MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT (08/17/11)

August 17, 2011
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By John Basher

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

    Pros love the Skyshot tabletop at Unadilla. On the opening lap of the second 450 practice session Jimmy Albertson (108) and Justin Barcia (17) give each other a nod while uncorking big whips. There should be a jump that big and floaty on every National track.

MINI-VIEW: JUSTIN BARCIA

The factory Honda fill-in rider went 3-3 for 3rd overall in his first pro 450 race.

MXA: Did you have to change your riding style in order to adapt to the 450?
Justin: I love the 450! I don’t have to think about changing my riding style when I get on the 450, because my style changes automatically. I realized quickly that if I try to get crazy on it then it’s going to get crazy on me. Instead of riding tapped out I found that I had to be smooth and smart while riding the 450.

How did the factory Honda deal come together, and when?
Two weeks ago I got a call from Honda. They asked me if I wanted to test on the bike, and I said, Sure! We went through testing and everything went really well, so they asked me if I wanted to race the last four Nationals on the factory bike. It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m so happy to be able to help them out.

Were you satisfied with your results this weekend?
I would say that Unadilla went well. There are a few things that I’d like to fix, but aside from that I’d say that for my first race on a 450 things went pretty well.

What are the things that you would have liked to fix?
One of them would have to be when Ryan Dungey and I came together. I also made a few little mistakes in some corners. It was great to ride at the front with those guys, though. Ryan Villopoto was unbelievably fast, and to see some of his lines and learn was awesome.


Look for Justin Barcia to finish out the year on the factory Honda CRF450.

What went through your mind in the first moto when you holeshot and led for six laps?
I wanted to holeshot really badly, and I was happy to do it. I got a decent lead and pulled away for the first 15 minutes, but Villopoto came on strong and I ended up third. It was an awesome feeling to land on the podium in both motos and get third overall.

Are you still struggling with the effects of your broken wrist or the mono virus?
No, I’m all good. I’m pretty much all healthy and I feel great. I still wear my wrist brace, because my wrist gets a little tender every once in a while. Aside from that everything is good.

The series heads to Southwick, where you won your first National overall. Are you excited to go there and tear it up on a factory Honda 450?
Definitely! Southwick is one of my favorite tracks, and I love going there. The people that run the track are really cool, and the fans are great. I enjoy riding in the sand and ripping around the corners.

You’re not afraid to throw the 450 around, evidenced by your huge whips over the big tabletop at Unadilla.
Yeah [laughter]. I was trying to whip the bike a little bit. The 450 is harder for me to whip than the 250, because it’s so fast. I was trying though!

2011-2012 AMA ARENACROSS SERIES SCHEDULE

    Feld Motor Sports? announced the 2011-2012 AMA Arenacross Series schedule, which begins on October 29, 2011 at the famed Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa and concludes ? for the first-time ever ? at the  Target Center in Minneapolis on February 26, where the AMA Arenacross Series champion will be crowned.
 
    The 12-stop tour, which showcases the most intimate form of indoor, off-road motorcycle racing, will host four races before January 1 for the first time since 2008. Additionally, the AMA Arenacross Series stops in three new venues, including the Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, Texas; SRC Arena in Syracuse, N.Y., and the Target Center in Minneapolis.
 
    “After an epic 2011 AMA Arenacross Series, we are excited to build off of last year’s success, which included 26 hours of television coverage on Speed,” said Todd Jendro, senior director of two-wheel operations, Feld Motor Sports. “Last year, the sport witnessed a milestone when Vicki Golden became the first female to qualify for an AMA Arenacross Series main event. She kept the momentum going when she captured the Gold Medal at the X-Games this summer, and we look forward to watching her run up front in 2011-2012.”
 
    Two-time AMA Arenacross Series champion Chad Johnson looks forward to using the 2011-2012 schedule as a road map to a hopeful third AMA Arenacross Series championship.
 
    “I am pumped on the new schedule for the 2012 AMA Arenacross Series, starting at the end of October is awesome,” said Johnson. “Visiting three totally new venues and with the final round taking place in Minneapolis is a great addition, especially for me because it is only four hours from my home in Wisconsin. I look forward to racing in front of my family and friends.”
 

