MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY JOHN BASHER

August 12, 2014
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PHOTO OF THE WEEK

PhotoWeekUnadilla

Unadilla defines the essence of motocross–a natural layout with numerous undulations, off cambers and enough challenges to push the world’s top racers to the edge. MXA freelance photographer, Scott Mallonee, captured the beauty of Unadilla with this amazing shot from the scoring tower. Awesome!

JEREMY MARTIN’S MAGIC NUMBER IS 35

Martin_Washougal_2014Photo by Will Petterson.

If Blake Baggett sweeps both motos (50 points) this weekend then Jeremy Martin must attain at least 35 points ( 3-6 moto scores) to clinch the 250 outdoor title. Martin, at 457 points, would be 51 points up on Baggett heading into Utah.

Why won’t 50 points (4-5 moto scores) do the deed? Martin and Baggett would be tied for National wins going into Utah (if Baggett swept Indiana), at four apiece. Hypothetically, Baggett could sweep the Utah race while Martin scored zero points, and Baggett would win in a tie because he had more race overall wins.

MINI-VIEW: TREY CANARD

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I’m not sure whose smile was bigger on the Unadilla podium, overall winner Ryan Dungey’s, or second moto winner Trey Canard’s! It’s hard to believe that this was Canard’s first moto win in the 450 class–a class he joined four years ago. We caught up with the former 250 National Champ as he was leaving the Unadilla track on Saturday night. 

By Jim Kimball

Photos by Scott Mallonee

MXA: Trey, you took your first 450 moto win this weekend. Congratulations!

Trey: Yeah, I was pumped! Just to even get a moto win was really cool. It was definitely a great day!

Clearly you have been on the cusp of a moto win, but the two Red Bull KTM guys had seemed to be a step above everyone. 

That’s true, but since Eli Tomac’s return I have really been happy to see him up front and winning, too. I’m happy to see two Honda’s do well, as that hasn’t always been the case the past couple years. The guys at Honda have been working really hard, so it’s been very rewarding seeing the red bikes back on the podium.

What did it mean to you to set the fastest lap time in morning qualifying?

Every time that you can set the fastest practice lap times it’s a great way to start the moto’s. It really can set the tone for the day. I was still pretty nervous. I’ve set the fastest lap times before, and the day didn’t go that well. So here it was good to finish out strong.

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You had a poor start in the first moto, but were able to move up into the top ten, and then top five pretty quickly.

Thank you. Yeah, that first moto wasn’t great. If you don’t start with those guys then they can get pretty far ahead. Plus the track was very rough. Fortunately there were so many lines on the track that you could make passes.

I understand that you were being considered for the MXDN team, but they ended up choosing Eli Tomac. How do you feel about that?

They picked the best guys with Dungey and Tomac on the big bikes. I can understand the decision, and hands down it was the best guys they could pick for the team. They have all been performing very well, and I am all for them going. I’m going to be cheering for those guys from home, and hopefully they can bring the trophy home with them this year.

So now that you have a moto win and a big gap up to second in points, what are you thinking about for these last two rounds?

I definitely want to finish the season out strong. I want to build some momentum for next year. Hopefully I can take an overall win during the next two races. That would be awesome. Yes, there is definitely a big gap up to second, and it’s a funny situation to be in. But as I said, right now it’s all about doing the best that I can and gaining momentum for next year.

SCOTT MALLONEE’S UNADILLA PHOTO GALLERY

Check out the view from behind MXA freelance photographer, Scott Mallonee’s lens.

2014Unadilla164341 2014Unadilla162543 2014Unadilla161844-2 2014Unadilla1537482014Unadilla142249 2014Unadilla141813 2014Unadilla140235 2014Unadilla135033 2014Unadilla134947 2014Unadilla1328152014Unadilla132150 2014Unadilla1312582014Unadilla112500 2014Unadilla091129

INTERESTING FACT: JAMES STEWART

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Before news broke that James Stewart failed a drug test during the Supercross series, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider scored 181 points in eight motos and swept the High Point National. The drug test debacle broke the following week, and since then Stewart has scored 65 points in eight motos and skipped the past two Nationals. Is there any correlation between the FIM suspending Stewart and his lackluster results since that time? I can’t help but think so. Regardless of the reasons as to why James missed the last two Nationals, it would be nice to see him back for the last two races of the outdoors.

