By John Basher


    It was a rather unusual day at Unadilla this past Saturday. A rainstorm pounded New Berlin, New York on Friday, leaving the oft-dry track a quagmire. The racers were all giggity giggity about the track conditions, but the dirt got rutted up and technical. As a result, several riders suffered injuries without even crashing. Then, Mike Alessi has bike issues the first moto (a problem he hadn’t faced all summer), leaving the door wide open for Ryan Dungey to win KTM’s first National title. And though I’m no prophet, I knew that the day would be odd. Why? While standing by the landing of the famed Sky Shot jump, I watched as a skunk made its way along an adjoining hill. Yes, a skunk. It might as well have been a black cat crossing the track, because bad luck loomed for many riders.


Photo: Scott Mallonee
MXA: First off, congratulations on the championship! After the first moto when Mike Alessi failed to score any points and the 450 title was in Ryan Dungey’s grasp, what was the mood like back in the KTM pits?
Roger: I told Ryan to just ride like normal, and not to think about points. I didn’t want him to do anything special, but to stay focused and ride the best that he could. I also told him not to think about any specific riders, such as Alessi or Stewart. I knew that we didn’t need to win the championship at Unadilla?just as long as we won the title by the end of the series.

Was Dungey nervous heading into the second moto?
No. He was more nervous in the morning. He was riding tight in practice. The track was really tricky, and that’s why so many guys hurt themselves. It’s a difficult track when you hear that two guys broke their legs without even crashing. I think that Ryan was a little worried about the conditions, maybe thinking about Stewart, and also the championship. There were a lot of different things to worry about if he really thought about it. Ryan traditionally worries more than he needs to, but he’s getting better. In the first practice we had to make adjustments to the bike for the ruts. The second practice was a lot better than the first practice. We still weren’t completely happy with the setup, but it got better as the day went on. Even in the first moto he had a crash, but after he got up he started riding better and better. The other guys seemed to make more mistakes as the moto went on, but he improved.

Photo: Scott Mallonee

How did the KTM team celebrate on Saturday night?
We had a hotel by the airport, but it was a two-hour drive to the hotel from the racetrack. So we decided to go to an Italian restaurant about five miles from the track. You need to try that place if you go back there next year, because the food was so good! We had a really good time. It’s funny, because sometimes the unplanned events work out way better than if we would have planned it in a fancy place. The whole team was there, and everyone was so happy. It was the first double-win for KTM in the U.S., and of course our first championship in the 450 class. We couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Did the track layout and conditions at Unadilla cater to European transplants Marvin Musquin and Ken Roczen?
Yes, I think it was mainly the conditions. If the conditions were normal then their chances would have been more difficult of winning. The track was really tricky, and especially the ruts. There were ruts in the corners that weren’t smooth or consistent. Marvin and Ken are especially good at finding lines. That’s their strong area. It also helped that the weather was cooler. They were struggling a lot with the heat, but the temperate was nice. Everything went in their direction.

Photo: Scott Mallonee

At the beginning of the year could you have imagined that the team would have been able to accomplish what they have?
I had a feeling that it was possible, but I wasn’t counting that everything was going to turn out as well as it did. I thought that we were going to win races in both classes. It has been a little bit tougher in the 250 class than I expected, and a little bit easier in the 450 class than I thought it would be.

What was the determining factor in going with Justin Barcia for the Team USA MX3 pick for the Motocross des Nations?
Barcia had ridden the 450 already, as he did last year, and he looked really good in the sandy conditions at Southwick. He’s good at coming from behind. If you look back at the last few races then maybe Eli Tomac would have been the same, or maybe a little bit better choice. I’m not sure. However, Barcia is pretty resilient. He has raced in Europe and did well in Supercross over there. There was a general feeling from everyone when we had to decide that Justin was the right choice. We were also thinking about Mike Alessi and Tomac. We were waiting and hoping that Ryan Villopoto was going to race the last three or four races, but when he decided that he wanted to play it safe and focus on Supercross instead of the outdoors, then that option was gone. We felt that Barcia was pretty solid. The other thing is that he has full backing from the factory. He’s racing 450 next year, and Honda has plans to start testing early. With all of those things put together we leaned that way.


    Dubya USA and interactive digital publishing service PixelMags have teamed up to give away an Apple iPad for this week’s “Thank Dubya it’s Friday” giveaway on their facebook page. To be eligible to win, just “like” the Dubya fan page on facebook at
    Dubya’s “Thank Dubya it’s Friday” giveaways are a weekly way of saying thank you to Dubya supporters. Each week, a winner is selected at random from Dubya’s growing list of fans to win a prize pack that can include anything from Dubya products, autographed memorabilia or other products from Dubya’s partners.
    PixelMags is an interactive digital publishing service that specializes in bringing print material like the Dubya USA catalog to mobile devices, e-readers and tablets like the Apple iPad. For more information about PixelMags and their services, visit their website at

    Be a part of “Thank Dubya it’s Friday” giveaways and other fan-only specials and promotions by liking Dubya USA on facebook. You can also follow them on Twitter at, or on Instagram by following user @Dubyausa.

