Bench Racing Ammo: Opening WinnersWednesday, May 16, 2012 | 9:45 AM
With the 2012 Lucas Oil Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, season about to commence, we thought it’d be interesting to take a look at how some of the past premiere-class champions have faired at the first race of the series. Listed below are the results from every single season opener since 1972, along with the corresponding champion.
|Year||Round 1 Winner||Series Chamion|
|1972||Sonny DeFeo||Gary Jones|
|1973||Bob Grossi||Gary Jones|
|1974||Bill Grossi||Gary Jones|
|1975||Kent Howerton||Tony DiStefano|
|1976||Jimmy Ellis||Tony DiStefano|
|1977||Marty Smith||Tony DiStefano|
|1978||Bob Hannah||Bob Hannah|
|1979||Bob Hannah||Bob Hannah|
|1980||Kent Howerton||Kent Howerton|
|1981||Kent Howerton||Kent Howerton|
|1982||Ricky Johnson||Donnie Hansen|
|1983||Bob Hannah||David Bailey|
|1984||Bob Hannah||Rick Johnson|
|1985||Jeff Ward||Jeff Ward|
|1986||Rick Johnson||Rick Johnson|
|1987||Rick Johnson||Rick Johnson|
|1988||Jeff Ward||Jeff Ward|
|1989||Jean Michel Bayle||Jeff Stanton|
|1990||Rick Johnson||Jeff Stanton|
|1991||Jeff Stanton||Jean Michel Bayle|
|1992||Jeff Stanton||Jeff Stanton|
|1993||Mike Kiedrowski||Mike Kiedrowski|
|1994||Mike LaRocco||Mike LaRocco|
|1995||Jeremy McGrath||Jeremy McGrath|
|1996||Jeremy McGrath||Jeff Emig|
|1997||Jeff Emig||Jeff Emig|
|1998||Mickael Pichon||Doug Henry|
|1999||Sebastien Tortelli||Greg Albertyn|
|2000||Ricky Carmichael||Ricky Carmichael|
|2001||Tim Ferry||Ricky Carmichael|
|2002||Ricky Carmichael||Ricky Carmichael|
|2003||Ricky Carmichael||Ricky Carmichael|
|2004||Ricky Carmichael||Ricky Carmichael|
|2005||Ricky Carmichael||Ricky Carmichael|
|2006||James Stewart||Ricky Carmichael|
|2007||Ricky Carmichael||Grant Langston|
|2008||James Stewart||James Stewart|
|2009||Ryan Villopoto||Chad Reed|
|2010||Chad Reed||Ryan Dungey|
|2011||Chad Reed||Ryan Villopoto|
If you use this data to predict the 2012 champ after round one, you won’t have much to go on, as the season’s first winner has won the title nineteen times in forty races. In other words, the win ratio is split almost completely down the middle, and that percentage is heavily influenced by Ricky Carmichael winning both the opener and the title five times.
Interestingly enough, when the gate drops at the FMF Hangtown Motocross Classic this weekend, the only past winner of an opening round that will be present is James Stewart, and that opening round win took place at Hangtown a full six years ago! With a scenario like this and the inconclusive data above, there’s a good chance that we’ll have just as many questions after Hangtown as we do now!
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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.