PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Sometimes you win the race. Sometimes you make mistakes and don’t reach expectations. And then sometimes, when your day is really going poorly, you crash hard and your bike lands in a drainage ditch for the frogs to defecate on. Photo by Massimo Zanzani
IS KTM GOING TO BUY HUSQVARNA? THAT IS THE HOT RUMOR OUT OF EUROPE
RYAN DUNGEY RECOUNTS HIS OAKLAND RACE
THE HAND DRAG TAKES OVER!
Last week I challenged you, the reader, to the hand drag contest. I posted a photo of MXA Assistant Editor Daryl Ecklund getting down and dirty on a 2013 TM MX450, dragging his left hand through a berm. I knew that it had been done before, any also many years ago, but I figured that it was a lost art. These days everyone seems enamored by whips, scrubs and what the kids call “leg swag.” Not only did you answer the call, but you did so in such a way that I have very few words to describe my elation. So, in short, you guys rock! Check out these photos that I received.
The original hand drag master, Rob Andrews.
Tyson Emery takes to the sand.
A reader sent in a photo of Martin Barr, the Irish rider, having a little fun in the deep stuff. This was taken in Off Road Ireland magazine
Magnus Markesta drags hands through a deep rut in Norway.
Justin Jones, son of four-time 250 National Champion Gary Jones, ain’t scared to grab roost.
Although he’s not reaching out and grabbing dirt, MXA test rider Chris Alamangos is dragging his hand, forearm and elbow while still holding on to the bars. Righteous! How many of you can drag a handlebar through the dirt? If you have a photo of yourself burying the bars, feel free to email it to email@example.com with the headline MWR BARS. I’ll post some of the best shots in next week’s Mid-Week Report.
MX DEVELOPMENT LABS INTRODUCES THE EASIEST WAY TO TRACK YOUR RIDING DATA
MX Development Labs has introduced the MXD Moto App for the iPhone offering motorcycle enthusiasts the ability to improve their experience of the sport. When using the MXD Moto App, users can easily record critical riding data and share it with friends, family and sponsors. Leveraging the built in GPS capabilities of the iPhone, the MXD Moto App will track riding data including: number of laps; lap times; fastest and slowest lap time; fast/slow difference; total time; total distance; number of motos; and daily averages. The app also allows the user to enter notes; race results; bike settings; number of starts; track details; and the ability to view track layouts. “Users now have technology the race teams have used for years right on their iPhones, but at only a fraction of the cost,” said MX Development Labs Product Consultant Chris Wheeler.
This app will definitely change how riders will engage with the sport by allowing riders the ability to easily view all the data from a day of riding. Best of all, they can share it through social channels like Facebook to further bench race with friends! The MXD Moto App is available as a free download on the Apple iTunes store. The MXD Moto App now available on the App store FREE
MINI-VIEW: RICKY CARMICHAEL ? OWNER OF RCH RACING
Photo: Simon Cudby
WE’RE HEADING INTO ROUND FIVE ALREADY THIS SEASON. WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN IN THE RACING SO FAR IN THE 450SX CLASS?
A lot of inconsistency from everybody. The only guy that has been consistent is Davi Millsaps. He’s been a factor in every race so far this year and that’s why he’s in the position that he’s in. It seems to me that Ryan Villopoto the last few weeks is starting get back to his winning ways. I think that he’s getting back to where I expected him to be. Overall, the inconsistency of all the riders has been unreal. Some weekend’s a guy finishes fifth and the next race he’s 18th because of a wreck.
It’s been good for us (RCH Racing) and outside of A-1 where we had a throw-away race when we got caught up in Villopoto’s stuff, Broc (Tickle) has been really consistent and helped us point’s wise and we haven’t fallen too far behind. With one good weekend we could be seventh in rider points.”
BROC TICKLE CONTINUES TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. HOW WOULD YOU EVALUATE HIM THROUGH THE FIRST MONTH OF THE SEASON?
