Milsaps, Alessi, Emig Tame Loretta’s

Paul Carruthers | August 11, 2003

The 2003 AMA/Air Nautiques Amateur National Motocross Championships at Loretta Lynn’s ran wrapped up over the weekend in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, and 33 new champions were crowned. Forty-two finalists competed in each class, for an event total of 1386 riders. The initial qualifying field of nationwide entries was almost 19,000 at the Area level, making it the biggest year for entries in the 22-year history of the event.

The big winners of the week were rising motocross stars Davi Millsaps and Mike Alessi, plus one at the other end of his career – former supercross star Jeff Emig.

Millsaps, who hails from Cairo, Georgia, won two classes in his final appearance at Loretta Lynn’s before joining Team Suzuki for his professional career in 2004. The 15-year-old topped the 125 A class and the 125cc Schoolboy Mod (12-15) on his RM125. These two AMA titles gave Millsaps nine for his amateur career. He also earned the AMA’s prestigious Horizon’s Award, which was presented by AMA Sports’ Steve Carnegie.

Apple Valley, California’s Mike Alessi also won his eighth and ninth Loretta Lynn’s titles, tying James Stewart’s all-time record for minicycle titles in the AMA Amateur National Championships. Alessi won the 85cc Mod (14-15) and 105cc Super-Mini (12-15). He then earned another place in the record books as the first rider ever to have his bike claimed in the event’s 22-year history. His 105cc bike was claimed for approximately $3900, according to AMA rules, by fellow competitor Adam Chatfield. Alessi also won the first-ever AMA Amateur Rider of the Year award.

As for former four-time AMA Pro National and Supercross Champion Jeff Emig, 2003 marked the second year he came out of retirement to compete at the same Loretta Lynn’s event where he was raised as an amateur. He won the 250 A/Pro Sport and Vet +30 class titles, giving him a total of seven for his amateur career.

For complete results from the 2003 AMA/Air Nautiques Amateur National Motocross Championships, visit

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.