I have a simple question that every fan of Moto should have a minimum of one answer to. What is the greatest moment you have personally ever witnessed at a race? Was it a legendary moment? One that everyone who’s been around the sport is familiar with? Was it an incredible feat? A failure or crash that resonated or had huge implications?
This question occurred to me to write about this week because of Adam Cianciarulo’s last lap launch-mode in the closing seconds of the second 250 Moto this week in Washougal. Listening to Adam on the PulpMX Show last night speak of the moment with a kind of, “eh, it really didn’t strike me as a big deal in the moment”, type of instance was a little deflating, honestly. I was watching that moment live on my phone in Applebee’s and when I saw Adam’s approach speed coming up the face of the jump, and he was clearly not letting off, my eyebrows lifted, eyes widened, jaw dropped and my adrenaline dumped! I was legitimately tingling as I saw the 92 launch skyward and just go and go and go. It was so impressive. Regardless of Adam’s recollection of the moment, it is one that I know I will never forget and I gotta admit, Weege’s call of the feat in real time could not have accompanied the jump more perfectly. His enthusiasm matched mine and I’m sure yours as well.
This moment is not “the moment” for me though because as I said, I’m speaking of moments you were actually on site to witness. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been trackside for the particular moment I witnessed. Ask yourself, what is the one moment in the last 10 years that you’d say most fans would point to as THE mind blowing feat that is referenced more than any other during a race? I hope I’m not being biased or presumptuous because I was there but I supposed that is inevitable. Daytona 2011 when THE James Stewart uncorked the gator pit pop-up over the wall out of nowhere. The jump face every other rider was deflecting off of lap after lap. He kept it in his back pocket throughout qualifying and even his heat race! Never pulled the trigger till lap 1 of the Main Event!! That’s Crazy Balls for ya! Even after the 7 uncorked this move, NO ONE else pulled the trigger. It was a 2+ second time saver per lap. In racing that is obviously a lifetime. Of course, a few laps later Stew did what Stew tended to do, a slight miscalculation lead to a wild ejection and the “Wall Jump” lived in infamy as opposed to the mind blowing step en route to another incredible Stew main event win. I was there to see if though and it was all you would imagine it to be. The crowd was transfixed on Stew, tracking only him around the track just so they could make sure to not miss what everyone was talking about in real time.
I was also in Dallas the year Zach Bell ejected over the triple. When I saw him inverted and separated from the bike in mid air, I remember saying something along the lines of having just watched a kid die. It was and is an unreal sight to behold. Such a lucky kid.
There was of course the Chadapult and also Doug Henry’s leap at Budds Creek, neither of which I was on site for but both clearly qualify as infamous moments that every fan is familiar with.
How about you? Which moments stand out for you, of events you were on hand for that the collective fan base is fully familiar with?