MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT: (05/04/11)

MXA INTERVIEW: DEAN WILSON

A nickname is mandatory for fast guys. This is Dino?in the classic Dean Martin tradition.

MXA: What has been some of the most exciting moments of the season from your point of view?

Dean: The most exciting aspects for me, are the wins for sure. The first one was great because it was my first win. Where I came from [back in the pack], passing all those guys to take the win was pretty sweet. Then, the win in Dallas where I passed Barcia on the last lap was pretty sweet too. I never passed anyone on the last lap before, so that was definitely cool.


Wilson at Daytona.

How about the battles with Barcia?

We have definitely had good battles. We hit each other a lot, I think we trade the most paint out of anybody. But it’s good. I’m not afraid to battle with him. People are scared to battle with him and I am not. He has stuffed me quite a lot, but I don’t think I have really retaliated yet. I am just focusing on my racing because that is what I’m here to do. I’m not here to take anyone out. We have had good battles that’s exciting and it’s cool.

Do you consider Barcias moves dirty?

I haven’t crashed, so it’s just really aggressive and that’s it. I’m aggressive too, and I am fine with it now. When it first happens you’re pissed because you’re not expecting it. But when you expect it, it’s whatever. As long as he is not trying to break your leg (which it seems like he is sometimes), it’s fine.


Dean logged his first (but surely not his last) wins this Supercross season.

What is going on with testing right now?

We’re just doing some outdoor testing, we have been doing it for the past couple weeks. This is one of my last days doing outdoors, then I’ll ride Supercross before the last round in Vegas. I have been testing suspension with bones, and trying to get my bike dialed before outdoors.

I pretty much just ride and go to the gym. I like playing basketball, I’m a big Lakers fan and a huge Kobe Bryant fan.

I want to thank everybody that’s helped me out, Monster Energy, Pro Circuit, Kawasaki, Thor, Parts Unlimited, Volcom, Vans, my mom and dad, my mechanic Paul, Toyota of Escondido there are so many out there. Everyone who supports me, thank you.

WHAT DOES IT COST TO GO TO THE RACES?

When it was announced that Las Vegas Supercross tickets were going for $75 (for track side), $65 (for view levels) and $45 (for upper levels), people began to yearn for the good old days of $10 Shred Head tickets. It would be easy to say that Vegas ticket prices are off the chart?but word on the street is that they are sold out.

How much does it cost to go to a race? Here are some quick answers from a random sampling from online ticket sites.

USGP: A USGP Sunday race ticket is $50 and if you buy it in advance you get a free pit pass that is good for all-day (from the moment the pits open until the sun sets). www.glenhelen.com

HANGTOWN NATIONAL: A Saturday ticket is $40 and a general admission tickets get a free pit pass (from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon). www.mxsportsproracing.com

MT. MORRIS NATIONAL: A Saturday ticket is $40 (you get a $5 discount by ordering online). A pit pass is $15 (from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon). www.mxsportsproracing.com
 
RED BUD NATIONAL: A Saturday ticket is $40. A pit pass is $15 (from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon). www.mxsportsproracing.com

HOW WILL THE 250 EAST, 250 WEST TITLES AND 250 SHOOTOUT WORK IN VEGAS

What is going to happen in Las Vegas? No, not with the title battle for the 450 Championship, but with the 250 East/West series running three races on the same night. The 250 East, 250 West and 250 East/West Shootout will all be held in Las Vegas (along with a Last Chance 250 Qualifier for the Shootout).

HERE ARE THE DEETS:

Purse money: There is no purse money being paid for the final 250 East or 250 west races. Feld will pay the purse for the East/West Shootout.

Who gets to race: The 20 fastest 250 East riders from timed qualifying will be seeded in the 250 East main and the 20 fastest 250 West riders from timed qualifying will be seeded in the west coast main event.

Which coast races first: The 250 East and 250 West main event order will be determined by coin toss held at the 11:30 a.m. riders meeting.

Race schedule: There will be four 250 races at Las Vegas.

At 7:30 p.m. the 250 East or 250 West will determine their championship in a 15-lap main event. The top nine will transfer to the 250 East/West Shootout. Riders who finish in 10th through 20th will go to the East/West Shootout Last Chance race.

At 8:00 p.m. the coast that lost the coin toss will have their final Championship series event (with the top nine moving to the East/West Shootout). The two 250 races will be followed by the two 450 heat races.

At 9:15 p.m. the riders who didn’t make the top nine in their 250 East and 250 West races will ride an four-lap Last Chance?with the top two riders transferring to the 250 East/West Shootout (followed by the 450 class Last Chance Qualifier).

