Cycle News

Cycle News 2020 Issue 18 May 5

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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CN III ARCHIVES BY SCOTT ROUSSEAU B e prepared, that's Jeff Ward's motto. After winning four AMA Supercross Series rounds in 1984 and finishing fourth, Jeff Ward won only one round of the AMA Supercross Series in 1985, but he ended up with the number-one plate on his motorcycle. How's that for numerology? Win four, fin- ish fourth. Win one, finish first. The beauty of Ward's '85 title—his first of two in AMA Supercross—was that it came in the most competitive season the sport has yet seen, in an era when there were so many top-tier factory stars capable of winning that a multi-victory run of the kind that modern-day warriors Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael and Chad Reed have enjoyed was simply unfathomable. "Yeah, either we were all very bad, or we were all very good," Ward, now 43, says with a laugh. "There were eight different win- ners, and it was all about getting the start. If you got a 10th-place start, or even a fifth-place start, you were screwed. You needed to be first, second or third off the start, because you weren't going to get by guys every corner and every lap to catch up to the lead- P100 the rider with the best two moto scores being declared the winner of the event. Ward recalls that he placed extra-heavy emphasis on his training regimen that year in anticipation of a war with a num- ber of equally prepared rivals. "There were a few of them, like Johnny O'Mara, David Bailey, Ricky ers. If you did get up to second, the leader was usually gone." And you had to get good starts twice each night, because 1985 was the year that the AMA, in its infinite wisdom, elected to utilize a two-moto format for AMA Super- cross. Rather than one 20-lap main event, there were two 10-lappers, ONE WAS ENOUGH JEFF WARD'S 1985 SUPERCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP In 1985, Jeff Ward won just one race but took the AMA Supercross Championship by just one point.

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