At years end, one team from each nation of the world gathers at one motocross venue to decide the Motocross des Nations championship. From the beginning, the greatest motocross racers from around the world have tried to conquer this single most challenging motocross championship since the sport began.
Historically, the MXdN was a combination of two different races on back to back weekends, each race on different size motorcycles. The Motocross des Nations on 500cc bikes, and the Trophy des Nations on 250cc bikes. Each race had a two moto format, so the challenge of wining all four motos for one racer, on two different size motorcycles, against the worlds best was enormous.
Each year, the worlds best motocrossers lined up behind the same gate to become the undisputed world motocross champion for that year. World famous MX champions like Roger de Coster(BEL), Joel Robert(BEL), Jeff Smith(GB), Hakan Anderson(SWE), JM Bayle(FR), Bob Hanah(USA), Brad Lackey(USA), to name a few, have all tried but failed to sweep all four motos in the event.
The opportunity to win all four MXdN motos was finally realized by the least likely racer. The 1980’s was the begining of American dominance in the sport of motocross. The “underdog wins” theme defined the early years when American privateer Marty Moates broke through by winning both motos in the 500cc U.S. Grand Prix at Carlsbad Raceway in 1980. One year later, the first American team shocked the motocross world by winning both the MX des Nations and Trophy des Nation events with an underdog team. Danny LaPorte, Johnny O’Mara, Chuck Sun and Donnie Hansen were not suppose to win in a European dominated sport. In 1982 another American underdog named MAGOO became the undisputed world motocross champion, and motocross legend, by winning all four motos of the Motocross des Nations. Danny “Magoo” Chandler lined up with the worlds best motocross racers and earned the respect of the world by the time the checkered flag dropped. Overcoming personal set backs, like allergic reaction due to a bee sting in the face during the race didn’t derail his opportunity to become the first racer to sweep all four motos of the MXdN.
As a lifelong fan of the sport, I would like to thank Danny Magoo Chandler for making the motocross world more colorful with his style and determination. Below is a short slideshow tribute to a man who lived the dream and earned the respect and admiration of the sport of motocross.
Godspeed Magoo . . .
A man’s worth is determined by how many people feel at a loss when he is gone, and when St. Peter regrets having to open the gates early.