Going 1-DNF at a Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship race, you would think, would be kind of hard. We just saw Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GasGas’ Michael Mosiman accomplish this feat two weekends ago at the Hangtown Motocross Classic which wasn’t great for him but great for us here at Racer X as we started debating the different times we’ve seen riders go 1-DNF.
Unfortunately for me, I’ve been a part of a 1-DNF with Tim Ferry at Budds Creek 2003 and it wasn’t great. The highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows all in one day! Thanks to our buddy Clinton Fowler, here are the guys in the 125/250MX class that have gone 1-DNF and some notes about that day.
1975 | Rd 13 Hangtown | Dan Turner 1-DNF
On a super muddy day at the old Plymouth track, local hero Dan Turner won the first 125 moto over factory riders like Marty Smith (Honda) and Tim Hart (Yamaha), but then barely started the second moto before he was out. “I raced a Bultaco that year for Mike’s Cycle of Placerville,” explained Turner. “After winning the first moto with all the mud I had one mechanic with a helper and when they pulled off the air filter to change it, one of them put a rag in to keep sand out and when the new filter was put on the rag was never removed!” Yamaha’s Tim Hart ended up with the overall win.
1983 | Rd 8 RedBud | Mark Barnett 1-DNF
Suzuki’s Mark Barnett, three times running and reigning 125 National Champion, won the first moto at RedBud but then crashed on the big downhill, then realized his crankshaft had seized, ending his day on the spot. Honda’s Johnny O’Mara got the overall win, and eventually the series title.
1985 | Rd 1 Gatorback | Ron Lechien 1-DNF
Opening round of the 125 nationals and the heavily favored Ron Lechien dominated the first moto of the year on his uber-trick RC125. Second moto the frame flex created on the factory bike pulled the cylinder head off and he lost all his coolant, seizing the bike just before he dropped into the Gator Pit. Dogger would go on to rebound from this mechanical to walk to the title later this summer. Suzuki’s George Holland took the win.
1991 | Rd 11 Steel City | Mike Kiedrowski 1-37
An epic turn in the 125MX national series as series points leader Mike Kiedrowski opened up a 52-point lead after his first moto win on his Kawasaki and most thought the title was over. Second moto he again led when he got a flat and while he was trying to manage that, he got a rock in his gas tank and split it open causing the DNF. Suzuki’s Guy Cooper took the win with a 2-2 on the day, got the points deficit to 30 and would go on to win the title.
1995 | Rd 1 Gatorback | Steve Lamson 1-27
Pre-season favorite for the title, Honda’s Steve Lamson came into the national opener and did what everyone thought he would as he took the opening moto win over Suzuki’s Damon Huffman. Second moto Lammy led again but like a lot of other riders this day at Gainesville, he suffered a wheel failure and was forced to pull out. He would go on to win the title in an epic battle later this year.
1995 | Rd 10 Washougal | Robbie Reynard 1-35
Kawasaki’s hotshot youngster had just swept the motos at Milville the race before this one and he kept it going with another moto win here at Washougal making it three in a row for him. Second moto though a knee he hurt in SX kept popping in and out and he was forced to pull out early.
1996 | Rd 7 Redbud | James Dobb 1-35
A privateer to this point in the ’96 season, the British rider James Dobb was given a factory Suzuki 125 after injuries hit the team, and he went out and ripped off the first moto win. On the podium, Dobb exclaimed that he was spent and wasn’t sure how much he had left for moto two. Turns out he was right as he pulled off early with the DNF.
2001 | Rd 7 Unadilla | Travis Pastrana 1-22
Just one half-lap away from going 1-1 on the day in that epic 2001 season, Pastrana crashed out hard heading to the back of the track and got another concussion. This was a huge swing in the points and put his rival Grant Langston a few points ahead. Pastrana would go on to have another crash a week later and that would be it for his series. That first moto win at ‘Dilla would prove to be the last moto win of his brief racing career.
2004 | Rd 5 Redbud | James Stewart 1-33
Stew had won every single moto coming into RedBud and most thought that a perfect season was in sight for James as yes, he was that good. First moto at Redbud went to script with an easy win for the #259 but second moto he had a “series of crashes” and couldn’t finish the moto. Mike Brown on the YOT Yamaha would take the overall with 2-1 finishes on the day.
2005 | Rd 3 Southwick | Mike Alessi 1-34
The KTM-mounted rookie Mike Alessi was superb in the first moto, winning on his 250 SX-F thumper. But early in the second moto he over-jumped a tabletop and jarred his shoulder upon landing so badly that it dislocated, forcing him to DNF. The overall winner would be Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Grant Langston, who rode through the pain of his own severely sprained ankle.
2007 | Rd 10 Steel City | Broc Hepler 1-31
Local hero Broc Hepler raced his Yamaha YZ250F to the first moto win at Steel City, only to have his bike break the second time out, handing the overall win to Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto.
2015 | Rd 12 Ironman | Cooper Webb 1-37
Star Racing Yamaha’s Cooper Webb won the first moto at the Ironman, but then crashed out of the second moto. His teammates prevailed in his absence, as Aaron Plessinger won the overall and Jeremy Martin clinched the 250 Pro Motocross Championship with a conservative sixth overall.
2018 | Rd 5 Muddy Creek | Jeremy Martin 1-40
GEICO Honda’s Jeremy Martin passed his brother Alex for the lead early in moto one and took off for a pretty uneventful win. Second moto saw disaster strike for J-Mart as he collided with Yamaha’s Justin Cooper mid-air on the first lap and went down hard. J-Mart would break his back in this crash and miss the next season and a half of action.
2018 | Rd 6 Southwick | Austin Forkner 1-20
The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider caught Shane McElrath late in moto one to put in a good charge and get the first moto win. Second moto it was the Troll Train, Alex Martin, who would catch Forkner (who was once again leading) and dive to the inside of Forkner in a turn that resulted in both riders going down and Forkner being unable to finish.
2019 | Rd 5 WW Ranch | Chase Sexton 1-39
The highs and lows for Sexton on this day were extreme. The GEICO Honda rider would go on to win his first ever career 250MX moto and then in the brutal heat and humidity of Florida, pull out early in moto two with heat exhaustion. Sexton would never win another 250MX moto but seems to be over that hurdle here in his 450MX career! Justin Cooper's 2-2 on the day gave the New York native his maiden overall win.
2021 | Rd 2 Thunder Valley | Jeremy Martin 1-40
The two-time 250MX champion had the series points lead after a first moto win but crashed out early in moto two and missed the following race with injury. He came back and clicked off four more moto wins but suffered a big crash at the Ironman National that resulted in a broken wrist and required surgery, officially ending his season at the tenth round.
2022 | Rd 2 Hangtown | Michael Mosiman 1-39
Little bit like Sexton, Mosiman finally got his first career win on his home track which had to have felt great. What didn’t feel great was him crashing out in the second moto and an eventual DNF with a bent-up bike.