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“Maxxis Tires” – Motocross History: The Defining Events That Shaped American Motocross

Comments (8)
  1. Wow Tony! I’ve been closely following U.S. Motocross since the late 70’s. This great article not only brought back a lot of memories, it taught me a lot I didn’t know as well. Thank you. This should be put into book form. I’d get a copy for my coffee table.

  2. Great article I been following Motocross my whole life great to see all the milestones I feel Pierre Karsmakers moving to America and dominatinating outdoor motocross . I believe a rule change that you had to be a US citizen to win a National title was created because of Karsmakers wins?

  3. Tony, thank you for an informative and even-handed article. A lot of moto mags on both sides of the pond are very partisan regarding the rise of Team USA in motocross which doesn’t really paint an accurate picture either in Europe or the US.
    I often wonder how Jeff Ward’s life would have turned out if his family hadn’t emigrated to the US when he was a toddler. David Thorpe also had the option of becoming a professional soccer player and by all accounts deciding between that and motocross was a tough decision for him and his family. And as I understand it Paul Malin and Jeff Emig are still great friends to this day as a result of the 1994 MXDN.
    I think more than anything it’s the aggression needed for supercross which has propelled the USA’s rise to power in motocross. I never watch MotoGP or the World Rally Championship but even a supercross race from 30 years ago has me glued to the screen.
    Also the Cold War politics you cited is very relevant; I read in a Super Hunky article about CZ in the 60s that every time East German Paul Friedrichs won them a 500cc world title, he was awarded a promotion in the East German army. And Suzuki/Yamaha were only able to build Barry Sheene’s RG500 and Kenny Roberts’ YZR because Ersnt Degner defected to the west at the 1961 Swedish road racing GP, taking with him vital two-stroke knowledge gained from being an MZ factory rider and smuggling his wife and kids out on the same weekend. Crazy times!

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