Birthdays from December 3 to December 9Monday, December 3, 2007 | 6:36 AM
In this article…
December 3: After winning the 1979 U.S. AMA 500cc National MX Championship, Danny LaPorte had two tough years in ’80 and ’81. But then he was chosen to ride for Team USA at the ’81 Motocross and Trophee des Nations, along with Donnie Hansen, Johnny O’Mara and Chuck Sun. The Americans dominated both races, upsetting the balance of power in global motocross. After that, LaPorte decide to go overseas and race the GPs. One year later, in 1982, the California rider would become the first American to win the FIM 250cc World Championship.
December 3: FMX Rider Matt Knesek
December 3: Longtime privateer and former Kawasaki test rider, Craig Decker.
December 4: Greg Blackwell is the Vice President of Sales at Parts Unlimited in Janesville, WI, where he has been there for nine years. He grew up in a motocross family in Southern California, and his brother Mark become the first ’71 AMA 500c National MX Champion, based on being the “top American” in the Trans-AMA standings.
December 4: Racer X Illustrated's Senior Editor Jeff Kocan.
December 4: Jim Gibson is a former factory Honda and Yamaha rider. He was also a member of the U.S. team that won the the 1982 Motocross and Trophee des Nations and, like Danny LaPorte, parlayed his success in that event with a ride in Europe. He raced the 125 Grand Prix Series for Yamaha in ’83, but he could not take the title from Belgium’s Eric Geboers.
December 4: Ryan Dungey came into the 2007 AMA Supercross season and immediately had an impact, winning the Atlanta Supercross in his SX debut. It looked like he was on his way to win the East Coast Lites Championship for Makita Suzuki but a few rookie mistakes cost him the title. Going into the outdoor series, no really new how strong he was going to be but the Minnesotan would finish on the box several times and was often in the lead battles with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki riders Ryan Villopoto and Ben Townley. Towards the end of the season, a few injuries force him to miss the last couple of races but it was good enough to earn him 2007 AMA Rookie of the Year honors.
December 5: Former Yamaha of Troy racer and two-time SX Lites winner, Casey Johnson, is one of motocross racing’s hard-lucked stories. He was on the fast track to AMA Supercross success, winning the first two rounds of the series on his Yamaha of Troy YZ125. But then at the fifth round of the series at Anaheim, Johnson came up short on a triple and was landed on. He broke his upper right arm, and was never the same after that.
December 5: Ohio-based off-road star Robbie Jenks won the 2006 AMA National Hare Scrambles Championship for the Red Bull KTM factory off-road team, and finished third in the championship chase this year. Jenks has also been a frontrunner in the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series, finishing as high as fourth overall in the final rankings and collecting several podiums throughout his career.
December 6: This year, Kevin Walker became the All-time winningest rider at Loretta Lynn’s by winning his thirteenth championship and passing Mike Alessi and James Stewart with his 12th and 13th titles. A native of Tennessee, Walker has been racing amateur for almost his entire career, with his wife Tracey and his family always right by his side.
December 6: Portugal's finest, Joaquim Rodrigues.
December 6: This year, Kyle Chisholm will be riding for Xtreme Team Green.
December 7: ASV’s Bob Morales.
December 7: Racer X Assistant Designer Jason Hooper.
December 8: Sano Systems' Jimmy Gallegos.
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Check out 10,000 MILES FROM HOMEin our Latest issue of Racer X available now.
Australian Dean Ferris hopes to follow in the footsteps of some of his legendary countrymen. Now contesting the FIM Grand Prix series, he made a huge impression at the Motocross of Nations. Page 138.