Born in 1952, Jim Pomeroy is known as the first American rider to win an FIM Motocross World Championship race : it was the first heat of the 250cc Spanish Grand Prix held in Sabadell on 8 April 1973 – he was riding a Bultaco. This was a time when Motocross was well-established in Europe while still in a fast-growing period in the USA, following its introduction in the late sixties.
The first participation of an American rider had been that of Californian Bud Ekins in 1952 (first year of the European Championship), earning a fifth place at the British event. Twenty-one years later Pomeroy’s win received a huge echo in the United States where the first 500cc Motocross Grand Prix held in the United States was scheduled a short time later later, in Carlsbad, California, on 24 June that same year. Two American riders scored points in Carlsbad but there was no win: 15th and 11th for Brad Lackey and 12th and 15th for Pierre Karsmakers.
Pomeroy is thus the first one to have won a Motocross Grand Prix race. He was also the first winner of an Indoor Supercross race (in Houston in 1974). He would also win a heat in Carlsbad in 1977. He stopped racing in 1980 but remained in the competition world. He was killed in his vehicle’s crash in August 2006.
Text: Marc Pétrier / Photo: FIM Archive