Bench Racing  Ammo: The Transition

Bench Racing Ammo: The Transition

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There has been lots of talk about Ken Roczen's 3-3-3-3 overall finishes at the first four rounds of the 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Is he underdelivering? Overdelivering? It depends on who you ask, but we can help compare him to history and see how previous GP-to-AMA transitions have gone. Here are some stats on other top International stars first four Nationals in their first full years in U.S. motocross.

David Vuillemin 2000, 250 (now 450) class

Race 1 – Glen Helen: 3rd

Race 2 – Hangtown: 1st

Race 3 – High Point: 4th

Race 4 – Southwick: 10th

Season Points: 4th overall

Grant Langston 2001, 125 (now 250) class

Race 1 – Glen Helen: 1st

Race 2 – Hangtown: 1st

Race 3 – High Point: 4th

Race 4 – Southwick: 6th

Season Points: 2nd overall

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That's Grant Langston at Southwick in 2001. Langston won his first-ever AMA National at Glen Helen.
Simon Cudby photo

Chad Reed 2002, 125 (now 250) class

Race 1 – Glen Helen: 3rd

Race 2 – Hangtown: 2nd

Race 3 – High Point: 1st

Race 4 – Southwick: 10th

Season Points: 2nd overall

Ben Townley 2007, 250 (125) class *

Race 1 – Hangtown: 1st

Race 2 – High Point: 3rd

Race 3 – Southwick: 1st

Race 4 – Budds Creek: 2nd

Season Points: 2nd overall

* BT actually raced two Nationals in the U.S. in 2006, but '07 represented his first full season.

Tyla Rattray 2009, 250 (125) class

Race 1 – Glen Helen: 3rd

Race 2 – Hangtown: 5th

Race 3 – Freestone: 7th

Race 4 – High Point: 4th

Season Points: 9th overall

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Tyla Rattray (411) finished ninth overall in his first full season in the U.S.
Simon Cudby photo

Tommy Searle 2009, 250 (125) class

Race 1 – Glen Helen: 4th

Race 2 – Hangtown: 13th

Race 3 – Freestone: 6th

Race 4 – High Point: 3rd

Season Points: 6th overall

Christophe Pourcel 2009, 250 (125) class

Race 1 – Glen Helen: 2nd

Race 2 – Hangtown: 1st

Race 3: Freestone: 2nd

Race 4: High Point: 1st

Season Points: 2nd overall

Gareth Swanepoel 2011, 250 (125) class *

Race 1 – Hangtown: 6th

Race 2 – Freestone: 11th

Race 3 – High Point: 15th

Race 4 – Budds Creek: 6th

Season Points: 6th overall

* Swanepoel also raced a few 450 and 250 rounds in a previous seasons as a guest rider.

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Christophe Pourcel returned to the States in 2009 and finished second overall in his first season outdoors.
Simon Cudby photo

Marvin Musquin 2011, 250 (125) class

Race 1 – Hangtown: 5th

Race 2 – Freestone: 40th (Hurt in first moto)

Race 3 – Washougal: 14th

Race 4 – Unadilla: 6th

Season Points: 13th overall

One other note: In 2009, the Nationals switched to a Saturday only format. Previous to that, the series featured a full day of Saturday practice and Sunday racing, so riders moving to the U.S. since 2009 have less practice time to learn the tracks and format

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