MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY JOHN BASHER (4/3/13)
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: PART 1
Do you know what this is? Are you aware that there’s a race this weekend where everyone on the starting line will be using this type of technology? Can you wrap your head around how ABSOLUTELY AWESOME the World Two-Stroke Championship is going to be?
MXA TRAVELS THROUGH DIXIE: PART 3, WITH ADAM CIANCIARULO
TYLER BOWERS IS THE NEWEST RECRUIT AT PRO CIRCUIT
Press release:Fresh off winning his third-consecutive Amsoil Arenacross Championship, Tyler Bowers will jump aboard the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki KX?250F for the remainder of the Monster Energy Supercross Eastern Regional schedule. Bowers had another dominating Arenacross season in 2013, building a 60 point lead in the points standings prior to the new Race to the Championship format. With 10 overall victories and 20 main event wins, he became the third rider in Arenacross history to claim three consecutive championships. Comfortable and confident after a winning season on his Kawasaki, Bowers is excited to transfer his success to 250SX class.
“I was overwhelmed when I got the call,” said Bowers. “I really wanted to race Supercross once Arenacross finished, but didn’t have anything lined up. I have my KX250F dialed in from Arenacross, but now working with Pro Circuit we have taken it to the next level.”
After four years with Kawasaki and three consecutive championships, Bowers was an easy choice for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki. He’s already proved himself in Supercross including last year when he achieved top-10 finishes in both the 250SX and 450SX classes.
“We’ve had a trying year in Supercross with a lot of injuries,” said Pro Circuit owner, Mitch Payton. “When we heard Tyler was available to help us, we were really excited because he is a proven champion and will be a strong addition to the team.”
Bowers finished a career best of sixth overall in the 2008 250SX Eastern Regional points standings including multiple top-five finishes amongst a stacked class that included Ryan Villopoto. He then took on the Arenacross series with Kawasaki. While leading the standings in 2010, he severely broke both legs in a crash, costing him the championship and almost his career. Bowers overcame adversity and returned in 2011 to win the Arenacross championship and has won every year since.
“Tyler is the perfect fit for us and we expect him to excel,” said Kawasaki Senior Racing Manager, Reid Nordin. “We have a long standing relationship with him and he has proven himself time and time again. He is at-home on his Kawasaki will easily make the transition to Supercross.”
Bowers will make his debut with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas for Round 13 of Monster Energy Supercross.
JOHN BASHER’S REFLECTION ON AN UNLUCKY RACER?BEN TOWNLEY
Ben (101) on the starting gate at Budds Creek in 2010?his last full year of racing in the U.S.
Ben Townley’s retirement is another reminder that those of us 30-somethings are getting older. The Kiwi burst on to the American racing scene in 2002, making two National appearances as part of the KTM factory team. He cracked the top ten in both races, but it would be four years before U.S. fans would see the amiable Townley stateside for the long haul. In between appearances he won the 2004 MX2 World Championship. He finished fourth overall in the MX1 class the following year.
The most successful year of Townley’s career came in 2007. Oft-injured, he managed to stay healthy for an entire season. Ben showed his true potential by winning the East Coast Supercross title. The summer of ?07 was magical; an all-out war between Townley and his Pro Circuit teammate, Ryan Villopoto. The two were rarely more than a hundred yards apart?semi truck included?but misgivings never materialized between Townley and RV.
Townley and Ryan Villopoto (1) were never far apart. Here they battle at Millville…
…and also at Red Bud. In the end Villopoto would win the title by 19 points.
Of course their career paths went in drastically different directions after that fateful summer. Villopoto remained in the 250 class for one more year (he won his third-straight outdoor crown), while Townley signed a high dollar factory Honda deal to race 250s in Supercross and the 450 class outdoors. He failed to line up indoors after breaking his right foot. An outdoor campaign was promising until Townley crashed in practice and destroyed his shoulder. Despite gutsy performances at Glen Helen and Hangtown, the injury was too much to bear. He went under the knife and missed the rest of the Nationals. Shoulder complications kept him away from racing all of 2009, and in the offseason he lost his factory Honda ride.
