MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY JOHN BASHER (2/13/13)
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Six races down and the California rounds of the Supercross series over and Rockstar Energy Racing’s Davi Millsaps is leading the 450 point standings by 19 over Ryan Dungey. In fact, only Dungey is within one race (25 points) of Millsaps. Davi has been nothing short of impressive.
ONE SEVEN SIX, FEATURING JOEY SAVATGY
WHO’S RACING 250 EAST?
Marvin Musquin – Red Bull KTM
Cole Thompson – Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki
Gavin Faith – MotoConcepts
Blake Wharton – Rockstar Energy Racing
Nico Izzi – Rockstar Energy Racing
Lance Vincent – Munn Racing KTM
Zack Williams – Munn Racing KTM
Jake Loberg – Munn Racing KTM
Todd Krieg – Munn Racing KTM
Travis Sewell – Munn Racing KTM
Justin Bogle – Geico Honda
Zach Bell – Geico Honda
Wil Hahn – Geico Honda
Jeremy Martin – Star Racing Yamaha
Alex Martin – Eleven10 Mods Yamaha
Vann Martin – JAB Motorsports
Gannon Audette – JAB Motorsports
Gareth Swanepoel – MotoSport.com/ADR Racing
Justin Hill – Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki
Darryn Durham – Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki
Dean Wilson – Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki
Zack Freeburg – Maykers/Witt Racing
Ryan Zimmer – Maykers/Witt Racing
MINI-VIEW: DEAN WILSON
MXA: Have you been going stir crazy waiting for the 250 East to start?
Dean: Not really. I’ve been sticking to my program and focusing on doing my laps and getting testing done. I am getting excited now that we’re so close to racing, but I need to keep my head down and keep doing what I’m doing.
I’ve seen you at a few of the California rounds. What have you thought about the racing?
I went to Anaheim 1 all day, and for all of the other races I’d watch them on TV or just go for the night program. It’s good to watch, learn and see how those guys are doing. In the 450 class I see that all of the guys are going really fast. They are really fun to watch. As for the 250 class, it’s not as exciting as the 450 racing. It’s cool that [Ken] Roczen is leading the points. Hopefully he will win the championship.
Before the 2013 season started you mentioned how you wanted to race 250 East. You got your wish. Are you completely healthy and ready to go?
Yeah, I’d have to say that I’m 100 percent now. When we spoke before the season began my shoulders were still a bit weak and I wasn’t quite ready. It only makes sense to go East. It’s not always my decision, either. Mitch [Payton] told me that I’d have to be ready for West or East, because you never know what can happen. I was as ready as I could be for West, but I wasn’t as ready as I wanted to be, so Mitch put me on East. It’s a benefit to me, because I live in Florida now, so traveling to the races won’t be that bad.
Have you made any big changes in your program?
Not really. I’ve been drinking a little bit more Monster Energy and that’s about it.
[Laughter] Today you’re out at the Pro Circuit Supercross track breaking in your race bike. What exactly does that entail?
The basis of it is to get the hang of the race bike and see how it feels. Doing this is good, because otherwise I might hop on the bike in Dallas and not feel familiar with it. I’ll do some laps and get a feel for the bike. Race bikes are really stiff when you first ride them, so it’s good to let the bike flex out a bit. I’m not really that at home on my race bike until the second race. The bikes are pretty stiff at first.
Have you been keeping up on Twitter?
Yeah, I’ve been tweeting a little bit and putting up photos on Instagram and all that nonsense. It’s fun. Everyone should follow me.
Way to self promote. Good luck this weekend.
DC SHOES: ROBBIE MADDISON’S AIR.CRAFT VIDEO
MINI-VIEW: AUSTIN POLITELLI
MXA: Last time we spoke you made mention about needing to improve your qualifying time and starting position. Have you been able to get better in those areas?
