TWO-STROKE TUESDAY | THE SPLITFIRE PRO CIRCUIT TEAM 1993-2001
Ricky Carmichael’s 1997 SplitFire Pro Circuit KX125.
Pro Circuit has made a footprint in pro racing since 1991. Since then, they have been a dominate force with over 200 race wins and 29 AMA titles. With Pro Circuit’s primary focus on their 125/250 team, they breed top level riders and groom them for the premier 450 class. With each year, the Pro Circuit roster changes. With new riders being signed on, and old riders moving to other teams or moving up a class. We are going to take you back into the 90’s and bring back some history of the Pro Circuit team.
1993: James Dobb on the line before a race.
In 1993, it was Pro Circuit’s first year on Kawasaki. Not because they wanted to make the switch, but because Honda dropped their support of Team Peak/Pro Circuit. Team Peak won two 125 titles on Honda’s in 1991 and 1992 with Jeremy McGrath. They weren’t even looking for another manufacturer for support as they thought they were secure at Honda. Late into the 1992 offseason, Mitch didn’t have bikes or the money to go racing after Honda dropped out. Luckily, Kawasaki came to the rescue with bikes and parts, but no money as it was already budgeted to other teams. Hot Wheels cam on board a the money sponsor, although it wasn’t without a fight. Hot Wheels had a racing game coming out called, “Pro Circuit.” Mitch went to the Hot Wheels office and told them to either pay him royalties for using his trademarked name or sponsor his team. The rest was history. The team went racing. They hired Mike Chamberlin, James Dobb,and Jimmy Gaddis. Jimmy ended up taking the 125 West title in 1993 for the team that year.
Mike Brown won the 2001 125 AMA outdoor National series on Mitch’s KX125.