MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT: (10/15/11)

By John Minert

MXA INTERVIEW: MARVIN MUSQUIN

Marvin Musquin of France notched two FIM 250 World GP titles under his belt (yes, he’s rail thin) and set his sights on the USA. Unfortunately, U.S. fans were robbed of a sure-fire front runner and Marvin was robbed of a true U.S. debut when he got hurt. Marvin doesn’t have the momentum of two World Championships anymore, but Movin’ Marv plans to get the ball rolling at the Monster Cup race. Still new to US fans, we decided to chat with Marvin and get to know him a bit before the race.

MXA: Would you tell us about your racing history so far?
Marvin: I started riding when I was five years old. My father rode and my brother is still riding. I grew up in France doing French championships…65, 85, 125 and then European Championships and the GPs. My first year in the GPs I finished 15th in the championship, and then I won the two following years.

How old were you that first year on the GP circuit?

I was 19 and 20. It happened so quick. My goal was to win a World Championship, and then move to America (and also get some wins and some good results). But I had some injuries and missed the 2011 Supercross Championship and most of the outdoors. So this year was like a bad dream for me. But, I got some good results at the end: two times on the podium at the last two races and third overall. So, that was good for confidence and good for the winter coming up and the next season.


Musquin is still a KTM factory rider, but he will run number 38 in the US for 2012.

Are you fully recovered from the injuries. Is there nagging pain?
I feel good. My knee is one hundred percent good. My hand is good too, my thumb is not bad. It’s good when I ride, so that’s fine. My condition is good and I proved myself at the last two races.

How do the US races compare to the GPs?

In Europe you have so much time to learn the track, with 40 minutes practice, qualification and at eh GP we ride for two days. Here in the US it’s two 15-minutes practices and it’s only one day. But I like it. I don’t know the tracks and I have to learnthem  very quick, but it’s okay. I did some good lap times outdoors. The riders are really aggressive. They are also very young. Also every bike on the line is working good, which is different than Europe. The Kawasakis, Hondas, Suzukis, Yamahas and KTM are all very good. In Europe, if have a KTM you can do a holeshot.

When do you like to do when you aren’t riding?

Go to the beach, do some kind of surf. I love to jet ski… I have one.

Do you have a preference between Supercross and motocross?

I love Supercross. I started racing Supercross when I was ten so I love it. The Monster Cup should be a little bit Supercross and a little bit motocross. No whoops, just rhythm sections and big jumps and that’s it.

Where do stay in the US?

In Corona, California. It’s very close to the KTM test track so it’s good. I love it.

NEW PRODUCT: STI SAND WEDGE MOTORCYCLE TIRE

STI Tire & Wheel, manufacturer of top-rated ATV/UTV tires and wheels such as the Black Diamond and HD Alloy Series, is proud to announce its expansion into the off-road motorcycle market with the introduction of the all-new Sand Wedge MX. The STI Sand Wedge is a rear paddle tire offering several important features and benefits that set it aside from current dirt bike dune riding products. For example, the Sand Wedge utilizes a unique center rib in its tread area. This innovative design provides much more predictable cornering characteristics than a typical paddle tire, as well as truer straight-line stability. This center rib also protects the paddles on hard terrain, greatly increasing tire life while at the same time delivering a smoother ride.

The STI Sand Wedge uses a lightweight 3-ply carcass in a 110/90-19 size with a choice of two paddle configurations. An 8-paddle option provides an ideal level of traction for 125-250cc motorcycles, while a 10-paddle model is built specifically for 450cc and larger dirt bikes. The paddles are 1.2 inches tall. Superior handling, traction and durability make the Sand Wedge a winner in the dunes, while its economical price makes it a winner at the cash register too.

STI Sand Wedge motorcycle tires are available at finer powersports dealers everywhere, through MTA Distributing. For more information, to place an order or to locate an STI dealer, visit www.stitireandwheel.com or call: East (318) 255-0049; West (951) 272-0971.

WHO WILL COMPETE FOR THE MONSTER MILLION AT THE MONSTER CUP…and who won’t?

All the buzz is about the Monster Cup because we won’t get to see the top guys race again for two-and-a-half months. The Monster Cup is a unique race that breaks up the long off-season for moto fans. The downside of having the race right in the middle of the off-season is that some riders are in the middle of switching bikes, teams or sponsors. So, here is who we think will race, and who won’t.