I think that all the pieces of the puzzle are getting closer. The bottom line is he’s getting better, but he’s a little frustrated because he knows how good he can race. He’s improved every week. He knows that he has to start the races better and we’ve talked about that all year. I can see the fire starting to get lit in him and he’s getting better results every single weekend. His best finish last year was a seventh and he almost beat that last weekend in Oakland. I’m interested in seeing where everyone is going to be a few months from now. I like the direction we’re heading. Broc’s fire is lit and I think he’s ready to go and ride inside that top-five, top-six.
WITH GATE POSITION SO CRITICAL IN THE MAIN EVENT, IS THERE MORE EMPHASIS NEEDED IN TIMED QUALIFYING SESSIONS?
Absolutely. It all starts in the timed qualifying sessions. We’re making big strides in the second timed qualifying session, which gives Broc a good starting position for the Heat. These guys are so close in riding levels that having a good starting position in the Heat and in the Main is really determining who is riding up front. Broc was seventh in practice last weekend and if he rode two-tenths quicker he’d be inside the top five. We’re putting all our emphasis on race starts and making passes quicker.
BIG NAMED RIDERS WERE COLLECTED AGAIN DURING THE FIRST LAP LAST WEEK IN OAKLAND. WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE A RIDER LIKE BROC (TICKLE) IN ANTICIPATION OF RIDERS HITTING THE DIRT EARLY IN MAIN EVENT?
You have to complete every lap. And as hard as it is sometimes, you have to put yourself in good position knowing that things are going to get sketchy those first few laps. You really have to focus looking forward and predict what’s going to happen until things thin out. It’s simple math: you have to be in it to win it. You have to put yourself in the best possible position early in the race to get the best result possible. Every weekend it’s gotten better for Broc and I’m looking forward in seeing how he rides in Anaheim.
MINI-VIEW: KURT CASELLI
Photo: Red Bull Content Pool
By Daryl Ecklund
We are diehard moto heads at MXA. Rarely does something in the offroad community spark our interest? but Kurt Caselli’s performance in the Dakar Rally as a rookie was unbelievable. The Dakar Rally is the biggest offroad race in the world, with well over four million spectators. Fans line the streets as far as the eye can see. Dakar is no walk in the park; 14 days long and over 5000 miles through three countries in South America, it’s intense.
KTM’s Marc Coma was still suffering an injury and KTM was in desperate need for a replacement. With very few riders having a skill set tailored for Dakar, it was slim pickings to find a competitive and experienced rider who could last the race and make it to the finish line.
The first person KTM Austria had in mind was multi-time WORCS and Hare & Hound champ, Kurt Caselli. Kurt has raced all over the world in just about everything, from the Nationals to Erzberg to the Baja 1000. He is known for his extremely hard work ethic and never say die attitude. We caught up with Kurt after he came back from the Dakar Rally to hear about his experiences overseas.
Photo: Red Bull Content Pool
MXA: Kurt, was it a shock to you when KTM asked you to be on the Dakar team?
Kurt: I knew that Marc Coma was injured for the race, but the thought of KTM calling me up to fill in for him never crossed my mind. I got the call from my team manager, Antti Kallonen, two weeks before the race asking if I wanted to fill in for Marc, and I was at a loss for words. Before answering I asked Antti what I should due since we were planning on going down to Mexico the same time as the Rally to prepare for the upcoming Baja race. That is our main focus this year and with Antti being my boss I didn’t want to let him down. He said the decision was up to me. I knew that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and that I should take it. I would worry about Baja when I got back.
What emotions were you feeling once you realized that you’d be racing the Dakar Rally?
At first I had the biggest grin on my face, but after a few minutes reality set in and I was wondering what I got myself into. I have never used navigation. I have never raced a 14-day race in the middle of nowhere, and I never raced a bike that was 300 plus pounds! I knew that there was going to be a learning curve and that I had better learn quickly.
I know you planned on doing the Dakar Rally sometime in your career, but you’re 29 years old. You’re not necessarily a spring chicken anymore, so why did you want to wait so long in your career to do Dakar?
