Dymond talks about this MXA cover and what could have been in another thrilling Tell Us a Story which is Bill Weppners favorite column on this site.
The Mick was hot property in '88 and Yamaha landed him.
"I totally remember this cover and this day. It’s funny because look at the headline that says “Why I left Honda” it should actually say “Why I didn’t choose to leave Honda” (Laughs). It was out of my control to go to Yamaha, there was an AMA rule in place that made me have to leave the class. This is a point of my life when I had to grow up, I came off two years at Honda that were amazing. Yamaha had Broc Glover who was coming off two years of injuries and Jeff Stanton. I joined them and as well as Doug Dubach who was a test rider for them at that time. Ron Heben was my mechanic. One regret I had was not listening to Ron more, he was a good advisor to a young rider. At one point I was a bit disgruntled with the way things went business-wise with my career and I had a great alley in Ron and I didn’t listen to him. I’m friends with him to this day and tell him this.
I signed a one year with an option with Yamaha at the time. Call it two-year-ish, the deal came up at the end of the ‘88 year and we renegotiated after one year. I remember that whatever I signed for money-wise, wasn’t enough to sustain me until now! I was 22 or so at this time and I remember these days. They were the golden years, when I got on a bike it didn’t matter what it was, I felt like I could do it on a bike. I wish I never had to take my helmet off back then. I came out strong in ’88 but then broke my hand and started getting hurt. At the first race I was in second and had just passed Rick Johnson with Jeff Ward in first when I crashed after a whoop section. I ended up getting second behind RJ that night.
On this day, the magazine guys were there and I made a jump off the side of a hill and I remember hitting it a million times for them. I remember that Broc was there and at that time Yamaha still had Eddie Lawson road racing for them and he was there riding mx. The Yamaha track was a pretty good place to ride, we did a lot of cliff jumps out there.
These were taken at DeAnza, they had their supercross track there back in the day. I have no idea why it had red numbers on the bike but I do know that Ron made these numbers all custom. You’d have to call Ron (laughs). Maybe ‘cause the bike has a red seat. I think this thing was really stock and just made for photos. I don’t really remember but judging by the red fork booties, that had to be the case.
My gear was a little different when it came to Anaheim, this stuff is early on when I signed with Answer. The pink/black and white stuff really personified my look with Yamaha back then. I guess you could call it your personality or whatever. I lucked into this stuff, I had nothing to do with it. The timing was right and fit that year perfectly and it’s cool that answer made their retro gear to look like this stuff. This helmet was just one that I had around, it didn’t have the numbers on the side like you were supposed to have. It wasn’t race one. Anyways, I just went out there and started freeriding or freeriding for the time anyways. You’re supposed to be testing and doing laps and you’re out there doing fun stuff. The team is tapping their foot waiting for you to start work. I was ahead of my time I suppose (laughs).
Everyone at Yamaha treated me great in the beginning. These photos were taken early on when I joined Yamaha, maybe around November or December. The bike was pretty good, in this photo it has conventional forks but we raced with the upside-down forks and I’m not really sure why. Kayaba came out with the upside-down ones and we were forced to race with them and they needed development. I did like them in one way because the conventional Yamaha forks lower tubes extended so far, you would hit the ground with the fork. So even though the bike didn’t handle as well with the USD forks, I liked them for this one benefit.
Getting this cover was very cool, it mattered to me for sure. I wish that I had God in my mouth and he was guiding my voice because I never said the right things back then. Some of it was haunting for sure. I love looking at these photos and thinking about the moments and the possibilities were wide open back then. Had I had some foresight, I would have done some things different for sure. The possibilities were there for me to win this year, I really feel that. It didn’t work out that way but I think everyone involved at this moment, including Broc, thought we could do something. The fracture from Honda wasn’t too unlike what happened to Johnny O’Mara a few years before. It was exciting for me and these photos are celebration style photos. It was fun back then. It was a “We could be giants” moments, the doors were opened up for me but I couldn’t get through them, y’know?
I got along with all the media guys and even though I didn’t have ongoing friendships with any of them, I liked those magazine guys. I was accommodating to them-everyone really was because it was the biggest magazine out there then. There was Dirt Bike and some other ones that were popping up that were cool but MXA was it.
In this issue, they are talking about the Bercy SX and I remember that Jon R was my mechanic and I crashed on the parade lap! They put some whoops before this double to stop people from jumping it but I was still lining it up but crashed and ripped the radiator off the bike. Jon R was in the stands watching, where all the mechanics were, and they had to pull him down to help fix it. He was a great guy and it was cool to say that he wrenched for me."