Ian Topliss, a legendary figure in South African motocross, boasts an astounding record of 11 South African national championship titles. Notably, he clinched double championships in the 125cc senior and 250cc senior classes for consecutive years (1996 and 1997).
His illustrious career reached its pinnacle when he was honoured with Motorsport South Africa’s (MSA) highest accolade, the prestigious Golden Helmet Award, at the 2022 MSA annual awards ceremony.
Topliss’s journey into the world of motocross began at the tender age of five when his mother surprised him with a PW 50. Initially hesitant, Topliss swiftly discovered his passion for the sport. With the unwavering support of his family and later his wife and children, he went on to secure numerous South African championships.
Beyond his national triumphs, Topliss has also claimed several regional championship titles and FIM AFRICA (formerly known as AMU, the African Motocross Union) Championships. He proudly represented South Africa at various international events, including the 1997 Motocross Des Nations and the 2005 MXGP at Sun City. In 2017, he competed in the Veteran World Cup in Assen, the Netherlands.
Today, Topliss is dedicated to giving back to the sport that has always been his passion. He imparts his extensive knowledge and experience to fellow riders through his tailor-made training programmes. These programmes offer a comprehensive approach to motocross training, covering fitness, mechanical bike work, and riding techniques.
Topliss shares, “From teaching novices the fundamental aspects of motocross to helping advanced riders hone their skills, and I’ve witnessed rider’s progress from beginners to national-level competitors.”
Regarding the growth potential of motocross in South Africa, Topliss believes there is indeed room for expansion. He observes a positive trend with more junior riders joining the sport in recent years. The key, he notes, is to maintain this growth as riders progress to the senior classes.
“We need to attract more sponsorship and secure the continued support of MSA and local clubs to raise awareness. Media exposure is also vital for attracting major corporate sponsors and generating interest among the public and potential participants,” Topliss emphasises.
Topliss commends the abundant talent among young South African motocross riders, noting, “The depth of talent is evident when you look at the top-level motocross riders South Africa has produced, including several world and AMA champions.”
Adrian Scholtz, the chief executive officer of MSA, echoes this sentiment, asserting, “Junior riders exhibit an immense passion for the sport, riding skills, determination, and dedication to motocross. With the right support, opportunities and exposure, talented young riders can make their mark on the international motocross scene, fostering an ideal environment for motocross to thrive in South Africa.”
Notably, Topliss has expanded his training programmes to other African countries, including Kenya, Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia. He continues to train riders and share his profound passion for motocross.
Source: Cathy Findley PR