Would Albertyne have done better on a different brand?

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11/28/2018 9:04 AM

I watch more old races from the nineties, than any of the current ones. My favourite seasons being 96-99.

After having completed all three seasons, in addition to some from his GP career, I can’t help but wonder if his Suzuki held him back from winning more races and championships outdoors. It looks like his US production based bike was extremely slow and he over rode the thing with a lot of effort, but unfortunately a slow engine. subsequently leading to a lot of crashes.

I remember him talking about how slow it was in a pulp episode some 8 years ago, with the stock RM250 only producing 39hp in 96.
He seemed to carry a lot of speed in corners, with lots of body language and effort on the bike, but it didn’t seem like he got the results he was capable of.
Do you think he could have had one more outdoor championship, or more race wins on one of the big four?

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11/28/2018 9:20 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/28/2018 9:24 AM

Great question, it could have. I remember a interview with McGrath. He said how behind the bike was and it did not help that he jumped ship last minute. The bike was always a work in progress that ended up being a great package at the end of the super cross series. Said if he would not have lost the season by that small margin, he would have been Suzuki for life. When Jeremy came on board it put everything into overdrive. Larocco was pissed because things he had been complaining about and wanted was addressed right away with McGrath.

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11/28/2018 9:52 AM

Yes, if he’d have stayed on a Honda, he wouldn’t have crashed as much and he’d have a few outdoor titles.

Those Suzuki’s were trash.

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11/28/2018 10:10 AM

UpTiTe wrote:

Yes, if he’d have stayed on a Honda, he wouldn’t have crashed as much and he’d have a few outdoor titles.

Those Suzuki’s were trash.

I agree somewhat but can't help but think if he had a better bike in SX he may have been able to go fast enough to get seriously hurt. I remember one SX where he did a Superman through a whole timing section. Guy has some of the craziest crash reel footage ever, SX and MX.

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11/28/2018 10:10 AM

Not sure he would have done any better in Supercross. He was new to SX, and he made a lot of mistakes - just like anybody new to SX. I don't think the bike would have changed that.
But I think outdoors he would have done better.

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11/28/2018 10:18 AM

i heard deer are attracted to yellow, so OP could be onto something fellas

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11/28/2018 10:31 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/28/2018 10:33 AM

mxrose3 wrote:

Not sure he would have done any better in Supercross. He was new to SX, and he made a lot of mistakes - just like anybody new to SX. I don't think the bike would have changed that.
But I think outdoors he would have done better.

Yes agreed about SX- when he won the GP's back in the day he spanked Everts quite regular- Alby was Suzuki then also-- was surprised he didn't do better in US. Maybe his US bike wasn't as good as the Zook he had in GP's. Always surprised me as he was so quick in the GP's- nobody had much against him, even Everts.

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Always was an excellent rider ...... at crashing usually

Moto Aspes, you know you want one

11/28/2018 10:44 AM

That was probably a factor, but he didn't have the Supercross skills. The way that dude rode, he just pinned it anyway, and got hurt a lot. There is a vid somewhere on Youtube with an ugly, ugly crash early in his SX experience.

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11/28/2018 10:48 AM

He was a great outdoor rider and world champ, I think for sure he would have done better outdoors on a different brand.

Lots of guys could have done way better on a Honda back in the day except for the first aluminum framed ones.

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11/28/2018 10:50 AM

Not sure about the 39 stock hp rating. Remember watching #199 on those bikes, looked like they ripped plenty to me.

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11/28/2018 10:52 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/28/2018 1:11 PM

edit--- My post above not totally correct .... Seems like though when he won the GP's in 93 on a Honda he beat Everts easy but in 94 on the Zook it was alot closer- funny cos when he won easy on the Honda Everts was on the Zook! Then Alby got on a Zook and Everts a Kawi in 94 and it closed right up, Alby only just beat him. Maybe the Zook in that period wasn't as good in both US and GP's. Kinda of interesting.

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Always was an excellent rider ...... at crashing usually

Moto Aspes, you know you want one

11/28/2018 10:57 AM

NorCal 50+ wrote:

That was probably a factor, but he didn't have the Supercross skills. The way that dude rode, he just pinned it anyway, and got hurt a lot. There is a vid somewhere on Youtube with an ugly, ugly crash early in his SX experience.

Yea- I remember that- think it happened quite abit like that for him in SX, he looked abit out of control at times.

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Always was an excellent rider ...... at crashing usually

Moto Aspes, you know you want one

11/28/2018 10:58 AM

Albee was a freak'n beast who simply refused to shut off. Watching that guy ride, especially his early years of SX in the states, was kinda like watching Magoo- crazy fast, but you just knew he was gonna taco something before the race was over.

