Longest motorcycle career
An American motorcyclist who currently holds a record for the duration of his professional career, as well as the number of competitions in which he participated.
Today the Internet is replete with ratings of the best extreme sportsmen, and if there is one in which the name of Michael Larocco is not mentioned even once, then we can immediately conclude that the author is not only not familiar with the topic, but did not read a single article on this topic. One can also be so unambiguous here because over the 19 years of his professional career, Mike has become a living legend, the author of a huge number of new tricks and figures, and also a teacher for several generations of motorcyclists at once.
Mike Larocco was born on February 12, 1971, in Michigan City, Indiana. Like most other athletes, he had a passion for extreme sports since childhood, which sometimes frightened parents and teachers at school, who were used to seeing boys interested in standard sports – football and baseball. Fortunately for us, all attempts to convince him to abandon his unusual hobby did not lead to success.
For the first time, Mike got on a motorcycle as a teenager and, as he repeatedly admitted in various interviews, at that very moment he realized that he never wanted to do anything else in his life. At first he trained on friends’ motorcycles, and only when his parents realized that there was no other way out, he got his first own motorcycle.
Several years of hard training have passed, during which Mike mastered all the basic tricks and figures. The first participation in professional competitions took place in 1988, when Mike was barely 17 years old. Despite his young age, he, according to the rules of the American Motorcyclist Association (American Motorcyclist Association), could already participate in racing class 125cc. Remembering this day, Mike admits that he was more afraid not of the track itself, but of the opinions of spectators and other athletes who had never taken it seriously.
However, any fears turned out to be in vain: at the age of 17, he finished his first professional competitions in third place, making it clear that motocross is important not age, but technique and endurance, which Mike had enough.
Soon, Larocco signed a contract with the motorcycle team ‘Yamaha’, still also racing in the class 125cc. Mike’s riding style was surprising for many: he never rushed forward at the beginning of the race and even for several laps kept a decent distance, lagging behind other racers by several meters. His main strength was the finish: the last laps of the race Mike somehow miraculously drove without a single mistake, bypassing other athletes both on turns and on straight sections of the track. So, many were surprised by his endurance: after all, only one mistake during the race was enough to make the distance between him and the main group insurmountable, but a miracle happened over and over, and Mike came in the top three.
Mike Larocco quickly became one of the best racers in America, and also got the opportunity to speak in more serious competitions classes 250ss and 500cc. A few years later, he broke the contract with `Yamaha` and, after spending several months in the team` Suzuki`, he decided to act as an independent racer with some help from the American branch of `Honda`.
In 1993, Mike won the 500cc Motocross series, in 2000 he became the first in the World Supercross series, and only two years later he won first place in the U.S. Open Supercross Championships. Of course, for the long 19 years of professional racing, Mike has repeatedly won in small competitions and contests.
In 2005, Mike set a world record for the number of races in competitions, taking part in the 214th race in his life.
During his long career, Mike received several nicknames – ‘Larocket’, ‘Stone’ – however, most fans and sports enthusiasts know him as the ‘Stone Mike’. Today, Mike Larocco lives with his wife and three sons in the town of Corona, California (Corona, California). As he himself admits, he often rides a motorcycle, but does not think about returning: his family is occupied with all his thoughts, to which he did not manage to devote enough time for the past 19 years.