Why Juss Laansoo is the AMA's Rookie of the Year

November 4, 2005 10:48am
When AMA Pro Racing named Juss Laansoo, the likable and very fast Estonian, as their 2005 AMA Motocross Rookie of the Year, some were second-guessing the AMA's choice, for a variety of reasons (the foremost probably being that they are the AMA and second-guessing them is just what some people do). But here's a breakdown of why Laansoo makes a good selection, as I posted on Motonews moments ago:

- Juss raced in Europe, yes. But the ROY is decided on the first year that a rider races with an AMA pro license for a full outdoor season.

- Ryan Sipes' name came up, but technically he was a rookie in 2004 and chose not to race the nationals full-time. He received his first pro license in February 2004 and didn't race the whole year, so he's a second-year guy.

- Mike Alessi, we know what happened. The Glen Helen thing and all.

- Jeff Alessi earned 13 points in 250, 72 in 125, 85 total. Juss earned 111 points.

- Ryan Villopoto and Jason Lawrence did not ride full seasons and will be eligible next year.

The rules for Rookie and the Year eligibility have changed a little from the day when RC rode just one national (Steel City '96) and earned more points than the other rookies. If RC were to do what he did in 1996 now, he would not have been ROY, though he would have been eligible next year.

Interesting note: They go by national points in a full season. Lites SX don't earn national points. If someone wanted to maximize their chances of becoming ROY in their first full pro season, they could ride the AMA Supercross class (250/450) and get a headstart on the rookies in the summer!