"AC's Last Ride"
Photographer: Brent Stallo
Location: Hurricane Mills, TN (Loretta Lynn's Ranch)
Spec: 1/1,600th of a sec at F/5.6, 300mm
There's no doubt that we have better shots of AC from 2012. Cleaner, better framed, crisper. But that's not always what our Top 25 photos of the year is about. As we've said time and time again, it's about telling a story, and this photo tells the story of Adam Cianciarulo's amateur career perfectly. Loretta Lynn's marked the last time AC will have ever raced a mini bike, and considering that he has been one of the most prolific riders to ever race one, that moment needed to be marked in our countdown. So why this photo out of all the thousands we have stored on our hard drive? Like we said, it tells a story. AC's mini career has been marked with countless dominating performances, and after a bad run in 2011 at the Ranch, AC showed up in 2012 ready to prove a point. And prove a point he did. Not only did he sweep all six Supermini motos and take home two championships, but he also earned the Vurb Cup award as the most dominant amateur rider of 2012 with an amazing 1.07 finishing average throughout the year. AC has since decided to skip racing the Intermediate class and will go into the A class in 2013 instead. While we are sure his A career with garner just as much success as his mini bike career did, we will desperately miss watching him shred on an 85cc.
This is actually probably my favourite picture of the year and was taken in probably the most impressive performance I've seen in motocross as Jeffrey Herlings tried to lap the entire field at the Lierop GP. While a lot of the time when I'm taking photos, in order to get a good variety of angles, I won't stay in the same place too long, however I knew this would make a killer shot if I got it right so I hung around in this corner for a few laps. Then, with some help by our Art Guy Clint, he made it into the wallpaper you see before you.
For me, this image says a lot about the 2012 MX1 Championship. Antonio Cairoli out front, keeping clean, while everyone around him is coated in mud and struggling to stay up-right. He was the truly dominate force in GP motocross this year and some of his performances were a pleasure to watch. Speaking with him after Sweden, when he went DNF-DNF, he wasn't the slightest bit worried that he couldn't go out in the second half of the season and win races like he had in the first half. And he was proved right by losing just one moto until the end of the season, including the Motocross of Nations where his 1-1 was finally the result his talent deserved at that race.
The 250 Nationals was some of the best racing you're ever going to see. Period.We could've have chosen numerous different shots from throughout the year showing the battles that took place, but none of them really shows as much about the sport as a scrubbin' Justin Barcia going toe-to-toe with Blake Baggett. In the end, Baggett would take the glory outside, but Barcia was very much the dominant force indoors and we look forward to this battle continuing when Baggett also makes the switch to big bikes (along with Tomac, Roczen, Musquin and Wilson).
Anyone who's been on our Facebook page this last year will recognise it as our header photo and there's good reason for that - this marked the beginning of the 2012 outdoor season and all the excitement that involves. There is nothing quite like motocross and we especially love the opening round with all the unanswered questions and hope and expectation. If the thought of this happening in 2013 doesn't get the hairs of your neck standing straight, you're in the wrong sport but this could truly be the best season yet.
Thank you for taking a look at all our work, and we hope you enjoyed the images of what was a superb year of SX/MX...