MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT: (05/05/10)
IN REMEMBRANCE…DANNY CHANDLER
Rest in Peace Magoo and thanks for the effort.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
It’s amazing how one of the more memorable riders on the circuit can simultaneously be so utterly forgotten about too. Remember James Stewart? Will we get the opportunity to see him sometime during the outdoor season? We hope so. Will his “Bubba’s World” TV show not be renewed? We hope so.
MXA PRESS RELEASE: QTM Releases Talon T3 Wheelset
QTM has just released to the Off Road Market the “NEW Talon T3 Wheelset” featuring Talons NEW Patented 3 piece Billet Hub. Made of 6000 Series Air-Craft Quality Aluminum. The T 3 TALON Hub comes assembled using Talon’s Own Alloy Rim. The T3 Wheelsets are available with Black Rims and the Hubs are Silver/Black. They are in stock for most late model dist bikes. The T3 Wheelsets come with a 2 YR Limited Warranty on the Hubs and include all Spacers, Sprocket Bolts and Rotor Bolts. Retail on the set is $899.00. For more info, head over to QTM.
MXA REMINDER # 1: Lance Is Coming To California
From the Supercross finale in Las Vegas to the start of the AMA Nationals at Hangtown, the Glen Helen GP, and the world superbikes running in Utah, the month of May is an especially hectic one for two-wheeled race fans. Don’t forget that May is also the month that the Amgen Tour of California pays a visit to the Golden State and brings with it some of the top cyclists in the world – including Lance Armstrong who will be making what is probably his final showing. For more information check out the Amgen Tour and be sure to follow along for lively race reports and all the latest technology at Road Bike Action.
MXA MINI-VIEW: Phil Nicoletti
MXA: You started the year as a full privateer, but then got the factory call-up last week to fill in for Tommy Searle at KTM. How did that all go down?
Phil: Yeah I started the year with no support, I bought all my bikes and our goal was just to make it happen the best I could. I got some assistance from Dr. Maresca at St. Lawrence Radiology and the Alessi’s took me in and gave me a place to ride and live. I struggled at A1, but just kept working for a top ten finish. I think I could’ve still done better, but finishing in the top ten overall was pretty good.
A few weeks ago I went down to the KTM ride day at Perris and Casey Lytle told me that something might come up. A couple of days later they called ad couple of days after that I went down to the KTM track to ride their bike and it was done. Right now the deal is only through the final round in Las Vegas.
MXA: You were one of the few guys out there on a KTM so it seems like that was a good choice to go with at the beginning of the year.
Phil: Yeah, like I said, I didn’t have anything going. I was riding a KTM 450 a little bit and liked it so over the winter I went out and bought three KTM 250’s. Some people say they don’t work good since there’s no linkage, but I don’t notice it. The bike is narrow which suits me and the motor is good. I haven’t regretted the decision one bit and now it even came to help me out.
MXA: We saw Terry Varner (l) helping you out at the Anaheim rounds ? what was up with that?
Phil: Terry and Tony (Alessi) are good friends and Terry did my motors when I was an amateur. I’d have to say that Terry has proven invaluable to me. He’s 100% into my bike and not only is he my mechanic, but he makes me feel safe and I’m really happy that KTM let him come with me for the factory ride. There’s a lot of good mechanics out there, but a lot of them are just kids coming out of MMI. Terry has been around a long time, he has the kind of street smarts and motor knowledge that only comes with years of being around the at the races. It’s cool too because he used to work for FMF and Casey used to ride for FMF so there’s some good history there. The thing I really appreciate about Terry is that he’s still running his motor business so he’s putting off work to helping me out and that’s a pretty big deal.
MXA: Your first race under the KTM tent was the Seattle round, how did that go?
Phil: I finished 8th which was okay. I was a little out of sorts with the whole atmosphere. I mean having the support of a motor guy and a suspension guy is amazing, it was just all new and it caught me off guard which made me too nervous. I have to say it was great timing because I was planning to drive to Seattle and with the KTM deal I got to fly which saved me the 20 hour drive and made a big difference in my preparation.
MXA: How different is the bike compared to yours?
