MXA WEEKEND NEWS ROUND-UP: STRAIGHT DOESN’T TRUMP TRACK

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WHY STRAIGHT RHYTHM NEEDS TO TURN THE CORNER TO FIND ACCEPTANCE

It is quite obvious that the Red Bull Straight Rhythm race is at a crossroads. Never a massive success — more of a novelty — Red Bull has powered it through with their marketing skills…with no small help from the Red Bull-sponsored motocross athletes that agree to do it (whether they actually agree or have agreed by contract stipulation is not a factor). But this year, there is no buzz. No one cares anymore. It’s fizzed out. When the event was first introduced, with the help of helicopter and drone footage, it looked exciting, but, in reality, from ground or bleacher level, it was little more than ants in the distance getting closer and closer—until eventually the fans could see some action. It was often a lot of waiting for a little payoff. Spectators had to huddle around the last 100 yards to get any satisfaction…and, in essence, that meant that 90% of the race was unwatchable by the paying crowd. The start was way, way, way down there. The middle was still pretty far away. And, in 80% of the races it was all over by the time they came into view.

Had all the spectators been in a helicopter—they would have enjoyed it immensely. However, they weren’t up in the air getting the promo film experience, and in most cases they didn’t find ground level very fulfilling. So, they sat in the bleachers, in the hot sun, watching a Jumbotron—if the sun didn’t glare it out. This year Red Bull moved the race to night time, but they need to take a closer look at the sun and their watches, because the event starts at 2:00 p.m. and the main events at start at 5:45 p.m. The weather bureau says that the sun sets in Pomona at 6:15 p.m., which means that only the finals runs will be in the dark (the Finals are at 7:45 p.m).

When you take away all the riders that don’t want to race Straight Rhythm in 2016 and you delay TV coverage for a month, you get a collective yawn. That doesn’t mean that people won’t show up to watch. They will. They will loudly cheer for whichever KTM rider wins. Some will be happy with the experience and some won’t, but the collective yawn coming from the riders, team managers, sponsors (save for Red Bull) and the motorcycle industry is growing larger.

After the first installment of the Straight Rhythm, many industry insiders suggest that the Straight Rhythm track be turned into two straights with a U-turn  in the middle. The riders would start in front of the bleachers and then race half the distance down the drag strip and then turn and come back to finish in front of the bleachers. The fans would get to see the start and the finish—and they could walk down to the U-turn if they so desired. Red Bull’s representative said firmly, “No! It’s called Straight Rhythm and it has to be straight.” Well, it’s still straight and now it only has the Red Bull KTM and Troy Lee KTM riders supporting the race — and just like Monster Energy wanted its riders to race the two USGPs (sponsored by Monster) at the expense of Team USA at the MXDN — Straight Rhythm will only have Red Bull sponsored athletes. Amazingly, they couldn’t even get James and Malcolm Stewart to appear—even though they are the current Champions.

Sadly, Red Bull looks like chumps in this scenario for sticking to a dull format, failing to get network TV coverage, not attracting a full field of stars (of riders not on their payroll), lack of effective promotion and for refusing to modify the concpet to make it more palatable to the fans of the sport. At their current rate of buzz — this race will soon be third rate.

THE MXA WRECKING CREW AT MONSTER MTN WITH A 2017 CRF450

PETE MALY TRIBUTE DAY AT CAL VMX

Pete Maly (right) signing autographs and collectors mugs at a CALVMX race. Photo: Tom Corley

You may be too young to remember Pete Maly, but during the hey-day of motocross (when they sold 1,000,000 dirt bikes a year), Pete Maly was a successful Pro racer and was an MXA test rider par excellence. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know who Pete is, even at MXA only Jody was around when Pete was wearing MXA colors. You may be too young to remember the glory days, but the vintage crew at CALVMX knows all of the old stars. They held a tribute day for Pete recently—and even printed up Pete Maly Collector Series cups for fans to have Pete sign. We have included a few photos below of Pete from his MXA days (and one day when we lent him to Dirt Bike Magazine).