Austin: Yes and no. In qualifying practice I just haven’t been that good. I don’t know what it is. In the heat race in San Diego I finished fourth and so I had a decent gate pick. That helped me get a pretty good start, and then Martin Davalos went down. I almost hit his bike. I ended up fourth, and that was pretty good.
You almost seem upset that it took you until San Diego to finish in the top five. It’s very admirable for you to get a top five against that group of riders.
I was a little bummed on myself, because I trained so hard during the offseason. I wanted a top five finish going into Anaheim 1, but I had some bad luck. I’m happy that I turned things around by San Diego.
Were you freaking out at all once you moved up to fourth place?
No, not really. I just tried to focus on my breathing the whole entire time. Even from the first lap I just thought about breathing. I was up toward the front right away and I knew that I would probably tense up, so I tried to take my mind off of things by focusing on something else. That was breathing. It definitely helped, and I didn’t get too nervous.
The San Diego track looked like it was the most challenging of the series thus far. What were your thoughts on it?
It was very tough. There was a good size set of whoops. There was good dirt on top, but underneath it was very slick. There wasn’t much traction in some spots. The weather was also cold, which didn’t help. I did like the track layout, and the rain that they got the day before helped.
Did you have an opportunity to watch the TV broadcast? What did you think about the comments that were made about you?
I watched it on Sunday. It was nice to get some exposure. Of course I wish that they had shown me a little bit more, but people still saw the results. It’s good to get my name out there so that people can see that I’m capable of doing well.
Your dad mentioned that you don’t have a ride for the rest of the 250 West Supercross series or the outdoors. What gives?
That’s true. I really don’t know what’s going to happen. Hopefully I can get something lined up. I don’t even have a mechanic right now. I’m going to have to work on my own stuff and ride as much as I can. I guess I’ll have to go with the flow. I’ve done it before, and maybe something will surface. I really wish that I could get a chance.
Isn’t it disheartening that had you finished fourth place in a Supercross race a couple of years ago you would have probably been signed to a deal on the spot? Instead you just had the best race of your professional career and you don’t even have a ride.
It’s really frustrating. I work just as hard as anyone else, and I’ve been training my butt off. I got a good result, and I know that it’s not a podium finish, but getting a top five is good for a privateer. Hopefully it will open some people’s eyes so that they understand that I can ride a dirt bike.
Where do you go from here?
I’m taking this week off to let my body recuperate. Next week I’ll get back into riding, but I don’t know what I’m going to do. I think that Pala is doing some Supercross races in a few weeks, so I’ll probably do those. I’ll keep riding and training and keeping my fingers crossed that something comes up.
What about racing the remaining West rounds?
I’m sure that I’ll race them one way or another. We always seem to figure out how to get to the races. I’d love to get some help. It would make things a lot easier on me. I’m a bit ticked off because there are factory guys that I’ve been beating every week. I’m not talking anyone down, because everyone out there is fast, but I think that if given the opportunity I could really capitalize on it. My bike has been awesome this year, but to be on a team and have a solid program would help so much. It would be nice to worry about nothing other than training, riding, and making myself better in racing.
Is there anyone you would like to thank.
Absolutely. I want to thank HRT, Dynamic Engine Factory, Grahm Brough, Dunlop, Rekluse clutches, AXO, Motorsports Products, Unit, Maxima, Mission Motorsports, Torc1, Hammer Nutrition, Globe, Stomp, KSR wheels, RK chains, Renegade Fuels, Goldfren, Cycra, Motion Pro, DT1, Mika, Yoshimura, Powertye, X-Trig, X Brand goggles, Bell helmets, Alpinestars, Works Connection, MotoPro graphics, Deft Family, Kyle Defoe, Kurt Henricksen, Rob Styron and RB Components.
Good luck, Austin. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you find a ride for the rest of the year.
Thanks, John. I really want to keep racing. It has been a lifelong dream, and I really believe that I can bring something to the table.
