The Russians in Motocross: Moisseev Champion
In 1960 the first Russian riders – or better saying, the Soviet riders at that time – began to take part in the Motocross World Championship, in which they would become quite successful. Russian athletes appeared on the international scene in the mid-fifties; in Motocrcycling sport, a Russian Federation was affiliated to the FIM at the Congress of Oslo early 1956 (Central Motor-Motorcycling Club of the USSR). That year for the first time a team from Soviet Union took part in the Olympic Games.
Guennady Moisseev was born on 3 February 1948 in Leningrad. After assisting to the 250 Motocross World Championship round in Leningrad on July 19, 1964 he decided to become a Motocross rider. That same year he was admitted to the motocross section of the Leningrad Pioneers Palace (Youth Sport Training structure in USSR). He took part in his first World Championship race in 1967 (3rd place in Belgorod, and a 10th place in the final classification). He was member of the Soviet team which took part in the 1968 Motocross des Nations in Kishinev (currently Chisinau, capital of Moldova) and won! Then he became Russian 250cc MX Champion in 1970. He took part in the 250 Championship each year, on a CZ, scoring points but finishing beyond 10th place in the classification until 1973 when, after changing to KTM he finished in the 5th place, with six podium places including his first heat win in Yugoslavia.
In 1974, he clinched his first World title, the first of a Russian rider (individual) in Motocross. In 1976 he ended in second place, one point only behind Finn Heikki Mikkola. He took the crown again in 1977 (with 42 points ahead of his fellow countryman Kavinov ) and 1978 (30 points ahead Swede Thorleif Hansen). That same year, the Soviet team won the Motocross des Nations for a second time in Gaildorf (West Germany) with Guennady Moisseev, Vladimir Kavinov, Vladimir Korneev and Yuri Khudiakov. These four riders also won the Trophée des Nations (these team competitions were run separately until 1984) held in 1979 in Stockholm. That same year Moisseev finished 4th of the 250cc World Championship, and a couple of years later retired from competition, becoming coach in his country. He was elected president of the Russian Federation in 2000.
Text Marc Pétrier – Photo FIM