The Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross is now seven years old, which makes it older than some of the riders competing in the event. We’re also seeing amateur superstars who were born after RC himself stopped racing in 2007! Yup, plenty of fast kids down there for Sunday and Monday’s racing. Here’s a quick snapshot of some names that stood out.
10. Jett Reynolds: This 85cc Team Green terror rarely loses. At Loretta’s this kid has won titles in both of his classes for three-straight years, and in 2013 he won on both a 50 and a 65, which is something that hadn’t been done since Davi Millsaps was a wee tot. As far as RCSX is concerned, Jett jetted to the 85cc (9-11) and (9-12) championships.
9. Matt LeBlanc: How you doin? The Orange Brigade KTM kid came in second to Reynolds on an 85, but won both of his 65cc classes. He also swept his two 65cc classes at this event last year! But, speaking of interesting names…
8. The 50cc Class: We thought California’s Bakersfield Bunch, with riders like Stilez Robertson, Ryder DiFrancesco and Jett Reynolds, dominated the creative name game. That gang has moved up from 50s, but the latest youngsters have crazy monikers as well. You thought Ryan Dungey had the nickname Diesel? Well the 51cc (4-8) champion is literally named Diesel Thomas. Mason Dixon finished sixth. The comparatively common Seth Dennis and Luke Fausner won the other 51cc classes.
7. Joe Shimoda and Jalek Swoll: Shimoda is from Japan but moved to California to pursue the racing dream—he doesn’t speak very much English but he definitely understands how to hold it wide open. Joe has been a solid contender for a few seasons now but scored a real breakthrough with the victory in the Super Mini class. Also, some love for for Jalek Swoll, who was second to Shimoda in Super Mini but won the Schoolboy 1 title. His hair is also superb. All hail the two-strokes in these classes!
6. Stilez and Thrasher: Stilez Robertson won the Mini Sr. 1 class, but Nate Thrasher finished just behind and also won the Mini Sr. 2 class. It’s one thing to have a cool first name, but Thrasher earned his the old fashioned way.
5. Austin Forkner: Duh. Forkner is the hottest property in the amateur game right now and would probably have been a contender if he had lined up on Saturday night instead of Sunday and Monday afternoon. But Kawasaki Team Green and Pro Circuit are sticking to the plan of racing Forkner in this RCSX and the James Stewart Spring Championship in Texas before sights get set on Hangtown. Forkner struggled with his starts at Daytona, which made life rough because the track was tough to pass on this year (like it was on Saturday night, also). In three races, he made his way to the front twice to take the 250 A and Open Pro Sport titles—and he was on a 250 against 450s in Open Pro Sport. In the 250 All-Star A/B class, he was battling with Bradley Taft and Cameron McAdoo for the top spot before a pair of crashes sent him back to fifth.
4. Brad Taft: Taft had some rough luck in most of his races but pulled it together in the coveted 250 All-Star A/B class, getting the holeshot and then holding Forkner and McAdoo at bay the whole way to grab the win. The Californian on Team Horton Racing rides a Yamaha and works with Gareth Swanepoel, who also trains most of the Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha boys. Could Taft be joining them as a pro someday?
3. Cameron McAdoo: Much ado about McAdoo. The radar just picked up this kid, big time. McAdoo, of Iowa, has been training at ClubMX in South Carolina and recently caught the eye of Mike Alessi, who also rides there these days. Mike and Tony were so impressed that they decided to dust off their old amateur notes and bring a few riders under the SmarTop/MotoConcepts tent for the weekend. McAdoo started in front of Forkner consistently and made it very, very hard for the phenom to get the lead from him. He ended the week with three second-place finishes in the 250 A, Open Pro Sport and 250 All-Star A/B classes.
2. Max Markolf: Max is a great kid and a good interview, but he’s had a rough go lately. This race marked a nice comeback for the Orange Brigade KTM rider, who looked fast and stylish all week and took the win in 250 B.
1. Kaitlyn Morrow and Kylie Fasnacht: The WMX Series kicked off its season in Daytona and these two look ready to tangle for the title. Morrow won the first moto, but Fasnacht, last year’s champion, mounted a comeback to grab second. She then won moto two to edge ahead for the overall.