Roger De Coster

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Roger De Coster
Roger De Coster in 1977
Born28 August 1944 (1944-08-28) (age 74)
Uccle, Belgium
Motocross career
Years active1966 - 1980
TeamsČZ, Suzuki, Honda
Championships500cc - 1971-1973, 1975, 1976

Roger De Coster (born 28 August 1944 in Uccle) is a Belgian former professional motocross racer and current motocross team manager.[1] De Coster's name is almost synonymous with the sport of motocross, winning five 500cc Motocross World Championships during the 1970s and tallying a record 36 500cc Grand Prix victories.[2] His stature is such in the world of motocross that he is often simply referred to as "The Man."[1]

Motorcycling career[edit]

De Coster began his professional motocross career with the Czechoslovakian firm ČZ racing in the 500cc class.[1] He was also competent in other forms of off-road motorcycling, winning a Gold Medal in the 1964 International Six Days Trial, and won the 1964 Belgian Observed Trials National Championship.[1] He won the 500cc Belgian National Championship in 1966 and moved up to the Grand Prix World Championship in 1967.[1] He won his first 500cc Grand Prix in 1968.[1]

In 1971, De Coster left ČZ to join the Japanese firm Suzuki.[1] It was with Suzuki that he would attain his greatest success, winning the 500cc Motocross World Championship three years in a row in 1971, 1972 and 1973 before Heikki Mikkola dethroned him in 1974.[3][4][5] De Coster came back and regained the World Championship for the 1975 and 1976 seasons.[3]

De Coster competing in the 1974 Trans-AMA motocross series

By the mid-seventies, he had established himself as the greatest motocrosser of all time.[1] In 1980, he joined Honda for one final season. He left the sport on top, winning his final world championship race — the 500cc Motocross Grand Prix of Luxembourg at the end of the 1980 season. He was also a four-time winner of the Trans-AMA motocross series, a nine-time Belgian national champion, and was a member of six winning Belgian teams in the Motocross des Nations.[1]

Riding style and training[edit]

De Coster was known for his smooth, controlled riding style and a commitment to physical training. His training regime gave him the stamina that allowed him to circulate for most of the race in mid-pack before putting in a late charge through the field to victory when other racers had begun to tire.[1]


After his racing career, De Coster moved to the U.S. and remained involved in the sport, becoming the motocross team manager for Honda and Suzuki. In 2011 De Coster became the team manager for the Red Bull KTM team. He has also managed Team USA in the Motocross des Nations.


De Coster was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1994, becoming only the seventh motorcyclist in the Hall.[6] In 1999, he was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.[1]

Motocross Grand Prix Results[edit]

Year Class Team Rank
1966 250cc CZ 7th
500cc CZ 12th
1967 250cc CZ 19th
500cc CZ 5th
1968 500cc CZ 5th
1969 500cc CZ 5th
1970 250cc CZ 3rd
500cc CZ 13th
1971 500cc Suzuki 1st
1972 500cc Suzuki 1st
1973 500cc Suzuki 1st
1974 500cc Suzuki 2nd
1975 500cc Suzuki 1st
1976 500cc Suzuki 1st
1977 500cc Suzuki 2nd
1978 500cc Suzuki 3rd
1979 500cc Suzuki 6th
1980 500cc Honda 5th


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Roger De Coster at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame". Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  2. ^ "BEST sports - Profile - Roger DE COSTER".
  3. ^ a b "FIM MX3 Motocross World Champions / MX / 650 (4-stroke) / 500 (2-stroke) >>> MotorSports Etc".
  4. ^ "1974 500cc motocross world championship final standings". Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  5. ^ Pratt, Terry (1975). Grand Prix Wrap-Up. Cycle World. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  6. ^ Roger De Coster at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Archived 2011-05-31 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]