American Motocross fans are in for a special treat this Sunday evening, as the renowned SPEED program Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain will celebrate the history of the sport, kicking off the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship.
Despain’s featured guests this weekend will be three multi-time AMA Pro Motocross Champions – Ricky Carmichael, Gary Jones and Ryan Villopoto.
Carmichael will get the best seat in the house, sitting alongside long-time motorcycle racing aficionado Despain as the in-studio guest. “The GOAT” is a record-setting 10-time AMA Pro Motocross title holder and winner of 102 races in the discipline during his decade-long career. Since retiring from professional motocross in 2007, Carmichael has tried his hand at racing on four wheels, currently competing for Turner Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
He will join Despain in discussing the 40th year of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship, which will begin on Saturday, May 21, with the Rockstar Energy Hangtown National from Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Also appearing on the show to discuss the series will be Gary Jones, a three-time champion of the AMA Pro Motocross tour, including the inaugural season back in 1972.
A pioneer of American Motocross, Jones managed to win his three titles on three different brands of motorcycle and is the namesake for the coveted 250 Class trophy, the Gary Jones Motocross Cup. Jones is also a member of the AMA Motorcycling Hall of Fame, inducted back in the year 2000.
To round out a full evening of motocross sure to satisfy any fan’s hunger for the sport, Despain will be joined by Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, who is also a three-time AMA Pro Motocross Champion in the 250 Class and was recently crowned the 2011 AMA Supercross Champion after what many are calling the greatest season of all time.
Since moving into the premier 450 Class in 2009, Villopoto has made just two starts in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. After recovering from a broken leg suffered last year, Villopoto is looking to complete his first full season on the big bike and keep his undefeated championship record in motocross intact.
Add them all up and Despain’s three Wind Tunnel guests are responsible for an astonishing total of 16 AMA Pro Motocross Championships.
As if the résumé of success for his guests wasn’t impressive enough, Despain is also a member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame himself with the Class of 1998.
e is arguably the most well-known television personality in the history of motorcycling, having risen from the role of a local racing event announcer to the host of the highly-acclaimed program that bears his name, which covers all forms of racing. Despain’s lifelong enthusiasm for motorcycling continues to help the sport broaden its continually-growing audience. Make sure to tune in this Sunday night to SPEED at 9 p.m. EST for this historic episode.
SPEED will also be covering all 12 rounds of the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, beginning with the Rockstar Energy Hangtown National, next Saturday, May 21.