MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY JOHN BASHER (2/27/13)
PHOTO SEQUENCE OF THE WEEK
I take thousands of photos at every race I cover for the magazine. They aren’t always amazing photos, but every so often I take a photo that makes me laugh myself silly. On Saturday night a rider got loosy goosy in the sand section and covered a track worker in sand. I nearly died from laughter, composed myself, and then went about my business. I’m still not sure why I shot photos of the track worker at that specific moment, but I’m glad that I did.
MINI-VIEW: COY GIBBS
JGR Yamaha team owner Coy Gibbs found himself down a rider when Josh Grant went out with a shoulder injury that required surgery. Although he has Justin Brayton in his stable, he thought it wise to get a fill-in rider for Grant. Kyle Chisholm was the obvious choice. Unfortunately Chisholm had very little time on the bike before Atlanta and, coupled with bad luck, he failed to make the main event. Here’s what Gibbs had to say about Chisholm, expectations, and Justin Brayton.
MXA: Coy, why did you decide to pick up Kyle Chisholm?
Coy: Obviously we had a problem with Josh Grant. He’s such a tough guy. He hurt his shoulder a few weeks ago, and his ankle was messed up, but he tried to battle through the pain. By racing it probably made things worse. He had to get an operation anyway, so it really didn’t matter, but if we had waited another few weeks then he wouldn’t be ready for the Nationals. Ironically at the same time Kyle became available. You know as well as I do that it’s hard to find a guy that can make main events. It’s not what we wanted for Josh, but it worked out as far as having Kyle being available and coming on the team.
Is Kyle going to fill in for the rest of the Supercross series?
We’re taking it week by week. We need to figure out when Josh can come back. He had surgery this past week. After the swelling goes down they will be able to figure out exactly where he’s at in terms of progress. We don’t want to push him. It looks like we will be working with Kyle for a while.
Did Kyle have much time to adapt to the new setup?
Bless his heart he didn’t have any time on the bike before the Atlanta Supercross except for press day. Earlier in the week we talked about having someone filling in, but I didn’t think that Josh would be out for very long. Now that it looks like it’s going to be longer than we thought then it makes sense to have a fill-in rider. The good thing is that Kyle has been on the Yamaha, and he likes the bike. Last year I guess that Kyle and Josh ran the same setup when they were teamed up together. Kyle hopped on Josh’s JGR setup for press day on Thursday.
Have your expectations been met so far this season?
Josh’s injury set us back a lot. In the first chunk of the year we would get good starts, but then they would get wadded up every weekend. That was really frustrating. It was good for us in Dallas when Justin Brayton got a top five finish. That was our best week. I thought it would have come a lot earlier in the season, but it didn’t.
Justin Brayton seems like he has more fight in him now.
There was one week where he struggled a bit and gave up a couple more spots than he should have. Since then he’s become more comfortable, and he’s getting faster in the whoops. I think that if we can get him close to the front then he’ll fight to no end to be right up there.
MAXXIS 2013 CONTINGENCY PROGRAM
ATV and motorcycle riders will race for Maxxis cash, as the company again offers lucrative contingencies to racers in six major U.S. off-road race series for 2013.
Unlike programs which offer discounts, coupons or free product, the Maxxis program rewards riders with cash. Cash payouts are available to first through third-place finishers in most classes! Payouts range from $25 all the way up to $500 for the pro class in certain series. Riders can earn cash in the following series: ATV Motocross Nationals; Extreme Dirt Track Nationals; GNCC ATV and MC; Maxxis New England ATV-MX; Mid America XC Racing ATV and MC; and WORCS ATV and MC.
“This program has been so successful over the past several years, and we are going big again,” said Scott Perkins, marketing specialist for Maxxis’ Specialty tire division. “The awesome thing about this program is that any rider in any class of these great off-road race series can participate. It only makes sense: You will be on great tires that will help you win, and then a check in the mail a few weeks later will help with all your racing expenses!” Riders must run Maxxis tires on all four wheels for ATV and on the front and rear for motorcycle, and must display the specified number of Maxxis decals on their vehicles. Full instructions are on the contingency application forms. To view or download forms, please visit http://www.maxxis.com/MotorcycleATV/Contingency-Programs.aspx.
