Bench Racing Ammo:  French Connection

Bench Racing Ammo: French Connection

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Anaheim 1 is still nearly two months away, and if you’re like us, you’re starting to get a little stir crazy. The Nationals, the MXoN, MEC and now Bercy have come and gone, which means it’s time for that long, cruel time period where it seems like absolutely no racing is taking place anywhere. Other than riding, of course, what do we do to pass the time? We go bench racing! We’ve taken last week’s Bench Racing Ammo a step further by looking up how each year's King of Bercy did in the following season of AMA Supercross to see if there are any trends that just might help us get a glimpse into how 2013 might play out.

King of Bercy
SX Wins in the following season
Final Standing in Following season










2012 - Jake Weimer
N/A


N/A

2011 - Kyle Chisholm
0


11

2010 - Justin Barcia
3 , Lites East

1st, Lites East
2009 - Justin Brayton
0


5th

2008 - James Stewart
11


1st

2007 - Chad Reed
9


1st

2006 - Christophe Pourcel
1, Lites West

16th, Lites West
2005 - Andrew Short
3, Lites West

2nd, Lites West
2004 - Andrew Short
1, Lites West

3rd, Lites West
2003 - David Vuillemin
0


4th

2002 - Grant Langston
0


34th

2001 - David Vuillemin
3


2nd

2000 - David Vuillemin
0


8th

1999 - David Vuillemin
4


2nd

1998 - Larry Ward
1


5th

1997 - Jeff Emig
0


12th

1996 - Ryan Hughes
0


10th

1995 - Jeremy McGrath
14


1st

1994 - Mike LaRocco
2


6th

1993 - Jeremy McGrath
9


1st

1992 - Jeff Stanton
1


3rd

1991 - Jean-Michel Bayle
3


3rd

1990 - Jean-Michel Bayle
8


1st

1989 - Ricky Johnson
0


15th

1988 - Jeff Ward
4


5th

1987 - Ricky Johnson
7


1st

1986 - David Bailey
N/A


N/A

1985 - Johnny O'Mara
0


3rd

1984 (2) Johnny O'Mara
2


5th

1984 (1) David Bailey
1


7th

Other than the fact that David Vuillemin was phenomenal at Bercy , what conclusions can be drawn from the stats above?

The first thing that pops out is that out of 29 runnings of the Bercy Supercross, the King has only gone on to win the premier-class supercross championship six times. However, when the King of Bercy did win the SX title the following year, it was done in dominating fashion. Jeremy McGrath was the King of Bercy in ’95, leading him into ’96, where he would win 14 of 15 AMA SX races. Incredibly, the fewest number of races won by the reigning King of Bercy in a championship run is seven by Ricky Johnson in 1988, which is still dominant, because there were only 10 official AMA Supercross races that season.

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James Stewart was the last winner of Bercy to win a 450SX title the following year.
Simon Cudby photo

For some riders, winning at Bercy hasn’t done them any favors at all in the following season. We won't include David Bailey, who won in 1986, but had his career come to an end in a practice crash just prior to the 1987 season. But even outside of that, the King of Bercy has failed to win a race nine times in the following supercross season. Jeff Emig, who became the King of Bercy in 1997 after winning both the supercross and motocross titles that same year, became part of this group when he failed to win a single supercross race in 1998.

It's worth noting that the format of this race has changed quite a bit over the last decade. In the '80's and '90's you could count on every top American star competing in Bercy, and doing it in the customary 250 Class. But as rider salaries went up, the Bercy promoters could no longer afford every top dog, and thus the race even changed into a Lites-class format for a few years. So while superstars of the day like Johnson, Stanton and McGrath could be counted on to race Bercy, today, Ryan Dungey and Ryan Villopoto have never competed in the event.

Kings of Bercy whose goal is to finish the supercross season in the top five in points can take comfort knowing that the numbers are on their side. The King of Bercy finished the following season of supercross inside the top five no fewer than nineteen times. This could bode well for someone like this year's winner, Jake Weimer. But overall, we're seeing little connection between KoB and AMA SX—so as much as we would like to think we're getting a little early 2013 preview, we're not. When we asked our resident European SX expert Jason Thomas how much the off-season races mean to the following domestic year, he said “zero percent.”

Take a peek at the numbers above and use the comments section to tell us what trends you see.

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