MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT (01/25/12)
By John Minert
FUND RAISER FOR RYAN MORAIS
Rockstar Valli-Star Racing Yamaha team rider Ryan Morais was injured at the Los Angeles Supercross race on January 22, 2012. It happened in the first lap of the main event when Trey Canard hit a tuff block and was not able to jump the triple. Ryan was already committed to the jump and landed on Trey. Both riders were knocked unconscious. Ryan’s injuries were very substantial with fractured C1, C2, C6-7 and T1, broken ribs, broken upper and lower jaw. As of January 24, 2012, Ryan is awaiting surgery to align his jaws and to wire his mouth shut for the next 8 weeks. He will also be wearing a C collar is keep his neck stable. Ryan does have health insurance but the hospital they are at is out of network for them.
There will be a fundraiser held at Red Rock MX Park in Bastrop Texas, on Saturday, February 4, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with all proceeds going to Ryan.
$50 per rider (limited to the first 100 riders that sign up)
$10 per spectator
$5 per raffle ticket
If you have any items you would like to donate for the auction, please send them to
Shipping Address for Packages:
Ryan Morais Benefit
6425 S IH 35
Austin, TX. 78744
A DIGITAL LAP AROUND THE OAKLAND SUPERCROSS TRACK (MINUS THE RED ARROW)
MXA INTERVIEW: DAVE OSTERMAN
Dave O (far right) celebrates the LA win with the team.
In their second-year, some of the hype of Chad Reed’s TwoTwo Motorsports team has faded, and been replaced by respect. But whether or not Chad is in contention for a given race win, the crafty veteran has proven time and again that he knows how to go after championships. When the season draws to a close and Reed smells blood in the water, look out. Chad Reed took his first win of the season at Dodger Stadium and re-confirmed his threat to the championship. We called the TwoTwo’s team manager Dave Osterman to get the behind-the-scenes info on Chad’s win and Championship hunt.
MXA: What did the team learn from it’s first year and improve for 2012?
Dave O: Well, the red pants are new. Some people love them, some people hate them, but I think they are pretty cool. It shows that outside of being a father/racer/team owner, Chad is a thinker. He borrowed form other motorsports and injected it into us. I think we are the first team to really look like we’re something beyond the norm. In a photo, you can pick Lars out of a crowd or Goose standing off to the left or right. So I think he accomplished his goal. But outside of the pants, we have a couple extra crew members that compliment our program here and there. Again, it’s a testament to Chad, who decided to improve our infrastructure. He wants to hire a rider who can go bar-to-bar with himself. We got close with a couple situations,but he decided to take one for the team, so to speak. Mike Gosselaar was available and Sergio Avento, suspension engineer was available. So we have some more tools for the drawer and we’ll be better that way.
How did you guys fix the front end traction issues that Chad mentioned early on?
With guys at his level, sometimes problems are hard, sometimes they are simple and the the solution is right in front of your face and you don’t see it. He’s really critical. He’s a front-end type of rider, as he has said in other interviews, as opposed to Villopoto or a Carmichael kind of guy that rides with the rear. Just doing certain things and testing within our availability and time it what we do. We got to it, and it showed. We could even build on that for the next race.
Was that integral to Chad’s win this weekend? What made the difference from the first two races?
For all the top guys out there, I think every race is a building block, and either you gain some or lose some. Testing during the week isn’t racing. Once you plug in adrenaline, things are different, and things show up that didn’t Monday through Friday. So, we make a few little tweaks and it showed. Thank god for the restart. I feel terrible about what happened to Trey and Ryan Morais, but hopefully they will figure out something better to do with the hay bale covers. But there was a restart, it was the same for everybody. Chad didn’t just get the start and run away with it like Dungey did in Phoenix, he caught and passed some talented guys and made it his night. Now I want another one.
Weimer got the early lead, but Reed knows that they count the winners at the finish.
What should be done about the covers?
I don’t want to beat up the promoters because I’m pals with those guys and they take care of me. I don’t think the track was the problem that hurt the guys this weekend, or the sharpness of one footpeg. They really need to rethink what they’re doing with these barriers because the guys do run it high. The reason Trey didn’t jump was that he had a hay bale [that’s old-school for Tuff Block] cover on. Ryan Morais wasn’t aware of that. I don’t know that rearranging the tracks is the answer, riders are still going to do what they do. There’s a history of those things coming off. In outdoors they went to those yellow things that everyone seems to hate, but guys aren’t wadding up in the snow fencing anymore. They need to look at it. They gotta make covers that won’t tear off, if they dead set on keeping hay bales. Trey is a jumper, we all know he is fearless. He regulated himself because he had that cover on his bike and he was aware of it. Ryan Morais was going for a good finish too, and they came together like magnets because of that. I’m not saying the promoters aren’t looking at it, but they have to be aggressive. When a race car tire flips off and goes into the stands you see a change in the fencing next week. Here, you are not hurting the fans but the athletes themselves and it should be like a light switch, ‘how can we can this.’ It doesn’t matter if it’s 200 covers, if they are no good, send them to the shredder and get new ones. You have two guys hurt for a reason. I believe it could have been prevented.
