MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY JOHN BASHER (8/21/13)

August 21, 2013
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PHOTO OF THE WEEK

    In case you live under a rock, the inaugural Utah National went off at Miller Motorsports Park on Saturday. The day had a little bit of everything?great racing, two championships decided, a decent turnout, a Supercross-style track?oh, and a massive dust storm that blew through Tooele during the second 250 moto. How gnarly was it? Take a look at this photo. I’m still trying to clean off the dust in places that I didn’t know dust could go.

MINI-VIEW: TREY CANARD

    By his previous championship standards, 2013 may not be a super successful season for Muscle Milk Honda rider Trey Canard. After all, back in 2008 he won an AMA Supercross 250 Regional Championship, and then in 2010 won the 250 AMA motocross Championship, and was a member of the winning USA team at the MXdN. But after the tough year Trey had in 2012 getting through a full season of racing has to feel good. We caught up with the soon to be married 22-year-old after his third place finish at Miller Motorsports Park to capture his thoughts.

By Jim Kimball

MXA: Trey, congratulations on getting on the box at Miller Motorsports Park.  
Trey: Yeah, I think that overall it’s been a pretty good series ? when I get my perspective in the right place. Looking at this as a building year with where I am at in points, even with some of the disappointing rounds, I think that it has been a huge deal to finish out the series. There have been a couple things that have been out of control, like last weekend at Unadilla, where I had motor issues, and then the first turn crash ? but there has been nothing that I would have done any different. I feel that I have learned a lot, and can now carry that over into next season.

Do you feel okay with where you are at in the point standings?
You definitely want to be closer, and as a racer you want to win. So, you are not really satisfied unless you are right there in the hunt, you know? But at the same time I want to take it for what it is, and be grateful for that.
 
What else do you need to do to get back in that championship hunt?
That’s a tough question, Jim, and I wish that I knew the direct answer to that. But what I really think is going to help if I finish this series out, and carry that experience and momentum into next season. I think that having a full year of racing under my belt will be huge for me, both physically and mentally. This offseason should be really key to build from and grow on to get stronger. I’m just going to do my best and work as hard as I can?gel with the team better, and hopefully that will put me with the leaders next year.

You mentioned the offseason. Are you doing any major races?
I’m not really planning on doing any major races, and I think that will be nice. You know, I am not that used to doing a full season like I have this year. It’s been an amazing chapter in my life.  I am kind of disappointed that we are not doing the Monster Energy Cup, but I feel that it is the best decision for me, and my fianc‚ as well, as we are getting married. But I am planning on doing Bercy. Hopefully that will be a good chance to see where we are at with some other riders. Then we will have a little time off before Anaheim 1.

So a little time off, getting married, and coming back stronger than ever for 2014!
Yes!  I am very excited with what is coming up, and the goal is to come back stronger for 2014. To be honest, that should have been my goal all year long ? and use this year as a building year.  I don’t know, though. I really wanted to win a race in 2013. Maybe we can still grab a win at Lake Elsinore, but if not then next year!
 
RIDE ON BOARD WITH RYAN SIPES
See what it’s like to get the holeshot, and then listen at 0:22 seconds as “America’s Favorite Redneck” hoots and hollers

A PICTORIAL OF THE 250 NATIONAL CHAMP’S BIKE FROM UTAH



POST-RACE UTAH QUOTES

RYAN VILLOPOTO

    On his first moto: “I ended up getting the holeshot, and that felt really good. I was able to get a gap right away and keep pushing. I was gauging on where Ryan [Dungey] was. The pit board was telling me, too. I just kept pushing and tried to make the gap as big as I could get it.”

    On the Tooele track: “It can be better. It’s the first shot at it. It’s the first time they built a motorcycle track here. Now that we’ve raced on it, they can see how it developed. Overall I thought it was a pretty good race track. Maybe they could have watered the infield. It was like a desert out there during the 250 race.”

    On still having fun racing: “It is gnarly being at this level. That’s one of the reasons why Ricky [Carmichael] retired when he did. That’s why I think our careers are a little shorter if you’re at the top for so long. No one wants to go back during the week and sweat in Florida. It’s not easy. Winning is fun, but during the week it is tough.”

    On missing the MXDN: “I’ve had a lot of good luck and great success at that race. It is for sure one of the most fun races to do. It’s a bummer that I’m going to miss it. I wish those guys the best of luck, and I hope they can come back with the trophy.”

    On whether he’ll be racing the Monster Cup: “I plan on racing the Monster Cup. [With the surgery] that should still give me enough time to get things all sorted out, get back on the bike and do some testing before the Monster Cup.”