At 9:45 the ten-lap 250 East/West Shootout will be held (followed by the 20-lap 450 main Event at 10:10 p.m.).

MXA INTERVIEW: CHRISTIAN CRAIG

Christian Craig.

MXA: What are you working on today at Glen Helen?

Christian: I am out here putting some motos in, testing with the 450, and getting ready for the USGP in two weeks. I’m doing some long the moto’s to get used to the 35-minute-plus-two-lap races so I can be strong through the whole moto.

Why ride the 450?

Troy Lee gave me the opportunity to do it. I took the opportunity to test the bike a couple times. I felt comfortable on it right away and I had a lot of fun on it right away. It was my decision to do it, it wasn’t theirs. I think I’ll be strong on the bike and I think it will be a good decision. I feel like I ride a 450 a lot smoother and I can ride it a lot better.

Christian moves around on the 450 and puts the power down.

What are you fine tuning and testing on the 450?

It took us a while to get the suspension dialed in, but Pro Circuit got it to where I like it. The bike is handling awesome. I have no complaints about the bike right now, it’s awesome.

Are you planning to ride the USGP and all of the outdoor Nationals?

Yes, I’m using the GP as kind of a warm up race to get ready for Hangtown. I’m going to try to stay safe and make it through the whole series. I want to make all 24 motos, be strong through every moto and have some good finishes. I didn’t know what to expect in Supercross. Unfortunately I broke my leg and had to sit out, I only made it to three rounds. But, that’s all right, it’s a learning experience. I’m going into the outdoors with a lot more experience and I know what I gotta do to make it through the whole series.

Do you prefer Supercross or motocross?

I ride Supercross a lot better, but I am starting to like motocross a lot too. I like them both about the same, but I think Supercross fits my style a lot better. I know how to go low all the sections fast and stay low and all that stuff. I have fun at Supercross for sure,


Size-wise, Christian looks like a good fit for the 450.

Is there anything else new with the team?

The team is the same. The team is awesome and the bikes are awesome. I have a great mechanic behind me, my brother. The whole team is behind me. Whatever I need they help me get, and I can’t thank them enough. I’m training with Ryan Hughes. I think I work well with him. He is making me a stronger person mentally and physically. I can’t thank him enough too. I’ve just been training, riding the 450, and getting ready for the races.

So, your brother is your mechanic?

Yeah, he was Tarah Geiger’s mechanic last year and he stepped up to be my mechanic this year. I think it’s a good fit. Sometimes that’s a little hard, the brother-ness gets in the way and we will fight. But it’s all right, it’s all fun.

Want to thank sponsors?

The whole Troy Lee Designs Lucas Oil Honda team, I can’t thank them enough for sticking behind me through 2009, 2010 and 2011. They are awesome. Tyler, Matt the engine guy, and Troy Lee especially.
  
MEET THE GRAND PRIX STARS AT MALCOLM’S PLACE ON THURSDAY, MAY 12

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WHO’S WHO IN THE BRITISH ZOO?

Kristian Whatley is the British 450 Champion.

The fourth round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship was held at the newly redeveloped Milton Malsor circuit near Northampton in middle England this past weekend. The track had never held a major Championship race before, but was blessed with something that few British racetrack have?sunshine.

450 CLASS

Brad Anderson.                                                                                                            
Photos: Moto Magazine

Brad Anderson took the overall 450 victory with Kristian Whatley, son of Jeremy Whatley, keeping him honest. Anderson won motos one and three, but Whatley took the second moto with an impressive performance. Martin Barr was a contender for the lead in moto one until he made a mistake and ended up on the third step of the podium.

250 CLASS

Yank Zach Osborne and Swiss Arnaud Tonus raced for British pride..oops that’s not right.

American Zach Osborne and Swiss rider Arnaud Tonus were going at it like nobodies business. Zach got the win with a 1-1-2 in front of Tonus’ 2-2-1. The top British rider was Elliott Banks Browne.

MILTON MALSOR RESULTS: MAXXIS MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
450 Class
1. Brad Anderson…1-2-1
2. Kristian Whatley…2-1-4
3. Martin Barr…3-4-3
4. Jason Dougan…12-3-2
5. Stephen Sword…4-5-6
6. Alex Snow …6-7-6
7. Gert Krestinov…5-8-8
8. Nathan Parker…9-5-10
9. Tom Church…7-15-8
10. Graeme Irwin…11-9-11

250 Class
1. Zach Osborne…1-1-2
2. Arnaud Tonus…2-2-1
3. Elliott Banks Browne…3-5-3
4. Mel Pocock…5-3-4
5. Neville Bradshaw…6-4-7
6. Scott Elderfield…10-6-8
7. Alan Keet…8-8-13
8. Stuart Edmonds…11-7-12
9. Ray Rowson…7-6-D
10. Anthony Reville…14-9-11

AN AERIAL VIEW OF THE USGP TRACK LAYOUT

For those familiar with Glen Helen this aerial photo will make sense, for the rest of you, think of it as a predator drone photo of a suspected Iranian nuclear site.

