Doug Henry - World Vets Motocross

Doug Henry, who will race at the World Vets Motocross event at the famous Farleigh Castle circuit in England on July 20 and 21, is one of the true legends of the sport of motocross.

Henry, who will ride a specially built Stark Future, electric machine is making his return to England for the first time in many years.

Henry competed in the AMA Motocross Championships from 1988 to 2006. He is a three-time AMA motocross national champion. Henry was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2005.

Henry was born in Milford, Connecticut and grew up on his parents' farm in the White Hills section of Shelton, CT. The rural area with extensive winding dirt roads was conducive to him learning the sport he would master. He attended Shelton High School. Henry had his first major success in 1993 as a member of Team Honda, where he claimed the 125 East Supercross and the 125 National Championship.

In 1994, he repeated as champion in the nationals, beating riders such as Steve Lamson and Ryan Hughes while battling a severe stomach ailment. He later appeared on Fox's first motocross movie Terrafirma. He moved to the premier 250cc division for 1995, where he was immediately competitive, winning Supercross mains and outdoor overalls, before a devastating injury at Budds Creek, Maryland ended his season. Henry was slipping off the back of the bike on the face of a hill, inadvertently applying full throttle, launching him off the hill, causing him to fall from nearly 80 feet in the air to flat ground. Henry's back was broken, but he did not become paralyzed. Henry raced Southwick every year to earn national points and keep his trademark national #19. He regularly finished in the top-5 on privateer Yamahas.

Henry fought back and wanted to race again. He slowly worked his way back into shape, and Team Yamaha took a chance on him for the 1996 season. By the end of the Nationals, Henry was winning motos once again and had regained his form. For 1997, Yamaha approached Henry with the idea of riding their prototype YZM400 four-stroke in competition. He accepted the offer. While he raced and led the early part of the 1997 Supercross season on a YZ250, Henry complications from a hand injury forced him to withdraw during the middle of the series.

He came back riding the four-stroke full-time and posted top-5 finishes at the first few Nationals, which was unprecedented for a four-stroke machine. Henry raced the bike at the final Supercross in Las Vegas, Nevada, and won the race in the prototype bike's first and only start. Tragedy would strike Henry yet again that summer, as he suffered two broken wrists at Budds Creek, mere feet away from the jump where he had his earlier injury. But Henry would battle back again.

Henry would race the production version of the prototype four-stroke, the YZ400F, for 1998. This machine started the four-stroke revolution in motocross. He battled through a strong but unspectacular supercross season where he finished 7th overall. The outdoor season would be Henry's chance to show the bike's true capabilities.

After a win at his home track of Southwick, Henry followed up with a triumphant win in Budds Creek, the track where he broke his arms and back. He would go on to defeat Jeff Emig, Jeremy McGrath, Ezra Lusk, Kevin Windham, Mickael Pichon, and Greg Albertyn, earning five overall wins in one of the most competitive seasons ever to take the 1998 250cc National Championship at Broome Tioga Sports Center. He accomplished this with one whole round left.

Having accomplished all his goals, Henry scaled back to a partial schedule for 1999, where he dabbled in snocross for the winter. He returned to the nationals in a farewell tour wearing his #1 plate. He started slowly after taking the winter off, but still managed to score overall wins by mid-season. Henry had been a regular on the AMA Supermoto tour, winning many National events. He gained national attention once again by winning the gold medal in the 2005 X-Games Supermoto race. Henry also won a 2005 Grand National Cross Country enduro race in his first attempt on a stock Honda 450. He followed that with a bronze in 2006.

Henry broke his back on March 4, 2007, in a Supermoto race. He now has partial paralysis from the waist down and is working very hard toward yet another recovery. Henry was filmed on September 14, 2009, riding a custom YZ450F and a custom FX Nytro during winter. Henry raced at Winter X-Games 14, in the "Adaptive Snowmobile" class. He took third place.

Career titles

1993 AMA 125 Motocross Champion

1993 AMA 125 East Supercross Champion

1994 AMA 125 Motocross Champion

1998 AMA 250 Motocross Champion

1998 AMA Professional Athlete of the Year

25 AMA Supercross/Motocross overall wins

If you want to enjoy a real motocross celebration and see Henry in action, or even have a chat with the American legend and get his autograph, then get to worldvetsmotocross.com/spectators for your tickets and make sure not to wait too long, its going to be one of the biggest days in the sport in 2024, when the legends return to Farleigh Castle.


Less than a week to go!

Less than a week to go in what will be a great day for the sport, the World Vets Motocross is about to explode into action as a long list of motocross legends, both from American and the rest of the World will go head to head in a celebration of motocross.

Very exciting times for the sport of motocross as returning on the UK calendar is what will be one of the highlights of the 2024 motocross season. On July 20 and 21 the sport will celebrate with a fun, family friendly event at the World Vets Motocross event at the historical, Farleigh Castle circuit. A full weekend of entertainment, motocross legends and a chance for the family to all enjoy this amazing sport.

With legends like former World 125cc champion James Dobb, multiple AMA supercross and motocross champions, Doug Henry and Jeff Emig, two time World motocross champion, Sebastien Tortelli, former AMA 125cc champion, Mike Brown, five time World motocross runner-up and MXdN winner, Kurt Nicoll, super talented, Rob Herring, multiple World number two, Tommy Searle, and Mister Sugo, Billy Mackenzie and many more.

If you want to enjoy a real motocross celebration, then get to worldvetsmotocross.com/spectators for your tickets and make sure not to wait too long, its going to be one of the biggest days in the sport in 2024, when the legends return to Farleigh Castle and we party at one of the best circuits in the World.