RYAN VILLOPOTO VIDEO SPECIAL
RCU RETURNS TO EUROPE & IS HEADED FOR RED BUUUUUUUUUD
Press release: Ricky Carmichael is pleased to announce this year’s lineup of highly regarded instructional schools held by the 15-Time Champion and his talented panel of instructors. Ricky Carmichael University (RCU) returns in July with an all-new location at RedBud MX in Buchanan, Mich., before returning to Fat Cat Moto Parc in Doncaster, England the same month. Suzuki Camp Carmichael then returns in November, providing yet another exclusive riding school to a select number of Suzuki amateur riders in the U.S.
RCU hits the famous RedBud National racetrack for the first time ever on Wednesday, July 3, as part of the “great 4th of July week of moto.” Amateur racers have the opportunity to ride and learn from The G.O.A.T, as well as instructors and former champions Jeff Emig and Jeff Stanton, just two days before putting their skills on the track at Friday’s amateur day. Then, racers can stick around to watch the fastest motocross racers in the world compete on the very same racetrack for Round 7 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing.
“I am really excited that Ricky decided to bring the RCU to Red Bud. This area is full of great talent and I look forward to working with the all the riders,” says 6-Time Champion and Michigan local Jeff Stanton.
Following much success at its inaugural event in 2012, Europe’s exclusive Ricky Carmichael University will take place once again at Fat Cat Moto-Parc. Doncaster England. RCU Europe will take place in conjunction with the British Youth Nationals on July 11 and 12, once again giving amateur racers the opportunity to learn from Carmichael, Jeff Emig, Jeff Stanton and Jamie Dobb just before exercising their skills at the British Youth Nationals.
The knowledgeable and experienced panel of instructors will teach students everything from proper body positioning, to utilizing organized drills focusing on flat turns, rhythm sections and improved braking techniques.
Also back for 2013 is the exclusive Suzuki Camp Carmichael, which provides a similar curriculum as RCU but in a very private setting. This event, held in November at Carmichael’s private training facility, is exclusive to a select number of Suzuki amateur riders who earn a spot by accumulating points throughout the race season.
“Not only am I thrilled to be having an RCU on my favorite MX track, but I’m also excited about returning to FatCat Motoparc and having another Camp Carmichael at my personal track,” said Carmichael. “We had a great time at all of my events last year and I think it’s great that Suzuki is stepping up again to help out their amateur riders with this program.”
For more details on RCU RedBud, please visit the official RCU website at www.rickycarmichaeluniversity.com. For additional information on RCU Europe, please contact [email protected] or call 0754.564.1354.
VIDEO: RIDING SESSION WITH KTM’S DAKOTA ALIX & CHASE BELL
MINI-VIEW: JOSH HILL
Talk about the main event in San Diego where you finished 18th.
It’s been a real, real rough couple of years. And then I get to Anaheim 1 this year thinking that everything was going to go good and I break my hand. For me to come back with only two days on the bike and make the Main Event, it feels good. And the way that I did it, I did it the hardest way possible by having to go to the LCQ and then win it. It feels great. I never felt that finishing 18th would feel so good, but that did.
Did you put any more pressure on yourself in the LCQ?
When you go to the LCQ, there’s two ways that you can look at it. You can go up there and accept that you might be watching the Main Event on TV or you can have the mindset that you have to win. For me, I accepted it and just went out there and tried to ride smooth. I got the holeshot in the LCQ and got the win. I can’t even explain how happy I was.
It had to be nice to get back into race action.
For sure. I was rubbing elbows with the guys in the back, but it still felt good. It’s good to be back. I have another week to work on my hand and another week to train. I’m stoked.
How is the hand feeling?
It’s been hurting all day. We rode for two days and then having to ride the LCQ tonight put a lot of stress on my hand. It’s cool. It was a little tired by the end of the day. I was riding around in the parade lap and it was really sore. I’ll be okay.
What does this do for your confidence?
It’s a great shot in the arm. Finally, something went right. There were so many tough days the last few years. To overcome all the stuff that I have the last two or three years, this feels really, really good.