MOTOCROSS ACTION PHOTO(S) OF THE WEEK
Sometimes you win, and other times you find yourself flying through the air like a bean bag. Privateer Josh Greco fit into the latter category during his heat race at Anaheim 1 and wasn’t able to complete the LCQ. Hopefully Josh is injury free and bounces back.
Although he didn’t list any sponsors, here’s a plug for Mr. Greco (and a photo of him styling out over the finish line in practice). Photos: John Basher
THE SMOKER: THE MAN TO WATCH IN PHOENIX
Cedric in Geneva on his KTM 250. He will be number 986 at Phoenix.
French rider Cedric Soubeyras will be the man to watch in Phoenix?not because the French rider has much of a chance, but because he is being sponsored by David Vuillemin to race a 2010 Yamaha YZ250 two-stroke (it used to be Steve Lamson’s play bike). Soubeyras has built a name for himself on the European Supercross circuit on a KTM 250SX, and MXA was impressed with him when we saw him at Geneva this winter. But Euro Supercross tracks and Euro competition are not the same as the American ones. Soubeyras will be considered a major success if he makes the main event.
Unfortunately, Cedric crashed his YZ250 on his first day of practicing on a local American Supercross track and may not be able to race in Phoenix. David Vuillemin says that Cedric might have to delay his American debut until Dodger Stadium.
MXA MINI-VIEW: JOSH HANSEN
Before the A1 races started we asked Josh Hansen about his off-season preparations to see if he was really serious about racing this year. He told us, and then stamped on a big exclamation point with wins in his heat and the main event.
MXA: What was your program during the off-season?
Josh: The entire off-season I’ve been in Australia, racing. It was great, there’s nothing better for preparation than racing. I’ve been riding the 450 and I feel like it’s making me strong. I just got back a few weeks ago and I’ve been concentrating on the 250 and preparing for the west coast series.
MXA: How do the Australian Supercross track compare to the US tracks.
Josh: I thought tracks were pretty good. They’re definitely shorter. They were about forty second lap times and here they can be up to a minute long. Some of the races are a little bit shorter as well. There are four, eight-lap main events versus one, fifteen-lap main event, and that’s a little bit different?the intensity I way up there. It’s a good difference though. Like I said there’s nothing better than racing, so I think I got good practice.
MXA: With tighter tracks, was there more bumping and slamming in the turns?
Josh: There definitely was. I tried to get good starts and stay out of that mess. Some of those guys aren’t scared to just bash you.
MXA: You’re not afraid to bash though either, right?
Josh: No, I’m not, but still wanted to stay out of it so I would have no problems. All good press.
Josh winning A1.
MXA: How do you like the new 2011 250F?
Josh: Just being on it for a few weeks and it’s awesome. The new EFI kind of took us a little while to figure out; we lost a little power on the bottom. Pro Circuit always seems to catch on to stuff quickly, and honestly, now we have got the bikes really, really good. Plus, not to have to worry about a bog is good, the safety factor is a little better.
MXA: Have you noticed any difference with the forks?
Josh: Yeah I have. It seems like there are a lot more areas to improve on the new forks. The forks have always been good, but I feel that with these there are more adjustments that you can make. I have had nothing but good experiences with them.
This past Friday MXA launched the Motocross Action Facebook page. If you’re a Facebook member, please be sure to take a look at our page. We have uploaded old MXA cover photos, several videos, and we’re constantly uploading photos and updating our wall with news. You can be involved too, either by uploading your own photos of your bike or getting involved in topic discussions (or both!). And if that’s not enough, we’re going to be giving away gear and products randomly to those who click the “Like” button on our page. To view the page, click here.
INSIDE LOOK: VILLOPOTO’S TRICK NEW WORKS PARTS
Villopoto’s race bike.
Mike Williamson (Ryan Villopoto’s mechanic) let us get up close and scrutinize their bike. He even answered most of our questions about trick factory parts, and told us about all the cool, new stuff on the factory Kawasaki for 2011. Mike didn’t try to keep secrets because the main goal with most of these part was losing weight, and it’s no secret how to do that: be meticulous. All of Kawasaki’s new parts are made in-house.
There are new, lightweight, magnesium side cases and blue bling.
PERRIS RACEWAY TO OPEN THIS WEEKEND: YOU NEED A PALA MEMBERSHIP TO RIDE THERE
The new launch control device has two-positions.
