By John Basher
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: PART 1
MXA test rider Sean Kranyak wasn’t scared to jump this massive step-down double at Competitive Edge yesterday…on a 2011 Husqvarna TC449. In his first time riding in two months, “Maniac” Kranyak hucked this jump on the second lap. Wow!
MINI-VIEW: ELI TOMAC
Geico/Honda’s Eli Tomac, a rookie to Supercross, won his first event at San Diego seven long weeks ago. Since then much has happened in the East coast, but Tomac and his West coast competitors have been counting down the days until they can race again. Their chance will come this weekend at Seattle. Tomac sits 12 points out of first place with three rounds remaining. Oddly enough, Eli, along with Josh Hansen (wrist) and Broc Tickle (collarbone), have been nursing injuries.
I caught up with Eli this past weekend out at Glen Helen’s REM race to find out how the rookie phenom was doing.
MXA: I heard that you sustained a concussion recently. What happened?
Eli: I was going to do the Havasu WORCS race a few weeks ago. I had a long trail built to prepare for the event, and there was a section of the course that came together. A buddy of mine and I got into a head-on collision. We wrecked really badly. He had to go to the hospital. He broke a leg and his arms. We even talked about the section before we started riding and we all agreed that we would go pretty slow through that area. He had black gear on and I wore bright gear. I went through there and didn’t see anyone, but all of a sudden we hit. I was banged up and got a concussion. That happened about three weeks ago. I’m doing fine, and hopefully my friend heals up quickly.
When the 250 West returns to action this weekend, Eli Tomac will have momentum after winning San Diego (even though it was months ago).
What do you attribute your improved consistency over the last four West rounds to?
I’m starting to get used to the whole Supercross scene. I also had a huge problem with my starts in the first few races. I struggled quite a bit with them, and because there are a lot of fast guys in the class it’s hard to recover from a poor start. As a team we figured a few things out that helped a lot. We made a few bike changes with the holeshot device and also in the clutch. I’m not going to blame all of my starting troubles on the bike, but those fixes definitely helped.
You had so much momentum going before the West coast break. Is it hard to take seven weeks off after winning in San Diego?
Well, I’ll say that it’s definitely better than getting tenth at San Diego and then having a seven week break to stew on [laughter]. After watching the East guys on television week after week, I’m itching to get back out and race. It’s a nice feeling winning and knowing that I’m capable of being in the mix.
You’re 12 points out with three rounds remaining. How do you approach these last rounds?
Hopefully I can go out there, rip a few holeshots, and check out! My teammate, Jimmy DeCotis, has been going really fast. We’ve been riding together quite a bit. I think he’s going to have something for us top three guys. It will be good if he gets up in the mix and makes some things happen. I’m claiming that he will be the biggest surprise when the gate drops these last three races.
Eli made quick work of the 250 Pro class this past weekend at REM. He looks poised to continue his winning ways outdoors once the Nationals start.
What have you been doing during the break?
I took a week and a half off from even riding when the break first started. I needed to recharge my batteries, so to speak. Then I slowly got back into riding. I’ve actually been staying back home in Colorado quite a bit. Out there I ride a 450 for training, because if I can hold on to one of those things I’ll be set on a 250. I have a Supercross track at home, but the weather has been so dry that the whoops kind of just fall apart. Then when I come out to California the Supercross test tracks have deteriorated quite a bit. It’s been difficult finding a good track to get ready on.
How is outdoor testing going?
We haven’t actually done our testing yet. Like I said, I’ve been riding the 450 at home. That bike forces me to build muscle! It yanks me around when I’m riding outdoors. I actually prefer a 450 because I tend to ride a bit smoother. I’m not out of control or riding crazy [laughter].
San Diego must have been a crazy night for you.
Oh man, it was awesome! It was a crazy night for sure. Even when I got on the box at Los Angeles, it was one of the coolest feelings ever. Obviously the win in San Diego was better. People always ask me how I felt about my win at Hangtown last year. I was more surprised with winning Hangtown than anything. The Supercross win set in and felt better.
What are you doing here at REM?
I’m trying to prepare for the Nationals by getting in some long motos and having some fun. I like to change it up from riding Supercross.
Good luck to you this weekend in Seattle and stay out of any collisions, head-on or otherwise.
