ONE WONDERS…….What’s the best race you’ve ever seen?
Check out our latest Feature where we fire a question at a host of Motocross Stars and Officionardos with the first being “What’s the best race you’ve ever seen?
See the responses below… Enjoy!
Rob Sartin – Talon Engineering head honcho: “It’s got to be DT’s (Dave Thorpe) last to first at the ’85 GP at Farleigh”
Jamie Dobb – 2001 125 World Champion: “That epic between David Bailey and Ricky Johnson at Anaheim in 86, an absolute classic.”
Doc Wobbly – Owner of Superlite Titanium/ Doc Wob imports: “It’s a toss-up between Davy Strijbos and John Van de Berk going at it in Holland on 125’s, I was there is 86 with Merv (Anstie) in the support race. Then there’s Brownie (Mike Brown) vs Ryno (Ryan Hughes) at High Point 2005… or finally JS7 (James Stewart) last to first on the factory KX125 at Budds Creek against 250f’s in 04. F**K! Then let’s not forget DT (Dave Thorpe) last to first at Farleigh- can we do a top ten?”
Tommy Searle – Current British MX1 champion: “Arenacross head to head at Birmingham this year. Ashley Greedy and Gradie Featherstone. Does that count as a race?!”
Dave Thorpe – Three-Time World 500cc MX champion/ Buildbase Honda Boss: East/West Showdown Vegas 2017. Love the never say die attitude of Zach Osborne!
Dave King – Mr VMXDN: “So easy. Namur 89 my first ever continental GP. I drove down with a mate in my VW pick up. I had been to Farleigh GPs since 79 and thought it would be like that. How wrong I was! It was 100 times better. I pitched up a tent in someone’s front garden halfway up the hill. On the Sunday the police shut the place down with reports of 75,000 spectators. Obviously DT was the reason to go. I had read Alex Hodgkinson’s yearly article in TMX News about travelling to a foreign GP and followed his directions! Gate crashed the Sunday night old boys get together (first ever vet race) at the citadel and drank beer with every one of the guys I had only read about in magazines. Take me back please!”
Jon Gifford – JGR and GRT/Holeshot KTM manager: “Has to be Zach Osborne coming from the back and winning the title in Vegas whilst on 4Power’s (Ryan Thorpe’s) stag do. Good times all round.”
Bob Buchanan – Oakley Riders UK goggle wizard: “Townley v Carmichael at Ernee 2005 MXDN. Supposed to be about Stefan and Ricky but Stefan went down on the start but Townley was mega.”
Brian Jorgensen – Former Factory GP racer: “Everts versus James Stewart at MX of Nations 2006. It was so good because of the build-up and the difference in styles. It was such a cool moment when Stefan rode around the outside of Stewart and so many people cheered.”
Bryan Connelly – Hitachi KTM crew chief: “Two that stand out for me. 2005 Ernee as the buzz with the Americans was huge and it was a good crowd, plus watching RC *Ricky Carmichael) go at it, especially with (Ben) Townley was so cool. And the 2007 MXDN at Budds Creek when RV (Ryan Villopoto) killed everyone on a 250f. It was insane how fast he was that day. Even RC said he was on another level that day.”
Roger Warren – British GP/ Eurosport commentator: “Desertmartin GP 2006, Everts v Coppins. They lapped up to 4th! They got one win each but JC won the overall with the better second race result and spoiled Everts perfect season.”
Roger Magee – Hitachi KTM owner: “1983 Champions of Champions – Alan Morrison v Mark Banks. Epic.”
Lee Jones – Apex Motocross Track owner: “1991 AMCA meeting at Shobdon. Rob Aston on his 125 Honda Equipe against Carl Pope on a Sprite Alloy KTM. Swapped places for the lead virtually every corner. Was good to see the dinger against the big bore.”
Steven Clarke – Buildbase Honda MX2 rider: James Stewart – “Washougal 2003. Last to first and had that KX125 on it’s limit. So awesome to watch.”
Rob Andrews – Former 500cc GP racer: “DT (Dave Thorpe) at Farleigh. Saw him go down in the first turn. Halfway round the first lap he passed me in about 15th. I thought “WTF?!”
Steve Dixon – Owner of Dixon Racing Team/ Organiser of British MX GP: “Sorry guys, at over 400 GP’s now, my brain is frazzled as to the best race I watched, so, so many. Thorpe at Farleigh, JD Lommel finger to Pekkoven, Everts at nations 1998 and 2006, Maler nations 94. The list is long.”
