MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY JOHN BASHER (5/15/13)
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
The 2014 models are coming down the pipeline. The first models to hit cyberspace come from Honda, with the CRF450 (shown above) and the CRF250. To find out more info on the bikes, click here.
MINI-VIEW: ROGER DeCOSTER
MXA: With the National opener only a few days away, how are things going?
Roger: We’ve been very busy. We have a press day up north on Thursday with Red Bull. The truck needs to be loaded up Tuesday night so that we can leave tomorrow.
Las Vegas was bittersweet for KTM. Ken Roczen won the 250 West crown, but Marvin Musquin lost the championship by a few bike lengths. How did you manage the situation?
Marvin lost the title early in the season. He didn’t do well the first two races of the series. After that he rode well. Wil Hahn was also tough. He hung in there and did a good job.
What did you say to Marvin after the race?
Like I said, the damage was done at the beginning of the season. The good thing is that he can stay another year in the 250 class. I think it would have a little bit early for him to go up to the 450 class, and if he had won the championship then the AMA would have enforced the rule that he would have to move up. Now he can do one more 250 Supercross season. Ken Roczen has no option. He must move up.
Were you planning on having Ken move up to the 450 class next year anyway?
I think he has the ability to do well. The toughest part is adapting to 17 races in a row.
Are you happy to be done with Supercross?
Yeah, I think it’s good to have a change, and I look forward to Hangtown.
How’s Ryan Dungey looking?
He’s ready to race. It’s nice to have the number one plate on the KTM. It’s not going to be easy. Ryan Villopoto is going to be tough, and there are a lot of guys willing to challenge for wins. It should be a good season.
Last year you were vocal in stating that Musquin and Roczen weren’t physically fit enough for the Nationals. Do you sense a change in them?
They are a lot more prepared. They have done a full season and they know what to expect. There shouldn’t be any surprises.
Congratulations on your contract extension with KTM. What were the motivating factors in signing on the dotted line with KTM again?
I think it’s good for the stability of the team. KTM offered me a contract early, which is good because now nothing is up in the air.
HANGTOWN NATIONAL TIME LAPSE
COMPETING MINDS: ENTER THE OUTDOORS
By John Basher and Daryl Ecklund
Adam Cianciarulo?coming to a track near you.
One of the greatest days of the year will be upon us in just three short days. The Nationals turn another year older on Saturday when the gate drops at Hangtown for the 2013 edition of America’s greatest sport. I’m aware that I’m showing favoritism to the Nationals, even though Supercross just ended. Don’t get me wrong. Supercross is cool, but I prefer the sun over stadium lights and I liken indoor racing to an air show. Motocross, on the other hand, is relatable. You ride. I ride. We moto. Enough said.
With a new series comes a clean slate. Everyone is tied up in points, and expectations are endless. It’s where a rookie from Cortez, Colorado, wins the first Pro race he enters. It’s the start of a perfect season for two of the greatest racers the sport has ever seen. The National opener at Hangtown is truly special.
Last week Daryl Ecklund and I discussed our thoughts on the 450 class as the men of summer head outdoors. In my eyes Ryan Villopoto is the man to beat, but Ryan Dungey cannot be discounted. However, the 450 class has proven in recent years that it lacks the suspense and excitement of the 250 class. It’s a field where riders cut their teeth, make a name, and fight to the death for tenth place. It’s crazy!
The talent pool in the 250 class is as deep as ever, and all of the young bucks have something to prove. Eli Tomac wants to win the 250 outdoor crown before moving to the 450 class in 2014. Blake Baggett, the defending champ, is coming off a mangled wrist and comes into the opener under the radar. Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin want to follow up World titles with an AMA National number one plate. Adam Cianciarulo, long labeled as “The Next Big Thing,” is throwing his hat into the ring. There’s a host of other newbies?Cooper Webb, Jeremy Martin and Justin Hill?that should make waves.
Who’s going to win Hangtown? If I could tell the future I wouldn’t be sitting in front of my computer right now typing this, but instead practicing starts on the ninth green at Pebble Beach. Still, I’ll venture a few guesses.
