After a successful debut event at the new Pala Raceway facility on Saturday, September 11, MX Sports Pro Racing brought the 2010 American motocross season to an official conclusion with its second annual season celebration last Sunday evening at the Pala Resort and Casino.
Hundreds of motorcycle riders and members of the motocross industry were on hand to look back at the 2010 season and honor the special members of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, as well as the riders of the ITP/Moose Racing AMA ATV Motocross Championships.
The banquet served as a final opportunity for all members of the professional motocross community to come together as a whole and pay their respects to the members of the most prestigious motocross championship on the planet.
The top ten riders from each of the major classes of the sport – the 450 Class, 250 Class, WMX Class, and ATV Pro – were recognized throughout the evening while masters of ceremony Tim Cotter and Jason Weigandt provided laughs for the audience.
For the second straight season, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki walked away with numerous awards. Led by its second consecutive 450 title-this time with Ryan Dungey, who completed the most successful rookie season in history en route to his first premier class crown-the American Suzuki squad was awarded the coveted Edison Dye Motocross Cup as well as the Gary Denton ATV Pro Cup for Josh Creamer’s inaugural ATV Pro Championship.
For Dungey, 2010 was a historic season. After becoming just the second rookie in history to wrap up the AMA Supercross title this spring, he went on to dominate the summer to become the first rookie ever to capture both premier-class titles in the same year.
He posted 10 overall victories, a new record for a rookie, while also amassing 19 of 24 moto wins. Since garnering his first career title in the AMA Supercross Lites class in 2009, Dungey has yet to come up short in winning a championship, and in just nine months has skyrocketed to become one of the most popular riders in the world.
Additionally, the GEICO Powersports Honda team was honored with the Gary Jones Motocross Cup after third-year rider Trey Canard amassed one of the most impressive come-from-behind performances in history to capture his first motocross title in the 250 Class.
Canard’s slow start to the 2010 season was easily overshadowed by his dominance over its second half. After capturing his first motocross victory, at RedBud, Canard went on to take the overall in five of the final seven rounds, overcoming a significant 57-point deficit in the process.
Moreover, the 2010 season marked the first time in his career that Canard competed in all 12 rounds of the championship, giving him a lot of momentum as he moves on from the 250 Class.
Jessica Patterson and her DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha team took home the Women’s Motocross Cup thanks to an incredible sixth title in the MotorcycleUSA.com Women’s Motocross Championship by the most successful female rider in American motocross history.
After watching her rival Ashley Fiolek take the last two WMX titles, Patterson entered 2010 rejuvenated. A revamped training program and a new team gave her all the tools necessary to put forth a formidable challenge and reclaim her position at the top of the women’s field. After taking the opening-round win, she never looked back and went on to win six of the eight rounds in dominating fashion.
While the champions of the sport were deservedly honored with special awards, MX Sports Pro Racing also recognized the most successful first-year riders of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship as Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson and Rock River Yamaha’s Alexah Pearson were selected as the 2010 Rookies of the Year in the men’s and women’s classes.
Wilson entered the 2010 season fresh off an exceptional amateur career that led him to being given the Horizon Award at the Loretta Lynn’s AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships in 2009.
After finding his place quickly at the front of the 250 Class, Wilson settled into a groove throughout the remainder of the season, capturing two overall victories and finishing fourth in the championship standings.
Like her male counterpart, Pearson is also a Loretta Lynn’s champion, taking women’s-class title earlier this season while in the midst of completing a respectable rookie season in the pro ranks.
After eight highly competitive rounds of the WMX Championship, Pearson finished the season with a pair of fourth-place efforts while finishing seventh in the championship standings.
After five years at the ATV pro level, Creamer made the most of his first season with Suzuki. The Connecticut native clicked instantly with his new team and machine, winning in just his second start with the team and posting podium results in 10 of the 11 rounds en route to six overall wins.
MX Sports Pro Racing also recognized Kevin Windham with the 2010 Sportsman of the Year award. After committing to a supercross-only contract following the 2007 season, Windham returned to the outdoor nationals in 2010 in a substitute role for Honda Red Bull Racing after Davi Millsaps suffered a season-ending injury.
The 17-year veteran enjoyed his time back at the nationals and gave more reason for the thousands of fans at each round to cheer even louder. After posting solid results throughout the second half, Windham put together an impressive outing at Steel City to capture his first overall victory since 2007.
At the age of 32, the oldest competitor in the field showed his much younger counterparts that with age comes experience, which sometimes is what it takes to win.
Windham and Canard, as well as all of their respective teammates, were also instrumental in helping American Honda earn the Motorcycle Manufacturer of the Year honors, which go to the OEM that earns the most points on the season, based on that brand’s best performance in each moto. Accepting the award on behalf of American Honda was Bill Savino.
Other awards given on Sunday evening included:
- Team Manager of the Year: GEICO Powersports Honda’s Mike LaRocco
- Motocross Team of the Year: Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki
- Transport Driver of the Year: Wonder Warthog Racing’s Chris Parsons
- ATV Rookie of the Year: Cody Grant
- ATV Manufacturers Cup: American Suzuki
- Lifetime Achievement: Roy Janson
Finally, the three members of Team USA 2010-Dungey, Canard, and Andrew Short-who will compete at this weekend’s FIM Motocross of Nations at Thunder Valley in Lakewood, Colo., received a warm welcome from their fellow competitors on the Lucas Oil AMA Motocross Championship tour as they prepare for what would be a sixth consecutive Team USA win.