Chad Reed decided that he would have to sacrifice too much family time to prepare for the event.
Andrew Short is on the rider list but he’s injured.
Kevin Windham keeps on truckin’ and will compete on his Geico Honda.
Ryan Dungey just started riding his new KTM last week, and is still getting it set up.
Mike Alessi is probably very excited to race a Supercross without whoops (on a Suzuki).
James Stewart is still getting ready for some future series and hasn’t signed a deal yet.
Josh Hansen

Cole Seely
Wil Hahn is on the rider list but he’s injured.
Ivan Tedesco
Michael Byrne
Dean Wilson
Brett Metcalfe
Tyler Bowers
Jake Weimer
Mavin Musquin
Ryan Villopoto
Eli Tomac


Race Tech announced that Chris Plouffe and Ben Lamay will compete. Chris Plouffe will be making his professional indoor debut at the Monster Cup. Chris is coming off an excellent summer, including an AMA Amateur National Championship at Loretta Lynn’s in the Open A Pro Sport division. Chris is looking to turn some heads and land a top ride for the 2012 season. Ben Lamay was one of the stand out privateers of the AMA National Motocross Series. Ben was consistently inside the top 15 and earned support from the Moto Concepts racing team. Lamay showcased the excellent performance of Race Tech suspension all year, and he’ll look to use this to his advantage at the Monster Cup.

MotoConcepts announced that their riders: Jake Canada (#592), Kyle Chisholm (#11), and Tommy Weeck (#55) will compete.

MONSTER CUP FREESTYLE ? Best Trick

Kyle Loza
Mark Monea
Jackson “Jacko” Strong
Cam Sinclair
Taka Higashino

MONSTER CUP SUPER MINI RACE

Adam Cianciarulo
Jordon Smith
Cooper Webb
Daniel Baker
Andrew Pierce
Troy Graffunder
Chase Marquier
Shelby Peterson
Cole Barbieri
Jaisaac Sloan
Austen Wiser
Bradford Young
Keith Tucker
Jantz Grodzicki
Samuel Redman

WILLY MUSGRAVE?THE MAN BEHIND THE WORLD VET CHAMPIONSHIP

Willy Musgrave.

This year marks the 27th Annual World Vet Motocross Championship. Think about that! Back in 1984, when the mob majority of the world didn’t even know about Vet motocross, there was a Championship event being held (fostered by the White Brothers Tom White). Now, 27 years after the first race, the 2011 version is getting ready to fire into Glen Helen Raceway on November 5-6. MXA sat down with MTA’s Willy Musgrave, who has been an MXA test rider for years, to talk about the race that his MTA distributing company sponsors and runs, and that he himself has raced since 1989 (when he raced the Over-25 class).

MXA: What’s new for the 2011 MTA World Vet Championship?
Willy: Every year is an adventure with this race and we have lots of changes in store for the racers this year.

First, we will be paying an $8000 Pro purse and for 2011 the purse will be split equally between the Over-40 Pros (who race on Saturday, November 5) and the Over-30 Pros (who race on Sunday November 6). There will be $4000 up for grabs in each Pro class and the winners will take home $1000.

Second, we have classes of Over-25, Over-30, Over-35, Over-40, Over-45 and Over-50, but this year we will be adding an Over-55 class. There is tremendous demand in the older classes?which is why we also have Over-60 and Over-70 classes.

Third, all the scoring will be done by transponders, but unlike a lot of race organization, we do not charge the riders to use the transponders or make them rent them. Every rider who signs up will be given a transponder for free.

Fourth, in the past the Over-25 classes were limited to Saturday-only, but this year we will have Over-25 classes on both Saturday and Sunday.

Fifth, of course we will have a totally new racetrack, as we do every year. I was out at Glen Helen yesterday with Jody testing several new ideas. Glen Helen will start putting parts of the World Vet track in for this weekend’s Old Timer National, next week’s Vet-X race and the following week’s REM Octobercross. By the time the World Vet rolls around, we will have refined the layout to make it challenging, fun and safe. It will be a real motocross track and it will be Vet friendly.