With the exception of the Talladega first turn, the 2011 USGP track at is completely different from last year’s layout. Immediately after the start the track returns back towards Talladega and then climbs straight up to Mt. Saint Helen (World Two-Stroke riders will remember this climb). Both Saddleback humps are in this year’s design and the Triple Step-up actually goes higher onto the REM track (followed by a ridge that hasn’t been use since Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart collided there). After the REM Ridge comes the Stair Case, a quick drop back into the lower track and a series of turns that send the riders back up the middle of Mt. Saint Helen to the “The Falls” downhill. This year’s track is big and gnarly?and the last chance to ride it before the “Thor Cup” USGP Amateur races start on May 12 will be tomorrow’s Thursday open practice.

MXA INTERVIEW: HUNTER HEWITT

Hunter.

MXA: Can you give us some background info about yourself?

Hunter: Originally, I am from Pilot Point, Texas. I recently moved to Austin, Texas. I am 21 years old I have been riding since I was 10. This is my second year as a professional. Last year I did West Coast Supercross and this year I’m doing East Coast. Last year was good, but I did not get inside the top 10 until the last three races. I was still figuring out things. Last year, outdoors was a big learning experience. I didn’t really have any good solid races, I was just going out there and figuring things out. This year in East Coast has been a huge difference. Every single race I have run inside the top 10. Either I’m on the ground or I’m inside the top 10. This year is going really good so far and I couldn’t be happier. My trainer, Seiji [www.coachseiji.com], lives in Austin as well. We are pretty much down there full-time, and Andrew shorten down there as well. We ride and all that stuff, and it’s a really good program. Shorty has his own track at his facility and Seiji has a track. Really, we just alternate between those two tracks. With Supercross, we fly in and out every single weekend, and it’s easy to stay on one track and work on skills and things.

What have been some of the highlights this season for you?

The biggest highlight has really just been being up there every weekend, being inside the top five and learning. This is really the first time I have been able to be up front and run with those guys. It makes racing really fun actually. It builds your confidence up and makes you really look forward to going to the races and a look forward to next weekend. It makes our job a little bit better. In Atlanta, I ran fifth-place all the way until the 14th lap. Sipes got me on the very last lap. I was bummed about it but it was still a fun time.

Right now we’re hearing going on testing some suspension. Really we have been testing suspension all week. for this outdoor season I’m planning to take it The Same Way, Supercross. I’m going to take a race by race focus on myself and not worry about anyone else. I’m looking to be inside the top 10, that’s where I want to be and that’s really tough in the Lites class. It’s going to be a challenge for sure but I’d like to see myself in the top 10 by the end of the season.


Hunter practices with Andrew Short back home in Texas.

Do you prefer Supercross or motocross?

I definitely prefer Supercross. Outdoors is tough for me. Supercross comes a little bit easier for me and my riding style. Right now I’m learning. I have only been in the business for two years and I learn something new each time I go out onto the track.

Want to thank sponsors?

I definitely have to thank my mechanic Jamie Ellis. One Industries, Rockstar, Spy goggles, Pro Circuit… that’s it.

AMA HALL OF FAME & CHAMPIONS WEEKEND RETURNS TO LAS VEGAS, NOV. 18-20, 2011

It will be hard for the AMA to top last year’s Hall of Fame ceremony where the AMA made the mistake of allowing Jody to make a speech.
 
The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend features history’s motorcycling legends, today’s amateur champions and collectible motorcycles of every genre returns to the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 18-19-20. Kicking off the weekend is the 2011 Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Friday evening, followed by the Concours d’Elegance bike show on Saturday and the AMA Amateur Racing Banquet on Sunday.
 
The Hall of Fame Class of 2011 nominees have not be announced yet. The AMA event is held on the same weekend as the nearby AMA EnduroCross finale.
Tickets are available at www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com or www.MotorcycleMuseum.org. Advance tickets for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony are $125 and $75 for the AMA Racing Championship banquet through Sept. 18. Ticket prices increase to $150 (Hall of Fame ceremony) and $85 (AMA Racing banquet) on Sept. 19. 

