Home  »  Bike Racing  »  Features  »  Gallery  »  News  »  Videos

Photo Gallery: Aussie MX legends star at Suzuki Classic Dirt 9

Submitted by on September 11, 2012

Geoff Ballard

A star studded line up of Australian Motocross Legends were one many highlights at Suzuki Classic Dirt 9.

It was Motorsport Retro’s first trip to a Classic Dirt event and we were blown away by the atmosphere. The event was superbly organised with something for every style of rider and bike. The main track was a long, technical and hilly affair, which proved a perfect challenge for pre 1985 bikes. Those with enduro machinery sporting headlights arguably had the best of it with a well marked loop that flowed beautifully for what seemed like a 10 minute lap. Trials riders were kept busy with their own play area featuring an assortment of logs, tyres and rocks and the pre ’78 gang had a smooth loop to carve around too. And if you wanted to experience some modern weaponary, you could head over to the Suzuki tent and book yourself a ride on a brand new fuel injected RM-Z.

Ballard and LeiskBallard and Leisk

Lunch time saw interviews with some of Australia’s best loved MX heroes including Ray Vandenberg, Anthony Gunter, Geoff Ballard, Graeme Smyth, Jeff Leisk, Dean Burt, Trevor Williams and Mark Hill. It was great to hear some of their stories, the most heartbreaking was remembering that Leisk had only lost the 500cc World Championship in 1989 due to running out of fuel. The riders then took to the track for the “legend laps” and dazzled the crowd with not just their speed, but their excellent technique. Geoff Ballard proved to be ageless, keeping his Maico pinned for the duration of the session.

Classic Dirt 9Wheelie man

In the pits there was plenty of tinkering and work happening to keep the old machinery running. The Motorsport Retro crew had a great time with the usual assortment of stories. Johnos ’84 KX 250 blew a head gasket on the Friday before we even got the event, and despite their being 600 VMX enthusiasts there was not a head gasket in sight. Mitch got both his Honda XL’s running for the first time in years and then sent beginner Phil out on the enduro loop with no clutch and no brakes having forgotten to adjust them! However Phil did survive. Justins Suzuki Rm 465 did indeed rip everyones arms off, but ran sweetly all weekend and Pete enjoyed his first ever VMX event by sampling as many bikes as possible. Johnny Sport had the honour of riding Muzz’z ’82 XR 500, the old beast broke an exhaust strap and bled a little oil, but Sport stayed upright and the XR will be back for more. As for me, I sit here contemplating the next project. Im thinking something green and maybe a four stroke……see you all next year.

Motorsport Retro crewThe Motorsport Retro crew keep the XR rolling

Images: Rich Fowler & Jamie Pollack


Don't miss out! Our best stories, direct to your inbox!


Sign up now - it's free, weekly, and spam-free.