This Week's BirthdaysSunday, November 30, 2008 | 11:24 AM
December 2: Longtime privateer Jiri Dostal
December 2: FMX rider Billy Walls
December 3: After winning the 1979 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 decided 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: Longtime privateer and former Kawasaki test rider, Craig Decker
December 4: Greg Blackwell is the Vice President of Sales at Part Unlimited in Janesville, WI, where he has been for 10 years. He grew up in a motocross family in Southern California, and his brother Mark was the ‘71 AMA 500cc National MX Champion by finishing as 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 1982 Motocross and Trophee des Nations, and like Danny LaPorte, parlayed his success in that event into 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 started the 2008 AMA Monster Energy Supercross season with a bang by winning Anaheim 1. Half way through the season however, mistakes began to plague Dungey, and he would end up losing the title by 3 points to Jason Lawerence. Ryan was expected to be strong outdoors, and the Minnesota rider ended up winning three nationals and finishing second overall behind Villopoto.
December 5: Former Yamaha of Troy racer Casey Johnson is one of motocross racing’s hard-luck 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 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: Former AMA National Hare Scramble Champion Robbie Jenks, who now works for Husaberg.
December 6: In 2007, Kevin Walker became the all-time winningest rider at Loretta Lynn’s by winning his thirteenth championship and surpassing Mike Alessi and James Stewart on the win list.. 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: DMXS Radio's Kevin Kelly
December 6: In 2009, Kyle Chisholm will move up to the 450 class and will be teammates with his friend James Stewart on the L&M Racing team.
December 7: ASV’s Bob Morales
December 7: Racer X Illustrated’s Director of New Media Jason Hooper