When the 2010 Motorcycle Hall of Fame Inductees were enshrined on Friday evening in Las Vegas, four people who have made great contributions to the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship over the years were among the honorees. Pro Circuit founder Mitch Payton, JT Racing founders John and Rita Gregory, and Eyvind Boyesen, the man behind Boyesen Engineering, were all honored in the ceremony at the Red Rocks Resort for their work in and around American Motocross.
MX Sports Pro Racing, organizers of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, as well as our partners at Alli, the Alliance of Action Sports, and the 12 race promoters that make up the National Promoters Group (NPG), wish to congratulate Payton, the Gregorys, and the entire Boyesen family on their respective honors.
Mitch Payton’s success in the motorcycle industry is a testament not only to his work ethic and perseverance, but also that of his family, his staff at Pro Circuit, and all of the racers and mechanics and team sponsors that have participated in his program over the years. Payton was an aspiring racer himself until a desert-racing accident left him in a wheelchair at 17 years of age. He then went into the aftermarket business, taking a small bike shop in Anaheim, Calif., and building it into the global motocross power that is Pro Circuit, now based in Corona, Calif. Along the way he has won numerous races and titles with lineups that have included the likes of Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael, Ryan Villopoto, Mickael Pichon, Grant Langston, Ivan Tedesco, Mike Brown and more.
John and Rita Gregory founded JT Racing together as motocross in Southern California was just taking off some 40 years ago. Together they built a riding-gear empire, leading the way in motocross fashion for nearly two decades. Along the way they worked with a long line of AMA Motocross Champions and future Hall of Famers, including Marty Smith, Bob Hannah, Broc Glover, Danny LaPorte, Chuck Sun, Donnie Hansen, David Bailey, Rick Johnson, Ron Lechien and more. In fact, many of those riders were in attendance at the ceremony, including Glover, who came out dressed in the exact same JT Racing gear he wore in the mid-eighties to introduce John and Rita into the Hall of Fame.
Eyvind Boyesen has long been one of the most respected men in motocross. A former racer from Norway, he emigrated to America in the 1960s to work on rocket engines for NASA, then started his own namesake company, Boyesen Engineering, in 1972. Based in Lenhartsville, Pa., Boyesen’s innovations include reed valves, carburetion, two-stroke and four-stroke engines, water pumps, and more. Boyesen held more than 40 patents in the motorcycle aftermarket industry. He continued to be an active racer himself until this past year, as well as a sponsor of countless motorcycle racers. Sadly, Eyvind Boyesen passed away on the eve of his induction into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame after a long battle with leukemia. He was 68 years old.
MX Sports Pro Racing, Alli Sports, and the NPG all wish to congratulate Mitch Payton, John and Rita Gregory, and everyone in the Boyesen family on the prestigious honor of being inducted into the Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame. Congratulations also go out to dirt-track racer Don Castro, sidecar road-racing champion Larry Coleman, off-road rights activist Clark Collins, AMA 250cc Roadrace Champion David Emde, and desert racing legend and team manager Bruce Ogilvie were also part of the Class of 2010 for the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.