Bench Racing Ammo: PhoenixTuesday, January 16, 2007 | 12:33 PM
We can derive several interesting Bench Racing Ammo topics from this past weekend’s race inside Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, but let’s start out with the red flag. When was the last time that happened?
Well, at the 2003 Daytona SX, Michigan privateer Kenneth Garcia got knocked out off the start of the 250 heat race, getting hit in the head by Kyle Farnell after he went sideways across a double. Thankfully, Garcia was fine after he came to.
As far as main events go, the last major race we know of was the 1992 Broome-Tioga 125 National. Guy Cooper snapped his femur, bringing out the red flag. The eventual winner that day? Jeff Emig.
Pourcel is following in the knobby tracks of a very talented group of French riders who have come to America to race supercross. Riders like Jean-Michel Bayle, Sebastien Tortelli, Mickael Pichon, Stephane Roncada, and David Vuillemin have set the bar very high, with JMB being the only Frenchman to earn a 250cc supercross title Stateside.
Vuillemin has had an excellent career here as a premier-class rider—the longest of all the French imports—but both Pichon and Roncada experienced more success in the tiddler class. Mickael Pichon wore #101 on his way to two regional supercross championships (1995 and ’96) aboard Mitch Payton-tuned KX125s, and Stephane Roncada won the 2000 East Region championship with Yamaha of Troy. But Pourcel is currently riding on the West Coast, and if he decided to race the entire series, he could become the first Frenchman to win there.
And in a press release issued yesterday, it states that the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki team made history by becoming the first team to ever sweep the entire Lites podium. Congratulations, guys!
Here’s one for you: At the 1989 season-opening AMA supercross at Anaheim, Honda riders went 1-2-3 in the 250 class, as well as dead last. It was Ricky Johnson, Jeff Stanton, and Guy Cooper on the podium (with future Honda team manager Erik Kehoe fourth on a Suzuki). And dead last that night, in his first AMA supercross, was Jean-Michel Bayle.
And finally, a nod to Spain. Manuel “Manu” Rivas grabbed a twelfth-place finish, marking the best finish for a Spanish rider in AMA supercross. That’s his second straight main event in the 450 class, and this guy is doing it on his own, too. Anyone looking to help out a very capable Kawasaki rider? Let us know: [email protected].
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Australian Dean Ferris hopes to follow in the footsteps of some of his legendary countrymen. Now contesting the FIM Grand Prix series, he made a huge impression at the Motocross of Nations. Page 138.