Paul Hunt – Former British 125 champion: “Cairoli at Matterley 2006 Nations, winning the MX2 /MX Open race and throwing in a last-lap nac-nac over the downhill tabletop. Class.”
Paul Denning – Owner of Crescent Yamaha Moto GP/MX: “Sorry to be dull/predictable – but Davis Thorpe at Farleigh. We’d buzzed up there on road bikes, was a red hot day, at that time had zero connections to professional racing of any sort, just used to love riding dirt bikes so the pleasure of seeing a 500GP as a pure punter with my mates was just awesome. The way DT was able to put his bike anywhere he needed to on the track and turn underneath guys, find grip where the others were sideways, brake so much later and still make the turn… that was sub-conscious flow, I reckon if DT had been in a “normal” race from the start he’d have been smoked by the DT that fell down at the first corner…”
Lee Webber – Cab Screens/ Deos Honda Team manager: “Two ends of the spectrum from me, first one would have to be Dave Thorpe at Farleigh in 89, first corner crash to a win, that was something else to witness. The other race that sticks in my mind is the last round of the expert cup/Mx Nationals at Crookwood a couple of years ago. A race between Declan Whittle and Luke Parker, and I believe it was for the championship, winner takes all, two best friends absolutely went at it for the whole race swapping positions every lap with Declan Whittle winning by half a second.”
Martin Craven – FatCat Moto Parc owner: “The first GP I went to…Hawkestone 84…I think! Gorgeous George Jobe versus Andre Malherbe! I’ll never forget watching him jump over him…it was mind-blowing at the time. It was red hot and Thorpey won both motos too. Glory days.”
Mark Chamberlain – Team GB MXDN manager: “Carl Nunn vs Chicco Chiodi at Foxhill. The crowd were going nuts!”
Jonathan Rea – Five time World Superbike champion: “Watching Everts/Bubba at Matterley 06. Two heavyweights of the time, and seeing Everts ride around the outside, stood up on a downhill off-camber right-hander is something I’ll never forget.”
Paul Irwin – RaceFX Boss and MX Nationals organiser: “Lawrence Spence pushing his bike over the line at Farleigh in 83. If points were awarded for effort.”
Max Anstie – MXDN class winner: “Matterley 06 between Bubba/Everts. I remember Billy Mac getting the holeshot and being in the crowd that day was unreal. The atmosphere is something I’ll always remember.”
Stephen Sword – Former British champion & GP racer: “As a 5-year-old boy it would have been DT at Farleigh 1985. I was watching at the top of the steps and I fell into a load of stinging nettles, so remember it even more! Over the past 20 year Carmichael never disappoints. Carioli was awesome at Matterley in 06, and of course, Everts v Stewart that day will be remembered by loads of people for so many years. There are so many other outstanding ride as well. Villopoto was unreal at Budds Creek is another one, he was so fast that day.”
Matt Bates – Former GP racer/ Promoter of Arenacross UK: “DT from the floor at the first turn of Farleigh to the front in just a few laps… just listening to the crowd was pretty unreal. For those of us lucky enough to witness it live, it just made every kid that raced in the UK twist it that bit harder next Sunday!! I reckon that race alone changed the sport forever.”
Gordon Crockard – Former British champion/ Honda Europe Racing manager: “As a 7-year-old boy, I witnessed in person the 1986 Belgian 500cc Grand Prix, Namur. The battle for the win was between the late Eric Geboers and late George Jobe, with Thorpey charging through the pack to take crucial points towards his quest to win the Championship, which he did the following week in the mud of Luxembourg, which I was also fortunate enough to see. Because this was the first-ever Grand Prix I had ever seen, I hadn’t even seen a video of a GP before and very few images were available to see in MCN, DBR and Motocross Rider magazines. Everything about the experience of being at that race made me fall in love with Motocross. Captivating, inspiring, fascinating, I was hooked and became obsessed to learn more about the sport I had just been introduced to.
“Besides it being my 1st, for me, it was still the greatest race. Additionally, other great races that spring to mind are 95 Foxhills 125 GP with Maler and Tortelli because of the British fans going crazy. 2000 Talavera 250 GP with Bolley and Crockard because I won! 2001 Anaheim SX with McGrath and Carmichael because it was the first time RC beat MC.2005 MXDN at Ernee, France with Townley and Carmichael because BT was the Euro GP hero to slay the American dominator and the fans were going boogaloo! I’ll stop there, there are too many to mention.”
Mark Macann – FRO Systems Boss: “1998 LA coliseum. Seb Tortelli taking the win. Thorpey ay Farleigh in 85, but also when he finally did the double at Farleigh in 89. I was only young but remember it being a red hot day and I came away with a special set of Carrera goggles which the champ gave me.”
