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Welcome Back, Damon Bradshaw

Damon Bradshaw is racing a Yamaha in the arenacross series this year. There are some good riders in the arenacross series, don’t get me wrong, but it is a bit like watching Michaelangelo paint a fence.

Damon Bradshaw burst onto the scene racing a Yamaha, and quickly winning, in the 250 supercross class while still a teenager. He never won the AMA 250 Supercross championship, or any other National championship, but he was an amazing rider, and clearly the fastest supercross rider in the world (if only for a brief time) roughly a decade ago.

The thing I remember about Bradshaw is the way he rode. I love to watch him ride. One day I was listening to a television broadcast, and David Bailey (the former Honda great) said Bradshaw was his favorite rider to watch — he said something like “Bradshaw rides with soul”. You had to see it.

He rode with soul and speed — blistering speed. But his career ended almost as quickly, when he retired in the middle of a multi-year Yamaha contact (said to be the richest contract ever for a supercross/motocross star). He was burned-out (having raced since childhood, it didn’t look like he could take the pressure anymore). A brief return as a privateer didn’t work out, either.

Well, a week ago he won a few arenacross races. I hope he comes back to ride supercross and the outdoor nationals — just so I can watch. Maybe he won’t be as fast, but I bet he still has soul.