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Ripon motocross standout secures berth in National Motocross Championships

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Ripon motocross standout secures berth in National Motocross Championships

Ripon standout Tyson Johnson has raced himself to a spot in the Super Bowl of motorcross, landing in the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships this weekend.

Photo contributed/

POSTED July 26, 2012 12:13 a.m.

RIPON — Navigating through off-road dirt tracks and competing in that atmosphere is something that Ripon’s Tyson Johnson has grown accustomed to doing. A slight itch 18 months ago pulled Johnson in another direction to the National Motocross Championships.

Johnson’s 5th place finish in the Competitive Edge Regional last week earned him a berth in the 2012 Red Bull AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships at Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, TN. The week-long championships get underway Sunday and last through August 4.

Johnson punched his ticket in Hesperia with a fifth place overall finish in the 10-11-year-old 65-Stock series. After taking fourth place in his first motto, a 14th place finish in the second elevated the pressure for Johnson. He answered the call with a third place finish in the final motto, to secure a berth into the National Championships amid 2,000-plus riders hoping to qualify.

Johnson just missed qualifying in the 65-Modified, completing the competitive edge regional with a ninth place finish.

The 11-year-old standout has qualified for what is widely considered the largest amateur motocross race in the world. Johnson is currently getting practice sessions in Texas on his way to the competition in Hurricane Mills.

After competing and garnering a great deal of success on the off-road circuit, the enticing lure of the motocross scene pulled Johnson in. With the notoriety of such famous motocross standouts James Stewart and Ricky Carmichael, the challenge to compete was enough for Johnson.

The trip to the Loretta Lynn Ranch did not come easy for the Ripon rider. He came up empty on qualifying attempts in the area qualifier and the youth regional at Honey Lake MX Park in Milford. Johnson was able to make the best of his final shot, qualifying on his final opportunity.

His early found success has earned some impressive sponsorships, including the backing of Nor-Cal KTM Motorsports, which provide Johnson with the 65cc bikes re competes on. Other sponsorships have assisted a great deal in the constant costs of competing.

The national event hosted annually since 1982 at the home of country music star Loretta Lynn is the premier showcase for over 2,000 riders lobbying for a spot in the 36 divisions. The event is produced by MX Sports, Inc.

Johnson is scheduled to begin his national championship quest Sunday.

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