Thanks, I’ll try!
SUPERCROSS BREAKDOWN: WHO’S GOING TO WIN?
The Supercross series is making me dizzy. Villopoto leads, then Stewart shares the lead, then Villopoto leads again, then Reed leads, then Villopoto takes the lead back…and there are still three rounds remaining! I shouldn’t forget to mention that meanwhile Stewart fires his team manager, Reed and Stewart get into it, Villopoto DNFs Jacksonville, Trey Canard comes through with two wins in three weekends, Stewart gets arrested for impersonating a police officer, and then Stewart wins in St. Louis and tears begin to fall. My fingers need to take a rest from typing up all the drama!
Okay, and I’m back. Who is going to win the 2011 Supercross title? Let me break down the odds of Villopoto, Dungey, Reed, Stewart or Canard winning.
Ryan Villopoto – The points leader. RV2 is in the driver’s seat for the title. He was at one time up 26 points, but that lead evaporated faster than a bottle of Johnny Walker in front of Charlie Sheen. Now Villopoto is up again, and odds are he won’t squander the small lead. Ryan is one tough cookie to pass, and he also has the most wins on the series, at five. History has proven that Ryan is hard to bet against at his home race of Seattle (where he got his first 450 Supercross win two years ago and won in 2007 while racing the 250 West). Villopoto has only lost to Ryan Dungey six times this season (counting his DNF in Jacksonville). That’s not very often.
Ryan Dungey – Five points back. It’s hard to bet against the defending champ, but a lot has changed in a year. If Dungey wants to beat Villopoto he has to get through James Stewart, Trey Canard and Chad Reed first. Ryan has the speed, but at times he’s struggled making passes in the most dire situations (like at Indianapolis on Reed). Can Dungey win? You bet. But in order to do so he’s going to have to get aggressive.
Chad Reed – Eight points back. What a story it would be if Reed won his third Supercross title, all while writing checks out of his pocketbook. Reed was looking great after Toronto, but in the last two rounds he lost 11 points to Villopoto and Dungey. If he’s going to have a shot at winning this thing he’s going to have to return to the Chad Reed of of the middle of the season.
James Stewart – 16 points back. After eight long weeks James Stewart broke his winless spell by taking St. Louis. A visibly emotional Bubba was happy to get back on top of the podium, which surprised me. I mean, if he’s the fastest man on two wheels, as he proclaims, then shouldn’t he kind of expect to win? James is so emotionally drained and physically beat up that it will truly be a miracle of he can come from 16 points down with three rounds left and win the title. James has the talent and the speed to sweep the last races, but he will have to hope that Villopoto, Dungey and Reed bomb out. Never bet against Bubba, but he’s between a rock and a hard place.
Trey Canard – 20 points back. This rookie is a legitimate title threat. It probably won’t happen this year, but in 2012 he will have his eyes on the number one plate. Canard sits 20 points back. His odds of winning the title are slim, but he’s come from behind to win a title before. However, the kid has three wins (and counting) in the series, while Dungey and Reed combined have two. If Trey could wipe away his Atlanta, Daytona and Indy results he’d be sitting pretty.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: PART 2
Snow capped mountains? Check. Joshua tree? Check. Trey Canard scrubbing? Check. The only thing missing is a double rainbow.
10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD RACE REM
If you live in the SoCal area and ride motocross, then you should think about coming out to Glen Helen on a Saturday and racing REM. It’s one heck of a good time to race 15 minute motos on a well prepared track and get home before dinner. Those are just a few of the perks. Read on to learn more about REM. To find out more information about the (almost) weekly races, visit www.remsatmx.com.
1. THERE’S ALWAYS GOOD RACING
It might be in the 50 Expert, 125 Adult Two-Stroke, Pro or 250 Novice class, but there’s guaranteed to be good close racing.
2. ELEVATION CHANGES
The REM track is far from flat. This isn’t a track that you would find anywhere else in the world (except for right next door on Glen Helen’s main track).
3. THE STARS SHOW UP
Especially this time of year quite a few top names show up to prepare for the Nationals. Here, Gareth Swanepoel (387), Eli Tomac (19) and Ben Evans (49) wage war for 30 minutes.