Blake Baggett, like Andre Reed in Super Bowl XXV (or the following three years), is “The Forgotten Man.” He has been missing for months, healing from a broken wrist sustained at Anaheim 1. BB has won Hangtown the last two years. There’s something about the off-camber and NorCal dirt that suits him. Blake is tenacious and often faster at the end of the moto than at the beginning. Having said that, does he have the endurance to come out swinging at the opener and track down riders at the 25-minute mark? That’s the second biggest question in the 250 class before the gate drops this weekend.
What’s the biggest question? I’m wondering how the rookies will fare. Adam Cianciarulo is the most celebrated of the group, but he’s also the least experienced of the group racing a 250. Adam raced his first 250 race in September. September! That’s eight months ago, not very long at all for many racers. Then he had to get shoulder surgery in November, putting him off the bike for quite some time. However, Cianciarulo isn’t like most racers. He rips, and he’s no stranger to pressure. All eyes will be on AC, and I expect him to thrive. If not at Hangtown, then later in the summer once the anticipation has worn off.
If forced to pick the podium in the 250 class at Hangtown, I’d go with Eli Tomac, Blake Baggett and Ken Roczen?although I can’t hazard a guess as to the finishing order. As for a dark horse, I’ll go with Cooper Webb. He’s out to prove himself.?John Basher
RV is going to trade his number one plate in for number two.
“Right off the bat I will have to disagree with John. My heart is under the lights on a freshly built Dirt Wurx Supercross track. After I raced a few seasons of Supercross, I almost dreaded getting back on a rough, beat up, white knuckle outdoor tracks. Every time I rode Supercross I had nothing but fun. I couldn’t get enough of the feeling of flowing through a big rhythm section or having such stiff suspension that it made me feel invincible when coming up short or over-jumping a section. The Nationals are a different animal. They brings out the inner warrior in a rider. I start to cringe just thinking about racing the Nationals. I have memories of being out on the track, dealing heat exhaustion, huge pot holes, and the super sketchy terrain at Hangtown. When I see someone like Blake Baggett getting faster as the race goes on, I get out of my seat and start cheering because I commend his hard work and determination.
“How can I bet on anyone other then Ryan Villopoto for winning the opener? I think the reason he wants to win so badly each and every race is because that’s the only way he is able to break a smile. He is a machine. RV doesn’t make excuses and he goes all out every moto. I don’t want to discredit last year’s champ, Ryan Dungey, but I do not feel that he will come out swinging for a win. He will be more of a train, picking up steam throughout the season and waiting for Villopoto to faultier.
“I’d like to know how John couldn’t mention James Stewart as a potential winner in the 450 class. The guy once went 24-0 for a perfect season. I still feel that “Bubba” is still the fastest man on the planet, but with his severe lack of consistency it’s hard to count him in to be a championship contender. I do feel that at the opener he is going to go for the win in hopes of building confidence for the rest of the season. A few wild cards that always makes things entertaining is the return of the infamous Jason Lawrence, and Justin “Bam Bam” Barcia is now racing a 450 outdoors full-time. You just never know what these two are capable of.
“John hit the nail on the head in his reference to Blake Baggett. Blake is known to be the fittest guy on the track, hands downs. However, his fitness is questionable going into Hangtown since he has been off the bike for so long. I feel BB will be racing himself into shape and will start improving his results as the season goes on.
“The least experienced and most anticipated rider on the circuit is the young Adam Cianciarulo. There has been a lot of talk amongst fans and riders who believe that Adam is rushing into things. Remember that he has been winning since he was in diapers. Getting in the mix with these world-class athletes is much different than the amateur ranks. Cianciarulo is getting thrown in with the wolves. It could rip his confidence apart. I don’t see Adam changeling for the win or even a top five. He has to pay his dues, and he will learn throughout the season before he has any breakthrough rides.
“I do have a feeling that the boys in orange are going to take control of Hangtown, along with the whole National series. Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin are ready to get a U.S. National title under their belts. Both these guys have tons of confidence coming in, with Musquin hungry for a number one plate that he came so close to in Las Vegas.
“As for the podium in the 250 class, I can foresee the two orange riders on the podium along with Eli Tomac. My dark horse is going to be Jason Anderson. I have watched Jason ride outdoors a few times in the last month, and this kid is on fire! If he can ride at Hangtown like he has been practicing, then he will get in mix and make things interesting.”?Daryl Ecklund
RC, JOSH HILL & BROC TICKLE TAKE HOUSTON BY STORM
2013 LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP TELEVISION SCHEDULE
What you need to know:
Nearly all of the motos will be broadcast LIVE, either on Fuel TV or NBC Sports Network.