    Who had the best whip off the big Sky Shot tabletop at Unadilla on Saturday? You make the decision. Personally, I give the nod to Justin Barcia. Not only did he have the biggest whips, but he threw it sideways almost every lap in practice.

Justin Barcia getting sick gnarly.

Zach Bell kicks it out casually.

Justin Bogle actually has both feet on the pegs!

Kenny Roczen leans into it.

Tevin Tapia re-re-rewind!

Eli Tomac is all classy with his whip.


Justin Barcia and his Geico Honda teammates take time to sign autographs for the Unadilla fans.

How rookie Zach Bell (167) didn’t crash while nearly high-siding off the start is beyond me. The fall, accompanied by 39 riders using him for traction, would have been ugly.

An obviously jubilant Ryan Dungey shares a moment with his father after clinching the 450 National Championship.

It was awesome to see Doug Henry do a lap around the Unadilla track. Doug is one of the nicest people in motocross.

New Yorker Phil Nicoletti shows pride for his home state on his helmet. As a fellow NY’er, I’d love to get that helmet from Phil. What do you say, Phil? Want to trade an MXA lid for your helmet? Props to Hot Hedz Designs for the paint job.

Disaster befell Kevin Rookstool in the first 450 moto. Well inside the top ten and moving forward, the privateer’s chain popped off. It was heartbreaking to see. Rookstool deserves support, because he’s a nice kid with a dumpster full of talent.


Why is James Stewart laughing here? While lining up for the first moto, Nico Izzi showed up to pick his gate. Unfortunately his bike wasn’t in the staging area, so he lost his spot in line. An angered Izzi erupted with a few choice words that can’t be repeated, while everyone else watched in amusement.



    Mark and Randy Zimmerman from Specialty Fabrications, Inc. held their first ever Hopetown/Corriganville Grand Prix Celebration. This event was a tribute to some of the legends of motocross who were involved with the Hopetown GP. Some of the legends who attended this vintage motorcycle show were Bruce Brown, John DeSoto, Dave Ekins, John Hateley, Brad Lackey, Keith Mashburn, Eddie Mulder, Preston Petty, John Rice, Mike Runyard, Marty Tripes, Jim Wilson, AC Baken and Donnie Hansen.

    The event was a fund raiser for the Simi Valley Police Foundation and to help promote Keith Mashburn who is running for city council in Simi Valley. Over 3200 people attended this event which was free to the public. Marty Tripes and his crew manned the 5 BBQ’s and cooked 525lbs. of ribs, 550lbs. of Black Angus hot dogs, and 250lbs. of chicken. After lunch was served Tom White (the official announcer) introduced the legends on stage before the autograph session started.

    The Hopetown Grand Prix was “THE” event that ushered in the existence of motocross to the USA. Hosted by the Dirt Diggers MC Club, this was a must ride event for any serious racer back in the day. I would compare it to how Mammoth MX is now… the one race you don’t miss every year. The Dirt Diggers was formed in 1945 and was the first club to sponsor a F.I.M. sanctioned race in the United States, that was the Hopetown Grand Prix.

    Hundreds of privately owned vintage motorcycles were being shown in the parking lot, along with vendors and various displays. Shirts and posters were on sale with all the proceeds going to the Simi Valley Police Foundation. In addition, the Zimmerman’s personal collection of over 100 vintage motorcycles was on display inside their building. Their collection has never been shown before and included bikes that were owned and raced by Malcolm Smith, Steve McQueen, Bud Ekins, Torsten Hallman, Bruce Brown… you get the idea. Everything from a 1946 Husqvarna to Puch’s, Triumphs, MZ’s, Bultaco’s, Harley Davidson’s, CZ’s, Maico’s and more were on display along with the history of each bike. For more information on this years event look them upon-line at:

From left: Earle Sperber, Mike Tripes, Marty Tripes and Brian Sperber.

Maze of motorcycles owned by Mark and Randy Zimmerman.

Brad Lackey center, with John Rice left and Preston Petty right.

Classic Triumph race bike note rear disc set-up.


MXA: Congratulations on your first moto win in America. That had to have been pretty exciting.
Ken: Yes, thank you! It was great. The track was pretty cool, because it was very European. The tracks in the GP circuit are ripped really deep like Unadilla was, but they also make it very muddy. That’s how Unadilla was because of the rain on Friday. The track got rutted, and I liked it. I was hoping for a good day, because over the past few weeks I had some really good practice days.

What happened to you between the first and second moto?
After the first moto win I was super happy, but I didn’t want to just win one moto, but instead the overall. In between motos I got really sick. I had chills and got a fever. My body was aching a lot. I had no idea what it was. After both motos I laid down and slept. The next day I felt a lot better, and on Monday all of my symptoms were gone. Right after the first moto my stomach was feeling bad. I always have some stomach cramps, but that’s usually from the Powerbar sugar; you know, the supplements that I take for energy. Usually those cramps go away quickly, but at Unadilla my stomach kept getting worse and worse. My head was hot, but I felt cold. I wanted to do was go to bed.

