MOTOCROSS ACTION MID-WEEK REPORT BY DARYL ECKLUND #6

#WHIPITWEDNESDAY

tommy hahn

Rider: Tommy Hahn
Location: Petco Park
Bike: Yamaha YZ450F
Date: January 14, 2017
Photographer: Daryl Ecklund
Camera: Canon 5D Mark iv
Lens: 70-200mm f/2.8
Focal length: 145mm
Exposure: 1/1250 sec.
F-stop: 5
ISO: 5000

MXA VIDEO: AUSTIN FORKNER

SNEAK PEAK: 2017 1/2 KTM FACTORY EDITIONS

We got our hands on the 2017 1/2 KTM Factory Editions last Thursday at Glen Helen. We shot still and action photos of them and after they were done posing for the camera we started to put them through the paces. Most of the updates to the new Factory Editions are cosmetic with its orange bling. The main performance updates were done to the suspension. Below are the highlights of each bike.

2017 KTM 450SXF FACTORY EDITION HIGHLIGHTS:

2017 ktm factory editionYou got to love the race-inspired look. It is not that far off from the factory KTM bikes. Don’t believe us? Take a look for yourself at the image below.

  • UPDATED WP AER 48 front fork with a new air seal, air piston and rebound spring on the air leg, along with a new piston on the damping side for improved performance.
  • UPDATED settings for both the WP AER 48 front fork and rear shock.
  • Handlebar map switch that also activates traction control and launch control for enhanced traction for the start, middle and end of the race.
  • Orange anodized CNC-machined triple clamps for optimized clamping force that is tuned to the WP AER 48 front fork for exceptional handling.

161896_Ryan Dungey KTM 450 SX-F 2016Ryan Dungey’s 2017 factory KTM 450SXF is not that far off in looks to the KTM Factory Edition model.

  • A lightweight chromoly steel frame provides high torsional rigidity with tuned longitudinal stiffness resulting in excellent handling and energy absorption.
  • KTM’s “No Dirt” footpeg design keeps the peg’s pivot from becoming clogged, ensuring the footpeg is always in the correct position.
  • Super lightweight Galfer Wave rotors, CNC-machined hubs, high-end D.I.D. DirtStar rims and Dunlop GEOMAX MX3S tires.

2017 ktm factory editionHere is Dennis Stapleton, our chief test rider putting the KTM Factory Edition through its paces. 

  • Akrapovic titanium slip-on muffler is lighter than the standard 450 SX-F muffler.
  • Airbox and filter design provides maximum performance with fast “no tools” air filter changes.
  • “No Dirt” shift lever prevents dirt from fouling the lever joint to ensure proper shifting in any condition.
  • Factory replica graphics, orange powdercoated frame, orange anodized sprocket and front disk guard complete the READY TO RACE 2017 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION.

2017 KTM 250SXF FACTORY EDITION HIGHLIGHTS:

2017 ktm factory editionIf you look close enough, the clutch lever is broke off and the grip is torn on the 250SXF Factory Edition. That is from Daryl Ecklund laying the bike over trying to find a green background at Glen Helen. 

  • UPDATED WP AER 48 front fork with a new air seal, air piston and rebound spring on the air leg, along with a new piston on the damping side for improved performance.
  • UPDATED settings for both the WP AER 48 front fork and rear shock.
  • Handlebar map switch that also activates traction control and launch control for enhanced traction for the start, middle and end of the race.
  • Orange anodized CNC-machined triple clamps for optimized clamping force that is tuned to the WP AER 48 front fork for exceptional handling.

2017 ktm factory editionLast year, the FMF muffler mellowed out the overall power of the KTM 250SXF. We hope this year it will strengthen it. 