Townley flying the flag at the 2010 Motocross des Nations in Lakewood, Colorado. Ben wouldn’t make many fans this day, as he cleaned out Andrew Short.
To American fans, 2010 was really the last year of Ben Townley’s career. Of course that’s not true, because he continued racing Down Under [Ben also made an appearance at the inaugural Monster Cup in 2011, where he finished second place in the opening main event]. Townley raced for the Troy Lee Designs Honda team in the 450 Nationals. He remained healthy all summer long and reached the podium twice. His best chance to win a National came at Red Bud, but a late moto fall doomed his advance.
Ben Townley’s career should be defined by his multiple championships. For those nay sayers Townley’s years of racing service can be summed up as unfulfilled potential. That’s not entirely true. I’m sure that Townley has had more anesthesia coursing through his veins than any ten daredevils, but the guy still managed to make his mark in many racing circles. He won in Europe, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.
I hopped on board the MXA train a few years before Townley came to the U.S. I had heard about him, but I never met the guy until 2007. I can’t say that we instantly became pals, but we were good acquaintances right away. I remember talking with him at great length at Millville while Saturday practice was delayed due to a thunderstorm. He was easy going and friendly, never once “Big Leaguing” me. We could chat about anything, and our conversations were never awkward.
BT101 didn’t have any luck go his way over a two-year span. Here, at Glen Helen in 2008, he’s riding with a bum shoulder. It would lead to his demise.
I grew critical of Townley during the injury-plagued years of 2008 and ?09. I still believed that he could compete, but I felt that the riders he hung with in 2007 (Ryan Villopoto and Ryan Dungey) had surpassed him in terms of speed. Before the 2010 Nationals kicked off I wrote an article on this website highlighting my selections for the 450 outdoor title. Ben Townley wasn’t included. The next day I received a call from Bones Bacon at Pro Circuit, with a message that Townley was mad at me. “Big deal,” I thought. Plenty of riders have been upset with me before (I’m talking about you, Matt Walker). A few days later I ran into Ben, and he wouldn’t even look at me. I couldn’t help but laugh.
That led to the Hangtown National, where I decided it would be wise to talk out our differences. And so we did, all without hurling derogatory remarks at one another. All was well once again. I didn’t see Ben very much after the summer of 2010. He traveled to Australia to keep his career going. Unfortunately he would take a few more ambulance rides through the years.
Townley doesn’t owe American racing fans anything, me included. He was a great racer, an ambassador of the sport, and he was friendly. He will be missed.
This past weekend, at his home track of Taupo, in New Zealand, Townley announced his retirement. In a way I’m saddened by Ben’s absence from the professional racing scene, even though I haven’t seen him ripping berms around U.S. circuits for several years. Ben brought something to the table that a lot of racers don’t?a personality. We didn’t always see eye to eye. Maybe that is one of my favorite things about him. He whined from time to time, but we always cleared the air.
Saddened as I am, I understand why Ben retired. It seemed like he had a black cloud around him that covered the globe. No matter where he went injury seemed to follow. As soon as he got up to speed, Lady Luck would throw a wrench in his spokes. Was he unlucky? Certainly. Did it stop him from trying to succeed? Not one bit. Ben has had a long career, achieved success along the way, probably saved a few pennies, and has a family to care for. Good luck to you, Ben. You’ll be missed.
WHERE TO BE THIS WEEKEND: GLEN HELEN!
Glen Helen has it going on this weekend. If you enjoy racing motocross and live in SoCal then point your truck towards San Bernardino on Saturday morning and step on the gas. And, if you own a two-stroke, then don’t leave the premises until Sunday evening. You’ll have a great weekend of racing, and whether you go home with a trophy, know that you’ll at least have a smile on your face. What’s going on at Glen Helen this weekend? Take a look below:
TROY LEE DESIGNS “PRESS DAY” AT REM: SATURDAY, APRIL 6
This Saturday, April 6th, mark your calendars and plan on attending the Troy Lee Designs / Lucas Oil / Honda Race Team “Press Day” event at Glen Helen Raceway.
