Carl Bastedo has been an outstanding performer in almost every aspect of Canadian motorcycling, although always with a leaning toward off-road competition. He’s been a passionate contributor to the categories of competitor, team builder, sponsor, educator, promoter and marketer for more than 50 years. He is still going strong as owner of Motopark, the long-running motorcycle recreational facility near Owen Sound, Ontario, and as manager for Canada’s team in the international Motocross of Nations.
The son of a General Motors employee, Mike grew up in the blue collar GM town of Oshawa, ON and began racing motocross late at the age of 15 in 1976. At his first race he qualified third in the 125 Junior class against 135 competitors and finished seventh in the main event despite a crash in the first corner.
Although all but forgotten because he totally left the sport behind him in 1985, Pierre Couture was one of the great Quebec motocrossers of the mid ’70s to mid ’80s. Born in Drummondville in 1962, Couture was considered one of the top 500cc riders of his era. On sand tracks he was invincible, often beating multi-time champion Ross Pederson in the 500 Nationals.
With so many great predecessors for inspiration, it’s no wonder British Columbia has kept producing top-notch motocross talent generation after generation. In fact Canada’s first ‘official’ motocross champs were BC natives: Tom Richardson (Open) and Vern Amor (250) entered their names into the history books way back in 1958, when the sport was still called scrambling. Twenty-two years after these pioneers tore up the tracks, yet another west coaster, Surrey’s Terry Hofoss, rattled the National Motocross rank and file.
Zoli Berenyi Sr. brought his family to Canada from Hungary in 1957 along with a love for motorcycles, which was his primary means of transportation in the old country. At the ripe old age of 25 Berenyi entered, and won, his first sanctioned Alberta provincial race in 1959 aboard a 250 Royal Enfield. He had never raced before but motocross might as well have been invented for him.
It’s hard to believe that during the 1960s motorsport legend Yvon Duhamel helped supplement his racing income performing such tasks as pumping gas and working on a Montreal garbage truck. Yet that, and other equally menial jobs one would never associate with a man who is arguably the most successful and best motorcycle and snowmobile racer ever to come out of Canada, is exactly what he was doing.
Compared to most of his contemporaries, who started racing dirt bikes as early as the age of nine, Jean Sebastien Roy, who was affectionately known as "JSR" to his legion of fans in Canada and the United States, didn't get into sanctioned motocross competition until the age of 14. The fact that he was a relatively late starter, however, never deterred the Acton Vale, Quebec native from rapidly rising through the ranks. Practically from day one he exhibited a smooth, natural riding style. More importantly, he proved to be incredibly fast. Roy served notice early in his career that he would be a rider to contend with. In 1989 he won the CMA's National 125cc & 250cc Novice Championships. A year later he claimed the 125cc National Intermediate Championship.
Courtenay, British Columbia’s Darcy Lange started riding dirtbikes when he was four-years old. He began sanctioned racing at the age of 12. Two years later he garnered the 80cc BC Provincial Championship. It was evident from early on that Lange, who spent most of his career racing Kawasaki both in Canada and the U.S., was one of those rare, naturally talented riders who was destined for greatness in the sport of dirt bike racing. Although he never managed to nail down a pro national championship, Lange was a frontrunner in both MX2 and MX1, once he turned pro in 1998. That year, at the age of 15, he recorded a noteworthy fifth place in the CMRC 125/250cc National Motocross Championship