  • A lightweight chromoly steel frame provides high torsional rigidity with tuned longitudinal stiffness resulting in excellent handling and energy absorption.
  • KTM’s “No Dirt” footpeg design keeps the peg’s pivot from becoming clogged, ensuring the footpeg is always in the correct position.
  • Super lightweight Galfer Wave rotors, CNC-machined hubs, high-end D.I.D. DirtStar rims and Dunlop GEOMAX MX3S tires.
  • FMF titanium slip-on muffler is lighter than the standard 250 SX-F muffler.

2017 ktm factory editionJustin Muscutt blows up a dusty berm for Daryl Ecklund’s camera at Glen Helen. 

  • Airbox and filter design provides maximum performance with fast “no tools” air filter changes.
  • “No Dirt” shift lever prevents dirt from fouling the lever joint to ensure proper shifting in any condition.
  • Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM Factory Racing Team replica graphics, orange powder-coated frame, orange anodized sprocket and front disk guard complete the READY TO RACE 2017 KTM 250 SX-F FACTORY EDITION.

INJURY LIST

oakland-9493Justin Bogle crashed in the sand section in Oakland. Of course Vince Friese is next to him.

Chris Alldredge – Broken collarbone. Will be out 3 to 4 weeks.
Justin Barcia – Wrist injury. Replaced by Jake Weimer.
Trey Canard – Out with a torn rotator cuff. He started riding again so hopefully he will be back soon.
Jeremy Martin – Suffered a concussion in Phoenix and looks to be back this weekend.
Mitchell Oldenburg– Broke his collarbone in practice in San Diego.
Colt Nicholls – Broken leg. Replaced by Dan Reardon.
Bradley Taft – Concussion while practicing after San Diego
Ken Roczen – Dislocated elbow, dislocated wrist and compound radius after his crash in A2. He will be out for the season.
Tyler Bowers – Fractured femur from Phoenix crash.
Josh Grant– Josh crashed in the sand section in Oakland and hurt his hand. He did not race the night show. Waiting on an update if he will race this weekend.
Christophe Pourcel – He has been sick and has lingering injuries. Dean Wilson took his place and Pourcel will take some time off and race the Canadian nationals.

TWO-STROKE SPOTLIGHT: SCOTT DENISON’S 2000 HONDA CR250

IMG_1838A production 2000 Honda CR250 made into a factory replica from eBay.

“2000 CR250 Team Honda replica, full frame up build. I spent about a year on this project, and managed to strike gold on eBay a few times, finding some authentic HRC parts, and ended up with a fairly close replica of the 2000 Team Honda Factory bikes. TBT gave the suspension their A-Kit treatment with Kashima upper tube coatings and Ti-Nitride lower tubes. The fork lugs and some shock parts were black hard anodized to finish off the factory look. The motor was built by Bruce Sass in Denver, and throttle jockey was able to dig up the original patterns for the 2000 Team Graphics.”

IMG_1851The CR250 engine was rebuilt from the ground up.

Please keep those submissions coming. If you would like your bike to be featured in the “Two-Stroke Spotlight,” please email me at [email protected]. All I ask is that you give a breakdown of your bike and a detailed description of the build. Please also send a few photos of your steed. By submitting your bike for the “Two-Stroke Spotlight,” you agree to release all ownership rights to the images and copy to MXA. Please don’t email me spam or try selling me Taylor Swift concert tickets or email me spam. I already celebrate T-Swizzle’s entire collective, and there will be “bad blood” if you send me junk mail. See what I did there? Happy submitting your smoker.

MINI-VIEW: SHANE MCELRATH

Making his professional debut in 2013 at the Unadilla Motocross park, Shane Mcelrath has quietly moved up to the ranks where he is now truly contesting for his first championship. While the native North Carolina rider may be quiet off the track, he lets his riding do the talking. While after Oakland he may no longer have the red plate and points lead, he’s only 1 point down. Lets see how he will do in Arlington, Texas with the target on friend and rival’s back Justin Hill.

shane mcelrathShane Mcelrath lost the red plate to Justin Hill in Oakland, but is just 1 point behind. 

