Broadford history books unlocked
Home of two Motocross Grands Prix and host to a number of many other prestigious motorcycling events over the years, Broadford is without a doubt one of the most iconic venues in Australian Motocross history.
This weekend, motocross memories will once again be made, when the MX Nationals heads to Broadford for the 10th time under the direction of Williams Event Management for round three of the 2015 series.
To celebrate returning to the iconic venue, we caught up with some of the veterans of our sport to find out what their fondest memories of Broadford are, and to remind Australia of some of the special moments that our sport has provided us with over the years!
“My fondest memory of Broadford would have to be winning the Australian 125 Championship in 1976 (laughs). Then competing in Mr Motocross – the rounds of those at Broadford just had an incredible atmosphere, they were huge and the crowds were crazy. I remember there used to be shop appearances in Myer, Grace Brothers, and Surf Dive n Ski on a Friday night before the rounds, which was really cool. I was sponsored by Myer at one stage and had a black jersey with a white ‘Myer’ logo on the front. It was pretty different back then! Things are a lot more professional now – back in those days there weren’t any trucks or full time mechanics as such, I was my own mechanic at one stage and then Gary Benn helped me out when I was doing my apprenticeship with Geoff Taylor Yamaha in Dandenong. There’s a big gumtree over on the left hand side of the track as you’re looking up the hill that was there back when I was there (laughs), so it’s pretty cool to be a part of the history of Broadford and to be heading back there all these years later.”
“I can’t tell you what year, but I have won a few Mr Motocross Championships at Broadford (being the final round) and those have always been very special memories for me. I have to share though – one of my biggest disappointments of my career was when I lost a championship at Broadford, after having a substantial lead to Ray Vandenberg in 1983. I was going for a fifth title, which was something that no one had ever managed to take out before. I lost the championship trying an up-hill double jump there, and I crashed and knocked myself out in one of the four motos, which was a pretty rough day for me (laughs). I think my most special memory of Broadford though, was watching the World Championship round in 2000. Seeing Michael Byrne and Andrew McFarlane perform so well, and to be there to witness that was very special for me.”
“My fondest memory of Broadford is without a doubt the 2000 World Motocross GP. I can still remember standing on the outside of turn one, witnessing Andrew McFarlane’s holeshot with fellow Aussie Michael Byrne behind him, and it simply sent me straight to tears of joy. Seeing our Australian riders show the world what we are made of and with the whole country behind them was very moving. Looking back on that moment, it’s what introduced Andrew McFarlane, Chad Reed and Michael Byrne to the world stage.”
“Probably the fondest memories for me were back in the Mr Motocross days in the mid eighties, when we used to have the four back to back motos. They were four 20-minute races back to back with a ten-minute break in between, so they were hard – really hard. I remember the crowds those days were astronomical – it would be three people deep all along the fence line, and the Mr Motocross days were just really special. Another memory for me was back when there used to be an event held at Broadford called the Grand Nationals. It was an hour long, one off race held each year, that pretty much everyone went to. We had to build bigger tanks for the bikes just to get the bike to last the distance and those races were always a lot of fun. I think it’s fantastic to see a traditional track like Broadford still around after all these years, and I think it’s really important to keep the history of the venue alive.”
“The first time I ever went to Broadford was in 1990; I slept in a sheep- shearing shed next door in the middle of winter, I was twelve years old, and I was absolutely freezing (laughs). So my memories of Broadford have always been up and down. I got knocked out there in 2007 pretty bad, and in 2006 I went there practicing and broke my thumb, but honestly some of the best memories of Broadford have got to be the two MX GP’s we’ve had there. One year I actually managed to get tenth in the GP, which was an amazing highlight. They had made a lot of track changes, and improvements to the venue that year so that has to be one of my favorites. To participate in a GP in your own country was pretty special. Broadford is one of the last traditional tough motocross tracks out there – it’s one of the hardest tracks to ride and it’s pretty cool that after all of these years we can still go back there with the MX Nationals. You know if you’ve won at Broadford, you’ve definitely earned it.”
The MX Nationals will make their way to Broadford for round three of the 2015 series this Sunday April 26.
Images – Ozvmx Forum