By John Minert
HOW DO GET FAST BY WATCHING MOVIES: SUZUKI TEAM MANAGER MIKE WEBB EXPLAINS
Defending Supercross champ Ryan Dungey hasn’t logged any race wins yet this season, but he has ridden with a lot of consistency. If it weren’t for the forced DNF due to a derailed chain at Anaheim 2, Dungey would be right in the championship hunt. As he sits, he is twenty-three points down on points leader, Ryan Villopoto, and is looking to put together a string of podium finishes with two, second place finishes in a row since the DNF. As a Factory Team, Suzuki has all the technology and resources to diagnose and improve their race bikes and riders. We called Team Manager Mike Web to find out how the team is helping their riders perform in the harsh conditions of Supercross.
MXA: Dungey has had two, second place finishes in row. What do you attribute that to?
Mike: I think he’s been riding well all year. But there are still areas we want to work on. He needs to be more aggressive in his passing and more aggressive in the first turn. He’s getting off the gate really well, but then he’s getting out of it early in the first turn. I think we have improved the bike, he is just settling in more, and it’s just starting to come around.
What did you guys do to prepare for mud in San Diego last weekend?
Mike: We did our normal mud prep which includes running handguards, wrapping the radiator shrouds in a nylon mesh, actually woman’s nylons are the same thing. We also wrap the shock to keep the mud off. We put foam under the engine and under the brake, and make a dam out of duct tape to channel water away from the airbox. So, for the bike it’s just normal mud prep. For a rider, you are either okay with riding in the mud, or it’s a big mental block. Luckily, Ryan is pretty comfortable in the mud, so he just went out and did his thing, and the bike performed really well, I was really pleased.
"[Ryan is] getting off the gate really well, but then he’s getting out of it early in the first turn."
Did you guys ever figure out the cause of the chain derailing incident?
Mike: We don’t really know what caused it. We studied tons of film and really analyzed it. The sprocket itself had damage. It was not missing teeth, and was not bent, but it had actual chunks missing, which leads us to believe there was an impact. I think he and Trey got together when he turned down on Trey sharply before the whoops, and Trey hit him. I actually talked to Trey, who said he did hit Dungey. We analyzed our chain guide system and made some modifications there. I don’t anticipate us ever having that problem again.
Is film is an important tool. Can you tell us about all the ways you use it?
Mike. It’s enormously important. The average rider knows how someone can tell you what are doing and where you can improve by watching, but a lot of times a light doesn’t always go off in your head. But, watching yourself do it on film, you say "Okay, I get it. I see what everyone is talking about." So whether it’s the handling and we want to make changes chassis-wise or motor wise, or what we think the riders’ line selection should be, or what he is doing technique-wise, film is a great tool and soothing we use all the time.
How does the video give precise feedback, can you over-lay one rider with another?
Mike: We have software that will do that now. There is software available that allows you to film one rider, and then film another rider in another practice or a heat race and lay both images on top of each other. That’s a really useful tool. A lot of these riders and lap times are so close, they’re within tenths. So, we try to figure out where somebody is doing something different. With this software you can clearly see whether it’s a guy entering or exiting the whoops a little faster or carrying a lower corner line. But, a lot of times, just with regular film or video, you can study what another rider is doing. These guys all have basically the same skill level, I think. Once they see someone do something, they can go out and do the same thing and match it.
Do you ever use it for suspension and bike settings?
Mike: Yes, we have really slow speed cameras for testing so we can analyze what a swingarm and shock, and fork are doing. In the races we don’t do that. The footage from the races is usually shot from the press box, so it’s just an overall picture, but it does help.
Thanks a lot Mike, are the any other techniques you want to mention?
MOTOCROSS RACER & USGP AIR SHOW PILOT TO IMPORT GERMAN AEROBATIC PLANES
Mike: No, we’re just going to keep plugging away. We gave up a lot of points with a DNF, but we made up fourteen points in the last two races. We’re just going to keep plugging away at it.
Sbach 300 single-seater.
If you have ever been to the Glen Helen National or United States Grand Prix, you have seen Doug Jardine fly his air show routine over the crowd. when Doug isn’t flying air shows, he is racing his Yamaha YZ450F at Glen Helen. Now, Doug Jardine and Jim Bourke of Extreme Aerosports are ready to import German-made Sbach 300 single-seat and Sbach 342 two-seat aerobatic airplanes to the USA. Jim Bourke said, "These aircraft are in hot demand in Europe, but have not been available in the USA until now. European certification is completed on the 342 model and expected in late 2011 for the 300."
Doug Jardine flying over the 2010 Glen Helen USGP.
The famous red, white, and black prototype Thunderbolt" Sbach 342 will serve as the U.S. demonstrator model. It is currently stationed at Extreme Aerosports HQ in Corvallis, Oregon, where Jim and Doug are preparing for the 2011 competition season. For more info go to wwww.extremeaerosports.com.