As the team riders prepare for the remaining West Coast Supercross rounds and for their assault on the Lucas Oil Nationals, media members and team sponsors will have immediate access to the riders for video, photos and interviews. Cole Seely, Christian Craig, Jessy Nelson and amateur sensation Justin Hoeftwill all be in attendance. This weekend also marks the 15th anniversary of Glen Helen’s REM Saturday Motocross Series. To help celebrate the occasion, Moto Brew is posting a $2000 purse for the Pro Class [30 minutes plus 2 lap motos] this weekend, and will also be providing free beer under the TLD awning. Troy Lee and the TLD crew will also be BBQing on site, flipping burgers and hot dogs for all in attendance.
“It’s been nice to kind of regroup during this break,” says team owner Troy Lee. “We have our pro team getting ready for the nationals and the last few rounds of supercross and our amateur guys are focusing on their championship events. We’re stoked to get everybody together and let them help each other. And it’s always more fun with Moto Brew!” Come out and race or just hang out under the TLD canopy for some BBQ and fun. Get more information from REM online.
WORLD TWO-STROKE CHAMPIONSHIP: SUNDAY, APRIL 7
MORE ON THE TWO-STROKE RACE WITH GLEN HELEN’S LORI BRYANT
WHAT DO YOU HAVE PLANNED FOR THE WORLD TWO-STROKE CHAMPIONSHIP?
“We think that it is important that the sport put more emphasis on two-strokes because it leads to affordable bikes, less expensive racing and bikes that can be worked on by the riders themselves. We have seen lots of local riders give up their four-strokes, go out and buy a used two-stroke (for anywhere from $1000 to $3000) and do just as well as they were doing on their $9000 four-strokes. Motocross needs two-strokes and to get more young people and families involved. Glen Helen wants to help bring back the grass roots feel that made motocross what it is today.”
SPEAKING OF COSTS, WHAT DOES THE WORLD TWO-STROKE COST TO RACE?
“We want to keep the entry fees as low as possible?if you enter online the entry is only $30 (and $35 on race day). Plus, a second class is only $20. The Pro class entry will be $40. We will have transponder scoring, but Glen Helen does not charge an extra fee for transponders and we don’t require any kind of membership. This race is open to everyone with a two-stroke.”
WHAT ARE THE CLASSES?
“We will have classes for all ages, all skill levels and all bikes sizes, from 50cc on up. During the warm-up races last month our biggest class was the Over-50 Experts.”
WHAT ABOUT THE PRO RACES?
“There are two Pro classes?the Husqvarna 125 Challenge and the 250 Pro class (which is open to any size two-stroke).”
HOW BIG IS THE PURSE?
“The combined purse is $9500 between the two classes. The winner of the 250 class will earned $2000, while the 125 winner will get $1000?plus a brand-new Husqvarna CR125 (even if he won the 125 race on a Yamaha or KTM).”
HOW LONG ARE THE MOTOS?
“Every moto will be run on time, not laps. The two Pro classes will race for 20 minutes plus two laps, while the amateurs will go 15 minutes.”
WILL THE TRACK BE THE SAME AS IT HAS BEEN?
“No. We will build a new track for the MTA World Two-Stroke Championship. The track will have more ups and downs and it will include some new features plus Talladega, Shoei Hill and Mt. Saint Helen. We want a fun track that will challenge all the different classes from Novice to Pro.”
“The April 6-7 weekend will be a big party. On Saturday we will open the two-stroke track (on the USGP track) for practice from 8:00 to 2:00pm. And, for riders who want a warm-up race, Troy Lee is holding a special 15th Anniversary REM race on the back track on Saturday. There will be a Pro purse for the Over-40 Experts, Over-50 Experts, 250 Pros and 450 Pros. Plus, Troy is bringing his complete team, semi truck and sponsors out. Then on Sunday, we will open the gates at 6:00 a.m. for the World Two-Stroke Championships (and there will be an ARX vintage race on the REM track also).”