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11/28/2018 11:19 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/28/2018 11:21 AM

Sunhouse wrote:

I watch more old races from the nineties, than any of the current ones. My favourite seasons being 96-99.

After having completed all three seasons, in addition to some from his GP career, I can’t help but wonder if his Suzuki held him back from winning more races and championships outdoors. It looks like his US production based bike was extremely slow and he over rode the thing with a lot of effort, but unfortunately a slow engine. subsequently leading to a lot of crashes.

I remember him talking about how slow it was in a pulp episode some 8 years ago, with the stock RM250 only producing 39hp in 96.
He seemed to carry a lot of speed in corners, with lots of body language and effort on the bike, but it didn’t seem like he got the results he was capable of.
Do you think he could have had one more outdoor championship, or more race wins on one of the big four?

I asked him about that at Budds Creek back in 2007....

“ I was negotiating with Honda at the end of 93 to go to the US then at the 11th hour when I was about to sign a deal with them, Honda Japan decided they didn’t want to pay me to race a Honda over there when I was winning for them for free in the GPs (Rode for Jan de Groot, not an HRC bike). It would have been a lot different if I had went to the US riding a Honda.

“ When I went to the States riding a Suzuki the bikes were absolutely terrible, the 95 bike was not a supercross bike, in 96 they came out with a new bike...but it was so bad and a lot of my injuries came from trying to compensate for the bike. A lot of guys would have been content with 5th, 6th or 7th - I always wanted to win.”

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SX King MC
World MX King Everts
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11/28/2018 11:31 AM

Doug Henry and Jeff Emig should be very thankful that Albee was on the worst bike in the field.

IMO, he wins their titles if he was riding literally anything else.

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11/28/2018 11:59 AM

Yes he would have been better on something else but it is Greg's fault for repeatedly signing with Suzuki if he thought they were so terrible. Likely he signed for the money over the motorcycle. Still won motocross titles on both sides of the Atlantic, plus 1 supercross win so it wasn't a disaster.

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11/28/2018 1:15 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/28/2018 1:17 PM

He was crazy quick on that Jan De Groot Honda in 93 nobody could get too near him. Beast of a rider really.
Seem to think that when Everts went to Kawi that too was Jan De Groot? Must have been a good tuner maybe. Think I heard he passed away but maybe I'm wrong?

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Always was an excellent rider ...... at crashing usually

Moto Aspes, you know you want one

11/28/2018 1:18 PM

peelout wrote:

i heard deer are attracted to yellow, so OP could be onto something fellas

He was riding a Honda at the MXDN when he hit the deer I believe.

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11/28/2018 1:24 PM

BT747 wrote:

Not sure about the 39 stock hp rating. Remember watching #199 on those bikes, looked like they ripped plenty to me.

By all accounts the factory bike was significantly improved by the time Pastrana got there than it was in the mid-90's.

Weigandt recently had a good podcast with Ian Harrison where they discussed the state of Suzuki at the time of Albertyn's arrival as well as a lot of other interesting things.

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11/28/2018 2:17 PM

peelout wrote:

i heard deer are attracted to yellow, so OP could be onto something fellas

flopper12 wrote:

He was riding a Honda at the MXDN when he hit the deer I believe.

No that was 94 on the Suzuki he hit the deer.

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SX King MC
World MX King Everts
US MX/SX Goat RC

11/28/2018 2:20 PM

It was no secret how far behind suzuki was in the mid 90's. Part of the reason why McGrath electing to race a RM250 in 97 was such a shocker. He went from the hands down best bike, CR250, to the worst bike, RM250. I remember at the time Honda scrambling because it really reinforced the negative press about the aluminum frame CR250 in 97. Magazines hated that bike, McGrath hated it so much he was willing to ride a suzuki?!

Then Albee won the opener in LA, while MC could only muster 15th? After having the best SX season in history? Meanwhile Larocco gets 4th on a bike he openly admitted wasn't good.

Ya, it was wild times for bench racing. The SX world was turned upside down. I remember McGrath struggling so much, while the yamaha's and kawasaki's seemed to do so well. MC could never get that conventional fork bike to work. Then finally getting the ok to put on the upside down honda forks. That seemed to make a big difference. Larocco went with the setup as well. MC could only get 2 wins in 97, compared to 14 in 96. MC called that bike a RM175 due to its poor power.

