As the ink is still drying on the AMA record book from the
30th running of the High Point National, we really aren’t surprised
of the outcome of the 450 class. Ricky Carmichael going 1-1 at High Point is
like Lance Armstrong winning the Tour de France: it’s just expected (although
James Stewart had him rattled in the first moto).
As for the 250F class, for the second year in a row, the High
Point huge crowd witnessed another first-time winner in Toyota AMA National
Motocross as Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto went
2-1 for the overall, etching his name in the books among several other High
Point first-time winners. With that in mind, let’s look back on some of
the other riders who took their first national victory here in Mt. Morris, PA.
|Chuck Sun on his way to victory in 1980 |
|photo: Dick MillerArchives |
In 1980 it was Oregon’s Chuck Sun
taking his first
national victory in the 500cc class at High Point
on a Honda CR500R, which basically
began his run toward that AMA National Motocross Championship. Sun came back
to High Point
this year to celebrate the 30th
anniversary in the
vintage bike show on Sunday and rode a 1980 bike with the #63.
Ricky Johnson has a lot of 250cc motocross victories
– 22 – but the first of his career came in 1982 here at High Point
on a Yamaha. He seemed to be on the way to the title, only to have his wheel
collapse at the last race in Colorado, helping Donnie Hansen to the title.
|RJ took his first 250cc MX win here in '82 |
|photo: Dick Miller Archives |
Coming back to High Point each year is bittersweet for Honda
team manager Erik Kehoe because although he sustained a career-ending
injury here in 1994 while riding for Honda of Troy, he also took the first of
his seven career MX victories here in 1985 while riding for Team Suzuki.
|Micky Dymond in '86 |
|photo: Kinney Jones |
was good to Team Honda’s Micky Dymond
throughout his motocross career. In 1986 he got his first outdoor national victory
here and went on to win two more races and the 125cc national championship.
He won High Point
again the following year on his way to his second 125cc AMA
Michigan’s Brian Swink may have 12 125cc supercross
victories and two 125cc Eastern Regional championships to his name, but the
Swinkster only has one outdoor national victory. It came here in Mt. Morris
in 1991, when he wore #42 on a super-fast Peak/Pro Circuit Honda.
Florida’s Tim Ferry has one 250cc and one 125cc
national victory on his resume. His only 250cc national win came at Glen Helen
in 2001; his lone 125cc national victory came at High Point in 1995 while riding
In 1996, New Yorker Scott Sheak put in an amazing ride
at High Point as a Suzuki privateer and went 1-7 for second overall. He redeemed
himself the following year and went 1-1 for the first and only major victory
of his career.
Yet another Michigander making history at High Point was Kelly
Smith, who got his and KTM’s first victory in America on the muddy
Mt. Morris course in 2000, going 1-4 to earn the 125 National overall here.
In his first year racing full-time in America in 2002, Chad
took the East Region supercross championship on a Yamaha of Troy-backed
YZ250F and also took his first and only outdoor national victory so far here
in Mt. Morris.
|Red Bull KTM's Mike Alessi won here last year |
|photo: Simon Cudby |
KTM helped another rider get his first national victory here
at High Point
last year as young Mike Alessi
went 1-2 for the overall,
trailing the veteran Mike Brown
home in the second moto.
|Villopoto was the latest rider to notch his first AMA National victory at High Point |
|photo: Matt Ware |
And finally, in the 30th
running of this storied
event, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto
able to secure his first national victory with a 2-1. It was an impressive performance
by the Washington rookie, who showed heart and determination in his charge to
the front in both motos. If he can work on his starts, Villopoto will be hard
to beat. After all, this was the first time he ever laid a wheel on High Point