Qualification

Futures

Over 60

Over 50 (first 60)

Over 50 (Second 60)

Super Evo/Over 50

Super Evo/Under 50

MX2

Over 40

MX1

Moto Schedule

Futures

Over 60

Over 50 B

Super Evo/Over 50

Super Evo/Under 50

MX2

Over 40

Over 50 A

MX1


Doug Henry to Ride Stark VARG at World VETs

 About Doug Henry

Doug Henry is a celebrated motocross and supercross champion, known for his tenacity, skill, and groundbreaking achievements. Overcoming numerous challenges throughout his career, Henry has become a symbol of perseverance and innovation in the sport. He continues to inspire with his use of adaptive technology, proving that limitations can be overcome with ingenuity and determination.

July 9th, 2024 — Barcelona, Spain.

Legendary motocross champion Doug Henry is set to make waves on track at the upcoming World VETs MX Race at Farleigh Castle, riding the Stark VARG. This exciting announcement marks a significant milestone in both Henry’s illustrious career and the evolving landscape of motocross.

Doug Henry, a multiple-time AMA motocross and supercross champion, is renowned for his pioneering spirit and resilience. This event will be particularly significant as it marks Henry’s first race abroad since the pre-fourstroke era, highlighting his long-standing impact on the sport. Known for his incredible comeback stories and contributions to motocross, Henry’s participation in the World VETs Motocross is highly anticipated. Fans and fellow competitors alike are eager to witness the synergy between Henry’s skill and the cutting-edge technology of the Stark VARG.

Innovative Technology Meets Legendary Talent

The Stark VARG is a game-changer in the world of motocross. As the world’s most advanced electric motocross bike, it combines unparalleled power, agility, and sustainability. Designed to outperform traditional combustion engines, the VARG offers riders a unique and exhilarating experience. Henry’s choice to ride the Stark VARG highlights his commitment to innovation and the future of motocross.

Overcoming Adversity with Innovation

Doug Henry’s journey in motocross is marked by resilience and innovation. After a severe crash in 2007 that left him paralyzed, Henry did not let this setback halt his racing career. He adapted by using a specially designed riding harness that includes a lap belt and foot stirrups to keep him securely on the bike. This adaptation has allowed him to continue participating in motocross events and even compete in adaptive sports, showcasing his determination and love for the sport.

The World VETs MX will take place on the 20th/ 21st July at Farleigh Castle, UK. The event is a celebration of motocross heritage, bringing together veteran riders from around the globe. Doug Henry’s participation is set to be one of the highlights, with fans excited to see a living legend in action once more.

“I’ve been on the bike for a week now and it’s working great¨, said Doug, ¨I’m really excited to see what the VARG can do for all us adapted riders. Right now I’m getting ready for one of my first races oversees in over a decade and I can´t wait to line up next to some of my old rivals at World Vets”

Anton Wass, commented “We are incredibly proud to have Doug Henry riding the VARG. His legacy in motocross is unparalleled, and his endorsement of our technology is a testament to the performance and potential of our bike. This is a significant moment for the sport and for our company.”


Ticket Sales

Very exciting times for the sport of motocross as returning on the UK calendar is what will be one of the highlights of the 2024 motocross season. In just two weeks, on July 20 and 21 the sport will celebrate with a fun, family friendly event at the World Vets Motocross event at the historical, Farleigh Castle circuit. A full weekend of entertainment, motocross legends and a chance for the family to all enjoy this amazing sport.

With legends like World 125cc champion James Dobb, multiple AMA supercross and motocross champion, Jeff Emig, two time World motocross champion, Sebastien Tortelli, former AMA 125cc champion, Mike Brown, five time World motocross runner-up and MXdN winner, Kurt Nicoll, super talented, Rob Herring, multiple World number two, Tommy Searle, and Mister Sugo, Billy Mackenzie and many more.

With a weekend of celebrating motocross, this World Vets Motocross event is just the start of what could lead to many more exciting vet races in the future. Promoter Richard Wood gave us a little bit of the entertainment.

“We have a lot of things booked for entertainment, for kids and adults, such as numerous bars, a great array of food stands, trade stands, works bikes on show, rodeo bull, lots of bouncy things for kids castle and slides, kids face painting , plus Friday night karaoke and a DJ in the sail marquee. Saturday night a professional DJ and saxophone player. Not to mention all the mx star riders mingling over the weekend for photos and signatures.”

British motocross legend Tommy Searle is also looking forward to spending a weekend at Farleigh with his family and friends and also the chance to race with old friends from the sport.

“I have never ridden Farleigh before,” Searle said. “This will be my first time. I am looking forward to it and I have spoken to Jamie Dobb about it. He is excited about it too and I have done other veterans’ races, but I want to do a few of them. This one has a different audience and that will be more family oriented. I will be racing a modern bike and the class I am is the modern bikes, which is nice. I am really looking forward to it and it adds some much for the British schedule. Being able to race Farleigh Caste, a track that has so much history in our sport, that is the biggest thing I look forward to.”

Another British motocross legend Kurt Nicoll rode at Farleigh in 2023 and the World Vets Motocross event and is really happy to be invited back for the 2024 version. He too will be signing autographs throughout the day and mingling with the spectators.

“I mean, Farleigh was the first GP race that I won, and I always did well at Farleigh. I love going back there. It is one of the iconic tracks. A track like that will never be used for a Grand Prix again, because things have moved on. It is nice to look back at old tracks like that, like Namur, Wohlen, Payerne and those places are gone, and Farleigh still remains. I think it is fantastic that we can all get together at a place like Farleigh Castle and reminisce and still be able to love what we are doing.”

