MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT: (07/20/11)

July 20, 2011
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By John Basher

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

    What will you be doing when you’re 80? If you’re Chuck “Feets” Minert (at right, standing with Tom White), you keep on racing. Feets turned 80 on Sunday, and he plans on lining up to the gate this weekend for his first race in the 80 Expert class. How impressive is that? To learn more about Chuck, go here www.motocrossactionmag.com/Main/News/AMERICAN-MOTOCROSS-HERO-FEETS-MINERT-CELEBRATES-HI-8036.aspx.

MINI-VIEW: TRAVIS PASTRANA
Travis needs no introduction.  

MXA: Travis, how is the Nitro Circus 3-D movie coming along?
Travis: We were supposed to finish filming two weeks ago, but unfortunately Jim Dechamp had a really bad crash in a car. The roll cage buckled and he ended up having a few vertebrae fused together. He’s doing much better now and he’ll be back to action soon, so we’ll finish up filming here shortly.

What have you been up to lately?
I just did a Monster Truck event at the Ravens football stadium in Baltimore. Those things are so hilarious and fun! I love driving Monster Trucks. I’ve also spent a lot of time in a foam pit trying to get tuned up for the X Games next weekend. Right now I’m in South Carolina doing car testing. I fly out to Indianapolis to do a late model drive at the speedway. Then I have two days back home in Maryland before flying out to do some Rally car testing.


Travis in front of his Nationwide car. Photo: Chris Tedesco/Red Bull Content Pool.

How has the Nationwide car racing been going?
It’s been rough, man! I’ve been getting my butt kicked. Things started out okay. In the races there are 65 people, and we typically run from 10th to 15th place. Everyone is so close. There’s a difference between a 1/10 of a second at the beginning of the race, and then I tend to fry my tires. I drive on the aggressive side, and I fry the brakes and the tires. I’ve found that the slower I try to go the better I end up. I finished sixth in the first race because I tried to stay out of trouble and keep a good car. At all of the other races I’ve been trying to drive faster but have been going slower.

Are you overdriving the car?
Not necessarily. For me to go as fast as the top guys go I basically have to run the car into the ground. It’s tough, but it’s also been a lot of fun. I’m having a good time learning. I talk to Ricky [Carmichael] every now and again. He has told me that I need to get as much seat time as I possibly can, and to have fun hitting walls! That has pretty much been the extent of his advice [laughter].

It looks like you’re in for RallyCross and Best Trick at X Games. What do you have up your sleeve for Best Trick?
I’m still trying to do the Toilet Paper roll, a.k.a. rodeo 720, that I tried two years ago at the X Games. My average is about eight clean landings out of ten attempts. The pull off the lip is like the pull for doing a double backflip. Then there’s also a pull in the middle of the trick for doing a 360, and a pull at the end. With a double backflip you pull hard once off the face of the jump and hang on, but with the 720 you have three pulls that are super crucial. If any of those pulls are mistimed at all then everything gets out of whack. It’s the only trick that I’ve ever worked on for this long.


Cam Sinclair and Travis Pastrana performing double backflips at the Nitro Circus Tour at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV on June 04th, 2011. Photo: Chris Tedesco/Red Bull Content Pool.

You mentioned that you’re burning up time in the foam pit.
Literally! The foam pit is hot this month. Tommy took off work, Todd Jacobs has been helping me, and so has Hubert Rowland and my fianc‚, Lyn-Z. It’s just foam dust and I’m stuck upside down in the pit with gas running on me. It’s miserable! I probably do 70 jumps a day, and it takes about five minutes per jump. It’s amazing the support crew that it takes. You would figure that I would have the trick dialed by now!

Congratulations on your engagement, by the way! It’s cool that your fianc‚ is also an adrenaline junkie.
It’s so awesome having someone that understands me! Quite honestly, I have been a complete jerk the last month trying to get ready for X Games, and she’s been amazing. She helps me in every way, and she understands competition. Also, in only her second day of even riding a motorcycle she did a backflip into the foam pit. She’s a talented and cool girl. We have a lot of fun hanging out together.