Albee had to suffer through 96, 97, and 98 on those terrible RM250's. Well terrible for MX/SX. Those RM250's were amazing off-road. The upside was Decoster and suzuki got the bike right and he won the 250 outdoor title in 99. Arguably one of the deepest fields in history that year.

Suzuki went from terrible to amazing in just a few years. Thanks to Decoster, but also albee. Albee stuck around and the bike got better but it definitely cost him injuries and probably a title or two, and some race wins.by 01/02 the RM250 was a great bike. Windham and Pastrana showed that, followed by Tortelli, Hepler, and RC. The RM250 was the last two stroke to win a major championship.

So in a way although albee didnt get all the wins and titles he COULD have, he was definitely a part of turning suzuki into an incredible team and help develop the bike into probably the best 250 ever made. Thats nothing to be ashamed of.

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11/28/2018 2:21 PM

Thanks, will check that out. Like hearing the teams'/mechanical side of things. Although I was referring to the stigma this model stock bike seemed to have with the hp rating thing. Just wasn't what I remember in the pro-ams, lots of people won races on them.

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11/28/2018 4:50 PM

2stroked wrote:

It was no secret how far behind suzuki was in the mid 90's. Part of the reason why McGrath electing to race a RM250 in 97 was such a shocker. He went from the hands down best bike, CR250, to the worst bike, RM250. I remember at the time Honda scrambling because it really reinforced the negative press about the aluminum frame CR250 in 97. Magazines hated that bike, McGrath hated it so much he was willing to ride a suzuki?!

Then Albee won the opener in LA, while MC could only muster 15th? After having the best SX season in history? Meanwhile Larocco gets 4th on a bike he openly admitted wasn't good.

Ya, it was wild times for bench racing. The SX world was turned upside down. I remember McGrath struggling so much, while the yamaha's and kawasaki's seemed to do so well. MC could never get that conventional fork bike to work. Then finally getting the ok to put on the upside down honda forks. That seemed to make a big difference. Larocco went with the setup as well. MC could only get 2 wins in 97, compared to 14 in 96. MC called that bike a RM175 due to its poor power.

Albee had to suffer through 96, 97, and 98 on those terrible RM250's. Well terrible for MX/SX. Those RM250's were amazing off-road. The upside was Decoster and suzuki got the bike right and he won the 250 outdoor title in 99. Arguably one of the deepest fields in history that year.

Suzuki went from terrible to amazing in just a few years. Thanks to Decoster, but also albee. Albee stuck around and the bike got better but it definitely cost him injuries and probably a title or two, and some race wins.by 01/02 the RM250 was a great bike. Windham and Pastrana showed that, followed by Tortelli, Hepler, and RC. The RM250 was the last two stroke to win a major championship.

So in a way although albee didnt get all the wins and titles he COULD have, he was definitely a part of turning suzuki into an incredible team and help develop the bike into probably the best 250 ever made. Thats nothing to be ashamed of.

Wow, that was like a mini article. I think you're on point with that. It's awesome that Albee got that one championship- a very impressive achievement.

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It's impossible for a corporation or government to love you or care about you.

11/28/2018 4:57 PM

Sunhouse wrote:

I watch more old races from the nineties, than any of the current ones. My favourite seasons being 96-99.

After having completed all three seasons, in addition to some from his GP career, I can’t help but wonder if his Suzuki held him back from winning more races and championships outdoors. It looks like his US production based bike was extremely slow and he over rode the thing with a lot of effort, but unfortunately a slow engine. subsequently leading to a lot of crashes.

I remember him talking about how slow it was in a pulp episode some 8 years ago, with the stock RM250 only producing 39hp in 96.
He seemed to carry a lot of speed in corners, with lots of body language and effort on the bike, but it didn’t seem like he got the results he was capable of.
Do you think he could have had one more outdoor championship, or more race wins on one of the big four?

I watch 70s thru 2000 races all the time. Seemed more entertaining back then for the most part.

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11/28/2018 4:59 PM

2stroked wrote:

It was no secret how far behind suzuki was in the mid 90's. Part of the reason why McGrath electing to race a RM250 in 97 was such a shocker. He went from the hands down best bike, CR250, to the worst bike, RM250. I remember at the time Honda scrambling because it really reinforced the negative press about the aluminum frame CR250 in 97. Magazines hated that bike, McGrath hated it so much he was willing to ride a suzuki?!

Then Albee won the opener in LA, while MC could only muster 15th? After having the best SX season in history? Meanwhile Larocco gets 4th on a bike he openly admitted wasn't good.