Willy Musgrave is a hard-core two-stroke racer.
    
Why are there so many practice days leading up to the World Vet?
It does seem like a lot of days? what with Thursday’s practice, Friday’s half-day practice, Saturday’s warm-up race (except for the Over-40 Pros) and the Sunday Championship races. If you want to wear yourself out, I suggest that you ride every day. However, my recommendation, is to race your class on Saturday as preparation for Sunday’s races. Save some energy?we’re not young anymore. We have so many days of practice because there is a large contingent of riders from foreign countries (I’ve heard that there are entries from 20 different countries already signed up), and they aren’t used to racing on tracks as big and difficult as Glen Helen. We offer the extra practice days so that they can become accustomed to the layout. Of course, sometimes, they come and ride the track on one of the practice days and change their minds about racing on it. It is an intimidating thing to a rider who isn’t used to big hills.

Why do you think that the World Vet has taken on so much significance?
There are several reasons, and they have a lot  to do with changes in society as a whole, not just the sport of motocross.  

(1) The older guys represent a large proportion of the motorcycle population. Older riders have the money to race and they came from the 1970s and 1980s when motocross was about racing?not play riding. Back in the day, the manufacturers sold one million dirt bikes a year. That means that the pool of riders from that era is ten times larger than the pool today. Our sport is getting older and, at many local races, the Over-40 class is the biggest class of the day. Plus, industry studies reveal that motorcycle riders, as a whole, are aging along with the rest of the population. In fact, the average age of the Harley-Davidson buyer is 63 years old. I’d guess that motocross bike buyers are pushing 40. Mature racers are more established in life, their families have grown and they can afford new bikes. The young are struggling in this economy.

(2) People are riding longer than they ever have before. Back in the 1970s a rider quit the sport when he turned 26, in the 1980s they would hang it up at 30, in the 1990s it moved in the mid-30s and over the last decade it moved up to 40-years old. Believe it or not, there are riders racing the 2011 MTA World Vet Championship who raced the very first event back in 1984. They have been at all 27 events (you can see all of them in the Over-60 Expert class).

You race your own race and last year finished in the top ten in both the Over-40 Pro class and the Over-30 Pro class. How did you feel after the last moto of a long weekend?
I had more fun than you can imagine. I’m a two-stroke guy and both Pro races were a challenge. I love racing against 450 four-strokes. I was a four-stroke guy like everybody else, but I made the decision to have more fun by returning to a two-stroke. I love it?both in terms of the way it feels and how easy it is to work on. Maybe I could do better on a 450, but I’m not sure that I’d feel better about it. I know people say that it is harder to race a two-stroke, but I felt great after racing both Pro classes last year. I plan to race both Pro classes again this year on MXA‘s KTM 250SX two-stroke. I would bet that a lot of the Over-40 Pro class will also race the Over-30 Pro class.


Doug Dubach at the 2010 World Vet Championship.

Isn’t this a low-key, fun event?
For lots of riders it is…bless them. But, this is a very important race to many riders. It is the most important Vet race in the world. It is a big deal. It dwarfs all the other Vet races combined. No one takes the FIM’s Vet Cup Championship seriously. This is the grand daddy of all Vet races. It is make or break for some riders.

Think about Doug Dubach and Ryan Hughes. Although they had good AMA Pro careers, their real careers really started after their AMA careers were over. Dubach was able to parlay his World Vet Championships into a successful exhaust pipe business, guest appearances around a world, a motocross school and more than a modicum of fame. The same is true for Ryan Hughes. In the good old days, they would have disappeared into the woodwork after their last AMA race, but thanks to the World Vet Championship?they are still racing, gaining fans, getting publicity and enjoying themselves. I think more AMA Pro riders would like to have careers as long as Doug and Ryno.

THE OSSA EXPLORER IS BACK

The new Explorer uses a weird, exposed, girder-style chromoly frame, backwards two-stroke engine and fuel injection.

Spanish manufacturer Ossa is making new bikes again…long after its demise in the late 1970s. It recently caused waves when it introduced the fuel injected, backwards cylinder Ossa TR280i trials bike. Now, Ossa is back with a modern rendition of one of their old favorites?the Explorer.


The exhaust is very snake-pipe-like.


