Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jimmy Weinert


1974, '75 AMA Motocross Champion 1976 AMA Supercross Champion

"Jammin’ Jimmy" Weinert was a pioneering motocross and Supercross champion during the early years of the sport in America. In the 1970s, Weinert won a total of 22 AMA nationals races and three AMA championships during his 11-year professional racing career. In November of 1973, Weinert became the first American to beat the international riders in the Trans-AMA Motocross Series. That victory marked one of the turning points that brought American motocross up to par with the then-dominant Europeans.

Weinert was born on August 14, 1951 in Middletown, New York. His father, Albert, was a motorcycle dealer, and Jimmy started riding motorcycles when he was 6, along with his two brothers.

Weinert was more than ready when he started racing. His dad said he could race only after he was strong enough to do 100 push-ups. The youngster soon managed 75, and dad conceded. As an amateur, he won the first 23 races he entered! Needless to say, it didn’t take long for Weinert to turn expert.

In addition to his obvious skills in scrambles and motocross, Weinert showed equal talent in dirt-track racing. Weinert was a leading dirt tracker as an amateur and traveled the circuit for a time with legendary AMA Grand National racer Gary Nixon. Weinert looked to be on a sure path to fame in dirt-track racing before he suffered a couple of bad injuries flat-tracking and decided to concentrate on the burgeoning sort of motocross.

Weinert recorded some impressive results at the very beginning of AMA-sanctioned motocross racing. He turned pro in 1970. In November of that year, he finished the top American (seventh overall) at the Trans-AMA race in Franklin, Georgia, riding a CZ. In the Inter-AMA Series, Weinert notched top-10 rankings in 1971 and 1972. Also in 1972, Weinert finished runner-up in the AMA 250cc National Motocross Championships to Yamaha teammate Gary Jones.

Weinert gained a reputation on the circuit as "the life of the party." He played guitar and loved to stay up late into the night at the track, sitting around a campfire and entertaining his fans with impromptu performances complete with wacky songs he would make up as he sang them. His fans loved it. He also loved to try to psych-out his competition. Some say Weinert was the original trash taker, but Weinert claims that his psych-jobs were an art form... Read more


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