The Screeching Halt: Mother Nature Determines the Outcome of the 125cc National Championship

With the news that rain had forced the cancellation of the Troy, Ohio, round of the AMA National Series for a second time, and that Grant Langston had been named the 125cc National Champ, it brought the promise of a nail-biting series finale to a screeching halt.

We put in a call to Brock Sellards’ house, where Grant Langston and a bunch of the Yamaha of Troy and team riders were staying for the week. Once we got Brock on the phone, he told us, “At first when we heard about Troy being cancelled, we thought they were going to have another race. Once we found out that it was over, and that Grant was the champ, it was wide open after that.”

“Last week I took Grant to ride at Troy, and it was killer, so I was really excited to ride there. Obviously I’m happy to see Grant win, but the cancellation is disappointing because I would have finished the series in fourth, which kind of bums me out.”

(Ed. Note: Brock finished in sixth spot, tied with Michael Byrne).

Brock suggested calling back later to talk with Grant, since he and some of the other riders had been, uh…busy testing some Red Bull pre-mix.

After hanging up with Brock, our next call was to the 125cc series runner-up, Ryan Hughes, who was at Jeff Stanton’s house in Michigan. After telling him how disappointed we were that the series had ended like so abruptly, he told us, “I’m probably the one that’s bumming the most. As everyone knows, I made up points every race since Red Bud, even when my leg still wasn’t healed. I was 38 points down, and cut it down to seven. To me, that shows who was going to win the championship.”

What was the mood between the two teammates? “It got a little tense. I guess that’s what happens when you want to win so bad. Yeah, he can say he won the championship, but everyone knows the effort and the results that he put in this year. He won one moto, and didn’t win an overall. He was on the podium four times. He didn’t podium the last four races. That’s not championship material, there. But he can say that he won it, that’s fine. He’s moving up to the 250 class next year. He’s done.”

“We’ll drive home and have a little fun on the way. Try to get over it, I guess. I’ve now lost two championships by a total of 10 points. It’s not the best feeling in the world, but my life goes on. I’m happy. I’ve got a good life.”

“I’m not going to look back on it and say, ‘What if?’ because it’s not going to help. I’ll be back next year, and everyone knows what I have. I feel that I’ll be stronger next year.”

“I wish I would have topped it off with a championship, but I had a good year. Now I’m going to the Motocross des Nations, and I’m really looking forward to that. After that I’m going to take some time off and get away from it for a little bit, then come back strong for next year.”