WORLD TWO-STROKE PURSE BREAKDOWN
1. $1000 (plus 2013 Husky CR125)
Total $2620 (plus the brand new bike)
VALKENSWAARD GP VIDEO: IT’S THE USUAL SUSPECTS
It’s not often that Tony Cairoli gets passed (from the outside, no less!), and in the second moto you’ll be able to see a giant do a nac-nac after winning. Still, “Super Tony” and the “Sand Master” reign supreme once again
DARYL ECKLUND’S MX ANALYSIS: THE NATIONALS ARE COMING!
Jason Anderson was tuning up for the outdoors this past week. In this photo he was busy getting wild at Ocotillo Wells for the Rockstar Energy Racing poster shoot during the offseason.
Supercross took the weekend off, but the riders didn’t. It amazes me how much work and time these teams and riders put into their program. No rest for the weary! Times are tough right now in the motocross world with the struggling economy. The stress on the team managers to get sparse money from sponsors, and riders fighting for rides and results to give the managers pull from sponsors to keep their hard fought jobs. To date there are four teams shutting their doors. Some riders will take money out of their own pocket in hopes to keep the dream alive, but in these tough times many will step down from their career of racing to take their step into the real world of the nine to five job. The nine to five usually seems easier for these racers, but there is no passion attached to the job, unlike their passion for racing, which makes it hard to cope with reality.
This last Thursday I went to Glen Helen to ride and test some products. As I got there just a little after the track opened, I pulled in and the track looked supreme. It was disced really deep and soaked with water, just by looking at the track I knew it was going to develop epic bar dragging ruts. I couldn’t wait to get out there, so I waited until the brave front line went out to break in the track for me. There were not many people riding at the beginning of the day and my first couple motos on the track were just amazing. I felt as if I locked eyes with a unicorn! Tracks just aren’t prepped this way much anymore.
Right around noon I took a break to check out the scene. All the sudden there was this consistent roar of thunder. I walked over to the track and it turned into a full-on National. All the weekend warrior riders made their way to the amateur REM track because they were nervous riding around in a freight-train of Pros. Rockstar Energy Racing showed up with Davi Millsaps and Jason Anderson. James Stewart was also logging laps. Mitch Payton’s boys were running around, as were Jake Weimer, Jason Lawrence, Josh Hill, and Jake Canada. They were taking advantage of their week off from Supercross to test and put in motos in an effort to get themselves prepared for the opening round of the Nationals at Hangtown on May 18th.
I had second thoughts about going back out there. I was having too much fun checking out all the riders and seeing who was bringing what to the table for outdoors. I have to say the rider that impressed me the most was Jason Anderson. He stood out from everyone else with his unique riding style and line selection. As I watched him, it reminded me of watching a Moto GP race. He thought ahead with his line selection. He was patient when setting up for the corners ahead, taking a slower line where others would blow up the outside. Jason would always make up the time two or three corners ahead and pull away. He was thinking outside the box and getting out of the normal goat trial.
Anderson gave me the motivation and go out and try some of his lines. I patiently waited to find an opening to get back on the track and after my first lap I could not believe how much the track changed in the short amount of time. It went from being a fun, traction packed, bar dragging fest to an absolute war zone! It turned into one of the roughest tracks I have ridden lately. At first I thought that these guys were lazy showing up in the middle of the day. Now I realize their tactics. These guys are warriors and want to test in the roughest and hardest terrain around to make sure they leave no stone unturned to be prepared for the first round. I can’t wait for the war to begin at Hangtown. It’s going to be epic!
NEW “FMF OCTANE JUNKIES” CLOTHING SERIES WITH GLOW-IN-THE-DARK GRAPHICS
“Brand new for 2013, FMF introduces an exclusive new series called, “FMF Octane Junkies”, a collaboration with the world’s top amateur racers. The goal from the beginning was to develop new, aggressive, forward thinking graphics & products designed for those who are addicted to speed and inspired to LIVE FASTER. The 1st release hitting stores right now is a series of tee-shirts that debut new glow-in-the-dark inks as well as a more progressive fit. Worn by amateur racing champions like Conner Mullennix, Troy Graffunder & Travis PeCoy, the FMF Octane Junkies embodies what motivates tomorrows champions to never back down and always keep life moving at full throttle.” Link To FMF Octane Junkies Series: http://apparel.fmfracing.com/shop/octane-junkies
COOL VIDEO: BRETT CUE GETS DOWN AND DIRTY IN SHAWNEE
MXA MINI TEST: HUGGIES LITTLE SNUGGLERS DIAPERS
WHAT IS IT? Only the best diapers that money can buy, from a company that specializes in making life easier for parents of a newborn. These little gems prevent Mom and Dad from crying right alongside baby at 2 a.m. when everything, including sanity, seems lost.
