Posts Tagged ‘Rob kinsey art’

It’s been 14 years since a British rider, Jamie Dobb captured our last World title after a titanic struggle against injury claiming the 125cc World Title for KTM, after the glory years of Graham Noyce, Neil Hudson and Dave Thorpe though-out the 70’s and 80’s.

However one British artist, Rob Kinsey has made his way to the top in the world of Motocross art  through hard work and determination. Rob’s work adorns the walls of Youthstream’s Geneva Headquarters, CEO Stefan Pierer’s office at KTM Austria and is in high demand from clients such as Honda Europe, KTM and many team owners and private collectors worldwide, but just how did the 58 year old Brit. rise to the top?

 Rob, you seem to have been around motocross for many years in different roles, how did it all start?

Our family moved up from Crewe Cheshire in 1968, when my parents bought a garage just north of Kendal, Cumbria. My uncle Jack gave me his old DOT 197cc bike and my dad, Fred, who had worked at Rolls Royce in the design dept. explained how to get it going. After that we started schoolboy scrambling, racing against Noycey and Neil Hudson and progressed up in to the adults, racing Montesa’s for Paul Ludlam M/c. I then got a good deal on a Maico 440cc in 1978 and had a great year winning Yorkshire GN, second in supports at Hants Grand International at Matchams etc.

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Rob Kinsey leading Don Brockbank, Hutton Conyers, Ripon, 1978

During this time I was studying Technical Illustration at Blackpool Art College, learning all aspects of art and how to do cutaway illustrations of engines, parts diagrams etc. These were drawn by hand using ellipse templates, Rotring technical pens etc  All of my college projects were motocross based and I approached TMX News, whose editor Bill Lawless gave me my first break, publishing a series of 3 centre page drawings of Graham Noyce, Neil Hudson and trials rider Nigel Birkett.

Illustation of Graham Noyce and his Honda in TMX News

Illustration of Graham Noyce and his Honda in TMX News

How come you didn’t continue with TMX News?

Back then the print industry was heavily unionised and I wasn’t a member of the N.U.J.(National Union of Journalists).   The in-house graphic designer at TMX complained to Bill Lawless who didn’t want to upset the apple-cart at their offices in Morecambe.

What did you do after graduating?:

I worked for a couple of studio’s in Manchester, but soon became tired of doing repetitous parts illustrations, for companies like David Brown Tractors, so I moved into sales of art materials, then onto Dunlop Motorcycle tyres and also several bicycle companies such as Muddy Fox and Dawes.

Were you still involved in motocross?:

Yes, after a brilliant holiday to California and seeing Supercross in San Diego for the first time , I came back and formed my own company Stadium Motorsports Promotions Ltd. I was also in contact with US Supercross founder Mike Goodwin and arranged meetings for us at Wembley Stadium and also represented Goodwin and his Stadium Motorsports Corp at the 1984 FIM Congress in Munich. We were awarded 2 rounds of the inaugural World Supercross Series in 1985, The Rodil Cup at WembleyStadium, London and the La Coliseum.

Mike Goodwin Wembley stadium 1984

L/R: Mike Goodwin, John Davis of Wembley, Rob Kinsey and John Garner Controller of sport Wembley Stadium.

What happened to the Wembley event?:

We had contracts all signed with Stadium and backing for many of Goodwin’s US sponsors, Coca Cola, Wrangler and Honda, but it all fell apart when the ACU demanded a £10,000 sanction fee for Wembley. Goodwin’s exact words were: Fcuk that!, I can get LA Coliseum or Anaheim permit from the AMA for $2,000 US dollars and I know I will get 20 to 30,000 paying fans.  On the way back to drop Mike off at Heathrow airport, he offered me a good deal on his Supercross footage, so I formed Stadium Video Europe ltd, and had 7 great years distributing Supercross, AMA Motocross nationals and Rick Johnson instructional VHS videos throughout UK and Europe. Eventually the fledgling sports TV companies, such as Eurosport, BSkyB started buying up coverage, curtailing the home video market.

