This Week in Yamaha History: Langston in '07Wednesday, May 23, 2012 | 2:00 PM
This weekend’s Freestone National in Wortham, Texas, actually traces its history back to the Broome-Tioga track in Binghamton, New York. ‘Bing had held a spot on the National Motocross calendar for a long time, but for 2007, they sold their spot to Freestone, and thus the Lone Star State returned to the series for the first time since the 1980s.
That first Freestone National, in 2007, coincided with an incredible 450 title battle between Grant Langston, Andrew Short, Tim Ferry and Mike Alessi. Short, now a Texas native, ran off and hid with the first 450 moto in Freestone to try to stake his claim on the title. He took off again in moto two, but ended up crashing and handing the lead over to Langston.
Langston captured the first ever overall at Freestone in 2007.
Simon Cudby photo
GL had been rolling through the second half of the Nationals. He started the year struggling in his first year on a 450, and his first year riding Yamahas, but late in the year he was able to switch to the 2008-model YZ450F, and it made a huge difference in his riding. He won a moto at Washougal, finished second behind Ricky Carmichael at RC’s last race at Millville, then won Steel City. At Texas, he took advantage of Short’s mistake to win another overall and leave with the points lead—impressive, since GL had been mired back in sixth earlier in the season.
From there, he locked the title down at the finale at Glen Helen. But Langston and his Yamaha will forever live in this history books as the first ever winner of the Freestone National, and it was a win that helped power him toward the 2007 AMA National Motocross Championship.
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