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Pierre Karsmakers and Mike Larocco Inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame

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The AMA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony took place on Friday evening at the Orange County Convention Center's Chapin Theater in Orlando, Florida, in conjunction with the second annual American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo).

Among the seven inductees recognized on Friday were two past AMA Motocross National Champions, Pierre Karsmakers and Mike LaRocco, both of whom were in attendance to receive their honors.

Karsmakers was one of the first European motocross heroes to bring his expertise to America, moving here in 1973. A three-time motocross champion in his native Holland, Karsmakers came to the United States when professional motocross racing was just starting to catch on. Signed to race for Yamaha, Karsmakers won the brand its first 500cc AMA Motocross National Championship.

One year later Karsmakers claimed the inaugural AMA Supercross Championship in 1974 (though at the time it was called the Yamaha Super Series of Stadium Motocross). Karsmakers continued racing in America until he retired in 1979, and arguably his greatest contribution was teaching his American competitors the importance of race-testing, physical fitness and general riding technique.
Mike LaRocco, pictured, has made a seamless transition from factory racer to Team Manager. - Credit Racer X Archives
Mike LaRocco was raised in Indiana and won his first National Championship at the Loretta Lynn's AMA Amateur Nationals, then turned professional in 1987 as a Yamaha support rider. Over the next 19 years he was a constant contender in both AMA Motocross and AMA Supercross, collecting national championships in AMA 500cc Motocross and AMA 250cc Motocross, as well as a World Supercross title.

Along the way, LaRocco raced for several brands but he ended his career in 2006 with Factory Connection Honda-now known as the GEICO Honda Team. Since 2010, LaRocco has managed the GEICO Honda Supercross/Motocross Team, which has won a title each year he has been involved.

Additionally, lifetime motorcycling advocate and enthusiast Tom White was recognized for his achievements and contribution to the sport of motocross. White was an acclaimed dirt track racer who ignited his passion for motorcycling at the age of 15. By the time he was in his early 20s, White was ranked among the top 100 motorcycle racers in America, earning AMA National No. 80. Soon after, he founded White Brothers Cycle Specialties in 1975, which became one of the top off-road motorcycle accessory companies in America. When White sold the company in 2000, the firm listed more than 30,000 products.

Today, White feeds his passion by racing motocross, working as a race announcer, and serving as owner and curator of the Early Years of Motocross Museum in Villa Park, California, which features 160 motorcycles and related displays.

White's lasting contributions also include the Edison Dye Motocross Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes the person or persons who have made the largest impact on the growth of motocross in America, and creating the World Veteran MX Championship and the World Four-Stroke Championship, which has become the World Two-Stroke Championship.

Other members of the Class of 2014 include: race tuner and innovator Byron Hines; national off-road racing champion Scott Summers; George Barber, founder of the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum and the Barber Motorsports Park; and legendary tuner, engine builder and team owner Rob Muzzy.

Also honored was AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend William "Willie G." Davidson. Willie G. is the grandson of Harley-Davidson founder William A. Davidson and is responsible for many of the innovative motorcycle designs that ushered in a new era for the iconic company.

Top Image: Pierre Karsmakers, made a great impact on American Motocross history.

Credit: Racer X Archive

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