TEN THINGS: GREAT RIDERS YOU SHOULD KNOW
(1) Roger DeCoster. Born in Uccle, Belgium, in 1944, Roger DeCoster hit the scene in the late 1960s and won his first Belgian 500cc National title in 1966. The young racer, known for his fitness and smooth, controlled riding style, moved up to the Grand Prix World Championship in 1967 and won his first GP race in 1968. In total, he would win five 500cc World Championships and capture 36 GP wins.
(2) Ricky Carmichael. Ricky was born November 27, 1979, in Clearwater, Florida. He made his Pro debut in 1996 at Steel City. In 1997, he captured his first AMA 125cc National Motocross Championship. Ricky followed up with three other 125cc titles. Ricky won a total of seven 250 outdoor National titles and five 250 Supercross Championships (and had two perfect undefeated seasons). He retired in 2007 with the most wins of any rider in AMA history.
(3) Jeremy McGrath. Born November 19, 1971, in San Francisco, California, Jeremy turned Pro in 1989. He won the 125cc West Supercross title in 1991 and 1992 for Peak Honda. In 1993, he would become the first rookie to ever win a 250cc AMA Supercross Championship and won six more titles in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000. Jeremy also won an outdoor title in 1995 and retired in 2003. He was “the King of Supercross.”
(4) Jeff Ward. Born June 22, 1961, in Glasgow, Scotland, Jeff clinched his first AMA 125cc National Motocross Championship in 1984. He would win both the 250 AMA Supercross and 250 National Championships in 1985, the 250 AMA Motocross series in 1987, the 250 AMA Supercross series in 1988, and the AMA 500 National Championship in 1989 and 1990. Jeff retired from motocross in 1992 to pursue a career in IndyCar racing (where he finished second, third and fourth in the Indy 500).
(5) Ricky Johnson. Born on July 6, 1964, Ricky won the 1984, 1986 and 1987 AMA 250 National Championships; the 1987 and 1988 AMA 500 National Championships; and the 1986 and 1988 AMA Supercross Championships. Ricky led Team USA to four Motocross des Nations victories Overall, Ricky won 61 AMA National and Supercross races before a wrist injury ended his riding days.
(6) Ryan Dungey. The Belle Plaine, Minnesota, native was born December 4, 1989. Ryan made his Pro debut in 2006. He climbed the ladder quickly to claim the 2009 AMA 250 West Coast Supercross Championship and backed it up a second time. Once Ryan moved to the premier big-bike class, he won three 450 National Championships and four 450 Supercross crowns (three of them consecutively). He was also on three MXDN winning teams.
(7) James Stewart. Born December 21, 1985, in Bartow, Florida, James Stewart hit the Pro scene in 2002 and made his mark early. While crashes and rookie mistakes kept him from winning the 2002 AMA 125cc West Supercross title, he went on to win the 2002 and 2003 AMA 125 Supercross West titles. He backed that up with 2002 and 2004 AMA 125cc National Championships. From there, he would win the 2008 AMA 450 outdoor title and 2007 and 2009 AMA Supercross crowns.
(8) Ryan Villopoto. Ryan was born August 13, 1988, in Poulsbo, Washington. He turned Pro in 2005 by racing the last three outdoor Nationals. In his first full season in 2006, he clinched the 250 AMA Motocross Championship. Ryan went on to win three more 250 titles, for a total of four, before moving to the 450 class in 2009. His first two seasons ended with injuries, but he won the 450 outdoor titles in 2011 and 2013. More significant, Ryan reeled off four straight AMA 450 Supercross titles from 2011 to 2014.
(9) Jean-Michel Bayle. Born in France on April 1, 1969, Jean-Michel Bayle won the 1986 FIM 125 World Championship and the 1989 250 World Championship. In 1990, he moved to America, placing second in the 250 Supercross Championship. In 1991, he ran the table by winning the AMA 500cc National Championship, the AMA 250cc National Championship and the AMA Supercross Championship in a single season. As quickly as he came on the American scene, JMB left to pursue a career as a MotoGP road racer.
(10) Jeff Stanton. Born in Coldwater, Michigan on June 18, 1968, Jeff Stanton made his Pro debut in 1986 and in 1987 was crowned the AMA Pro Rookie of the year. When Ricky Johnson got injured, Stanton stepped in to replace his mentor, winning the 1989, 1990 and 1992 AMA National Championships and backing those up with 1989, 1990 and 1992 AMA Supercross crowns.