“The biggest thing about my 1996 Honda CR250R was that I used a
1993 CR250 chassis. I’m sure that everyone knows that. It wasn’t illegal
to run an older chassis. I always started the new year with the new
model chassis, but I always went back to the 1993 chassis in the end.
“Over the four years that I rode the Honda CR250, the bike evolved
quite a bit, especially the engine. What I liked most about the bike was
that Honda didn’t change it very much from year to year. I was able to
ride it without having to get used to a whole new bike for the following
year. Back then, a production Honda engine was the best by far. We
had a factory bike, but the reason that I was always so successful in
Europe was because the bike in its stock form was so awesome. During
those years, the production team and the race team were on the same
page, making something awesome for the consumer.
“For a Supercross bike, I liked really stiff forks, a somewhat soft shock
that rebounded slowly, and an engine that was really torquey but didn’t
flatten out on top. Those were the characteristics that I liked in a bike.
“The 1996 CR250 was my favorite bike ever. From 1993 to 1996, that
was the bike that was tailor-made for me. I had many great races,
especially during the 1996 Supercross series.
Now, I could tell you which race wasn’t
my favorite [laughter]. I lost in St.
Louis to Jeff Emig. Jeff rode a
great race. The track was
pretty rutted and gnarly
that night. Being from
California, I always
struggled in the ruts. It
was actually kind of a
relief after I lost, because the
weight of winning every race
was suddenly off my shoulders.
I tried to take things race by
race, but of course it was in
my head that I could win
every race. The
pressure built over