A MOTOCROSS TRACK THAT CAN POWER HOMES
A growing developer of wind energy, is undergoing renovations of its wholly-owned Cycle Ranch Motocross Park subsidiary in order to increase revenue and attract new customers. Here Enterprises acquired Cycle Ranch, Inc. on September 9, 2010 and is developing its first wind energy project on the Cycle Ranch site.
Mark Ryun, CEO of Here Enterprises, commented: "Here Enterprises is pleased to be moving quickly forward with the execution of our growth strategy. Cycle Ranch hosts an established motocross speedway business with ongoing revenue. It also provides ample acreage and wind conditions for wind power generation. We have made significant improvements to the Cycle Ranch Motocross Park that we believe will improve the efficiency of their operations and positively impact sales."
Here Enterprises' wholly owned Cycle Ranch Motocross Park subsidiary is advertised as one of the five best motocross tracks in the nation. Cycle Ranch is located in Floresville, Texas near San Antonio. Cycle Ranch generates revenue from the operation of its motocross racetrack including admission fees, practice sessions, race events, camping and special event fees. The speedway also generates revenue from sales of food, race apparel, parts, cleaning products and racing fuels.
The renovations at Cycle Ranch include upgraded equipment, property improvements and expanded facilities. The Company has installed new tracks, upgraded office equipment and systems, purchased new maintenance equipment and completed landscaping and facilities renovation projects. The Company also built a new GP/Vet Track to host additional races and practice sessions.
For more info visit www.Windhere.com or www.cycleranchmx.com
MXA MINI-VIEW: TYLA RATTRAY
Tyla Rattray's first Supercross season has been like a game of Chutes and Ladders, but despite crashes and injuries, he managed to rebound for a second place finish at San Diego. We called to Tyla to get the inside on his health and his racing.
You we’re having a good season until you got injured and had to take time off.
Tyla: Yeah, the season started great, I got third at Anaheim, not knowing what to expect going into there. Then, I crashed on Tuesday after that at the Kawi test track. I had a little fracture in my wrist, and that took some time to get back to a hundred percent. Finally, my wrist felt a hundred percent by Anaheim 2, but I crashed and had the bike land on my back and my neck, and I gave me a muscle spam. I had to miss Anaheim 2, then I managed to get a second at San Diego. Everything is pretty good now, I’m getting close to felling a hundred percent again.
Tell us about San Diego, and how it went your way.
Tyla: San Diego was good. We didn’t know how wet it would be because they had the track covered with all the rain. I didn’t know if it was going to be wet, or if it was going to be pretty good. When they took the covers off it was actually pretty good, but then it started raining and the track got slick, and then it stopped raining and it started getting tacky again. By the time the main event rolled around it wa actually pretty good. It wasn’t really slippery, but some places could catch you.
Overall, what have you been getting figured out about Supercross?
Tyla. Well, it’s really been up and down. It started great, then I got a little injury, but still managed to do good and race in the top five. Getting a second a San Diego was good, and means I’m going in the right direction. I’m just trying to work on passing and trying different rhythm lanes. It’s been rough, but I’ve enjoyed it. It’s something new, I’ve never done it before, this being my first full year of Supercross. So, I’ve learned a lot for sure.
MXA: What tools do you have to improve, do you rely on film?
Tyla:Guys on the team film us in practice, heats and main events. They film all three of us and we get to watch the video at the track and on Monday after the race. We can see what other riders are doing different, and when we go out in the next training we can try it. Riding for Pro Circuit is phenomenal, they are definitely the best team to be on for Supercross. Our bikes handle so good, we have a good engine, we have a good team, we run works parts. Other than that, I’ve just had a lot of fun.
Life is a blur in Supercross. Tyla speeds by.
Thanks Tyla, is anything else you want to say?
GOOD STUFF THAT THE MXA WRECKING CREW USES
Tyla: I just want to thank all my sponsors, Pro Circuit, Kawasaki, Monster, Parts Unlimited, Thor, Vans, Volcom, Traxxis and everyone that’s been behind us. My team also; we might win championships on both coasts , which I think would be awesome. I’m looking forward to the Nationals as well, I think it’s going to be a great year.