What next:?

In 1988 I started  Moto Travel organising package tours to Motocross des Nations and our big event was the Bercy Supercross in Paris. The first year we took 350 British fans to the event with 6 coaches and also chartered an aircraft for a VIP package. Looking back these were great times and I made £39,000 profit from that one event, a lot of money back then!  The second year we did the Paris event again trips to Namur and also the USA Experience Tour, 2 weeks in California with 25 guys taking in the Superbowl of Motocross and USGP.  We had some great years but the 80’s recession and downturn in the economy hit ticket sales.

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How did you get back into artwork?:

I’d been a sales manager for various bicycle and motorcycle companies, but became burnt out of the constant pressure to sell more, lonely hotel rooms, driving, mountains of reports, 70 hour working weeks etc. Recently re-married I discussed it with my wife Jo and decided to go back to my artwork and see if I could resurrect my career?  At the last minute I decided to drive down to the 2006 MXDN at Matterley Basin, Winchester, blagged my way in the press room and saw this exhibition of paintings by a French artist, the press, industry were all raving about! I thought,” I can do better than those” and encouraged by my old friend Davey Coombs I did two paintings of Jim Pomeroy and “Holeshot Unadilla”, featuring Chuck Sun. RacerX featured these on their website and named me “Artist of the Year” in their year end annual awards. The phone started ringing and several orders came in overnight from the USA.

Anthony Sutton of Dirt Bike Rider also gave us some great publicity at the International Dirt Bike Show.

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“Holeshot Unadilla” print featuring Chuck Sun #24.

We then set a target of the 2007 Motocross des Nations at Budds Creek, Maryland USA to launch Rob Kinsey Art, creating a body of original paintings and also limited edition giclee prints to exhibit.

Working flat out all summer, Rob created a body of work to exhibit as well as Limited Edition Giclee prints and enlisted the help of old friend Davey Coombs. We flew all the originals and prints out to RacerX offices in Morgantown, West Virginia and enlisted services of a local framer to frame several prints. My first exhibition was at the British MXGP at Donington Park, where Youthstream had agreed to display my work in the Press Office. I also had Chuck Sun flying in to race the Vets championship for CAS Honda. We got the paintings all displayed but there were problems with Chuck’s licence and entry. Rob was sat in Giuseppe Luongo’s office’s when he got a call from the hospital to say his mother Bet had died suddenly. The Ward Sister said there was nothing that would happen until after the bank holiday weekend, so stay at Donington and do the exhibition, it’s what your mum  would have wanted!

Paintings on display in Donington Press Office.

Paintings on display in Donnington Press Office.

Shocked with the news, Chuck Sun and friends rallied around and Rob made many great contacts that weekend and after organising the funeral, flew out to Washington DC, to visit the capital and meet up with his old friend Davey Coombs at RacerX offices in Morgantown, West Virginia, where he had shipped all his paintings and print stock.

Parking their hired motorhome up in RacerX carpark, Rob and Jo were given the tour to meet everyone and Davey gave him the keys to his Mercedes, saying he didn’t need it for rest of week, so go enjoy the sights of West Virginia. Customs import delays on paintings were sorted out, exhibition stand built and onward to Budds Creek Maryland for the 2007 Motocross of Nations.

Rob and Jo were then invited to a reception at the Belgian Embassy in Washington DC, to present Team Belgium to the world’s press and for Rob to present Roger DeCoster with one of his paintings.

Roger DeCoster painting presentation at Belgian Embassy.

Roger DeCoster painting presentation at Belgian Embassy.

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Artist Rob Kinsey and Roger discuss the painting on the lawn of the Belgian Embassy, Washington DC.

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Jo Kinsey attends to customers at the Budds Creek MXoN exhibition stand.

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Display of painting’s used for opening titles of RacerX video show each night of their MXoN coverage.