By Jim Kimball

Shane, let’s go back a month, not to slight you, but not that many were considering you a championship contender.

Yeah that is true, but that is something we have not really been big on–ever. I mean anything can happen, and I do not like to do much talking. We have done our homework before the season, and put in more work than I would almost guarantee anybody out there did! It just feels good to be healthy; that has been one of the biggest things for me the last few years. I have not been 100% healthy, so being healthy along with being fit and riding with confidence is awesome. I mean those three things together just really helps me out. Coming into the season, I just had a goal. I had one goal and that was to be on the podium at Anaheim. Since then, I have just been going with the wind, and taking things how they come.

Were you always going to do the West series?

I kind of chose to do the West; the West Coast is normally a little more stacked, and more intense racing. I think that there is more to learn out of the West Coast Series. I was supposed to ride West coast last year and I got hurt, so I ended up going East coast–now, we came in ready. I wanted to do the West coast, because I did not want anything to come easy. Ultimately, the goal is to win a 450 championship. That is not impossible, but that is still a ways away, and I think the more intense racing we can get in the better. We will keep learning and keep fighting and keep biting the bullet.

Both yourself and Mitch Oldenberg came in riding really well and looking good. You are teammates, but you are also friends. How much has it affected you with him being out injured?

We ride and train together every day, and we have a good relationship away from the track. We are competitors on the track, and we race each other as hard as we need to. Just like with Justin Hill, we are good friends, but on the track, I am not going to let anybody out there have it easy, and if that is the case and I do not expect people to give it to me either. If somebody is going to run it in on the inside or try and stuff me, then they are going to have to move me because I am not going to just let somebody push me around! I mean I feel bad for Mitchell, because we have put the work in together and I think he is still going to come back for a few of the rounds, but at the same time, I mean he is still fit and he has done his homework in the off season. If it is not in Supercross than outdoors he is going to be good.

With Mitchell and myself, we just kind of feed off of each other, so going back to doing it solo, it is tough to have that race intensity when you kind of are riding by yourself. But I mean we have been riding with Alex (Martin) and he has been getting good and putting in his work too. So when the East coast rounds come up, he should be really good.

shane mcelrathOakland was a tough race for everyone. Shane was just thankful to get on the podium. 

Did you ride any differently having that red plate?

I think at Anaheim 2 it did definitely, but the Phoenix weekend was just kind of something to put me in my place. I had the crash in the heat race, and it was just something that I wasn’t riding cautious, I just was not thinking too clearly. That is the hard part and for me; it is all new and for me to try and go out there and let it hang out in a safe way–but also a smart way. That is what I have been struggling, trying to find that fine line, but Phoenix was good, and we could take a lot out of that weekend and build off of it too. I felt really good all day today, but just had some little things that we ran into in the main that just kind of upset everything. It ended up letting Justin by, but I am excited to keep racing, and for new challenges next weekend, and trying to defend it.

With your bad gate pick at Phoenix I kept thinking that you might be last going into turn one, but you actually had a great start!

We don’t just do laps, and that is the thing. We work on starts, we work on everything and I know my bike is good. My bike is a rocket ship and I know that if I do a start like I know how to do a start, then I should pull the hole-shot. It was a little unfortunate there with the start being so long as I had quite a bit of extra ground to cover. But we still came out inside the top three or whatever it was. It was just good to put ourself in a position and something that we can take advantage of–that is the biggest thing. I mean the LCQ is not ideal, but at the same time it made me focus more on myself.

To me it appeared that you would have won again in Phoenix, if not for the lappers.

Yeah, and the frustrating part is that I just felt so good tonight and felt like it was my race to win. I do not want to throw anybody under the bus, but I feel like that is what cost me the race in Phoenix. I feel like if it would have been the other way around if Justin had been leading. It probably would have been the same thing that happened to me, so like you said, that is part of the race and something that tonight on this track it was something that you just could not zip right through. Sometimes you had to follow in to be able to jump the next jump and that was the big part of it–following. That is what cost me a lot of time and that is the frustrating part. But at the same time felt like we rode good and we put up a good fight, but tonight it just slipped away a little bit.

