MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT (02/29/12)


By John Basher  

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK


    Kevin Windham turned 34-years-old yesterday, and this came a few days after he raced his 200th Supercross. Always a true showman, K-Dub is the Master of Opening Ceremonies. If you haven’t seen his 100′ plus transfers in sheer darkness and his stoppies during the opening ceremonies then you’re missing out. Congrats to Windham on 200! Photos courtesy of Geico/Honda.

MINI-VIEW: COLE SEELY

    Troy Lee Designs/Honda rider Cole Seely, third in the 250 West point standings, opted to fill in for the injured Trey Canard on the factory Honda squad for several of the 450 East coast rounds. It wasn’t an easy decision for the California native, as you’ll soon find out. However, after Atlanta, in which he holeshot and led for seven laps, it seemed to be a smart move in getting seat time on the 450. Cole finished up the main in sixth place and left Georgia with newfound confidence. Here’s what Seely had to say about his experience on Saturday night and how everything came to be.  
 
MXA: How did the factory Honda 450 deal come together?
Cole: The Wednesday after San Diego [team manager] Erik Kehoe called me up. He wanted to know what I thought about filling in for Trey Canard on a few of the East coast rounds in the 450 class. I told him that I had to think about it, and that I would call him back the next day and give him a final answer. After Eli [Tomac] got hurt in San Diego the point race tightened back up. I am only 15 points out of the 250 West title right now, and with three rounds left anything can happen. I could potentially win the title, so I didn’t want to put myself in the position to get hurt and not race the rest of the West coast. However, I weighed that out against my experience filling in for the team last year. That experience last year really helped me come back strong in the 250 class. Then I spoke with Justin Brayton for a while. I’ve been riding and training with him for quite a while, and he told me that he thought it was the best decision for me to race the 450. After really weighing all of the positives and negatives, I realized that I would have a lot of fun doing it.

Having known you for quite a while, it’s pretty funny to look back five years ago and think about being in such a welcoming predicament? You know, saying ?Man, maybe I shouldn’t take this factory Honda ride, because I really need to focus on winning the 250 West title.’
[Laughter] I was actually thinking about that a few days ago. It’s kind of crazy looking back on the past four years of my professional career. I came from Fun Center Suzuki and signed with Troy Lee Designs. Then, I got my first win last year and now I’m in the points chase for the title and filling in for a factory ride. It’s pretty overwhelming! I feel lucky that I took the route that I did to get to where I’m at now. I appreciate things a lot more than, say, being a top amateur rider moving up to the pro class and expected to do well.

What was going through your mind after you holeshot the main in Atlanta this past weekend and led everyone for seven laps?
The first lap I made a mistake right in front of the finish line and Dungey was able to get a wheel in on me. I expected that, and then I got him right back. On the next lap I started putting in solid times and hitting all of my marks. Nobody put a wheel on me. The same thing happened the third lap. I was expecting someone to pass me right away, and when it didn’t happen after three laps I got more confidence. Once I hit the five lap mark I started thinking that I might be able to win the whole thing. I tried to stay smooth and calm, but what got the best of me was how much experience the top guys have. In time it will come for me, but I was thankful to lead for as long as I did. I learned a lot from that experience.


A two-time winner last year, Cole kicked off the 2012 250 West with a win at A1. He sits third in the point standings and will spend the next month racing the 450 class, filling in for the injured Trey Canard. Look for more great results out of Seely.

Is it tough setting a pace when you’re leading the fast guys in the world? Or were you just trying to go as fast as humanly possible and let the chips fall where they may?
Actually I thought it was kind of easy at first, but after a few laps I realized that those guys can go so fast for so long. If it was a 250 race I could have just put it on cruise control and paced myself. Obviously Dungey is as good as it gets, and when I backed off the pace a little bit he was right on my tail. I didn’t want to fight back with those guys, because Dungey, Villopoto and Stewart are all in their own points race. I wouldn’t want some newcomer coming in and fighting me over positions. I had to ride a little bit respectful.

You had signed a long-term deal with Troy Lee Designs last year. Are you going to point out of the 250 class after this year?
No, I won’t. I didn’t get enough points until 2010, and you have to accumulate enough points three years in a row before you get kicked out. I still have another year, as long as I don’t win the title this year. Obviously though I want to win the title more than anything.

