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Joël Robert

Joël Robert
Joel Robert in actie, Bestanddeelnr 925-5857.jpg
Joël Robert (1972)
Born26 November 1943 (1943-11-26) (age 75)
Châtelet, Belgium
Motocross career
Years active1960 - 1976
TeamsCZ, Suzuki, Puch
Championships250cc - 1964, 1968 - 1972

Joël Robert (born 26 November 1943) is a Belgian former professional motocross racer. He was one of the most successful motocross racers competing in the Motocross World Championships during the 1960s and early 1970s, winning the 250cc class six times including five times in succession from 1968 to 1972.[1][2] His battles with Sweden’s Torsten Hallman were considered some of the best in the history of the championships.[3] Between 1964 and 1968, the pair finished first or second to one another in the world championship four times.

Robert also played a role in the introduction of the sport of motocross in the United States by participating in the 1970 and 1971 Trans-AMA motocross series.[2] His participation in the year-end Trans-AMA series gave credibility to America’s first motocross championship and, served as inspiration to early American motocross racers.[2] Robert was recognized for his contribution to the development of American motocross in 2000 when, he was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.[2]

Motorcycle racing career

Born in Châtelet, Belgium, Robert began his professional motocross racing career in the early 1960s, racing in the European motocross championship.[2] In 1962, the European championship was granted world championship status by the FIM. Robert won the 1964 250cc world championship as a twenty-year-old privateer riding a CZ motorcycle, becoming the youngest motocross world champion at the time.[2] In 1965 he became a factory sponsored rider for the Czechoslovakian firm CZ.[2] Robert won the 250cc crown for CZ again in 1968 and 1969.[4] For the 1970 season, Robert was wooed from CZ by the Japanese manufacturer Suzuki, who was seeking to make inroads into the European dominated sport.[2] He continued his winning streak with Suzuki by capturing the 250cc Grand Prix championship in 1970, 1971 and 1972.[5] His record of 50 motocross Grand Prix victories stood for more than 30 years until it was broken by fellow Belgian, Stefan Everts, in 2004.[2]

Robert is remembered as one of the most naturally talented motocross riders in history.[6] In one of the most physically demanding disciplines in sports, he was notorious for his lack of training as well as his cigarette smoking.[2][6] He once even put his cigarette out on the crossbar of Sylvain Geboers's handlebars while on the start line at a series finale, which Robert eventually won.[7] American Grand Prix motocross racer, Jim Pomeroy, commented on Robert's impressive physical strength in an interview, recalling how he watched him lift the rear end of a small car.[8]

Later life

Robert was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame along with Torsten Hallman in 2000. Today, he continues his involvement in motocross by acting as manager for Belgium's Motocross des Nations team.[2]

Motocross grand prix results

Year Class Team Rank
1962 250cc Greeves 14th
1963 250cc Greeves 25th
1964 250cc CZ 1st
1965 250cc CZ 2nd
1966 250cc CZ 2nd
1967 250cc CZ 2nd
1968 250cc CZ 1st
1969 250cc CZ 1st
1970 250cc Suzuki 1st
1971 250cc Suzuki 1st
1972 250cc Suzuki 1st
1973 250cc Suzuki 18th
1974 250cc Suzuki 10th
1975 250cc Suzuki 9th
1976 250cc Puch 18th


  1. ^ "Joël Robert career profile". Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Joël Robert at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame". Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  3. ^ "Torsten Hallman at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame". Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  4. ^ "FIM Motocross World Champions". Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  5. ^ "Joel Robert biography". Archived from the original on 19 June 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Joël Robert Interview, Cycle Guide, January 1973". Archived from the original on 21 April 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Who's Got The Goat?". Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Jim Pomeroy Interview". Retrieved 28 April 2012.

External links

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