WHAT’S IT COST? $19.97 for an 84 pack (Wal-Mart).
CONTACT? They’re sold at Wal-Mart, which means that you can get them anywhere. I’ve learned that buying in bulk is cheaper, and trust me when I say that you’ll burn through an 84-pack faster than your friends do mooching tear-offs from you on a muddy race weekend.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Huggies Little Snugglers diapers.
(1) Shape. The Little Snugglers comform well to a newborn’s bottom and secure contents with ease. This is vital, since babies roost more than Ronnie Mac in a mud pit.
(2) Durability. Your baby will be going through these things faster than news of a Justin Bieber sighting at a cheer leading competition. As mentioned previously, buy in bulk. Sam’s Club or Costo are the way to go. Your child will determine the life span of the Huggies Little Snugglers. Don’t get too attached to each diaper, because you won’t be seeing it for long. In fact, as the father of a newborn, I swap out a dozen diapers a day. You don’t get misty-eyed when pulling a tearoff. The same goes with a diaper.
(3) Weight. The Huggies Little Snugglers start out light, but after a long moto they can gain as much as a few ounces. Considering that the average package weighs about eight pounds, adding a few ounces radically changes the geometry (not to mention the smell and attitude of the rider).
(4) Installation. I’ve found it best to install the Huggies Little Snuggler diapers as fast as humanly possible. Pretend that you have to deactivate a bomb but only have a few seconds to do so. Now imagine that you have to swab the deck of a yacht with roller skates on. Get the A&D ointment on (a must-have) and throw on a new diaper fast enough that your sense of smell doesn’t pick up anything unpleasant. An expert Little Snuggler diaper changer should be able to do an installation job as fast as a NASCAR pit crew changing out four tires and refilling the gas tank. Wait, let’s not talk about gas.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We don’t have any complaints, other than we wish Huggies sold Little Snugglers in packs of 1000 (trust me, you’ll need that many).
The Little Snugglers put Luvs, Pampers, off-brands and especially cloth diapers to shame. They are baby tested and new father approved.
[Note: This test was meant to be a joke, written by the father of a newborn that has spent more time changing diapers the past week than twisting the throttle of a motorcycle. If you wish to email us your complaints, don’t bother. I don’t have enough time to read your quibbles, let alone get sleep. And Huggies, if you’re reading this, please send a case of diapers to the palatial MXA office. Much appreciated!]
MINI-VIEW: JOSH HILL
WERE YOU ABLE TO RECHARGE AND REGROUP DURING THE OFF WEEKEND?
The off-weekend was good. We got some riding in and had some fun on the bike. We weren’t just trying to bang out some laps. We had some fun on the bike and rode a lot. I rested over the weekend, no planes to catch or anything. I’ve only raced the seven rounds, which isn’t too bad, but it’s still nice to get a break from the travel. It takes a toll on your mind and body.
YOU’RE DOWN TO A FIVE-RACE SEASON BEGINNING IN HOUSTON ON SATURDAY. DO YOU RACE ANY DIFFERENT?
I think it’s been an eye-opener that we’re down to the last five races. It’s time to put the hammer down. I haven’t gotten the results that I expect out of myself. The hand injury in Anaheim 1 was a big setback. The injury wasn’t so much physical but mental and confidence. I had to reassess how I was riding. Now, it’s time to drop the hammer and get those finishes that I really felt I was going to get at the beginning of the season before I got hurt.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR MOST THE NEXT FIVE RACES, SPEED OR CONSISTENCY?
