photo: Valdis Kleinbergs (1939-1996) – President of the Latvian Motorsport Federation, with racing motorcycle Riga-15C
Valdis Kleinbergs was born in Latvia on 29 October 1939.
Many people have changed the international motorsport federation and motorsport community, and a large number have heard the name of Valdis Kleinberg but have never known or met him, but his name is still mentioned in the motorsport community, and this is the case even today when we should remind ourselves of Valdis.
Valdis was the first president of the Latvian Motorsport Federation after the restoration of Latvian independence after the Latvian peoples had been doomed to oblivions some time ago in their peoples age, first by the Germans and then the epoch of the USSR.
Valdis Kleinbergs, would have turned 75 in 2014, but unfortunately, he is no longer among us.
It was his dream that the Latvian motocross team could participate in the international Motocross des Nations. Latvia had not yet been reinstated in the ranks of the FIM, but he was already dreaming and hoping for it. A year later, Latvia successfully competed in Motocross des Nations, in 1992 in Australia.
Latvia had not yet been reinstated in the FIM, but motocross “Gaujas Kauss” was already on the FIM competition calendar. Being one of the initiators of the renewal of the Latvian Olympic Committee, Valdis Kleinbergs was most active in his “field” – motorsport.
Valdis experienced the debut of Latvian motorcyclists in the Motocross of Nations (he himself was present), experienced that Kristers Serģis and Artis Rasmanis scored the first points in the world championship, experienced the first round of the world championship in the history of motorsport in Latvia, although it was the 1/4 final of the speedway junior championship.
Unfortunately, Valdis didn’t manage to experience much of what he dreamed of… The first world championship for motocross crews in 1996 in Kegums, the first Sergis/Rasmanis world championship title, “Grand Prix” stages at the speedway, GP stages in MX1 and MX2 classes in Kegums and Nations des Motocross in Kegums, but Valdis Kleinbergs took a very active part in all these and many other events – someone should have been the first, someone should have started moving everything and he was the one who started doing it.
Remember the name of this great man, Valdis Kleinbergs. Rest in Peace.
He is survived by his son Raimonds Kleinbergs.
Memories by JD: I have very fond memories of meeting Valdis Kleinsberg along with his travelling companion Mr Juris Ramba. They had attended the FIM World Congress in Christchurch, New Zealand, where Valdis was Jury President. This was in early 1991, just months before Latvian independence was restored after the decades-long Soviet occupation on 21 August 1991. I have photos of their arrival at Sydney International Airport. We had a luxurious dinner at a swank restaurant. As we were leaving and thanking the staff a large cockroach ran across the foyer and Juris squashed it with his foot.
Then, as if by chance, my local racetrack, Amaroo Park (now a housing estate) hosted a large Historic motorcycle roadracing event. I knew some of the track officials, and we were quickly whisked thru the main entrance to the circuit and straight into the pits, also to the top of the control tower which had the best views. Valdis and Juris were in their element. That was an excellent day! I remember giving Valdis a beer, Hunter Old, to which he exclaimed, “Nectar!”
I have many photos of Valdis, but am limited to posting just one photo to this blog. You will see his name again!
the sources: Juris Ramba, Moto Vesture, Anatoly Kreipan, Сергей Пашацкий, USSR Sportsbikes, JD