When Pete was testing for MXA, he owned a CZ shop called Coast Moto Cycles. This is Pete on a CZ GP on the June 1975 cover.

This photo hung on many teenagers bedroom walls. It is Pete doing a one-hand wheelie on a red tanker. If you look at the first photo, you can see that Debbie and Frank had Pete sign this same photo for them.

Nice guys that we are, we lent Pete Maly to Dirt Bike Magazine and they ran a photo of him doing, what else, one-hand wheelie on a CZ for the May 1973 cover. Most people would kill to be on the cover of any motocross magazine, Pete smiled his way to both Dirt Bike and MXA covers.

Proof positive that he didn’t just test CZ’s. This is Pete on the then-new RM370 at Carlsbad Raceway.

You gotta love this classic shot of Pete on a Suzuki TM125 —sliding around a powder berm.

REM GLEN HELEN MOTOCROSS ON SATURDAY OCT. 22

For more info go to www.remsatmx.com

GRAN FONDO SANTA CLARITA: 20, 60 & 100 MILE LOOPS ON SATURDAY OCT. 22

Lots of cycling stars and even more motorcycle guys. For more info go to www.granfondosantaclarita.com

HALLOWEEN HILL CLIMB ON SUNDAY OCT. 23 AT GLEN HELEN

The Halloween Hillclimb will not be on Halloween, but 8 days before it it. For more info on the October 23, 2016, event at Glen Helen, go to www.hellonwheelsmc.com

WORLD VET MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP ON NOV. 5-6

Now that the young guy’s Championships are decided, all eyes will turn to the older set at the 2016 Dubya-sponsored World Vet Championships. There are Pro class for the Over-30, Over-40 and Over-50 racers. Expect the competition to be intense. For more info go to www.glenhelen.com

ROUTE 66 VINTAGE SCRAMBLES AT ROY ROGERS RANCH ON NOV. 20

For more info click here.

THOR MINI OLYMPICS ON NOV. 21-26

For more info go to www.unlimitedsportsmx.com

DAY IN THE DIRT 19 ENTRIES OPEN NOW FOR NOV. 25-27

For more info go to www.dayinthedirt.com

WHAT’S LEFT OF THE 2016 RACE CALENDAR

2016 REM MOTOCROSS
Oct. 22………………………..Glen Helen, CA
Oct. 29………………………..Glen Helen, CA (World Vet warm-up)
Nov 12…………………………Glen Helen, CA
Nov. 19………………………..Glen Helen, CA
Nov. 26……………………….No race (Day in the Dirt)

AUSTRALIAN SUPERCROSS
Oct. 29………………………….Wayville, South Australia
Nov. 5…………………………..Avalon, Victoria
Nov. 12-13…………………….Sydney, New South Wales

RED BULL  STRAIGHT RHYTHM
Oct. 22………………………..Pomona, CA

2016 AMA SUPERMOTO CHAMPIONSHIP
Oct. 22………………………..Tucson, AZ

2016 GEICO ENDUROCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
Oct. 22………………………..Everett, WA
Nov. 5………………………….Boise, ID
Nov. 19………………………..Ontario, CA

ARNHEM SUPERCROSS
Oct. 22…………………………Arnhem, Holland

2016 REM OCTOBERCROSS
Oct. 29…………………………..Glen Helen, CA

2016 DUBYA WORLD VET MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
Nov. 5-6……………………….Glen Helen, CA

STUTTGART SUPERCROSS
Nov. 11-12…………………….Stuttgart, Germany

TAMPERE SUPERCROSS
Nov. 11-12……………………..Finland

PARIS/LILLE SUPERCROSS
Nov. 12-13…………………….Lille, France

MUNICH SUPERCROSS
Nov. 18-19……………………Munich, Germany

2016 THOR WINTER OLYMPICS
Nov. 21-16……………………Gatorback, FL

DAY IN THE DIRT 19
Nov. 26-27………………….Glen Helen, CA

GENEVA SUPERCROSS
Dec. 23………………………Geneva, Switzerland

THIS WEEK’S BIRTHDAY BOYS: ADAM C. IS 20


Oct. 20…Adam Cianciarulo 1996
Oct. 21…Terren O’Dell 1991
Oct. 21…Matiss Karro 1991