The 1976 Ossa Explorer tried to mate trials handling with offroad usability.

The 2012 Ossa Explorer uses the water-cooled, 272cc, two-stroke, fuel-injected, backwards engine from the TR280i to produce a trail bike that sits somewhere between a trials bike and an enduro bike. Equipped with a six-speed tranny, 76mm x 60mm bore and stroke, chromoly frame, Marzocchi suspension, 170-pound claimed weight and electric starter, the Ossa Explorer is expected to retail in Europe for $7900.

BIG PARTY AT STEWIES: SKIPPY, BUBBA & DUNGEY TO WATCH MONSTER CUP ON TV

The Monster Energy Cup will be shown live from Sam Boyd Stadium on the Speed network on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.(Pacific time). Ralph Sheheen, Jeff Emig, Ricky Carmichael and Erin Bates will be the announcers. And, to wet your whistle, we think Chad will be bringing some Foster’s over to Bubba’s understated pad. Also, at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, there will be a one-hour recap of the 2011 AMA Supercross season. No news on what Davi, Trey and Shorty will be doing this weekend?maybe duck hunting.

MXA NEW PRODUCT: EVS R4 RACE COLLAR



For more info go to www.evs-sports.com.

LS HONDA TEAM SIGNS GP RIDERS BARRAGAN AND DE DYCKER

Jonathan Barragan (right) seals the deal with a handshake and a Pastrana-style thumbs up.

Jonathan Barragan and Belgian Ken de Dycker will join the LS Honda Racing team for the 2012 FIM 450 World Championships. The 26-year-old Barragan is Spain’s greatest-ever motocross hero with six GP wins under his belt and boasts three Spanish 450 National Championships. Belgian star Ken De Dycker, 27, is a former German and British 450 champ wit five 450 GP victories. Jonathan Barragan said, “I believe that in racing you’re only as good as your last race. I’m looking forward and I’m ready to rebuild. Going back to a young and ambitious team might look like taking a step back for a factory rider but I’m fine with that. This is not about ego, it’s about getting results. As a kid I was looking up to Honda riders like Jeremy McGrath and Stefan Everts, so it’s great finally to ride red.”

Ken De Dycker said, “The 2011 season is one to forget as quickly as possible. I had some unlucky injuries and I got sidelined after the Czech GP. After that all of my focus shifted to the new season. I’m willing to put in the hard work and so is the team. We’ve learned from each other and it’s inspiring to have that continuity that I didn’t have in the past seasons.

DAVID BAILEY TO RECEIVE EDISON DYE AWARD AT MTA WORLD VET CHAMPIONSHIP




David Bailey will get his marble stepping stone on November 6.

This year’s recipient of the Edison Dye Lifetime Motocross Achievement Award is the three-time AMA National Motocross Champion David Bailey. David becomes the 16th recipient of this prestigious award, and will be honored with a special ceremony on Sunday, November 6th at 12:30 p.m. at Glen Helen Raceway as part of the MTA World Vet Motocross Championships ceremonies. David will also be immortalized with a special monument, joining those other motocross greats in the Glen Helen Walk of Fame.

SPONSORSHIP SUITE: YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A PRO TO GET SPONSORS

Most companies are looking for all types of riders in all types of classes to help represent their product. Just like college grants, the money goes to those who apply. You probably won’t get a big box of free product, but there are a lot of big discount deals that can really help an avid racer cost the cost over the course of a season. So start applying, what have you got to lose?


RIDE ENGINEERING IS ACCEPTING RACER RESUMES FOR THE 2012 SEASON.

Ride Engineering was founded on September 1st 2001 by Adrian Ciomo-President. Located in Costa Mesa California near the heart of the motorcycle industry, Ride specializes in products that customize the motorcycle to optimize motorcycle performance while enhancing its appearance. The Star Yamaha team (Gareth Swanepoel, Kyle Cunningham, Ryan Sipes and Gannon Audette) is currently sponsored by Ride Engineering. Resumes should follow the guidelines listed on our website and be submitted to racesupport@ride-engineering.com. For more information visit: www.rideengineering.com.