If you want to enjoy a real motocross celebration, then get to worldvetsmotocross.com/spectators for your tickets and make sure not to wait too long, its going to be one of the biggest days in the sport in 2024, when the legends return to Farleigh Castle.


The Story of 2024

It is one of the legendary circuits from motocross Grand Prix history, Farleigh Castle, a circuit that raced around a castle. Begun in the late 14th century, Farleigh Hungerford Castle was for 300 years the home of the Hungerfords, a family that after distinguished beginnings suffered a series of disasters and scandals – some of which took place within the castle walls.

A ‘romantic ruin’ since the 1730s, it retains two of its corner towers, parts of its outer courtyard defences and a well-preserved chapel with outstanding 13th-century wall-paintings, family monuments and collection of unusual human-shaped lead coffins. And fortunately for our sport they decided to race motocross around this mystical venue.

They first ran motocross there in 1938 and the track was an undulating field, one third of a mile long and not a lot has changed over the years. Of course, on July 20 and 21, this historical circuit will be opened for what will be one of the highlights of the 2024 British motocross season, the World Vets Motocross. A celebration of the sport, with some of the biggest names from the past and from the present. Make sure to get your tickets right here.

Promoter Richard Wood is excited to be putting on this event and enjoy a weekend with his friends and his hero’s, and heroes of all of us. Names like our last World motocross champion James Dobb, AMA legends Mike Brown, Jeff Emig and Doug Henry, current British hero, Tommy Searle, two-time World champion, Sebastien Tortelli, 500cc legend and MXdN winner, Kurt Nicoll, and so many more.

“What we try to do is make it more interesting and not just a race weekend,” Wood said. “With good entertainment and a lot of things to do for the family. It is more a fun weekend and at night we have bands and numerous bars open and good food outlets, and it is a big change from your typical motocross event. When you are older you want more comfort, and our events also cater for the older riders and their families.”

Jeff Emig who won himself multiple AMA motocross and supercross championships, is known for ending the title reign of Jeremy McGrath in supercross and led Team USA to Motocross des Nations success returns to England for this event and can’t wait to experience the whole Farleigh Castle vibe, something he holds close to his heart.

“I love the travel,” Emig said. “Going to Farleigh is a circuit that is something like I had never ridden before. I grew up on the mid-west, where you would think there are tracks like that, but Farleigh is tough and the roost hurts like a Moth++++cker. When you put 60 bikes on the track, that place has such an amazing feel about it, really legendary place.”

For 1996 and 1998 World motocross champion Sebastien Tortelli, the whole Farleigh Castle vibe will be something very new to him, but racing the Stark Future electric bike around this legendary circuit is something he looks forward to.

“I have never ridden Farleigh,” Tortelli said. “I know it is an iconic circuit and what I like about it, it an old fashion track, with natural layout and todays track are too many jumps and short, but this old track, more natural, a bit narrow and you get less speed, but its good for an old guy like me. The Stark is easy to ride and will suit a track like this. I am looking forward to racing some of my old friends.”

2001 World 125cc champion James Dobb was fortunate enough to race at Farleigh, and although he never raced a Grand Prix there, he knows what lays ahead of him, and having been practicing with Tommy Searle to prepare for this event, he expects to at least enjoy a little success, but also revisit old times, with old friends.

“I raced the support class in 1989 and I won that,” Dobb said. “I never raced a GP there, but they had British champion rounds there. I won a couple, got second in a couple. It hasn’t changed too much. People have come in before us and in my eyes ruined it a bit, taking the steps out the back and tried to make it a more traditions set-up, but I liked the old steps. The fundamentals are pretty much the same, the historical first turn around the tree.”

Current British championship racer, multiple World number two and without doubt, the most popular British rider of the last two decades, Tommy Searle will be one of the fastest over the weekend, and the whole Farleigh Castle experience will be a new one for him.

“I have never ridden Farleigh before,” Searle said. “This will be my first time. I am looking forward to it and I have spoken to Jamie Dobb about it. He is excited about it too and I have done other veterans’ races, but I want to do a few of them. This one has a different audience and that will be more family oriented. I will be racing a modern bike and the class I am is the modern bikes, which is nice. I am really looking forward to it and it adds some much for the British schedule. Being able to race Farleigh Caste, a track that has so much history in our sport, which is the biggest thing I look forward to.”

And finally, a man who finished second in his class in the 2023 World Vets motocross event, Mark Eastwood, well, he has raced the place, and his father (Vic Eastwood) was one of the first British GP winners, back in the 1960s. He knows the place well, and returning to his child-hood playground is something he will enjoy.

“A lot of good memories,” Eastwood said. “Like jumping in the river while my dad was racing and messing around with my mates and then later watching the races when my dad had retired and watching Dave Thorpe, Eric Geboers, Georges Jobe and all those great GP races and dad being with me and giving me tips and also seeing them race Namur and for me, a lot of nostalgia at these tracks. At Farleigh I raced there, but we did British championship races. We didn’t go to Farleigh when I did GPs, we went to Hawkstone Park, but I never did a GP there, just the British championships.”

So, make sure, on July 20 and 21, you make your way to his legendary circuit, because the entertainment, the racing and the vibe of Farleigh Castle is something not to be missed. Legends racing a legendary circuit, and in the peak of summer. You can’t ask for more, can you?