RYAN DUNGEY

    On Team USA’s chances at the MXDN: “I think our chances are good. Last year, for all of us, it was in their [Europe’s] backyard. They literally live two miles from that place. I think they knew what they were doing when they held it there. It was tough. It was my first time losing the des Nations, and I had been on the team four years.”
 
    ”Germany is going to be a different track from what I’m hearing. We have a great team and great group of people. I don’t think it’s nothing we can’t handle.”

    On the Tooele track: “When you come to a new track it’s almost like it has to prove itself to win you over. Elsinore got really hard [last year], but this was really choppy. It was physically a tough track. This isn’t out in the middle of nowhere compared to some of the places we’ve gone. Overall it was good.”

    On bike changes the team made before Utah: “We reinvented the wheel. We had to. It was time. It was a brand new setup for me, and it was so much in the right direction. It came a little too late, and I would have liked to get there quicker, but that’s how it goes. Our bikes are really going to start coming around here, from this point and going into next year.”

TREY CANARD

    On his weekend in Utah: “I got decent starts and rode to where I was comfortable, and that was it. I’m a little disappointed in it, actually.”

    On the Tooele track: “When I pulled in it was like a theme park. There was the zip line, and also the go karting. It made for really happy fans. They were really excited to have a race in Utah. It’s difficult because it’s a man-made track with elevation.”

    On his least favorite nickname: “My least favorite nickname is Snickers. When I was 11 I was a little big and I ate a whole drawer of snickers [in one sitting]. That’s how I got the nickname Snickers.”

    On whether he’ll race the Monster Cup: “I won’t be at the Monster Cup. I’m getting married the weekend of Motocross of Nations.”

ROGER DECOSTER

    On the MXDN: “Des Nations is a very special race. It’s probably my favorite race of the year. I feel really lucky to be going over there with American riders that really work together. It’s amazing how all these guys can be racing each other so hard, and they hate each other, and then we go to Europe and they’re best buddies. That’s really a big advantage for us going to Europe.”

    On his allegiance to the USA, even though he’s from Belgium: “The first year [that I was team manager] was tough, because the first year we won, in Lommel, I had guys pushing me and wanting to fight. I actually had to punch a guy in the face to leave me alone. It was kind of weird. Over the years I have been in the U.S. for so long now, I like to see the Belgians do good, but I want the Americans to win.”

    On whether KTM will add another 450 racer to the team: “Not unless Villopoto and Tomac want to come and join us!”

EPISODE SIX: ON PACE WITH TRAVIS PASTRANA

    On Episode 6 of On Pace with Travis Pastrana, Travis gears up for X Games LA. After testing his car in Fontana, Travis hangs out at the Red Bull X Games kickoff party with fellow Red Bull athletes Ryan Sheckler, Robbie Maddison, and Ian Walsh. After, Travis takes a private jet to go race NASCAR, and finally returns to LA for the Rallycross race at the end of the weekend.

See it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuuW_7MYqUU&feature=share&list=ELCAwtFPTlQDE

DEMARK: THE AMERICAN WAY IS UP FOR QUESTION
By Daryl Ecklund

    We Americans take much pride in what we stand for, what we believe in and support the American way through and through. I spent the finest years of my life being a prideful American thinking that “our way” was always the right way. I mean, why not? We grew to be the most powerful country in the world in only a few centuries! But as we all have learned in history class, all great empires rise and eventually fall.  I am not saying that I have given up on America, as I will fight to the bitter end for the country I love. But I do feel as if we live inside an American box not wanting to peak outside for the possibility of an outside force to shed some light.
    America has a “bigger is better attitude,” but what good has this led to? The “super size me” menu has spiked waist sizes, big spending using credit put the country in turmoil, and the emphasis on complicated high horsepower engines has caused nothing but raised prices and some severe arm pump. But horsepower is king, right? That really depends on the priorities. If you like to gloat about having the most pony power and talk the talk, then I can sympathize with you. Heck, I do the same thing, but after traveling around Denmark, I feel being able to walk the walk takes something more than just impressive dyno charts.
    I am currently on my way home from spending a full week in Denmark on assignment from MXA. I fully embraced the Danish moto lifestyle by testing at three different tracks, then racing two different bikes on two different tracks on back-to-back days with the help Christian Lovanfeldt. Christian is in constant search of the perfect ride. He has over 35 bikes that go with multiple sets of suspension from all over the world, ranging from rare works components, A and B kit suspension, WP Cornwell forks, full Ohlins kits, along with that Christian is the Fox Shox distributor. The components range to fit the small 85cc engines with big bike chassis’ to the legendary 500cc two-strokes. He has the same dream that every motocross rider has. He want to create the perfect bike. But as we dream about this, Christian has the resources and drive to make this happen, not just for one bike but every bike he owns.
    So do you catch my drift? I have been engulfed in motocross all my life, as a racer, coach and MXA test rider I have ridden factory bikes, tested multiple suspension components and raced in lots of weird places, but this week I can tell you that nothing compares to the suspension I rode this week in Denmark. I was shocked when I saw the bike I was scheduled to ride. It was a TM 85cc engine in a full-size bike frame. It was equipped with a full set Ohlins suspension that we tested, tweaked, and re-valved to perfection.


