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MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY JOHN BASHER (1/9/13)

January 9, 2013
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PHOTO SEQUENCE OF THE WEEK





    Ryan VIllopoto had a bad night at Anaheim 1, losing the opener for the first time in three years. He did, however, have this step-down jump on lock down. It’s cool to see that Dirt Wurx added in a few unique obstacles to Anaheim. This jump, along with the wall jump before the finish line, slowed the racing down a bit and mixed things up. Let’s hope that Dirt Wurx continues to bring fresh new ideas to Supercross tracks while keeping an eye on safety.

FROM THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE: STEWART, BAGGETT & ALEX RAY

     Everyone is wondering whether James Stewart will be at Phoenix because of his knee, but Blake Baggett was spotted with a cast on his right hand this week. It turns out that he broke a bone in his hand and stretched the ligament when he was hit by Jessy Nelson’s flipping bike. Amazingly, Blake got up and finished the moto, even having to pop his wrist back into place. Blake plans to saw the cast off and try to race at Phoenix. If he can’t race Phoenix, he will sit out the next four of five 250 West races and focus on defending his 2012 AMA 250 National Motocross Championship.

   As for Stewart, he tweeted the message above. Given Stewart’s previous tweets, this could mean that he’s racing or that he will see you at the hot dog stand in Section C44. Let’s hope that his knee injury was just a strain.

   In a career highlighted by stupid moves, Josh Hansen cleaned out Spider Energy rider Alex Ray on the last corner of the last lap of the 450 Last Chance at A1, when neither of them were anywhere near qualifying. In the take-out move, Alex Ray injured his leg, broke his knee brace and never saw it coming. Alex’s bruised leg will heal, but nothing can fix Josh Hansen’s lack of common sense or the AMA’s lack of concern over Josh Hansen’s questionable antics. On a side note: Alex’s Spider teammate Luke Vonlinger (above) did break his leg in practice at A1.

WELCOME ABOARD DARYL ECKLUND! MXA‘S NEW ASSISTANT EDITOR

    MXA is a small, but close knit family. We’re a group of orange-helmet-wearing motocross fanatics. We eat, breathe and live motocross. So when it comes time to bring in a new member to the MXA fold we do so with open arms. Recently we needed to fill the position of Assistant Editor. Believe it or not, working for a motocross magazine requires a unique skill set. It’s imperative that a motocross magazine editor be able to jet set around the world, ride factory bikes, roll around in all of the free gear that we get and eat cupcakes by the pool. I’m kidding. Writing takes up a huge chunk of time, and then there’s testing, driving around southern California, tracking down contacts, and spending quality time in front of a computer.


Daryl in action on the 2013 Honda CRF250.

    Daryl Ecklund is 27 years old. He’s an ex-pro, having raced Supercross and the Nationals. After stepping away from racing he pursued a college degree in fitness, nutrition and personal training. Upon completing that goal he began training Kurt Caselli, Kyle Redmond, Broc Shoemaker and many other riders. That’s his background, but how does Daryl fit into MXA?
    Ecklund started as a photo rider. He’s the guy you see when flipping through the pages of MXA. In 2007 he came on board, throwing a leg over Ryan Villopoto’s Pro Circuit KX250F, as well as a host of other bikes, to have his photo taken and printed in the mag. He did an excellent job, and his role turned into also testing motorcycles.

Ecklund getting scrub-tastic on the 2013 Suzuki RM-Z450.

    Hiring Daryl Ecklund seemed a natural fit, so just after we survived the Mayan apocalypse and stuffed our face full of Christmas candy, we brought Daryl on board full-time. The only problem we foresee is that Ecklund is a health nut. The sweets in the office have already been replaced with fruits and vegetables. So much for eating cupcakes by the pool…
    Welcome to the team, Daryl! 

RIDE WITH THE GREEN ARROW AROUND SATURDAY’S PHOENIX SUPERCROSS TRACK

BIKES OF THE STARS

Trey Canard‘s Muscle Milk Honda CRF450.


Christian Craig’s Lucas Oil Troy Lee Designs Honda CRF250.


Jake Weimer’s Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F.


Phil Nicoletti’s N-Fab TiLube Yamaha YZ450F.


Eli Tomac’s Geico Honda CRF250.


Ryan Villopoto’s Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F.

