This is where we ask a few of motorcycle sport’s big guns just what was their most memorable race.
Today we’re chatting with Bay of Plenty’s Peter ‘Broxy’ Broxholme, an accomplished motocross racer, bike tester and respected coach of many years’ standing.
The now 38-year-old father-of-four takes us back to September 2001 and his glory-filled experiences racing in the Asia/Pacific Supercross Championships series.
It was a wide-eyed 19-year-old who found himself in Medan, Indonesia, for the third round of the series, the Honda rider from Tauranga perhaps the favourite after he’d won the main races at both the first two rounds.
“Actually, the second round (at Pakenbaru, in Indonesia, the previous weekend) was pretty exciting, with 40-degree Celsius heat and absolutely no wind to keep this Kiwi kid cool, along with having 20,000 enthusiastic Indonesians storm the course after pulling down a security fence.
“The encroaching crowds even caused me to have a nasty crash during the qualifying race.”
Broxholme (Honda CR125) fought back to finish fourth in that qualifier and then progressed on to win the main race proper, finishing 15 seconds ahead of Japanese rider Yoyi Osaki (Honda CR125), with Australian Jye Harvey (Kawasaki KX125) coming home third.
“Security guards had to escort me off the grounds because, for some strange reason, they all wanted to touch me. Talk about making a boy feel like a rock star,” laughed Broxholme.
But it was at round three of the series at Medan a week later that Broxholme recalls as his best race ever, this event comprising two races.
“I was standing there in the pits with a crushed snake at my feet. It must have been a fairly poisonous one, gauging from how excitedly the locals had been dancing around, until someone managed to drop a big rock on its head,” said Broxholme.
“Looking back now, I probably should have been more freaked out by the whole thing, but most likely I was still feeling so beat up from my crash in the race that it really didn’t bother me much.
“But my New Zealand mud riding experience came to the fore, combined with the good fortune of having the race leader kindly pull over to get a new set of goggles and my having a pit crew that had wired chop sticks onto my hand grips so that I could keep turning the throttle when my gloves were covered in mud.
“Anyway, it was after that snake incident that I probably had the race of my life. Still seriously hurting from my earlier crash, I then proceeded to get caught up in the start gate and headed away in absolute dead last. To make matters worse, massive amounts of rain had caused our one-minute 45-seconds-a-lap course to be shortened to a meagre 55 seconds, making the track conditions even worse and passing more difficult.”
But Broxholme dug deep and managed to fight his way through the pack and take the win from Osaki.
“For some reason on count-back they gave the Japanese rider the overall win even though I had managed to finish second place in that first race after my crash, and I never really understood why they never invited me back over again, but it was probably for the best.
“I guess I was not meant to win that race … I don’t actually know why, except that the races were televised to millions of people around the world on ESPN (we even saw it here in New Zealand) and the Japanese motorcycle association may have funded a large part of that. So, for a relatively-unknown Kiwi to be beating their Japanese riders did not go down well,” he shrugged.
“Also having a mother introduce me to her dolled-up daughter as a good marriage prospect was a good sign that perhaps I wasn’t quite ready for the rock star life yet.”
It’s also interesting to note that, racing in the 125cc class, Broxholme had placed third overall in the New Zealand Motocross Championships a year earlier, in November 2000, finishing behind Masterton’s Luke Burkhart (Yamaha) and Taupo’s Ben Townley (Kawasaki).
Broxholme raced numerous New Zealand Motocross Championship events over the years, finishing as high as No.2 on two memorable occasions – behind Daryl Hurley (Suzuki) in the 500cc class in 2007 and behind Cambridge’s Damien King (Yamaha) in the MX1 class in 2008 – and he was otherwise consistently a top-five ranked rider in either the 500cc or MX2 (250cc) classes between the years 2005 and 2013.
He retired from fulltime motocross racing at the end of the 2013 season, but he is now fully occupied working as a motocross coach.
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
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