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MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY JOHN BASHER (1/23/13)

January 23, 2013
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PHOTO OF THE WEEK

    The cross-up has gone the way of the dinosaur. A kid on a Cobra 65 can scrub these days. Leg swag? Yawn. Whips? Boring. How about dragging hand through a corner? That’s what I’m talking about. MXA Assistant Editor Daryl Ecklund gets down on the 2013 TM 450MX and picks up a soil sample.
    Can you do this? If so, email your photos to mxa@hi-torque with the subject heading “MWR Hand Drag.” Maybe, just maybe, I’ll post your photo in next week’s edition of the Mid-Week Report. (Legal matter?motorcycles are dangerous; do this at your own risk, as I don’t condone taking your hand off the bars).

FAREWELL, KEVIN WINDHAM!

Kevin Windham first appeared on the October 1994 cover of MXA. It’s hard to believe that Windham has been around, racing professionally, for 19 years. He will be sorely missed.


People will remember K-Dub for many different reasons. He won two 125 West Supercross titles, a great deal of races, and he has incredible natural talent on a motorcycle. Perhaps the young generation of fans, especially Supercross fans, will remember him for his insane transfer jumps during the opening ceremonies.


Phoenix 2013 will forever be remembered as Windham’s last race. I’ll miss you, K-Dub!

ELI TOMAC IS THE HOTTEST MAN IN SUPERCROSS: HEAR WHAT HE HAS TO SAY

MXA MINI-VIEW: CHAD REED

MXA: You seemed disappointed in finishing third at Anaheim 2. You mentioned that you had to improve in certain areas. Can you touch on those areas?
Chad: [Pause] For me, it’s a matter of being comfortable and getting the bike in a window of where I need to ride it. For some reason we haven’t tripped across that setting just yet. It has been difficult. When I look at my years of experience and what I bring to the table from a testing standpoint, as well as the great group of guys on my team, it bums me out a little bit that we haven’t hit the money setting yet. It’s definitely not for a lack of trying. We’re busting butt on trying to get there, but we’re also trying not to get too crazy and get lost. With a new bike comes with having to open your mind up to testing different things. From a rider point of view I know what I want and need. I know what the problem is, but it’s a matter of politically getting to the point of fixing it the way that I have to.

There’s been talk that you typically start off the Supercross season slow in terms of results. I don’t think that’s true. Do you?
The years I have won titles I didn’t started off slow. The years I didn’t win? Yes, I started slow. Some years I have started off slow, for the most part I’ve been a podium contender at the first race. I was very disappointed in the performance at Anaheim. At Phoenix I was a little better, but not really. When you look at a 4-4, the only positive I took was that my main guys on paper?the champ [Ryan Villopoto], Stewart and Dungey?they have had rougher weekends than I have. If you look at a year ago, I went 2-5-1 in the opening rounds. Going 4-4-3 is consistent, but I’m a little bit off. I need to get comfortable and win a race. That’s all it comes down to. As far as the points are concerned, we are in a great position. We are seven off the lead, and all of the guys that on paper should be the biggest threat are behind me.

You typically seem to let loose a little bit in the final practice qualifying session at each race. As a photographer I love to see you throw out whips and have a good time. Have you found that to be beneficial for you heading into the night program?
At the end of the day I’m out there racing a dirt bike, which is something that I love to do. Throughout the day of a race I’m getting torn a thousand different directions, and there are so many things going through my head. It’s kind of nice to ride a bike and enjoy the moment. I’ll try to whip the bike or pin it through a set of whoops. From the first practice to the 20th lap of the main it’s very intense. There’s a lot of pressure. I try to stay calm and remember why I’m there.

It was really cool of you to dedicate your podium finish to Kevin Windham on Saturday night after learning of his retirement. What does K-Dub’s retirement mean to you?
It’s a little scary, because now I’m the old guy [laughter]. I was already getting questions about when it would be my turn to make the call while Kevin was still racing. It’s encouraging to see Kevin’s commitment to racing over the years. Having kids and traveling and being on the elder side of the group, I can relate. Now I have two kids. I thought the race team was an added burden, but it’s hard to find that balance of running a race team, having a family, and also racing. I really respect what he has been able to do over the years, and that he has done it for so long. If I can last a year or two more then it would be nice. I think he made it to 19 years as a pro, and this is my 16th year.