Is that an electric starter button on the left side of the handlebars? No way, Kawasaki was trying to lose weight, not pack it on. It’s a rev limiter system to help at the start of the race. When the button is pushed, the bike runs at a specific, predetermined and optimum rpm setting for the start. When the gate is about to drop, Villopoto doesn’t have to worry about his throttle hand, just the clutch.
Villopoto’s bike has a billet, clutch actuation arm. It provides the option to change length and leverage ratio, although Mike says they rarely deviate from stock spec.
Blue is in. The factory Kawasaki bike are spruced up cosmetically with blue highlights in the graphics, wheel hubs, engine plugs and miscellaneous parts.
FMF gets the nod from Factory Kawasaki for 2011. We noticed right away that the dimensions of this system were different than the production FMF system we have for our KX450F. For one thing it was shorter, which should help low-end power needed in Supercross. We’re not too jealous though as the off-the-shelf pipe works pretty well.
The weight of every bracket, wire harness, spacer, etc. was examined and often reduced. It’s not all exotic materials either. Often, it’s just about reducing volume. This is a spare parts drawer in the semi truck.
PERRIS RACEWAY TO OPEN THIS WEEKEND: YOU NEED A PALA MEMBERSHIP TO RIDE THERE
Perris Raceway has aligned with Pala Raceway and members of Perris Raceway and Pala Raceway will have access to both at both premiere motocross venues with a double membership giving added benefits to Southern California Motocross riders.
Perris Raceway will reopen for practice on Friday January 14th and Saturday January 15th (9am-Dusk) for practice. There is a race on Sunday. Within 45 days Perris Raceway will be fully reopened, and will be open for practice six days a week and will offer night riding on the Main Track. Future development plans include remodeling the Mini Bike track and building a Vet Track. Visit www.perrismx.com for more information.
MXA MINI VIEW: TYLA RATTRAY
Even though he’s a former World Champion and proved his speed to Americans in outdoors last year, Tyla Rattray was a question mark coming into the Supercross series. A solid podium finish in the main event puts those questions to rest. We talked to Tyla before the race to see how he made sure his rookie debut would go well.
MXA: Can you tell us a little bit about your off-season and what you’ve been doing to prepare?
Tyla: The off season went pretty well. I’ve obviously been riding a lot of supercross and I’m working with Aldon Baker now. We’ve got the new EFI on the 250Fs, and our bikes are fast. The guys at Pro Circuit have been working hard with our suspension and Mitch been doing a really good job on the engines, finding us more power, and I’m looking forward to going racing for sure.
MXA: What do you think about the new SFF forks on the KX250F?
Tyla: The forks are awesome. We’ve been doing a lot of testing and we’ll be racing with them this year. I think what we have now is better than what we had last year, so it’s a step forward. We’ve been doing a lot of testing and Bones has been doing a great job. It’s going to be awesome to get out there. Racing Supercross is new for me, this is my first year racing Supercross and I’m looking forward to getting out there.
MXA: Do you think you can be good at Supercross?
Tyla: Yeah, I’ve been riding pretty good. I’ve been doing a lot of laps around our test tracks as well as riding a bunch of other tracks just to try to adjust to different ones. I have good teammates, a lot of them are winning, they’re fast too, so I’ve got good guysto judge against. My speed has been pretty good, and I’m just looking forward to a healthy Supercross season. It’s going to be a long season. We have six races, then a pretty big break, and the last two. My Long term plan is just to stay healthy. When we have the long break I’ll start testing some outdoor stuff, getting ready for the motocross season. Then it’s back to Supercross for three weeks and then back to motocross. My main goal is just to stay healthy the whole year and just be there at every race.
CAREY HART SUES THE HARD ROCK HOTEL: TMZ GETS INVOLVED
According to TMZ, Carey Hart has filed a lawsuit against the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas for allegedly withholding his share of profits. The freestyle rider, who is married to rock singer Pink, claimed that the establishment “hid profits and inflated prices” behind his back without paying out proper dividends. Hart, whose company S&H Projects made an investment in the Hard Rock’s Wasted Lounge upon its opening in July 2008, also accused the hotel of manipulating the finances in order to distract shareholders from management issues they were experiencing. The Hard Rock denies that the lounge made any profits before its closure in August 2010. Hart is seeking unspecified damages.
