Bench Racing Ammo: French ConnectionThursday, November 15, 2012 | 11:55 AM
Anaheim 1 is still nearly two months away, and if you’re like us, you’re starting to get a little stir crazy. The Nationals, the MXoN, MEC and now Bercy have come and gone, which means it’s time for that long, cruel time period where it seems like absolutely no racing is taking place anywhere. Other than riding, of course, what do we do to pass the time? We go bench racing! We’ve taken last week’s Bench Racing Ammo a step further by looking up how each year's King of Bercy did in the following season of AMA Supercross to see if there are any trends that just might help us get a glimpse into how 2013 might play out.
|King of Bercy||SX Wins in the following season||Final Standing in Following season|
|2012 - Jake Weimer||N/A||N/A|
|2011 - Kyle Chisholm||0||11|
|2010 - Justin Barcia||3 , Lites East||1st, Lites East|
|2009 - Justin Brayton||0||5th|
|2008 - James Stewart||11||1st|
|2007 - Chad Reed||9||1st|
|2006 - Christophe Pourcel||1, Lites West||16th, Lites West|
|2005 - Andrew Short||3, Lites West||2nd, Lites West|
|2004 - Andrew Short||1, Lites West||3rd, Lites West|
|2003 - David Vuillemin||0||4th|
|2002 - Grant Langston||0||34th|
|2001 - David Vuillemin||3||2nd|
|2000 - David Vuillemin||0||8th|
|1999 - David Vuillemin||4||2nd|
|1998 - Larry Ward||1||5th|
|1997 - Jeff Emig||0||12th|
|1996 - Ryan Hughes||0||10th|
|1995 - Jeremy McGrath||14||1st|
|1994 - Mike LaRocco||2||6th|
|1993 - Jeremy McGrath||9||1st|
|1992 - Jeff Stanton||1||3rd|
|1991 - Jean-Michel Bayle||3||3rd|
|1990 - Jean-Michel Bayle||8||1st|
|1989 - Ricky Johnson||0||15th|
|1988 - Jeff Ward||4||5th|
|1987 - Ricky Johnson||7||1st|
|1986 - David Bailey||N/A||N/A|
|1985 - Johnny O'Mara||0||3rd|
|1984 (2) Johnny O'Mara||2||5th|
|1984 (1) David Bailey||1||7th|
Other than the fact that David Vuillemin was phenomenal at Bercy , what conclusions can be drawn from the stats above?
The first thing that pops out is that out of 29 runnings of the Bercy Supercross, the King has only gone on to win the premier-class supercross championship six times. However, when the King of Bercy did win the SX title the following year, it was done in dominating fashion. Jeremy McGrath was the King of Bercy in ’95, leading him into ’96, where he would win 14 of 15 AMA SX races. Incredibly, the fewest number of races won by the reigning King of Bercy in a championship run is seven by Ricky Johnson in 1988, which is still dominant, because there were only 10 official AMA Supercross races that season.
James Stewart was the last winner of Bercy to win a 450SX title the following year.
Simon Cudby photo
For some riders, winning at Bercy hasn’t done them any favors at all in the following season. We won't include David Bailey, who won in 1986, but had his career come to an end in a practice crash just prior to the 1987 season. But even outside of that, the King of Bercy has failed to win a race nine times in the following supercross season. Jeff Emig, who became the King of Bercy in 1997 after winning both the supercross and motocross titles that same year, became part of this group when he failed to win a single supercross race in 1998.
It's worth noting that the format of this race has changed quite a bit over the last decade. In the '80's and '90's you could count on every top American star competing in Bercy, and doing it in the customary 250 Class. But as rider salaries went up, the Bercy promoters could no longer afford every top dog, and thus the race even changed into a Lites-class format for a few years. So while superstars of the day like Johnson, Stanton and McGrath could be counted on to race Bercy, today, Ryan Dungey and Ryan Villopoto have never competed in the event.
Kings of Bercy whose goal is to finish the supercross season in the top five in points can take comfort knowing that the numbers are on their side. The King of Bercy finished the following season of supercross inside the top five no fewer than nineteen times. This could bode well for someone like this year's winner, Jake Weimer. But overall, we're seeing little connection between KoB and AMA SX—so as much as we would like to think we're getting a little early 2013 preview, we're not. When we asked our resident European SX expert Jason Thomas how much the off-season races mean to the following domestic year, he said “zero percent.”
Take a peek at the numbers above and use the comments section to tell us what trends you see.
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