4. TRACK CONDITIONS
With a mix of sand, loam and hard pack, REM has it all. Good luck picking tires that will work perfectly everywhere!
5. 15 MINUTE MOTOS (30 MINUTES FOR THE PROS)
If you can finish both 15 minute motos strong then you’re in good shape or you weren’t going that fast to begin with. REM pushes you to your physical limits. What’s cool is that up until the Nationals REM is holding 30 minute motos for the pro class.
6. THIS AIN’T YOUR MOMMA’S TRACK
REM gets rough and rutted. If you’re looking to ride a highway, REM isn’t for you. If you’re looking for a challenge and technical sections, REM is your cup of tea.
7. SMALL AND FUN JUMPS
REM isn’t a jump park, but it has several small and fun jumps that beginners clear through to pro level racers can enjoy. Ben Evans demonstrates.
8. YOUR CHANCE TO IMPROVE FOREIGN RELATIONS
REM attracts a foreign crowd. On any given weekend you might race against riders from Sweden, the Netherlands, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, and South Africa. Last weekend, Sweden’s Fredrik Noren, contested the 450 Pro class.
9. AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET SMOKED BY A WOMAN
I saw a blue blur flying around REM last weekend. That blur? It was none other than Jessica Patterson, the defending WMA champion. Patterson has serious speed on her Star Racing YZ250F and beat a long list of guys in the 250 class.
10. THE PITS, PROMOTERS & FRIENDS
REM is the perfect opportunity to hang out with like-minded diehard racers. You can bench race, have someone help you work on your bike, or talk to someone about your last lap pass for eighth place. I don’t know what it is, but REM attracts cool people.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: PART 3
How is a photo of a four pound bass relevant to motocross? That’s because Pro Circuit’s Bones Bacon is the proud fisherman that caught this beauty. Bones escapes his daily duty of dialing in suspension by casting a line every now and again.
MINI-VIEW: DAVE OSTERMAN
Dave Osterman, Chad Reed’s team manager at TwoTwo Motorsports, has been having a great year working on Reed’s startup team. Chad sits third in the points, well within reach of his third Supercross title, with one main event win and eight podium finishes. Dave phoned in to talk about working with #22, Chad’s chances at winning the title, and whether TwoTwo Motorsports is heading outdoors to race the Nationals.
Reed deserves a standing ovation for starting his own team during the off-season, winning San Diego, and being in the thick of the 450 Supercross title chase.
MXA: You have to be pretty happy with how things are going in the Supercross series. With three rounds to go Chad is well within striking distance of the title.
Dave: I can’t be more pleased. This last weekend we got fourth, and although it wasn’t a win, he didn’t finish 14th either. I’m proud of the guy. People don’t realize, either whether they hate Reed or love him, he’s the owner of his own race team. If anyone should be cracking under pressure, it should be him. I’m being completely honest here. Pretty much everyone else that’s in the thick of the points battle, no matter the size of their salary, travels and races on someone else’s dime. That’s not the case with Chad. I admire that about him. A few past champions have tried to make a run at the title on their own, but they didn’t succeed. What Reed is doing is huge.
What is the biggest obstacle that you’ve personally had to overcome this season?
Chad is very popular. I get hit up all the time by people who want some article of Chad’s. They want his jersey or his goggles or his autograph. I would love to give something to everyone that asks, but I’m in charge of controlling all of that. I’ve noticed that it’s a bit overwhelming to deal with the requests, because he’s such a popular guy. I always get chased for Reed paraphernalia.
Chad has really seemed to open up to the fans and media this year, where in the past he wouldn’t exactly let his guard down. What do you attribute that to?
He’s grown up a bit, and I think that having a family has helped him a bit. Also, now that Chad is the team owner, he sees the big picture. He’s very cool to deal with and he’s rock solid emotionally. He keeps a cool head. Even in those episodes with JS7 (James Stewart) he kept calm and didn’t do anything crazy. He took it in stride and didn’t blame anyone. The past is the past. Everyone grows and matures. Chad has been nice the whole year. Even this past weekend when he was bummed that he finished fourth, he still went out of his way to thank the team in a very respectful manner. A lot of other riders would have just grabbed their stuff and bolted from the stadium, but he stuck around and made a point to thank the team.
Is Chad going to win the Supercross series?
