Andy Bowyer crunches the most sought-after number in American motocross: #1. Presented by Shift Racing.
I think you readers are going to really enjoy this new format. Now, instead of e-mailing me, you can simply add your comments at the bottom! You can tell me how I forgot about McGrath, Glover and Bailey’s #1 pictures and any other criticism you desire. Here we have Tony Distefano railing a berm at the 1976 Daytona Supercross. Tony won 15 AMA Pro races in his career, then suffered a tragic spinal injury to end his riding days. photo: Dick Miller Archives Check out Kent Howerton enjoying some loam at Lake Whitney back in 1982. “The Rhinestone Cowboy,” as he was called, owns 32 wins as a professional. Lake Whitney was always one of my favorite tracks. My first trip there was in 1984 and that finish-line bridge you seen in the background was still there. photo: Dick Miller Archives Here we have the O’Show back at a Golden State National back in 1983. This guy personified style. I mean, just check out those camouflage boot gators. A part of me wishes those would come back. Anyways, Johnny’s ride at the 1986 Motocross Des Nations remains the most incredible ride on a 125cc machine in motocross history. photo: Dick Miller Archives When speaking about the best 125cc riders of all-time, many still consider Mark “The Bomber” Barnett the greatest of all-time. Ricky Carmichael was tied in 125cc wins with Mark when he decided to race the 125 class at the 2001 Steel City National. Would The GOAT have won that day if Mike Brown hadn’t slowed late in the second moto? You guys can bench race about this at the bottom in the comments section. photo: Dick Miller Archives It seems like every year I hear somebody say, “So and so is the fastest mini rider ever.” No way, dude. The 80cc riders of the mid-to-late ‘80s were simply incredible. Gaddis, Bradshaw, Hank Moree, Emig, and Antunez are the best in my eyes because all of them could win on any given day. Be that as it may, Brian Swink beat them all on a regular basis. Especially on the East Coast. photo: Thom Veety Mike Alessi might not have been the fastest mini rider of all-time, but he definitely won more races. Look how small he was! It always baffled me how somebody with tiny hands like that could hold the throttle on so long. And the rougher the track got, the faster he went. photo: Simon Cudby This is by far my favorite #1 in 2008. What a story, man. Trey’s East Coast Lites Championship has to be one of the most prolific in history. Kid wins the first three mains of his career, then goes toe to toe with RV Park to take the title. That move was controversial, but I look at it as a rider who had a chance to capture a dream, and he took it. photo: Simon Cudby It’s really sad that most fans will remember J-Law flipping a rental car and getting arrested more than his West Coast Lites #1 plate. Will he turn his life around and come back to defend the title he worked his whole life for? I don’t think there is anyone that doesn’t want to see Jason back on the track. photo: Carl Stone Two years ago the notion of Bubba having a perfect season seemed pretty far off. Bubba’s clean sweep in the 2008 AMA Toyota motocross championships proved he has finally sharpened his focus. James was awesome this summer. photo: Simon Cudby Some of the best racing all summer took place in the AMA/WMA series between Ashley Fiolek and defending champion Jessica Patterson. Fiolek remains one of the most fascinating stories I’ve ever experienced in my 27 years in the sport. How does she do it? How much faster can she get? photo: Carl Stone And who can forget Chad Reed's heartfelt speech at the Monser Energy AMA Supercross banquet when he held the #1 plate and said, "This is what it is all about." His speech was so moving that Live Nation may pass a rule that the champions must wear the #1 plate. photo: Carl Stone I’ve always lived by the mantra that if it has wheels and you can race it, I’m a fan. Hate’em or love’em the quads are here to stay. Team Rockstar/Yoshimura/Pro Taper/MSR Red Bull’s Dustin Wimmer is an astonishing athlete that won the ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA Pro Championship by riding with an effortless style that frustrated his competition. photo: ATVRiders.com With all of this talk about great 125cc riders, it's difficult not to include Ryan Villopoto. The only kicker is, he won all of his races on a 250F and in my opinion, it just isn't the same. I mean when I watch Ryan obliterate a sweeper on his Mitch Payton tuned KX250F it blows me away. Was it as cool as Carmichael dragging bars on his screaming KX125? Did it give me the same shivers as hearing Steve Lamson's crispy CR125? Nope. All the same, RV Park's tenure in the tiddler division has been jaw dropping. photo: Carl Stone