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We hosted Danny Maggo Chandler on our stand, selling his video’s and enabling him to meet his many fans!

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Jo Kinsey, Jeff Castina, Rob Kinsey and Chuck Sun enjoy the warm humid weather at Budds Creek.

The Budds Creek MXoN event was a great success, selling many prints and original paintings, launching Rob Kinsey Art into America, a big thanks to Davey Coombs and promoter Jonathon Beasley for all their help in making this happen!

The profile of Rob Kinsey Art now changed to more commissioned work of original art and less on the print sales. KTM Austria commissioned a painting of Tyla Rattrey to celebrate his 2008 MX2 World championship, presented at the Donnington Park MXoN in the Red Bull Hospitality suite.

Ryan Villopoto painting bought by his parents

Ryan Villopoto painting bought by his parents

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Artwork on display in Team USA pits, as the Supercross organisers Feld Ent. enjoy the hospitality.

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Giuseppe Luongo and Danny Magoo Chandler with the Chamberlain Trophy at Donnington Park.

The following year at the Motocross of Nations in Franciacorta Italy, Youthstream commissioned a painting and presented it to Ricky Johnson and they also paid for Danny Chandler to attend and threw a surprise birthday party for him Saturday night.

Giuseppe Luongo presents a painting of Maggiora 1986 to American legend Ricky Johnson.

Giuseppe Luongo presents a painting of Maggiora 1986 to American legend Ricky Johnson.

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Giuseppe sings Happy Birthday to Magoo and presents a Birthday cake. Sadly this would be Danny’s last visit to the MXDN, as he passed away the following May.

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To celebrate Mikka Ahola winning the Enduro World Championship, Honda Europe commissioned this painting of the “Flying Finn”!

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The following year he defended his title and Honda Racing manager Roger Harvey wanted something different, so commissioned this illustration which we etched onto Copper plate and presented to Mikka. Sadly Ahola was to lose his life in a freak training crash month’s later.

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Honda Europe also commissioned a painting of World Supersport champion Kenan Sofuoglu.

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Presentation at Honda Europe HQ to Kenan by Robert Masterson of Honda.

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I was commissioned by Alan Bott of Pemberton Tyres to paint Nick Haskell’s original photo of Georges Jobe jumping over Andre Malherbe at the 1984 Hawkstone Park 500cc GP, as Alan was in the crowd. Once completed, Alan upon hearing of Georges battle with Leukaemia, decided to give this original to Jobe. We flew to Belgium, met up with Georges at his house in Retinne and enjoyed a great afternoon and a few Jupiler beers together!

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Roger DeCoster with a painting to celebrate his many years as Team USA manager at Lommel 2012.

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Youthstream commissioned 3 painting for Lommel, Paul Malin, tribute to Roger DeCoster and Valadimir Gudkov of Invest trade bank of Russia.

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Roger DeCoster accepts his painting at Youthstream Awards evening.

In 2012 KTM Austria won 12 World titles across Motocross, Enduro, Rallye and Road racing. I was commissioned by Pit Bierer, Head of Motorsport to create a painting to be presented to Stefan Pierer at their Christmas party at the factory in Mantighofen Austria.

KTM riders celebrate 12 World titles with CEO Stefan Pierer at the factory.

KTM riders celebrate 12 World titles with CEO Stefan Pierer at the factory.

KTM Austria 12 world championships commission.

KTM Austria 12 world championships commission.

One of Rob’s biggest commission was to celebrate Giuseppe Luongo’s 30 years of promoting Motocross, at a party at the 2013 Italian MXGP at Maggiora, Italy. The canvas was 6ft x 2ft in size.

From top left malherbe, Jobe, Vekhonen, cairoli, Bayle, Omara , Stefan Everts, Bierer, Rick Johnson, Bailey, Villopoto, Thorpe, Geboers and Puzar. Portrait is of Giuseppe & Ursula Luongo of Youthstream.

