Motocross Racing Historical Facts
The sport of motocross has triumphed in the world thanks to the circuits, jumps, and spectacular outings. A total show controlled by the gas fist.
Motocross originated in the United Kingdom at the beginning of the last century when automobile clubs did timed tests, some were not disputed on asphalt but dirt, and these were called “scrambles.” In 1924 the first motorcycle scramble was played in the middle of the English mud with a group of brave pilots dressed in wool pants. The sport evolved over the decades thanks to increasingly powerful bikes, while the tires improved their performance. There is no doubt that the MX was born in the United Kingdom but became big on the other side of the pond, in the United States, between cants and dubious (succession of small mounds).
MX Arrives in America
Despite what is often said, Edison Dye was not the one who brought motocross to the United States. This sport (competitions with off-road motorcycles on a closed circuit) already in 1959 was controlled by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). Dye, however, did contribute to the popularization of MX in America. This gentleman worked for Husqvarna and wanted to sell as many lightweight bikes as possible to the American public. To do this, he took advantage of the European philosophy of the MX, which was more sophisticated, with races that were more like automobiles. In February 1966, at a race held in Imperial Valley in the California desert, Dye showed the Americans what those lightweight and powerful 2-stroke bikes were capable of. At the end of the year, he brought Torsten Hallman, the world champion, who destroyed the rivals – the audience was hooked on the show.
The 2-Stroke Era
Motocross competitions in America and around the world grew exponentially in the 70s. Before Dye promoted the sport in the U.S., WADA had only organized 15 races. In the 70s, hundreds of competitions began to be held, especially in Southern California, which is the epicenter of American motocross. This period is known as “the Golden Age of Motocross in the USA,” when the sport became accessible to people of all ages and conditions. Currently, motocross is one of the pillars of motorsport in America and has different disciplines, such as supercross (SX), freestyle motocross (FMX), ATV, and supermoto. In the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship 2019, the championship controlled by AMA Pro Racing, the riders played for a cash prize of one million dollars (846,000 euros). In the sport’s early days, it was just about going fast and having fun; today, it is one of the most followed events worldwide.
The Modern Era of MX
The excesses of the 80s gave way to the 90s when motocross stood out with an aggressive image. At that time, it began to be part of what was called “extreme sports.” In MX, the influence of punk rock and skate culture was noted. The drivers competed to offer the most striking personality and image, but the races were still won by the fastest on the track. At that time, Mike LaRocco, Jeremy McGrath, and the unstoppable Ricky Carmichael stood out. Then it was the turn of Travis Pastrana and James “Bubba” Stewart Jr. from then on, the pilots could race in MX and SX. In addition to doing backflips (somersaults) and whips (skidding in the air) as was clear in the iconic film entitled “Crusty Demons of Dirt.” Modern motocross riders could do everything from shooting at the start of a supercross in Las Vegas to nailing a backflip at the X Games.
The Rules of a Ruthless Sport
The competitions are divided into two heats, each called “moto,” of 30 minutes plus two laps of duration. The beginning of the race is a devilish sprint to the first corner, and it is called the “hole shot” to the maneuver of arriving leader to the first turn. From there, the dubies, cants and jumps, jumps, and more jumps happen. Whoever crosses the finish line first wins the sleeve. In motocross, there are some unwritten rules. One of them is that you should never look back because not only do you waste time, but it is a sign of weakness. Another rule of thumb is to prepare more for the crash than the podium. Wear the best protective gear possible because you’re not going to win at first and may never even get it. Know your bike down to the last detail, and don’t try inventions on race day. Treat slower riders with respect, especially those you’re doubling down. Never take off your glasses because the earth that the wheels’ lift is very dangerous for the eyes. Finally, the most important rule of motocross is fun. Competing in a motocross race can be an intimidating experience, but we assure you that it will take time to forget such an intense experience.