If you’re looking for the most competitive years in Monster Energy AMA Supercross, look no further than the era of 1979 to 1986
COURTESY MOTO VERTE
Halfway through the 2021 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship, Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen held a narrow lead over 2019 SX champ Cooper Webb. If Roczen holds on, he will be the fifth different champion in five years, a sign of the competitiveness and deep field racing right now. But five champions in five years is not unprecedented in supercross history. As a matter of fact, from 1979 to 1986, eight different riders claimed the AMA Supercross crown. And all eight of those champions—Bob Hannah, Mike Bell, Mark Barnett, Donnie Hansen, David Bailey, Johnny O’Mara, Jeff Ward, and Ricky Johnson—ended up in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Even more incredible is the amount of other Hall of Famers racing during that era to never win the AMA Supercross title.
How did so many great riders come to fill the AMA Supercross starting gates at the same time? To find out, we decided to go back over the years that bracketed what must be considered the most competitive era in the sport’s history.
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