, and Australian, Italian, German, Spanish and French newspapers, magazines and websites have carried tributes to 'The Duke'.
Spectators at the MotoGP round at Jerez paid tribute to the former champion during a minutes silence last Sunday, and TV coverage of the event showed a special film showing some of Geoff's career highlights.
A further obituary with tributes from son Peter will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4's 'Last Word' programme at 4.00pm on Friday (8th May).
Locally, Manx Radio will air a special tribute programme featuring archive audio of an interview conducted by the 'Voice of the TT' Geoff Cannell from 1987
The Manx Radio tribute will be available to listen again on Manx Radio's website for a week after broadcast.
Douglas Borough Council have also confirmed that flags on buildings in the town will be lowered to half-mast on the day of the funeral. Geoff was awarded the freedom of the borough in 2003.
Geoff's family have asked that any donations in Geoff's memory are made to the TT Riders Association, c/o Frances Thorp, Mountain View, Glen Maye, IM5 3BJ
JUST Received, OFFICIAL Notification from Ultra Marathon Cycling Association (UMCA)
Age Group 60-69 years, Colin Wal Anderson from Palmerston North, New Zealand
Go to News.asp for more details
2012 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, just announced with some legends being inducted. Of particular interest to Tim Gibbes is the induction of Brian Slark, highlighted further down. Brian worked at the AMC Competitions Department when I was with AMC working & riding MX, scrambles, trials & enduro. He certainly has progressed since then making his mark in the motorcycling world.
Seven historic figures took their places among motorcyclings greatest legends Friday, Nov. 16, at the 2012 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by KTM.
The ceremony is part of the American Motorcyclist Association Legends Weekend, powered by Paul Thede's Race Tech, held at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa.
Hosted by actor motorcyclist Perry King, the event honored the Hall of Fame Class of 2012: the late Rod Bush, KTM North America president and industry visionary; world championship roadracing tuner Nobby Clark; off-road racing champion Ty Davis; 1975 AMA Supercross Champion Jimmy Ellis; pioneering female motocrosser Sue Fish; world-class bike restorer Brian Slark; and the late iconic race starter Al Wilcox.
In addition to the class of 2012, the induction ceremony recognized the outstanding careers of two existing Hall of Famers as Hall of Fame Legends: 1998 inductees Mert Lawwill and Malcolm Smith. Harley-Davidson Motor Co., honored Lawwill's recognition, while Tucker Rocky/Riders' Choice sponsored Smith. Troy Lee Designs honored filmmaker and Hall of Fame member Bruce Brown, the director of the 1970 film "On Any Sunday," which featured Lawwill and Smith.
Kawasaki Motors Corporation, U.S.A. was the sponsor for the dinner that preceded the gala ceremony. Jeffrey V. Heininger, chairman of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which oversees the Hall of Fame, welcomed a sold-out crowd to the dinner and ceremony, voicing appreciation for their support.
"Tonight, we induct some of motorcycling's best and brightest into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, Heininger said. Those of us gathered here tonight strive to make the Hall of Fame the best it can be: An institution of excellence that mirrors the remarkable accomplishments of our inductees."
The 2012 inductees were honored with videos chronicling their careers, induction speeches and the presentation of their official Hall of Fame rings, sponsored by Zero Motorcycles. In addition to the honorees, several luminaries from the world of motorcycling participated in the ceremony.
"We're a community that embraces the past, honors the men and women who have brought us to the present, and races ahead to an exciting future - largely unknown to us now - and we do it all with a zest for life that is second to none," said King. "Tonight we recognize a group of men and women who have been an important part of that evolution, the Hall of Fame Class of 2012."
The AMA Legends Weekend, powered by Paul Thede's Race Tech, continues on Saturday, Nov. 17, with the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Dave Mungenast Memorial Concours d'Elegance bike show, featuring some of the country's most amazing restored and original motorcycles.
Also at the event, the boards of directors of the AMHF and the AMA held a joint meeting to discuss the Hall of Fame balloting process.
The boards heard a report from a task force made up of Motorcycle Industry Council Chairman Larry Little, Ray Mungenast of the Dave Mungenast Classic Motorcycle Museum and Mungenast Automotive Group in St. Louis, and Ken Ford, a member of both the AMA and AMHF boards. The task force evaluated the current balloting process, and submitted a report with recommendations for the boards to consider going forward.
The late Rod Bush helped establish and grow KTM North America and served as company president from 1987 until his death in 2005.
