Jean Michele Bayle is French. After winning the world 125 and 250 titles, he came to America. In his first part season, he won some 125 and SX races. Then his first full year in America ('91, I think) he won the Supercross, 250 outdoor and 500 championships on a factory Honda. After one more year of limited success, he retired from MX and went road racing. He eventually was one of the top 10 in the premier, 500cc GP class. Rumor was he was coming back to America this year to race the nationals (he is younger than LaRocco) but changed his mind.
In MXA a while back, they asked some legends who was the fastest guy they ever saw - JMB's name was mentioned more than once.
I read that it was good to go but he got injured and that was the final nail in the coffin so to speak. But as who could have beaten him, i think Smets would, or even Darryl King( pretty much another Kurt Nicol) on the right machine. But going back to JMB's racing, he didnt even make it into the final of a supermotard race in France, and bye the way Fredric Bolley won it.
Hey Kiwi, is that the same Smets that got lapped by Everts (who was riding a 250!) ? As for King, a match for Nicol yes, but they were in a class of their own, I think it was called really really average.
It's that old rule, if you cant hack it in the 250's, go Open. Rob Herring is the same, good, but not good enough.
Bolley is a top bloke, great with the young fans as is bible boy Greg Alby
I dont know the history about Nicol but as for King he is AWESOME, he was the first New Zealander to go across and do it over in the GP's, Nicol only had to cross the channel(isnt that what the peice of water called??), but both the brothers are great, maybe not so the younger one though. And as for both being the same, average. And as for not riding the 250 class cos your not up to par, King has always ridden that class, like Coppins has ridden the 250 class, but he has had it a bit easier with leasing bikes and the lot. And when did Smets get lapped?? As for being beaten by a smaller cc bike, ever thought about the course playing a part, over in oz they have a series called the thumper nats. and at the last round they had 2 straights that were 800 metres long, smoehow if Everts was on that 250 and Smets on a 500 we'd see which one would cross the line first. And if ya didnt know it'll be that 500
In all fareness we're comparing apples with oranges here, i think we all know that when these sort of posts come about. But 07 if JMB was SO great why didnt he win the 500 class?? It is the premier class.
dirt bike dave, respect and that to those riders that were in the 500 class at the time but its only a national championship, not a World championship, it maybe just naming rights and that but its still just an AMA title. What years did he win his world championships?? Would he have been racing againist Thorpe and Geobers??
kiwi_925 - JMB won his world 125 title in '88 and 250 title in '89, about the time Geboers and Thorpe were winning the 500's.
While Ward and Stanton were 'just' multi-time US champs (7 and 4 championships respectively, if memory serves), they did occasionally compete in a little international get together called the Motocross Des Nations. They were on the winning team each and every time they went.
We'll never know who the all time best was, and we are all biased towards riders of our generation and nationality. My fantasy is to have the top 40 riders of all time, magically restored to the peak of their skills, mounted on similar machinery. Two motos for all the glory. JMB certainly gets an invite, as do most of the other guys mentioned in this thread.
They may have been the power house of MX back then but a championship is over a season not a one off event, but im sure they would have won a championship had there been one. From what little coverage i have seen they seem to do it easy, but a championship is a champioship, not a des nations. But having people win like team USA did, doesnt that make the sport what it is?? the era's from which great riders come from, how they won and won well, its the same with road racing and you look at who has won the 500 class, it seems that there were stinits that riders won for a couple of season if not more like Ago did, in more than one class. JMB was a great rider but not the greatest.
How about 'Magoo' or Johnny'O' [on a 125] little jab at Thorpe. Lechien if he didn't have a $.10 brain hooked to that million dollar throttle hand. Hannah of course and DeCoster the best there will ever be. In fictitious allstar racing he would struggle for a top five.
I think Roger DeCoster is still the best rider of all times. I also think that the so called world championship is a joke now, and that Smets is a pretender to the throne. He is the European champion for sure, and a great rider in Europe but RC has proven over and over that he is now the best in the world. He smoked em at MX des Nations and he smoked em again at Southwick, I guess they forget to tell him that his little 250 should not out run a 520.