Phil: I was already using motors that were done by KTM Factory Services so my old bike was already one of the best I’ve ever ridden ? but the factory bike was even better! It had so much more torque – I really like riding it.
MXA: How did you get to where you are today?
Phil: I was a two year A class amateur until 2008 when I signed with Bobby Hewitt and the Motosport team. For 2009 I was with Team Solitaire, got hurt and had to have knee surgery so at the end of 2009 I had no deals put together at all. I have to say that when I first turned Pro in 2008 I wasn’t ready, but it was hard because I come from a racing poor family and all of a sudden someone is willing to pay you to race. My parents spent a lot of money on my racing and I probably should’ve waited, but being a third year A rider makes you look bad. I thought I was ready, but it was a slap in the face ? there’s a reason those guys are called Pros!
MXA: What lessons did you learn that someone else can learn from?
Phil: First, be in shape. I think you’re better off being a good rider that’s in shape than a really good rider not in shape. The extra 15 minutes in a moto feels like an eternity. Second, make sure you have the best equipment you can. This is a hard one to pull off in the 250 class because it’s impossible to go up against the satellite team bikes ? they’re just so good! That’s why a lot of guys choose to race a 450 because all you need is a pipe and a piston and you’d be ready to go. For Supercross specifically, I’d say let the race come to you. I know it’s only 15 minutes long, but it’s important to be patient.
MXA: What was your best race this season?
Phil: A3 where I finished sixth, but it was a hard fought sixth because I had to come from 20th. I know you’ve probably heard it before, but the starts are so important in Supercross.
MXA: So what comes next?
Phil: My deal with KTM only goes through Las Vegas and after that, well, I just don’t know…and it’s like what, just two weeks away?! It will be tough, but my goal is to do whatever it takes to ride the outdoors ? Supercross alone isn’t enough to cut it, you need a full season under you to get ride. I guess if you know anybody that can take my bike around…
MXA: You’re originally from New York, but you’ve been living the SoCal lifestyle this year ? where do you call home now?
Phil: New York is always home to me ? Cochecton, New York, to be specific. I have to say it’s horrible out here ? do you live out here? Oh man, I feel sorry for you, it’s awful! I mean, it’s nice down at the beach, but it’s so brown out here, it gets real old. I miss the all the green and fresh air from back east.
MXA: Are there any people or sponsors you’d like to thanks?
Phil: St. Lawrence Radiology, Alessi Racing, my mom & dad, KTM Factory Services, Bel-Ray, Scott USA, Moose, Twin-Air, Boyesen, Pro Wheel, Cycra, Moto Grafix, Renthal, FMF, Dunlop.
For more information of Varner’s engine services, head to Varner Motorsports.
SPEAKING OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA…
You may have heard about the recent sale of land surrounding the famous Hollywood sign by land developers who had plans to build some luxury homes around the iconic landmark. Looking back on my days as a young MX grommet growing up in the shadow of the sign, I was reminded of the fact that at one time there was no less than eight different MX tracks all within a few minutes of ride time near the sign. On any given day throughout the 70’s you could find a collection of DKW 125s, Honda SL350’s, Yamaha Mini-Enduro’s, Suzuki RM’s, and Yamaha YZ’s. Those were the days.
MXA PRESS RELEASE: Moose Racing Air Flow Kits
Airflow to an engine is critical to producing optimum power output. With the all-new Moose Racing Air Flow Kit, an increased amount of air is allowed to flow which directly translates into improved power and throttle response. The Air Flow Kit includes a high-quality aluminum cage and dual layer flame retardant air filter that comes pre-oiled and with a super-seal base. The filter and cage combination provide a superior level of protection from dirt and dust entering the intake. Additional air filters are also available for purchase and come pre-oiled.
Additional product specifications are below and the Air Flow Kits are now available from your local Parts Unlimited dealer. To find a dealer near you or to check out other new products from Moose Racing, please visit MooseRacing.com
MXA RUMOR MONGERING: Team Honda For 2011?
No, it won’t include Jean-Michel Bayle, but early reports have it that another fast Frenchman by the name of Christophe Pourcel will be joining the young and promising Trey Canard as the official Red Bull Honda squad next year.
