“He looked like a gymnast coming off a trampoline!” shouted Art Eckman just a moment past 49:00 in this YouTube link from Unadilla '99. He was talking about Nick Wey, and if you watch it, you’ll see why.
Travis Pastrana's ugly crash on the last lap of the second moto at Unadilla in 2001 was one of the wildest, most unexpected ejects we've ever seen. Pastrana was so far out front he was cruising on the #1 Suzuki RM125, but he still pushed it too hard, and that led to a crash that would reshape his career—as we've written before, who would have ever guessed that the first moto earlier that day at Unadilla was the last major moto or race that the then-17-year-old Pastrana would ever win?
Ricky Carmichael had some real doozies over the years, but the strangest one we recall is still the late-race, all-alone, over-the-bars eject he did at Washougal in 2007. It was the GOAT's last visit as a racer to the Huffman family's beautiful motocross park in Washington, and he seemed to have the win in hand. But then he got a little squirrelly—okay, A LOT squirrelly—as he raced up to the big jump in the middle of the facility. The bike shimmied and shook so violently that it threw him up and over the bars, costing RC the overall win and eternal infamy—he kept his hand on the bars for as long as humanly possible!
Carmichael at Washougal.
Tony Scavo photo
This one is the stuff of legend, as maybe just a few thousand people actually saw it—no video or photos exist—and it was downright crazy. One year in Las Vegas (maybe 1994), the track actually went up and over the old locker-room at the open end of the stadium. Late in the race Damon Huffman was going past Shane Trittler just as Shane got himself all out of control as he crested the peak of the building and did a somersault off his motorcycle. The crazy thing is that Shane—and he swears it, Huffman swears it, Ping swears it, and a whole bunch of other people who were there swear it—somehow landed on the back of Huffman's bike, passenger-style! Huffman didn’t crash, but rather rode to the bottom of the obstacle and let Trittler jump off the back.
A personal favorite: Brandon's First Race. No matter how many times we watch this, it's worth all 1:32!