We all want to win. There’s no better feeling in the world. Chad Reed is a winner. I have nothing but respect for the two Ryan’s, James, and Trey Canard. It has been a great series, and it seems like every week something wild happens. We just try to roll with the punches. If I can speak for the whole team, we are very positive going into the final rounds. We expect a lot out of Chad, and he expects a lot out of himself. It isn’t over until it’s over, especially with potentially weird weather in Seattle and Salt Lake City. This has been a tight series and the racing has been incredible.
Reed has become more popular now that he opens up to the media and fans.
Will TwoTwo Motorsports be heading outdoors?
Right now we’re knee deep in Supercross. He did an interview the other day and skated around the subject. The reality is that he’s focused on Supercross right now. He’s not straying from Supercross to prepare for the Nationals right now. We haven’t done any testing as of yet for the outdoors. We need to remain focused on winning the Supercross title. It’s one step at a time.
Let’s say that Reed does decide to race the Nationals. He won’t have very much time to test settings between Las Vegas and the Hangtown opener.
I think the indoor bike to the outdoor bike wouldn’t be leaps and bounds apart. I read something by an accomplished rider that Chad needs six months to prepare in order to race the Nationals. You know what? Chad doesn’t need six months to prepare. Maybe that rider did, and that could be why he’s not around anymore. We didn’t have six months to get ready for Supercross, and look where we’re at right now. We won’t need six months to get ready for the Nationals. With the resources that we have, with Mitch Payton and Bones Bacon and Honda, I feel good about our chances for the outdoors.
RACERS WITH THEIR NAMES ON WATCH FACES
Dubach watch. www.dubach-uhren.ch
Mick Doohan watch. www.twsteel.com
THE NITRO CIRCUS IS COMING TO TOWN! THAT IS, IF YOU LIVE IN LAS VEGAS
[Press Release] Based on the MTV smash hit series Nitro Circus, the explosive touring sensation Nitro Circus Live today announced details for a North American premiere Saturday, June 4 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. With sold-out shows in Australia and New Zealand, the international tour is being billed as the “greatest live action sports show of all time” for its stunning choreographed displays in FMX, BMX and skate, as well as world-first stunts and crazy contraptions launched off the infamous 50-foot high Nitro Giganta Ramp, all performed by the best action sports stars on the planet. Presented by a coalition of S2BN Entertainment, Global Action Sports and Godfrey Entertainment, the Las Vegas event also will serve as the stage for a portion of the filming of the 3-D Nitro Circus movie, scheduled to be released in early 2012.
Seventeen-time X Games medalist and current gold medalist in FMX Travis Pastrana (USA) will headline the show along with the entire Nitro crew as well as the current X Games gold medalists in all three Big Air disciplines ? Australia’s Jake Brown (skate), America’s Chad Kagy (BMX) and Australia’s Cam Sinclair (FMX Biggest trick).Pastrana said, “We have some incredible stunts planned for the Nitro show in Vegas which have never been performed before anywhere in the world and are unlikely to be attempted ever again. Almost 10 world firsts have been thrown down during our tours in Australia and New Zealand and we are going to try and match that in this one-off show. You really don’t want to miss it.”
Chairman and CEO of S2BN Entertainment Michael Cohl said, “The response to the tour has been huge and the massive fan base behind Nitro Circus has turned out in full force to watch these guys push all the boundaries, reinvent reality and break all the rules in the meantime. We’re psyched to have the crew bring the spectacle to the U.S.A.” Managing Director of Global Action Sports Michael Porra said, “The exciting city of Las Vegas is the perfect location to host the North American debut of Nitro Circus Live. We are bringing the greatest action sports stars of all time to the MGM Grand Garden Arena for our best show yet. If the U.S. liked the TV show, they are going to be completely blown away seeing what the crew can do live.”