TwoTwo holds up the 1-1 for his first win of the season at Dodger Stadium.
How did you react when Chad went by James Stewart?
Anytime Chad and James get close there’s an “uh-oh” on the head set. James is a talented guy. He’s a threat every week and we film him every week just like we do with the two Ryans and Trey. It’s those five fast guys and it’s just awesome that Chad’s one of them. You can’t catch these guys out, because if they have a bad weekend, the next weekend they won’t. That’s just the way it is at this level and that’s what keeps us all going.
Chad’s the veteran of the five. What does he have extra when he goes for a championship?
I think Chad just has the seasoning that most don’t. Even outside of being an older guy. If he gets rattled, he keeps it internal. As a boss he remains pretty mellow and as a dad too. Don’t forget that this guy has a nineteen-month old kid at home that’s full of energy and then he hops on a race bike. A lot of the guys that he’s battling with have a couple houses and nice cars, and no kid. Every day, he’s juggling a lot, and he remains calm, cool and collected. That’s what sets him apart. When he comes in from his lap time and I’m walking through the pits, a guy [journalist] like you might say ‘ Hey Dave, Chad was only fifth or sixth, how do you feel.” I don’t have a comment for that, because I’ve seen him regroup. Chad’s all about how he feels to himself. Lap times aren’t always the tale of the tape, you don’t always have to win practice. It’s certainly impressive when some guys do set fast times and those are guys to watch. But I don’t get rattled because Chad can always throw down with the best of them when it really matters.
What is you outlook for the coming rounds?
This third-round win is awesome and we’re going into the fourth race. We are ahead of where we were last year. For me and the other guys, the expectations are way higher than they were last year, because there are expectations on us. Last year, we were the feel-good story of the year. This year it’s full-factory support, we’re in their building, it’s more pressure. I still try to keep it light and warm and fuzzy under the tent because we’re still the same. Just a few things have changed. The other four guys are dangerous every weekend.
LA SUPERCROSS GO PRO HIGHLIGHTS COMPILATION
Don’t click away from this video because of the lame hand-gestures and techno music, there are many take-out shots and lots of action that make this footage awesome.
MXA INTERVIEW ELI TOMAC
Fans knew it was only a matter of time before Tomac (center) got a win this season.
Eli Tomac showed everyone he had the speed to win right from the get-go, but the win eluded him until the third round at Dodger Stadium. We called the new 250 West Coast points leader Tuesday after the race to get perspective on the race and to see how being the points leader has sunk in.
You had speed, what keep you from winning at the first two rounds?
The first two rounds, my starts weren’t very good in the mains. Everyone thought my starts were just straight-up bad, but at Anaheim 1 I had a bad heat race and got sent to the LCQ. That put my on the very outside gate for the main. Plus, something happened with the 30-second-board girl and we had to sit there for and extra 20 seconds. At Phoenix I made a little mistake and that was my first bad start due to bad technique, getting squirrely out of the line there. That next week we went back to the practice track and got a good routine down, figured some stuff out and it obviously paid off with the starts.
Have your qualifying times reflected your speed?
I was second in Phoenix in qualifying, and I think I was second or third at A1. All my main events I’ve been the fastest of the 250s, and even some of the 450s. So I’ve had the speed, I just needed to put it together like I did last week.
Tomac rails en route to his LA win.
How were you getting over that jump in your heat race at Phoenix that nobody else could do?
Everyone just kind of gets stuck in the groove of doing the same old race line, double-double or whatever it is. I just try to think outside of the box and rip a couple triples here and there. I think it definitely pays off to have a different line in the back of your head if you need it ever. So I’m looking for different stuff each week.
There are several 250F guys in contention for best whipper, Tomac is right with them.
Was the test muddy after the SoCal downpour yesterday?
We went to the Honda test track and it’s that hard pack Corona clay, but it was probably the best Corona clay track I’ve ever ridden. It was fun. We normally ride every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during the week. We just did the same program that we have been doing.
Was one of those practicing starts?
We try to do starts at the end of each day. It’s always in the program, there was just a couple things I needed to fix, and get dialed in.
How do you like the new gear this year?
We have the new Alias gear which is cool. We have Oakley goggles, Shoei helmets and Alpinestars boots. Actually we’re brand new head to toe. We’ve got Yoshimura pipes and I think that’s it. Other than that, it’s the same old Geico team, and it’s really good.
Tomac celebrated his victory with a sweet no-footer.