What happened this past weekend in Oakland?

The track made me feel like I didn’t know how to ride a dirt bike. But it was actually a relief, as it felt like the first time that I did not have a ton of pressure on myself. It seems like every weekend that the pressure has only gotten tougher with me having a target on my back. I’m only one point down, and just am very glad to have made it through, and be on the podium.

SUPERCROSS KNOWLEDGE: OAKLAND

oaklandThe wet Oakland track during track walk.

By Broc Bridges

1. Eli Tomac has earned back-to-back 450 Supercross class victories for the first time in his career with his impressive Oakland victory Saturday night. It was his 52nd career start and he also nabbed his 20th podium.
2. Tomac is now alone in 26th on the all-time Supercross wins list with 6. The Shark, Fro, and The O Show are next on the list with seven wins (David Vuillemin, Jeff Emig, Johnny O’Mara).
3. Kawasaki has now won back-to-back races for the first time since Ryan Villopoto ended his career with four straight wins to end the 2014 season.

villopoto-ryan-800x400-titleRyan Villopoto was Kawasaki’s golden boy when he was racing. Those are big shoes to fill for Eli Tomac. 

4. Tomac was the only Kawasaki rider in the 450SX Class main event.
5. Kawasaki has swept the main events for two consecutive races for the first time since 2011. Justin Hill in the 250 class and Tomac in the 450 class have cruised to victories in their respective classes the past two Saturdays. In 2011 It was Dean Wilson and Villopoto winning on Kawasaki’s in Atlanta followed up with Blake Baggett and Villopoto winning the next weekend in Daytona.

eli tomacEli Tomac is now alone in 26th on the all-time Supercross wins list with 6.

6. A brand hasn’t earned three consecutive sweeps since 2008 when Chad Reed and Jason Lawrence won San Francisco, Anaheim, and San Diego back-to-back-to-back on Yamaha’s.
7. Ryan Dungey moved his consecutive top five streak to 40 with his podium in Oakland. Dungey now has 122 career starts, 94 podiums, 110 top fives, and is the only rider to have a podium each race this season.
8. Cooper Webb rode to his first career podium in only his fifth career start with a third in Oakland.
9. Jason Anderson nabbed his 20th career top five with his fourth place in Oakland.

jason andersonJason Anderson nabbed his 20th career top five with his fourth place in Oakland.

10. With his fourth consecutive top-10 finish, Reed also put himself alone in second on the all-time Supercross starts list with 208.
11. Marvin Musquin now has back-to-back ninth place finishes.
12. Wilson earned his first top-10 of the season and it came on a Husqvarna.
13. Justin Hill earned his third consecutive win in the 250 class. The last time Kawasaki won three-in-a-row in the 250 class was their seven race win streak in 2014.

0Q7A6523Marvin Musquin started off the season as a championship contender. The last two races he has finished 9th.

14. Shane Mcelrath has a top three finish in all five races.
15. The top six 250SX Class riders in Oakland were on six different brands. Kawasaki’s Justin Hill, Husqvarna’s Martin Davalos, KTM’s McElrath, Honda’s Decotis, Suzuki’s Phil Nicoletti, and Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger.

Jets Patriots FootballTom Brady is the comeback king. 

16. Tom Brady rides a Yamaha: The New England Patriots have played in nine Super Bowls. The Supercross races that have been held after New England Super Bowl appearances have been won by Yamaha four times. Honda has won two, and Kawasaki/Suzuki with one each. Can Reed or Webb take advantage of Yamaha’s Patriot mojo?

THEY SAID IT: OAKLAND

dean wilsonDean Wilson takes a soil sample in the Oakland sand section in the first lap of the heat.