For years I have wanted to do the Rally. I have always felt that the Hare & Hound and Baja series were great stepping stones. I know that it’s something that you can’t just jump into. Being young and fast in a 5000 mile race doesn’t do you much good. The guys that are on the top of their game are close to 40 years old, such as my teammates Cyril Despres and Marc Coma. I knew that I still had some maturing to do.
Photo: Red Bull Content Pool
Was there any pressure on you from KTM? Did you have exceptions for yourself?
KTM appointed me as Cyril’s water boy. The only expectations KTM had for me was to not get hurt and to finish the race. They made it very clear that this was just a learning experience to possibly groom me for future Dakar races. As far as my own expectations, they were the same as KTM. However, I also wanted to make an impact by having a few good stages.
Not only did you make an impact, but you won two stages. That’s something an American has never done before. You must have adapted quickly to Dakar.
With so many different things to learn, it took me a few days to get comfortable. Once I felt like I could navigate with speed I started to pick up the pace. I was surprised when I won my first stage, but after that I felt pretty confident I could win again. I still have a lot to learn and experience with the navigation aspect, but I’m hoping I can get another chance to race Dakar in the future.
What were some of the challenges you experienced throughout the Rally?
The biggest challenge that I personally faced was having to read the road book and ride at the same time. It’s like having written out directions to a virtual waypoint in the middle of the dunes and you have to read and ride. It took me a while to get used to looking down so much. I think all the years of texting while driving paid off!
Now, 14 days and 5000 miles later, how do your feel about doing another Dakar Rally in the future?
I would love to go back and race Dakar again. With how much I learned and knowing what to expect for the future, I feel like I can really improve on my overall finish and navigating skills. I hope I can continue my relationship with KTM and really push towards rally type events.
Is there anyone you want to thank?
I just want to thank KTM for giving me such a great opportunity and in helping me reach one of my career goals. Also to all my other sponsors that have been behind me and my career for so long, thank you. I am so grateful to have such an amazing life.
KENNY ROCZEN GUSHES ABOUT HIS OAKLAND WIN
MINI-VIEW: RCH RACING’S BROC TICKLE
A TOP-10 FINISH AT OAKLAND LAST WEEKEND; DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE STARTING TO SETTLE IN A BIT THIS YEAR?
Definitely. I’ve felt that we’re making progress every week that we go to the track with our Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki Z450. I feel like we’ve been making big strides during the week in practice, understanding what I like with the Suzuki and making gains on setups. I’m really just focusing on staying comfortable on the bike, having fun and ride. We’ll work on a few things this week in practice, but our focus is the weekend. We have a lot of racing to do and you don’t want to burn yourself out early in the season. We’re making a lot of progress. I’m going to work hard this week in practice and try to knock out another top-10 finish.
YOU MADE SOME CHANGES TO THE SETUP ON YOUR SUZUKI LAST WEEKEND WHICH YOU REALLY LIKED. WHAT DID YOU WORK ON?
We actually changed some stuff after the first eight-minute practice. I felt that my Suzuki was too high so we actually pushed the forks up and it made the bike worse. We went back to our original setup and made some smaller changes that really helped in the Heat race. We made a good choice in our change to the bike and we’re actually going to try some more stuff today in practice. We’re gaining on it.
HAS THERE BEEN A SPECIFIC AREA OF FOCUS THAT YOU AND TONY (BERLUTI) ARE WORKING ON DURING RACE DAY?
Not really. Tony goes off what I’m feeling and we’ve been able to make some great changes to the bike. Our communication is great. If I think that we need to go a certain direction, he’s all for it. Working with him has been easy and we really are starting to understand what I like on the bike. I’ll give Tony my input, he’ll give me his and we’ll make the best decision we can.
