The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame
announced that its first induction for the class of 2014 wlll be motocross
legend and pioneer, Pierre Karsmakers
. One of the first European motocross
champions to come over and race in the United States, Karsmakers is a multi-time champion in Europe and America.
"Pierre showed Americans what motocross
was all about," said Ken Ford, a member of the Hall of Fame executive committee. "From his performance on the track to his training regimen, he demonstrated a firm resolve to wring the most from himself and his machines."
A three-time motocross
champion in his native Holland, Karsmakers went on to race stateside for Yamaha in 1973. He won the 500cc motocross
national championship series after scoring a total of 2,659 points. To put that into perspective, the second-place racer scored a mere 1,427. Karsmakers also won the inaugural AMA Supercross Championship
"That was a great time of my life, I met many wonderful people," said Karsmakers, who initially opted to race in the United States to gain wider exposure and attract the attention of the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers
"All the Japanese (sponsorship) contracts were going to Belgian riders," he continued. "I got mad, because other European riders were not getting noticed. But after I started winning in 1972, it began to open doors."
Although Karsmakers retired from racing in 1979, his legacy lives on. He said he was honored to be included in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame
"It's been a long time since I raced, so it means a lot that America still recognizes me as one who brought motocross
to the United States," said Karsmakers.
Karsmakers is the first member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame
class of 2014 to be announced. According to the AMA, the remaining 2014 inductees will be released in random order in the coming weeks.
Tags: AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame
, AMA Supercross Championship
, Motorcycle Hall of Fame
, Pierre Karsmakers