FMF’S 40TH ANNIVERSARY COMMERCIAL

MXA MINI-VIEW: RYAN DUNGEY

    Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey opened up his 2013 Supercross campaign with a third place. Although Ryan is never too jazzed about not winning, he is in better position heading into Phoenix than Chad Reed (fourth), Justin Barcia (seventh), James Stewart (eighth) or Ryan Villopoto (16th). I caught up with Dungey after Saturday’s race, mostly to talk about the all-new WP air shock that he’s use.

MXA: Were you happy with your race?
Ryan: Yeah, I am. I think that it was a good start to the beginning of the season. With everything that went on tonight, I didn’t have any big mistakes. I had a few tip overs in the heat race and main, which was unfortunate, but at the same time I felt like I rode a good race. Anaheim 1 always has so much hype revolving around it, so it’s good to get the season going. Sitting around during the off-season feels like it’s forever. Then again, I know that the off-season is actually pretty short. I’m glad to be racing and back in action.

Talk about the WP air shock that you’re using.
It’s still very young in the process of testing. The couple of months that we do have on the shock it feels really nice. We made quick progress with it. The shock still has a lot of potential. The guys over at WP have done a great job to develop it. It’s definitely interesting for me. The first time I rode with the shock I thought that it was a joke [because it was so good]. It felt good right off the bat. The shock has a good and broad area of working. It’s consistent. We’ll keep trying to get better with our settings and hopefully the guys over at WP can keep progressing it. When they have stuff to test then we’ll be out on the track working with it some more.

MUST-SEE VIDEO: TREY CANARD REVIVAL 41

MATTO CYCLES ROBBED! PLEASE HELP OUT BUD MATTO

Hello Fellow Riders,
    About 3 a.m. this morning Matto Cycle was broken into and robbed. They got 3 motorcycles and 2 ATV as far as I can see right now. We have to do a inventory check today to make sure there are not more.
Here is the list of items stolen that I see so far:
    2013 Honda TRX450ER
    2013 Honda TRX400X
    2013 Honda CRF450R
    2013 Gas Gas 300EC
    2012 Gas Gas 250EC
    If anyone comes across a new bikes for sale cheap?please let me know. Shop number is (570) 429-0678.
    Bud Matto

PROOF THAT EVEN “THE MAN” GETS NERVOUS

Will Roger DeCoster have any fingers left by Las Vegas, or will he chew them off? The Red Bull KTM team had a good night at Anaheim. Relax, Rog!

SPEND FIVE MINUTES IN DAVI MILLSAPS’ SHOES…AND WIN A1

MINI-VIEW: KEVIN WINDHAM

Photo courtesy of Geico Honda

MXA: After a long road back from that disastrous crash in Houston last year, you’re back and finished tenth place at Anaheim 1. Are you happy with where you’re at?
Kevin: Yes, in a lot of ways. I was riding tight all day, and I was glad to stick with whatever pace I had in the main event. I got left with a pretty bad starting gate, so I knew that I wasn’t going to get a good start anyway. I had a full whoop pad after my starting line, and it was really bumpy behind the gate. Listen, looking at Trey Canard up on the podium, he’s come back from some major crashes, I think my thought process is my Achilles heal. I over-think things a lot of times. Coming from the off season into Anaheim, I haven’t had success and the confidence. With my age and my thought process, as well as the things I’ve achieved as a racer, I don’t want to have racing take those things away from me. I feel like I need to keep this Geico Honda on two wheels. It was a big step for me to do it at Anaheim 1. The field is really deep, but I know that I can and should do better with my result. I need to start building some momentum, which is a funny thing to say after racing motorcycles professionally for 19 years. But 2012 didn’t go very well for me. This is my first race back since March.

How do you approach the race then when you’re not feeling comfortable and ready to battle?
Honestly, I didn’t really have any expectations as far as results are concerned. I wanted to keep the bike on two wheels. As stupid as that sounds, I’m excited to have done that. Moving forward, we’ll try to build some momentum and start landing the Geico Honda where I think it should be.

You didn’t seem to have any problems hitting that opening ceremonies transfer jump.
That’s always fun. It scares the crap out of me. I landed it smooth tonight. I was actually pretty surprised. I didn’t think that I had that smooth of a landing. I was glad to get that jump done. It has become a big part of what I do, so I guess I have to keep it up now.  

