Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gary Jones


Gary Jones (born April 22, 1952 in Southern California) was an American motocross racer. He is remembered for winning the first three AMA 250cc Motocross National Championships , riding three different brands of motorcycles, a feat which has yet to be duplicated.

The son of a motorcycle dealer, he began racing professionally at the age of 15. By 1969, he earned a place on the Yamaha factory's American racing team. Although there was no American motocross championship series in 1971, he was recognized as the 250cc National Champion by virtue of being the top-placed American rider in the Inter-AMA series which featured European riders touring America after the European-based World Championship season had ended .

The following year, the AMA introduced a 250cc and a 500cc outdoor national championship. Jones won the 1972 title on a Yamaha, becoming the first 250cc U.S. Motocross National Champion. He also competed in the 500cc class, finishing second behind Brad Lackey. Also in 1972, he was a member of the first team to represent the United States at the Motocross des Nations race. The following season, he accepted a job riding for the Honda factory racing team and successfully defended his 250cc crown riding the Honda CR250M. In 1973 he would ride for the newly formed Can-Am team and went on to win his third consecutive 250cc national championship.

After his retirement from professional competition, Jones continued his involvement in the sport by working for motorcycle accessory companies and as a test rider for motorcycle magazines. Jones continues to compete in motocross and desert races, winning the World Vet Championship several times. In 2000, he was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame , and in 2004, he was inducted into the Motocross Walk Of Fame .


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