I have to ask, when are you going to hang it up?
With talking to Kevin over the weekend a little bit, it sounds like 20 years is the number that no one has been able to make it to. I think that Mike LaRocco bailed out on his 19th year. Now Kevin has done the same. I don’t ever want to be the guy who makes up a number in the class. I want to be a competitor and be a threat for wins. Other than that I have bigger and better things, such as a family and race team to worry about. I see that the younger guys are really pushing the limits, but I still think that I can push the limits and lay it down. As long as that feeling is there then I’ll continue to push towards years 17, 18 and 19 as a pro.

JAMES STEWART A2 GOPRO VIDEO: RUBBIN’S RACING!

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF TWITTER

Bam-Bam seems to be okay after casing the heck out of a triple at Anaheim 2.


Apparently Weston Peick and Matt Lemoine aren’t getting along?

MOTO: DEFINED BY DC VIDEO

    Press release: This year we took a new approach to the DC Moto team video. The best riders in the best locations?This is Moto Defined by DC.  Enjoy!   Starring DC athletes: Jeremy McGrath, Travis Pastrana, Robbie Maddison, Nate Adams, Trey Canard, Malcolm Stewart, Adam Cianciarulo, Tyler Bereman, and Carson Mumford. With appearances by Andy Bakken, Michael Sleeter, Axell Hodges, Mitch Alcorn, Conner Mullenix, Ciaran Naran, and Dylan Schmoke.

MINI-VIEW: RICKY CARMICHAEL


BROC (TICKLE) CONTINUES TO MAKE STRIDES TOWARDS TOP-10 FINISHES.  HOW WOULD YOU EVALUATE HIS PROGRESS SO FAR THIS SEASON? 
    “Broc’s (Tickle) making gains every week and that’s a great sign. He’s fast. We’ve made three-consecutive Main Events. Last week in Anaheim, we were focusing on being faster in the second practice session and we were. He posted his best time in the second practice, which he hasn’t done all year. And in his Heat Race, he almost got the holeshot which has been a point of emphasis for us all year. The Heat Race is a prelude to the Main and all the top guys are in it. We rode ninth in the Heat and all the heavy hitters were in his Heat. I was proud of his starts and that’s a good sign.

   “In a nutshell, I feel like we have all the pieces to the puzzle, we just haven’t been able to put them all together. We just haven’t put it all together in the Main. Look at last weekend in Anaheim. Broc had a great start, was riding with (James) Stewart and on his second lap got hit and busted his boot buckles off. So basically his boot wasn’t latched and it was almost coming off. He actually thought about pulling off the track but kept on riding. He said his foot was halfway out of his boot most of the time. It looked a little weird because Broc was way off his practice times and I was wondering why. It was kind of frustrating. But at the same time, we made a lot of progress with our overall speed on the Suzuki. Broc had a great start in the Heat Race. There isn’t anything you can do about somebody running into you and ripping off your boot buckles.

    “The one thing I did notice from the weekend is that the guys are slowing starting to sort themselves out. Some guys are having some issues. Things will start to thin out and you’ll start to see everyone’s true potential.  Everybody rides on a lot of emotion and adrenaline the first few weeks. Let’s see where they are at week 4, 5 or 6.  By the time that we get to the halfway point the series will lose a couple of riders and you’ll really start to see the contenders from pretenders. If you’re in it for the long haul, that’s when you start to see the true strength of guys.

THE GOOD THING FOR BROC IS THAT HE’S FINDING SPEED IN THE BIKE EVERY WEEK:  
    “Absolutely. For sure. It’s all about racing. The hard part is that if you show up to the racetrack and you’re two or three-seconds off, speed is extremely hard to find. We just need to work with the racetrack part of it.  I’d rather have my riders try to work on race craft, making better decisions and putting them in better spots versus trying to go out there and find an extra two-seconds. That’s going to be hard to do and most of the time that you do that, you’re going to find yourself lying on the ground. I really believe that we almost have all the pieces of the puzzle with our Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki Z450’s, we just haven’t put it all together in the Main yet.”

