Australian Motocross Championships Clarendon

September 1971, South Australia
Ivan Miller NZ Motocross Champion
1971 Australian Championships - Ivan Miller headshot

Photo: New Zealand Motocross Champion Ivan Miller (Husqvarna) won the two prestigious Senior titles at the 1971 Australian Championships in Clarendon, South Australia.

Kiwi Miller becomes first International to win an Australian Motocross Championship

New Zealand rider Ivan Miller won both the 500cc and Unlimited titles on a Husqvarna at the 1971 Australian Motocross Championships in Clarendon, SA in front of over 10,000 people becoming the first International rider to win an Australian Title.

During that era an International series was running across Australia and New Zealand and the visiting riders discovered that their air fares could be easily recouped if they chose the right meetings. So that year they arrived in Australia early for the Australian titles at Clarendon.

The 1971/72 International tour was headed by Jim Aird (Scotland), Randy Owen (England) and Ivan Miller. Scottish ace Aird was favorite to win, but he had machine problems in the qualifying heats and was eventually sidelined in a crash in the reperchage, the last chance race to win a place in the final.

The internationals were on borrowed machines, (mainly Husqvarnas) and filled the major placings with Miller winning the two prestigious Senior titles and Randy Owen getting three placings. 

Owen finished second in the 125cc class behind South Australian rider Dave Basham and second and third respectively in the 500 and Unlimited classes, with Gary Flood finishing second in the Unlimited class and third in the 500s.

Basham was the best performed of the local riders, taking out two titles on his Frasers CZ machines. 

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Basham would almost certainly have equalled Gary Flood’s clean sweep in 1969 had it not been for the visiting troupe, which included Gary Flood (VIC) and Laurie Alderton NSW) who were the best of the Australian regulars in all solo classes. 

Gary Flood’s younger brother Trevor Flood, contested his first title event at Clarendon, but failed to do any better than tenth in the finals on his CZ. 

Graeme Smythe (WA) placed well in the Unlimited event (fifth) and earlier in the day won a qualifying race ahead of Richie Kings (WA) and Gary Adams (VIC).

2M Video Trailer – 500cc Australian Motocross Championships in 1971

Sidecar races

With the sidecar Junior capacity limit lowered that year to 650cc (from 750cc) none of the top competitors were affected.  Alf Goodwin – Wayne Kervall (SA, Arab/ Jawa) retained their Junior crown from the similarly powered Jawa outfit of Murray Williams – Des Rettig (SA, Jawa).  Williams took out the Unlimited title when Goodwin retired with a bruised and swelled ankle he had sustained earlier.

As the touring troupe continued, the Husqvarnas “Big H” at the forefront at every meeting, with the overall win for that summer series going to Miller from Aird, Owen (CZ), Flood and Alderton (Montesa).


500cc Championship (15 mins)

650cc Sidecar Championship (30 mins)

1971 Australian Championships - Ivan Miller racing

Ivan Miller (NZ) led the 500cc Championship from the first corner on his Husqvarna

1971 Australian Championships - Randy Owen and Gary Flood

More Huskies – Randy  Owen (UK) and Garry Flood (VIC) battle for second in the 500s

1971 Australian Championships - Ivan Miller finishing

Ivan Miller  returns to the pits after winning the 500cc Championship

1971 Australian Championships - Junior Sidecar start - Goodwin leads Buckley

Alf Goodwin-Wayne Kervall (SA) lead  Barry Buckley-Randy Harris (SA) in the sidecars

1971 Australian Championships - Junior Sidecar - Murray Williams

Murray Williams – Des Rettig (SA, Jawa) won the Unlimited sidecars  &  came  2nd  in the juniors.

1971 Australian Championships Clarendon SA - Crowd of over 10000

More than 10,000 people attended the 1971 Australian Championships at Clarendon SA.

1974 Australian Motocross Championship Results


1 Dave Basham (SA, C.Z)
2 Randy Owen (VIC, Bultaco)
3 Gary O’Brien (VIC, Montesa)


1 Dave Basham (SA, C.Z.)
2 Michael Groom (SA, Husqvarna)
3 Laurie Alderton (NSW, Montesa)


1 Ivan Miller (NZ, Husqvarna)
2 Randy Owen (UK, Husqvarna)
3 Gary Flood (VIC, Husqvarna)


1 Ivan Miller (NZ, Husqvarna)
2 Gary Flood (VIC, Husqvarna)
3 Randy Owen (UK, Husqvarna)

650cc Sidecars

1 Alf Goodwin – Wayne Kervall (SA, Arab/ Jawa)
2 Murray Williams – Des Rettig (SA, Jawa)
3 Stephen Smith – Clarrie Jones (VIC, Tribsa)

1300cc Sidecars

1  Murray Williams – Des Rettig (SA, Jawa)
2 John Delima – Jim Colligan (VIC, J.A.P.)
3 Stephen Smith – Clarrie Jones (VIC, Tribsa)

Other Australian Championship results and photos

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