“When there’s only one fast line out there, it’s hard to get past guys. When the guy in front of you takes the good line, unless you run up there and punt him off the track, it’s just tough. There’s so much parity that there isn’t anything you can do to make it different right now. Riders are that good. If you make the tracks easier people are going to complain that all the riders are doing the same thing and we’re not going to see any passing. If you make the track extremely, extremely hard, then you’re only going to get certain guys doing certain things. Then, it’s really going to be a runaway because the guys with more talent will just crush guys and be gone. It’s just part of the sport right now.”?Ricky Carmichael
ON BOARD WITH ROBBY BELL AT THE MAMMOTH QUALIFIER
450 Pro Top 5:
1. Jessy Nelson (1-1)
2. Tyler Enticknap (2-2)
3. Robby Bell (3-3)
4. Jake Mohnike (5-4)
5. Kyle Tigert (4-5)
Open Pro Top 5:
1. Tyler Enticknap (2-1)
2. Jessy Nelson (1-2)
3. Jake Mohnike (4-3)
4. Robby Bell (3-4)
5. Keaton Ward (5-6)
MINI-VIEW: BLAKE WHARTON
Rockstar Energy Racing’s Blake Wharton is a candidate for the 250 East crown after finishing with 2-4 results at the opening rounds of the series. However, I didn’t want to talk with Blake about racing. Ever the musician, Blake has been playing and writing music for quite some time. Recently he made a demo CD. I wanted to find out more about his passion for music.
MXA: Blake, you just made a demo CD. Please talk about it.
Blake: I’ve been playing music since I was 14. You remember back when I started. I really got interested in it.
Yes, I remember you jamming out, although I don’t think that you really knew what you were doing.
[Laughter] Yeah, well, I’ve spent a lot of time since then learning. I don’t necessarily look at myself as a musician though. I look at a musician as someone who practices with an instrument as much as I ride. I do enjoy writing songs. I’ve been doing that for two years now. I’ve also been playing for a long enough time that I know what I’m doing. I have a bass guitar and drums, and I’ve met some people who can play those instruments. I wrote a few songs, and before I knew it I had five songs. So I played my songs with some friends and recorded the music. I figured that I should put those songs on a CD, and that’s how things worked out.
How’s the sound quality? I don’t remember you having a recording studio in your house.
It’s a bit rough. Hopefully we can re-record it in an actual studio in the future. It’s a demo CD though, so that’s how it goes.
Did you play all of the instruments and splice everything together?
No. I wrote the lyrics, and I wrote most of the music. I had a bass player write the bass line, and a guitar player helped put everything together. I had the basic idea in my head, but then my friends helped me with it. Really it was a collaboration. I did the vocals and guitar, with help in both areas from other people.
What genre would your music fall into?
That’s a very common question. It’s hard to define. Some people will say that their music falls in one category, but it really doesn’t at all. I don’t like to put my music in any specific category. I write different styles of music. Most people get thrown into writing certain kinds of music. I don’t want to be like that. I will say that my music is kind of alternative. It’s not too hard and not too soft. I grew up listening to rock, but I try to listen to a whole bunch of different styles of music. My musical ear has widened. When I was 10 years old I listened to whatever was cool on the radio. Radio music is where the money is, but I think that most people would agree that it’s not where the best music is. I look at claiming what kind of music I play is like giving myself a nickname. That’s not how it should be.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I travel quite a bit, and I see quite a bit. I can draw inspiration from a lot of things. I also look up to a lot of musicians. I’ve always liked Chris Cornell, and I saw him play acoustic in 2011. I actually haven’t been to many concerts, because the majority of my time is spent traveling to the races.
What about your lyrics? What are they about?
Some people write basic lyrics that are understandable for most people. Then other people write complex lyrics that can have multiple meanings. They are poetic. That’s what I like. I like to make my songs interesting. I don’t know a lot about arranging words, because it’s an art form, but I like songs with multiple meanings. I like Alice in Chains for that reason. I don’t want to be the guy that races motocross and writes lyrics about motocross. That’s kind of cheesy to me. It’s cliche. I don’t want people to interpret that wrong, but it’s like rap. I’m not a big fan of rap
THE MILLSAPS LUSTER
By Daryl Ecklund
No one counted Davi Millsaps in as a championship contender for the 2013 Supercross season. Davi has always been known for having the potential and talent to win, but injuries and fitness have been an issue. Those problems aren’t evident anymore with Davi. Could it be newfound motivation from his newborn child, a change in teams, or just a combination of everything coming into place that we see a revived Millsaps?