MXA RACE REPORT: Todd Huffman Takes In Brad Lackey’s 5th Annual Nor-Cal Classic
Brad Lackey and Bill Silverthorn (one of two original U.S. factory Husqvarna riders).
“Bikes and riders of the golden years of motocross descended on the Sand Hill motocross track on March 13 and 14 for the 5th Annual “Brad Lackey Nor-Cal Classic Vintage National”. The race was part of AHRMA’s “Legend of Motocross National Vintage Motocross Series” series and legends were in attendance. Roaming the pits found such greats as Dick Mann, Jeff Smith, Danny Turner, Danny “Magoo” Chandler, Donnie Cantaloupi, Bill Silverthorn and the man himself, 1982 500cc world champion, Brad Lackey.
Also in attendance was Gavin Trippe, Promoter of the Carlsbad USGP and the honoree for the weekend as part of the dedication of the event to Carlsbad Raceway. Brad had set up a cool tent with tons of great pictures from Carlsbad USGP events. There was a swap meet, bike show and a great party and bbq Saturday night complete with live music. Over 500 entries came out for the two-day event that was sponsored by: McGuire Harley-Davidson, Highway 12 Vineyards & Winery, Dunlop, Harvey Imports, Motion Pro, Scott USA, Richmond Ramblers, Six-Six-One, Cycle Gear, Works Shocks, Cycle News, VMX Magazine, Security Pacific Real-Estate Services, MotoUSA Magazine.
The weekend began with Northern California’s infamous mother nature dumping rain on the Sand Hill Ranch facility Friday. This caused the parking lot to potentially turn into a “toy-hauler” demolition derby as folks from all over the country spun, slid jockeyed and jack-knifed their rigs into position for the weekend. If you weren’t driving, you were walking and those on foot all grew about 4 inches as the mud built up on the bottom of their shoes.
Well, Saturday morning came without a cloud in the sky and while a lot of riders commented on “how bad” it was going to be, event promoter Brad Lackey relied on his 40+ years of experience racing GP’s to assure that the track would “come in” and be perfect. He was right and by the first moto everyone was loving it. You should always listen to the the champ.”
With a young Kenny Roberts in mind, how about this custom 1971 Yamaha Mini-Enduro flat tracker ready to go sideways.
Part of the Carlsbad display included this cool ABC Wide World of Sports banner from trackside almost three decades ago
Late 50’s/early 60’s Husqvarna 4-Stroke MX bike.
Dick Mann, Jeff Smith and Event Honoree, Gavin Trippe
As with every Vintage race, there’s no shortage of portly, old, balding guys showing up to race, but you might never guess who they were decades ago. Take late ’70’s top privateer runner Danny Turner for instance. Danny showed up for his first Vintage race and cleaned up.
In fact, back in the day Danny Turner was as famous for his speed and slight build as he was his full head of curly hair. Here he is aboard his Fox-backed YZ125.
Todd Ballard brought out his impressive display of 80’s era Suzuki’s for the crowd to enjoy. And yes, there once was such a thing as a 500cc two-stroke!
MXA REMINDER #2: Todd’s Other Big Endeavor
At a time when everyone is talking about the up-coming USGP, Marty Moates’ “One Day of Magic” is coming to the big screen on 30th anniversary of thehistory making race. Todd Huffman, producer of the popular Motocross Files television series, is in the final stages of wrapping up his latest and perhaps most important project of his career: Carlsbad USGP:1980: The Movie. The movie will premier on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at the historic 1,500-seat Spreckels Theatre located in the heart of downtown San Diego. The premiere will be exactly 30 years to the day of Marty Moates historic ride that took place on June 22, 1980.
The USGP in Carlsbad ran from 1973 to 1986. It was televised live on ABC TV’s Wide World Of Sports program and became the most-watched motorcycle race in history. “1980 was the heyday for American motorcycling, dirtbikes and motocross racing and thanks to ABC and the Wide World of Sports, the USGP became an incredible spectator event that every racer wanted to claim,” Huffman added.