AMA Arenacross Series Schedule:
10/29-10/30…Wells Fargo Arena…Des Moines, IA #
11/4-11/6…First Mariner Arena…Baltimore, MD
11/11/-11/3…Alliant Energy Center…Madison, WI
12/9-12/11…Mohegan Sun Arena…Wilkes Barre, PA
1/6-1/8…VanAndel Arena…Grand Rapids, MI
1/13-1/5…KS Expo Centre…Topeka, KS
1/21-1/22…Nutter Center…Daytona, OH #
1/27-1/29…Cedar Park Center…Cedar Park, TX
2/3-2/5…SRC Arena…Syracuse, NY
/11-2/12…Save Mart Center…Fresno, CA #2
2/17-2/19…Livestock Events Center…Reno, NV
2/25-2/26…Target Center…Minneapolis, MN #
  (# Denotes Saturday Pro, Sunday Amateur Event
)
   For more information on the 2011 AMA Arenacross Series, log on to www.Arenacross.com.


MINI-VIEW: JAKE WEIMER

As part of the Monster/Kawasaki factory team, Jake Weimer raced to 5-6 moto scores this past weekend at Unadilla on the 2012 KX450F.

MXA: You seem more comfortable on the 2012 KX450F than you did on the 2011 model. Your thoughts?
Jake: We rode the bike for a reason. It’s definitely better and I’m more comfortable with the 2012 bike. I’m excited about the bike, especially after today. I saw a little bit of light and I feel rejuvenated. For a while I was working hard, but the results weren’t coming. It got difficult, but with a new bike switch and decent results at Unadilla I’ve re-lit the fire.

Has it been difficult getting back into race shape and pace?
That was a big part of it, but it wasn’t all of it. Sure, it has taken some time for me to get back into the mix, but that’s not the entire reason for my struggles this year. I had to get stronger, because this is my first year on the 450. And then, when I thought I was pretty well prepared, I started getting poor results that I didn’t expect. That kind of ruined my confidence and I got frustrated. The new bike has given me a new start. My fitness has also improved. It’s really a combination of things.

What did you think of the Unadilla track?
If you get good starts then it’s not bad, and I got good starts this weekend. I’ve had some decent results there, and I think the track is fun. The dirt isn’t super enjoyable, but overall the track is good. The roost and rocks can get rough, but like I said, when you get a good start then it’s not a big problem.


Weimer says that he’s impressed with the 2012 KX450F, and that living in Florida is good for training.

Have you been staying out in Florida all summer with Ryan Villopoto?
Yeah. I have my own place and I’ve been spending a lot of time in Florida. I think that staying in Florida has helped me. At least, I should say I hope that it’s helping me! Moving to a new place and getting everything set up has taken some time, but it’s worth it. The traveling is better, because a lot of the Nationals are on the east coast. Training in the heat and humidity is good, too. Everyone seems to have a different opinion on what type of climate is best to train in, but I like the hot weather in Florida. When I show up at the races and it’s miserably hot my body doesn’t go into shock, and that’s obviously important.

Can you finish on the podium in the last three rounds?

That’s what I’m shooting for. That’s where I want to be. I’ll keep chipping away. My goal is to get on the podium. I finished sixth at Unadilla, so I’m getting closer. The last couple of races have been absolutely terrible, so I want to move forward and get the results that I should be getting.

With only three Nationals left, the offseason isn’t very far away. Are you looking forward to some time off?
Honestly, I don’t feel like I need a break. I’ll probably take a week off and then move right into Supercross riding and testing. I want to get ready for 2012. I need to get some confidence back and get the ball rolling. For me it’s a little bit easier to build confidence and get better in Supercross, as opposed to the outdoors. For whatever reason I can feel good riding Supercross fairly quickly. In past seasons I had built confidence in Supercross and then I would take that into the Nationals. I wasn’t able to do that this year, because of my injury.

UNADILLA NATIONAL: I THINK, I THINK, I THINK…

Ryan Villopoto plus 2012 KX450F equals love at first ride.

    I think that Ryan Villopoto had to win at Unadilla. Although RV held a one point advantage heading into Unadilla, Ryan Dungey had gained a head of steam after winning three of the previous four rounds and was coming off strong. Villopoto’s 1-1 performance this last weekend boosted his confidence as the series reaches the boiling point. Moving to the 2012 KX450F seemed to be a risky proposition, but Villopoto and Monster/Kawasaki came out smelling like roses after ?Dilla. Ryan openly expressed his struggles with the 2011 model and pointed to the better handling characteristics of next year’s bike. 


Ryan Dungey had better put the screws to Villopoto and Reed at Southwick and beyond if he plans on winning his second 450 National title.