Stefan Everts, Usulla & Giuseppe Luongo, Jean Michel Bayle, Alex Puzar  and artist Rob Kinsey at 30th Birthday party.Painting from top left Malherbe, Jobe, Vekhonen, Cairoli, Bayle, Omara , Stefan Everts, Bierer, Rick Johnson, Bailey, Villopoto, Thorpe, Geboers and Puzar. Centre Portrait of Giuseppe & Ursula Luongo of Youthstream.

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Maggiora track from restaurant at top of this classic venue.

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Outdoor pool at restaurant with track behind the hedge.

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To celebrate the life of Marty Moates, film producer Todd Huffman made a film of the his 1980 USGP victory and commissioned two paintings of Moates, which were auctioned at the film premier re at Spreckels Theatre in San Diego, California.

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Tom White owner of the Early Years of Motocross Museum  placed the winning bid for Marty’s painting.

In 2013 Youthstream commissioned a painting of 8 time World Champion Tony Carolli, whose father passed away that summer.

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tony cairoli comm in his home 3rd dec 2014

Painting in Tony’s villa near Rome.

Looking foward to 2016, Rob is working on a collection of paintings to celebrate the 30 years between 1986 MXDN at Maggiora and the upcoming 2016 race at this classic Italian venue. A healthy commission book reflects and enviable reputation Rob has built up as one of the world’s premier motor-sport artist’s.

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Back in 1972 Marty Tripes was a puppy faced youthful 16 year old, with a factory Yamaha and tons of natural talent when he entered the LA Coliseum for the first ever Supercross held inside the former Olympic venue.

Mike Goodwin, a rock & roll concert promoter had come up with the idea of moving the often dusty and dirty outdoor motocross events into the comfort of football stadiums, where spectators could see everything from the comfort of a seat and easily grab a hot-dog or a beer. Goodwin came up with the idea whilst sat on the toilet in Belize, central America, reading about how a promoter had sold out Madison Square Garden in New York for a flat track race. Goodwin and his wife Diane, jumped in their beat up VW camper, drove to the Coliseum and convinced the owners to hold the inaugural Superbowl after sketching a rough track design on the back of a cocktail napkin.  Goodwin invited all the top European riders, like Hallman, DeCoster, Hansen, Kring, Aberg, Bickers etc to come and show the young inexperienced Americans how to ride Motocross inside a stadium. They knew little of a young 16 year old kid, named Marty Tripes from San Diego, but by the end of the balmy July night, his name was on everyone’s lip’s!

1972 Superbowl LA Coliseum

1972 Superbowl LA Coliseum

Goodwin made the race part of the Inter-Am Series, which used to attract some of Europe’s best riders to the United States during the summer months. Torsten Hallman, the multi-time world champion from Sweden, led a large contingent into the Coliseum, but it was a just-turned-16-years-old Yamaha rider that would steal the show. Marty Tripes, a superbly talented teenager on a yellow Yamaha, was barely old enough to have a driver’s license (he turned 16 just ten days before the race). Over the course of three motos, Tripes would finish 2-2-2 to score the best overall finish of the night. In doing so, he set a record for the youngest AMA Supercross winner ever, a standard that will likely never be surpassed.

Fast forward 43 years and Marty’s friend’s Jim Beauchamp and Keith Lynas approached Professional Artist Rob Kinsey to commission a painting of Marty winning the first ever Superbowl of Motocross. The trouble was, in the pre digital camera days not a lot of colour photo’s had been archived and eventually Rob had to work from old newsprint black/white shots and research all the colours, add in the Coliseum peristyle, crowd etc.

Marty Tripes b/w newspaper photo

Marty Tripes b/w newspaper photo

Marty Tripes pen/marker visual.

Marty Tripes pen/marker visual.

Luckily I was able to find some other colour photo’s of Marty’s race kit and bike to get the colours accurate/

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Popular Cycling cover

122_0903_14_z+the_first_supercross+marty_tripes_thorlief_hansen tripes 72 startlineOnce I had completed the painting I emailed hi-res images to Jim for approval and we came up with the idea of adding both Jim & Keith into the crowd from pictures of them from back in 72.