The Millsaps luster came alive in 2006 when he won the 250 East Supercross title. Then it died off. Seven years later his luster is back. Davi is turning heads week in and week out. Right now, Davi looks like the only rider in the class to keep his composure in the 17-race series. Other contenders are showing sparks of brilliance, but only Davi has been able to hold it together coming into round nine of the series.
There are two things that stick out about Davi’s 22 point lead over past champions Ryan Villopoto, and a wider gap over Ryan Dungey and everyone else. The first is that Davi is getting good starts. This is a key component for his success. Davi has his starting technique and bike dialed in getting him towards the front at the start of every race?keeping him from the carnage of other riders.
The second is Davi’s consistency. Winning races is great, but it takes a consistent rider to win championships. Consistency is where the puzzle has started to come together for Davi. All of the pieces of the puzzle (new team, family life, confidence, health and fitness) are coming together.
In my eyes Davi has flawless technique. He carries consistent momentum through the corners. He has fluid throttle control and rarely dabs his feet on the ground through corners. His toes are always in on the footpads, with his weight distributed evenly throughout the bike. Davi is also very patient throughout each race. He puts in fast solid laps and doesn’t worry about winning every race. These factors lead me to believe that if Davi Millsaps can keep his composure then he will be the 2013 Supercross Champion.
IN THE BEGINNING: THE TREY CANARD STORY – TEASER 2
MINI-VIEW: CHRIS BLOSE
N-Fab/TiLube Yamaha rider Chris Blose sits 23rd in the 450 point standings. He had a rough start to the year, failing to qualify for three of the first four rounds, but since Anaheim 3 he has qualified for every race. Blose finished 17th in Atlanta on Saturday night. I caught up with him afterward to talk about his day.
MXA: Talk about your racing experience in Atlanta.
Chris: The whole day I felt uncomfortable on the bike. At the past couple of races I had some momentum going and I was getting faster on the bike, but tonight I felt uncomfortable. The track was weird. There were a lot of flat turns, unusual angles on things, and I couldn’t get things going. I made it into the main event, which was a good thing, and I was running around 14th. I got really bad arm pump halfway through the race and I lost a couple positions. I think that was due to not feeling comfortable on the bike. Hopefully we can do some homework and figure it out.
To the general public the Atlanta track looked awesome. It had a little bit of everything. However, to a racer it’s completely different.
The track might look good on TV and from the stands, but it’s a whole different story when you’re racing. You might approach a jump face and there are six ruts in it and they all aren’t good. The track didn’t seem to flow too well this weekend.
Typically the East coast tracks have softer dirt and rut up quite a bit compared to the West rounds. That didn’t happen in Atlanta.
By the mechanic’s area it was really hard packed, but in other areas there were ruts and bumps. There were soft spots, so you had to be careful where you pushed it.
At this point in the series are you still trying to chase some bike settings?
We have a pretty good setting with Enzo and everyone on board with our race team. It was one of those weekends where I just didn’t feel comfortable. That wasn’t the case the past couple of weekends. Hopefully St. Louis will be better.
How do you deal with arm pump?
It’s definitely hard, especially in the middle of a Supercross race. Anyone who has ever ridden knows what arm pump feels like. I knew on the starting line of the main event that it was going to happen. It’s hard to deal with, especially when there are so many elements to the track, like Atlanta.
And then they throw sand into the mix. The sand section looked challenging, especially in the opening practice sessions.
The sand was very fine. Then they made sand whoops with the tractors. A positive is that I didn’t crash in the sand. Hopefully there isn’t any sand in St. Louis.
POD MX RIDER WIL HAHN WINS IN ATL
POD MX’s Wil Hahn won his first career SX Lites race this past weekend in Atlanta wearing his POD K700’s. Congrats Wilbur and now go get a few more! Link: www.PODMX.com