    I think that whoever wins at Southwick will win the 450 National title. The sands of Southwick can be brutal and unforgiving for the weak of heart. Villopoto, Dungey and Reed will be tested. Steel City is an easier track, and Pala will end up being a race for the points leader to more than likely ride in protection mode, Southwick should be an all-out war. 


Dean Wilson can now sleep more soundly at night. He’s a National winner this year!

    I think Dean Wilson feels a whole lot better about his summer after going 1-1 at Unadilla. Going the entire series without winning an overall but capturing the title would have felt a bit hollow for the Scotsman. The championship bonus would still be the same, but the accomplishment might have dwindled. I’m not saying that Wilson has the championship wrapped up, but with a healthy points buffer, he’s in good shape.


Justin Bogle (891) wasn’t afraid to rub elbows with the series regulars.

    I think Justin Bogle is a welcome addition to the Geico/Honda team. The factory-back squad has had a rough outdoor campaign. Riddled with injuries and/or mysteriously poor results, the Geico team needed a breath of fresh air. Enter Loretta Lynn’s champion Justin Bogle, a soft-spoken kid plucked out of the amateur ranks and cast into the limelight at Unadilla. Bogle wasn’t afraid of the attention as he did huge whips, heel clickers and nac-nacs over the Skyshot. He also wasn’t gun-shy in racing against the series regulars. Justin went 6-6 for 5th overall. Look for Oklahoma kid to make an even bigger splash at Steel City.


Somewhere in this photo a Unadilla fan is yelling an obscenity.

    I think the Unadilla fans are some of the best in the series. They are passionate, if not a bit rowdy, but they love their motocross racing. Some of them also enjoy doing smoky burnouts on Highway 8 as they leave the track in their lifted trucks. Yee haw! I heard that the security patrol was pretty bad in how they treated some of the fans. Although I didn’t see it, that’s shameful.

DON’T FORGET! $10 PRACTICE DAYS AT GLEN HELEN DURING THE MONTH OF AUGUST

Talladega first turn.

    Glen Helen has lowerded its gate fee for the month of August. That means that all practice days (Thursday, Saturday and Sunday…when there isn’t a race) are half the price of other SoCal practice tracks. And, Glen Helen does not require any kind of memebership to come and practice. For more info on the available practice days, go to www.glenhelen.com.

BAD NEWS: THE WORCS RACING SEMI GOES UP IN FLAMES

[From WORCS Racing] This last Saturday the WORCS racing semi was lost in a catastrophic fire while en route from our home base in Utah to Washougal, Wa. The race semi was an iconic symbol for WORCS and carried the very lifeblood of our program. Every tool, computer, trophy, banner and wood stake was lost in the fire. Over the last two days the WORCS troops have rallied and pulled together all the essential things to make sure this weekends event will happen. Sponsors have stepped up and the Huffman family at Washougal Mx park have been very gracious in lending their hand. Lastly the racers have been there offering whatever they can. The road ahead is going to be a slow rebuild but it will happen over the next couple of months. On behalf of the WORCS staff I want to thank everyone for the calls and support. When you come this weekend just say hi and enjoy the best off road racing in the world at the epic Washougal motocross park. Having our racing family around us this weekend is the best step forward. WORCS will rise from the ashes and it begins this weekend. See you at the races.

MINI-VIEW: ROGER DeCOSTER

    “The Man” talks about Musquin’s premature return, whether he’s landed the big fish, and the coming of Jeffrey Herlings.


Mike’s limp will be gone by Southwick, according to DeCoster.

MXA: Mike Alessi was limping after the second moto at Unadilla. What’s his status?
Roger: Mike told me that on the first lap he tweaked his knee, but it’s nothing serious. He had his doctor with him, and from what the doctor says it’s nothing to be worried about.

Were you surprised to see Marvin Musquin come back to action so quickly after his accident at Freestone?
Yes. Marvin raced sooner than we expected, but I also feel that he came back too early. Washougal was a bit soon for him to come back, but Marvin wanted to race. It’s hard to make that call, because he wanted to race and the doctor gave him the green light. I have trouble telling a guy to stay home after he missed the whole Supercross series due to injury and the majority of the Nationals. Marvin struggled at Washougal, but at Unadilla he was better. Hopefully he can keep his confidence up and understand that he’s better than where he’s currently finishing. Racing is so much about confidence. It’s a huge factor. Marvin has the ability to run up front, but it’s going to take a little bit of time. The injury that he had on his hand was serious. He still has a lot of screws and plates in his hand. There’s not a lot of flesh in the hand, and it’s sensitive.