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Scan0013  1972 jimmy b HARLEY

Working on the painting took approx 40 hours of work.

Artist rob Kinsey working on Tripes commission in his studio in Derbyshire, England.

Artist Rob Kinsey working on the Tripes commission in his studio in Derbyshire, England.

Marty Tripes Commission

Marty Tripes Commission, Acrylic on stretched linen canvas.

The presentation to Marty was arranged for a surprise birthday party on June 27th, where Jim presented Marty with the painting, which was well received and even brought a tear to Marty’s eyes for the generosity of his friends and remembering back to that night in July 1972.

Marty receives the painting from Jim Beauchamp.

Marty receives the painting from Jim Beauchamp.

Andy Cleaver of Yorkshire VMX recently commissioned this oil on canvas painting of himself in action at the VMXDN @ Farleigh Castle Motocross.

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This was an 18″ x 24″ stretched linen canvas painted in oils. Here’s the painting in it’s early stages

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Andy was really pleased with the result and is giving the painting to his Mum, who used to come to every race with him.

Dougi Mercer, MD of Toughsheet Recycling, sponsors of the National Twinshock Series, had an old photo from his racing days that had sadly been bleached by sunlight and was very faint. Dougi commissioned on Oil on Linen Canvas painting, size 18″ x 24″ to capture in exacting detail his favourite photo for posterity.

Dougi Mercer oil on canvas

Dougi Mercer oil on canvas

Oil painting is a lot more complicated than water based acrylics, due to extended drying times and having to use mediums to thicken or thin the paint for glazes, detail etc. The result’s though are outstanding, the vibrancy of the colours just “ping out!” No wonder the old masters used them to such good effect.

I’m pleased to announce my latest commission, a painting of Antonio Cairoli in action and celebrating his 7th world title with his  father Benedetto, who sadly passed away this summer.

Antonio Cairoli tribute Painting to his late father Benedetto bu Rob Kinsey Art.

Antonio Cairoli tribute Painting to his late father Benedetto by Rob Kinsey Art.

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This acrylic on canvas painting, size 100 cm x 70 cm was commissioned by Giuseppe Luongo, President of Youthstream and organisers of the 68th edition of the Motocross of Nations in Kegums Latvia over the weekend of 28/29th September 2014.

Antonio Cairoli won his 8th World Motocross Championship in the premier MXGP class in what was a very challenging year, losing his father “Benny”, who died a few days before the Britsh MXGP. Tony was able to overcome his loss and win the GP at Matterley Basin, Winchester, a sign of a true champion.

For several years, I have been commissioned by Giuseppe Luongo to celebrate great moments in Motocross, including his 30th anniversary of promoting Motocross at a gala dinner at the Italian MXGP in Maggiora in June 2013.

Youthstream 30th Anniversary painting with Stefan Everts, Ursula Luongo, Giuseppe Luongo, Jean Michel Bayle, Alex Puzar and artist Rob Kinsey.

Youthstream 30th Anniversary painting with Stefan Everts, Ursula Luongo, Giuseppe Luongo, Jean Michel Bayle, Alex Puzar and artist Rob Kinsey.

Each summer I get together with Mr Luongo to decide who to honour and this year was an easy choice, as “Benny” had been such a massive influence on Tony Cairoli’s career. A commission begins with initial sketches to work out the composition, then a marker visual is produced for approval. Once agreed, the images are then scaled up and drawn onto the large primed canvas.  First task is to do a tonal under-painting, then to start blocking in major shapes, which can take several layers, before finally adding the detail, logo’s etc. This work took around 60 hours to complete but seeing the look on Tony’s face at the presentation, it was all worth it!

Cairoli painting marker visual, first draft.

Cairoli painting marker visual, first draft.