In addition to television coverage, Alli Sports will feature a redesigned website and more than 60 hours of online coverage. All races that air on NBC and NBC Sports Network will be live streamed on allisports.comand through NBC Sports Live Extra, the NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets.
The Nationals will also be simulcast to 104 countries across the globe. The international telecasts will be hosted on eight different networks across the world – ESPN Brasil, ESPN Central and Latin America and Caribbean, Extreme Sports Channel, Fox Sports Australia, Rogers Sportsnet in Canada, Sport 1 in Germany, SuperSport and Duke Marketing.
Returning to the booth this season is the longtime duo of veteran announcer Jason Weigandt and three-time AMA Pro Motocross Champion Jeff Emig, who will once again team up to bring event play-by-play and analysis to the viewers at home.
STORY BEHIND A HELMET: BROC GLOVER’S PINK LID
“I wore this helmet in my final AMA Supercross race of my career at the L.A. Coliseum in 1988. It was a race that I actually won and had the ‘Corona Connection’ going that night with Troy Lee painting the helmet and Mitch Payton building the motor and pipe.
“There are many photos that I have seen of that night to show what the gear looked like. The year I wore pink was 1984; very late in the year in the L.A. Coliseum. I think it was the last race of the season in November or something around then. That was the same year as the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, so we did not race the traditional summertime ‘Superbowl of Motocross’ in the L.A. Coliseum and used the Rose Bowl instead. We came back to the Coliseum after the Olympics were done and as I mentioned it was well after the summer was over.
“The actual event I wore the pink gear in was not the Supercross Main Event but a post-main race called the Miller Masters, where the series sponsor, Miller beer, had put up a $50,000 purse for a 10-lap feature race which was open to any rider who had won a main or heat race during the 1984 SX season. I won and was rewarded with a $30K first place check. I believe Ron Lechien finished 2nd and maybe Johnny O’Mara third, but not sure.”?Broc Glover
MEET COOPER WEBB: YOU’LL BE HEARING HIS NAME A LOT
FOX 1977 REUNION PARTY
By Tom White
A few days ago Dani and I attended the “Fox Reunion Party” at their new headquarters in Irvine to celebrate the most significant season – 1977 in the growth of Fox Racing as a global leader in motorsports and sportswear.
The exclusive party was attended by about 200 of Bob and Geoff Fox’s friends and associates to celebrate the 1977 season. The image above shows the 1977 Fox Racing team with (left to right) Mark Barnett, Chuck Tannlund, Pat Richter, and Steve Wise. This team was the first non-factory team to compete very successfully against the factory teams and looked on by both Geoff Fox and Bob Fox. It was a pivotal year in their growth.
Geoff Fox in front of his first bike, a Honda S90.
After a tour of the beautiful new Fox headquarters?they just moved-in in January?everyone had a chance to view some of the 1977 championship bikes, followed by a catered dinner where Geoff Fox addressed to attendees.
Geoff credited his brother with making everything come together, and the early employees (several were in attendance) as making a huge difference.
The Fox bikes from 1977.
Something that I thought that was really cool is the only magazine that Geoff mentioned that acknowledged Fox’s success back in the day with a cover featuring both brothers and a story about their race team?ahead of the stories about the factory teams?was MXA. Jim Gianatsis wrote the story and he was one of the people invited.
From left: Mark Barnett, Brian Burns (from Washougal) and Tom White.
Another very cool image shared during the presentation was a picture of Geoff and his son, Pete Fox, taken at Glen Helen at an AMA National. Geoff claimed that the image showed the official handing over of the reigns to Pete. It was very cool!
All attendees received a t-shirt with the image that celebrated the ’77 team. The evening ended with the team members sharing stories from that season with the invited guests.
WIN A CHANCE TO PUT SEELY, NELSON AND CRAIG INTO THE WALL
“I know Cole. He always goes high. Wait, he’s going low!”
Win the chance to race against the Red Bull/TLD/Lucas Oil team riders (Cole Seely, Jessy Nelson, and Christian Craig) by clocking the fastest lap time at participating K1 Speed indoor go kart tracks. Qualifying began on May 1 at noon and runs until May 16 at 8 pm. One winner from each week of qualifying sessions will win two Hangtown Tickets and will have the chance to race against Cole Seely, Jessy Nelson, and Christian Craig starting at 6 pm at the K1 Speed Sacramento Facility. Following the race there will be a meet and greet with the riders until 7:30 pm.