Ticket for the event are available here: Spectators - World Vets Motocross


Searle and Dobbs - Video

Tommy Searle and his good mate, James Dobb will both battle the Farleigh Castle circuit in July 20 and 21 and Searle put this little video together to show us that the former World 125cc champion still has it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lbM_JMw_3Y


Mark Eastwood Interview

Mark Eastwood is a name very well known in the industry, not just in the UK, but Worldwide. Son of a British motocross legend (Vic Eastwood), former factory Grand Prix rider for Honda, team manager for the British Motocross of Nations efforts and supporter of the sport. A wealth of experience and somebody well respected for his outspoken and at times controversial comments and his positive vision for the sport.

Now long retired from GP battle, Eastwood still works at his father’s motorcycle shop and races veteran races when time permits. Always a good chat about the sport, so we called him up and asked him about his future plans, which include racing the World Vets Motocross at Farleigh Castle on July 20 and 21.

Now, before we start, it should be noted, that his father (Vic) was one of the early GP winners at Farleigh (Vic Eastwood won there in 1968), and while Mark was too young to remember those victories, he himself did get to race the circuit in his career and also visit with his dad to watch some of the all-time GPs in the 1980s at the historical venue.

MXlarge: Tell me, for those too young to remember your racing career, I was pretty close to it, and I remember some really good rides by you in the 1990s, at Brou in France and some other ones. Can you remind the younger riders about your career, the standout moments?

Eastwood: Yes, Brou was a good one, I led both races at some point and led the second one for a couple of laps and was then second for a lot of the moto and finished with 5-4, which was a really good day for me. In that era, the 250 class was so deep with talent. Also, Indonesia, Brazil, a lot of places, Foxhill in the first moto and the second moto, up the sixth and DNFed after my electrics broke and I crashed. San Marino, I did well and plenty of GPs where it all went wrong. I did well in 1994, finished with a 6-8 for seventh overall in deep sand. Days I will never forget, and it was the toughest class with a lot of British riders. Back then a top ten or top five was really something special.

MXlarge: You have obviously done a lot of veteran’s races and you still take it seriously, maybe not Mike Brown serious, but you want to do well?

Eastwood: I don’t know about that, I mean, I want to do the best that I can. I want to put on a good show for the fans, but I wouldn’t say I take it as seriously as Mike (Brown), he is definitely on it you know. He is flat out and I am trying and enjoy it really, but of course I want to do well and when it is breed into you, it is hard to not take it seriously. It is a bit of fun, go down and enjoy it, but as soon as you go to the start line, you are in race mode, and I can’t help it.

MXlarge: I have mentioned it many times, I am not a risk taker, not into speed or danger and watching motocross, for sure even more so the last few years as the bikes get quicker and quicker and the riders are technically better and I watch you guys race and keep reminding myself, this is a ridiculous sport. A guy gets on these machines that can go amazing speeds, around a track that is full of danger, so many variables, maybe more than any other sport. It just seems crazy to me. What attracts somebody to that?

Eastwood: It is something you start riding bikes, and if you love it and enjoy it, it gets you, it is like a bug and you got to get out and ride bikes and it doesn’t even matter what level you get to, but if you get to a level, travelling around the World, and making a living and the speeds get faster, the tracks get bigger and you grow with it. Looking back, it would be hard to race a GP in Lommel, or Hawkstone Park, or Farleigh Castle, if you haven’t done all that what I mentioned. You more or less grow into that speed and danger, just naturally. You just end up at that level and it is where you wanted to be and if you get there, you don’t want to moan about it, but you are correct, it starts off as fun.

MXLarge: I sometimes think that motocross riders have some type of short-circuit in their brain and common-sense leaves when the gate drops. Then its just balls out and as fast as you can go? Obviously, it isn’t that way, but it sure looks that way watching.

Eastwood: I would think, you are 100% right. When you are around motocross riders, they are not the same as normal people, you have to be wired differently to take these risks.

MXLarge: How old are you now?

Eastwood: I am 53.

MXLarge: So, you are in the 50-age group with Mike Brown, and it is a stacked class.

Eastwood: Yes, I did it last year and it was stacked out and it was a great day. I did pretty well, finished second to Mike (Brown) and I really enjoyed it. I like this race, because it is on modern bikes. A lot of the other vet races are on old bikes, and I know a lot of people love that, but for me, we raced those things to death in the 1990s and my Grand Prix career was on those bikes and definitely for me, it isn’t that exciting anymore.

MXlarge: Obviously it’s a lot safer for an old rider to be on the new ones or not?

Eastwood: Yes, and that is exactly it. At the time, when we raced those bikes, they were the best we knew and the latest technology and I remember when we raced them, all we tried to do was get more bottom end power and the rear suspension was always a challenge and some people can ride those old bikes, but now I am over 50, I don’t want to race those old bikes. Give me a modern bike any day.

MXLarge: Were you old enjoy to remember your dad racing at Farleigh, or were you too young?

Eastwood: I do remember later on, but I don’t remember him winning there, because I wasn’t even born yet, but he raced there until 1978 and I do remember being around the GPs of Namur, Luxembourg at the camping and stuff. I remember all those guys being around there, playing badminton with the likes of Roger De Coster, Heikki Mikkola and those type of guys and at the time, you didn’t think anything of it. Looking back, pretty special times with Noyce (Graham Noyce) and everyone else and of course my dad.

MXlarge: These veteran races have really taken off, so many now in the UK, but what gets me the most is the camaraderie between the old riders and the stories they tell. Old rivals suddenly become best mates, and everyone is there to have fun and reminisce about the past.