Dean Wilson–“I’ll take today as a pretty good positive. I qualified really well–I haven’t been on the board all year–ended up sixth overall so that was a great start. It’s such an exciting week for me since getting on the team. I fell first lap of my heat race in the sand. I went into the semi, made the pass for third, but then made a rider error and crashed again. I went into the main event and was in a seventh position battle and was felling pretty good, but then just got kind of tired in the end. The track was gnarly, but I survived and got 10th, my first top 10 of the year–so I’ll take it and move on from here.”

ryan DungeyRyan Dungey still has a big lead over Eli Tomac. 

Ryan Dungey– “The track was pretty tough – there were some spots where we were a little uncomfortable out there but a track like that brings out the rider and the talent. You have to really put it all together. We went for it in the beginning and opened up a nice little lead, which is good. I could gauge where Eli was and I saw that he was doing that rhythm lane. All and all it was a good night, I’m really happy with it. Just a couple of spots that I was losing time on the track so I’m happy with that. It’s not like it’s a bike thing, we’ll go to work this week and try to get better just like we do every week. Considering where we started out we made really good progress today so I’m really happy with it.”

cole seely
Cole Seely got what looks like a banner in his rear wheel and lost the rear brake at the end of the main.

Cole Seely–”It was another decent day for us. I ended up fifth on the night so not too bad. We’re making improvements to the bike each week, still dialing it in and adjusting to each week’s track. The team has been really great about helping me with the process and finding what’s comfortable. It was tough picking a gate tonight. It was really about condition over position out there because outside of the gate was getting rough and beat up. My mechanic Rich [Simmons] and I decided on the one outside of the box because it seemed to have a pretty good line.

midweek 6-86This was the cause for Cole to lose his rear brake. 

I got a great jump and was fifth, then passed my way into third. About right then, I lost my rear brake. Not mechanical failure on my team or bike, but from a banner or something I picked up on the track. I went to go make the pass on Jason [Anderson] and tried to get to the brake and it wasn’t there so I kind of plowed into him. After that I was just trying figure out how to ride without my brake. I was trying to carry a little less speed into the turns, grab a lot of front brake but luckily it started to come back a little with two laps left. It was a hard enough track as is, so doing it without brakes was really tough. I plan to get some riding in and shoot for the podium next weekend.”

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: WORKS CONNECTION 2017 HONDA CRF RADIATOR BRACES

midweek 6-A sure way to keep those expensive radiators safe and sound.

Hot off the milling and forming machines, Works Connection’s 2017 Honda CRF450R Radiator Braces have just been released. Add protection to your CRF450R with these simple to install radiator braces and help prevent costly radiator replacement. CNC’d from 5052 aircraft grade aluminum to provide a light weight, yet durable, custom fit to tuck in cleanly behind the radiator shrouds. Comes with all mounting hardware and includes a CNC’d billet bracket system incorporating rubber vibration isolators. Made in the USA and available in raw Silver or satin Black powder coating. www.worksconnection.com

LACR RACE TRACK SCHEDULE

_2673147_origIf you haven’t been to LARC yet in Palmdale, CA  to go ride you need to give it a chance.

SATURDAY 2/11
GATES OPEN AT 8AM
OPEN PRACTICE 9AM-2PM
MAIN, VET, & MINI TRACK
$30 PER RIDER & $10 50cc PW’s
OVERNIGHT PARKING- $10
GATES OPEN UNTIL 7PM

SUNDAY 2/12
GATES OPEN AT 6:30AM
SO CAL OTMX RACE ON MAIN TRACK
GATE FEE:
ADULTS $10 & KIDS $5 (AGES 6-12) AGES 5 & UNDER ARE FREE
www.lacrmotox.com

2017 RACE SCHEDULES: BE THERE OR BE SQUARE

MXA_Moto 2 Start_ AMA Outdoor National_Hangtown 2005-9

California is the richest race state in the union, with seven major events in 2017. Folks in Michigan should rejoice, as Supercross (Detroit), Arenacross (Grand Rapids) and the Lucas Oil Nationals (Red Bud) visit “The Great Lake State.” And those residing in the Pacific Northwest will be happy hosting a bevy of events, from Supercross to the AMA Nationals.