Fastest Lap from May 6 – May 12
Fastest Lap from May 13 – May 16
Wild Card on May 17th
Winners Race against Cole Seely, Jessy Nelson, and Christian Craig
K1 Speed Sacramento
Friday, May 17
More info go here: http://win.gs/11HlbWE
WHAT IT’S LIKE: PREPARING FOR A NATIONAL
By Daryl Ecklund
I started as an MXA editor on January 1st this year. I really didn’t have any intentions of racing professionally when I started the job, as I had a tendency of getting injured when I was racing on the Pro circuit. My last year racing a National was 2008. I thought that was it for me. Having said that, the more I was going out to the tracks testing products and bikes the more I got the itch to race again. John Basher brought up the idea of me racing Hangtown, although he did so in a joking manner. I instantly shot down the idea. A fews days went by and I thought to myself, “Why not just give it a shot? I can get myself back into racing shape again.”
So I started hitting it hard. Prior to working at MXA I was a personal trainer. I trained Pro riders, so I knew what it would take to get where I needed to be. Strength training, sprints, long motos, flexibility, good diet, sufficient sleep?I had it all planned out. It looked easy on paper and I was ready for the battle, but I didn’t realize my body was in for a shock.
The first month of training was nothing but an uphill battle. I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. I was tired all the time, my morning heart rate was through the roof, and I had to take twice the amount of days off as I initially planned. I had to stop strength training because I was too busy in the gym rehabbing my bad knees, lower back, tendentious, carpal tunnel, and very sore muscles. I still had it in my mind that I could bounce back like I was a teenager again. I am 27 years old, and I feel the damage of what 22 years of racing has done to my body.
It was around 2-1/2 months of going full throttle into training mode that the fun factor started going out the window. The only gratification I got was after finishing a long moto or a hard workout, knowing that the juice is worth the squeeze. But the joy of riding started to fade away, along with the idea of racing Hangtown.
As much fun as we have riding as a hobby, it’s hard to think that having a job racing a dirt bike would be so much work physically and mentally. You turn into a machine. It’s imperative to tailor every aspect of your life so that you can be a better racer. Training again really brought back memories of how extremely hard I have to work to make a career of racing in the Pro ranks. I have had my share of long hour and low paying jobs in the past, but nothing, and I mean nothing, has even came close to the amount of work and lifelong dedication you have to put in. All this is done so you can have a job title of professional motocross racer. It’s not easy.
MINI-VIEW: MARK KALPAKOFF
Mark Kalpakoff is the owner/operator of BermCannon. He’s a good friend to MXA and has built his career pumping up brands. Read on to find out what Mark has to offer to prospective clients.
MXA: The media landscape has changed considerably since Al Gore invented the Internet. Most everything is digital these days, but you were an early adapter, shooting video before it really became popular. Where does that passion stem from?
Mark: When I first started I was building project bikes. I loved shooting video, and there were only a few guys doing video. I bought a camera and dove into it. I found that my editing skills were pretty good. Maybe it was all of the television that I watched as a kid that gave me that insight. When video really started taking off around 2007, I jumped into it. The problem is that now there are so many people doing video. You have to find a guy with the right technique or aspects to fit your brand. Anybody can shoot video, but shooting video to fit your brand is important.
You turned your love for video into a business.
Video is most of my business now, but I also deal in social media management. I was using video to be put on company websites, but then social media exploded. Facebook, Twitter, Vine, and Instagram took off. Now I shoot video to also feed those channels. What I’ve done in the last year is managing social media sites. I build the Facebook following for companies, and for all the other platforms. I am a creative director for social media. Companies are trying to figure out how to make money by building their social media platforms. Because I did video in the beginning, I educated myself and figured out that feeding the social platforms and managing them transfers into dollars for a company.
Who have you done work for?
I’ve done a lot for a lot of companies. I’ve worked with Wiseco, A’ME grips, Sunstar, AP Brakes, Pro-X, and Muc-Off. The great thing about my company is that it’s like a salad bar. A company can pick and choose what they want. One business might just need me to manage their social media. In the past few years I’ve started doing social media feeds for professional race teams. I also educate the racers about marketing and branding themselves, along with their team. Last year I did that for Allan Brown. One year I worked with Star Racing. I filmed with them, but I also educated the racers on why the filming needed to be done.