YOUR FASTEST LAP TIME (57.255 SEC.) WAS A TOP-SIX AT OAKLAND AND ONLY A TENTH SLOWER THAN THIRD QUICKEST:
That’s cool. I know that we’ve had speed in the Suzuki all year. Our bikes are fast. We’ve made changes that have helped and I feel like I’ve been able to get into a good rhythm during the race. Our results are starting to show on race day. I just want to stay loose on the weekend, have fun and ride like I know I can. Results will come. I feel like I’m starting to get into a really good rhythm. We’ll just keep working on our race starts, breaking from the gate clean and keeping the bike off the ground early in the race.
BACK TO ANAHEIM FOR THE THIRD TIME IN FIVE RACES THIS YEAR. DOES THAT BRING ANY SPECIFIC CHALLENGES TO A RIDER?
Not really. The dirt is probably going to be hard. The dirt was good for A-1 and then they had a Monster Truck event at Angel Stadium. When we came back for A-2, the dirt was really different. This weekend, I think that the dirt will be even harder than it was for the first two races in Anaheim. We have a tire setup ready to go, anticipating how the conditions will be on Saturday. We’re ready to go. I was nervous to try some tires early in the season because I hadn’t really run them before. We’ve been testing and right after A-2 we had a Dunlop day at the track and found a setup that I like when the track is hard and slippery.
PRO CIRCUIT’S NEW T5 SINGLE EXHAUST FOR THE 2013 CRF450
Just like Pro Circuit’s popular and championship-proven Ti-5 Exhaust System, the Pro Circuit All-in-1 T5 Single Exhaust System, currently available for the 2013 CRF450R, produces the same results but with a more durable stainless steel and aluminum construction. This race system was designed for durability, and has been demanded by off-road riders and racers alike. Our new all-in-1 design allows riders and racers from multiple riding disciplines, racing classes, and countries to take advantage of this cost-effective alternative to the dual exhaust system. Whether it be off-road and trail riding and racing, AMA professional racing, AMA amateur racing, or FIM professional racing, the Pro Circuit All-in-1 T5 Single Exhaust System is the only exhaust system you will need.
? Made in the USA
? Meets AMA professional racing sound regulations
? Meets AMA amateur racing sound regulations
? Meets FIM racing sound regulations
? Outdoor friendly ? comes with a removable USFS approved spark arrestor
? Cost-effective alternative to the dual exhaust
? Lightweight and durable due to the stainless steel and aluminum construction
? RC-4 resonance chamber helps to reduce noise output
? Machined mid-pipe to head pipe joint for a better, leak-free fit
? Aluminum muffler bracket
? TIG welded
? Asymmetric muffler design for increased packing volume
? Comes with an additional silencer packing kit and race tip for closed course racing
Retail Price: $779.95
DR.D SIGNS JOSH STRANG
Dubach Racing Development (DR.D) is proud to announce the signing of Josh Strang to compete in the 2013 GNCC series aboard a Kawasaki KX450F. No stranger to winning, the Australian was the 2010 GNCC champion and is looking to add another championship to his resume. The opening round will be held in River Ranch, Florida on March 9th. The GNCC is the biggest off-road racing series in the United States and Josh will rely on the new DR.D NS-4 exhaust system to meet his performance needs. “I’m excited to work alongside DR.D for this year’s GNCC series. With such late notice, I appreciate the support they have given me and can’t wait to start winning races,” mentions Strang regarding his 2013 campaign. To learn more about DR.D Rider Support Program, visit www.dubachracing.com
OEM STYLE REPLACEMENT PARTS FOR OLDER JAPANESE CLASSIC MOTORCYCLES
Sudco International is your leading source for OEM quality Stock Replacement Parts for Current and Classic Japanese Motorcycles. Sudco offers both Keihin and Mikuni Carburetors, Tuning Components and Replacement Parts. Together with its famous Sudco OEM quality stock replacement engine components including piston kits, rod assemblies, valves and springs, electrical components. And top brands including Vesrah stock replacement engine gasket rebuild sets, stock and performance brake discs and pads, clutch plates.
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. The Catalog is also available digitally on their website?www.Sudco.com