It’s just time for blood. I just need to ride these races out as hard as I can. It’s been three years that I’ve raced at this level and I’m a little bit timid. I’m not riding like myself. I’m a different guy from practice to the race. The last six weeks, I have practiced really fast and when I get to the track on Saturday, I sort of choke up a bit. It’s time to break that up and ride to the best of my ability. I don’t really care what the finish. If I ride to my ability, I’m going to be happy.
YOU’VE SCORED A COUPLE TOP TENS IN HOUSTON IN 450SX CLASS MAIN EVENTS. TALK ABOUT RACING AT RELIANT STADIUM:
I love racing in Houston. The dirt is really gnarly and I dig the stadium. The fans are great and racing inside is awesome. We have a big appearance at the new Dodge dealership on Thursday. I can’t wait to get there and meet the fans and check out some cool cars. I’m excited for the weekend. I’ve raced well there in the past (two top-10s) and really dig the soil. I’m stoked.
KTM VIDEO: #MYKTM
KTMUSA fans used the hashtag #myktm during the month of March and this is the result! Follow @ktmusa on instagram to participate in April’s hashtag contest and see your photo in next months video!
CV4 ADDS MORE COOL TO THE LINE
Press release: CV4 ? the leading manufacturer of high performance race parts and accessories for powersports professionals ? today announced the release of an all-new lineup of pre-formed radiator/coolant hose kits for 2013 powersport applications. The new applications feature a medical-grade silicone that offers unmatched abrasion protection, puncture resistance, and withstands higher temperatures without compromising the material.
Available in a variety of colors, the new-for-2013 pre-formed radiator/coolant hoses from CV4 fit many of the latest and most popular powersport models, including the Honda Ruckus and CRF450R, Husaberg FE501, KTM 250 SX-F,450 SX-F, KTM 450-501 XCW?EXC and 990 Adventure Series, Suzuki RM-Z 250 and other leading models.
“To be able to offer such a high-quality product in a variety of color ways that compliments so many of the top machines on the market today is definitely adding cool,” said Scott Highland, Director of Marketing and Business Development, CV Products. “We expect that everyone from the casual weekend rider, the up-and-coming amateur or today’s top professionals will benefit from the performance and look of these cool radiator/coolant hoses.”
CV4 Everything Racing’s full line up of 2013 radiator/coolant hoses is now available online from www.CV4.net, and can also be acquired from leading powersport dealers and distributors.
SUZUKI MOTOR OF AMERICA INC. INTRODUCED
Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (SMAI), has been announced as the sole distributor of Suzuki motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, marine outboard engines and automotive parts and service in the contiguous United States and Alaska. This announcement comes following the restructuring of American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC). “We are pleased to announce this new company,” said Suzuki’s Motorcycle/ATV Vice President, Larry Vandiver. “This is a turning point for our brand and we look toward the future as we continue to offer industry-leading products as Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.”
SMAI is firmly committed to the motorcycle, ATV, scooter and marine industry and will focus on long-term growth in the American market. SMAI aims to bring the excitement of its product line into the powersports marketplace this spring and summer as it launches several exciting new products. The company is planning over 20 consumer events over the next several months, giving customers firsthand experience to try out its full lineup of sportbike, cruiser, touring, scooter, dual-sport, motocross, and KingQuad ATV’s. In addition, SMAI will also be cheering on its championship-winning riders at Supercross, motocross and roadracing events throughout the country!
SMAI is poised to make a big impact in the marine industry as well, marketing its flagship DF300AP, state-of-the-art DF20A and DF15A, among other models. 2013 also marks the return of Suzuki outboards with an aggressive run in bass tournaments with 2012 BASSMASTER Rookie of the Year Brandon Card.
In addition to the motorcycle/ATV and marine operations, SMAI will continue to support Suzuki’s automotive customers with warranty service, parts and accessories.
“Suzuki is committed to supplying automotive parts and warranty service,” said Suzuki’s Director ? Division Head Automotive Service Lee Raines, “We will continue to support our automotive customers with these services.”
Suzuki is looking forward to the future with SMAI as they introduce exciting new products, offer exciting demo tours, and host special events throughout the remainder of 2013.
For more information on Suzuki Motors of America, Inc. please visit: www.suzuki.com