JOSH (HILL) IS HOPING TO GET THE GREEN LIGHT TO RACE THIS WEEK.  WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE YOU RIDER WHO HAS HAD ISSUES STAYING HEALTHY?  
    “I’m really hoping that Josh can get out and race this weekend. He’s got a really upbeat attitude. The biggest thing for Josh is that there are no expectations except for him to finish. It sounds simple. I really believe that Josh’s biggest challenge is to make it through three or four races. Once he can do that, I think that everyone will see how fast and talented his is.  He’s fast.  He works really hard on the test track and mentally, he’s strong.  Things just haven’t gone his way for whatever reason and he’s gotten hurt.  It’s all mental for him right now. He has the mental strength at the practice track. He just needs to get three or four races under his belt and that guy will start choppin’ wood. I really believe that. My advice to him has been to go out there with no expectations. Put yourself in good positions, think ahead and ride.”

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST AREA OF FOCUS FOR THE TEAM THIS WEEKEND IN OAKLAND?
    “When you go to Oakland, there are a few things that always come into play. The weather is always sketchy. It’s an open stadium and it rains a lot in the Bay area. I was talking to Broc and he’s excited because he hopes it does rain. It can get a little rutty there and the conditions can be tougher. Broc is excited to hopefully have Josh back which will take some pressure off Broc. Oakland is always a wild card of sorts ? the weather, the track, and the conditions. You have to be prepared for everything up there.”

2013 WORCS ROUND ONE RECAP: PEORIA, ARIZONA

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: PART 2

    The Yamaha YZ250 two-stroke still lives! MXA test rider Daryl Ecklund gets down and dirty on our 2013 test model. Look for a write-up on the bike in an upcoming issue.

L.A. SLEEVE TWO-STROKE REBUILD KITS

    Maintain the fun!  Keep your popular 2-Stroke 250cc and 125cc running by rebuilding the top end with a cylinder rebuild kit from L.A. Sleeve. L.A. Sleeve Cylinder Rebuild Kits are supplied with a 2-Stroke cylinder sleeve liner, piston kit, top end bearing and gasket kit. Kits are available for all the most popular bikes and even for your favorite dawg! L.A Sleeve also provides full sleeve installation services, along with a complete parts warehouse. Cylinder Rebuild Kits offer a great value and are priced beginning from $240.00 for 125cc and $270.00 for 250cc. All the parts, All the value, All in one kit!  Contact L.A. Sleeve 562-945-7578 or visit www.lasleeve.com.

SUZUKI CELEBRATES 50 YEARS IN THE U.S. MARKET

    Suzuki is pleased to announce the kickoff of a series of customer appreciation promotions to celebrate their 50th anniversary in the U.S. market. Suzuki officially entered the U.S. market on August 16, 1963. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of this historic date, Suzuki will be offering customers the opportunity to win a variety of prizes, including motorcycles, ATVs, and Genuine Suzuki Accessories every month until the August 16 anniversary date. On August 16, Suzuki will host a customer appreciation event during the Indianapolis MotoGP race weekend, to commemorate this historic achievement.
     “When Suzuki entered the U.S. market in 1963, customers first experienced the quality, performance value and fun of our products,” said American Suzuki Senior Communications Manager Steve Bortolamedi. “We want to commemorate the past five decades of Suzuki in the U.S. market by offering these incredible prizes to our customers to extend our appreciation for their support.” To enter the contest, customers can get a contest code from their local dealer that can be entered at Suzuki’s Facebook page for a chance to win.
     Every other month between January and December, the grand prize for each monthly contest will be a new 2013 Suzuki motorcycle or ATV. Other prizes include Genuine Suzuki Accessories. The first prize, which will be offered on February 16, is a new 2013 RM-Z450. In addition to the 50th Anniversary contest giveaway, Suzuki is celebrating five decades of Suzuki owners with the “Share Your Suzuki Story” campaign, which encourages customers to submit photos and stories of their past experiences owning a Suzuki to share their history with the brand.
     Details on Suzuki’s 50th Anniversary contests and “Share Your Suzuki Story” campaign are available at Suzuki’s Facebook page ? http://www.facebook.com/SuzukiCycles

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