NEBRASKA TRACK DELAYED BY INDIAN ARTIFACTS

According to Lincoln Journal-Star: The opening of the long-awaited motocross track at Abbott Sports Complex hit another snag with the discovery of animal bone fragments, a bison tooth and broken pottery at the site.

The bones and artifacts may have been part of a Native hunting camp, so the site will be examined by the Nebraska State Historical Society’s archaeological division. State law requires construction or any other work to stop when remains are found.

The track, which was set to open for a May 22 race, will remain closed until the investigation is complete. The process could take as little as a few weeks or much longer, pending archaeological findings, according to Gayle Carlson, associate director for archaeology at the historical society.

“There’s not much left to the site,” Carlson said. “Most of it has been destroyed by farming and everything that’s happened. We are interested in seeing if there’s anything below the surface that has been preserved and is significant.”

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: REMEMBERING MAGOO

Geoff Wills snapped this photo on Highway 101 in Humboldt County near the Highway 26 turnoff.

JOSH HANSEN’S TWITTER APOLOGY FOR HIS MOVE ON ELI TOMAC


From almost any perspective Josh Hansen’s ram of Eli Tomac on lap one at Salt Lake City was a desperation move at best and an act punishable by Karma at the worst. This was not a “racing incident” because Hansen didn’t turn away, didn’t get position on Eli, made the move with malice and plowed in with both guns blazing. Had Josh succeeded in his take-out attempt he would have regretted it for much longer than he will regret losing the 2011 AMA 250 West title. Hopefully Josh Hansen understands that every great rider has lost championships, but championships are held every year and can be regained. Respect, on the other hand, is much harder to get back. After the race Josh tweeted the modern social networking version of an apology for his action.

Josh Hansen
“Over my head and showed my immaturity as a racer, I just want it so bad and I deserve what I get …….thanks to Mitch for standing behind.”

Josh Hansen
“I just want to apologize to my family sponsors and fans and to the Factory Connection people for the immature pass I tried to make.”

WHAMMO FOR BRAMMO! MORE ELECTRIC MOTOCROSS BIKES TO COME


The Brammo Engage is a prototype for an electric offroad bike?although the Asphalt & Rubber photo is from a road-going model?that reportedly features regenerative braking (to charge the battery) and a special six-speed transmission (specifically designed for electric motors). The Brammo Engage MX is a full-sized dirt bike, while the Brammo Entice will be debuted at the AMA Mini Moto SX in Las Vegas this week. Are you ready for the price? The Engage MX has an anticipated price of $9,995.

Doug “Doctor D” Dubach Riding School Riding Tips: CORNERING


In class, Doug demonstrates on the bike too.

We sent an MXA rider to Doug Dubach’s Riding School for a refresher, but figured it wasn’t fair to horde all the knowledge. So, we acquired some starting tips from “Doctor D” himself to share, and give a sneek peek at the class. In previous Midweek Reports we leaked secret DRD info about starts. This is our final set of tips on cornerning. For more information and to sign up, check out www.dubachracing.com

Corner speed is the key to racing; you will never pass a guy down the next straight if his corner speed is faster than yours. To achieve corner speed, you must understand and execute proper cornering technique.”  

As you approach a corner make sure you’re scanning the terrain, that means glancing up at the corner and then looking for a good braking area. Corners will usually be rough with braking bumps so try to pick the smoothest entry line, one which provides the best braking condition. You should be standing up in the attack position, allowing your legs and arms to soak up the bumps, and as you finish braking move to the sitting position in one fluid motion. Remember your leg is out for weight, you don’t need to keep it overly high, just enough to avoid contact to the ground.

Body position
It is critical to understand body position and how it will change due to the type of corner.

The Golden Rule is to understand the ?contact patch’ of your tires; most of us determine this after sliding out a few times on flat corners then feeling much more confident when there is a berm available. The rule is if you have a rut supporting the ?bottom’ of your tires, you will remain inline with your bike as bike and body lean for the corner. If you have a flat corner where the ?contact patch’ is on the inside edge of your tires, you will want to adjust your body to get your weight onto the outside edge of the seat by shifting your butt over as if to sit on the side of the seat instead of the top. Your head should always remain inline with the tops of your forks.

One of the tips to remember when cornering is ‘steady in, fast out’, brake as late as possible but stay in control as you enter the turn.   Let’s look at few cornering possibilities; they can roughly be divided into three (3) types; bermed, flat and rutted.

Berms

Berms come in all shapes and sizes and because you can carry more speed, many racers instinctively head to the berm. You need to make sure that the berm, (which is easier to negotiate for most) is the right choice. It will likely be on the outside of the corner, making it a lot further to travel, the extra corner speed you carry will be lost if you’re travelling 3 times the distance of your competition who took the inside line through the same corner.