There is always a lot of talk about the battle between Shoei and Arai for the ultimate high-end helmet crown. The vast majority of MXA test riders, who have there druthers over which helmet to pick, almost always choose the Arai over the Shoei. It has a plusher fit, incredible construction and reputation as the safest helmet made. For more info go to www.araiamericas.com
You wouldn't think that lowering the weight of your radiators (and the water in them) could be felt in the saddle, but it can. This $50 DR.D mod is simple and easy to do. For more info go to www.dubachracing.com
Virtually every Supercross and National bike runs this LightSpeed carbon fiber chain guide. When it comes to carbon fiber parts, especially carbon fiber skid plates and case guards, the MXA test crew always go to LightSpeed. For more info go to www.lightspeedperf.com
The two-stroke isn't dead and if it was, Moto Tassinari could bring it back to life. This is the reed valve that comes stock on the KTM 250SX and the one that MXA runs on its 2011 YZ250 two-stroke. For more info go to www.mototassinari.com
The quickest fix for cranky handling is a longer shock linkage. Most MXA test riders couldn't live with this linkage on their YZ450F, KX250F, KX450F, CRF250 and CRF450. In fact, we have been testing KTM links...and Team KTM even borrowed the link off of our 450SXF last week. For more info go to www.procircuit.com
Elbow guards are a great idea, but most elbow guards slide down your arms and have Velcro straps that cause arm pump. Not the Troy Lee Design's spandex sleeve arm guards. They slip on and they stay put. For more info go to www.troyleedesigns.com
In truth, not even the bucks-up MXA wrecking crew can afford to run high-end racing gas every weekend, but when the time comes to pump up the ponies, we normally opt to use VP Racing MR-12. It's good for a couple horsepower (and would make your bike lighter...if you raced with your now empty wallet in your pants). For more info go to www.vpracingfuels.com
We love the look of the all-new Yoshimura RS-4D exhaust. We think it works best on 250cc four-strokes, but Brett Metcalfe uses it on his RM-Z450. For more info go to www.yoshimura-rd.com
This has the be the greatest and most useful product ever made. If you own a Kawasaki, you need to keep TM Designworks phone number on your speed dial. The stock KX chain guide is junk. The TM Designworks chain guide is the solution. For more info go to www.tmdesignworks.com
If you remove the back fire screen on your four-stroke there is some chance that your air filter could catch on fire. We've never had it happen, but apart from the urban myth about alligators in the sewers of New York City, the flaming air filter story has been around forever. The solution? DT-1 flame resistant air filter oil. Cool idea. For more info go to www.dt1filters.com
Summer is coming. The MXA wrecking crew can't live without Canopy Cool. You don't know how trick this product is until you have to race in 100 degree weather. It uses your truck's cigarette lighter to power a misting system that works out in the boonies. We clip it under our awning and let is lower the temps by 15 to 20 degrees. For more info go to www.canopycool.com or (503) 391-9473.
We hate the Yamaha YZ450F airbox. We don't understand how one of the most important maintenance items on a rider's list could be turned into the biggest chore in motorcycling. The Twin Air YZ450F air filter kit doesn't make the Yamaha filter easier to get to, but it increases filter area by 90 percent. For more info go to www.twinair.com
DOUG DUBACH EXPLAINS DR.D RIDING SCHOOLS
Doug is always happy to talk moto.
MXA: How did you decide to start doing classes?
Doug: It’s something that developed over quite a while. Back in ’94, Yamaha offer a free school when you bought a YZ. It was something Rick Johnson and I did together, and it was a lot of fun. Through that experience I learned that it was rewarding to teach and that it involved talking moto and all the stuff I love to do day in and day out. But I never thought beyond it, I always had a full plate. When I started attending a lot of amateur races, more and more guys would come over to my truck and talk moto, and would share some of my knowledge. Then the next year we made it official, we had a space and announced it from the tower. From there it just kept growing, from 20 or 30 people to well over a hundred with standing room only at Loretta Lynns. We got emails for private lessons and schools for a year and a half or longer, until we finally decided to try it. It’s not something I will turn all my attention to, but people have sought me out and I enjoy doing it.
Doug competes in the Over-30 and Over-40 Vet World Championships.
MXA: Can you take us through a typical day in a your class?
Doug: It’s a pretty full day, going from nine o’clock until past two in the afternoon. We gather everyone up and have a little talk in the morning. Then we go out and do starts right away. That’s one of the things I have been known for in my career, and to this day, I’m one of the better starters out there, so it’s something I can really expand on and go into detail on. Then we go into braking, which is important for the average rider for safety reasons as well as lowering our lap times. Then we go into corners, because the entire time we are talking about braking we are talking about how to set up for corners. We spend a fair amount of time on corners because on our little surveys asking what people want to get out of the class, the number one thing is corners. We provide a light lunch with sandwiches and what-not, and it’s always a great bench racing session during lunch hour. We pick back up on corners, and then move on to jumps. It’s always hard with jumping and riders of all levels because it’s uncomfortable to many riders, especially to do it well. So we just work on technique and not so much on clearing any specific obstacle. Well into the afternoon, we have sort of an open mic, and encourage people to talk about areas where they struggle, and everyone seems to learn from each other. Often, when the official class is done, we continue talking for quite a while.
Even as a vet, Doug has been know to show-up young National pros.
