Vintage-AM International Motocross Report

April 10, 2009 4:31pm

Warren Price sent over a short report and a few photos from last weekend’s Brad Lackey Vintage AM International Motocross Competition, which took place in Texas as part of Diamond Don Rainey’s AHRMA Riverport National:

  • Gary Jones
  • Danny LaPorte
  • And they're off!
Bad Brad Lackey’s Vintage-AM International Motocross Competition brought together a group of Motocross Legends to thrill even the most stoic vintage fan. Lackey recruited four European veterans of the old Inter-Am/Trans-AMA days to compete against an American team with similar credentials. Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductee Lars Larsson of Sweden, Zdenek Velky from Czechoslovakia, Germany’s Herbert Schmitz, and 1979 World Champion Graham Noyce of Great Britain came to do some racing against the U.S. Inter-Am and Trans-AMA veterans Gary Jones, Chuck Sun, Danny LaPorte and Bill Silverthorn..

The group gathered at Diamond Don Rainey’s AHRMA Riverport National in Jefferson, Texas for the second round of the international competition. During the AHRMA Nationals the Legends gathered in a single pit area and graciously signed autographs, posed for pictures and spent hours bench racing with fans.

Their vintage bikes were a collector’s dream. Gary Jones was competing on a Honda RC480; Zdenek Velky would ride nothing but a CZ, of course. Herbert Schmitz was on a monster 490 Maico (it was offered for sale after the race). Graham Noyce, 500cc World Champion in ‘79, stepped down to a 250 Honda for this race. Danny LaPorte chose a 250 Suzuki. Bill Silverthorn was on an RM400 Suzuki; Chuck Sun had a sweet-looking 490 Maico that he was considering buying from its owner. And Lars Larsson was on a classic yellow and black Yamaha.

Gary Jones had the holeshot and led for several laps before Chuck Sun moved to the lead. But Gary had raced an earlier AHRMA race and forgot to refuel. Schmitz started dead last but moved up to second at the midway point, leading LaPorte in third place. The three pulled away with LaPorte getting past Schmitz near the end. That led to some trash talk with Schmitz claiming that LaPorte would never have passed him if he had known he was there.

  • Chuck Sun on the gas
  • Team USA under the tent
Herbert Schmitz strongly declared that he would win the next moto of the two-day event, and he did. The 62-year-old German grabbed the holeshot and only once had anyone even get close. Sun got alongside Schmitz in a sweeping left-hander but was unable to complete the pass.

LaPorte passed Sun but was unable to close the gap on Schmitz. But with Chuck Sun and third and Gary Jones and Bill Silverthorn finishes, Team USA took the victory; sweet revenge for those Inter-Am massacres of yesteryear.

Winning was much less important to the fans than to the Legends. Just seeing those guys ride again was well worth the price of a ticket. And, the Vintage AM was run in conjunction with two days of AHRMA Vintage Nationals in Observed Trials, Cross Country, Vintage and Post-Vintage Motocross. For more info, check out: