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Part of our Back to – 2008 AMA Supercross Series Preview, by David Bailey

David Bailey is a four time AMA National Champion. He won the 1983 AMA Supercross Series, along with the AMA 250 Motocross Championship. He also won the AMA National MX Championship in the 500cc class in 1984, and 1986. David is a multi-time member of the winning USA Motocross of Nations team as well.

Here David has last year’s (2007) Supercross series standings, he answers important questions about supercross and motocross, lists the main team, the riders, and their numbers


Final Supercross Standings – 450 class

1. James Stewart 385

2. Chad Reed 334

3. Tim Ferry 276

4. Kevin Windham 240

5. Ivan Tedesco 197

6. David Vuillemin 196

7. Michael Byrne 189

8. Ricky Carmichael 160

9. Heath Voss 160

10. Paul Carpenter 143

11. Jeff Gibson 118

12. Josh Summey 103

13. Travis Preston 98

14. Nick Wey 80

15. Davi Millsaps 79

16. Andrew Short 77

17. Nathan Ramsey 67

18. Grant Langston 66

19. Eric Sorby 57

20. Cole Siebler 51

Final Standings – 250 Supercross class Lites West Coast

1. Ryan Villopoto 197

2. Jason Lawrence 157

3. Josh Hill 128

4. Jake Weimer 120

5. Chris Gosselaar 111

6. Josh Hansen 98

7. Josh Grant 91

8. Matt Lemoine 85

9. Troy Adams 84

10. Kyle Cunningham 77

Final Standings – 250 Supercross class Lites East Coast

1. Ben Townley 133

2. Ryan Morais 130

3. Darcy Lange 117

4. Branden Jesseman 103

5. Ryan Dungey 98

6. Billy Laninovich 85

7. Thomas Hahn 84

8. Mike Alessi 84

9. Matt Goerke 83

10. Justin Brayton 68


1. What is the overall condition of the sport, and what is everyone generally going thru right now?

I think it’s interesting that riders are concerned about how long the season is, yet go a little stir crazy in the off-season and seem a little lost with regards to what to do and how hard to do it. The off-season is a sketchy time for riders. The top riders with big plans don’t know if they will meet their expectations until things get under way … and that used to drive me crazy, but it also motivated me to do a little more, just to be sure. Even for the defending champions, it can be a stressful time until you get the first race under you belt. I think riders and teams are anxious for the season to start. I know the fans are!

2. What does James Stewart have to do this year to repeat as champion?

Execute. James is probably more confident than he’s ever been for two reasons: First, I think he’s come up short of his own expectations the past couple years, so I believe he is very motivated. Second, he has Aldon Baker – formerly Ricky Carmichael’s trainer, and those two had a good run, so James isn’t guessing as much anymore in regards to training. He knows now that he’s doing the right thing each time out, and that builds confidence. If he can execute what’s in his head, no one will be able to touch him.

3. What does Chad Reed need to do to step it up?

Chad needs ‘The Eye of the Tiger’. I think he’s lost a little of that and throws in the towel too early, but maybe that couch after last year’s supercross season was what he needed to see what was missing. RC missed a SX season (2004) and seemed to come back hungrier than ever with a new appreciation for the gift he had. I don’t know if Chad truly believes he can beat James when James is at the top of his game, and that’s tough mentally.

I could be wrong though. I know Chad’s riding ability is there. I’ve seen it. He just has to ride 100% all the time no matter what. I know James will, but James doesn’t always finish. If I were Chad I would lay it all out there. All of it! It might be enough … if he doesn’t he’ll regret it when he’s older. Beating a healthy James Stewart is something I’ll bet even RC ranks up there as one of his biggest accomplishments.

4. Can Grant Langston improve in supercross?

Yes. I look at Grant’s resume and there’s a ‘check’ in every championship box except the supercross class, so the motivation to improve is there. Plus he has Chad to observe while testing with Yamaha. I like that Grant seems to be able to turn it up a notch the way only the best can do. Very few riders in history have had the ability to turn it up a notch when needed. Grant is an ‘opportunist’ and if the leaders are within sight, he’ll figure out a way to catch ’em.

5. What is Ricky Carmichael going thru now not racing?

He has to feel relieved at this point. However, he might be a spectator at some races this year, thinking ‘I could of won that race’. The relief comes from the fact that he’s been doing it for so long and he doesn’t have the responsibility or pressure of performing all year long any more. It’s difficult for a successful athlete to make the transition to ‘normal’ life. It’s a trip over the falls and there is no shortcut. It’s good that Ricky has kids because at some point if it hasn’t already, being a father will help take the focus off of himself and the emotional cliff you fall off when you finally set all the racing and fame down. This season though, I believe it might difficult at times for him because he still could win on certain nights and afternoons. I believe he made the right choice though. There wasn’t anything else to prove and takes a lot of discipline to walk away when you’re that good still.

6. How good is Ryan Villopoto?

I think Ryan should be riding in the 450 class right now. Nothing against Ryan, it’s just that he belongs with the best. It’s obvious he’s going to be the one to beat in the future. He’s probably going ride and win the Eastern Lites series. I look at that as a waste of time. Some say he is riding in the East to prepare for the big class for 2009, but Ryan can learn a track in 10 minutes. I say forget all the agents and Kawasaki’s interests and focus on his own. Kawasaki can get their worth out of him on the podium on a 450. Others have hung around in the lights too, so I’m not singling him out, but I wish he would get out of little league and step up to the plate in the majors. He just beat the best riders in the world at the Nations on a 250F.

7. What about the supercross tracks of today?

I really don’t see the need for the tracks to look like they do today – they are homogenized, cookie cutter, same ‘ol tracks with whoops sections, step-on step-offs, triples, rhythm sections – it’s like a video game. I think they need to go back to how it all started and bring ‘motocross’ to the fans. No matter how hard you try to make it like an outdoor it’s still supercross. The high flying deal it has become doesn’t make it more exciting. It just makes it so a couple riders dominate and the rest are scared and laying up so they can get through the season in one piece.

There shouldn’t be a set way to build the track. I’d like to see it be more like motocross and change a little more throughout the night. I think a couple really big jumps are fine, but the rest has become boring and dangerous and separates everyone too much. There needs to be more ‘thinking’ rather than everyone jumping stuff on the first or second lap of practice. Right now, I think it’s more about having ‘balls’ than riding skill and fitness and racing sense.

This year for Anaheim 2, Live Nation made a decision to revisit some of the ‘flavor’ and ‘spirit’ of the 80’s, which is memorable to many people. Rick Johnson and I are involved in helping with the track, and it will be pretty close to the original. I’m interested to see what happens. I’m glad they decided to throw that out there regardless of some potential complaints. There are three Anaheim events, so why not? I’m honored to be part of it and hopeful this upcoming ‘retro’ night will produce something that we are all still talking about 20 years from now.

See you there!



Monster Energy Kawasaki – Manager Mike Fisher

Riders: James Stewart, Timmy Ferry

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – Manager Mitch Payton

Riders: Ryan Villopoto (East), Brett Metcalfe (West), Austin Stroupe (West) (And possibly Branden Jesseman)

Honda Red Bull Racing Team – Manager Erik Kehoe

Riders: Andrew Short, Ben Townley (East), Ivan Tedesco, Davi Millsaps

Team Yamaha – Manager Jim Perry

Riders: Grant Langston, Josh Hill, Broc Hepler (West)

Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki – Manager Roger De Coster

Riders: Mike Alessi, David Vuillemin, Michael Byrne, Ryan Dungey (West) Nico Izzi (East)

Team San Manuel Yamaha/L & M Racing – Manager/co-owner Larry Brooks

Riders: Chad Reed, Nate Ramsey

MDK KTM SX/MX Factory Race Team – Manager Steve Lamson

Riders: Nick Wey, Martin Davalos

MDK KTM SX/MX Factory Race Lites Team – Manager Casey Lytle

Billy Laninovich, Justin Brayton, Ryan Sipes, Matt Goerke

Torco Racing Fuels Honda

Riders: Kevin Windham, Josh Grant, Jake Weimer, Trey Canard, Dan Reardon

Starr Racing – Owner Bobby Regan

Riders – Broc Tickle, Matt Lemoine, Jake Moss, W Hahn

Joe Gibbs Yamaha Racing team – Manager Jeremy Albrecht

Riders – Josh Hansen, Josh Summey

Yamaha of Troy / Boost Mobile

Riders: Jason Lawrence (East), Ryan Morais # 116 (West), Zach Osbourne (West), Tyler Bowers (East)

Motosport Xtreme Kawasaki

Riders: Kyle Chisholm, Phil Nicoletti, Tommy Hahn, Andrew McFarlane

Team Bad Boy – Manager Rick Ware

Riders: Jeff Alessi, Jake Marsack

Troy Lee Design / Honda / RedBull Lites – Jeff Ward, Matt Jory

Riders: Chris Gosselaar, Gavin Gracyk, Justin Keeney


The riders below can ride with the number 1 plate in their respective classes because they are the defending champions:

James Stewart – Supercross

Ryan Villopoto – Supercross Lites West, Motocross Lites

Ben Townley – Supercross Lites East

Grant Langston – Motocross

2 – Ryan Villopoto

3 – Mike Brown

4 – Ricky Carmichael

7 – James Stewart

8 – Grant Langston

9 – Ivan Tedesco

11 – Travis Preston

12 – David Vuillemin

13 – Heath Voss

14 – Kevin Windham

15 – Tim Ferry

16 – John Dowd

17 – Robbie Reynard

18 – Brock Sellards

20 – Josh Grant

22 – Chad Reed

23 – Kyle Lewis

24 – Josh Summey

25 – Nathan Ramsey

26 – Michael Byrne

27 – Nick Wey

28 – Ryan Dungey

29 – Andrew Short

30 – Jake Weimer

31 – Brett Metcalfe

32 – Tommy Hahn

33 – Gavin Gracyk

34 – Martin Davalos

35 – Broc Tickle

36 – Kyle Chisholm

37 – Jason Thomas

38 – Andrew McFarlane

39 – Ryan Clark

40 – Josh Hill

41 – Matt Goerke

42 – Paul Carpenter

43 – Jeff Gibson

44 – Troy Adams

45 – Robert Kiniry

47 – Joaquim Rodrigues

48 – Trey Canard

49 – Steve Boniface

51 – Austin Stroupe

52 – Matt LeMoine

53 – Cole Sielbler

55 – Antonio Balbi

56 – Shaun Skinner

57 – Ryan Sipes

58 – Kyle Cunningham

60 – Broc Hepler

61 – Daniel Sani

63 – Dusty Klatt

64 – Tyler Evans

65 – Ryan Morais

66 – Jacob Marsack

67 – Bryan Johnson

68 – Kyle Mace

69 – Kelly Smith

70 – Ryan Mills

71 – Kyle Keylon

72 – Kevin Johnson

73 – Adam Chatfield

74 – Chris Blose

75 – Ricky Renner

76 – Zach Osborne

77 – Branden Jesseman

78 – Keith Johnson

79 – J. Sipes

80 – Michael LaPaglia

81 – Bobby Garrison

82 – Jake Moss

83 – Matt Boni

84 – Chris Whitcraft

85 – Billy Ainsworth

86 – Michael Willard

87 – Tucker Hibbert

88 – Joseph Oehlhof

89 – Robbie Marshall

90 – Scott Simon

91 – Ritchie Owens

92 – Jeff Dement

93 – Kyle Summers

94 – Kevin R.

95 – Kyle Partridge

96 – Doug Dehaan

97 – Tyson Hadsell

98 – Jacob Saylor

99 – Wil Hahn

101 – Ben Townley

102 – Chris Gosselaar

116 – Ryan Morais

118 – Davi Millsaps

132 – Billy Laninovich

341 – Nico Izzi

338 – Jason Lawrence

800 – Mike Alessi

801 – Jeff Alessi

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