Brussels - Belgium's five-time former motocross world champion Eric Geboers has drowned after diving into a lake to rescue his dog, Belgian media reported on Monday.
The 55-year-old, who became a legend in his sport in the 1980s, jumped off his boat trying to save his pet on Sunday at Mol, in the north of Belgium, according to news agency Belga.
His body was found on Monday after a search of the area.
The mayor of Mol Paul Rotthier described the tragedy as "a dramatic accident".
"He ran into problems the minute he jumped into the water," Rotthier told Flemish newspaper De Standaard.
"Another person (on board the boat) made an attempt to save him. Then the rescue services were alerted."
In the 1980s Geboers was crowned motocross champion in all three categories, 125cc, 250 and 500, earning him the nickname 'Mister 875'.
He retired in 1990 at the age of 28 to become manager of the Suzuki motocross team.