Returning to his native Las Vegas, hometown legend and inspirational professional wheelchair athlete Aaron Fotheringham (USA) aka ?Wheelz’ will perform his incredible world first feats off the Giganta for the first time in North America, displaying his arsenal of mind-boggling tricks. Joining him will be the following line up (subject to change):
Blake ?Bilko’ Williams (AUS): 2009 X Games gold medalist in FMX
Andy Buckworth (AUS): Current X Games bronze medalist in BMX Big Air
Cam Sinclair (AUS): Current X Games gold medalist in FMX Biggest trick
Jolene Van Vugt (CAN): Nitro Circus TV star and arguably the craziest woman in the world ? The first female to backflip a motorcycle
Erik Roner (USA): Nitro Circus TV star and world-class extreme skier who has combined his passion for B.A.S.E. jumping to produce some incredible stunts
Andy Bell (CAN): Nitro Circus TV star and ex FMX rider turned commentator
Greg Powel aka ?Special Greg’ (USA): Nitro Circus TV star nicknamed ?Special Greg’ because you can give him pretty much anything with wheels and he will be the first one to run it, ride it, jump it and usually succeed
Jim DeChamp (USA): Nitro Circus TV star and professional mountain bike downhill racer / freestyle rider ? DeChamp and Pastrana have a very collaborative relationship where they dream up all sorts of stunts
Jeremy Rawle (USA): Nitro Circus TV star known as Tenacious J
Streetbike Tommy (USA): Hugely popular funny man of the Nitro Circus crew
Dusty Wygle (USA): Nitro Circus Live all rounder
Michael ?Chucky’ Norris (AUS): One of Australia’s top FMX riders
Chris Haffey (USA): World’s number one roller blader with the biggest trick repertoire on the planet
Andrew Broussard (USA): World’s top big air scooter rider
Jaryd McNeil (AUS): Current X Games silver medalist in FMX Biggest Whip comp
Clint Moore (AUS): Australian FMX star and the only rider in the world to land the “vault” body varial over 75 feet
Cam McCall (USA): One of the world’s best mountain bike riders
LynZ Adams Hawkins (USA): Multiple X Games medalist and current silver medalist in Skateboard Vert
Matty McFerran (AUS): Australian FMX star
Josh Sheehan: 2010 IFMXF bronze medalist
Jaie Toohey (AUS): Australian BMX star and the first rider to land a backflip triple tailwhip
Matt Whyatt (AUS): Australian BMX star and the only person in the world performing a quadruple tail whip
Andrew Ahumada (AUS): Australian BMX star
Mark Monea- The only person in the world to attempt and land the FMX front flip 360.
For all tour updates and behind the scenes content visit www.nitrocircuslive.com
ACERBIS USA LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE
[Press Release] Sun Valley, ID – Acerbis USA is proud to announce the launch of its new website, www.acerbis.com. The website features a new and improved product search engine, informative videos and a frequently asked questions section. We encourage you visit the site and check out the new features.
BARNETT BILLET PRESSURE PLATES FOR OFF-ROAD MOTORCYCLES & ATVS
[Press Release] Barnett clutch pressure plates are CNC precision machined from aerospace quality billet aluminum and then we take itone step further by attaching a tempered steel surface that we guarantee to never wear out! The extreme durability and precise fit of these pressure plates will give you the peace of mind to install it and forget about it! Barnett products are made in the U.S.A. and have been since 1948. For applications, please visit www.barnettclutches.com. Suggested Retail Price: $175.
OHLINS WILL PAY THE AMA NATIONAL ENTRIES FEES OF OHLINS-EQUIPPED RIDERS
For 2011 motocross racers get an exceptional double-profit deal by using Ohlins suspension components in the AMA Pro Motocross Nationals: firstly they benefit from the number-one trendsetting suspension, and secondly Ohlins USA is paying entry fees at all AMA Pro Motocross National events for all racers competing on Ohlins suspension components and qualifying for the main event.
Each and every of the 40 riders qualifying for each and every AMA Pro MX National can have their entry fees paid for by Ohlins USA, if their qualifying motorcycle is equipped with an Ohlins rear shock and Ohlins fork kit, purchased since January 2010. Additionally motocross racers running Ohlins components are automatically invited to attend all of Ohlins “test and tune” MX track days. At least one of the test days for Ohlins racers will take place prior to the High Point National, June 11, in Mt Morris, Pennsylvania. And, Ohlins USA technicians will be at most AMA Pro MX Nationals to assist Ohlins riders with set-up.
