But there’s hope on the horizon. This past weekend gave fans a great glimpse into the future of Team Honda, as their top 450 class riders—Andrew Short and Davi Millsaps, both coming off injuries—finished fourth and fifth, respectively. We also saw a Factory Honda rider lead a full lap when Andrew Short nailed the Progressive Direct Holeshot and led the first two laps before being overtaken by James Stewart.
When was the last time a factory Honda rider led a lap? The now-completely retired Jeremy McGrath at Phoenix ’06—also the last lap led by a two-stroke. One week before that, Ernesto Fonseca led four laps at Anaheim 1. His injury five weeks later was a terrible blow to Team Honda and fans all over the world. How about the last time a Honda rider won an AMA Supercross main event? (Scroll to the bottom to find the answer to that one.)
Nevertheless, Team Honda is in the process of rebuilding, and with young, promising riders like Millsaps, Short and Tommy Hahn, I expect some great things to come in the future from this team.
Josh Coppins notches a win for New Zealand
photo: Courtesy of Geoff Meyer/MXLarge.com
For part two of today’s Bench Racing, wow, what a great weekend it was for New Zealand-born racers! Riders hailing from the small South Pacific country were able to take two very significant victories—Ben Townley in the AMA Supercross Lites class in Dallas and Josh Coppins in the opening round of the 2007 World Motocross GP series in the MX1 class in Valkenswaard, Holland.
For Townley, the 2004 MX2 World MX champion, it was his third Lites win of the 2007 season, and he is three points out of the points lead with one round to go. For Coppins, he now has the same amount of wins that he had in 2006, when an injury ruined his last chance to beat Stefan Everts for the title. Now he is a clear favorite for the MX1 world championship, and it definitely looks like it’s his to lose.
*Answer: The last time a Honda rider won a 450 main event was Kevin Windham, Anaheim 1, 2005.