Having said that, the fact that berms allow you to lean the bike into them and carry more speed through the corner means that you can get a good flow happening from one corner to the next, or get that extra exit speed to clear an obstacle down the next straight. The steeper the angle of the berm the more you can lean the bike into it.

Flat Corners

Because there is no camber to a flat corner, your tires are only going to have ?contact’ on the inside knobs, you will need to shift your butt to the outside of the bike, to sit more on the corner of the seat to put weight ?above’ the leaning bike. Your body is still vertical, even though the bike is leaned.

Body position is very important corners too.

Look through the corner and aim for the line that you want to exit. Once you pass the apex of the corner you should be accelerating just enough that both wheels of the bike are starting to drift, much like your search for a good braking surface on your way into a corner, you will need to focus on the best real estate to complete your corner and drive down the next straight. It’s ok to let it drift, as long as you have something to bite into before the bike gets too far around. Exercise good throttle control and don’t be over-zealous; your throttle needs to match the grip level of the exit.

Rutted Corners

Cornering in ruts takes a combination of skill and confidence. Ruts are one of the most intimidating things on the race track, however, with a very simple understanding of the ?basics’ you can lean your way into perfection. Picture a rider on a bicycle velodrome track, (A velodrome is an oval track that has banked turns at about a 45 degree angle at each end). If he is riding slowly in the corners, he is almost sliding off the inside of the corner, yet when he picks up his speed, it becomes almost effortless to stay on the track. He has now matched his speed to his lean angle. If he increases speed too fast the 45 degree angle will no longer be able to contain him, he would fly off the outside. This is the ?basics’. A rutted corner that has been created by faster riders can have as much as an 80 degree angle to it, which makes it very difficult to go through ?effortlessly unless you are leaning approximately 80 degrees. To be leaned over that far you would need to go the speed of the guys who made it. Your lean angle needs to match closely to the angle of the corner (the bottom of the rut). We have all experienced ?crawling out of a rutted corner’ this is due to not leaning far enough over to ?match the speed and the angle’. If you can understand these basic concepts, your rutted cornering will improve noticeably and ultimately improve your lap times.

Practice really is the key to cornering in ruts; with confidence and the commitment to lean, the whole process becomes easier.

PRESS RELEASE: THE MIC ADOPTS PROTOCOL FOR DETERMINING REAL-WORLD RANGE OF ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLES

Consumers looking for consistent and accurate information about the real-world riding range of electric on-highway motorcycles may soon find help from a new procedure developed by the Motorcycle Industry Council. The City Riding Range Test Procedure for Electric Motorcycles, created by the MIC’s Electric Vehicle Task Force, establishes a standard method for determining how far an electric bike will travel between full charges.

Until now, manufacturers have used different methods for calculating range, making it difficult for shoppers to compare various electric motorcycles that they are considering for purchase. And some methods may not accurately estimate the actual range on a fully charged battery, even under similar operating conditions. The MIC anticipates that manufacturers will immediately and voluntarily begin using the protocol. The MIC task force also hopes to have this recommended procedure adopted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), an organization internationally known for developing motor vehicle standards.

The MIC procedure is based on the Urban All-Electric Range Test used for electric cars under California and federal regulations. The procedure determines the range, expressed in miles or kilometers, for stop-and-go operation, representative of riding in an urban area over a variety of roads and traffic conditions. Since the MIC protocol is for motorcycles, which are ridden and not driven, it has been named the City Riding Range Test Procedure for Electric Motorcycles. 

Starting with a fully charged battery, range is determined based on the distance that can be traveled before the vehicle is no longer able to keep up with a specified speed-time profile. The basic driving cycle in the protocol sets top speed at 56.7 mph and average speed at 19.6 mph. A low-speed driving cycle, with a top speed of 36.5 mph and an average speed of 17.7 mph, is used for vehicles with a maximum speed under 56.7 mph but not below 20 mph. The MIC test procedure is not intended for vehicles with a top speed under 20 mph.
Besides the test procedure, the task force is addressing a broad scope of issues related to electric vehicles, such as land use, other technical/performance standards, public information and education. On Capitol Hill, the MIC’s government relations staff monitors and advocates lawmaking in Congress that promotes electric vehicle use and ensures that two- and three-wheeled vehicles are included in such legislation.

In state legislatures across the country, debate over regulations and tax laws pertaining to electric vehicles is becoming more common as more of these machines are being produced and sold. The MIC is promoting electric motorcycle inclusion in numerous bills that provide tax credits and sales tax exemptions for four-wheel electric vehicles.
For more info, visit the MIC at www.mic.org.

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