RIP Charter Team Honda Member DeWayne Jones, 1950-2016
Today Honda announced the passing of DeWayne Jones, whose battle with cancer ended on Sunday, June 19, 2016. DeWayne is survived by his mother, Melinda, his two children, daughter Stephanie and son Jason, and his three siblings, Gary, Lois, and Melinda.
Born in Montebello, California on September 15, 1950, Jones was a charter member of Team Honda. During the squad’s inaugural season in 1973, DeWayne raced a CR250 Elsinore motorcycle alongside his younger brother Gary and Marty Tripes. DeWayne’s brother Gary earned Honda its first AMA Motocross National Championship that year, with DeWayne posting his best finish at Texas’s Lake Whitney Cycle Ranch, when he finished second behind Gary. Despite that, DeWayne was notable for his strong starts.
“No one could beat him off the line, including me,” remembered Gary. “All of the first-turn photos from back then, he’s in front of me. Everywhere we went, DeWayne was on the gas.”
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DeWayne and Gary weren’t the only two members of the Jones family who made major contributions to Team Honda’s heritage. Their mother Melinda designed and sewed the riders’ distinctive red, white, and blue jerseys, and when DeWayne and Gary complained about distracting reflections from the motorcycle’s aluminum fuel tanks, she provided the forest-green paint that eventually found its way to production bikes. Now 89 years old, Melinda still occasionally appears at Southern California races.
DeWayne was a Honda rider up until only a few months before his passing, regularly spending time on his CRF450R and two CR500Rs, and as recently as last year could be seen racing short track and supermoto at Perris Raceway.
“I was very sorry to hear of DeWayne’s passing,” said Chuck Boderman, Vice President of American Honda’s Powersports Division. “Along with his brother Gary and Marty Tripes, DeWayne helped put Honda’s CR250 Elsinore on the motocross map in its debut year, a contribution that began our company’s long, storied relationship with American professional motocross racing. As a charter member of Team Honda, DeWayne will always hold a special spot in our hearts, and on behalf of all of American Honda’s associates, I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, loved ones and fans.”
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