To register for this program, send a copy of your dealer receipt to Stacey Berger, either as a pdf by e-mail or a photocopy by snail mail: Stacey.firstname.lastname@example.org; 703 C South Grove St, Hendersonville, NC 28792. Official Ohlins USA stickers must be displayed on each side of each qualifying motorcycle throughout the qualifying race weekends. Stickers are available through AMA Pro Racing or by contacting Ohlins USA. www.Ohlinsusa.com
IAN TRETTEL RIDE DAY BENEFIT ON APRIL 23
On Saturday, March 5th 2011, Rockstar Energy Suzuki rider Ian Trettel sustained a head injury during practice at the AMA Supercross event in Daytona Beach. Trettel, a rising rookie, drafted from the amateur Suzuki team had finished fifth in his 250 Supercross debut this year.
A ride day has been scheduled at Pala Raceway on Saturday April 23, 2011 to help with his rehab costs. No membership is required and the admission is $25 for riders and $10 for spectators. There will be a huge raffle, silent auction, Dash for Cash race and a mini pit bike race with all proceeds going to Ian. Supercross riders Josh Hansen, Broc Tickle, Blake Baggett, Dean Wilson, Christian Craig, Travis Baker, Cole Seely, Tye Simmonds, Grant Langston, Davi Millsaps, Martin Davalos, Ryan Morais, Hunter Hewitt, Ben Evans, Kyle Cunningham, Nick Paluzzi and “Factory” Phil Lawrence, will be on hand to meet and greet all of the riders and spectators.
MARK D. KVAMME OF TEAM MDK FAME INJURED IN OHIO CRASH: HE’S A POLITICIAN NOW
Mark D. Kvamme (MDK).
From the Columbus Dispatch: Ohio’s Director of Job Creation Mark Kvamme is a motocross enthusiast. Mark Kvamme will have surgery Wednesday to repair a facial injury suffered Saturday morning in a motocross accident, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said today. Kvamme, Kasich’s Director of Job Creation, is still recovering at the Ohio State University Medical Center from what the governor and Kasich administration officials described as a “serious” crash.
Kasich said Kvamme will undergo surgery to repair the ocular bone under his eye. The governor said Kvamme suffered no paralysis or loss of eyesight. “He’s just going to be great, and I’m so thankful because it could’ve turned out a lot differently,” Kasich said this morning. Kasich said he thought Kvamme would be released from the hospital by the end of the week. He said Kvamme made business calls this morning and would be back to work soon. The accident happened at Briarcliff MX in Nashport on Saturday. Kasich said Kvamme, a motocross enthusiast, was wearing a helmet and other protective equipment when he “smashed” his “face on the motorcycle.”
“Basically, he’s a motocross guy,” Kasich said. “He does these big jumps, and he jumped, and he didn’t jump far enough, and that’s exactly what happened to him.” Kvamme previously owned a motocross team and a series of motorcycle dealerships in California. Kasich said Kvamme was also involved in a serious skiing accident a few years ago. “If you ask me if I think he’ll stop riding his motorcycle, I doubt it. That’s just the way he is,” Kasich said.
WILL THE EURO WOMEN REVOLT AGAINST GIUSEPPE LUONGO?
Former World Champion Livia Lancelot may pull out of the Women’s World Championship.
With only 23 women showing up for the opening round of the FIM Women’s World Motocross Championship in Bulgaria (which was won by Steffie Laier in front of Larissa Papenmeier and Chiara Fontanesi), the Women’s World Championship could be in trouble. The small turnout (and rumors of even smaller turnouts in the future) represents a sign of potential hard times ahead. The women, led by former World Champion Livia Lancelot’s example, are not happy with the current Youthstream system for five reasons:
(1) The opening round of the 2011 Women’s Championship was held with the high-profile MX1/MX2 World Championship. The rest of the women’s series will be combined with the low-rated, third-tier MX3 series (which was actually discontinued after last season, before being resurrected at the last minute). This is a major demotion for the women, who had previously raced with the MX1/MX2 series. Additionally, the Women’s Championship was held on Saturday instead of Sunday (when the crowd was bigger).
(2) Most of the women were affiliated with race teams that were doing the MX1/MX2 series, which meant that they could piggyback along with well-to-do teams going to the larger series. The travel schedule for the MX3 series is way off the beaten path…and the women don’t know if they can afford the expenses on their own (because they will lose sponsors because they will not be racing in front of as large crowds in 2011). The MX3 teams are small budget teams, and have little room to support female riders. The biggest male stars in MX3 are Juss Laansoo, Julien Bill and Martin Zerava.
