6 months ago | Updated 6 months ago

Five-Time World Motocross Champion Eric Geboers: 1962-2018

Belgian motocross racer Eric Geboers, the first man to win World MX titles in the 125cc, 250cc and 500cc divisions has died in a tragic accident, drowning while trying to rescue his dog. Geboers was 55.

According to TheSun.co.uk, Geboers was on a boat on lake in Mol, Belgium, on Sunday evening when his Shiba Inu puppy plunged into the water. According to witnesses, Geboers immediately jumped in to save the dog. Geboers immediately had difficulty, and despite efforts from other people on the boat, went under the water. Rescue crews recovered Geboers’ body the next day. The dog, a recent gift from his wife, reportedly survived.

Geboers, nicknamed “The Kid,” won the 125cc World Championship in 1982 and 1983 for Suzuki. He joined Honda‘s factory team in 1987 and immediately won the 250cc championship. Also with Honda, Deboers won the 500cc championship in 1988 and 1990, making him the first person to win world titles in all three classes.

“I am deeply saddened by the news of Eric Goeboers passing away. He was an outstanding rider, dominating the Motocross World Championship and leading Honda to victory three times,” says Takahiro Hachigo, president and chief executive officer of Honda. “I would like to celebrate his achievements, and express my deepest gratitude towards him.”

After retiring from racing in 1990, Geboers joined his older brother Sylvain Geboers in running Suzuki’s World Motocross team from 200 to 2015. Geboers also raced cars, competing in the FIA GT endurance racing series.