The amazing comeback of motocrosser Jeff Emig, who was arrested on drug related charges and fired by Kawasaki just three months ago, will be put on hold while he recovers from a practice crash. Yesterday, at the private track of fellow Yamaha rider Stephane Roncada in Riverside County, California, Emig came up short on a triple jump, reportedly snapping both forearms above the wrist. He is scheduled for surgery today, New Year’s eve, so that pins can be placed in both arms. Although the bones may heal in approximately six week’s time, it is likely Emig will not race competitively for at least two months.
Emig’s comeback since his embarrassing arrest and firing by Kawasaki has been phenomenal. On a shoestring budget, riding a privateer Yamaha YZ250 he had only practiced on for a few weeks, Emig beat several of the top factory pros in the Las Vegas U.S. Open race on the weekend of October 9 and 10, 1999. Since that time, Emig has put together an impressive private team with solid financial backing for the 2000 AMA Supercross and Outdoor National seasons.
Sponsored by TheEdgesports.com, FMF Racing, North County Yamaha and Galpin Ford (a Southern California Ford Dealership), Emig was set to roll into the first AMA Supercross race in his own 53 foot semi pulled by a 2000 Peterbilt tractor — a rig that is being brightly painted as we speak. Obviously, Emig isn’t the only one who is disappointed by this turn of events.
Emig should be healthy for the second half of the AMA Supercross series, which opens next weekend, January 8, 2000 in Anaheim, California. More importantly, Emig should be healthy and in shape when the AMA Outdoor National 250 motocross championship series begins in May, 2000 — a series he could realistically win.
We are so sorry to see this happen to Jeff, who has had more than his share of trouble this year already. Don’t forget that Emig is the only rider to win the AMA Supercross championship in the last seven years other than Jeremy McGrath. He is also one of the fastest and smoothest outdoor riders ever — an arena where he dominated U.S. motocross a few years ago. We wish him a speedy recovery, and look forward to seeing him back in the race soon.