MILLSAPS LEADS TOP RIDERS INTO PHOENIX FOR MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCROSS


[Press Release]  Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki’s Davi Millsaps will lead the world’s top riders into Phoenix’s Chase Field this Saturday for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross . Geico Honda’s Eli Tomac opened the Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event with a dominant win and carries the points lead into Chase Field this weekend for the 16th Monster Energy Supercross race in Phoenix. Last weekend at the season opener in Anaheim, Millsaps earned the Nuclear Cowboyz  Holeshot Award with Honda/Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard and his teammate Justin Barcia, of Ochlocknee, Ga., following in second and third respectively. Two-time defending 450SX Class Champion Ryan Villopoto started in 12th place.
 
    On Lap 8, while working his way through the field, Villopoto crashed and dropped several positions before re-entering the race. Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey held down the fourth position and began making up time on Barcia, but on lap 15, he crashed in a turn. After waiting patiently for 16 laps, Canard made his move around Millsaps for the lead, and on the same lap, Barcia suffered a crash. Millsaps made a last-ditch effort on Canard, zipping through the whoops around Canard for the pass and win. Canard finished second and Dungey finished third.
 
    “It was a great night for me,” said Millsaps. “This is my first win since 2010, and I was just trying to keep calm out there. It has been a long time since I have led a race, so it was hard to calm my nerves.” The win marked Millsaps’ first since 2010 and the fourth of his career. Millsaps’ previous wins came aboard a Honda motorcycle, giving the Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki team their first-ever 450SX Class win. He finished second overall in the 2012 Monster Energy Supercross Championship. Two-time defending 450SX Class Champion Villopoto finished 16th after a series of crashes.
 
    Lucas Oil/Troy Less Designs Honda’s Cole Seely opened the 250SX Class Main Event with the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot. Following turn one, he was one of several riders, including Heat Race winner Martin Davalos, of the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team, that were involved in a crash. Tomac, the defending 250SX Class Champion, assumed the lead as Malcolm Stewart moved into second followed by Ken Roczen  in third.
 
    On lap 1, Roczen, who rides for the Red Bull KTM team, passed Stewart for second place. After winning the holeshot, Seely dropped to fourth place, but passed Stewart on lap 6 to secure third place. Tomac’s win marked the eighth of his career. Roczen finished second and Seely finished third. “I had a tough Heat Race, and that was kind of a wake-up call for me,” said Tomac. “This is how I wanted to start the season. I did a few off-season races, like the Monster Energy Cup, and that kept me in shape.” Tomac’s win was the ninth of his career. Last year he finished fourth in Phoenix before going on a two-race win streak en route to the first 250SX Class Championship of his career.
 
    During the Phoenix stop in 2012, former 450SX Class Champion Dungey earned his first victory of the season and gave his Red Bull KTM team their first ever win. In winning last year’s Main Event, Dungey joined James Stewart as the only riders in history to win both classes in Phoenix. In the 250SX Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson also earned his first win of the season.
    
    Throughout the 15 years that Monster Energy Supercross has stopped in Phoenix, an average of 47,199 avid fans have come out each year to see the sport’s greatest battle it out for their division’s prestigious championship titles. Stewart holds the record for most wins in the 250SX Class in Phoenix and is tied with Ricky Carmichael for the most wins in the 450SX Class with four inside Chase Field.
 
…NOW FOR THE IMPORTANT STUFF: PHOENIX SUPERCROSS INFO…

    Speed will broadcast this weekend’s race live from Phoenix’s Chase Field on Saturday, January 12 at 9:30 p.m. ET.
 
    Tickets are available at the Chase Field Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge by phone (800)745-3000 and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.supercrossonline.com. Practice and qualifying begin at 12:30pm and the Main Event starts at 7:00pm. VIP Club Level Front Row tickets are $75 Adult/Child; Club Level $65 Adult/Child; Gold Circle $42 Adult/Child; Mid-Level $30 Adult/$10 Child; Supervalue $22 Adult/$10 Child; Treadhead $10 Adult/Child (all tickets are $5 more day of show). Fans can also get into the Pits for FREE from 12:30-6:00pm on Race Day when they recycle a Monster Energy Can at the stadium Pit Entrance (valid only with event ticket).

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