Will we see Jeffrey Herlings come over from the GP series and race Southwick?
No. It’s not going to happen.

Will Herlings race in the U.S. next year and follow a similar schedule to what Ken Roczen did this year?
Probably not, but I don’t know for sure. I don’t know him very well. Of course he’s on our team and I talked to him when he came over for the USGP and to do some practice. He has hopes to race in the U.S. at some point, but for him and for KTM it’s important that he focuses on the 250 World Championship next year. Then, when he wins and gets more experience he should come over here. That would be the best for everyone.


Marvin Musquin couldn’t exactly twiddle his thumbs on the sidelines (since it was too painful), so he braved the pain and raced. He’s getting better every weekend.

Do you have Ryan Dungey signed for next year?
I can say that I hope Dungey will come our way. We have a good chance, but no deal has been made yet.

How long do you wait on a guy like Ryan Dungey?
I have pretty much put all of my hopes on him. It would be a bummer if the deal doesn’t happen, because I’ll be in big trouble. Of course there isn’t anyone else up for renewal from the top guys. James Stewart has another year left on his Yamaha deal. Villopoto is under contract, Canard is signed, and Reed has his own team. Really, Ryan Dungey is the only guy.

Are you happy at this point of your season with how things are going in your first year at KTM?
I wish that the results would be better. It gets a bit frustrating, but I have to accept that it’s the first year. KTM was never a top team in the main class in the U.S. They did win in the 125 class some years ago, but I think the 250 class has become more competitive. You have to get up early to beat Mitch Payton’s team [laughter].

MINI-VIEW: JUSTIN BOGLE

The Geico/Honda rookie made a big splash at his first pro race, going 6-6 for 5th overall.

MXA: What are your thoughts on your first professional race?
Justin: I felt good. I got good starts and ran third in both motos for a while. The whole day was encouraging. I learned that I have a few things to work on. I got tight in the middle of each moto and fell back to sixth for fifth overall. I can’t complain with finishing in the top five my first pro race.

Was the tightness brought on by nerves, or was it a matter of conditioning?
I was dealing with nerves. I had first race jitters, and I was kind of in awe of everything. I was trying to get past the rookie deal [laughter].


Bogle is a welcome addition to the Geico/Honda family.

What were your expectations coming into Unadilla?
I really didn’t have any expectations, other than to do well. I didn’t know where I would fit in. I qualified 13th fastest in practice, and I wasn’t sure how things would go. Thankfully I got things smoothed out for the motos.

Was it difficult adjusting to timed qualifying?
I did have a hard time adjusting to it, because I’m used to lining up to the starting line and racing motos. I think I figured out what I need to do now, so that should help me from here on out.

You were having some fun the Skyshot tabletop. You didn’t seem very nervous for your first pro race!
[Laughter]
I did a heelclicker in practice, and then on the parade lap in both motos I did a nac-nac. I like to keep things light and fun. If I’m not having fun then what’s the point?

VIDEO: ALPINESTARS FALL PRODUCT LAUNCH

Alpinestar 2011 Fall Product Launch from Travis Fant on Vimeo.

CLAUDIO CASTIGLIONI PASSES AWAY AT 63

Claudio Castiglioni had a passion for motorcycles.

    Claudio Castiglioni, president of MV Agusta, passed away this week at a clinic in Varese at the age of 63. Claudio and his brother Giancarlo are best known by American motocross fans for founding Cagiva motorcycles (and buying Husqvarna). Later in his career Claudio would help revive both Ducati and MV Agusta. Prior to his death, Castiglioni handed control of MV Agusta to his son Giovanni.

PRESS RELEASE: YOUR CHANCE TO WORK IN THE MOTOCROSS INDUSTRY
Inside Sales & Marketing/Rider Support ? Janesville, WI

EVS Sports, the Original Protective Gear Company, has an immediate opening for an Inside Sales & Marketing/Rider Support position.  The ideal candidate will be vastly motivated, possess great written and verbal communication skills, computer knowledge skills, an extensive understanding of the extreme sports industry/core market and previous experience in sales, marketing and sponsorship.  In addition, the qualified applicant must be competitive, outgoing, team oriented, willing to travel, have confidence when dealing with new accounts and exemplify a stellar work ethic all while acting in a professional manner.  Candidate will develop, manage and execute all aspects of our Dealer & Rider sales programs.  This position will allow you to work in a high growth, casual environment with an opportunity for advancement.  
 
