Maybe it wasn’t exactly the way it was back in 2019, the last time we saw an, um, normal year, but 2021 did produce a 29-round run of races through Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. The action was quite good, too, and it proved the endurance of this sport. The world has been rocked quite a bit the last two years, but in the end the focus remains on winning races, both for riders, teams, and more.
We will run through our most popular stories on this website this year in two parts. By the way, we’ve excluded posts with clerical information like race and television schedules, results and points. That stuff is very popular but doesn’t tell the whole story of a season. Below are the stories clicked on most by you, our readers.
See you in 2022!
Let’s continue our countdown of the most popular stories of 2022. Yes, more stuff on Eli Tomac moving to Yamaha!
12. The Conversation: Tomac on Outdoors and His Future:Sometimes timing is everything. Eric Johnson had already penned an interview with Eli Tomac previewing the 2021 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship campaign. The next day, the Tomac-to-Yamaha rumor broke. So Eric called Eli back to ask for an update. All Eli could say was: “I can’t really talk about that right now, so no comment.”
Sometimes a no comment is a comment!
11. It’s Official: Team USA Will Not Attend the 2021 Motocross of Nations: Bummer. Team USA looked set to return to the 2021 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations with Chase Sexton, Justin Barcia, and RJ Hampshire, but when the calendar turned to September and international travel restrictions began to tighten, the AMA announced the squad would not participate in the ’21 event. Mitch Kendra wrapped the news up.
10. Monster Energy Kawasaki and Eli Tomac Will Not Renew Contract: Matthes broke the story that Eli was going to Yamaha, Eli offered up the “no comment,” and then Kawasaki, in a rare move, announced Tomac would not return to the team for 2022. This way the team didn’t have to dodge the question for the entire Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
9. The List: All-Time 450SX Wins:Never fails. It’s fun to cruise through all-time win lists, and Jeremy McGrath’s 72 at the top of the supercross pile is maybe the most famous career compilation ever.
8. Race Day Feed: Fox Raceway 1: The opening round of any championship is always exciting. Our Race Day Feed from the ’21 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross opener, penned by Kellen Brauer, was a big hit.
7. Race Day Feed: Daytona Supercross: A big night for info from Daytona, which saw a schedule constantly changing due to rain, then an exciting main event as Eli Tomac notched a record-tying fifth win, Cooper Webb and Ken Roczen had some drama, and Aaron Plessinger yelled “Do it for Dale!” on the podium. Mitch Kendra and Jason Weigandt provided the updates.
6. The Moment: Arlington 2 Penalties: What was going on during this night!? Three penalties were announced from one evening. You had Brandon Hartranft on the gas while off the track to avoid getting passed by Cade Clason in an LCQ. You had Cameron McAdoo on the gas while off the track in the 250 main. You had Jason Anderson on the gas while off the track in the 450 main. You had it all. Mitch Kendra explained the penalties.
4. Rene Hofer (2002-2021): Sad, sudden, tragic news. Rene Hofer, one of the rising stars of the FIM Motocross World Championship (MXGP) in the MX2 class, was enjoying a post-season holiday at a ski resort when an avalanche hit. Hofer perished. The Austrian-born rider held a special place in the Red Bull KTM family because he hailed from the same nation as the company, and his personality was loved in the pits. In 2021, he scored his first grand prix victory and also topped his class in the Motocross of Nations. He’s gone, way too soon.
3. Race Day Feed Houston 2: Round two of Monster Energy Supercross, which took place on a Tuesday, proved even more popular than round one. For a moment, Chase Sexton and Adam Cianciarulo had reset the speed limit in the 450 class by taking off early, but then both crashed, and Eli Tomac held on to win the race. Dylan Ferrandis and Justin Brayton made for a surprise podium, and Jett Lawrence scored his first-ever 250SX win.
2. Mike Bell (1957-2021): Longtime factory Yamaha rider Mike “Too Tall” Bell won the 1980 AMA Supercross Championship, and he is now the first AMA Supercross Champion that we have lost. A nice man from California, Bell was part of Yamaha’s zenith at the top of the sport in the late 1970s, as he scored not only supercross wins, but was a contender in the AMA 500 Nationals. Knee injuries would slow him after his ’80 title campaign, and he retired in 1983. Bell passed after suffering a heart attack during a mountain bike ride. Davey Coombs told the news on January 25th, and this became our second-most-read story of the year.
Godspeed, Mike Bell.
1. Tomac to Yamaha?: This was it. The first break that Eli Tomac would be leaving Kawasaki and moving to Monster Energy/Star Yamaha Racing. Our Steve Matthes got the scoop, and it was our biggest story of the year.