“I have had a great opportunity to work with the legends and heroes of motocross racing while making this film and I can’t think of any project that I’ve ever been more excited to share with an audience,” said Huffman. “The annual Carlsbad USGP (United States Grand Prix) races were legendary. When you consider that a local rider like Marty Moates goes out and beats the fastest, most talented riders on the planet aboard his privateer Yamaha, you begin to appreciate just how special the story is.”
“San Diego has always had a huge motorcycle community, then and now, producing world champion riders like Marty Tripes, Broc Glover, Ricky Johnson, Marty Smith, Ron Lechien and many others,” Huffman said. “In fact, we already have a number of confirmations from many of these heroes who will be at the premier, even if it means flying across the country, from Europe or beyond. June 22nd at the Spreckels is going to be an amazing night.”
Tickets for the Carlsbad USGP:1980: The Movie premier are $20 each or $30 per pair. A commemorative 1980 USGP program is even included with the ticket price. For more info head to the USGP The Movie.
MXA REMINDER #3: USGP PIT PASSES
Fans can see their favorite racers up close and personal as the USGP pits will be open Saturday May 29 from 10am-6pm for the qualifiers. For Sunday’s main event, the Paddock will be open from 9am-6pm. Cost is only $30 for both days, plus admission. Children 6-12 get a reduced rate of $15. Unlike Supercross where you get shooed out of the pits prior to racing or the AMA outdoor national MX races where you have to leave by noon on race day, fans can stay in the USGP Paddock all day to watch your favorite riders before and after their races.
Tickets for the “Race of the Century” as the USGP is being billed, are available at the Glen Helen website www.glenhelen.com as well as at participating local Yamaha dealers. Reserved camping is also available for $50 per spot.
INSIDE ALPINESTARS: Leather and Smart Protection
Although best known today for the high-end protective gear used by many of the fastest racers around the globe, the products that first put Alpinestars on the map were actually handcrafted boots for the very slow world of Italian day hikers. Founded in 1963 by Sante Mazzarolo in the northern region of Asolo, Venato Italy, when Sante began making boots for local motorcycle riders the company eventually transformed itself from a hiking boot maker with regional reach into a fuel fed international icon.
Eventually, Sante’s youthful scion Gabriele took the over reins of the company and in a word, the family-held company was off to the races! Today, with drivers from Formula One to NASCAR using their gear, Alpinestars is as well known among the four wheeled set as it is the motocross community where it has its deepest roots.
And so it was that we were invited to the company’s large American HQ in Torrance last week for the roll-out of some new product. AStars actually has two buildings in Torrance, the one we visited (l) is the company hub for communications, administration and warehousing of all their casual clothes. The other is their off-limits design/R&D hub which acts in close concert with the Italian base monitoring the needs of both their long list of sponsored athletes and future trends in design and technology.
If Alpinestars has proven anything over the years, it’s been their head over heels attraction and commitment to some of the fastest racers in a multitude of motorsports.
The lobby is clean and straight forward.
The airbag system began development back in 2001 with the first prototype appearing two years later. The goal of course was to find a way to provide greater safety and protection for the riders without hindering their ability to do what they do best ? riding a motorcycle. While Alpinestars’ tech Colin Ballantyne took us through the presentation he indicated that the complicated concept is still in it’s prototype stages.
The system is made up of two small air bags that are monitored by seven sensors within the leather suit which in turn are “instructed” by a series of computer based software algorithms on whether to deploy or not. Currently, the two bags are positioned to protect the shoulders only and they are filled by a dual stage nitrogen charge. What the software is looking for before deploying is “the overall behavior of the body to excite the system to inflate.” As such, it actually won’t even allow itself to be “armed” unless the monitors detect that the rider is 1. on a motorcycle 2. that the motorcycle is running and 3. that the motorcycle is moving. Wow. Once the system is sufficiently “excited” one of the nitrogen canisters will discharge in less than a second. Another cool factor is that the bags will then deflate and automatically be activated for a second (and final) crash sequence if needed. The overall system weighs less than a pound and test rider John Hopkins said he never felt thesystem that was built inside his leather suit (the on-board computer resides within the aero-hump on his back).
