Cycle News

Cycle News 2015 Issue 50 December 15

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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Page 215 of 215

VOL. 52 ISSUE 50 DECEMBER 15, 2015 P215 of the season, and two other times before that. That first win appears to be right around the corner. He did, however, get a win in the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series this year. Without question, Valentino Rossi would've been our ROY had he pulled off that miracle— another crown—in MotoGP, but what a disappointment that whole thing turned out to be, not so much that Rossi didn't win it, but how it all unraveled the last few races of the sea- son. Do we really need to go through all that again? I think it's best we try to forget all that as quickly as possible. But we can't forget that Jorge Lorenzo won the title, a title that he rightfully earned. Jared Mees was a legitimate ROY candidate for winning the GNC title for the third time, though he didn't dominate like he did during his previous two titles. And then there is Moto- America Champion Cameron Beaubier, the youngster who outfoxed the veteran Josh Hayes in the upstart series, French kid Romaine Febvre who seemingly came out of nowhere to win the 450-class Motocross Grand Prix title, and Cody Webb who backed up his 2014 EnduroCross title with another number-one plate after defeating that pesky Colton Haaker. This one wasn't decided until the last race. As impressive as these riders were in 2015, no one impressed us more than the kid from Ohio, Kailub Russell. He dominated what is widely regarded as the premier off-road series in the country, GNCC, and also took the number-one plate in one of the oldest off-road champion- ships in the country, enduro. No one has ever won both titles in the same year, and when you consider just how tough off-road racing is, especially at the top level, you know what an amazing accomplishment that is. And for anyone who has ever ridden a GNCC or National Enduro—and there are many of you—you really know. Russell's incredible year didn't stop at just GNCCs and enduros, either. He also won the inaugural Full Gas Sprint Enduro Championship, beating out some of the best off-road riders this country—and others— have to offer. Russell also had to finish off both the GNCC and enduro series with a badly mangled knee that needed surgery, but he put that off and gritted his teeth so he could race and officially clinch the GNCC and enduro titles. Brett Smith, who wrote about Kailub in this issue, does a great job describing just what he had to go through dur- ing those last few GNCC and enduro races. And speaking of enduro titles, he and his dad, Jeff, are the first father/son duo to claim AMA titles in the same category! (Jeff claimed the National En- duro title in 1991.) We congratu- late both Jeff and Kailub for that impressive feat. So, for just the second time ever and the first time since Ty Davis in 1995, our Cycle News Rider of the Year goes to an off- road rider, who our staff feels is more than deserving of the title. **** As you might have also noticed, this is what we call around here simply as "Issue 50," which is our final magazine issue of the year (our website,, how- ever, keeps cranking, holidays or not). In this behemoth of a year-ender, we traditionally give you a few extra pages of read- ing and cool photos to look at to hold you over the holidays, before we fire up our next issue on January 11, to be exact. We hope you enjoy our interviews with some of this country's champions, our 450 motocross shootout, and a healthy dose of Captured's, a collection of some of our and our photogra- phers' favorite shots of 2015, in this issue. See you next year. CN

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