But I want to get back to Tomac’s season for a second look. He of course switched teams, from Kawasaki to Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing, and then promptly won both titles for the first time in his very distinguished career. He then added his first-ever win in the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations at RedBud MX, alongside his Team USA teammates Sexton and Justin Cooper. And then for good measure he added a 1-1-1 win at the World Supercross British GP opener last weekend. Tomac has one more announced race on his ’22 schedule, the Paris Supercross. If he wins that as well, would Tomac’s 2022 season be considered one of the greatest single seasons of all time?
For perspective, there were times like 2011 when Ryan Villopoto won both titles, as well as the MXoN with Team USA, and then added the million-dollar bonus when he swept the old Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas. There’s also Ricky Carmichael in 2005, when he switched from Honda to Suzuki and then swept both titles (SX on the RM250 and MX on the RM-Z450). And in both 1989 and ’90 Jeff Stanton won both titles, as well as the MXoN, though in ’90 he also added the 250cc USGP win at Unadilla. And back in the day Roger De Coster often won in both the Motocross (500cc) and Trophee (250cc) des Nations, as well as both the FIM 500cc World Championship and the old Trans-AMA tours, giving him some best-ever season candidates as well. And let’s not forget Bob Hannah’s 1978 season, when he won AMA Supercross, 250 Pro Motocross, and the Trans-AMA Series, as well as the Florida Winter-AMA Series.
But one could mount quite the argument that the best-ever overall season might remain Jean-Michel Bayle in 1991. That was the year the Frenchman won the AMA Supercross, 250 Pro Motocross, and 500 Pro Motocross titles. He also won the 500cc U.S. Grand Prix at Glen Helen, as well as King of Bercy laurels at the Paris Supercross. JMB also won the Masters of Motocross title, which was a five-race series in Europe, sweeping the first four rounds in Monaco, Milan, Barcelona, and Villars-Sous-Ecot, France, in a field of both American and European riders. All told, JMB won four different series in the same year. Bayle did miss the ’91 MXoN, however, due to a long-running spat with the French federation than began when he announced his plans in the winter of 1988 and ’89 to move to America and the federation charged him $10,000 to release him from his license so he could race on the AMA circuit.