Ya, it was wild times for bench racing. The SX world was turned upside down. I remember McGrath struggling so much, while the yamaha's and kawasaki's seemed to do so well. MC could never get that conventional fork bike to work. Then finally getting the ok to put on the upside down honda forks. That seemed to make a big difference. Larocco went with the setup as well. MC could only get 2 wins in 97, compared to 14 in 96. MC called that bike a RM175 due to its poor power.

Albee had to suffer through 96, 97, and 98 on those terrible RM250's. Well terrible for MX/SX. Those RM250's were amazing off-road. The upside was Decoster and suzuki got the bike right and he won the 250 outdoor title in 99. Arguably one of the deepest fields in history that year.

Suzuki went from terrible to amazing in just a few years. Thanks to Decoster, but also albee. Albee stuck around and the bike got better but it definitely cost him injuries and probably a title or two, and some race wins.by 01/02 the RM250 was a great bike. Windham and Pastrana showed that, followed by Tortelli, Hepler, and RC. The RM250 was the last two stroke to win a major championship.

So in a way although albee didnt get all the wins and titles he COULD have, he was definitely a part of turning suzuki into an incredible team and help develop the bike into probably the best 250 ever made. Thats nothing to be ashamed of.

In all fairness, Lamson took McGrath out in the first turn at LA.

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11/28/2018 5:08 PM

you forget how hurt Albee was. Its hard to always be coming back from injury. Watch the 1995 Gainesville national and his bike looks actually really setup excellent. He was extremely fast on it

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11/28/2018 5:54 PM

We should put this question to a tipsy Grant Langston...

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11/28/2018 6:10 PM

2stroked wrote:

It was no secret how far behind suzuki was in the mid 90's. Part of the reason why McGrath electing to race a RM250 in 97 was such a shocker. He went from the hands down best bike, CR250, to the worst bike, RM250. I remember at the time Honda scrambling because it really reinforced the negative press about the aluminum frame CR250 in 97. Magazines hated that bike, McGrath hated it so much he was willing to ride a suzuki?!

Then Albee won the opener in LA, while MC could only muster 15th? After having the best SX season in history? Meanwhile Larocco gets 4th on a bike he openly admitted wasn't good.

Ya, it was wild times for bench racing. The SX world was turned upside down. I remember McGrath struggling so much, while the yamaha's and kawasaki's seemed to do so well. MC could never get that conventional fork bike to work. Then finally getting the ok to put on the upside down honda forks. That seemed to make a big difference. Larocco went with the setup as well. MC could only get 2 wins in 97, compared to 14 in 96. MC called that bike a RM175 due to its poor power.

Albee had to suffer through 96, 97, and 98 on those terrible RM250's. Well terrible for MX/SX. Those RM250's were amazing off-road. The upside was Decoster and suzuki got the bike right and he won the 250 outdoor title in 99. Arguably one of the deepest fields in history that year.

Suzuki went from terrible to amazing in just a few years. Thanks to Decoster, but also albee. Albee stuck around and the bike got better but it definitely cost him injuries and probably a title or two, and some race wins.by 01/02 the RM250 was a great bike. Windham and Pastrana showed that, followed by Tortelli, Hepler, and RC. The RM250 was the last two stroke to win a major championship.

So in a way although albee didnt get all the wins and titles he COULD have, he was definitely a part of turning suzuki into an incredible team and help develop the bike into probably the best 250 ever made. Thats nothing to be ashamed of.

Great post!

Not related to the bike but I also have to mention that freak incident at the MXDN in 94, that's when it started going downhill for Albee (for a while). Always liked Greg and his aggressive riding style though, and wish I'd got to see him race live in person. I wonder what he's up to these days?

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11/28/2018 8:06 PM

Yea- he was so quick when he was on it, which was most of the time. Albee and Pichon were the only people I really remember that could beat Everts regular in the GP's and maybe also Donny Schmit in the early years.

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Always was an excellent rider ...... at crashing usually

Moto Aspes, you know you want one

11/29/2018 12:49 AM

Thanks for the feedback and constructive discussion guys! Good stuff!

Personally I think the production rule made it hard for him to ride an RM in the US. Like was mentioned above, the development was in large due to Albee sticking around, and DeCoster as a team manager.

fascinating thought: what if Yamaha had signed Albee for three years from 96 instead, of Bradshaw?

I think Albee and Dowd would have marginally beat Emig in 97. Yamaha would have been the powerhouse outdoors with Henry’s thumper, and Albee on the 250 in 98.
I also doubt Albee would have been more expensive to sign compared to Bradshaw.

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