(3) The women will race in Greece on April 16, Finland, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Spain and one country yet to be named with the MX3 series. They do not have to go to the Ukraine or return to Bulgaria when the MX3 series travels there.
(4) Former Women’s World Champion Livia Lancelot is rumored to be pulling out of the series (she did race round one with the MX1/MX2 series and went 2-DNF). It is said that she will return to France and race the French Championship and teach motocross schools.
(5) Women’s racing is good for the overall sport, especially with the positive American press generated by Ashley Fiolek’s inspiring story, but it has not resonated with the paying fans. On speed alone the women do not generate any excitement once the paying fans see how fast the Grand Prix men are capable of going over the same course. Unfortunately, the Women cannot attract a crowd or press attention in a stand-alone series. Thus, they have to be a support race at a bigger series…and that means that they have to take whatever the promoter is willing to give them. The women are not in the driver’s seat in the FIM or AMA. They are there because of the largess of the promoters?not because of public demand. Should the Women’s World Championship turnout decrease during the MX3 series, or if they choose to pull out in protest…the Women’s Chamionship will simply be discontinued from the Grand Prix schedule. Talk about a rock and a hard place!
On a side note: The Motorcycle-Superstore.com will sponsor of the American-based Women’s Motocross Class (WMX) for the 2011season. In addition to headlining the series, Motorcycle-Superstore.com will also award $250 checks for the holeshot in each moto.
HONDA MAY BE A FOUR-STROKE COMPANY, BUT THEIR RACING ARM STILL PROMOTES CR125’S
MXA has lots of knowledge about Honda CR125 kart engines, because there is an MXA kart team led by Willy Musgrave.
Honda CR125 engine parts and rebuild kits are now available to kart racers throughout the United States via the Honda Racing Line, the parts and service program for amateur and entry-level professional racers operated by Honda Performance Development (HPD). Honda CR125 engine are used in the popular Spec Honda and Stock Moto classes.
Said HPD General Manager Marc Sours, “From the start, incorporating a karting component has been an integral part of our plan. Honda’s CR125 engine has been very popular in the karting community due to its performance and reliability. Through this program, we hope to make it easier and quicker for competitors to obtain the parts they need to go racing.” Registered kart racers may now purchase a CR125 engine ?kit’, containing all of the required parts to assemble a complete engine. The engine kit will include a six-speed transmission for the appropriate model, with ?top-end’ parts available for 1999-2002 engines, the most popular for karting applications.
The MXA kart team running one-two-three at California Speedway.
To join the Honda Racing Line, a racer must simply provide current membership information in a nationally-recognized sanctioning body; provide official race results for at least two events in the past year; complete and submit the registration form; and be a resident of the U.S. or Canada. Go to www.HondaRacingLine.com for more info.
Honda Performance Development (HPD) is the Honda racing company within North America. Founded in 1993, and located in Santa Clarita, California (next door to Motocross Action’s palacial offices).
YAMAHA WINS RHINO LAWSUITS: ONLY 694 TO GO
For the second time in the past month, a state court jury has returned a defense verdict in a Yamaha Rhino product liability lawsuit. On Monday, a California jury in Orange County reached a 9 to 3 decision that the manufacturer’s design was not responsible for a Yamaha Rhino rollover accident. The Rhino is this case was being operated by a 14-year-old?even though the vehicle contained warnings that drivers should be at least 16 years old. Last month, an Ohio jury returned a defense verdict in another product liability lawsuit over the Yamaha Rhino in a 2007 roll-over accident. The driver was at fault for the rollover and served 90 days in jail for vehicular homicide.
More than 700 people have filed a Yamaha Rhino lawsuit over Rhino accidents. Yet Yamaha has a strong case. The Rhino comes with guidelines for proper use. Riders are told to wear helmets, seatbelts and safety gear, and not to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is recommended only for licensed drivers, only for two people, and for offroad use. Yamaha has since won four more major cases, and it is appealing its single defeat in a smaller 2009 case. Plaintiffs attorneys have begun to withdraw many of their suits.