Eastwood: That is correct. I don’t get to see Kurt, or Mike or Dobber, and then we get to see them and its nice to see your old rivals and as you said, even if you hated each other, it doesn’t matter anymore. You try and go and have some fun, but then as I said, you get on start line, it all changes again.

MXlarge: Do you like a beer, are you likely to end up in the beer tent at some point?

Eastwood: I do like a beer, but I can’t really be drinking on a race weekend. If I am racing the next day, I need to be feeling well. Last year at Farleigh, as I said, I had a really good day and then a week after I was doing the old shake-down on the old bike for another veteran’s race and I busted my leg, and it turned out to be pretty serious. I have only been riding a couple of months now and only now getting it back together. I will go down and have some fun and rider around.

MXLarge: As you said, you visited Farleigh as a kid and you raced there, but can you tell me some stories about your time there, both as a kid and a racer?

Eastwood: A lot of good memories, like jumping in the river while my dad was racing and messing around with my mates and then later watching the races when my dad had retired and watching Dave Thorpe, Eric Geboers, Georges Jobe and all those great GP races and dad being with me and giving me tips and also seeing them race Namur and for me, a lot of nostalgia at these tracks. At Farleigh I raced there, but we did British championship races. We didn’t go to Farleigh when I did GPs, we went to Hawkstone Park, but I never did a GP there, just the British championships.


Tommy Searle Interview

Multiple British motocross champion, World runner-up and GP winner, Tommy Searle is at the back end of his illustrious career and its more about having fun in these final days as a motocross racer than the day-to-day grind of Grand Prix racing or racing the big 450 machine. Moving down to the 250 class in the British motocross championship he is enjoying his racing a little more and trying to make the most of these final seasons, after having a career with so much success.

Searle will also line-up at the World Vets Motocross, at Farleigh Castle on July 20 and 21 and cannot wait to spend some time with old friends and former rivals and meet as many fans as possible. We caught up with Searle and asked about his 250 racing and also that exciting Vets event.

Find out more here about the World Vets Motocross: World Vets Motocross.

MXlarge: Tommy, I see your results on the 250 are not bad, but how have you felt on the 250 this year?

Searle: 250’s has been good. I didn’t expect to come in and smoke everyone, the competition is high, but its fun and that is why I decided to do it. I am always carrying an injury these days and the 450 was hard to race. I still race the 450, a lot actually, but doing the whole season is more fun on the 250 than the 450.

MXlarge: Tell me, for more than a decade, you have been the most popular British rider, and with your Youtube channel and other things you do, many people really love following you. How important is that for you?

Searle: It is just a difference aspect now with the Youtube. I edit a lot of the videos, shoot them, and it is a lot different now, and not like being 20 years old and charging around the World wanting to win races. People pay me for different reasons now, for my video reach and a wider audience, and it is a little bit of both. I still work hard, and train hard, and I don’t want to not do that and be tired in races or in danger of hurting myself. I have structured my program, I have my own sponsors now and I do a lot of different things, be it social media, the Youtube, but I am still at the races, but I know my future isn’t racing, not the long-term future. It is coming to an end soon. I am still enjoying it and it isn’t just focused on racing results.

MXLarge: I understand you and Jeffrey (Herlings) have a pretty good relationship now?

Searle: I speak to him a lot, which is nice, and we went to dinner when he was last over. He is still World level, and he is at the back of his career, but he can still win. It is hard and he is racing riders of a similar age, but he has faced a lot of adversity, and he still loves it and works as hard as ever. You can see that with some races he has won this year.

MXlarge: The World Vets Motocross, I know you have mentioned in the past you like these one-off events. What excited you about this one?

Searle: I have never ridden Farleigh before; this will be my first time. I am looking forward to it and I have spoken to Jamie Dobb about it. He is excited about it too and I have done other veterans’ races, but I want to do a few of them. This one has a different audience and that will be more family oriented. I will be racing a modern bike and the class I am is the modern bikes, which is nice. I am really looking forward to it and it adds some much for the British schedule. Being able to race Farleigh Caste, a track that has so much history in our sport, that is the biggest thing I look forward to.

MXlarge: A lot of big names racing it. Do you know many younger guys who will race it?

Searle: Yes, I do, and you don’t have to be older to race it, but I am 35 and a friend of mine is racing it. It will be nice having Tortelli racing and Dobber and so many others. It will be going with the family and over two races and a lot of racing, so it will be fun. Billy Mackenzie is racing it and of course he did so well in the British championship, and he was winning a race until Herlings passed him. He does a lot of the veteran races now and he takes it pretty seriously and it’s nice to see all these old faces enjoying themselves.

MXLarge: You are getting close to the end of your career, so these fun races are probably your future?

Searle: Yes, I enjoy riding, I enjoy the training, and, in the UK, we have some young guys coming through and I want to keep racing, but more fun events and not race full-time. Even the British championship races, the competition is still top ten riders and being older its hard, but these veteran races are just good fun, and you don’t have to push too hard, but can still race. I am really excited for this one, as it is a new one for me and as I said, I have never raced at Farleigh.

MXLarge: You have always attracted spectators and your British GP results have often been good, winning in 2007 and then again in 2012 in that classic against Herlings. What are your best memories of those two GPs?

Searle: Yes, I won in 2007, it feels like a lifetime ago. I remember that first one in 2007, it is hard to remember, and it feels longer than 20 years ago. I was still living at Jamie Dobbs house, and we went for a barbecue at his house after winning. I nearly won the one before in Ireland, but Tony (Cairoli) won, and I finished second. He then moved up to the 450 class for the British GP and that opened up my chances of winning it. There were a lot of us could have won it and none of us had won a GP yet and I went 1-2, I think. Matterley in 2012, I would say that was my best GP win ever. With Jeffrey there and the rivalry we had, and I came out on top in both races and that was the best race day of my life.


