Chalk Up Another ‘Banner Year’ For The Little Yellow Competition Cobra MotorcyclesWednesday, December 20, 2006 | 8:49 AM
Cobra-mounted kids dominate podium @ nearly every major motocross National event again this year
HILLSDALE, Mich., (Dec. 20, 2006) – Cobra Motorcycles had a big year in 2006. Not only did the legendary little yellow motorcycles again win nearly every major 50cc competition from Florida to Vegas, but they did so despite the distraction of the entire Cobra factory moving from Ohio to its new home in Michigan – along with developing two new competition production platforms.
“Between the move, attending every major mini National MX competition and launching the new Cobra ECX50 ATV and preparing to launch the new CX65 dirt bike, we seemed to be burning the candle at all three ends this year,” said an elated Cobra President Sean Hilbert. “Given all the ancillary projects going on – and the fact we were still able to win pretty much every major 50cc title we set out to win this year – 2006 goes down in the record books as one very exciting year.”
Beginning last March in Texas, Cobra opened the mini motocross National competition season by sweeping the Lake Whitney & Oak Hill Nationals. Cobra’s Blake Green (Riverside, Calif.) and Conner Mitchell (Oregon City, Ore.) were the big winners in Texas. Also starting the season on a high note for Cobra were several newcomers to the Cobra program. Jacob Williamson (Swartz Creek, Mich.), Tanner Stack (Overland Park, Kan.) and Sean Cantrell (Newbury Park, Calif.) all cranked out wins and/or podium finishes at Lake Whitney and Oak Hill.
Next up on the competition docket for Cobra was the World Mini GPs in Las Vegas. And again it was Green and Mitchell who’d shine the brightest for the two young King Cobra-mounted speedsters taking top honors. Green won the 7-8 50cc Stock class, with his teammate Mitchell winning the 7-8 50cc Modified class (Green being second). Then in the Super Pee Wee competition it was Green taking home the gold and Mitchell the Silver to complete an entire sweep for Cobra of the top spots in the 7-8 50cc class at Vegas.
“Blake and Conner got the momentum rolling for Cobra and nobody would be able to stop it – even though both those guy would end up racing injured later in the season,” said Hilbert.
A trip overseas for Cobra would continue the excellent results as Cobra Team racers Martin, Hunter Hilton and Ashton Hayes would sweep the top three spots in this year’s Moto Kids Masters in Blenod le Pont-a-Mousson, France. And speaking of Cobra’s in France (other than David Vuillemin), up-and-coming French MX phenom Jimmy Cousseau. The seven-year-old clinched his first FFM (Federation French Motorcycle) 50cc title on his Cobra King 50. Coincidently, Cousseau races for the same club that produced Vuillemin!
Wrapping up the 2006 competition season, as always, was the annual running of the Thor National Winter Mini O’s at Gatorback MX Park in Gainesville, Fla.
Coming up big at Gainesville for Cobra in the senior motocross and supercross classes were Mitchell and Stephen Gretchen. Mitchell, who raced Loretta’s with a cast on his arm and didn’t make that podium, took it out on the 50cc senior motocross class at the Mini O’s – taking the overall motocross class win. Mitchell then finished 2nd overall in the 50cc senior supercross class to Gretchen. Joining Mitchell on the podium in the senior motocross class was seven-year-old Michael Young.
“Again, I can’t say enough about the kids and families across the nation racing Cobras,” said Hilbert. “And we hope next year shapes up to be a great one as well. There is a very promising group of seven and eight-year-olds out there that will make the 7-8 50cc class very exciting, not to mention the great anticipation as to who emerges at the top of the 4-6 class.
“Add to that the new challenges with the Cobra CX65 class on top of that and I honestly don’t think 2007 will be any easier!”
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Jean-Michel Bayle, the iconic superstar of yesteryear, raced motocross for the first time in twenty-one years at the Vets MXdN in England. Page 126.