A quivver of Lovanfeldt‘s suspension.

    Racing this bike strange bike ata very unique grass track race, I gained nothing but confidence with each lap that went by. The big braking bumps that I would normally death grip through I was able to stay loose and fluid as the suspension soaked up everything that came in sight. The rougher the track got the more I was impressed. I felt one with the bike and was in control 100 percent of the time.
    With the majority of the bikes I test at MXA, whether it’s the new 2014 models or a project bike, the manufactures have seemed to primary focus on making the bikes faster rather than put a focus on suspension. And I understand why. It’s what the customer “thinks” they want.
    I have ridden many high horsepower bikes in my day, but a majority of those bikes I couldn’t ride to their full potential as the engine outpowered the suspension. This always leads to a lack confidence, not only in the bike, but also in myself. You doubt yourself in your abilities for what you are capable of. The engine has no trouble going to the next level, but it is so strong that we can’t master it to its fullest. We are hindered by death grip we have on the handlebars, while  waiting for the blisters to pop.
    Every bike in the USA has an aftermarket pipe on it. In Denmark the racers invest in the suspension. I hate to break the news to you, but compared to a full exhaust system, I will guarantee that, if set up properly, great suspension will drop lap times, improve safety, gain confidence, and make you faster than any pipe.
    After spending a full week in Denmark riding, racing and enjoying the moto life, I am still distllling the experience. You can read all about my Denmark trip in an upcoming issue of MXA. I promise you that its an interesting story about a country with great people who also live, breathe and sleep dirt bikes?just with a different twist than us. And, no, they never adopted the “Super-Size It” menu.

VIDEO: KTM ORANGE BRIGADE AT LORETTA’S

D.A.R.E. IN THE DIRT RACE: SUNDAY, SEPT. 15TH AT AZTEC RACEWAY
Come race and support a great cause. MX Fanatic Promotions is hoping to raise over $5000 to donate to the D.A.R.E. program. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/COLORADODARE.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: PART 2

    Attention every other country fielding a team for this year’s Motocross des Nations in Germany: prepare to lose! With Ryan Dungey (450), Eli Tomac (250) and Justin Barcia (Open) representing Team USA, it’s going to be lights out for everyone else. I’m talking to you Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Latvia, Russia and all others!

ATTENTION FOREIGNERS, YOU HAVE A HOME IN THE U.S.: COME VISIT STAPO MX

HARD ROCK HOTEL TO SERVE AS SHUTTLE SPOT FOR MONSTER CUP

    Feld Motor Sports? announced that the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas will serve as the shuttle pick up and drop off location for the third-annual Monster Energy Cup, which takes place at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday, October 19.
    Free shuttle buses will be available for all fans between the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Sam Boyd Stadium throughout race day. Shuttle buses will run from 12:00 p.m. ? 4:30 p.m. and following the race from 9:30 p.m. ? 11:00 p.m. For more information on how to utilize the free shuttle service visit www.MonsterEnergyCup.com. Fans looking to reserve rooms for the event can visit www.HardRockHotel.com.
    The 2013 Monster Energy Cup features an all-new track design inspired by five-time Monster Energy Supercross Champion Ricky Carmichael that will challenge the best supercross and motocross riders in the world. This one-of-a-kind track will consist of a split start, the famous joker lane, and a section of the track being built into the stands. This lucrative event posts a $250,000 purse with the winner walking away with a $100,000 check, and any rider that wins all three Main Events will take home $1 million.
    For more information on the Monster Energy Cup, log on to www.MonsterEnergyCup.com.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: PART 3

    It’s tradition for the past year’s championship mechanic to hand over his rider’s number one plate once a new rider/mechanic wins the title. Last year’s champ, Blake Baggett, had to fork over his coveted number plate to Eli Tomac. Do think think, Eli’s mechanic, Brian Kranz (shown), was happy?

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