The Grand Prix of Italy this weekend will have a special guest of honour as the FIM Motocross World Championship continues to celebrate elements of its heritage at the famous racing venue north of Milan.

Part of the victorious 1986 Motocross of Nations Team USA, AMA legend Johnny O’Mara will be in Europe to perform a demo lap on a replica of the CR125 factory Honda with which he rode to a stunning win almost thirty years ago at the same track.

The American will first host a dinner/gala on Friday evening at the circuit (that boasts a stunning restaurant/swimming pool complex at the very top of the steepest hill) to raise money for the Road 2 Recovery injured rider fund.


‘R2R’ is a relatively new charity set up by former riders like Jimmy Button to assist those FIM licensed racers who require treatment after a career-affecting accident. The foundation also extends assistance to families.

Maggiora has undergone several upgrades after a fantastic return to the international stage in 2013 where it was clearly one of the busiest and most atmospheric events of that campaign. The Grand Prix was made even more memorable thanks to a titanic battle in the MXGP class between Tony Cairoli and eventual overall winner Gautier Paulin.

The improvements include track alterations and modifications to the infrastructure for better and quicker access. Last summer saw a few riders and team celebrate the return to Maggiora with retro paint jobs (David Philippaerts’ 1980s scheme on his Gariboldi Honda was particularly impressive) and the ‘dressing up’ trend will continue for this 10th round of 17 with at least two factory teams ready for ‘new clothes’ this weekend.

Yesterday Dirt Bike Rider broke the news on the ‘special’ Yamaha and we suggest you keep a good watch on the Instagram feed from the paddock for more photos! The build-up continues with a view towards a historic 2016 Motocross of Nations return.

Apparently places to dine with O’Mara at Maggiora are still available and can be secured for 199 euros each by contacting former world champion and organiser Jamie Dobb on