In 2009 you seemed to have the trick dialed leading into the X Games, but then you lost it right before Best Trick. Do you feel better about your odds this year?
I understand the trick a lot more. It’s hard, because when you’re upside down and backwards everything is opposite. Whatever you feel is incorrect for the second half of the trick. Heck, Kyle Loza has been working on his Electric Death backflip for three years. The combinations are getting extremely tough to do, but that’s what makes it fun.

MINI-VIEW: TWO TWO MOTORSPORTS’ MANAGER DAVE OSTERMAN
    Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or spent the weekend watching all of the Harry Potter movies) you know that Chad Reed had one of the biggest, scariest, gnarliest and wildest crashes that anyone has seen in a long time. The Millville incident left Chad fighting for points and catapulted (no pun intended) to the top of the blooper reel. I caught up with Chad’s team manager, Dave Osterman, to talk about the crash seen ?round the world.


You’ve already seen the crash, but it’s worth another look.

MXA: What ran through your mind as you raced towards Chad?
Dave: I didn’t know what to expect when I got to Chad. I was instantly at ease when I saw a couple of Honda guys close by and Doc Bodnar in Chad’s face. Bodnar knows what’s going on, and that was invaluable.

What were you saying to Chad after he pulled himself off the ground?
I was yelling at Chad making sure that everything was okay. After the fact Chad acknowledged that he heard me yelling, but he didn’t listen to me. I’m okay with that, because Dr. Bodnar was in his ear making sure that Chad was healthy enough to continue.

I can’t understand how Chad’s bike wasn’t bent into a pretzel.
That bike shouldn’t have been able to be ridden. It’s just a testament to the brand, the product, and Lady Luck. There wasn’t anything wrong with the bike, from the handlebars on down. Renthal should be proud of their handlebars! They weren’t bent or anything. From the suspension to the exhaust, everything on the bike was fine after the crash. There was a little pinch on the front brake line, which made the front brake a percentage harder to pull, but it didn’t fracture the line.

What do you think caused the crash?
Some of the Internet suspension jockeys seem to think that his suspension caused the crash. His suspension really didn’t have anything to do with it. It was one of those racing incidents. Chad seemed to think that there was a little hole before the jump that kicked him sideways. Mike Alessi said the same thing when he came to visit Chad after the race. Truth be told that we didn’t touch any of the settings after the first moto, because the bike was working great.

Reedy was so lucky to land on a slope off the side of the jump.
Absolutely. Chad could have landed on John Ayers’ utility vehicle just as easily as he could have landed on flat ground. Ayers’ vehicle was parked too close to the track, but who would have thought that anyone would land where Chad did? It wasn’t your normal crash. Chad did the running man in the air, and he did a great job of keeping his feet under him. For a guy like him to coin that as the worst crash of his career says a lot about the severity of the situation.


Photo courtesy of Andykawa.com & Lpmotocross.com, and Matrix Concepts.

How is Chad feeling?
He was committed to doing a photo shoot on Monday, and he was pretty banged up. Yesterday he was messing around with some bicycles. I think that he will be fine for Washougal. Chad is just a bad dude. You see Aussie guys in the movies that head butt guys in bars and take the pain. Well Chad must be one of those guys! I’ve seen a lot of crashes in my time. There are a few guys that are made of steel, like Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart. Chad Reed is also one of those guys. Chad is amazed that he walked away from that one.

What’s the team’s plan going forward?
Although we lost a lot of points, I’m glad that we still left with the red number plate. Chad could have been done for the season, but he got lucky. We’re all thankful for that, and we’re still in it to win it. All of the sponsors are behind us, and it would be icing on the cake to nail down the title.

TELL US A STORY, EDDIE COLE…
The industry magnate talks about an adventure with close friend Bob “Hurricane” Hannah
    “Bob and I hung out together all of the time, and we did some pretty crazy and stupid things. I remember one time we were staying at this hotel, and across the street was a mall. Early in the morning the parking lot was completely empty. There were thousands of these pigeons that hung out in the parking lot, apparently because there was food or something on the ground that attracted them. Bob was convinced that if I towed him on a BMX bike behind my car that he could catch a pigeon with his hands. I went 60 miles an hour toward the pigeons with him hanging on to the rear door. He would let go and I’d turn away in order to slingshot him into the middle of the birds. He never actually caught a pigeon, although he did get close to dying. Thankfully he never crashed while grabbing for the pigeons.”

