MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY JOHN BASHER (12/19/12)


PHOTO OF THE WEEK

    I shouldn’t let the cat out of the bag, but we’ve been busy testing aftermarket dual exhaust systems for the 2013 Honda CRF450. Look for a pipe shootout in an upcoming issue of MXA! Photo by John Basher.

MINI-VIEW: DEAN WILSON

Photo courtesy Kawasaki.

MXA: Are you happy to be racing a 250 in Supercross?
Dean: I’m really excited to be on the 250 indoors. I don’t have a 250 Supercross championship, and it’s something that I have always wanted. It [Dean’s failed deal with JWR in the 450 class] could be a blessing in a disguise, because it might allow me to achieve that goal. Of course, I wanted to race the 450, but I’m still young. I’m 20 years old, so I have lots of time to have one last go at the 250 class. I might as well do my best and try to get a championship.

Have your shoulders healed up to the point that you’re perfectly healthy?
My shoulders are pretty good. I actually went and saw Eddie Casillas today. I’ve been working hard in physical therapy to get my shoulders really strong. Things have been going well.


Dean’s a funny dude. Follow him on Twitter @deanwilson15.

You made quite a stir with all of your funny Twitter photos. You seemed to have a sense of humor about the whole situation that you were in.
[Laughter] Yeah, I like to have a good laugh. I think it’s funny to get people talking. It seemed to do the trick.

Everyone seemed to have different theories and ideas about where you would eventually end up. What was your take on it?
Honestly, I don’t really listen to the public. When I was set to race with the Jeff Ward team, I was committed to it, and everything that was on paper looked good. There were a lot of people telling me things, but like I said, I was committed to riding for them and there was no turning back. When everything fell through, that really stunk. I usually don’t listen to people, because they don’t know the real information.


Photo courtesy Kawasaki.

Mitch Payton is famous for not telling his riders which coast they will be racing. Has he given you any indication? Or do you have a preference?
I requested to race east coast. I want as much time as I can to get ready. The east coast races are all back-to-back, and then there’s one more race [Las Vegas] after a two-week break. On the West you have six weeks, then a whole eight-week break that you have to try and stay healthy for, because then there are three more West races at the end of the series. On the east coast you know where you’re at towards the end of the series, whereas on the west coast you have to try and stay healthy during that time off. I also want everything to be completely healed before I race. That’s my plan, and hopefully I can do that. Mitch doesn’t want to tell people because he doesn’t want to tell his riders what coast they are riding, only to have one of his riders get hurt and he has to switch things up. I don’t think that he’s trying to hide anything.

Have you spent much time on the 450?
I rode the 450 for a couple of weeks, but now I’m mainly focusing on riding the 250.

California doesn’t typically get a lot of rain, but what do you do on days where the Supercross tracks are rained out?
Today was rained out, so I went to the gym to train and do my program. I like to hang out at the house, and I also like to go and hit some jumps. If the Supercross tracks are dry then obviously I’ll go ride there.

How many Supercross tracks do you have access to?
I have quite a few tracks that I can ride. There’s the Kawasaki track, the two Pro Circuit tracks at Glen Helen, and I actually rode Milestone the other day. I’ve been pretty much sticking to the three main tracks though.

With a two-year deal at Pro Circuit, what’s your plan?
This year I’m racing a 250 indoors and then a 450 outdoors. Next year I’m racing a KX125 two-stroke all year. Just kidding. I’ll be racing a 450 full-time.  

That would be sweet! With Christmas coming up, what is the coolest present that you ever received?
It would have to be a LEM 50 that I got when I was three years old. It was my first dirt bike.

Leading up that point did you want to ride motocross?
I was actually riding quads before I got the LEM 50. My sister and I shared a little yellow quad, but I always wanted to race, because that’s what my dad did. So he went and got me a bike.

How would your life have turned out if you had stuck with the quad?
It wouldn’t be very cool, I can tell you that much [laughter]!