What rounds are you doing on the 450?
I’ll be racing St. Louis, Daytona and Indianapolis. I want to focus on outdoor testing. That’s why I started so early this year filling in, because I want more time for outdoor testing. I’ll also need to adjust back to the power of the 250.

Good luck to you this weekend and beyond, Cole.
Thanks, John.

WATCH DRAKE’S PASSAGE, EPISODE 6 – RIDING IN MADRID
    In this week’s episode, Drake continues to enjoy the Spanish lifestyle. After learning about one of the country’s most popular delicacies and honing his knife skills at Botin, one of the world’s oldest restaurants, Drake experiences Madrid’s nightlife at the Wurlitzer Ballroom, a funky rock and roll club. He then takes a motorcycle ride through the Spanish countryside, soaking up the country’s history and putting the perfect end to an amazing trip.

PURSUIT IN ACTION: BE A BETTER RIDER NOW

    Longtime MXA test rider and all-around good guy Daryl Ecklund is a former Pro racer that turned towards sport nutrition. Now Daryl has graduated from college and trains the likes of Kurt Caselli, Kyle Redmond, Tye Hames and several other top racers. The enterprising Ecklund even started his own business, called Pursuit in Action, with the tag line “We Put Your Goals Into Action.” Daryl is offering his experience and skill set to the general public, and welcomes every type of motocross/offroad rider. Here’s more information on Pursuit In Action:


Daryl can show you how to corner, just like he’s doing here on the 2012 Husqvarna CR144…

At the track training sessions starting at $55 per hour (group rates available) including –
    * Learn proper technique and body mechanics on the bike
    * Understand how to be faster yet safer
    * Understand when to use the clutch and proper shift points for less bike wear
    * Learn how to progress with corner speed, starting, jumping, whoops and more



…and he can also show you how to jump, like he’s doing here on the 2012 Yamaha YZ125…

Contact for more information and pricing for:
    * Nutrition analysis
    * Customized strength, endurance, and flexibility programs
    * Personal training (group or individual)
    * Pursuit to win package (serious racers only)



…but we don’t recommend learning how to loop out and grab the front fender while soaring over an 80-foot jump, like he’s doing here. That is a professionals-only move.

Trainer: Daryl Ecklund
    * Experienced Pro rider for six years and riding over 20 years
    * Degree in Health and Fitness
    * Personal training certification with the NSCA
    * Coaching riders on the track for over nine years

For more information, call (661) 733-5455, email d.ecklund@pursuitinaction.com, or visit www.pursuitinaction.com.

NO CAPTION NEEDED

Get it?

SCOTT SPORTS PRO RACE PREP – THE PRIVATEERS

MINI-VIEW: DAVE OSTERMAN

    The team manager of the second year team, TwoTwo Motorsports’ Dave Osterman was part of a winning team…that is, until owner/rider Chad Reed sustained multiple fractures and a torn ACL in a fluke crash at Dallas. Since the team only has one rider (Reed), their racing future seems up in the air. But is it? I phone Osterman to talk about how life has changed in the week since Reed went down for the count.

MXA: What kind of emotions were you dealing with this past weekend when you were watching the Supercross race on TV instead of being in the mix with Chad Reed?
Dave: The whole team has been numb. I had the opportunity to actually go ride my mountain bike this past Saturday afternoon, and as I was pedaling it got to be about 4 p.m. I thought to myself that I should be at the opening ceremonies in Atlanta. It felt really odd to be climbing a trail instead of watching the fireworks go off. Then when I got home my son asked me how the ride went. I told him that I didn’t even know, because I wasn’t even thinking about riding. My head wasn’t in it. However, watching the race on TV this past weekend helped break the ice. The whole team is going to miss being there. I respect all of the guys out on the track, but Chad Reed is a podium guy every week. Being on a winning team gives all of the guys such tremendous drive and desire to do well. We were all going a million miles an hour up to Dallas, and then it was like we slammed into a wall.

What’s going on with the team now? What’s the plan?
The plan is to forge ahead. We have some time. It’s not like we are all going to go to the tanning bed every day. We’re moving forward and trying to get Chad back out there. Supercross is done for our team, so we’re focusing on the Nationals. There’s always something to do.

Chad has been very adamant over social networking that there won’t be a fill-in rider on the TwoTwo Motorsports team. Why is that?
No disrespect, but there isn’t anyone available for what we want. Chad built this team from the ground up, and he wants a guy that will be on the podium. Every team wants a podium guy. Look at Roger DeCoster. He waited for Ryan Dungey to come sit on the bike. Chad is doing the same thing. There are only so many guys to go around. To have the team and the rig flying around and staying in hotels and eating gets expensive.