2017 MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCROSS SERIES

January 7…Angel Stadium…Anaheim, CA (West)
January 14…Petco Park…San Diego, CA (West)
January 21…Angel Stadium…Anaheim, CA (West)
January 28…University of Phoenix…Glendale, AZ (West)
February 4…Alameda Coliseum…Oakland, CA (West)
February 11…AT&T Stadium…Arlington, TX (West)
February 18…U.S. Bank Stadium…Minneapolis, MN (East)
February 25…Georgia Dome…Atlanta, GA (East)
March 4…Rogers Centre…Toronto, Canada (East)
March 11…Daytona Speedway…Daytona, FL (East)
March 18…Lucas Oil Stadium…Indianapolis, IN (East)
March 25…Ford Field…Detroit, MI (East)
April 1…America’s Center…St. Louis, MO (East)
April 8…CenturyLink Field…Seattle, WA (West)
April 22…Rice-Eccles Stadium…Salt Lake City, UT (West)
April 29…MetLife Stadium…East Rutherford, NJ (East)
May 6…Sam Boyd Stadium…Las Vegas, NV (East/West)
*Visit http://www.supercrosslive.com/ to purchase tickets

2017 AMSOIL ARENACROSS SERIES

January 7-8…U.S. Bank Arena…Cincinnati, OH
January 13-15…Van Andel Arena…Grand Rapids, MI
January 20-22…Royal Farms Arena…Baltimore, MD
January 28-29…Bridgestone Arena…Nashville, TN
February 4-5…Freedom Hall…Louisville, KY
February 18-19…Sprint Center…Kansas City, MO
February 24-26…Georgia Dome…Atlanta, GA
March 3-5…Landers Center…Southaven, MS
March 11-12…Smoothie King Center…New Orleans, LA
March 18-19…Moda Center…Portland, OR
March 24-26…Livestock Events Center…Reno, NV
April 1-2…Golden I Center…Sacramento, CA
April 22-23…Denver Coliseum…Denver, CO
May 5-7…Orleans Arena…Las Vegas, NV
*Visit http://www.supercrosslive.com/ to purchase tickets

2017 LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP

May 20…Hangtown…Sacramento, CA
May 27…Glen Helen…San Bernardino, CA
June 3…Thunder Valley…Lakewood, CO
June 17…High Point…Mount Morris, PA
June 24…Muddy Creek…Blountville, TN
July 1…Red Bud…Buchanan, MI
July 8…Southwick…Southwick, MA
July 22…Spring Creek…Millville, MN
July 29…Washougal…Washougal, WA
August 12…Unadilla…New Berlin, NY
August 19…Budds Creek…Mechanicsville, MD
August 26…Ironman…Crawfordsville, IN
* Visit http://www.promotocross.com/mx/tickets to buy tickets

2017 FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

February 25…Losail…Qatar
March 5…Pangkal Pinang…Indonesia
March 19…Neuquen…Argentina
April 2…Leon…Mexico
April 16…Trentino…Italy
April 23…Valkenswaard…The Netherlands
May 7…Kegums…Latvia
May 21…Teutschenthal…Germany
May 28…Ernee…France
June 11…Orlyonok…Russia
June 25…Maggiora…Italy
July 2…Agueda…Portugal
July 23…Loket…Czech Republic
August 6…Lommel…Belgium
August 13…Frauenfeld…Switzerland
August 20…Uddevalla…Sweden
September 3…Charlotte…USA
September 10…Assen…The Netherlands
September 17…Villars sous Ecot…France

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