Throwback Thursday: The Class of 2009 Flashback Photo Report
By Billy Rainford
If you’re ever looking for the next great North American motocross rider, you can usually head to the nearest big American Amateur National to find them. Some will argue against the necessity of these big-money events. I’ve heard the argument that some of the biggest new talent doesn’t have the opportunity to race all of these events. Well, although that may be the case, the sport still needs these events to showcase the riders and give us some sort of ranking system as young amateur riders make their way to the Pro ranks.
In 2009, I had the chance to make it to almost all of these big races. They are jam-packed 4 or 5 day affairs that keep you busy from sun-up to sundown. That year, we had a pretty amazing group of riders all the way from Supermini to the A classes. Riders like Dean Wilson, Malcolm Stewart, and Jason Anderson were in the A classes getting set to turn Pro while the little bike classes saw riders Cole Thompson, Cooper Webb, Zach Bell, Matt Bisceglia, Dakota Alix, Joey Savatgy, and Adam Cianciarulo duke it out. It was a good winter to be an amateur motocross lover!
If you’re interested in a walk down memory lane, you can peruse the full results archive HERE.
Here’s a look back at some of them:
Canada flags seemed to be more prevalent back in 2009. We need to see more young talent at these races today.
The 2009 World Minis in Las Vegas included many riders who are now Pros and on some of the biggest teams. This is #16 Cole Thompson grabbing a holeshot ahead of #100 Zach Bell (that doesn’t happen very often!) and #37 Dakota Alix.
#51 is Canadian Kade Walker. In 2009, he was still young enough to be racing the 65 class.
He was a fast up-and-comer but had more than his share of troubles that year in Las Vegas. He is currently racing all over Europe.
#50 Sean Lipanovich was tight with the Thompson family and even made an appearance or two at the Parts Canada TransCan.
#176 was Joey Savatgy who is currently racing the 250 East for the mighty PC Kawasaki team.
He had a great battle with #573 Jacob Hayes who is a top rider in the Amsoil Arenacros series this season. Of course, the next few photos in this sequence are of Jacob flying off the the track, over the bars, and onto the ground. We’ll save him the embarrassment…and the photos are out of focus.
#155 was Canadian John John Pauk who managed to make it to the Pro ranks and race Supercross for a couple seasons. We haven’t seen him in a while. Watch for a an interview with the Albertan-turned-American here on the site.
#100 Zach Bell turned Pro a couple years ago and actually won his first moto at Glen Helen. He can usually be found up front off the start in any race he enters.
#7 was young Cooper Webb. He always seemed to be in the shadow of #92 back then, but has come out guns-a-blazing in the Pro ranks and casts a huge shadow of his own these days. Not to mention he’s leading the 250 West Supercross standings right now.
#92 Adam Cianciarulo came through the amateur ranks and smashed records all over the place. Shoulder injuries have plagued him the past couple seasons, but watch for him to be out front again very soon.
#76 was Matt Bisceglia. You can find him battling for top 5 positions in 250 West Supercross these days. He currently sits in 13th place.
#16 Canadian Cole Thompson was one of the riders to watch in the Supermini and Schoolboy classes. He’s now a member of the Royal Distributing Fox KTM Canada team and will be chasing the MX1 title in 2015.
#271 was Malcolm Stewart and #128 was his Canidae Kawasaki teammate Dean Wilson.
I’m really not sure what the story was at this event with Canadian racer #149 Jared Petruska but apparently I managed to find his bike, at least.
How about this little guy?! Yep, that’s what must be a 5-or-6-year-old Jake Piccolo.
He’s definitely a Canadian racer to keep your eyes on in the future. Actually, you should really just watch him now!
Also racing the 65cc classes back in 2009 was Michigan’s #35 Joey Crown. Joey has moved up to the big bikes for 2015 and is one of the favourites in the B classes at Loretta Lynn’s.
#312 Jason Anderson had a strong season in 2009. He’s now a member of the Rockstar Husqvarna team.
#381 Justin Weeks was another rider to watch back in 2009.
Check out an even younger looking AC chatting with Motoplayground after a class win.
Cole Thompson and Cooper Webb were two of the earlier converts to the 150 4-stroke back then.
#44 was Christian Craig who battled for Pro class top places in Las Vegas that year.
Currently residing in the ‘Where are they now’ file is Canadian #144 Patrick Gesualdi.
I didn’t even know much about #196 Jake Canada but had to take this shot for some ‘Canadian’ content.
#211 Tevin Tapia was another rider at the top of the A classes. He still has the potential but needs to stay upright more these days.
#385 was our old friend Tyler Sjoberg who came up to race the MX2 class in Canada.
The Women’s Pro class was small but check out the two who went 1-2. Both are past Canadian regional champions.
#184 Tommy Weeck traded wins with ‘Deano’ in the 250 Mod Pro class and took 2nd.
How about this train of future superstars?! Webb followed by Bisceglia followed by Cianciarulo.
#179 was Blake Baggett who was one of the top riders turning Pro that year.
Shots like this one of Cooper delivering pizza to the Thompsons are the reason you need to keep taking photos of riders when they are young hot shots.
I didn’t know #577 Jake Streichert back in 2009, but he has since become a staple at races across Canada. He was racing the Novice classes in Las Vegas that year.
#37 Sean Cantrell has been on everyone’s radar since even before this year in the 65cc classes.
Lots of top riders in this start shot.
#79 was Jessy Nelson who always looked like a Pro even when he wasn’t. He was a top B rider in 2009.
Another top Intermediate rider was #36 Landon Currier. Here he is winning the 250 4-stroke Non-Pro class.
Dean Wilson has always been know for his hang-off-the-back riding style. It won him the 250 Mod Pro class title.
#242 was Supermini rider Josh Mosiman.
Wilson talking with Motoplayground after a title.
You always have to take the time to stop and smell the proverbial roses on these trips. The new bridge at the Hoover Dam wasn’t even finished back then.
OK, that was supposed to be a ‘short look back’ at this event. Time to fill the rental car with race fuel and get out of here, right, John Pauk Sr.? I owed him this embarrassing shot after what he did to me downtown Las Vegas one night, but that’s another story. See you at the races…