WASHOUGAL NATIONAL INFORMATION
Welcome to the great Northwest!


There’s a good reason as to why droves of passionate fans flock to Washougal. This place rocks!

Website: www.washougalmxpk.com
Phone: (541) 673-1571
Address: 40912 NE Borin Rd, Washougal, WA 98671
Directions from Portland, OR: Take I-5 to I-205 to Hwy 14- Go East to Washougal – On 15th Street turn left – Go 8-1/2 miles to 412th – Make a left on 412th / Alder Rd. – To Borin Rd, turn Left. – Track is 1/2  mile down on the right.
Track History: The first Pro race held at Washougal was in 1980 (Mark Barnett and Chuck Sun won). Ricky Carmichael has the most wins at the track, with six. The most notable feature might be the long uphill (called “Horsepower Hill”), but really it’s the picturesque scenery and rock hard dirt when we think about Washougal.
Weather: Expect sunny skies with a high of 82 degrees. Often the weather is overcast in the morning, but the fog burns off quickly.
Last year’s winners: Ryan Dungey (450) and Trey Canard (250).

MINI-VIEW: KILLY RUSK
    Killy Rusk is an enterprising young 19-year-old from Aztec, New Mexico. The second-year Pro made a name for himself last year during the Nationals when he scored points at multiple races and finished 26th overall. Killy earned National number 60 for 2011 and set off to race the 250 East Supercross series. Although his indoor venture didn’t quite go as planned, Rusk set off for his second outdoor series in hopes of cracking the top ten. I caught up with Killy on the phone while he was dodging tornadoes in Iowa.


Killy digging up dirt at the Hangtown opener.

MXA: What have you learned so far as a Pro?
Killy: I learned what I need to train for while racing the Nationals last year. I was pretty happy with my results in 2010, and I thought that I had everything figured out for the outdoor season this year, but I made a few mistakes. Some things have happened this season that I wasn’t happy with. I’m not going to skip the next four Nationals and come back strong for Pala. There is a slight chance that I might come back for Unadilla, but I need to regroup and get new bikes ready for Pala.

Can you elaborate on what you’ve been struggling with?
My training has been going well, but I’ve struggled with bikes. I’ve had issues with my practice bikes holding together, and the race bike hasn’t been working quite the way that I have wanted it to. It has been hard to finish a few motos.

It must be hard to be prepared for the weekend without having a practice bike to ride.
There was very little testing with the team that I was on. We have been having little issues with the practice bikes. We thought that we had the problems fixed, but then we’d go out to the track and deal with the same issues. It makes it pretty hard to get ready for the races. I was on AG Motorsports KTM for the last three rounds of the Nationals last year, all of Supercross, and up until now. It was great to be on the team, but starting at Pala my dad and I will be doing our own thing.

How did your first year of 250 East Supercross go?
It was a huge struggle! I didn’t know what to expect, and I didn’t know how to train. I was training like I did outdoors, where you do motos to get strong. That’s not really the proper way to prepare for Supercross. I needed to do fast sprint laps. The whole season was rough with crashes, but I definitely learned. I’m confident going into the 2012 Supercross series.


Killy is taking the next four races off after switching teams. He will be racing Pala on a Honda.

You had a really good first moto at Freestone. Was everything clicking for you?
It was one of those moments where I knew that I had nothing to lose. I fell in the first corner, and I got back up and charged. I knew that everyone was going to start fading from the heat. I stayed as strong as I could, and I finished 13th.

You go by Killy, but your full name is Kellian. Where did that name come from?
Yeah, my parents didn’t really have my name planned out when I was born. Then they decided to name me after Jean-Claude Killy, the famous downhill ski racer from France. I was originally supposed to be a ski racer, but I only did that for six years of my life before I found motocross. I started riding when I was seven years old.

I remember seeing you a few years ago out at REM. You were still in the intermediate class, but you were going super fast.
That was a long time ago! I had a lot of fun at REM. It was good training.

What are your plans for next year?
As of now we’re trying to put together a team. We have some really good people that are going to help us out, but we’re still looking for sponsors. Any help that we can get would be amazing. We’re trying to set up some deals so that we can get through Supercross and the Nationals.

