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 in 1974.
"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.
The 2014 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 17, as part of the AMA National Convention, Oct. 16-19, in Orlando, Fla., and in conjunction with the American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo). Tickets for the convention and the induction ceremony go on sale soon.Tags: AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, AMA Supercross Championship, Motocross, Motorcycle Hall of Fame, Motorsports, Pierre Karsmakers