Jeff Emig - World Vets Motocross

One thing we never seem to forget in Europe, are the heroes of our past. Hundreds and hundreds of champions over the last 70 years, from our first ever World motocross champion Bill Nilsson, to the legends of the 1970s, be it AMA or FIM, De Coster, DiStefano, Hallman, Robert, Hannah, Mikkola, then the 80s with Geboers, Thorpe, Glover, Barnett, Malherbe, Johnson, Bailey, Jobe, or those from the 90s, McGrath, Everts, Bayle, Smets, Chiodi, Carmichael, Kiedrowski and Emig.

Of course, names like Villopoto, Stewart, Reed, Cairoli, Herlings, Prado, Gajser and so forth are not that far from our memories, with their careers not long over, or still racing, but those from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s are long retired. Many still involved in the sport in some way and their memories should never be forgotten.

The 1990s was a special decade in America and for American motocross. They had held the Motocross of Nations for 13 years straight (from 1981 until 1993), there riders were generally, considered, the best in the World. It was in many ways one of the golden eras of the sport as Jeremy McGrath ruled the AMA supercross. One man though, was a major part in both the MXdN victories and defeats and also a part of that Supermac era, beating the greatest supercross rider of all-time and the only man to do it, when McGrath was in his prime and that man was Jeff Emig, himself a four time AMA champion, three times in Motocross and once in Supercross.

Emig rode for Team USA from 1992 until 1997 and took victory on three occasions. His first time was in Australia in 1992, when America sent a “B-team” and beat the World, of course in 1993 in Austria, he and McGrath again ruled the World and then in 1996, in Spain, McGrath and Emig took out one of the most dominant victories for America in the events long history.

Emig in the 1990s was often close to being the best in the World and that 1997 season, racing with his cool Shift riding gear and with the AMA supercross and AMA motocross title to his name, was generally known as the fastest man on the planet. Taking victories at the Bercy supercross, the World supercross championship (in 1996) and so much more. He was at his best, both AMA indoor and outdoor championships to his name.

The good news for British motocross fans, the American legend is returning to the United Kingdom to race the July 20 and 21 World Vets Motocross event at the legendary Farleigh Castle circuit in the south of England.

After a long chat about Memorial Day in America, the Indy 500, and a bunch of other stuff, I asked Emig about his preparation and goals for this year’s event at Farleigh.

MXLarge: Firstly Jeff, thanks for chatting. Tell me, I know you still race, and you still like to compete, but how would you compare yourself with say Mike Brown, who seems to take the vets racing pretty serious?

Emig: Well, if you gauged it from say one to 10, he is a 10 as he trains guys, has trained top pro riders. He trains at a high level and has never really stopped. Now, I like to drink some whiskey, I like NFL, I go to sporting events, all that. So, about half of my year is that, but then I think to myself, hey, I will race at Loretta Lynns and Farleigh Castle again, because I really love those events. That becomes my main focus, but I take time off and have to get in shape. This year, I started training at the end of March and its now nearly June and I am starting to feel better on the bike. I like to ride when its hot and the summertime is great. Right now, this is the first time in a long time that I have done two years back-to-back, where I have raced Loretta’s, but I hadn’t ridden a bike three times from racing Loretta’s last year until March, but now I am back into it. Its good for my business and I really enjoy riding. I feel fortunate that way, because a lot of other championship level riders lose their desire, and I haven’t lost that.

MXLarge: I assume you also love the travel, so going to these international races must also be nice?

Emig: I love the travel and it’s a shame we can’t craft a good Veterans World championship in some way, which would be so cool. It just isn’t like golf, because there is a lot of risk involved. Going to Farleigh is a circuit that is something like I had never ridden before. I grew up on the mid-west, where you would think there are tracks like that, but Farleigh is tough and the roost hurts like a Moth++++cker. When you put 60 bikes on the track, that place has such an amazing feel about it, really legendary place.

MXlarge: Its funny, because in your prime, you never raced in England, not the MXdN, not anything?

Emig: No, not even some of those supercross races they held back in the 90s. No Arenacross, nothing.

MXLarge: How did you find racing in front of the British fans, because they are some of the best in the World right?

Emig: They are, and it is a crowd that really respects and celebrates the history of the races and the racers. They understand it on a historical and deep level. It probably has a lot to do with the decades and decades of motocross or scrambles that was held in that era, from so long ago and over so many years.

MXlarge: I remember Ricky Johnson mentioning that the European fans appreciate you guys more, while in America its different?

Emig: Yes, but the supercross crowd is a much younger crowd, a young sport, and English fans of motocross, they really know about it and see it from a different angle. It isn’t like what we did for you yesterday, they appreciate the events from decades ago.

MXlarge: From what I understand, your age group is a very competitive one. James (Dobb) will race that age group, Mike Brown, and a handful of the other heroes of the sport.

Emig: Well, if Brown is there again, it will be Brown. The interesting thing riding this race, compared to when you are a young kid, back when you were a kid, you had to move up to the more experienced class, with more experienced riders and you were the new kid, now, in the vets racing, I haven’t been in the over-50 class long, so I need to make the most of it, because now I am the young guy, but that’s a good thing in vet racing. Kurt (Nicoll) goes to the 60 class, so he is the young kid in the class and will want to make the most of that.