Colin said that the airbag system is continuing to be tested in MotoGP and that a consumer version is still a few years away with an off-road system further down the road still.
Here are the computer internals of the air bag system that rest inside the aero hump.
From every form of motorcycling and auto racing, few companies have shown the commitment to racing around the globe as Alpinestars.
THE MANY FACES OF ALPINESTARS
MXA PRESS RELEASE: Honda of Troy and FOX Racing Shox ? Prepare for the 2010 Outdoor National Series
Honda of Troy Racing looks to field 4 riders for the 2010 AMA Outdoor National series and they will be at their best relying on Fox Racing Shox to provide support. When the Honda of Troy riders take to the track, they will rely on the Fox Podium RC3 Shocks and Fox ProTune Stage II Tuning for the Forks.
“Fox Racing Shox is dedicated to innovation and their hands on approach has proven to be an invaluable element to this partnership,” said Team Manager: Ryan Longstreth. “With the Fox Podium Shock, the riders have experienced far more adjustability allowing Fox to tune definitively to the riders liking. We know that Fox Shox is a pioneer in the sport of Motocross, constantly pushing technology and implementing new theories and ideas that open the envelope of what can be done on an off-road motorcycle. Fox is in this to make a difference and I can tell you that with our Honda of Troy Team- they have succeeded!”
#36: Darryn Durham will be back and healthy to compete at the front of the pack, as he felt that he didn’t put his best foot forward in Supercross, and is looking to change that in the Outdoors.
#92: Michael Willard looks to carry the momentum from Supercross into the Outdoor Series. Being the Team’s most consistent competitor week in and week out, has given Michael confidence and he feels he has some unfinished business.
#412:Levi Kilbarger is taking some time off the bike to get himself healthy. Since the beginning of the season he has been trying to play catch-up coming off of a broken femur from last season and plenty of bumps and bruises along the way this Supercross Season. When this kid gets healthy everyone will finally get to see what this guy is capable of. This is one tough kid with a ton of heart and dedication to the sport and Outdoors is where his hard work will pay off.
#505: Sean Lipanovich is coming into his first Outdoor Season ready to prove himself as a definite top 10 threat. Sean has been able to utilize his experiences each week, putting the information to work for him and consistently improving. At this point he is a student of the sport and excelling at a very rapid pace.
The Honda of Troy/Kilbarger Racing Team would like to acknowledge the sponsors who make this effort possible. Honda of Troy, Kilbarger Racing LLC, Eleven 10 Mods, WAR – We All Ride, FOX Racing Shox, Cycra Racing, Motorex, TAG Metals, Yoshimura, Motion Pro, Renegade Race Fuel, Faction Mx, N-Style, Dunlop, DP Brake Pads, QTM, G2 Ergonomics, ARC, Boyesen, LeoVince Carbon, Hinson, RK/Excel, Ride Eng., Hammerhead, Straight Shot Air Filters, Bell Helmets, Hot Hedz Designs, Von Zipper, Total Image AutoSport, Kicker, ICW, Rock’s Racing Services, Injectioneering, IMS Foot Pegs, Franklin Equipment, and Gabriel Logan.
MXA PRESS RELEASE
Honda of Troy’s amateur race team sponsorship program is in full swing with discounts on team graphics, plastic kits plus discounts on all parts and accessories for Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki riders. If you’re interested in becoming a Fifth Dragon rider, Enter The Dragon.
THE BEST & WORST OF BOB HANNAH
Bob Hannah’s off-track hi-jinx were well documented and much appreciated…
…however, his off-track fashion sense and choice of endorsements left quite a bit to be desired!
MXA MID-WEEK REPORT SCHWAG CONTEST
Moose Racing was kind enough to donate a sweet schwag pack (hat, t-shirt and hoodie) that will be given to the lucky person who is randomly selected for sending in the correct answers to the questions below. Mail your entries to Schwag Contest.
1. Moose Racing’s XCR Racewear is available in how many different colors?
2. What was the most recent title won by a Moose sponsored rider?
3. Who will win the East/West 250 shootout this weekend?
4. Your favorite rider of the 2010 Supercross series is who & why?