Responsibility and Authority

Provide friendly, timely and accurate communication to regional accounts and EVS athletes
Attend trade shows and industry events
Attend events in efforts to build EVS brand awareness through sponsored athletes
Maximize sales, solidify brand image and provide a foundation for future growth of EVS dealers and athletes
Work with Director of Sales to develop strategic sales and marketing plans to increase brand awareness and sales by utilizing EVS athletes
Work with Director of Sales to develop a strategic sales plan in order to increase sales volume for each regional account through current and future distribution
Manage all aspects of EVS athletes by building, retaining and marketing relationships
Assist with yearly contracts for rider mailing and resumes
Set annual promotional rider budgets
Assist in developing athlete marketing and sales campaigns to achieve company sales goals
Grow and maintain current and future top athletes
Evaluate performance of competition and implement strategy to increase market share
Prepare sales reports that show current sales volume and future potential sales
Set annual brand and category sales goals in dollar units

Required Skills and Experience
A minimum of 1 – 3 years of proven sales and industry experience
Associates or bachelor’s degree desirable
Ability to provide creative solutions and persistent, timely follow through and a high level of detail and accuracy to all projects
Strong oral and written communication skills
Ability to prioritize in a rapidly changing environment and demonstrate flexibility while handling multiple major accounts  
Proficient knowledge of MS Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and the Internet

Compensation
Competitive salary and commission program
Health and dental benefits (effective following introduction period)
Paid holidays and accrued vacation

Applicant should email their resume and salary requirements to todd@evs-sports.com

Or mail to:
EVS Sports ? Central Office
Attn: Todd Lentz
119 W. Milwaukee St. ? Suite B
Janesville, WI 53548

O’NEAL USA IS ACCEPTING RESUMES FOR 2012 SEASON

    Simi Valley, CA- O’Neal’s Rider Support program is proud to announce it’s 42nd year racing and is actively looking for qualified riders to join the program. O’NealL, a leading gear company since 1970 is looking forward to supporting the sport with another great year of racing and sponsorship.
    O’NealL is now accepting race resumes for the 2012 race season. O’Neal has gone above and beyond again in 2012, delivering the hottest gear for on and off the track! If you would like to be a part of the O’Neal racing family send your Race Resume to Chris Honnold at: chonnold@onealusa.com
or sponsorship@oneal.com
    We also welcome Sponsorship requests for Blur Optics, Four ATV, Azonic, Leatt MTB/BMX as well as RockHard Helmets.All skill levels and disciplines are welcome to apply for sponsorship.

KTM ANNOUNCES 2012 AMATEUR SUPPORT PROGRAM

    Murrieta, CA ? KTM is excited to begin the second year of its support program for amateur motocross riders through its dealership network. All interested applicants must submit a r‚sum‚ to their local KTM dealer to be considered for support. The resume will only be considered if submitted by the KTM dealer ? individual resumes sent directly by the rider will not be considered. Each rider resume should include the rider’s 2011/2012 planned race schedule and classes as well as past racing accomplishments/results. All resumes must be submitted by September 15, 2011. Riders must be willing to race a minimum of 4 amateur national events to be considered for the support program. Riders must list which 4 amateur national events they plan to attend for the 2012 season on their resume. The following is a list of eligible events:

Amateur Spring Championship ? Freestone, TX
Oak Hill GNC Championship ? Decatur, TX
Mill Creek Amateur National ? Mill Creek, AL
Daytona Amateur Supercross ? Daytona Beach, FL
NMA World Mini Grand Prix ? Mesquite, NV
Mammoth Mountain Motocross ? Mammoth, CA
NMA Ponca City Grand Prix ? Ponca City, OK
Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National Championship ? Hurricane Mills, TN
Dodge Amateur National ? Prairie City, CA
NMA Branson USA ? Branson, MO
Mini Olympics ? Gainesville, FL
Amateur Open ? Phoenix, AZ

    Each applicant’s resume will be processed and selected riders will be determined starting October 1, 2011. The level of support will vary based on the riders skill and ability, past race results and value as determined by the KTM dealer. In addition, to the support packages, KTM also has posted its largest contingency program in history. For more details on KTM’s contingency program please visit http://www.ktmawards.com. Over $2 million dollars in contingency has been posted for 2011.

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