As we rely down the 36 days till the beginning of the 2017 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Loretta Lynn’s AMA Novice Nationwide Motocross Championship, we’re going to look again at every year within the historical past of the occasion. Right this moment we look again at 2001.
The Cycle Information protection for the 2001 AMA Novice Nationwide Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s in 2001 began out like this:
“Crew Inexperienced’s James Stewart went to the Tennessee house of nation music legend Loretta Lynn for the 20th Annual AMA Novice Nationwide Championship and proceeded to interrupt a few of her most prized data. Stewart, the 15-year-old prospect from Florida received his 10th and 11th profession titles…”
That was how James Stewart graduated from Loretta Lynn’s, profitable the 125 A Class and the 125 Modified (12-15) Class on Kawasaki KX125s. He put a beat down on the sector in all six of his motos that week, blowing minds together with his velocity on a 125, only one 12 months after doing likewise on minicycles. With it, he left the occasion with the all-time title report (on the time) and it was clear that he was going to show professional as quickly as attainable, which he did after his 16th birthday on December 21 of that 12 months. Two weeks later he completed second in his 125SX debut at Anaheim. The next week at San Diego, he received his second-ever skilled race. For sure, just about everybody within the sport—and particularly on the ranch that week—noticed it coming.
What we didn’t see coming had been among the different younger stars that will be overshadowed by the sheer velocity and charisma of the younger Stewart. Take Andrew Brief, as an example. One other Crew Inexperienced rider, he received the 125 A Professional Sport class over Ryan Morais—the identical Ryan Morais who was crushed by Stewart within the 125 A category. Shorty, who hailed from Colorado, was a going to public highschool on the time and didn’t actually seem to be somebody who would find yourself having a protracted and profitable profession as knowledgeable, however that’s precisely what occurred. Actually, there was extra buzz about California’s Morais than Brief, as he was headed to Jeremy McGrath’s Chaparral Yamaha crew to be his pupil. Sadly, Morais broke his wrist in observe on the first supercross race of 2002 and the damage caught with him for a while.
The 250/Open Professional Sport winner was Josh Woods of Michigan, who took two of three moto wins, dropping solely to Brief. He would go on to a manufacturing facility trip with Crimson Bull KTM. Different children who would win titles that ended up as manufacturing facility riders from the ranks of the 1,344 that attended Loretta Lynn’s that 12 months included Josh Hill (85cc Inventory 7-11), Mike Alessi (85cc Mod 9-13), Broc Hepler (85cc Mod 14-15), and Josh Hansen (250/Open B Mod).
There have been some children who didn’t win on the Ranch that 12 months however would find yourself profitable races as professionals, together with Ryan Villopoto, Josh Grant, Eli Tomac, Blake Baggett, Josh Grant, Davi Millsaps, Broc Tickle, Austin Stroupe, Will Hahn, Ryan Sipes, Tommy Hahn, Justin Hill, Malcolm Stewart, Zach Osborne, Matt Goerke—all of them would win both an AMA Nationwide or AMA Supercross foremost occasion.
After which a outcome that’s a kind of one-liners within the Loretta Lynn’s Vault that’s simply actually cool to identify:
125 B Modified
13.) Kurt Caselli (14-10-18).
14.) Ryan Sipes (5-37-5)
The 2 would go on to change into the highest-finishing American riders within the historical past of the Worldwide Six Days Enduro, with Caselli setting an ordinary by ending second, after which Sipes turning into the primary American ever to win the general in 2015, then dedicating that win to the late Caselli, who died in November of 2013 whereas racing the Baja 1000 in Mexico.
(Additionally of be aware, Taylor Robert then received the ISDE as an American final 12 months—he additionally raced Loretta’s from 2001 by means of 2006).
As a result of this marked the 20th 12 months for Loretta Lynn’s, it’s additionally attention-grabbing to have a look at how a lot issues had been altering within the sport. 4-strokes had been moving into the race, with New Jersey’s Brian Carroll profitable the now ironic 4-Stroke Class over Chad Lough and Eddie Ray. Vet Class racing was on the rise, with 5 completely different divisions in comparison with only one in 1982. Among the many winners had been eventual all-time record-breaker Kevin Walker, and John Tomac, Eli’s father and already a mountain-bike god. There have been two girls courses as a substitute of 1, with wins by Leah Cantrell (Girls 80-105 12-15) and Stefy Bau (Girls 105-125 and up). And for the primary time ever, a woman was on the duvet of the occasion program, and never Loretta Lynn: it was Jessica Patterson. Gone had been the 100cc courses—folks had stop making these fashions way back—changed by 105cc Superminis. And 250F bikes had been simply beginning to come on-line.
And right here’s a enjoyable comparability: Check out the primary names of the highest 10 riders within the 51cc (7-Eight) class, 20 years aside and spot how they’ve developed identical to the occasion. And 10 years later in 2011 we’d see names like Ryder DiFrencesco, Jett Reynolds, and Axl Jones on the entry sheet.
Two-thousand-and-one was undoubtedly a 12 months for transition at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, however the star above all of it was James Stewart, for the final time as an novice.