HILLSDALE, Mich. – Throughout the history of American motocross no other motorcycle has dominated a class like the American-made Cobra competition mini cycles have done in the 50cc class since 1993. This past year Cobra riders from all over the nation – and now international – added to Cobra’s untouchable record of more than 200 amateur championships won at major MX national events.
So if 2008 is any forecast, 2009’s going to be HUGE for the Michigan-made competition Cobra mini cycles!
Beginning the 2008 amateur MX national season in Texas at Lake Whitney and Oak Hill, Cobra riders put the hammer down early and swept the season openers. The biggest news out of Texas last March was Factory Cobra’s Michael Young (Concord, N.C.), aboard the new Cobra CX65, becoming the first racer in American motocross history to win a major 65cc class amateur motocross championship on an American-made motorcycle when he won the 65cc 7-9 Modified class.
“Michael’s effort at Lake Whitney on the CX65 was a very important championship win for the Cobra brand,” said Sean Hilbert, President of Cobra Motorcycles. “We’ll always look back to that weekend in Texas as the first time our CX65 was on top of the overall podium.”
In Lake Whitney’s 51cc Open class Cobra’s Tanner Stack (Oak Grove, Mo.) was victorious, as was Sean Cantrell (Newbury Park, Calif.) in the 51cc 7-8 Stock class and “Lightning” Lance Kobush (New Florence, Mo.) in the 51cc 4-6 Stock class. Oak Hill featured much of the same as Cobra’s Cantrell and Stack went at it again, this time with Cantrell sweeping the second major MX national in Texas. And in the little guys’ class (4-6 Mod and Stock) it was Alabama’s Kyle Lucas who would sweep both Oak Hill titles.
In the 65cc class (7-9 Stock) at Lake Whitney Austin Forkner (Richards, Mo.) placed 3rd on the CX65 and Young scored a runner-up 2nd place finish at Oak Hill in the 65cc 7-9 Stock class. Noteworthy: All totaled, every rider on both the 65cc 7-9 Stock and Modified class podiums were either on a Cobra or raced one in the past.
Stepping up to the famed Vegas Mini GP the following month, Cantrell would continue his reign on the 7-8 PW division, sweeping both the Stock and Modified classes with both Stack, Michael Moisman (Sebastopol, Calif.) and Gavin Hultman (Apache Junction, Ariz.) hot on his tail. Moisman would then step up and take the overall win in the Vegas GP’s 50cc class’ finale – the 6-9 Super Pee Wee race. Leading the younger guys was Brandon Hernandez (Woodlake, Calif.) who won the Through 6 50cc Modified class and Preston Yost (Queen Creek, Ariz.) who won the Stock title.
Following Vegas Cobras swarmed all over the competition at the annual Ponca City (Okla.) MX National, sweeping just about every title in sight including a 1-2-3 podium sweep in the competition’s premier race, the 6-9 Super Pee Wee. In that contest Cantrell added another title to go with his 7-8 Pro Mod championship and was joined on the Ponca Super Pee Wee podium by Moisman (2nd) and Florida’s Jordan Bailey (3rd).
The little guys were led by Cobra’s Kobush who swept both of the Ponca Through 6 PW Stock and Mod titles!
All this success set Cobra up for what could possibly be a big disappointment at the year’s premier amateur MX national event – the 2009 Ski Nautiques AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., aka “Loretta’s.” But Cobra racers were up to the task and leading the pack on their King 50s with championship sweeps in the premier 50cc class divisions by Kentucky’s Clay Woeste (51cc 7-8 AMA 2 Stock class) and Kobush (51cc 4-6 AMA 1 Stock class), each bringing home the coveted “Loretta’s National Champion” No. 1 plate.
Said Hilbert: “Lance was on it all weekend – three holeshots, three moto wins and never even challenged,” said Cobra President Sean Hilbert of Kobush, who’s middle name “Lightning” was given to him by NASCAR driver Carl Edwards. “And Clay was unbelievable. Fell on the first lap of the third moto and raced all the way back to 2nd. Feet off the pegs, wide open throttle – he looked like a little Bob Hannah!”
In addition to Cobra/Kobush’s win in the 4-6 Stock 1 class, Florida’s Cullin Park and Yost would round out the podium in 2nd and 3rd overall, respectively. And in the 7-8 Stock 2 class, Stack and Cantrell would complete the factory Cobra sweep (along with Woeste winning) of the 51cc podiums, going 2nd/3rd. In all Cobras would capture ten of the top ten spots in the 4-6 class (100-percent) and eight of the top ten (80-percent) places in the 7-8 class at the world’s premier amateur motocross competition!
Next up on the national MX radar was the Branson, Mo., MX National, which would give fans of the “Cobra Generation” (a title bestowed upon the industry by pro MXer Tyler Bowers) a glimpse of Chase Sexton – one of the guys who would carry the Cobra torch through the second half of the amateur MX national season. Champions at Branson along with Illinois’ Sexton (Super Pee Wee) included: North Carolina’s Justin Dunn (PW Mod 7-8), Pennsylvania’s Logan Leitzel (PW Stock 7-8), California’s Stilez Robertson (PW Stock 4-6) and Tennessee’s Kruz Sampson (PW Mod 4-6).
Also noteworthy at Branson was another amateur national podium finish for the Cobra CX65 with Canada’s Cole De Konick finishing 3rd in the 65 JR CY Stock 6-8 class.
Back to school for Cobra kids following Branson, bikes were parked and school books were cracked – but the eagerness to race continued to build and the energy was finally released this past November at the 37th annual Winter National Olympics – aka the Mini Os – at Florida’s Gatorback MX Park. Sexton and Park, competing in the 4-6/Junior and 7-8/Senior classes, respectively, each swept 1st place in both the Supercross competition and the Motocross competition on their Cobra King 50s. Bailey (2nd) and Dunn (3rd) would then join Sexton on the podium in a season-ending Cobra sweep of the Mini Os’ 7-8 SX class. And Cobra’s Tristan Lewis (Locust Grove, Ga.) was flying as well, finishing 2nd in the 7-8 Stock MX class
“We can’t thank the Cobra family enough,” said Hilbert. “From the kids who race our bikes, to dads and families that join them on the weekends, to our suppliers and dealers – thanks again to everyone that’s helped create and maintain the legend of Cobra competition mini cycles. We look forward to seeing everyone here in a couple months when the 2009 national amateur competition season opens in Texas.”
Cobra, founded in 1993, produces the most successful line of competition mini cycles and mini quads in the United States with more than 200 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.
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