History of AMA Motocross National Championship
The inaugural year of this competition was in 1972, it was founded by the AMA which stands for the American Motorcyclist Association. Brad Lackey the first ever winner of this competition who was known to his fans as “Bad Brad” absolutely crushed all of his competition by winning five out of eight 500cc races as well as ending the year as the best racer by winning the Trans-AMA Series, his season ended with him on 2030 points and Gary Jones who finished second place had 829 points. Gary Jones did finish first place in his 250cc class and retained his championship in 1973 and 1974.
From 1972 up until the end of the season in 1973 you only had two classes to choose from either the 500cc or the 250cc class, that all changed from 1974 when they introduced the 125cc class. The winner of the inaugural year of the 125cc was Marty Smith who retained his championship by winning it in 1975.
The 500cc class finished at the end of the season in 1993 marking 21 years of the class, the reason for the dismantle of this motocross class is because the bikes were too powerful for the average rider, it is quite dangerous to ride a two stroke 500cc bike and thus making potential riders shy away and go for a lower cc engine and bike class. In 1996 the American Motorcyclist Association introduced a women’s division which was a historic moment for the women who always dreamt of winning an AMA Motocross National Championship. The first Women’s MX champion was Shelly Kann.
In 2006 the 250cc division was changed to MX class, it allowed four stroke bikes with an engine capacity of 250cc to 450cc and two stroke bikes with an engine capacity of 150cc to 250cc as four stroke bikes are weaker thus allowing for stronger engines. The 125cc class was changed to MX Lites Class but in 2009 these names were changed again but this time the MX class was changed to 450cc Class and the MX Lites Class was changed to 250 Class. This change was made to showcase how all of the bike manufacturers changed all of their bikes to four stroke.
The AMA Motocross Champions are revered as some of the best Motocross riders in the world. Ricky Carmichael has more Championships than any other rider by a long shot, bolstering an incredible record of 7 Championship wins in the 450/250cc Division. His record will remain unbeaten as he set a high precedent at the top. He is also tied for first place with Ryan Villopoto, Mark Barnett and Broc Glover in the 250/125cc Division showing that he is incredible in any division that you put him in. Ricky Carmichael has the most overall wins than any other rider sitting at a powerful 102 total wins across the divisions.
I want to talk about the most influential female rider and one of the most admired people in the world, her name is Ashley Fiolek. She won the AMA Motocross Championship four times with the sponsor she has had since she was 7 years old, Honda. She first won it in 2008 and she retained her championship the following year. She won it again in 2011 and then 2012. What is her secret weapon you might ask, it is the fact that she is deaf and can concentrate like no other rider, and nothing can distract her. She overcame her weakness in life and turned it into strength at the early at of 7 years old.