Photo Gallery: Best of the 2007 AMA Nationals
|Click the following link for a 75-photo gallery of the Best of the 2007 AMA National Championship Motocross Series.|
The AMA Nationals are a much different breed from the technical ballet of Supercross. Wide open and rough, the riders string together 24 motos throughout a long, hot, summer to determine National Champions in the Motocross Lites and Motocross classes.
By now we're not going to be surprising anyone by congratulating Ryan Villopoto and Grant Langston on their titles, but how they got there was pretty wild to watch. Ryan had stretched out a lead over his Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki teammate, Ben Townley, in the AMA Lites standings by the time they got to Unadilla, but a DNF allowed Ben back into the chase, and they two were only a few points apart for much of the rest of the season. Villopoto turned it on near the end, and combined with a few mistakes by Townley, clinched his second straight outdoor title.
In the Motocross class, you'd have had a hard time finding anyone who'd have bet against James Stewart as a shoe-in for the title at the beginning of the season. Ricky Carmichael was only running a limited number of events, and it appeared that no one would have the speed to run with Ricky or James. When they raced together, they were often 30 seconds or better ahead of third place. But James suffered a practice crash at Unadilla that left him with a whiplash-style neck injury, and after missing the two motos there, he came back and toughed out two motos at Colorado for an overall win. But a crash and knee injury at Washougal finally sidelined Stewart for good, and it was game on for the rest of the competitors.
Right about the time James got hurt, Grant Langston had switched to an '08 Yamaha YZ450, and that, combined with a sense that he had a shot at the title, suddenly gave him an all-new look as he aggressively charged toward the end of the season...and another number one plate.
But this isn't intended as a season wrap-up, but rather a place to check out some of our favorite shots from the '07 season. Look for the link up top, and we hope that you dig them as much as we dug shooting them.