PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- AMA Motocross Champion Mike "The Rock" LaRocco has been elected to the AMA Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Class of 2014.
LaRocco, who was elected to the Motocross/Supercross category, will be inducted at the 2014 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Oct. 17, in Orlando, Fla. The induction ceremony is part of the AMA National Convention being held in conjunction with the American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) Oct. 16-19. Tickets for the convention and the induction ceremony go on sale soon. Check back at www.motorcyclemuseum.org for updates.
"Mike LaRocco was a tough competitor who gave it his all every time he got on the track," said Ken Ford, a member of the Hall of Fame executive committee and treasurer of the AMA board of directors. "He was a huge fan favorite throughout his 19-year professional career."
LaRocco said he was honored to be included in the Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
"You know, when I was racing, I was very focused on the competition, and the fan thing was a distraction," LaRocco said. "But now, looking back, I recognize how important the fans are in making all this possible. And I appreciate the support they gave me."
LaRocco is the fifth member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame class of 2014 to be announced. He joins previously announced inductees motocross pioneer Pierre Karsmakers; Tom White, acclaimed racer and founder of White Brothers Cycle Specialties; George Barber, founder of the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum and the Barber Motorsports Park; and national off-road racing champion Scott Summers.
The remaining 2014 inductees will be announced in random order in the coming weeks.
LaRocco began his professional racing career in 1988 at age 17 and retired in 2006 as the elder statesman on the circuit, totaling 228 Supercross starts. Along the way he collected AMA Motocross championships in the 1993 AMA 500 National Motocross Series and the 1994 AMA 250 National Motocross Series racing for Team Kawasaki. He also won the 2000 FIM Supercross World Championship.
"I used to be the guy who gave it everything I had every time I raced, through the whole race," LaRocco said. "That was what made me successful -- that I was always pushing myself for the entire race."
LaRocco won Supercross races in three decades in two classes, 125cc and 250cc. He said the 1994 AMA 250 Motocross National Championship meant the most to him.
"At that time in my career, everything was going so smoothly, I felt like all my hard work had paid off," he said.
His retirement in 2006 came after a broken wrist made him question his future in the sport.
"I wanted to stay healthy," LaRocco said. "I found that I was not willing to take the same risks that the people who were winning were taking. Without the opportunity to win, my motivation just wasn't there."
Since 2010, LaRocco has managed the GEICO Honda Supercross/Motocross Team, which has won a title each year he has been involved.
"After I retired, I took a couple of years off," LaRocco said. "But I was close to the guys who run this team, and it was a good fit. I learned a lot over my career, and I felt I had something to share."
AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers are selected through a nomination and voting procedure that includes ballots cast by living Hall of Fame members, members of the American Motorcyclist Association and AMHF boards of directors, and members of, and advisers to, the Hall of Fame category committees.
To nominate a future Hall of Famer, visit www.motorcyclemuseum.org/induction.
About the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation
Founded in 1990 by the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, the goal of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum is to tell the stories and preserve the history of motorcycling. Located on the campus of the American Motorcyclist Association in Pickerington, Ohio, the Museum's three major exhibition halls feature the machines and memorabilia of those who have contributed notably to the sport. The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to motorcycling, including those known for their contributions to road riding, off-road riding and all categories of racing, as well as those who have excelled in business, history, design and engineering. More information can be found at www.motorcyclemuseum.org.