AMA: McGRATH Seizes Sixth AMA Supercross Championship
13 May 1999PICKERINGTON, Ohio-- Supercross icon Jeremy McGrath recently garnered his sixth American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) U.S. Supercross Championship, further establishing him as the most successful Supercross and extreme sport star of all-time. McGrath, riding for the Mazda/Chapparal-Yamaha team, dominated the field during the course of the four-month season, amassing eight wins throughout the 16-race circuit.
McGrath, pegged "Showtime" and "Supercross King" amongst other testimonial titles to his past success, dispelled all pre-season notions that an empowered Team Honda -- led by Ezra Lusk, Mickael Pichon, Kevin Windham and Sebastian Tortelli -- would dethrone the reigning champ. McGrath secured a total of 356 points, comfortably out-distancing Lusk, who won five rounds, including two of the last three, for a total of 273 points. Mike LaRocco, the accomplished veteran Honda/Factory Connection/ONeal pilot, finished third, narrowly missing second place to Lusk by a mere 6 points.
Consistency was the key to McGraths game plan throughout the series. He finished no lower than seventh at any race, and from Anaheim on, McGrath finished no lower than fourth. He stood on the podium a total of 12 times in 1999.
Meanwhile in the Honda camp, Lusk had difficulties remaining constant,plunging as low as 29th at Daytona. Had Lusk been more steady throughout,he and McGrath may have used the final round at Las Vegas as a shootout for the championship. McGrath won the Las Vegas race, his eighth win of the season.
With the 1999 AMA/Mazda Trucks Motocross Nationals kicking off, fans are itching for word on McGraths participation. It appears that following the opening round at Glen Helen on May 9, McGrath will focus his efforts on promotional appearances along the circuit as well as few select races throughout the summer and fall.