At approx 50 minutes into this video you will see the painting presentation to Tony Cairoli.

In September 2013 I travelled over to the annual Motocross des Nations, this year held at the Talkasel circuit in Teutschenthal,Germany. It was a very long drive from Europoort, Rotterdam to Teutschenthal situated nr Leipzig in what was the old East Germany.  I finally arrived around 5pm was able to pick up my passes and get the motorhome parked up in the living area.  Main reason for the trip was to deliver a painting commissioned by Youthstream and to be able to present it to Pit Beirer, head of KTM Motorsports racing division.  The presentation wasn’t until Saturday night so I was able to check out the paddock and watch the practice and qualifying races. More on the presentation later but here’s the action from Moto 1,the MX1 and MX2 classes

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Latvia were well pleased to win the B final and get into the main event.

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Team KTM pit and Ryan Dungey’s bike and helmet.

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What they were all racing for, the Peter Chamberlain MXDN trophy.

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Opening ceremonies and riders for moto 1

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Monster girls with 15 sec board.

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First corner, Aussie MX2 rider Dean Ferris with the holeshot.

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Fans take advantage of every viewing spot!

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Ken Roczen scubs in-front of his adoring flag waving fans.

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The battle between Roczen and Tomac was this close all race.

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Antonio Cairoli held a commanding lead in moto 1.

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Cairoli lights the candles to win the first moto.

A packed church in Retinne, Belgium gathered to honour 5 time World Champion Georges Jobe, who passed away on 19th December, finally succumbing to Leukemia after a brave fight!
Waiting to welcome Georges coffin into Church were a Guard of Honour of many of his friends, former team mates and GP rivals with well over 25 FIM World Motocross Championships amongst them. The glory days of the 1980’s 500cc World Championships represented by Eric Geboers, Dave Thorpe, Andre Malherbe stood proudly alongside legends Joel Robert, Stefan Everts, Michaelle Rinaldi with many more former GP riders such as Johan Boonen, Raymond Boven, Jean Paul Mingels etc., together with modern day World Champion Davide Phillipaerts and many GP riders, all united to see Georges and pay their respects.
The service was relayed to the crowds outside via speakers, with emotional tributes from daughter Maite and son Vic alongside many moving eulogies from family and friends. The Priest gave such an emotive eulogy for Georges in French, spoken with such passion of his spirit as a competitor, his steeyl determination and as a loving father and coach to many young riders such as Arnaud Tonus.
TV’s played a fitting tribute to a true champion, one of the legends of the Belgian Motocross dynasty that dominated tracks around the world for decades and sponteneous applause broke out spreading outside.
After the service, Georges coffin was met by a rousing cacofony of noise from a line up of bikes from young to old, as the congregation paid it’s last respects.
Word’s cannot express my pride at being able to bring Georges some comfort and hope in his darkest hours enduring chemo, through my painting of photographer Nick Haskell’s  iconic image of Jobe jumping over friend Andre Malherbe at Hawkstone Park 500c GP in 1984. Englishman Alan Bott commissioned the artwork and then decided to give it to Georges, in honour of a fantastic career and a true champion. Georges even took the painting into his hospital room to show the doctors and nurses his finest hour and give him courage to fight on. Drinking ice cold Juliper Beer at his home, we chatted for over 3 hours, bench racing famous victories, his rival’s and toasted a great champion, it was an honour to call a friend!

Plans are underway for a Special Celebration of Georges life at the Hawkstone International on Feb. 10th, where MX1 & MX2 riders will compete in the final combined moto for the perpetual “Georges Jobe Memorial trophy”, one of Georges favourite GP trophies, to be donated and presented by his children. Organisers are hoping to re-create the original double jump again in tribute to a great champion.

Rob Kinsey www.robkinsey.com

jobe painting presentation 2012

Georges accepts painting from Alan Bott.

Georges accepts painting from Alan Bott.

