We comb the moto archives to bring you the five greatest rookie rides in SX.
On Saturday night, a young rookie by the name of Adam Cianciarulo lined up for his first SX race ever, and won. Adam’s win is especially significant in the fact that people have always expected him to be the best. Coincidentally, no rider who was touted as the “next big thing” has ever won his first SX race, until this past Saturday when AC took the checkers in Dallas, at the ripe young age of 17. Now let's check out four other incredible SX rookie rides:
2. The Gamble
Ryan Dungey was plucked out of the amateur ranks by Roger DeCoster himself. It was a controversial move – Dungey had only won one major championship as an amateur, and was only 16 when DeCoster signed him to the factory Suzuki team. The unproven Dungey lined up for the 250 East opener in Atlanta having never raced on a supercross track and blew the doors off the place when he took the win. It was his first win as a professional and the first of many, as it turned out.
3. The Great Upset
In 2008, Trey Canard joined the elite Amsoil Honda (now GEICO Honda) team as a hotshot rookie. He had won the AMA Horizon Award in 2007, so a lot of eyes were on him in the East SX opener at Atlanta. Not only did Trey win, but he won the next two races after that. Canard would eventually take the championship in a huge upset over Ryan Villopoto, in a race that culminated with the two battling until Trey’s aggressive pass left RV on the scaffolding over the finish line double.
4. The Surprise
Ernesto Fonseca was a relative unknown to people on the outside when he went pro in 1999. He’d finished 3rd in 1998 in the A-class at Loretta’s, and signed with the Yamaha of Troy team. His first SX season, however, was the stuff of legend; Fonzie won every single race except for one, where he finished 2nd, and took home the championship. It was easily the most surprising performance by a rookie ever in SX.
James Stewart, like Adam Cianciarulo, was the next big thing in moto when he went pro in 2002. His first Supercross was extremely hectic, with several riders, including James, crashing out of the lead throughout the main event. James eventually took 2nd, at only 16 years old, then dominated the next race in San Diego. In fact, a spurt of bad luck at three rounds during the middle of the season was the only time James would finish worse than the #2 spot.
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