THE JL59 FOUNDATION IS FORMED FORMED IN MEMORY OF JEAGHER LAFOUNTAINE
In May of 2010 motocross lost Jeagher LaFountaine, an up-and-coming A rider out of Southern California. Jeagher had a huge passion for motocross, and he touched a lot of lives doing a sport he loved. Jeagher’s familyhas hooked up with PanicRev Ministries to launch the JL59 Foundation to honor Jeagher and to impact the sport that Jeagher loved so much. One of Jeagher’s goals was to race the Supercross Series. Recognizing this, the JL59 Foundation has partnered with the Truth MX/MB1/PanicREV Team to honor Jeagher, his goals, and his memory. Keep an eye out for Ben Evans, Bryce Vallee, and the Truth MX/MB1/PanicREV Supercross Team as they honor Jeagher LaFountaine through their efforts during the West Coast 250 West series. Please check out www.jl59foundation.org for information about the foundation.
JAKE WEIMER STAYS UPBEAT DESPITE HEARTBREAKING INJURY
Weimer and a young fan.
It’s difficult to say anything bad about a personable, hard working guy like Jake Weimer?who was just about to make his debut in the premier 450 class at A1. It doesn’t seem fair that one little mistake can cost you so much on a Supercross track. Ten days before the Supercross season started Jake Weimer broke arm on a private test track. When asked what happened, Weimer just makes the endo gesture with his good hand.
That’s a lot of metal in that X-ray.
Weimer still seems to be in good spirits though. He happily signs autographs, takes fan pictures and fulfills his other obligation to his sponsors and shows his X-rays on his iPhone. Also on his iPhone are disturbing pictures of his arm with stitches and fracture blisters. The pics are not for the faint of heart (if you have a strong curiosity and equally strong stomach type ‘fracture blisters’ into google images). “When there is that much trauma, it swells so fast that the stuff has to go somewhere,” commented Weimer.
WANNA BUILD YOUR OWN BIKE? NEED AN ENGINE?
MXA has tracked down a place where youy can buy brand-new 86, 110, 125, 200 and bigger engines for your projects. Yes, they are made in China, mostly by Lifan, but when you are looking for a replacement engine, pickers can’t be choosers.
LIFAN 110cc FOUR-STROKE: $250
Pumping out an awesome 4.7 horsepower with its 8.8:1 compression ratio, this little engine has electric start.
LIFAN 200cc FOUR-STROKE ENGINE: $350
This brand-new 200cc Lifan four-stroke engine comes with a five-speed manual transmission, electric and kick start and 12 horsepower.
FOUR-SPEED SEMI-AUTO, FOUR-STROKE 88cc RACING ENGINE BOLTS INTO YOUR EXISTING 50: $218
No mods or accessories will be needed. This is an easy way to upgrade your 50 to an 86. Want more power and don’t want the manual clutch headaches? This is it.
LIFAN 125c ENGINE FOR THE XR50, CRF50, Z50 AND XR70: $284
The Lifan 125cc high-performance race engine lets you upgrade your stock 50cc to a 125cc monster. The engine comes with a high-quality 4-disc clutch and a 22mm carburetor. It fits the Honda CRF50, CRF70, XR50, XR70, Z50, CT70 Mini Trail, XL70, QA50, SL70, Passport and SL90.
For more info go to www.pccmotor.com or call (909) 980-8806.
OLD PHOTO OF THE WEEK (IF THE WEEK WAS 1971)
It is obvious from this photo that Joel Robert (on bike) and Roger DeCoster (background) weren’t the best dressed men in Belgium…although the bowler hats add a touch of class. Roger will explain this photo to anyone who asks this weekend in Phoenix.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: HONDA DEVELOP FLEX-FUEL FUEL INJECTION SYSTEM
The term flex-fuel refers to a system capable of running on any mixture of ethanol and gasoline, regardless of the ratio. Honda has developed a flex-fuel EFI system that will run on ethanol, gasoline, or a mixture of the two.
The amount of fuel injection is adjusted depending on the ratio of gasoline and ethanol in the fuel tank, ensuring optimum combustion conditions at all times. Honda’s developed fuel injection system has very little application to modern motocross?but no one knows that the future holds in terms on increased amounts of ethanol is pump gas.
2011 AMA NATIONAL SUPERCROSS & MOTOCROSS NUMBERS (EVEN THE THREE-DIGIT ONES)
Who is 30? Check the handy-dandy MXA list to find out. In fact, print it out and take it to the races with you because the program doesn’t have three-digit numbers in it.
This isn’t every rider with an AMA National number, but it is all that MXA could compile in the first week of the 2011 season. We will add more as they are revealed to us by the AMA.
5…..Ryan Dungey (not used in 2011)
773…Walt Van Olden