HUSQVARNA FOCUSES ON THE TWO-STROKE

    I just got word that Husqvarna is going to have ten identically prepped Husqvarna CR125 two-strokes at the World Two-Stroke Championship at Glen Helen in April. Husky is sponsoring a 125 Pro class to complement the current unlimited Pro class of the race. Plus, with their ten CR125s, they want to allow pro level riders from the media, current Husky team riders, or other pro riders to race the bikes. This is their way of showing how much fun can be found on a 125. The 125 Pro race is open to all brands of bikes and any rider who wants to race, but Husky hopes that its effort to field a ten-man team will encourage more participation.
    In the words of Husqvarna’s National Marketing Manager, Corey Eastman, “Our goal is simply to showcase the fun and value that racing a 125 offers. As you know, the expense of our sport is killing it. Riders going from 85cc to a 250F face a huge challenge from a riding and monetary stand point and we thought putting some very capable riders on a few of these machines would be a great way of showing the value and performance 125s offer.”
    I applaud Husqvarna for taking a step towards adding new life to the two-stroke. Remember, Husqvarna, along with KTM, Yamaha and TM, are the only major motorcycle manufacturers to still sell two-stroke motocross bikes in the U.S.

REMINDER: GET YOUR SUPERCROSS FIX ON SATURDAY

[Press Release]

    Feld Motor Sports announced that CBS will air the 2013 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, season preview show Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. ET as part of the CBS Sports Spectacular programming. The 60-minute preview show will provide fans an inside look at the highly anticipated 2013 Monster Energy Supercross season that opens Saturday, January 5, 2013 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif.  “We are on the brink of one of the most exciting, parity-filled, seasons ever,” said Dave Prater, director of supercross, Feld Motor Sports. “CBS will capture the essence of the upcoming 2013 Monster Energy Supercross season, on December 22nd, through the top riders and teams in this 60-minute special before the season begins in Anaheim.”
 
    CBS Sports will broadcast a total of nine hours of Monster Energy Supercross in 2013, including five 450SX Class races, the season preview show, the midseason show, the year-end show and a special on two-time defending Monster Energy Supercross Champion Ryan Villopoto.

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MORE TV TIME: 2013 AMSOIL ARENACROSS SEASON TO BE ON SPEED

    Feld Motor Sports and Speed have released the 2013 AMSOIL Arenacross television package that features two live telecasts in addition to eight next-day-air programs for a total of 10 hours on Speed. “With many exciting changes in store for the upcoming season, 2013 is primed to be a banner year for AMSOIL Arenacross,” said Ken Hudgens, COO, Feld Motor Sports. “The new AMSOIL Arenacross television package is a huge step forward for the sport ? highlighted by two live races.”
 
    The opening race of the 2013 AMSOIL Arenacross season from the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass., will kick off the championship with a live broadcast on Saturday, January 5, which will serve as the lead-in to the live broadcast of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, season opener in Anaheim, Calif. The second live broadcast of the 2013 AMSOIL Arenacross season will be from the sixth race of the championship inside Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes Barre, Pa., on Saturday, February 9.  The remaining eight AMSOIL Arenacross tour stops will all feature exclusive next-day telecasts, scheduled to air the Sunday following each respective race. This is the first time that each stop of AMSOIL Arenacross will be seen within 24 hours of the checkered flag.
 
    “It’s great to continue building the relationship we have with the AMSOIL Arenacross audience,” said SPEED President Scott Ackerson. “January 5 is certainly circled on the calendar with the live kickoff of Monster Energy Supercross racing season from Anaheim and live AMSOIL Arenacross is a major part of that. Along with an expanded pre-race show that leads into the premiere of the Monster Energy Supercross season, it makes for the total package.”
 
2013 AMSOIL Arenacross SPEED Broadcast Schedule
City                                     Venue                                 Broadcast Date           Time
Worcester, Mass.            DCU Center                         January 5                   8:30 p.m. ET**
Baltimore                         1st Mariner Arena                  January 13                 1:00 p.m. ET
Grand Rapids, Mich.         Van Andel Arena                 January 20                 6:00 p.m. ET
Tulsa, Okla.                      BOK Center                         January 27                 6:00 p.m. ET
Cedar Park, Texas            Cedar Park Center               February 3                 1:00 p.m. ET
Wilkes Barre, Pa.              Mohegan Sun Arena            February 9                 9:30 p.m. ET**
Little Rock, Ark.               Verizon Arena                      February 17                1:00 p.m. ET
Wichita, Kan.                    INTRUST Bank Arena           February 24                1:00 p.m. ET
Kansas City, Mo.              Sprint Center                       March 3                     2:00 p.m. ET
Denver                             Denver Coliseum                 March 17                    1:00 p.m. ET
 **BOLD time indicates live broadcast.

EAST VS. WEST: WHO’S RIDING WHERE?

