Fantastic Work Matthes - RX Longform: Fight Club Pastrana, Langston & Brown 2001

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7/28/2017 8:25 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/28/2017 8:27 AM


I really enjoy reading these Longform pieces:

Fight Club - Pastrana, Langston, Brown and a Title
by: Steve Matthes & Jason Weigandt

"The 2001 AMA Chevy Trucks 125 National Motocross Championship chase was one of the best in the history of professional motocross. The three principals involved came from totally different spectrums. You had the defending champion, Suzuki’s Travis Pastrana, who was projected as the next superstar of the sport and American as apple pie. You had the once-washed-up veteran Mike Brown—who had quit the sport at one point and was forced to Europe—now back riding for Pro Circuit Kawasaki. And then there was the brash South African and 2000 125 World Champion (beating Brown in the process) Grant Langston.

The three riders all had their grudges from past battles and the summer’s title chase would have more than its fair share of hard feelings, harsh words, and let’s be blunt—dirty riding. The teams got into it, the riders got into it, and the championship was decided in a final moto that no one would ever forget.

This is the Oral History of the 2001 AMA Chevy Trucks 125 National Motocross Championship."

7/28/2017 8:30 AM

Read it last night, awesome article! I agree, these pieces are great, definitely my favorite feature on the site by far.


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7/28/2017 9:06 AM

JM485 wrote:

Read it last night, awesome article! I agree, these pieces are great, definitely my favorite feature on the site by far.

I loved the McGrath one, as well as this one. Top notch Moto journalism. Weege and Matthes are great assets to RX.


7/28/2017 10:38 AM

Killer piece. I would actually stop and watch chunks of the motos as I went. (Then it dawned on me what a total, unrepentant, obsessed moto geek I am). I had no idea of the backstory going on at the time.

I was at Steel City for that final race, when Grant was leading. My buddy Rob was like "well, he's got it, unless his bike breaks."
I said "stranger things have happened."
I swear a lap later, Langston starting slowing down. Unreal.


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7/28/2017 1:34 PM

Great story about three incredibly competitive guys. Poor Travis and the head knocks. Did I read that right -- Pastrana got up after being out cold at Unadilla and rode around and did a jump show for the crowd (and didn't remember anything)? There will never be another like him.


7/29/2017 5:03 AM

Great article !
Pastrana really let that one get away, should of been a 2x champ..


7/29/2017 7:34 AM

yeah, really good. liked it a lot. 3 really amazing talents and personalities. that was some real, non-fabricated racing drama

one thing that stuck out to me, is how many times that all 3 of them mention that they we're more confident (and relieved) when one of the others was having a bad day, or out from injury. The humility, and the respect for their competitors was genuine, and that's real sportsmanship in my book.

It certainly exposes the human side of these racers, and that's fascinating. Langston took us through that process a little. It's easy to see how the pressure of it all might keep you wondering "am I the best?"


7/29/2017 8:20 AM

Amazing read!


7/29/2017 10:17 AM

I think the bit with the Kawi vs. KTM power was among the more interesting parts.

Mitch knows a KX125 in and out and yet, they were still pushing the limit to find even more power when they probably knew the 4 stroke revolution was around the corner. Those era 125s were always an enigma to me; light, handled well but power wise they were just hit or miss year in and year out. Crazy to think less than 3 years later, they were all gone, replaced with heavier, albeit easier to ride, turds of 4 strokes that took some time to really get right.