Bench Racing Ammo:  Opening Winners

Bench Racing Ammo: Opening Winners

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With the 2012 Lucas Oil Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, season about to commence, we thought it’d be interesting to take a look at how some of the past premiere-class champions have faired at the first race of the series. Listed below are the results from every single season opener since 1972, along with the corresponding champion.

Year Round 1 Winner Series Chamion
1972 Sonny DeFeo Gary Jones
1973 Bob Grossi Gary Jones
1974 Bill Grossi Gary Jones
1975 Kent Howerton Tony DiStefano
1976 Jimmy Ellis Tony DiStefano
1977 Marty Smith Tony DiStefano
1978 Bob Hannah Bob Hannah
1979 Bob Hannah Bob Hannah
1980 Kent Howerton Kent Howerton
1981 Kent Howerton Kent Howerton
1982 Ricky Johnson Donnie Hansen
1983 Bob Hannah David Bailey
1984 Bob Hannah Rick Johnson
1985 Jeff Ward Jeff Ward
1986 Rick Johnson Rick Johnson
1987 Rick Johnson Rick Johnson
1988 Jeff Ward Jeff Ward
1989 Jean Michel Bayle Jeff Stanton
1990 Rick Johnson Jeff Stanton
1991 Jeff Stanton Jean Michel Bayle
1992 Jeff Stanton Jeff Stanton
1993 Mike Kiedrowski Mike Kiedrowski
1994 Mike LaRocco Mike LaRocco
1995 Jeremy McGrath Jeremy McGrath
1996 Jeremy McGrath Jeff Emig
1997 Jeff Emig Jeff Emig
1998 Mickael Pichon Doug Henry
1999 Sebastien Tortelli Greg Albertyn
2000 Ricky Carmichael Ricky Carmichael
2001 Tim Ferry Ricky Carmichael
2002 Ricky Carmichael Ricky Carmichael
2003 Ricky Carmichael Ricky Carmichael
2004 Ricky Carmichael Ricky Carmichael
2005 Ricky Carmichael Ricky Carmichael
2006 James Stewart Ricky Carmichael
2007 Ricky Carmichael Grant Langston
2008 James Stewart James Stewart
2009 Ryan Villopoto Chad Reed
2010 Chad Reed Ryan Dungey
2011 Chad Reed Ryan Villopoto


If you use this data to predict the 2012 champ after round one, you won’t have much to go on, as the season’s first winner has won the title nineteen times in forty races. In other words, the win ratio is split almost completely down the middle, and that percentage is heavily influenced by Ricky Carmichael winning both the opener and the title five times.

Interestingly enough, when the gate drops at the FMF Hangtown Motocross Classic this weekend, the only past winner of an opening round that will be present is James Stewart, and that opening round win took place at Hangtown a full six years ago! With a scenario like this and the inconclusive data above, there’s a good chance that we’ll have just as many questions after Hangtown as we do now!

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