Motocross by the Numbers: A Season Recap for the 2008 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. (Sept. 11, 2008) - From the opening round at Glen Helen on Memorial Day weekend to the Labor Day celebration at the American...
Motocross by the Numbers:
A Season Recap for the 2008 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship
LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. (Sept. 11, 2008) - From the opening round at Glen Helen on Memorial Day weekend to the Labor Day celebration at the American Motocross Festival from Steel City, the 2008 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship Presented by FMF was one of the most memorable and historic seasons in the sport of motocross.
A revamped schedule, aimed at condensing the season and alleviating logistical issues featured the introduction of the first-ever night event from Thunder Valley, and the inaugural American Motocross Festival, which was held on a Saturday. The huge successes at each event established a potential new trend for the sport. The Fourth of July tradition at RedBud was once again a fan and rider favorite as the centerpiece of the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship, as were returns to such famous motocross venues as Hangtown, Unadilla, Washougal, Southwick and more.
Additionally, the NPG and AMA introduced trio of exciting new awards for the world's best motocross riders. The BTOSports.com Holeshot Award granted a $500 bonus in each moto for both classes to the competitor with the fastest start out of the gate.
The Ricky Carmichael Hard Charger Award recognized the one rider in each event that passed the most opponents in a single moto, displaying the similar tenacity of the "Greatest of All Time." A mid-season introduction, the Muscle Milk Recovery Rider of the Day Award acknowledged the rider with the best increase in finishing position from Moto 1 to Moto 2 with a $1,000 reward.
Even with all the exciting additions, the focus remained with the on-track action. Leading the way throughout the 15-week summer season was Monster Energy Kawasaki's James Stewart. Just four months removed from extensive knee surgery, the perennial front-runner dominated the field at each of the 12 events to register a perfect 24-0 record on the season, joining 10-time AMA Motocross Champion Ricky Carmichael (2002, '04) as the only two riders to accomplish a perfect season. Even more impressive, Stewart led 369 out of 382 laps completed, running at the head of the pack for every lap at eight different events. His first AMA Motocross class championship is his third in AMA Toyota Motocross competition. He now sits tied for fifth on the AMA Motocross class career wins list with 16 and second overall in AMA Toyota Motocross Championship career victories at 44.
In the AMA Motocross Lites class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto grabbed his third consecutive championship, joining the elite company of Carmichael, Mark Barnett, and Broc Glover as the only riders to accomplish the feat. In his final season in the class, Villopoto won a career-high eight events, including seven in a row, and was the rider to beat throughout the summer. He brought his career win total to 20 to sit fifth all-time.
Every lap of the championship was featured on Speed TV, with a total of 48 hours of air time. Also, the ground-breaking Racer X Motocross Shows on Motocross.com included the half-hour Toyota Pre-Race and Toyota Post-Race shows from every round, as well as more than 50 individual videos set at and around the 2008 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship races.