MXlarge: They will have a beer tent there and James (Dobb) said you might spend some time there, but hearing about your Loretta goals, you will be staying in race mode for the weekend and no beer tent for you?

Emig: I was celebrating last year after we finished Loretta, but this year Farleigh is a week before Loretta, so I am stricter with my training and my lifestyle right now. It has been a few months since I had a beer, let me tell you. The way I think of it, I want to be productive each day and not have a big weekend with my friends and take a few days to feel good on the bike. I am sacrificing a little and trying to stay in shape and keep some weight off.

MXLarge: There will be some fans who don’t remember your career, I mean most of the older people who will attend the World Vets Motocross obviously will, but I wanted to go over a few of your moments in your career, just to jog some memories for people. I remember in 1997, after you won the AMA supercross title from Jeremy (McGrath) and the AMA 250 (now 450) motocross championship and you arrived in Europe, to Bercy, dressed in that cool green Shift gear and it was like you had grown 10 feet, a totally different attitude. Also, the Fastcross was a big one for you guys, or of course the Motocross des Nations events. Can you tell me a little about that time?

Emig: You know, racing Bercy was like nothing we had done before, and I am really grateful I got to race that event at the original location. You cannot explain it, the small stadium and racing down the back tunnel and the crowds were crazy. Some of the des Nations, I attended, were great memories.

MXlarge: Speaking of racing in England, no doubt you don’t just have good memories of Great Britain, that 1994 MXdN for instance?

Emig: No, and those ones are tough. You know, you have the highs of hight and the lows of low and if I reflect on that race in Roggenberg. I look back on why did that happen and why was I so upset with myself afterwards. Now I am older, and I think about how much that race meant to me, and I knew I was the fastest 125cc rider in the World. Now, having raced at Farleigh, that track in 1994 was like Farleigh on steroids, so a guy like Paul (Malin), his instincts to ride that course and the type of terrain it was, it was nothing for him and he excelled in that terrain. I have a lot of pride in my country and our racing and when we were beaten that day, I took it hard, because if I had won my races, we would have won the event. So secondary to my team-mates or any result that they had, I didn’t do the best possible and Paul was better that day and it hit me hard. Being on the first Team USA to lose it after winning for so many years, it wasn’t a good feeling.

MXLarge: In saying that, you were always a great team man for Team USA.

Emig: Yes, I can say, in my class, I was no worse than second, apart from my final moto in Belgium in 1997. Once again, I came in there feeling great and once again, an Englishman, Kurt Nicoll took the first moto from me. I was so pissed and then I realized, after the first and second moto, John Dowd has a terrible moto and going into the final moto, we didn’t have a shot at winning and I told myself, I am going to show these guys who the fastest guy in the World is. So, I get the holeshot, ride my ass off for a few minutes and then I just blew up. The emotion of the event, of not being in contention got to me and I just started thinking too much and the emotions got to me, I ended up finishing 11th. That was the only moto I had finished outside the top two in my class in the Nations.

MXlarge: I know when you go to this event, a lot of these legends are your friends and I assume the bench racing is one of the highlights for you?

Emig: Well, that is the great thing going to the World Vets. We are not these serious professionals, and we do some signing and can’t talk outside of that. We like people coming up now and talking and its much more relaxed. I want to perform well, ride my best and be safe, but win or lose we are all winners at this point. The great thing about having had a great career, the fans don’t remember any of my bad races. They remember the good stuff and want to talk about good stuff and why would you not want to talk about that. Some of the younger guys now complain about having to do the autograph sessions, but these people are waiting in line for an hour to get an autograph and a selfie and they just have positive vibes and imagine Geoff, if every Friday night, you go to a place and there is a line of people wanting to compliment you on your business? Think about what that would do you as a regular person and not a professional racer.


Jamie Dobb to ride 2024 World Vets Motocross

British motocross legend James Dobb is one of only five World motocross champions to come out of Great Britain, and the likeable 2001 World 125cc champion joins the likes of Jeff Smith, Graham Noyce, Neil Hudsen, and Dave Thorpe. With his championship in 2001, the Dobber is the last of this special group of riders.

In 1989, he won his first major adult title, the British 125cc Motocross championship, winning the 250cc category in 1990. In 1992, he was offered the chance to race in America, for the Pro-Circuit Kawasaki team, headed by Mitch Payton. During his five-year stint in America, Dobb would race for Pro-Circuit Kawasaki, Suzuki America and the Honda of Troy team. Whilst not winning any major titles, he was one of the series' top riders, winning an AMA National at Southwick.

Unfortunately, injury affected his 1996 season, and he was left without a ride for 1997. Disenchanted with the sport, he briefly pursued a modelling career in New York, before receiving an offer to return to Europe, competing for the Suzuki UK team. Dobb excelled on his return to Europe, winning the 1998 British 125cc Motocross championship, and a best finish of fifth in the World 125cc Motocross championship in 1999.

His good form saw him move to the factory KTM team in 2000, a move which gave him the momentum to challenge for the 125cc world title. He was second to fellow KTM rider Grant Langston in 2000, before dominating the 2001 championship, securing his, and Great Britain's, first title in the 125cc World Championship. Dobb's title victory was a welcome relief for British motocross in 2001, with much of the domestic season cancelled due to the country's foot and mouth outbreak.

He moved to the premier MX1 class in 2002, but injury, and an uncompetitive KTM 250 machine, meant that he was unable to challenge Stefan Everts for the title. After a lacklustre 2003 season, he returned to MX2, with the RWJ Honda team for 2004. However, unable to mount a serious title challenge, Dobb retired from professional motocross midway through the 2004 season.

