Author: site admin
Category: AMA MX/SX
Thus far this season, Ricky Carmichael and Chad Reed have made the rest of the AMA Supercross field look like novices. With the exception of the muddy first race of the season, won by Kevin Windham, these two riders have run away from everyone else during the Supercross season. The exclamation mark to this was the San Diego round where Carmichael and Reed lapped up to *3rd* place. That is just staggering…
But even with these two riders stomping the rest of the field, there is another person that is really showing up the rest of the riders…Mike Larocco. Supercross is a young man’s sport. Riders get started in their teens and have usually hung up their jersey by their mid-20s. The abuse the body goes through during a 30 minute moto requires physical conditioning that is usually restricted to folks whose bodies are still growing. The fact that McGrath has come back to the sport at the age of 33 years old is amazing and the fact that he is getting top ten results even more so. But that is nothing compared to Mike “The Rock” Larocco, also 33 years old.
While McGrath has been busy showing up the young guys with his top ten finishes, Larocco has been embarrassing them with consistent podiums. Heady stuff for someone with the “old man” label. He has been on the box with a second at Anaheim 1, a third at San Francisco and a third at San Diego. His worst finish was a 15th at Phoenix but if that is ignored for a moment, his next worse finish is a sixth at Anaheim II. He sits third in the AMA Supercross series points battle and second in the World Supercross points battle. That is a remarkable record for anyone, especially this season with two riders controlling the top two steps on the podium.
When one rider can finish in the top five at six of eight rounds, finish on the podium three times and then casually mention that he is 33 years old, it makes me think the younger riders aren’t really aware of just how focused they need to be to compete in this series. Maybe there are a lot of riders who don’t think they can run with Carmichael and Reed. Well, Larocco is showing they they can’t run with him either. With all the factory and semi-factory rides that are available, Larocco and McGrath are making a lot of riders look like chumps and probably have a lot of team managers casting a questioning eye at their rider lineup. These “old guys’ have a thing or two to teach everyone and the other riders better start learning fast. Otherwise guys like Jeff Ward and Doug Henry are gonna dust off their gear and come back from some of the glory (and money) as well…
[image from the Supercross 2005 web site.]