Born July 6, 1955, in Huntington, W.Va., Bush rode his first hare scrambles in 1970 and three years later opened a Penton dealership in Parkersburg, W.Va., with his father. In 1976, Bush started working for Penton Imports as a sales representative. In 1978, Bush left Penton Imports to help form KTM America, later KTM North America, with Jack Lehto.
Bush took the position of KTM North America president in 1987 when the company was selling about 2,500 motorcycles a year. When Bush died in 2005, KTM North America sold approximately 28,000 units annually and had 140 employees.
Bush was represented at the induction ceremony by his wife Cheri Bush and daughter Stacy Bush.
"It is with tremendous pride and joy for our family to see Rod be inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame," said Cheri Bush, after she accepted Rod Bush's Hall of Fame ring on his behalf. "The outpouring of love, support and friendship that is in this room is unbelievable. Rod would have been so honored and humbled to receive such recognition from his peers."
Derek "Nobby" Clark
Derek "Nobby" Clark's was a member of winning race teams that claimed 17 FIM world titles in multiple displacements from the 1960s through 1980.
For 25 years, Clark was one of the world's leading motorcycle race mechanics. In addition to the Grand Prix world titles, earned in classes ranging from 50cc to 500cc, he helped win three Daytona 200s, one Daytona 100, four Imola 200s and eight Italian championships working with some of the greatest motorcycle racers in history.
Clark, born Sept. 29, 1936, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia). not only excelled at the highest level, tuning for some of history's greatest racers, but also worked with racing's most memorable personalities, including Hall of Famers Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini and Roberts.
"I would like to thank everybody who supported me for the Hall of Fame," Clark said. "It's a pleasure to be honored in this way. I've very humbled to be here tonight. I've been privileged to have motorcycles in my life."
Ty Davis, born April 5, 1969, in Hesperia, Calif., is one of the most-versatile off-road motorcycle racers in the history of American competition. He has won amateur and professional titles in motocross, hare scrambles, AMA Supercross, AMA National Hare & Hound and AMA National Enduro. He has won the Baja 1000 four times and has been the top American rider at the International Six Days Enduro six times.
Davis, the AMA Athlete of the Year in 1995, won the AMA National Enduro Championship in 1995 and 1999 and the AMA Hare & Hound National Hare & Hound Championship in 1997, 1998 and 2002.
Although Davis, who currently runs Zip-Ty Racing Products, is mostly remembered as an off-road racer, one of his most high-profile titles was in 1990, when he won the AMA 125cc West Regional Supercross Championship over future Hall of Famer Jeremy McGrath.
"I feel that I am a pretty lucky guy," Davis said. "I have experienced a lot and seen a lot and have been with, and met, some of the biggest names in our industry. I would like to thank the AMA and the voting staff for honoring me as a Hall of Famer, and I want to thank my friends and family for being here tonight. "
The heyday of Can-Am's factory motocross campaign is forever connected to the outstanding career of Jimmy Ellis. Born Oct. 19, 1955, in Middletown, Conn., Ellis started racing in New England in the 1960s, and by the time he joined the Can-Am factory team, he had won seven New England championships.
In 1974, riding the works 250 Can-Am, he finished third for the 250cc national title, collecting two overall wins. In 1975, Ellis won the AMA Supercross 250cc championship by sweeping the four-round series, punctuated by a dominant victory in the high-profile finale at the L.A. Coliseum.
Ellis continued to give Can-Am top finishes through the 1977 season, after which Honda snapped him up for its U.S. factory team. Ellis was a contender on the national circuit for a few more years-finishing second to future Hall of Famer Bob Hannah for the 250cc national championship in 1978. He transitioned into retirement during the 1981-82 seasons.
"I want to thank the AMA and the Hall of Fame, Jeff Smith, Tom White, Mom and Dad, my family, my partner Vicky," Ellis said. "Being on this podium is like winning the Los Angeles Coliseum Supercross in 1975! Thank you!"
Sue Fish was born Nov. 9, 1958. Her father, who competed in dirt track and hare scrambles, taught her how to ride when she was 11. By 14, she started racing, winning her first race that year.
At age 19, Fish advanced to the AMA Pro Racing national circuit. In addition to dominating the female ranks, having won the 1976 and 1977 Women's National Motocross Championships, Fish, who currently lives in Santa Barbara, Calif., was one of the first women motocross racers to hold a professional racing license from the AMA and compete regularly against men.
Known by the nickname, "The Flying Fish," she raced in the AMA 125cc National Motocross Championship. Fish put her talents to work on the big screen as well, working as a Hollywood stuntwoman. Her credits include "Terminator" and "Footloose." She also traveled as part of Evel Knievel's stunt show in Australia.