Fortunately for British or even other European fans, Dobb will be racing in the 2024 World Vets Motocross, at Farleigh Castle on July 20 and 21. Having retired some 20 years ago, his return to Farleigh will be a huge chance for his fans, those spectators maybe a little older now, but with their memories of the Dobb vs Langston vs Brown battles of the past.

We caught up with him and asked about how he feels about dusting off the riding gear and putting his name on the line against riders like Jeff Emig, Mike Brown, Doug Henry, Rob Herring and so many more.

MXlarge: I spoke to Sebastien this week and he said it will be a lot of fun and he looks forward to seeing everyone again. I assume it is a similar situation for you. You haven’t raced much in recent years, have you?

Dobb: Basically, I am in the plus 50 class and Seb is in the plus 40s. In my class, there will be Mike Brown, Jeff Emig, Rob Herring, Doug Henry (riding a Stark Future with a roll-cage), Billy Mackenzie is in the class with Tortelli, Tommy Searle will race the younger class. The thing is, some people are still serious, and there are others, like me, I just ride for fun. Because of my hands, I can’t push like I want to push, because my hands freeze up and I ride at a safe pace.

MXLarge: I think most people that go there, will be older people, in general, they might take their kids or grandkids along, but many will just want to see guys like yourself, Tortelli, Emig, Nicol, Mackenzie, Searle, Brown and others racing, or even just riding. It is a very relaxed atmosphere I understand and not an all our, balls out racing event, like some of the other veteran races. Kurt Nicol still races pretty hard I understand, what class is he in?

Dobb: Yes, he does, and he is in the 60 plus class, he 60 this year. Kurt still rides on a daily basis, and he does ride days and testing.

MXLarge: I know you have a lot to do with Rob Hering with the stunt work, but does he ride much, and he is still fast?

Dobb: He is probably still a bit like me. I don’t know how fast he will be, but he does ride a bit and it is just a nice day out. Don’t get me wrong, when you get on the start gate, you want to go as fast as you can, but the weekend is a fun weekend, with a lot of old names getting back together. It is serious, but it will be a lot of family and friends having a bit of a giggle. It will be a really nice time to get together.

MXlarge: Obviously it all started with the World Vets at Glen Helen which started in the mid-1980s, and then those races in Italy, the TransBorgaro, which started in the 1970s,  Mammoth Mountain, the VMXdN in the UK, which started I guess a decade ago, there are so many cool veteran races now, it really has become a bit of a movement in our sport and I understand that, because if you look at a Grand Prix or British championship spectator turn-out, there are a lot of old faces wanting to revisit the past.

Dobb: People our age wants to race people of a similar age and its safer and you can have some fun. Then you go to a place like Farleigh Castle, such an iconic track in British motocross, or World motocross history. It makes for a really special weekend.

MXlarge: Did you race at Farleigh as a pro?

Dobb: Yes, I raced the support class in 1989 and I won that. Then, I never raced a GP there, but they had British champion rounds there. I won a couple, got second in a couple. It hasn’t changed too much. People have come in before us and in my eyes ruined it a bit, taking the steps out the back and tried to make it a more traditions set-up, but I liked the old steps. The fundamentals are pretty much the same, the historical first turn around the tree.

MXLarge: I know some of you are going there for some fun and catching up with old friends, but Mike Brown will be hard to beat in his age group. It amazing how he stays so competitive still?

Dobb: Yes, I think the good thing about Mike, he rides all the time and is super-fast, but at his age group, he doesn’t need to push it to his limit, so he can enjoy it, but because he is so fit still and fast, he can not take too many risks, which to be honest, that is how it should be at his age. Motocross is a dangerous sport, and you don’t want to be taking silly risks.

MXlarge: What is the plan on the weekend as far as the fans being able to mingle with the legends?

Dobb: You know Geoff, the riders will be hanging out, they won’t be hidden away anywhere. It will be friends hanging out and the spectators will also be hanging out with us. Our title sponsor is Briggs Commercials, and they have a big tent, with their old bikes on display and everyone is welcome there. They have some historical factory bikes to look at. People like Jeff (Emig) will be in the beer tent at night, he likes a beer. Even when Chad (Reed) was here last year, he was just hanging out with everyone, and he was really popular. You have the old school vibe and then you think about all the former World champions and National champions coming, it will be really exciting for not only us the riders, but also for the fans.

MXLarge: Seb coming on the Stark is big news. The Stark Future is really something that is hugely interesting to everyone.

Dobb: I mean, it is great to have them involved and new things in our sport. Will it ever race against the combustion bike, and everything has its place, and they look like fun bikes to run around on. You think that the Stark is the future, because if you look at Belgium all the tracks are close. Seeing Sebastien racing again, a champion is always a champion and I think he will be really a big deal for the fans. He will find out on the Saturday what he needs to do on the Sunday, because I remember last year when Chad came and he said to me on Saturday night, how he needed to get switched on for the Sunday races, because he didn’t realize how quick some of these veteran riders were. He was a different rider the second day and much quicker. You have Doug (Henry) coming over and I don’t think he has raced in the UK since the 1998 MXdN at Foxhills, so he will be a popular rider on the weekend. It will be fun to see him ride after what he has been to and to be in his position and still want to get on a bike and run around. What is great, a lot of these events, it’s the same riders, while this one, people who went to watch these guys, like Kurt Nicol, Seb Tortelli, Jeff Emig, Mike Brown, a lot of these guys who watched these legends, get to start on the same start line, as long as they are in the same age bracket, that is just great.