How can potential sponsors get in touch with you?
The easiest way is for people to get in contact with my dad. He is getting everything set up. His email is Rob@ruskracing.com, and his phone is (970) 759-0411. We’re probably going to be on Hondas, and we have Naveen to do motors. It should be a great program.  

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MINI-VIEW: ERIC PERONNARD
    The countdown is on to the first off-road motorcycle event of ESPN’s X Games. The 2012 GEICO AMA EnduroCross Series presented by Lucas Oil will kick off on Sunday, July 31 at STAPLES Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and off-road racers will find themselves on the biggest stage the sport has seen. Eric Peronnard has been directly behind the inception and current success of EnduroCross. As an established motorcycle event promoter, Peronnard also has successes such as the U.S. Open of Supercross under his belt. With less than two weeks remaining until the start of X Games 17, he’s a busy guy, but Peronnard had time to answer a few questions on the upcoming “Enduro X” event.

There has been talk of EnduroCross being a part of X Games for a long time now – how many years in the making is this?
Basically the seed was put in the ground six years ago in ’05. At the second (ever) EnduroCross, I invited Tim Reed from the X Games. He was really taken by it. He said, ‘Hey, this is a great sport and it would fit X Games.’ But there was no open space for it at the time.

What did it take to finally make the big show?
We started to have a working relationship at first. We exchanged a lot of ideas. I kind of kept the EnduroCross dream alive for them and just waited. It was a lot of hard work with great people for many years, and finally we were at the right place at the right time. At the end of the day, EnduroCross seemed like a good fit because it’s young, exciting, it’s going up and it’s been getting a lot of traction in the motosports world.

We’ve seen from past X Games that they like to put their own creative spin on existing events. Will there be any new crazy obstacles or anything?
No, we’re not in the business of hurting people. That’s what I always try to remind [people of]. We have a different format, but that’s all that’s different. We go from three heats to two LCQs and a main – no semi-races. That’s going to be a quicker, faster format than usual.

So it won’t be anything too out of the ordinary, then.
Right. I made sure that we kept it in the championship. The wrapping might be slightly different, but the essence is still the same. It’s an AMA EnduroCross championship race – and we call it “Enduro X” for the weekend.

Are the riders and teams really excited about the X Games factor, or are they focused on the start of the championship?
We’ve been asking all our participants to really understand the value of this opportunity, so we ask every rider to be overly professional in appearance, etc. But at the end of the day, this is a series, so there is no difference. Riders are getting special gear made and getting bikes all pimped up, and I think everybody is really getting the scope of this. But the series is the bigger picture, and they all get that, too.

As the promoter, you’ll be having a race, too – building an EnduroCross track faster than you’ve ever done before. Talk about that.
Yes, definitely it’s going to be a long, short night. We get the keys of Staples Center Saturday night at 9:00 P.M. and we need to have a track ready to go 15 hours later. It usually takes us three days; we have 15 hours. So it won’t be the most challenging track we’ve ever built because we don’t have the time. We’re not going to be able to fine-tune obstacles so we’re going to make them medium. It will be spectacular, but also safe. I think people will be impressed.

A lot of viewers will be seeing EnduroCross for the first time ever. What do you think they need to know about it?
What they need to know first is that it’s very simple racing. It’s not a trial or an enduro where you have to understand the rules and scoring. The fastest guy across the line wins. I want the fans to really appreciate what those guys are doing. There will be a gazillion cameras and we’re going to be filming in 3D. I hope the 3D does it justice. Usually the TV doesn’t do it justice. The course is difficult to walk and when you see the speed those guys are going on the motorcycle, it’s quite unbelievable. I’m sure the fans will appreciate it. From what ESPN is telling me, there is a pretty serious buzz about EnduroX. People are very curious, and lots of kids are talking about it.


Zip-Ty Husqvarna’s Ryan Sandoval is one of many athletes preparing for the big show. Photo: Scott Cox / resmarket.com.

Will there be any of the MotoX riders racing the Enduro X?
We have a women’s class and we invited the medal winners from last year. So far they’re all participating. Ashley Fiolek, Tarah Geiger and Sarah Price, are all up against the best off-road girls – Maria Forsberg, Kacey Martinez and Mandi Mastin. And then the winner of moto X will be allowed to be the wild card, so there might be a seventh person. But we’ll see. You need to be ready; EnduroCross is not something you improvise!”

