Bench Racing Ammo: RV and TPTuesday, August 8, 2006 | 12:25 PM
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Last week during the AMA/Air Nautiques Amateur National Championships at Loretta Lynn’s, the AMA announced the lineup of the 2006 AMA Team USA, which will compete at the Motocross des Nations in September. The squad will once again be led overseas by the chosen team captain, Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael, who will be joined by two MXdN first-timers: Team Kawasaki’s James Stewart and rookie Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider Ryan Villopoto.
While it may seem like Villopoto is the youngest rider ever chosen to represent Team USA, let’s not forget 2000, when a young Travis Pastrana was sent to St. Jean d’Angely, France, with Carmichael and Ryan Hughes, and he helped the team win with a solid effort. Outfitted in his red-white-and-blue No Fear gear, Pastrana put in a heroic, veteran-like performance, going from last to tenth in the first moto, for second 125 behind newly crowned 125cc World Champion Grant Langston, and helping Team USA to win back the MXdN crown after three consecutive defeats.
In the first moto, Travis easily handled the field, chalking up what would be his last moto win as a racer. In the final lap of the second moto, in front of Grant Langston with a 30-plus second lead, Travis crashed unbelievably hard and hit his head, resulting in the first of many concussions. From that point on, Travis would never win an AMA National again. In fact, he would never finish in the top ten again either.
Where do you think Ryan Villopoto will be in 2011?
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