At the end of every year, we crunch the numbers at Racer X Online (well, actually Google does the dirty work, but you get the point) to see what the most popular stories were on the site. Now, when we say, “most popular” it’s important to note that the following are the MOST-READ POSTS, BY YOU, THE READERS—NOT what we deemed the most popular, cool, or exciting.
There were a few surprises—Ryan Dungey’s retirement ranking outside the top five, nothing from Silly Season, etc.—but for the most part, the stories below were big news at the time.
Check out the list below and remember—these are the most popular stories based on unique web hits.
All hail, two-strokes!
I think the first comment under this post sums it up perfectly: “Poor Racer x moderators your gonna have your hands full with this one.” When you throw two legendary riders at the center of a controversy, it tends to generate a LOT of noise—the good, the bad, and the ugly—from everyone. This one involved Reed and Ryan Dungey. Unlike the Black Flag incident between Reed and Trey Canard, which ranked second in 2015, the AMA’s announcement of Reed’s fine and docked championship points ranks just inside the top 10.
When Ryan Dungey announced his retirement from professional racing just days after clinching a fourth Monster Energy Supercross title, Racer X staffers Davey Coombs, Jason Thomas, Jason Weigandt, and Steve Matthes shared their thoughts on the decision. I’m surprised this didn’t come in higher, but the Dungey news was split into several posts, including a link to a press conference at Angel Stadium. The split vote might have been what pushed this huge story outside the top five.
After an up and down start to his rookie 450 campaign, two-time 250SX West Region Champion Cooper Webb was starting to find his groove with a podium in Oakland—the first of his career. Two weeks later, in supercross’ first visit to U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Webb went down in his heat race and did not return after getting up, holding his shoulder. Our own Aaron Hansel spoke with the team and provided an update.
You know the backstory here: on the final lap of the 250SX race in Las Vegas, with the East Region title on the line, Zach Osborne caught Joey Savatgy and put an aggressive pass on the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider, which put him on the ground and Osborne into the title, in a come-from-behind ride for the ages. A few days later, the AMA announced a fine of $7,500 for Osborne. Let’s just say it sparked a bit of controversy.
Reporting on deaths in the industry is the worst part of the job. In April, the shocking passing of Jaisaac Sloan at just 21 years of age took the industry by total surprise. Sloan, a native of Arizona, raced the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National Championship from 2008-’13. His best overall finish was a sixth in 450 A in 2013.
The May 2016 announcement of the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross schedule ranked fourth on our “Most Read Stories of 2016.” That wasn't surprising. What is surprising is that the same story popped up again this year, and again it ranked fourth! This means people were checking the 2017 schedule during the end of 2016, and then again during the beginning of 2017. The 2018 Monster Energy Supercross schedule announcement is also pretty popular, but it didn't make into our top ten. Maybe it will next year, though!
As we mentioned, it is never easy reporting on the passing of a fellow member of the motorcycling community, but this one hit especially close to home, as Dylan Slusser hailed from Butler, Pennsylvania, and was a good friend of many in the Racer X offices. Dylan’s life was sadly cut short on February 24 in South Carolina, when he suddenly passed due to a medical condition. He was just 25.
Anytime a racer is injured, it is scary. But when Ken Roczen went down at Anaheim 2 earlier this year, it was truly frightening for the entire industry. Honda released a statement on the initial prognoses—Ken had suffered a compound fracture of his arm. Fortunately, Ken will be back racing inside Angel Stadium at the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross opener on January 6.
Granted, the numbers are a bit deceiving on this post, as we initially posted an update on Ken on January 23 and continued to update it over the course of the next six months. So, we expected this to be big. Ken did a great job of keeping his fans and media updated throughout this long process of returning to full health, and interest was high deep into the summer.