Malcolm Davis. AJS Stormer. 1969.


29. Malcolm Davis / AJS Stormer / 1969


For the start of the British 250cc Championship season, Davis was to get off to a flyer at the opening round in Tilton, in the first race he stomped home in the lead, beating the Greeves ridden by Wade, Browning and Allen. He had overtaken Goss on his Husqvarna early in the first race, but in the second, Goss was to win, followed by Wade, Malcolm had fallen early and had to fight through the pack to pull off third place.

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Malcolm Davis / AJS Stormer / 1969

The next round he was to run into trouble, and was the start of a bad time for AJS and Davis, at Nantwich the AJS seized up, in both rounds, and this was not the first time.

 At the end of 1968, Davis had put himself in a position to win the 250cc Grandstand Trophy, in the last round in Kirkcaldy, he was up against Clough, riding a Husky, they had equal points. His teammate was now Andy Roberton and they both set off, full of confidience, he had won several of the earlier rounds, but then the unexpected took place, first was Davis, the engine siezed on the third lap, then soon after Andy’s bike shuddered to an abrupt halt. Davis was furious, the hard work battling with Clough, wasted, and in front of the TV cameras, the reason he was given, was, 2-Star fuel. But now it had happened again.

The team moved on and went to compete in the Spanish GP, things seemed to be going better, he was out in the lead in the first leg, then the engine spluttered to a halt, in the second round again, he fought back, again in the lead, the engine spluttered to a halt, water was getting into the electrics.

Finally things came to a head, the next race was in Switzerland, in the first race the spark plug was hit by a rock, in the second, his chain broke, two small mishaps, but he was again furious, and this time he let everyone know.

“I’ve had plugs break on the bikes about four times, and when it’s happened once, it shouldn’t happen again. The whole thing is really annoying, as these bikes are fast and handle beautifully”.

AJS sacked him ‘for not trying hard enough’.

Now this would seem to reflect badly on AJS, and the Y4, but there is an irony to this tale, read on….

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Andy Roberton / AJS Stormer / Thruxton / 1969

Davis soon secured a ride for CZ, and went straight back to his winning ways. At Farleigh Castle he competed in the Maybug Scramble, in the first race he got into a bit of trouble and crashed with a back marker, but he went on to win the second 250cc event, beating Browning and Bickers.

He was back in the saddle, and ready to get back to the GP’s, his first was the Dutch but here whilst fighting with Robert’s for the lead, his throttle cable broke. In July he could only manage 7th in the French, the next round though was at home, at Dodington.

Unfortunately, in race one he got off to a blistering start, and was chasing down the race leader, Geboers, when he had a mishap, a front puncher…. In the second race, again he fought through to second place, and this time his mishap, was the front wheel bearing disintergrating…

Then the British Championship resumed, he must have been pulling his hair out. He wanted to retain the title, and he put all his riding skills and his doggied style together. At the Cotswold Scramble he was in the lead in both heats, but was beaten by Goss on the Husqvarna in the first, then in the second, the gremlins were back, his carburettor failed…

He defended his title to the last round, at Tirley, he won the first heat, but was unable to hold on to the lead in the second, beaten by Goss, which gave Greeves their last 250cc British Motocross Championship, and gives us an insight into the gremlins of motocross, AJS style or CZ…

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Acknowledgement: Out Front – Ian Berry – 2011

British Motocross Championship – 1969            

  1. Bryan Wade            Greeves
  2. Malcolm Davis         AJS/CZ
  3. Bryan Goss              Husqvarna