    The age old question?which 250 rider is racing on which coast? Many teams send out a bland press release a month or so before the Supercross series begins, announcing their line-up as well as the respective coast in which each rider will compete. Others, most famously Pro Circuit Kawasaki, don’t tell their riders until the eleventh hour. It’s a unique strategy that makes sense. Mitch Payton keeps his riders on their toes, ensuring that they stay in the racing mindset, instead of the possibility of kicking back and taking it easy because they are riding east. And so every year the fans and media alike make guesses as to where Mitch’s boys are racing. Here’s my educated guess:  

Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki
Martin Davalos – West
Dean Wilson – East
Tyla Rattray – West
Justin Hill – East
Darryn Durham – East
Blake Baggett – West

    This year hasn’t been as difficult to figure out compared to previous seasons. Why? Justin Hill and Darryn Durham are injured, so they won’t be ready until the east series begins. Blake Baggett just started riding after breaking his wrist at the Monster Energy Cup, but Dean Wilson is also on the mend. It’ll be a toss-up.
    As for west, Martin Davalos is flying and ready to go. Tyla Rattray is a much better outdoor rider, and given his history of Supercross injuries, I’d imagine that putting him in the west will allow him more time to prepare for the outdoors. Like I said, Dean Wilson is the wild card. In his interview he requested to ride east, but wouldn’t it be something to see Wilson and Tomac go at it again on the west coast?
    Anyway, here’s what I could find out in regard to other team riders:


Kenny is riding West.                            Photo courtesy of KTM.

Red Bull KTM
Ken Roczen – West
Marvin Musquin – East

Geico Honda
Eli Tomac – West
Zach Osborne – West
Zach Bell – East
Justin Bogle – East
Wil Hahn – East

Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Designs Honda
Cole Seely – West
Jessy Nelson – West
Christian Craig – West

Rockstar Energy Racing
Ryan Sipes – West
Jason Anderson – West
Blake Wharton – East
Nico Izzi –  East

Star Racing Yamaha
Jeremy Martin – East
Kyle Cunningham – West

J-Star JDR KTM
Malcolm Stewart – West
Joey Savatgy – West
Josh Cachia – West

Eleven10 Mods
Alex Martin – East

Valli Motorsports
Travis Baker – West

Rockwell Firepolice
Killy Rusk – West

Rocket Exhaust
PJ Larsen – West
Michael Leib – West

EMT Racing
Dillon Epstein – West

51 Fifty Energy Honda
Chris Plouffe – West
Preston Mull – West

JAB Motorsports
Gannon Audette – East
Vann Martin – East

RF Motorsports
Jake Anstett – West

JNA Racing
Dustin Hoffman – West
Broc Shoemaker – West

Team Tedder/Monster Energy Kawasaki
Dakota Tedder – West

MotoConcepts
Jake Canada – West
Gavin Faith – East

Privateers
Derek Anderson – West
Jacob Hayes – East

    One more thing I forgot to mention. Looking through this list, I count 14 riders employed by teams that have an energy drink as their main or co-sponsor. I don’t want to think what would happen if energy drinks decide to pull out of motocross. It’s a scary thought.

SUZUKI PROMOTES NEW MEDIA RELATIONS MANAGER
Derek Schoeberle Promoted to Motorcycle/ATV Product Media Relations Manager

[Press Release]  Suzuki is pleased to announce the promotion of Derek Schoeberle to Motorcycle/ATV Product Media Relations Manager. For the past few months Derek has been working closely with the media and will now become the point-of-contact for all Suzuki motorcycle, ATV and Scooter media inquiries. Derek will also continue to work together with and support Suzuki’s media partner, Questus, in handling all aspects of Suzuki’s product-based media relations efforts.
 
    Derek brings experience from a long career in the powersports industry with extensive experience in the technical side of the business. Derek worked as a technician and Service Manager at powersports dealerships for 10 years while becoming an FAA certified Airframe & Powerplant Technician. Derek joined Suzuki in 2001 as a District Technical Service Manager and in 2005 Derek was promoted to Eastern Regional Field Service Manager. He was subsequently promoted to Product Marketing Manager for the Motorcycle/ATV product lines in 2010.
 
    Derek is also very familiar with the capabilities of Suzuki’s sportbikes, having a solid background racing in the AMA Supersport 600 and 750 classes, including multiple class championships and number one plate holder in the Championship Cup Series in 1999.
 
    “Derek is extremely knowledgeable, with many years of experience with the Suzuki brand,” said Suzuki’s Senior Communications Manager Steve Bortolamedi, “His expertise and background with our products will help us deliver accurate information about our product lines to our media partners.”

MOTOSEAT CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

    MotoSeat is having a Christmas special. Any seat cover is $40, and included is free shipping anywhere in the U.S. For more information, please visit www.motoseat.com.

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