Location: JGRMX Arenacross track
Date: September 3, 2015
Photographer: John Basher
Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark III
Exposure: 1/100 sec.
MXA VIDEO: 2016-1/2 KTM 450SXF FACTORY EDITION
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: COOPER WEBB
Click here to read the interview.
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: TRAIL TECH KTM DIGITAL FAN KIT
Press release: Trail Tech Inc. is proud to announce the release of the all new KTM radiator guards for the 2016 SX/XC model bikes and the matching digital programmable fan kit. These two products, when used together, provide substantial protection from damage and overheating of the bike’s cooling system. Trail Tech’s new aluminum KTM radiator guards are lightweight and extremely strong (manufactured from a combination of forging and machining that instills maximum strength and durability into the material) and include two cross ribs and massive outer flange for combating the typical side impact crushing force when dropping the bike on its side. These guards are also unique because they have a radiator hose protection feature to prevent trail debris from damaging the lower water spigot.
KTM Digital Fan Kit
Trail Tech’s TTV Temperature Switching Fan Kit monitors your KTM’s cooling system performance and automatically activates the fan to keep engine at optimum temperature range. It features custom adjustment of temperature trigger point, plugs into most stock KTM harnesses, no cutting of fluid lines, 30 watt draw and a retail price of $179.95. To order: http://www.trailtech.net/electrical/digital-fankit/ktm-digital-fan-kit
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: STEWART’S SCRAPES
MXA PICTORIAL: JUSTIN HILL
While at Baker’s Factory two days before the Daytona Supercross, I witnessed Justin Hill putting in motos around the Supercross track. Hill rode with a hunger and determination I had never seen out of the 20-year-old. He was thorough into his training and was very calculated through the most difficult sections of the track. There wasn’t any sense of urgency, which is a trait of a champion. He was, in essence, a younger version of Ryan Dungey. It was actually kind of strange to watch.
WHAT’S CHAD WATTS UP TO?
Chad Watts does engine service for a wide range of clients, from weekend warriors to serious Amateur National racers. His latest project is in replating cylinder heads off old Honda CR250s. Take a look at the picture below. Could you imagine a 1993 CR250 cylinder and head look that good? It’s my hope that MXA tests a Watts Perfection-modified two-stroke in the next few months. Stay tuned…
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: WORKS CONNECTION TITAN SKID PLATE
Press release: Works Connection has a new protection weapon in its arsenal in the form of the Titan Skid Plate. Injection molded in exclusive Bronzed Titanium plastic, the Titan’s design includes frame rail, engine case and full-length center case coverage to ward off the punishing elements of the MX and Off-Road worlds. Simple, yet reliable CNC billet mounting system allows for quick and easy install/removal.
Available for Honda, Husqvarna, Kawasaki, KTM and Yamaha. Find them ($89.95-$109.95) at retail outlets or www.worksconnection.com
MXGP: THE GOOD & BAD
Lo and behold, a MXGP rider finally addressed the elephant in the room. Leave it to Ben Townley, 2004 250 World Champion and 2007 AMA 250 East Supercross Champion, to speak up. Following the Saturday afternoon qualifying race at the Thai Grand Prix–which Townley won–he answered questions from the media. That’s when Ben let this juicy quote fly:
“Coming to some of these tracks, they’re not good enough. You’re going to hear honest and open from me. Qatar and here, these tracks aren’t the pinnacle of our sport. We’re the MXGP, the best riders in the world. You guys can’t honestly sit here and say that it’s an amazing place to ride a motorcycle. We’re in a flat paddock in the middle of nowhere for a GP. I tried to get a GP in New Zealand, and we would have been here this weekend or the following weekend for that GP. You guys would have had the best event on the entire calendar if you came to New Zealand. I struggle. That’s where the culture shock is for me, to be here and the conditions like this. In my opinion, this isn’t good enough for the sport. I’m glad I got the opportunity to say that here today, because we get told not to put the sport in disrepute and that. This is the best championship in the world, and I think it deserves better.”
Naturally Youthstream’s Giuseppe Luongo was none too pleased with Ben Townley or his comments. He held a press conference denouncing Townley’s comments, and ended by saying that Ben could be responsible for building the MXGP tracks if he wanted to change jobs. It was a cutting reply by Luongo, laced with unprofessional profanity, but it fell on deaf ears. Why? Because Ben Townley is right. How can anyone dispute that the Qatar and Thailand track conditions were nothing short of abysmal?
I try to keep an open mind about Giuseppe Luongo’s MXGP plans (and I’ve actually had one-on-one meetings with Giuseppe. There are things I like–the EMX classes are great and there’s usually excellent pit infrastructure. And things I don’t care for–Saturday qualifying races, the a lack of purse money for the racers and racing at places just because they will pay the sanction fee. Quite honestly I think it’s great how Luongo is trying to expand the reach of motocross on a global level by traveling to places outside of Europe. The problem comes in choosing tracks that are, as Ben Townley points out, aren’t up to MXGP standards. So rather than Giuseppe losing his cool and calling out Townley, maybe he should listen to one of his own (after all Townley was a World Champion). Certainly a current MXGP racer’s opinion would carry more weight than an American journalist like me, for that reason, I hope Luongo listens. I’ve met the guy, and he seems to be understanding. Hopefully he can do better because, after all, if no one challenges him then it shows that they’ve simply stopped caring about MXGP.
TORONTO’S 250 EAST SUPERCROSS: BEST. RACE. EVER. QUESTION MARK.
It was a rough night for Malcolm Stewart, RJ Hampshire, Tyler Bowers, Aaron Plessinger, Shane McElrath and Jeremy Martin (although the results don’t show how bad things were for Martin) in Toronto. On the flip side, a number of riders made hay while the sun was shining in the Great White North (it is true hat the sun that made hay grow was a first turn crash that sprung a group of riders to a big lead). Take a look at the riders whom capitalized on Saturday evening in Canada.
Justin Hill–1st…Previous best–1st (San Diego 2014)
Matt Bisceglia–3rd…Previous best–3rd (Las Vegas 2014/Las Vegas 2015)
Benny Bloss–7th…Previous best–11th (Daytona 2016)
Alexander Frye–4th…Previous best–9th (Atlanta 2016)
Jesse Wentland–5th…Previous best–8th (Daytona 2016)
Paul Coates–9th…Previous best–18th (Atlanta 2016)
Josh Cartwright–15th…Previous best–18th (Daytona 2016/Atlanta 2 2015)
THE FASTEST OF THE FAST
An ongoing list of the top qualifiers and holeshot winners from each round of the 2016 AMA Supercross Championship
FASTEST QUALIFIERS: 450 CLASS
San Diego 1…Ryan Dungey
Anaheim 2…Ken Roczen
San Diego 2…Eli Tomac
FASTEST QUALIFIERS: 250 CLASS
San Diego 1…Cooper Webb
Anaheim 2…Zach Osborne
San Diego 2…Zach Osborne
HOLESHOT AWARD: 450 CLASS
San Diego 1…Chad Reed
Anaheim 2…Davi Millsaps
San Diego 2…Ryan Dungey
HOLESHOT AWARD: 250 CLASS
San Diego 1…Jordan Smith (West)
Anaheim 2…Jimmy Decotis (West)
Oakland…Christian Craig (West)
Glendale…Jimmy Decotis (West)
San Diego 2…Jordan Smith (West)
Arlington…Christian Craig (West)
Atlanta…Shane McElrath (East)
Daytona…Malcolm Stewart (East)
Toronto…Matt Bisceglia (East)