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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Kevin Windham’s Last Hurrah?

If you have been watching professional motocross and supercross for the past five years or so, you probably know quite a bit about Kevin Windham. You have heard the phrase “He’s a natural”. Well, that’s Kevin Windham on a motorcycle.

When Windham was still riding 125s, the kings of the 250 class were Jeremy McGrath and Jeff Emig. At that time, McGrath and Emig would have told you that Windham is the next superstar of this sport. Indeed, Windham had success on a 125 (until Ricky Carmichael came along), and even won a 250 supercross main event before moving to the 250 class full time. A reader can correct me, but I believe it was the only time this ever happened.

Well, natural talent doesn’t always turn into championships. Since entering the 250 class, Windham has been inconsistent, and is yet to gain his first national title. The talent has always been there, of course, but people have questioned his heart, his training, and his confidence.

This year, Windham suffered a broken femur during the Supercross series, and has yet to return to competition. This is the last year of his factory Suzuki contract, and rumors are flying that Suzuki will let Windham go elsewhere (they tried to hire Grant Langston, for instance).

A broken femur can be difficult to come back from, both physically and mentally. Ask Damon Huffman. Huffman never seemed to ride with quite the same confidence after breaking his femur several years ago while with Team Kawasaki. Now, more than ever, Windham’s mind will be tested as a rider.

Damon Bradshaw, Robbie Reynard and others have struggled in this sport despite huge talent, because they didn’t have the mental game. Windham will get a ride somewhere next year — hopefully with another factory team. Whether as a factory rider or as a privateer, Windham needs to find the missing mental ingredient that will allow him to ride to his true potential, and he needs to find it now.

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