Bench Racing Ammo: The Third ComingTuesday, July 25, 2006 | 2:03 PM
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But since Stewart’s debut as a pro in 2002, the sport really hasn’t seen a rider enter the professional leagues who has the talent to possibly match or break their records.
At least not until now. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto is quickly making a name for himself, as it appears that he may be the most talented rookie to enter AMA motocross since Carmichael or even Stewart. Ping may have misspoken when he said on OLN that RV is having the best rookie year since RC, because the best rookie year ever currently belongs to Stewart, but Villopoto is having a Bubba-like summer to get things started for himself.
Taking nothing away from any other rider—especially Mike Alessi, who had a good rookie season in 2005—it appears that Villopoto could match the rookie record set by Stewart in ’02 (10 wins) and might even do better than RC’s ’97 summer (eight). So for this installment of Motosport Outlet’s Bench Racing Ammo, we’re comparing Villopoto’s first seven races of this season to the rookie MX seasons of both Carmichael and Stewart.
In 2002, coming off a second overall in the West Region Supercross Series (also with three wins), \Stewart won his first AMA National at the season-opening Glen Helen National, wearing #259 on a KX125. Throughout the next six races, he would win four of them and finish 12th at High Point after his radiator was damaged in the first turn, then sixth at Southwick after blowing an engine in the first moto. He was five for seven and would go on to win the championship by dominating the last five races of the series.
In 2006, coming off a third overall in the West Region SX Series (with one win), Ryan Villopoto won his first AMA National at the second round of the series at High Point, wearing #51 on a KX250F. Through the next five races he would win four, and take fifth overall at the opening round at Hangtown, and finish a disappointing 12th overall at Southwick (where he blew his engine).
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Check out THE MOTOCROSS OF 40 NATIONSin our Latest issue of Racer X available now.
The 2013 FIM Motocross of Nations at Teutschenthal, Germany, hosted teams from a record forty countries. Here’s how it played out for each of them. Page 90.