Kim Ashkenazi is a supremely talented rider both on dirt and tarmac. A seven-times Australian motocross champion, he also won the British Supercross 125cc championship in 2001 and finished second to the legendary Jeremy McGrath in the first round of the British Super X championship in 2003.
In between his motocross and Supercross outings, he dabbled in road racing with some degree of success. While he raced in a single World Superbike round as a wild card in 2001, failing to score any points, he was more successful in British racing. In 2003, he finished 16th overall in the British Supersport Championship, one place higher than Jim Moodie and two places up on John McGuinness. The Australian won the Knockhill round of the championship but was later stripped of the victory as his bike was found to be under the legal weight limit. That means his best legitimate finishes that season were a 5th place and two 9th places.
It was a promising start, but before he could build on his results, Ashkenazi’s world fell apart. In September 2004, Thames Valley Police executed a search warrant on his address in Thornden, West Sussex, and seized computers that were found to have hundreds of indecent images of children on them. Police had acted on information obtained during Operation Harp which investigated the use of payment cards for accessing websites known to contain indecent images of children. During the search, the police also discovered quantities of amphetamines, ecstasy tablets, cannabis, and half a kilo of cocaine.
At Reading Crown Court on March 17, 2006, Ashkenazi was sentenced to six-and-a-half years for possession of Class A, B, and C drugs with intent to supply. At the same court on April 28, the disgraced racer was handed an additional 9-month sentence for the child pornography offences, to run consecutively with his sentence for possession of drugs. He was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for ten years.
Upon release from prison, Ashkenazi moved back to Australia and made a return to racing on April 13, 2009 in the New South Wales Senior motocross championship where he was lying in fourth place before running out of fuel. “Words cannot describe how great it is to get back into racing and the end result out on the track isn’t what’s important,” Ashkenazi said afterwards. “What made the day so wonderful was how well I was received from everyone and it was just great to hear people say ‘welcome back!’ I know my return isn’t going to be welcomed by everyone and I accept that. This is just the start of my planned return as I want to become the oldest Australian motocross champion within the next few years.”