SCOTT SPORT SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE

SCOTT Sports is proud to begin this year of rider support by offering our 2012 line of gear and accessories to top-level amateur motocross and snowmobile athletes. All interested applicants must submit their r‚sum‚ through Hookit.comor Scott‘s Pro Site to be considered for support. The resume will only be considered if submitted through Hookit.comor Scott‘s Pro Site – paper resumes sent directly to Scott will no longer be accepted. Riders who are to be considered for Scott‘s rider support program must be the top of their class and committed to winning and representing Scott to the best of abilities. For the 2012 season, a limited number of riders will be selected to receive top-level discounts on Scott gear and accessories. Each applicant’s resume will be processed in the order in which they’re received. Approval will be based on race results/accomplishments at major amateur race events and planned race schedule for 2011/2012. In addition to www.Hookit.com and Pro Site, Scott will be in attendance at major amateur events throughout the 2011/2012 race season qualifying riders to join our top level amateur race program. For more details on Scott‘s rider support program please visit Hookit.comor Scott’s Pro Site. To stay up on the latest by visiting www.scott-sports.com

FMF’S AMATEUR ARMY

FMF Racing’s Amateur Army Program is Now Accepting Resumes and Applications!  Since 1973 FMF Racing has focused on the grass roots of offroad motorcycle racing and provides support like no other. FMF travels to over 100 events every year to support our athletes, make sure you stop by one of our support trucks and check out the latest product!

FMF Racing is pleased to announce the opening of our 2012 Amateur Army sponsorship program. FMF will only accept rider support requests until January 1st, 2012 and will not review any resumes after the cut-off date. In addition to the dedicated track side support, we also have huge list of Associate Sponsors that offer our racers a discount on their product too!  From the top motor builders and suspension shops in the country, to companies like DVS, and SPY Optics, etc. Join now to be a part of the FMF Amateur Army alongside some of our 2011 Loretta Lynn’s Champions; Matt Bisceglia, Kyle Peters, Sean Cantrell, Austin Forkner, and Taylor Higgins! Resumes can be sent one of three ways, please do not do all.
    1. Applications can be completed on our website www.fmfracing.com, click on Team, then find the Sponsor Me, and click there for the form.  Make sure you fill out the fields completely.
    2. Email to: Jenn Garfinkle at jgarfinkle@fmfracing.com
    3. Postal mail to:
        FMF Racing
        Attn. Rider Support
       18033 South Santa Fe Avenue
       Rancho Dominguez, CA 90221
Allow up to two weeks for processing the information. Please note, whether sending resumes by postal mail or email, a valid email address is required to apply for sponsorship this season.
To learn more about FMF Racing and to see all of our 2012 applications, please visit fmfracing.com

Don’t stop here. Click around the web, there are many companies accepting applications and resumes right now!

SUDCO KEIHIN FCR OFF ROAD PERFORMANCE CARBURETOR KITS

Keihin FCR Carburetors are acknowledged as the leading carburetors in four-stroke motorcycle racing thanks to their precise metering high flow, flat slide throttle design and adjustable accelerator pump. Sudco International, America’s motorcycle carburetor experts, offer a full line of Sudco Keihin FCR Performance Carb Kits for almost all 4-stroke single cylinder Dirt Bike and ATV applications. The Sudco Keihin FCR Carb Kits include a pre-jetted Keihin FCR39 or 41mm Carburetor and  Push/Pull Throttle Cables that works with the machine’s stock twist throttle, otherwise a race quality Push/Pull Throttle is also included. The Carb comes ready to bolt onto the bike’s stock airbox and intake manifold. These kits works exceptionally well in all applications from trail and street riding to all out racing, on both stock and highly modified engines. Kits are priced from $520.80.
 
For additional information and to order, contact your local motorcycle parts dealer or Sudco direct. Dealers call Sudco for a copy of the Sudco Main Products Catalog featuring a compete line of stock replacement and high performance parts, including Keihin and Mikuni Carburetors for dirt bikes, street bikes, ATVs and personal watercraft. Sudco international, 2410 South Sequoia Drive, Compton, CA 90020. Phone (310) 637-8330.  www.Sudco.com

FMF WESTERN PRO-AM CHAMPIONSHIP STARTS OCT. 22-23: ARIZONA CYCLE PARK, FREESTONE & GLEN HELEN


For more info go to www.usasportmotocross.com

AUSTRALIAN SUPERCROSS SERIES STARTS NEXT WEEK (WITH LOTS OF TWEAKS TO THE FORMATS)

You may think that the proposed three-moto format of this week’s Las Vegas Monster Energy Cup is weird, but you haven’t seen anything until you hear the formats for the Australian Super-X Series that starts on October 22 (although the promoters website says it starts on October 29).