Would you say that Unadilla has been your favorite track on the National circuit?
I have enjoyed a lot of the tracks, but I did especially like Unadilla because of all the cool jumps and the uphills and downhills. I would almost say that Unadilla was my favorite so far, because it was really fun. All of the other tracks were weird sometimes, because there were some really tight sections. Unadilla didn’t really have that.

You seemed to have a lot of fun on the big Sky Shot tabletop coming out of the back section.
Oh yeah! That was a pretty cool jump. You had a long landing with a steep takeoff. I had a lot of time to whip it. You couldn’t really overjump the landing or even come up short too bad. The only thing was that the landing was soft, so you had to get your bike back straight.

What has been the toughest challenge that you’ve faced so far racing in the U.S.?
The biggest challenge has been the traveling. There’s also a big rush of everything on Saturday. I’m so used to having two days of racing at the GP’s, but that’s not like it here. I have to learn the tracks really quickly, while all of the other guys already know the tracks.

Roger DeCoster said that you’re still trying to get used to the heat. Has it been difficult?
Yes, for sure. That’s why I went to Texas. At first I wanted to be in Texas because then it’s closer to all of the tracks, so it made flying easier. Of course the heat helps. I’ve been in Texas for a couple of months, and I definitely know what to expect now when they say that it’s going to get hot. I have to say a big thank you to Andrew Short for letting me stay on his property. He has helped me out a lot.

Are you happy with how things are going in your first year of racing in the U.S.?
Mmmm, I wanted to have a few wins. On one side I’ve been happy because I’m healthy. I knew that it was going to be a learning year. Overall though I’d have to say that I’m happy.

Good luck at the last two races. I think that you’ll have a lot of fun in a few weeks at Steel City. That track has a pretty cool layout with a lot of fun jumps.
I was there in 2008 for a Loretta Lynn qualifier. It was a cool track and I really liked the dirt. I can only remember the track layout a little bit, but I’m sure that the layout will be different this year from when I raced there last. I’m excited about it though.


[Press Release] As the old saying goes ? It’s better late than never and with that Jeff Ward Racing (JWR) is pleased to announce that its online store is now up and running. Fans can now purchase all their favorite JWR team gear at All stock is up to date and current.

    The list of JWR team gear that is currently available includes jackets, hoodies, t-shirts, baseball t-shirts, white & black hats along with JWR branded Element iPhone cases. Please note that shipping charges are automatically included, unless the order is being placed from outside the United States. In that case the purchaser will receive a separate invoice for additional shipping/handling charges before the items ship. All purchases will be sent through USPS and the method of payment at this time is PayPal only. Questions regarding JWR team gear and/or any purchases made through the online store can be directed to JWR’s office manager Stacy Guzman at [email protected] or at 951-696-5665.


    Click on the image above to view the gallery of images.

[Press Release]  With the introduction of the new 2013 KTM 50SX clutch, comes a new innovative Nihilo Clutch cover. The 2013 KTM 50 clutch is now fully adjustable by turning three clickers on the front of the clutch allowing the rider to fine tune the clutch feel with a wrench. No more dis-assembly and stacking shims to get the clutch right. With the new Nihilo KTM Clutch cover you will be able to turn the clickers through a small port in the side of the cover. Unlike in stock form where the cover must be removed to make clutch adjustments the Nihilo cover can remain in place and the bike can even be sitting on a bike stand. The adjustment port is above the oil line so there is no need to drain the oil or lay the bike on its side. One 8mm socket or T wrench removes the billet plug and makes the clutch adjustments. The adjuster bolts are lined up with the port hole by first turning the back wheel to align the basket with the port hole then pushing the kick starter to line the bolt up with the basket hole. Next you simply make the clicker adjustment then push through the kicker to move the next bolt into the window. Complete on the fly adjustments can be done in just a few minutes. The cover holds 50cc more oil which will help with oil temps and uses the stock “O-ring gasket. If you are a new KTM 50 owner this is a must have item, get the most out of the new adjustable clutch with the addition of the Nihilo Clutch Cover. This same billet cover comes stock on all 2013 KTM 50SXS’s Custom Engraving available

    * Custom engraving available at additional cost
    * Get that Factory look
    * Designed to hold an additional amount of oil to help keep the moving internal parts cooler
    * Perfect match with our Nihilo Concepts Ignition cover
    * Available in orange anodized finish
    * Incorporated hole allows adjustment of new clutch with ease
    * Designed for 2013 clutch
    Part # WMRCSC5013-O
    Description: 2013 KTM 50 Billet Clutch Cover
    Price: $149.95
    Buy it now: Click here

    WPS is pleased to announce a long-term partnership with L&Mc Racing; the team owned and operated by Larry Brooks and Jeremy McGrath. WPS is excited to have Larry, Jeremy, and the team as part of the growing WPS family.

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