HILLSDALE, Mich., (July 30, 2007) – American-made Cobra Motorcycles again get their moment to shine on the national amateur motocross center stage beginning today as the legendary 50cc competition bikes – featuring the top young racers from every corner of the United States – roll into Tennessee for the 26th annual Ski Nautique AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships (aka “Loretta’s”) at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
The “Little League World Series” equivalent to action sports, Loretta’s is the event that really put Cobra on the map more than a decade ago. Since then no other motorcycle company has enjoyed the overall success – and championships - that Cobra has in literally owning the Jr. & Sr. stock and modified 50cc classes since 1993.
“Almost nine out of ten bikes that qualified and are competing in the two main 50cc classes at Loretta’s will be Cobras,” said a proud company president, Sean Hilbert. “Loretta’s is really the time for our Cobra kids to shine.”
The three marquee names running for Cobra this year in the 7-8 50cc Sr. class will be eight-year-olds Mark Worth (Queens Creek, Ariz.), Carter Stephenson (Rolla, Mo.) and Michael Young (Concord, N.C.). And also expected to place well will be two Cobra factory racers who just moved up from the 4-6 class, seven-year-olds Sean Cantrell (Newbury Park, Calif.) and Hayden Justice (Utica, Ohio).
Recently, Stephenson and Young went 1-2, respectively, at the MX Master Kids International in Europe (with Cobra’s Jacob Edison, who completed the Cobra sweep with a 3rd in Europe). Prior to that Young finished a strong 2nd at the Winter Olympics last fall to cap his seven-year-old season and Stephenson has been in the top five of every National he’s entered the past two years – including winning two titles at last week’s Ponca City NMA Nationals. So look for all three Cobra factory riders – Stephenson, Young & Worth - to make a serious charge at the 7-8 podiums as last year’s Cobra front-runners, Green, Coleman Martin and Conner Mitchell, have graduated from the class.
The ‘sleeper’ in the 7-8 class could be Michigan’s Joey Crown. According to Hilbert, Crown, son of pro motocrosser Matt Crown, has really wicked it up as of late and has a very good shot at running with Cobra’s factory guys. Northeastern U.S. Cobra racer Tristan Charboneau should also figure close to the top of the overall 7-8 standings.
The 4-6 Jr. class at Loretta’s is always a hard one to call as kids on Cobras tend to come out of nowhere to make the podium. When pressed, Hilbert did make a point to say to keep an eye on Florida’s Jordan Bailey – a protégée’ of former Cobra factory racer and multi-time Loretta’s champion Adam Cianciarulo. Also running well is New Mexico’s Brandon Smith.
Finally, Cobra’s new CX65 will line up in the 65cc class for the first time at Loretta’s. North Carolina’s Matt Burkeen – son of Cobra’s National Sales Director, Mike Burkeen – will pilot the revolutionary bike in its first major U.S. competition versus the Japanese and Austrian 65cc class bikes that dominate the class.
Cobra, founded in 1993, produces the most successful line of competition mini cycles and mini quads in the United States with more than 100 national titles in the last decade. Based out of Hillsdale, Mich., Cobra's mission is to build premium products for the serious racer. For more information on Cobra products, please visit our website at www.cobramotorcycle.com.