Enduro X is Sunday night, July 31 at STAPLES Center. For more information on the GEICO AMA EnduroCross Series presented by Lucas Oil, including additional images of the track, go to www.EnduroCross.com.

VIDEO INTERVIEW: JUSTIN BARCIA

ORDER YOUR LORETTA LYNN’S NUMBER PLATES FROM DECAL WORKS

    MX Sports recommends that you order your Official 2011 Loretta Lynn’s number plate backgrounds from DeCal Works to assure your bike meets all MX Sports / AMA requirements. From July 15th thru July 29th, all riders will receive 50% off retail price on all DeCal Works pre-printed number plate backgrounds. Simply enter promo code MXSPORTS at checkout and your discount will be automatically applied. You can order your graphics by visiting their site at www.decalmx.com or contact them toll free at 800-843-8244.  

For the list of Loretta Lynn’s rider numbers, click here

MEET AUSTIN POLITELLI
The Unit-sponsored rider also does testing and photo shoots for MXA.

FACTORY EFFEX EXPANDS HONDA LICENSING APPAREL
    Factory Effex has expanded its Honda Trade Mark License to add a range of officially licensed apparel for the Honda brand. This new line will consist of a broad range of products consisting of hats, hoodies, men’s and women’s t-shirts, back packs, socks and other soft goods to complement the new line.
 
    “Factory Effex has been able to align itself with some of the most popular brands in our industry over the years” says Vice President Scott Gilly.  “With the addition of Honda soft goods being added to our Fall line this year,  the strength in our casual wear business will continue to grow at an unprecedented rate. We have made huge strides in our apparel business over the last couple of years, the addition of Honda products could not have come at a better time. We have been working with American Honda for more than 10 years; to continue to build on our strong working relationship with one of the most recognizable brands in the motorcycle industry couldn’t be more exciting.”
 
    The new line of apparel will be available as early as this October, and can be seen, along with the entire new 2012 Factory Effex line, in the annual 2012 Off Road and Street product Fall catalogs, and online at www.factoryeffex.com. Keep an eye out for updates through your local retailer or by visiting us at www.factoryeffex.com.

SIGN UP TO WIN A FREE HELMET FROM EVS SPORTS!

EVS is giving away 100 helmets in 100 days to help introduce their brand new 2012 Vortek helmet line. And, thanks to THQ, each winner of an EVS helmet is also receiving an exclusive THQ “MX VS. ATV” poster.

Click on the image above for your chance to win a free helmet.

GOPHER DUNES CANADIAN NATIONAL PHOTO GALLERY

Click on the image above to view Chris Bollinger’s photo gallery from Gopher Dunes.

GLEN HELEN LOWERS GATE FEE TO $10

In what can only be looked at as good news, Glen Helen Raceway has lowered its gate fee to $10 for the month of August. This is a 50 percent price reduction. Plus, for the final practice days of July (Thursday July 21, Saturday July 23, Thursday July 28 and Saturday July 30) riders can get discount coupons by going to Glen Helen’s Facebook page. Practice hours at Glen Helen are  8:00 a.m. to dusk. There is no membership required to ride at Glen Helen (many tracks charge a $35 fee). Glen Helen is open for practice every Thursday of the month and Saturdays (when there is no race being held). Spectators are free on practice days, but must pay on race days.

For the latest news and updates on events at Glen Helen Raceway, head to www.glenhelen.com. Also, get you Juy discount coupons on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GlenHelenRaceway.

CRIME CAPITAL OF MX: THIEVES STRIKE AGAIN AT MILESTONE MOTOCROSS PARK IN SOCAL

According to reports on the Proride.com website, thieves struck again at Milestone MX Park, breaking into a truck and stealing a rider’s wallet, cash and credit cards while he was out riding on the track. The track had instituted new security measures two weeks ago, but the bad luck of riders who go here continues.

DO YOU REMEMBER THE VEGAS SUPERCROSS BOYCOTT? MOTOGP RIDERS TRY THEIR HAND

Casey Stoner leads the pack…but where?