Melbourne Knights Stadium?October 22: There will be two 10-laps motos (with four minutes between race one and race two). The 250 class will race two 8-lap motos (also with four minutes between the motos).

Wollongong WIN Stadium?October 29: There will be four 5-lap motos. After each race, the last five riders will be dropped from the 20-man field (leaving 15 riders in race two, 10 riders in race three and five riders in the final race). The 250 class will race three 6-lap moto (with 4 minutes between each moto).
 
Campbelltown Stadium?November 5: There will be three 7-lap motos (with four minutes between each race). The 250 riders will race four 5-lap motos with 4 minutes between each race. The last five riders in each moto will be dropped until there are only five riders in the final race.

Maitland Oval?November 12: There will be three 7-lap motos (with four minutes between each race). The 250 class will race three 6-lap motos (also with four minutes between the motos).

North Ipswich Stadium?November 19: There will be one traditional 20-lap main event and the 250 class will have a 15-lap main event.

FREE STUFF! RACE TECH’S FACEBOOK GIVEAWAY

Race Tech is giving away a cart full of goodies, including a Race Tech Gold Valve Kit to one lucky Grand Prize winner. Want to enter to win a Gold Valve Kit, or one of the numerous prize packs filled with Race Tech apparel and goodies?  All you have to do is: Visit the Race Tech Facebook page by clicking here, and hit the “Like” button near the top of the page.

Already a fan of Race Tech?  No problem, you are already entered to win!  Winners of the Race Tech Ultimate Fan Giveaway packs will be announced every Monday from October 3rd through November 21st. The Grand Prize Winner will be Announced November 28th.

Race Tech Grand Prize Package includes:
    Free Race Tech Gold Valve Kit
    Race Tech Hat
    Race Tech T-Shirt
    Race Tech Water Bottle
    Race Tech Sticker Pack

Race Tech Ultimate Fan Giveaway Packs include:

    Race Tech Gift Certificate for $100 off*
    Race Tech Hat
    Race Tech T-Shirt
    Race Tech Water Bottle
    Race Tech Sticker Pack
For more information about Race Tech’s riders, products, and rider support program visit www.racetech.com or call at (951)279-6655.

ORDER MATRIX’S UPDATED RAMP AND GET A FREE M5 MAT

Matrix Concepts is now shipping the new and improved M6 and M8 loading Ramps. The new ramp design includes reinforced ribs for added strength. This lightweight folding ramp is very user friendly, and folds up nicely with a slow motion hinge eliminating chances of finger pinching. Ramps come in 3 sizes, 6 ft folding, 8 ft folding, and a Standard 6 ft Ramp. Available in white, black, silver, and red, with your choice of Honda, Hart & Huntington, or Matrix Concepts graphic. Bonus: Through 10/31/11 get a free M5 Mat upon purchase of any ramp from www.matrixracingproducts.com, just enter this code: Ramp

DEW TOUR: BEST WHIP IS ON FRIDAY


Press Release: “Hart and Huntington will be partnering with the Dew Tour once again to bring freestyle motocross to the Dew Tour Championships presented by www.GoDaddy.com at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  Led by FMX legend Carey Hart, the Best Whip contest will feature some of the biggest names in motocross, including Ronnie Renner, Beau Bamburg and Todd Potter.  The riders will compete to see who can bring the most impressive whip to the dirt course on Friday, October 14 at 6 pm. “The Best Whip contest is part of the Dew Tour Championships, a four-day event from October 13-16, culminating the 2011 Dew Tour season and featuring the biggest names in action sports competing for the Dew Cup in skate street and vert and BMX dirt, park and vert.  Other highlights of the weekend include a Friday night 50 Cent concert in The Joint, following the Skate Street Finals, as well as the Skate Vert finals with Shaun White, Pierre-Luc Gagnon and Bucky Lasek over the pool at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.”
 

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