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Last weekend I travelled out to the KTM Factory in Mattighofen, Austria to present a painting, celebrating 12 FIM World Titles in 2012, to CEO Mr. Pierer at their annual Christmas party infront of over 1500 workers, management, dealers and sponsored riders!

Flying out from Birmingham to Munich on Monarch Air’s new service route was great, budget prices, but only 15 people on an Airbus A380, felt like it was your own personal jet.DSCN0193

Arriving in Munich my good luck continued as I was able to get a rental car upgrade to a new Mini Countryman, equipped with Sat Nav. and winter tyres, which came in useful as the temperature was -8c as I travelled the twisty 2 hour drive to Mattighofen in the dark, finally arriving at my Gasthous just after 10pm.

In the morning I checked in with Marlene Hoffman, PA to Pit Bierer who suggested I go visit the superb Xmas market in Salzburg, home to Mozart and the Sound of Music.

Christmas market in salzburg

Christmas market in Salzburg

Salzburg really is a fascinating city, nestled beneath the imposing castle, surrounded by jagged alpine mountains. The market was busy selling Christmas decorations, trees and many stalls offering warm Gluwein, crepes etc.

Salzburg Castle with giant Xmas tree decoration

Salzburg Castle with giant Xmas tree decoration

The Catholic Church has some fantastic fresco’s in the dome, which had to be re-built after an allied bombing raid in 1944.

Ceiling of Catholic Church.

Ceiling of Catholic Church.

There were large queques for the Mozart Museum but just down the street was Red Bull World, the brand’s only retail store worldwide selling high end Red Bull clothing. It was a motorsport fans fantasy grotto with Vettel’s F1 car and Roczen’s championship winning KTM 250 SXF amongst the display’s. If you fancy any of the clothing, make sure you have deep pockets!

Red Bull World, their only retail shop worldwide!

Red Bull World, their only retail shop worldwide!

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It was a short 25 mile drive back to Mattighofen to check out the KTM clothing retail store @ the factory. KTM factories dominate the town of Mantighofen’s industrial area

KTM Main Factory in Mattighofen.

KTM Main Factory in Mattighofen.

Further up the road lies their spares & despatch factory. (Photo taken on mobile phone)

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KTM’s Factory Racing building is now situated approx 3 miles up the road in Munderfing, next to the new engine plant and nearby a massive White Power Suspension factory, also owned by KTM.

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Motorsport offices

Motorsport offices

WP Suspension factory.

WP Suspension factory.

At KTM Factory Racing, from where all KTM’s motorsport’s worldwide activities are co-ordinated I met up with Marlene Hofmann, PA to Pit Bierer to unveil the painting which had safely made it unscathed.  In reception there is a massive wall mural celebrating their titles up to 2011, guess they will have to update it shortly!

Mural in KTM reception.

Mural in KTM reception.

Chatting to Marlene & assistant Steffi I was offered the chance to have a quick tour of the facilities and view the 4 seperate workshops for Motocross, Road race, Rally and Enduro. I asked,”would it be okay to take photograph’s?” they said yes as long as I didn’t take pictures of disassembled bikes or any engines in pieces…………..gotta keep something’s secret!

First was the Road Race dept with Moto 3 World champion Sandro Cortese’s winning KTM displayed. First thing that strikes you is how small, compact the bike is, compared to a motocross bike.

Sandro Cortese's Moto 3 bike

Sandro Cortese’s Moto 3 bike

Lined up against a wall were the Red Bull Rookie Cup bikes which were up for sale!

Red Bull Rookie bikes for sale.

In the Motocross workshops Jeffrey Herlings KTM SX250F looked rather lost as many of the other team bikes had been out dyno testing new fuel mapping and quieter exhausts from Akropovic.

Herlings works bike

Herlings works bike

Cairoli's workstation

Cairoli’s workstation

Detail on Herlings bike

Detail on Herlings bike

Trophies in the Enduro workshop.

Trophies in the Enduro workshop.