MXDN SELECTION: WE WILL WIN

2014Unadilla125059-2Although competitors on the track, Ryan Dungey (foreground) and Eli Tomac (background) will join forces and bring home the Chamberlain Trophy. Photo by Scott Mallonee.

As if we wouldn’t win anyway, but with Ryan Dungey, Eli Tomac and Jeremy Martin representing Team USA, it’s almost a sure bet. It’s boastful to make such proclamations, but on paper I foresee a potential U.S. sweep of all three classes (250, 450 and Open). Belgium, a perennial threat, has been weakened by injuries. In fact, there are a lot of GP stars on the mend and won’t be ready for the September 28th date with MXDN destiny in Kegum, Latvia.

Aside from raw talent and experience (Dungey and Tomac have raced in the MXDN before), there should be good camaraderie among the American trio. Dungey and Martin ride together, and Tomac has traveled to Europe with Dungey before. Add in the fact that these boys aren’t drama queens and things are looking pretty good for Team USA.

The most exciting part of the race weekend will be watching Tony Cairoli race a 250. It’s strange that the king of European motocross is dropping down in displacement. I think that it’s a smart move for Team Italy. The boot country lacks a solid 250 rider but has talent in David Philippaerts and Davide Guarneri.

While not all of the teams have been announced yet, below is a list of several major teams. Remember, Team USA hasn’t won the MXDN in two years, falling to Germany in 2012 and Belgium last year. The coveted Chamberlain Trophy looks best on U.S. soil.

THE MXDN TEAMS THUS FAR

USA

Ryan Dungey – 450

Jeremy Martin – 250

Eli Tomac – Open

BELGIUM

Jeremy Van Horebeek – 450

Julien Lieber – 250

Kevin Strijbos – Open

GREAT BRITAIN

Shaun Simpson – 450

Tommy Searle – 250

Dean Wilson – Open

ITALY

David Philippaerts – 450

Antonio Cairoli – 250

Davide Guarneri – Open

AUSTRALIA

Chad Reed – 450

Dean Ferris – 250

Brett Metcalfe – Open

FRANCE

Gautier Paulin – 450

Dylan Ferrandis – 250

Steven Frossard – Open

SWITZERLAND

Valentin Guillod – 450

Jermey Seewer – 250

Arnaud Tonus – Open

MONSTER ENERGY CUP TRACK REVEALED

The scariest start straight ever conceived!

REDLABEL INTRODUCES 2015 GRAPHICS KITS

Redlabel

Press release: RedLabel MX Custom Graphics is proud to release our New 2015 Line of Custom Graphics – Moto. We will be releasing each new brand throughout Fall with Kawasaki’s Available Now! Full Custom Kit is $189. Use coupon code “REDLABEL 10-OFF” to get a 10% discount on your first RedLabel Custom Graphics Kit. RedLabel’s Full Kit Orders come with Free Custom Work, Hub Stickers and Mini Plates along with the usual full kit sticker pieces. Like Us on FaceBook /REDLABEL.mx, Follow Us on Instagram /@REDLABELmx, and check out www.REDLABEL.mx today.

INTERESTING FACT: DRY TRACKS

Millville_Overview_2014The rains threatened Millville, but precipitation stayed away.

It’s happened before, but it’s still very strange that not a single National has been victimized by Mother Nature’s wrath (yet). Surely there would have been rain at High Point, but nope, not the case. It turned out that the Spring day was beautiful. Muddy Creek, Budds Creek (remember the downpour years ago?) or Unadilla didn’t get hit with precipitation, either. The new National at Crawfordsville, Indiana, is this weekend, but the weather forecast shows only a 10 percent chance of rain. It would take a freak thunderstorm for rain to hit the baked Tooele, Utah landscape the following weekend. Evidently Mother Nature is a fan of motocross in 2014, though I do predict another potential weather threat in two weeks–wind. The Miller Motorsports track turned into a dust bowl last year when winds whipped across the infield. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it doesn’t happen again.