Where can a company find out what services you offer?
Feel free to check out my website at www.bermcannon.com. I have a breakdown of all the services that I offer.
Thanks for your time, Mark. You have really strategized with your company.
Some of Mark’s work:
CHECK OUT THE NEW MATRIX CONCEPTS M-64 COMPOSITE STAND
Developed and tested throughout the 2013 Supercross season by Factory Kawasaki, JGR, RCH and BTO Sports teams the M-64 Stand is finally available.
Manufactured with new proprietary lightweight composite plastic combined with aircraft grade 6063 rectangle aluminum struts the M64 Stand maybe the lightest and strongest stand on the market today.
Injection molded from high strength lightweight polycarbonate composite plastic
Large graphic side panels that can be customized with your name & number.
Extra wide feet with 4 way anti rocking feature make this design very stable.
Wide oil drain opening with removable replaceable top pad.
Bolted together with stainless steel fasteners.
Fits optional M21 Stacking Tray with magnetic strip (shown).
JGR Team Manger Jeremy Albrecht stated: “This stand is light and strong. It successfully addresses all the issues with other race stands today. Our mechanics really love this stand”.
About Matrix Concepts:
Matrix Concepts is based in Valencia, California founded in 2009 and is used by the top MX/Off-road race teams in the world and offers a complete range of track/garage necessities that include personalized off road motorcycle Stands, Loading Ramps, Tie Downs, Tool Boxes, Utility Cans, Worx Mats and 1.7 Cleaning Solutions. For more information on Matrix Concepts products visit: www.MatrixRacingProducts.com
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
Being a new father, I understand the value of good diapers and free clothes. I’m still waiting for Huggies to send me a case of Little Snugglers?FYI my son has jumped up to size 1, but I’ll take anything I can get. As for free clothes, I can’t thank Mike Koger at Smooth Industries, Ron and Janeen Joynt at DeCal Works, and John and Kristin Anderson at Dubya enough for hooking my boy up with swag. Check out this cool onesie from Dubya that just came in the mail. And, yes, I’ll give a shameless plug every once in a while if it’s for my son, Brayden Basher.
N-FAB/TILUBE/YAMAHA 2013 MOTOCROSS LINE-UP
With the 2013 AMA Motocross race season just days away, the N-Fab/TiLUBE/Yamaha team today announced the talented group of riders who will be contesting the entire 12-race series this summer. Headlining the four-rider team will 450 class racers Phillip Nicoletti, Chris Blose and Bobby Kiniry. Complimenting this trio will be six-time WMX national champion Jessica Patterson. Final preparations are being done and the team is looking forward to getting things off on the right foot this Saturday, May 18 at the Red Bull Hangtown Motocross Classic in Sacramento, Calif.
Phil Nicoletti (Bethel, New York), Chris Blose (Phoenix) and Bobby Kiniry (Holland Patent, New York) will pilot the revolutionary Yamaha YZ450F across the American countryside as they look to make their mark on the 2013 season. Jessica Patterson (Tallahassee, Florida) will pilot the Yamaha YZ250F in the WMX class looking to add a seventh title to her resume.
Team Manager Allan Brown is certainly excited about contesting the complete motocross series with such a talented team, “We are hoping for good things out of the 23 year old Phil Nicoletti who showed tremendous potential in 2012, capping off the motocross season with a string of top 10 finishes in the 450 class,” said Brown. “I have worked with Chris Blose in Supercross for several years now and this will be his return to Motocross. He is hungry and wants to show everyone he is not just a Supercross rider. Bobby Kiniry is the veteran of the team and we hope he will be able to show what heart and determination are all about. As for Jessica Patterson, we have already won three national titles together and are certainly looking to add another!”
Brown went on to say team will also be offering limited support to Gareth Swanepoel (South Africa) on a race-by-race basis. “As a former outdoor moto winner we are happy he (Swanepoel) is running our graphics on his own program,” said Brown. “By racing and being prepared, should an opportunity arise, he could quickly and easily step into that role. We’re looking forward to a successful season not only for Nicoletti, Blose, Kiniry and Patterson, but also for Swanepoel.”