Can you give us a teaser about specific tips?
Doug: Starts would be an easy thing for me. There are so many little things that make a good starter. In the class we go through the whole list, but a teaser would be to always be aware of the starting mechanism itself. Understand how it works and know the speed of the gate, there can be advantages there. Make yourself familiar, especially if you are new to the track. You have to get up there early and look for things that will give you an advantage over the next guy. The old rule of thumb is that if the gate is fast falling you want to be up close to it, but if it’s slow falling back up a foot and a half or so.
How about a corners teaser?
Doug: There are so many things going on in corners. You need to be aware of your body position on the bike. You have to be loose and agile on the bike. A lot of the guys I work with are sort of stuck in one position. They learn when the bike leans, and they sit up straight when the bike sits up straight. They’ve got to learn to disconnect their hips and swivel around, letting the bike move under them. And then there’s that commitment into the corner. If you are going to go in there fast, you have to lean it over. If you go in slow, you had better keep it upright.
Thanks for the great tips Doug.
Doug: Okay, thank you.
Visit www.dubachracing.com and for complete info, pricing and class dates.
THE BEST MOTOCROSS GARAGE IN THE WORLD
When Tom White decided to build a garage at his house, he went beyond the call of duty. Tom build a 6500 square-foot building and packed it with 120 classic motocross bikes. He opens it to the public twice a year as a charity fund raiser for the High Hopes Head Injury Center. To see more go to www.earlyyearsofmx.com. Oh, that's Tom on the right (next to Joe Motocross; aka Snoopy).
WORCS RACING EXPLAINED
The 2011 WORCS schedule is underway, and there are changes and incentives to the program that will entice more amateurs and enthusiast racers to compete. Sean Reddish explains the format changes, payback perks tracks and the need-to-know about WORCS in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnqUrvfIHr8
By Ron Ige Pacific Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org]
“The first of the scheduled 10-round Monster
Energy Guam Motocross Championships series kicked off this past Sunday at the
Guam International Raceway under ideal weather and track conditions.
“Motocross racers from around the island competed in classes that ranged from kids' 50cc mini-bikes and ATVs classes all the way up to the big bikes and ATVs of the open classes. The event was free for anyone who wanted to watch all the high-flying, side-by-side, bar-banging action.
“Round two of the Monster Energy Guam Motocross Championships will be held 1 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Guam International Raceway in Yigo. For more information contact the Guam Racing Federation public information office at 727-5381, email@example.com or www.ATVMotocrossGuam.com.”
THIS WEEKEND AT GLEN HELEN RACEWAY:
What’s happening at your local track this weekend? Well, if your local track is SoCal’s Glen Helen raceway in San Bernardino, California, you have a lot to choose from. For comple info go to www.glenhelen.com.
FRIDAY RIDE DAY: This Friday is Glen Helen’s Ride Days trail-riding event. Held on the last Friday of every monbth, Ride Days is a chance to ride all over Glen Helen’s hundreds of acres. There are marked trails laid out by legendaryracer Gary Jones. And, Gary will be leading group rides throughout the day, so don't miss your chance to ride with a four-time 250 National motocross champion! The Ride Day starts at 8 a.m., and lasts throughout the day. Free overnight camping is available, and the standard $20 gate fees apply. ATVs and UTVs are welcome too!
SATURDAY TRUCKS: Saturday's action will feature intense four-wheel racing with the season opener of the Lucas Oil Regional Short Course Offroad Truck Series. This series brings the best off-road racers in the southwest to Glen Helen's short course track for some of the greatest off-road action north of Baja. For a complete list of available classes and entry fees, check out www.lucasoiloffroad.com
SATURDAY REM: REM Saturday motocross will be on the back track, with classes ranging from beginner to pro (and the toughest Over-50 racing in the world. For more information on the REM Saturday Motocross Series, check out www.remsatmx.com
SATURDAY PRACTICE: The USGP track will be open for practice from 8:00a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
SUNDAY CMC: Rounding out the weekend's races is the fourth round of the CMC Golden State MX series. Classes are available for all skill levels from beginner to pro for all racers with a CMC membership. For more info on CMC racing, head to www.cmcmotocross.com
2011 AMA NATIONAL SUPERCROSS & MOTOCROSS NUMBERS
For some reason, this is the hardest list in the world of motocross to find. If you go to a Supercross or National, the program only contains the top 100 numbers (plus a few oddball permanent numbers). To end the drought, the MXA wrecking crew has compiled the AMA numbers of every rider to get a license so far this season...we will update it every week. So, when you see this list somewhere else, you will know that it is courtesy of MXA. If you are going to a Supercross or National, you should print it out so you can identify all the three-digit guys.
5.....Ryan Dungey (not used in 2011)
438...John Cal Baker
773...Walt Van Olden