MINI-VIEW: RYAN ZIMMER

Zimmer1Photo by Scott Mallonee.

MXA: Ryan, what have you been up to? 

Ryan: I’ve been training kids on a consistent basis since I broke my back at the St. Louis Supercross at the end of March. I was laid up for about a week after the crash. Before that time I was working construction in order to make ends meet so that I could race the Supercross series. Given that I broke my back and couldn’t lift any weight I knew that I had to do something else, so I called Ryan Schafer, at South of the Border motocross facility, in South Carolina, and asked if I could help train kids. So after my back injury I packed up and headed to the facility.

How much time did you get on the bike before racing Unadilla?

Well, in all honesty I rode for about four days before lining up at Unadilla. I only managed to get about three hours of riding time on the bike before going to New York, because there was a lot of rain so the tracks were muddy. I think that I could have done a lot better in the results if I was in better shape. I was dead tired after practice! I wasn’t prepared at all, but I did the best that I could and still had fun. It’s all about having fun, so I’m happy.

It’s very admirable that you finished 24th in the 450 class at Unadilla, scoring 28-21 moto results, after basically coming off the couch.

Yeah, I knew that it would be tough, but I tried my hardest. I borrowed a 2012 Honda CRF450 from my friend, Buddy, who is in the military. He was more pumped to let me race his bike than I was to race! That was really cool. I also have to thank another friend, Carl.

How did the one-race deal come together with Blue Buffalo? And what exactly is Blue Buffalo?

Blue Buffalo is a dog food company. They’re interested in race sponsorship, so John Slater, of Slater Skins, asked if I wanted to race Unadilla. The whole deal came about during the Supercross series. John saw how much television time I was getting, so he thought it would be a good opportunity if I rode with his Slater Skins. We were going to put a deal together for the New Jersey Supercross, but unfortunately I had gotten hurt at St. Louis. We stayed in touch, and three weeks before Unadilla he called and asked if I was interested in racing the event. I told my dad that I wasn’t ready, but John said that he really just wanted to show off the concept to the masses. Hopefully we’re lining some things up for the 2015 East Coast Supercross series with Slater Skins and Blue Buffalo.

2014Unadilla132505-2Ryan Zimmer went 28-21 to finish 24th at Unadilla–this coming after only a few days on the bike. Photo by Scott Mallonee.

Slater Skins is a very unique product. Talk about what it’s like to race with Slater Skins on the bike.

We had some good comments from the weekend, but also some bad stuff. All in all I thought the Slater Skins were great. People were saying how dangerous they were, because they thought we would have bike issues–like that the engine and shock would overheat. However, there weren’t any problems with the bike. I thought it was a cool opportunity to run the Slater Skins. The only thing different to me was the front piece, but that’s only because I could see it. Otherwise the bike felt the same. Slater Skins are great for marketing. Anyone that saw our bike knew who our sponsor was for the weekend. The Slater Skins are great for showing off sponsors.

Are you planning on racing any more Nationals this summer?

No, not at this time. Instead I’m going to continue training kids at South of the Border, in South Carolina. I realize that it’s not possible to be a professional racer forever. I have a passion for training and teach kids, so I might do that full time until the new season starts. I feel that I’m good at teaching kids, and it’s very rewarding to see the expression on a kid’s face when he hits a corner the right way.

Good luck to you, Ryan.

Thanks for the time, John. It was a fun weekend.

VIDEO: FLY RACING TAKES ON LORETTA LYNN’S

HAMMERHEAD SWEEPS EVERY HOLESHOT AT UNADILLA

[Press Release]

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Hammerhead products are backed by a 100% guarantee, and using Hammerhead holeshot devices is proving to be a guaranteed holeshot!

At round 9 of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Washougal all four holeshots were won by Yamaha riders using Hammerhead holeshot devices.  We thought this was great – no single holeshot brand had ever won every moto in a weekend…  Then it happened again!

At round ten in Unadilla all four holeshots were once again won by riders using the Hammerhead holeshot device.  Every year Hammerhead holeshot devices win more holeshots than any other brand but it’s really special to sweep one weekend, let alone two.

VIDEO: TRIPLE BACKFLIP, ANYONE?

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