N-Fab, producers of industry-leading off-road accessories, is also looking forward to a successful 2013 campaign, “We are very excited to be continuing our partnership with TiLUBE and Yamaha Racing for the 2013 Motocross series,” commented Thomas Fichter, N-Fab President and CEO.
Be sure to stop by the team transporter in the Hangtown pits to check out some of the latest products and get autographs from all of the team riders. We’ll see you there!
N-FAB is the industry leader in making quality Nerf-Bars, Pre-Runners and other Off-Road accessories. We design and manufacture the strongest, most durable and best looking Nerf-Bars available in the industry today. At N-FAB we are committed to building a heavy duty, high end, high quality tubular parts for all the latest trucks and SUV’s dating back to the 80’s. N-FAB products are distributed through a vast distribution network in the US nationwide and into Canada as well as other parts of the world. If you need help in locating your desired N-FAB product, or dealer feel free to call us at 1-866-806-NFAB and we will do what it takes to get you the N-FAB product you desire. You also visit us 24/7 at www.n-fab.com.
ROBBY BELL’S WORCS ROUND 5 RACE REPORT
May 12th, 2013
Photos by Harlen Foley
Taft has to be one of the more unpredictable stops on the WORCS tour. The terrain is comprised mostly of hard pack roads, but the twist is that as the surface breaks down, seemingly bottomless silt arises, which conceals any square edges and holes and makes it a veritable guessing game as to what your hitting. Adding any water to the track, obviously a necessity to suppress the dust and prevent the silt, only fuels the unpredictability as it brings the traction level on par with an ice skating rink, making the terms speed and control slightly mutually exclusive. On top of it all, the weather report was calling for triple digit highs so there was no denying it was going to be one tough, physically demanding weekend of racing.
As I lined up for the start of the pro race I had a goal in mind: no matter how my race was going, I wanted to test myself in the heat; I was focused on maintaining my lap times for the entire two hours, basically testing my preparation. In the past I’ve been pretty susceptible to heat exhaustion so this was a perfect opportunity to test my limits. It was a pretty ambitious goal.
Lately I’ve become quite the master of the two-kick start and as the green flag flew, I didn’t disappoint. I was instantly deflated as I wanted to be up front quickly, but as my bike fired to life, I realized the only bikes thundering down the start straight ahead of me were the three (electric start) KTMs of Eric Yorba, Starr Savage and Ty Tremaine, and the Kawasaki of Justin Seeds; apparently everyone else was struggling to get their bikes fired and the fact that I wasn’t going to be mired in the back of the pack filled me with glee.
I wanted to get to the lead in a hurry, set my own pace, and I was able to make a pretty quick pass on Tremaine. Next in my sights was Justin Seeds and we accelerated down a choppy straightaway nearly side-by-side. As we approached the following corner, Justin was stuck in the main line, hitting the biggest bumps, and I was out on the far edge of the track, allowing me to brake later and sweep by just before we reached the turn. Upon exiting the corner I caught the tail end of a pretty exciting crash as Starr fell victim to some freshly laid water. He lost traction, sliding the bike sideways and once his bike caught, he was high-sided into the air and up the following hill while his bike actually low-sided to a sliding stop, leaving him looking back at a thundering pack of 450s heading straight for him, all struggling for traction just as he had done (I’m pretty sure everyone avoided him). His crash definitely exemplified how unpredictable the track conditions can be and it also gifted me second position, leaving just Eric Yorba ahead of me.
Eric was riding really well. We were both feeling out the track conditions slightly, but I wasn’t able to make too much time on him during the first lap. It wasn’t until the second lap that I made a pretty good push and got right up behind him, just in time to get a front row seat to Eric’s wild ride?
As we crested the top of a fifth gear hill, the course turned right, then lazily left and there was a small oil pipe just protruding from the ground on the inside of the left-handed corner. Eric trimmed the corner a little tight, clipped the pipe just wrong and tucked his front end, which sent his back end violently swapping out to the side. The speed of the swap whipped both of his legs high into the air and I thought he was done for, but somehow he managed to muscle the bike straight and get his legs back in their proper places. I think the fact that his entire race flashed before his eyes, along with almost crashing on an asphalt road, lead him to sit up and give me free passage into the lead and I still can’t believe he saved that swap; it was incredibly violent.