Chad will be returning to the track as soon as his body will let him. Heal up, Reedy!

When will we see Chad again?
Chad will be making appearances and showing his face around. He’s pretty antsy to get out there and be involved, because it’s no fun sitting on the couch. You might see him as early as Daytona signing autographs and doing stuff. You can see the fire in his eyes, and that’s exciting. Even though Chad is getting older, age is just a number. Look at Kevin Windham. That’s incredible.

It was so uncharacteristic of Reed to crash the way that he did in Dallas. Aside from Millville last year, which was a total fluke, he hasn’t been known as a crasher.
As Villopoto and Chad were heading into the whoops, I thought to myself that the lappers needed to get out of the way. Villopoto took a different line coming out of the corner after the whoops, and Chad did the same thing. From my vantage point when Chad hit that line it kicked him forward. It is what it is, though.

So Chad Reed will definitely be back?
Yes! It’s a heart wrenching thing to see a guy going for it and crashing. I believe that we could have made a run at the championship. I think that Villopoto will agree that Chad was his biggest threat. It was shocking to see what happened. Now hopefully there will be good battles between the two Ryan’s and James Stewart. That’s what the sport needs.

HUSQVARNA ANNOUNCES 2012 RACE CONTINGENCY PROGRAM
Husky ponies up over $10 million in contingency with payouts in more events and classes than ever before!

    Now you can earn more when you RiDE MORE! Husqvarna Motorcycles North America (HMNA) is proud to announce the 2012 Race Contingency Program, which offers over $10 million in payouts. Husqvarna is committed to supporting racers of all types, with over 100 different motocross, off-road, dirt track and supermoto events included, and payouts spread among more classes than ever before.

    “This year’s program reaches out to a wider variety of classes, including more women and vet divisions,” said National Marketing Manager Corey Eastman. “We want to support everyone out there racing a Husqvarna – not just the pro classes. The lifeblood of our sport is in the grassroots so that’s where we want to give back.”

    For more information on the 2012 Husqvarna Contingency Program, please visit www.Husqvarna-MotorcyclesNA.com/contingency.php. Or download the event listings and paying class information directly here:

Off-road Contingency
Motocross Contingency
Dirt Track and Supermoto Contingency

    Handled directly through HMNA, Husqvarna’s generous contingency is easy to use and requires no sign-up fees. Contingency earnings will be paid in the form of Husky Bucks – redeemable for Husqvarna Motorcycles merchandise at authorized Husqvarna Motorcycles dealers in the U.S. The 2012 program is retroactive to January 1, and applies to model year 2010 and newer.

    Want your series included? Let us know! Send an email to jenna.parker@husqvarna-motorcyclesna.com. For more information on the entire 2012 Husqvarna line-up, please go to www.husqvarna-motorcyclesna.com. Head to your nearest dealership to pick up a copy of the 2012 RiDE MORE Catalog, available now!

TWEET OF THE WEEK – DON’T SNEEZE, CHAD!

ONE INDUSTRIES 15TH ANNIVERSARY VIDEO

THE MANY VIEWS OF TRAVIS PASTRANA

Kudos to the Nitro Circus crew for putting this together. Check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nitrocircus

BEL-RAY ANNOUNCES LIFESTYLE CLOTHING LINE

    For more than 60 years, the Bel-Ray logo has been synonymous with quality and performance and is regarded as one of the few iconic brands within the racing industry.  An array of fashion-forward pieces is currently available and features racing wear, thermals, tees and pit shirts, as well as children’s and juniors’ attire.

    Not your typical apparel, all of the lifestyle pieces in this new line feature the authentic, Bel-Ray design with a vintage look and feel. Like all of Bel-Ray?s products, the clothing is created with only the finest materials available. Don’t accept imitations; insist on genuine Bel-Ray lifestyle apparel. The wide variety of items available will ensure that there is something for everyone to show their support of one of the most famous brands in the powersports industry. The lifestyle collection, which ranges in price from $14.99-$79.99, is currently available online at www.belray.com.

SAFETBAND SAFETY PRODUCT FOR MOTOCROSS RIDERS

cole seelydave ostermankevin windhamMID-WEEK REPORTscott sportstravis pastrana