Bench Racing Ammo: EndingsTuesday, August 29, 2006 | 9:25 AM
In this article…
But all streaks must come to an end, and this fact is surely not lost on Everts. Coincidentally, his recent era of success in the GPs began right at the end of a similar run of dominance by Frenchman Mickael Pichon. After an exile from the U.S in 1999, Pichon returned to Europe to dominate the GP scene and win the 2000 and 2001 250cc GP crowns. And he did it with seeming ease on his Suzukis, winning 12-straight through the end of 2001 and the beginning of 2002. Pichon was going for the mythical 13-straight when he was beaten by Everts at the GP of Italy. Stefan never looked back, dominating the rest of the season and capturing every title in that class from 2002 through today. Now they both stand with 12-race win streaks on the books.
That 13-race streak is a tough one. One of the most memorable ends to a streak came in the 1996 AMA Supercross Series. Team Honda’s Jeremy McGrath came into the ’96 SX series with not only three consecutive 250cc SX crowns, but he also won the 1995 250 National MX Championship. He went on to win the first 13 supercrosses that year, flirting with a then thought-to-be-impossible perfect season. At the penultimate round in St. Louis, his streak was ended by Team Kawasaki’s Jeff Emig. MC then won the finale, giving him 14 wins out of 15 races that season.
Another history 13-race streak belongs to Team USA, which won the Motocross des Nations from 1981 through 1993, which is the all-time record in the 59-year history of the event. But the Brits ended that streak by winning the 1994 event, a glorious day for the Lord Alfred Weigandts of the world.
In 2002, RC lost the Pontiac SX to Nathan Ramsey after a bizarre early crash. He recovered for second, but was all smiles in the press conference. That’s because earlier that evening, Suzuki rider Branden Jesseman beat Yamaha of Troy’s Chad Reed in the 125 main event, keeping Reed from a perfect East Region Series. That left RC’s perfect ’98 tour—nine wins in supercross—as the only one ever in 125 SX. RC made sure to thank and congratulate the shy Pennsylvanian.
The following season, 2003, as RC was going for his second-straight perfect 250cc outdoor MX season, his string of 250 overall wins ended at 18 when he was defeated by Kevin Windham at the ’03 Unadilla National. Windham won the next race at Washougal to build a two-race streak, but then RC won the next event at Millville and never looked back. Amazingly, RC won EVERY national in 2004 and 2005, not taking a loss until Hangtown this year. Our calculators struggle to even add up that many consecutive wins.
Coincidentally, that ’81 Carlsbad National is significant for another reason: The second moto that day was won by a rookie phenom wearing #212 on a YZ 125 Yamaha with a front number plate as big as a briefcase! That rider was none other than El Cajon’s teenage badass Ricky Johnson.
In 1980, Suzuki’s Kent Howerton would have had a perfect season in the 250 Nationals had he not dropped the third-to-last round at Red Bud. The winner there turned out to be Honda rider Steve Wise.
Before that, in 1978, Bob Hannah won the first eight 250 Nationals, then lost to Howerton at Red Bud. There was one more round left at High Point Raceway, which the Hurricane decided to pass on due to a minor injury.