From here I went about pushing the pace and testing my limits, but as I came into the Endurocross section on the second lap, the only limits I was about to test were the limits of tire traction on a wet log. As I rounded a corner and headed towards a small log double (nothing incredibly difficult) I remember thinking that there was a lot of fresh water on the ground, which I knew would make doubling the logs a little tougher, but I was committed. I took to the air and as I approached the second log, I clipped it just slightly with the front tire. I landed in the dirt, front wheel first with my back end teetering on the brink of falling forward. It seemed like it took ages for my bike to decide whether or not to send me over the bars and I remember arguing with myself over the idea that I could save it. Finally my bike came to the decision that there was just enough momentum to tip me forward and I was forced to step through the bars as my bike came to a perfect stop, upside-down, resting on its seat and handlebars. Luckily, it never stalled and I was able to remount and take off without losing the lead.
It took a couple laps to beat the clutch perch back into a comfortable position, but once I did, the rest of the race was smooth sailing. I had pulled a decent lead and was focusing on achieving my goal of keeping my laps consistent, not dropping off the pace, which worked out well for the majority of the race. It wasn’t until the final couple of laps that my times began to drop, and even then it was more due to my hands getting hot spots than my body fatiguing. All in all, I was quite satisfied with how I held up in the heat as I crossed the finish line and took my third win of the series.
It was another great weekend for me, and my team: Precision Concepts, Alamo Alarms Racing. The team made some adjustments after practice to help with the square-edged chop and it made a big difference on race day as my bike handled the challenging conditions very well. The WORCS crew did a stellar job with the facility; especially considering the conditions weren’t ideal for keeping water on the course. Thanks to my personal sponsors: Fox Racing, Alamo Alarms, PODmx knee braces, USWE hydration systems (the hands-free device made such a huge difference on a blisteringly hot weekend), THR Motorsports, Northland Motorsports and Ryan Abbatoye Designs. Congratulations to Ryan Abbatoye for earning his first ever WORCS podium (not bad for sitting at a desk all day). Thanks to my family and friends, my fianc for everything she does, my mechanic Phil, and Ty and John back at Precision for working their butts off in preparation for the Baja 500.
Speaking of the Baja 500: it’s always such a fun race and I can’t wait to get down there and start riding. I feel we have a great team. I’m thrilled to again be partnered with David Pearson and Steve Hengeveld, and excited to have Taylor Robert joining us, adding more speed and depth to an already stacked group of talent. After winning last year’s 500, we’re definitely planning on repeating and I’m looking forward to having another close battle with the KTM and Honda boys. See you all down south!
Thank you to all the Precision Concepts, Alamo Alarm Kawasaki team sponsors: FMF Exhaust, GPR Stabilizers, IMS Racing, BRP Triple Clamps, AME Grips, Kalgard Oils/Lubricants, Ryan Abbatoye Designs, AP Brakes, LAPC Pistons, Renthal Handlebars/Sprockets, Dunlop Tires, VP Racing Fuels, DT1 Air Filters, K&N Oil Filters, Hinson, Matrix Concepts, RK/Excel, Acerbis, Works Connection, Zip-Ty Racing, SealSavers, Baja Designs.
Pro class results:
OWN AIR FORKS? CHECK OUT THE WORKS CONNECTION DIGITAL SHOCK PUMP
Works Connection’s Digital Shock Pump makes it simple to accurately set and check the air pressure on air fork equipped bikes. The versatile 9 inch, foldable, 360§ rotating hose and swivel head work with all bars including 1 1/8″ oversize bars. Large LCD screen displays the 0-300 PSI operating range and the micro-adjust air bleed button allows you to fine tune your forks to the precise setting. Auto start/shut-off features and replaceable battery for user friendly experience.
ú 0.5psi increments below 100psi, 1.0psi over 100psi
ú Micro-adjust air bleed button
ú 0-300 PSI/ 0-20.69 BAR operating range
ú Large LCD screen
ú PSI | BAR | KG/CM? pressure scales
ú 360§ rotating hose with swivel head
ú Fits all Schrader valve equipped forks and shocks (including mountain bikes)
ú Auto start and shut-off
ú Replaceable battery (CR2032)
ú 6063 aluminum pump barrel
Company Name Works Connection
Product Name Digital Shock Pump
Part Number 26-350
Phone number 888-224-8718