Oct. 22…Ashley Fiolek 1990
Oct. 22…Michael Brandes 1975
Oct. 24…Teddy Parks 1989


Oct. 25…Tony Amaradio 1973

Oct. 25…Mike Lafferty


Oct. 27…Malcolm Stewart 1992

Oct. 27…Kenny Zahrt 1955
Oct. 27.. Jimmy Jarrett

 2017 MOTOCROSS SCHEDULES: WHERE TO BE & WHEN TO BE THERE

None of these schedules are set in stone, but you can count on the Supercross and Arenacross schedules to be accurate.

2017 AMA SUPERCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
Jan. 7…………………………Anaheim, CA
Jan. 14………………………San Diego, CA
Jan. 21………………………Anaheim, CA
Jan. 28………………………Glendale, AZ
Feb. 4……………………….Oakland, CA
Feb. 11………………………Arlington, TX
Feb. 18………………………Minneapolis, MN
Feb. 25………………………Atlanta, GA
Mar. 4………………………Toronto, ON
Mar. 11………………………Daytona, FL
Mar. 18………………………Indianapolis, IN
Mar. 25………………………Detroit, MI
Apr. 1…………………………St. Louis, MO
Apr. 8………………………..Seattle, WA
Apr 22……………………….Salt Lake City, UT

2017 AMA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
(To be released on Friday, October 21)

2017 FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Feb. 25…………………….Qatar (Saturday)
Mar. 5………………………Indonsia
Mar. 19…………………….Argentina
Apr. 2……………………….Mexico
Apr. 16………………………Italy
Apr. 23…………………….Holland
May 7………………………Latvia
May 21…………………….Germany
May 28…………………….France
June 11…………………….Russia
June 25……………………Italy
July 2……………………….Portugal
July 9……………………….San Marino
July 23……………………..Czech Republic
Aug. 6……………………….Belgium
Aug. 13…………………….Switzerland
Aug. 20…………………….Sweden
Sept. 3………………………USA (Monday)
Sept. 10……………………Holland
Sept. 17…………………….France

The 2017 Glen Helen Motocross des Nations will be held in England.

2017 MOTOCROSS DES NATIONS
October 1…………………..Matterley Basin, Great Britain

2017 SMX RIDERS & MANUFACTURERS CUP
October 7………………….Gelsenkirchen, Germany

2017 AMSOIL ARENACROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
Jan. 7-8…………………….Cincinnati, OH
Jan. 13-15…………………Grand Rapids, MI
Jan. 20-22…………………Baltimore, MD
Jan. 28-29…………………Nashville, TN.
Feb. 4-5…………………….Louisville, KY
Feb. 18-19…………………Kansas City, MO
Feb.y 25-26……………….Tampa, FL
Mar. 3-5…………………….Southaven, MS
Mar. 11-12…………………New Orleans, LA
Mar. 18-19…………………Portland, OR
Mar. 24-26…………………Reno, NV
April 1-2…………………….Sacramento, CA
April 21-23…………………Denver, CO
May 5-7…………………….Las Vegas, NV

2017 WORLD OFF ROAD CHAMPIONSHIP (WORCS)
Jan. 6-8…………………….Taft, CA
Jan. 27-29…………………Primm, NV
Feb. 17-19………………….TBA
Mar. 10-12…………………Lake Havasu, AZ
Apr. 1-2…………………….Las Vegas, NV
Apr. 21-23…………………Hurricane, UT
May. 19-21…………………Cedar City, UT
Jun. 9-11…………………..Adelanto, CA
Sept. 8-10…………………Glen Helen, CA
Oct 13-15…………………..TBA