"It is a surreal experience to be recognized for simply doing what I love," Fish said. "And to this day, feel most passionate about riding and racing motorcycles. I would like to thank my family and friends for giving me support I needed to able to have pursued my dreams. I am humbled to be among my heroes and the legends of our industry."
Brian Slark, who was born in London, England, on Feb. 2, 1938, was a moving force in the creation of a vibrant motocross-racing community in the United States in the 1960s.
Slark helped organize motocross tracks, promoting the sport by teaching famous people-including then-teen heartthrob Bobby Darin-to ride motorcycles and importing and building Rickman Metisse and Cheney motocrossers.
Slark later helped the late-Dave Mungenast, who is a member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, create a motorcycle museum in St. Louis. Slark also helped create the world-class Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Leeds, Ala.
"First and foremost, I would like to thank my wife, Dian, who is always supportive and buys me motorcycles, how cool is that!" said Slark, as he accepted his honor. "I'd also like to thank Bud Ekins, for giving me the opportunity to come to this wonderful country; Nick Nicholson, who gave me motorbikes to ride and inspired me to ride the ISDT; Dave Mungenast Sr., a mentor and a friend; and last but not least, George Barber, who gave me the opportunity to be part of creating a world-class museum."
Born in Trenton, N.J., in 1919, the late Al Wilcox began riding motorcycles in 1936 and began racing in 1947, but he is known to most of the racing community as the iconic race starter "Airborne Al."
Wilcox's race career spanned 19 years-from 1947 to 1966. Not only did he do well as a speedway racer for four years, but Wilcox also finished well in TT, dirt-track and even hare scrambles races over the course of his long career.
Wilcox, who passed away in 2011, began flagging races in 1959 and increased his flagging duties after ending his racing career. He flagged the famed Daytona 200 motorcycle race for many years with AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame flagger Duke Pennell. He became known as "Airborne Al" because of his unique flagging style that involved jumping up in the air at the end of a race.
Wilcox was represented at the induction ceremony by friend Roger Lyle.
"During his racing career, Al went to the starting line over 3,000 times," Lyle said, as he accepted the honor on Wilcox's behalf. "He was the 'starter to the stars' for 52 years. Al Wilcox touched the lives of everyone who had the pleasure to meet and speak with him about his passion for motorcycles and the racers who put it on the line."
Hall of Fame Legend Mert Lawwill
This year, the induction ceremony honored famed national dirt-tracker Mert Lawwill as an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend.
Lawwill, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998, was one of the top professionals on the AMA national circuit during the 1960s and 1970s. He was the 1969 AMA Grand National champion and "On Any Sunday" chronicled his bid to defend his title during the 1970 racing season. By the time Lawwill hung up his racing leathers in 1977, he had amassed an incredible 161 career AMA Grand National finishes during his 15-year racing career.
Lawwill went on to become one of the top motorcycle racing frame designers and builders. He then used his expertise to create custom racing mountain bikes that won numerous national and world titles, as well as prosthetic devices to enable amputees to ride motorcycles and bicycles.
Lawwill thanked a number of people who contributed to his career, particularly Malcolm Smith, Bruce Brown and Steve McQueen, telling a story about a time he crushed his hand seemingly beyond repair and McQueen helped him find a doctor and paid his medical bills to have it fixed.
"I also want to thank everyone who came out tonight," Lawwill said. "I really appreciate being recognized as a Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend."
Hall of Fame Legend Malcolm Smith
Off-road racing icon Malcolm Smith was also honored as an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend this year.
Smith, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998, was a pioneer in off-road motorcycling. He earned early fame for his accomplishments in the Baja 1000 and for his gold-medal winning rides in International Six Day Enduro competitions.
His reputation extended beyond the motorcycling community when he appeared in "On Any Sunday." The scenes of Smith and Lawwill play riding with popular actor Steve McQueen showed non-motorcyclists across the country just how fun motorcycling could be. The movie helped launch an explosion in the popularity of off-road motorcycling in America.
Smith went on to become a successful businessman with his Malcolm Smith Motorsports motorcycle dealership in Riverside, Calif. Today, Smith is also revered as one of the leading charitable supporters in the motorcyclist industry.
In accepting his honor, Smith thanked a number of people who had an impact on his career, including Bruce Brown, who produced "On Any Sunday."
"I had no idea that Bruce was making the most timeless motorcycle movie ever and I would have such a big role in it," Smith said. "Thank you again, Bruce!
"Many, many more people have helped me in my life. I can't thank them all or we would be here all night," Smith said. "I'll leave you with one thought. What would your life had been like if you hadn't discovered motorcycles."