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Throwback Thursday: The 1993 AMA Supercross Series – The King’s reign begins!

Throwback Thursday: The 1993 AMA Supercross Series – The King’s reign begins!

Here’s one from the history books that saw the sport of Motocross and Supercross welcome a superstar-to-be into the big time… or should that be “Showtime!”.  This is the story of the 1993 AMA Supercross Championship – a changing of the guard at the top of the sport in the USA, 30 years ago.

Words: Ben Rumbold. Videos from Motovision and The Motocross Vault.

The 1993 season started with reigning Champion Jeff Stanton on the factory Honda and Yamaha’s Damon Bradshaw looking to be the favourites, especially in the wake of the great Jean-Michel Bayle’s early retirement as he changed careers to race on tarmac.  He was replaced on the dominant Team Honda squad by the rookie Jeremy McGrath – a 21-year-old Californian who had decimated the 125cc West series over the previous two seasons on the ultra-cool blue Team Peak/Pro Circuit Honda machines.  Still racing a 125cc outdoors, he wasn’t expected to be a serious challenger, as Bradshaw himself held the record for 250cc rookie wins with 5 in 1990. Bradshaw himself had won a season-record 9 races in 1992, but famously lost the title in a final-round nightmare at the LA Coliseum.  The big question was, how would Damon comeback from such a devastating championship loss?

After Mike LaRocco won the season-opener in Orlando, Florida, for the second straight season, Bradshaw picked up the pace in Houston’s second round to win and take lead the series lead. Kawasaki’s reigning 500cc Champion Mike Kiedrowski ran 2nd early on and was a more consistent threat than previously indoors.  This season would see the last ever Supercross wins for both Stanton and Bradshaw, as well as the first 250cc Supercross wins for McGrath and Kiedrowski.

Jeremy went on to start his destruction of the record books with an unheard-of 10 race wins for the series, completely blitzing the field and riding in a way that looked almost easy.  In his own words, he brought in a new way of racing the obstacles, partially inspired by his BMX background and lifting the technique of the sport to new heights.  It would take eight years and one of the greatest racers of all time to knock him off the perch he climbed up to in the 1993 season.

Here are two summary videos of the 1993 season from the archives: First off we have the “Showtime” video that focuses on Jeremy himself, including some rare practice footage from the legendary Carlsbad raceway and a bit of freestyle playing around – you can skip past the rap section if you have any musical taste whatsoever…

After that is a more traditional race-by-race breakdown of the season from the Motocross Vault YouTube channel.  Not great on video quality but this is thirty-year-old film!  There is still some awesome race action in there and some tasty crashes, wars of words, and Jeff Matiasevich punching his teammate in the head – it was the 90s!

Sit back and enjoy…

Here is a more detailed race-by-race review of the season, with that classic Art Eckman drawl adding such massive gravitas.