What do think about wearing the same color-scheme every time out?
Actually we’re supposed to get some new colors here pretty soon, so hopefully I won’t be in the yellow and black the whole time, but we’ll see. If not, no biggie, I think it looks pretty clean. I think they are planning on getting some new stuff out there, it just hasn’t happened yet.
Do you feel like you’re wearing a target with the red plate going into Oakland?
I’m definitely stoked to having the red plate. I haven’t got to run it since 2010 at Texas in the outdoors. It’s definitely something I want to have on my bike. I’m excited to run it and I’m not nervous about it or anything. I just need to stay consistent. It’s always good to be in the lead, no matter what. Even if it’s only by one point.
MXA NEW PRODUCTS: TROY LEE DESIGN CATALYST X KNEE BRACE
ARENACROSS NEWS: BOWERS CLAIMS EIGHTH WIN IN DAYTON
Bowers is on a tear in Arenacross.
PRESS RELEASE: Babbitt’s Monster Energy/Amsoil Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers collected his astonishing eighth win of the AMA Arenacross Series on Saturday night at Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio. After a fifth-place start, Bowers cautiously made his way to the front of the field on the rutted, technical track. Bowers would get handed the lead after the leader crashed, giving Bowers his eighth win of the season and a comfortable 15-point lead in the points standings. Bowers’ teammate, Chad Johnson could only manage ninth in the main event, but remains third in the points standings with two wins.
450 Class results
1. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki
2. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda
3. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda
4. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kawasaki
5. Cole Siebler, Emmett, Idaho, Honda
6. Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, KTM
7. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM
8. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki
9. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis.,Kawasaki
10. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM
450 Points Standings
1. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kaw, 260
2. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda, 245
3. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis.,Kaw, 218
4. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM, 186
5. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda, 173
6. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kaw, 164
7. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM, 128
8. Josh Demuth, North Richland Hills, Tx, Kaw, 127
9. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM, 101
10. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki, 86
JOSH HILL UPDATE
There is probably nothing more disappointing for a rider than having to pull-out with injuries right before the first main event of the season before getting opportunity to show what he can do. We talked to Josh’s mechanic Shawn Bell to find out exactly what happened and when Hill can come back to action.
What exactly happened at A1 with Josh?
We had no expectations coming into the race, we just wanted to take whatever could happen. Then, we couldn’t catch a break. As soon as he got on the track for the heat race he got blasted off the track so hard there was a big dent in the frame. He got a broken tibia out of the deal. That’s just how it is, this is racing. He should be back in four to six weeks, and hopefully the time off should also help the other leg, because we were pushing it really hard to get to Anaheim in the first place. I think a little time off might help in the long run.
Do you think it was wise for him to try and come back so soon after his back-flip injuries?
He wants to gets back to racing as soon as possible and that’s what we want him to do as well, but really, he just needs to relax and do whatever his body can do. Right now, sitting on the couch with a broken bone is what you gotta do. I think it’s only going to help in the long run when it comes time and he’s ready. His speed is there, so we’ll be ready whenever it comes time and he’s healthy. It was a big disappointment in the heat, because I think that during the main he would have pulled the trigger in places where other people wouldn’t and all the little pegs would have lined up and everything would have happened like it was supposed to. The guy is super fast and always been a good racer.
DUBYA TO SPONSOR TEAM MOTOSPORT.COM
Press Release: Dubya USA is proud to announce their partnership with Team MotoSport.com/TiLUBE/Foremost Insurance to provide Brembo braking systems and Talon/Excele wheelsets for team riders Nick Wey and Chris Blose during the 2012 Supercross and motocross seasons. “We’re excited to be working with the MotoSport.com/TiLUBE/Foremost Insurance team in 2012,” said Dubya Co-Founder John Anderson. “Wey and Blose are both talented riders, and we’re proud to call ourselves part of their program this season.”
The Brembo Oversized Off-Road Brake Kits that Dubya will be providing feature an oversized 267mm x 3mm floating stainless-steel rotor, high quality sintered brake pads, and hard anodized cnc machined calipers. The kits were designed from Brembo’s extensive experience racing in MX1 and MX2 championships, and competing in the grueling Paris-Dakar Rally. The result is a brake system that can deliver exceptional stopping power in even the harshest conditions.
PASTRANA EGGS THE MEDIA
NASCAR had better get ready for Travis Pastrana.
According to the Birmingham News, “Motocross star Travis Pastrana was supposed to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut for Michael Waltrip Racing last year. But that was put on hold until 2012 when he was injured in an X Games accident. His on-stage introduction to the media Tuesday night was in keeping with his quirky personality. Pastrana picked up a raw egg, still in the shell, and popped the whole thing in his mouth. “I’m just lazy,” he said. ‘It seemed easier than cooking it.”