In 1995 there was a power outage at the Las Vegas Supercross. The power breakdown was so bad that the race was delayed while the promoters went looking for auxiliary lights. The top-name riders (including Jeremy McGrath, Mike Kiedrowski and Doug Henry) took one look at the portable lights and decided that they didn’t want to race with less than adequate lighting. All of the stars stuck together and refused to race?all except for Jeff Emig. Emig busted the strike and went on to win his first-ever, albeit tainted, Supercross victory. After this incident, the AMA passed a rule that imposed penalties on any rider who ever considered a boycott?even for safety reasons.

Now the MotoGP road racers, led by Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo want to boycott the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi in October. The riders want to wait for the results of an independent radiation inspection (due out later this month) before committing to the Japanese race.

MotoGP boss Carmelo Ezepeleta said, “We have a contract with Motegi to be there if there is no force majeure against, we cannot cancel and unless Motegi asks us to cancel the race we will not.”

International Race Team Association (IRTA) president Herve Poncharal said, “This is a lack of respect for the Japanese people and a lack of respect for the organizers. A lot of people here are carrying stickers supporting Japan. Japan has done a lot for motorcycle racing and for this championship, suffered a lot and the minimum respect is to try and see if we can help them. If everyone who knows says it is safe, why don’t we go? We are talking crazy here. Each rider is linked to his own team and has a contract with his own team. Riders have to honor the contract they have with their team, so it is up to the team to make up their mind and find a solution with their riders. If the rider does not want to do that, then replace him, as you would do when he is injured.”

MIKE METZGER INJURED
[Press Release] On Saturday, July 16, while riding at his home training facility, freestyle professional Mike Metzger known worldwide as the “Godfather of Freestyle Motocross” suffered a crash. Mike was transferred to a trauma care facility and in now in excellent care. The family and Mike are very gracious for everyone’s support and curiosity, but there have been a ton of rumors and false stories circulating the internet. “I was feeling good so I wanted to get a few jumps in to get ready for X Games. I missed a seat grab is all. Just a little mistake. Thanks to everyone for the positive thoughts” Mike Metzger.  At the family’s request and the requirements of the hospital there are no visitors permitted, repetitive phone calls to the hospital are an aggravation to the staff as well.

The facts of Mike’s current condition are that he remains in stable condition is fully aware and coherent and is making improvements daily. There are no signs of paralysis and he has movement of all his extremities. There are currently no surgeries on schedule and Mike’s body is working hard to repair itself. Dr. Chao and Dr. Nelson from Oasis Sports Medical Group are also looking in after him as they have done work on Mike in the past.

NICK WEY AND RICKY DIETRICH TO GO OFFROAD TRUCK RACING AT GLEN HELEN ON AUGUST 6-7

For the upcoming August 6-7th rounds of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series event at Glen Helen, motocross stars Nick Wey and Ricky Dietrich will be taking part in the SuperLite class with support from their motocross team and sponsors, which wouldn’t be possible without the ability to step right into competitive spec equipment.


Nick and his driving instructor in practice for Glen Helen.

“Twitch won the SuperLites last year, so how hard can it be?” joked Nick Wey after his first-ever day in a SuperLite truck. “I’m just kidding. I’ve driven one day, and I made a lot of improvements, but there are some pretty good dudes in the class. I’ve seen it a lot on TV. “It’s one thing to go fast, but some guys make crazy bonehead moves when it comes to racing, and I’d really rather not roll this thing over, so if someone takes me out, I’m going to be really bummed?” Wey will race only on Saturday at Glen Helen, as prior commitments with an appearance for sponsor Tucker Rocky will take him to Texas on Sunday.

His Valli Motorsports Yamaha teammate Ricky Dietrich will compete both days at Glen Helen. “My team owner, Chad Lanza, went to one of the rounds, and he found out about this class where we could rent trucks, and it’s a good way to get the word out about our team and promote our sponsors,” Said ricky Dietrich. “At the same time Nick and I get to go out there and have a good time racing trucks! It’s going to be so much fun. It’s pretty much everything I ever wanted to do in my own truck, but I get to do it in a truck that can handle it. It should be really fun.” For more info go to www.glenhelen.com

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