Rally and enduro bikes await preperation.

Rally and enduro bikes await preperation.

It was now time to head down to the main factory to set up the painting presentation, brief riders and staff on timings etc.

Entrance to party with all title winning bikes displayed. Naturally it's an Orange carpet for the guests!

Entrance to party with all title winning bikes displayed. Naturally it’s an Orange carpet for the guests!

What was most impressive was a banner, at least 100 metres long with every title & rider named, going back to the first ever championships of Gernady Moisevv and Heinz Kinigadner. Guess they will have to add another 12 metres for their 2012 success’s!

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Preperations were well underway laying out the tables for the 1500 guests and setting up the stage.

Party time!

The evening’s festivities would start with a champagne reception, guests would be seated, then CEO Mr Pierer would address the crowd, explain KTM’s success’s this year and discuss emerging worldwide markets. In 2012 they sold 127,000 bikes worldwide and are targeting to produce 200,000 bikes by 2017. Every detail is planned to perfection, market share, growth targets in market segment’s such as off-road, road and motocross plus the massive clothing and accessory market. Seeing the factory, the passion of the staff made me fully realise just how big a “world player” KTM have become in every segment! The talk was preceeded by the production director firing up their newest 1290cc road bike, the deep throaty roar was loudly applauded by everyone!

KTM's new 1290cc road bike, sounds awesome!

KTM’s new 1290cc road bike, sounds awesome!

Watching the presentation with motocross legend Stefan Everts.

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Following loyalty awards to long serving staff, the stage was handed over to Motorsport Director Pit Pierer and ambassador Heinz Kinigadner to interview each of the 12 World champions and present each rider with a memorial trophy from KTM. Sadly motocross champions Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings were absent, as was the injured Taddy Blazusiak, but a full compliment of Enduro riders, the very popular MX3 Champion & Austrian homeboy Matthius Walkner and Moto 3 World Road race champion Sandro Cortese more than made up for it!

Together with Heinz Kinigadner we unveil the painting to Mr Pierer.

Together with Heinz Kinigadner we unveil the painting to Mr Pierer on the large TV screens.

Presentation to Mr Pierer.

Presentation to Mr Pierer.

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Group photo with Stefan Everts, Pit Bierer, Mr Pierer, riders and Heinz Kinigadner at presentation.

Artist Rob Kinsey with Moto 3 World Champion Sandro Cortese.

Artist Rob Kinsey with Moto 3 World Champion Sandro Cortese.

KTM Painting celebrating 12 FIM & AMA titles in 2012.

KTM Painting celebrating 12 FIM & AMA titles in 2012.

Dakar winner Cyril Despres.

Dakar winner Cyril Despres.

Following press photo’s and TV interviews it was time to eat and what a spread was laid on. Free beer and wine was provided thoughout the night and a seperate bar for serious drinkers, Jagerbomb’s etc.  Top tip, if you ever get invited to KTM’s Christmas party take a pocket full of flat steel M6 washers!.  You had to pre-buy tokens for drinks and the partgoers soon exhausted the stash of tokens, so the bar staff improvised with washers as tokens! Spent the night chatting to legend Stefan Everts, drinking with the motorsport staff, Pit Bierer, Valentina Ragni, Robert Jonus, Fabio Fariolli and all the riders. Cyril Despres was “on the wagon”, sipping water and a few glasses of red wine with the 2013 Dakar soon to start.  Sadly AMA Outdoor champion Ryan Dungey couldn’t make it with Anaheim SX also fast approaching. However there was the new KTM 450cc Dungey Replica centre stage, looking good in the new Blue/Orange livery that every motorsport dept will run next season.

Ryan Dungey replica

Ryan Dungey replica

Bearing in mind I had to get up at 6am to drive back to Munich to catch a 10am flight, I shared just a couple of beers, toasted KTM’s success which I’m sure will continue growing in 2013 and onwards.

Partying with Stefan Everts.

Partying with Stefan Everts.