Roger Harvey – Former British champion/ GP racer and HRC racing director: “Got to be DT at Farleigh, from on the deck in last place to win was amazing in front of your home crowd, I ask if we will every witness the likes of that ever again! Then, having spent all my life in the sport I have to ask you to look on YouTube at “Vintage Scrambles – Grandstand” a race between the late Dave Bickers and Jeff Smith, watch it to the end, I remember watching the race on live TV, epic!!! Sorry to bore some of you with some real Golden Oldies!”
Micky Carter – Owner of California Motocross Holidays: “Tommy Searle’s win at Matterley, the crowd was insane that day and it was made better by putting one over on Herlings. So many of us hoped he would but knew it would be really difficult but he dug deep that day and did it and sent a load of British fans home happy.”
Aaron Nixon – Monster Energy: 2004. “Ditched school and jumped in a van with a guy from the estate. Drove up to the northwest 200, watched real road racing in person for the first time on my life. After that if it didn’t have two wheels and an engine it wasn’t in my line of sight. But as for MX, possibly Anaheim 2 this year. Watching Ferrandis on the warpath was pretty special to witness.”
Steve Matthes – Pulp MX: 99 Glen Helen, Seb Tortelli’s first year here. Mid pack starts and went 1-1. Amazing ride, crushing the downhills. Just about any RC/Stew MX battle in 2007, Osborne’s Vegas SX title ride gave me goosebumps – it was simply amazing. 1999 Summercross!! 😉
Olly Stone – Austin Forkner’s British mechanic: Foxhills des Nations 98. Everts lapping the whole field stood on the pegs. It was my first Nations I went to watch and Mitch (Payton) still talks about that one regularly!
Ben Cannings – Madison.co.uk MX Brand manager: “Foxhills 1998 MXDN was awesome, couldn’t believe how good Everts was, that performance was phenomenal. Was a bit gutted that I never got to see Carmichael ride as I’d only seen him on the Motovision tapes!
Lewis Gregory – Former British & GP racer / Oakley Riders UK goggles: Italian GP at Arco 2017. Cairoli went down in the first corner in the second Moto and had to pass Bobryshev on the last lap to win the GP. The atmosphere was incredible, especially as he was running out of time for the win.
Ashley Kane – Former British & GP racer: 1985 British 250 final round. Whatley vs Watson. Classic.
Justin Chamberlain – Former Motovision cameraman/ editor: 88 des Nations. (Ron) Lechein won both his moto’s and looked so cool doing it. It was always a big thing back then when the American’s came over because they looked so much cooler than the Euro riders and he was one of the most stylish American riders of all time. Rob Herring beat Rick Johnson that day too. First time I’d seen JMB (Jean Michel Bayle) race, he rode a 125 and was awesome. As a kid the whole thing just seemed so cool and thinking about it always makes me happy.”
Andy Gee – Author of ‘Chasing the MXGP Dream’: “For me it has to be Cairoli passing six riders in consecutive laps at Trentino in 2017 to take the overall. Unbelievable race craft setting the block pass up from 2 corners before.”
Davey Coombs – owner of Racer X and Pro American MX promoter: I was lucky enough to cover the 1990 Battle of Atlanta, where something like 7 or 8 guys all led or were right there at one point or another: Bradshaw, Kiedrowski, Matiasevich, O’Mara, Bayle, Stanton, Cooper, RJ.. And then at the very end Jeff Ward somehow snuck past them all! It was highly underrated because it was an east coast event and not a lot of magazines that existed back then were there to cover it, but all 20 laps were just incredible…”
Jeff Perrett – Kawasaki Team Green manager/ Dirt Hub’s ‘Man in a Van’: “There’s so, so many amazing races we’ll all know and remember and they all deserve to be mentioned on this but I’m going for one I had the privilege to commentate on. It was at the final round of the Michelin MX Nationals at Crookwood in 2017. It all came down to the final race of the year for the title in the Expert MX1 class between Declan Whittle and Luke Parker. There was one point between them going into the moto and it was the last race of the day as the sun was going down on a brilliant track in the Wiltshire countryside. They started first and second if I remember correctly and for the entire 20 minute plus two laps they went at it, racing so hard, but so fair and with respect not to take it over the edge and back and forth they went, lap after lap. It went all the way to the flag and Declan took it by about one bike length and then they stopped and shook hands and hugged each other because they’re good mates. It was everything that makes our sport so good in about 26 minutes of non-stop excitement. I loved every minute of it, but it blew my throat out and I couldn’t talk the next day.”