2017 AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
April 2…………………….Victoria
April 23……………………New South Wales
May 7……………………..Queensland
May 21……………………Victoria
May 28……………………South Australia
July 2……………………..New South Wales
July 16……………………Victoria
July 30……………………New South Wales
Aug. 13…………………..Queensland
Aug. 19-20………………Queensland

THE WAY WE WERE: YOU CAN’T WIN THEM ALL

Jody Weisel’s famous photo of Brad Lackey’s 500 World Championship hat in the trash is famous not because Brad Lackey won the World Championship that year, but because he lost it…and the pre-printed celebratory hats were thrown away. Brad would come back and win the 500 crown two years later on a Suzuki.

A MAN AND HIS PUCH: 41 YEARS LATER


Now a plastic surgeon, this was 13-year-old Kim Sunol back in 1975 on his dream bike.

Before packing up and heading to the USA for a two-week whirlwind race adventure at the REM Octobercross on October 29 and the 2015 World Vet Championship on November 5-6, Spanish racer Kim Sunol had very important business to attend to. Was Dr. Sunol called to the hospital to perform emergency surgery on a patient? Was he needed at fellow World Vet racer Xavi Costa’s house to help change Mini-Fever’s diapers before going to the airport? No, Kim wanted to finish the restoration project on his 1975 Puch Minicross MC50.

Kim’s original 1975 Puch Minicross.

Kim’s newly restored 1975 Puch Minicross.

Yes, we know that he had waited 41 years, but this was the perfect moment. Kim explained it this way, “This was my dream bike when I was a kid. I did very crazy things on it. I believe that if I hadn’t kill myself on it, then no other bike would. Now, my living room collection consists of my 1977 Montesa Cappra VB 125 and a 1975 Puch Minicross. Every time I go from the couch to the kitchen to open a bottle of wine, I say, ‘beautiful bikes’!” You can see Kim and Xavi in action of the World Vet in two weeks—but the Puch is staying in Barcelona.

MXA AD OF THE WEEK: GET ON YOUR HOG & HEAD TO STURGIS

When Harley-Davidson realized that Hodaka was selling 10,000 bikes a year, they jumped into the 100cc trailbike market in 1971 with an Italian-built Aermacchi dirt bike. The Harley Baja was hopelessly tall, short-wheelbased, underpowered and ill-handling. Raced by Bruce Ogilvie, Terry Clark, Earl Roeseler, Larry Roeseler, Mitch Mayes and Bob Rutten it won a lot of desert races, butcustomers weren’t buying what the Harley team was racing.

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & GET MXA FOR FREE: YOU WILL ACTUALLY MAKE MONEY

Interested in getting a new bike this year? The November 2016 issue of MXA will be on the news stands soon and has test of seven bikes that you could own—including the 2017 KTM 150SX, 2017 Suzuki RM-Z250, 2017 Yamaha YZ450F, 2017 Husqvarna FC450 and 2017 KTM 250SXF. Plus, if you subscribe now you get a $25 gift certificate from Rocky Mountain ATV/MC which more than pays for your subscription.

Do you subscribe to MXA? You should. We know that you think that print magazines are dead and that the internet will fill the void, but most of the stuff in the current issue of MXA won’t appear on the web for several months, if at all. Luckily, you can get all of MXA on your iPhone, iPad, Kindle or Android by going to the Apple Store, Amazon or Google Play. Better yet get the Digital desktop version at https://hi-torque.com/product/motocross-action-digital-edition/ for $9.99 a year. The MXA test riders prefer the print version and not just because it is delivered by a uniformed employee of the U.S. Government, but because for only $19.99 you get 12 issues and a free $25 Gift Card from Rocky Mountain ATV/MC. That means that there is a profit to be made in this deal for you. For the Print magazine go to: http://hi-torque.com/product/subscribe-to-motocross-action-magazine/

Photos: Tom Corley, Husqvarna, Jon Ortner, Scott Mallonee, Brian Converse, Massimo Zanzani, John Basher, Yamaha, MXGP, MXA, Honda

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