MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT: TOMMY HAHN, GARY JONES, CODY WEBB, SEAN COLLIER, TROY LEE & JANTZ GRODZICKI
By John Basher
REST IN PEACE, JANTZ GRODZICKI
I never met Christopher “Jantz” Grodzicki. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that Grodzicki was cut from the motocross cloth, just like all of us, and he followed his passion.
Motocross is dangerous, but so is everything else in this world. Jantz did what he loved, and from what I understand he was a very good racer. I remember seeing him circle the animal of a Monster Energy Cup track in Las Vegas a month ago. I was in awe of his talent. How many of you would jump the massive triples and brave the technical rhythm sections like Grodzicki did? Certainly not me. Jantz, like everyone else in his class, was fearless. It’s a sad week in motocross. Christopher “Jantz” Grodzicki was 16 years old. Prayers go out to his family.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Posting a photo of Jeremy McGrath as the “Photo of the Week” is an easy choice. MC has style for days. Here’s a pic of him from this past weekend’s Day In The Dirt.
DAY IN THE DIRT OUT-TAKES
Glen Helen was the sight of this year’s Day In The Dirt (DITD). There was a huge turnout, and aside from someone stealing a Red Bull canopy, the event went off without a hitch. If you know of the Red Bull canopy’s whereabouts, please contact Troy Lee Designs.
Four-time 250 National Champion Gary Jones (left) and industry magnate Troy Lee (left) raced against one another, but as you can see, their friendship runs deep.
Lars Lindstrom, Chad Reed’s wrench, came out to race DITD. He had speed in the Pro class, but his arms were toast after a few laps. He was on a tricked-out CRF450.
Dennis Stapleton channels his MXA photo riding skills and lays waste to a fluffy Glen Helen berm.
Is that a 1997 Kawasaki KX500 two-stroke? It can’t possibly be! Why yes, it is. That’s Sean Collier doing work on a beast of a bike. He was hauling the mail all weekend. An interesting tidbit, his father slapped a Yamaha WR front brake on the KX500 to improve braking power. Apparently it fits without any modifications. Very cool.
The DITD course wasn’t motocross-only. Jake Lyon blasts through one of the offroad sections.
Braden O’Neal grabs another gear as he powers towards Talladega. Braden is the grandson of legend Jim O’Neal (yes, that O’Neal).
DITD uses an interesting starting rule. Riders must touch their left hand to their helmet. The starter waves a green flag and then riders race to shift their bike into gear and take off. It was a live engine start.
The father of Day In The Dirt, Troy Lee.
One of the most popular events was the Moto A Go-Go team race. Two-person teams split laps and had to exchange an arm band (or, in some cases, swap riders on the same bike). It was hectic and very exciting to watch.
Dennis Stapleton (184) shoots for the inside off the start. Riders had to participate in at least one regular race if they wanted to compete in the Coup De Grace 1-1/2 race at the end of the weekend. This is a shot of the Pro start on Sunday morning before the Coup De Grace.
Yes, there were a few road sections on the course. DITD has it all.
Getting rad on a two-stroke.
Gary Jones won the 60 Expert class a few weeks ago at the World Vet Championship on Justin Barcia’s factory Honda CRF450. He wasn’t as fortunate to have works equipment at DITD. Instead he raced an enduro bike.
Travis Preston was one of the many retired Pro riders who competed.
IT’S COMING…MXA‘S NEW YEAR VIDEO
Look for the teaser video to be released on our website this next week… Haven’t seen the 2012 New Year video from MXA? Watched it, but want to see it again? Here you go!
MINI-VIEW: CODY WEBB
Cody Webb (left) and Kyle Redmond share a laugh after the Las Vegas EnduroCross finale.
Interview and photo by Daryl Ecklund
MXA: With both the Trials and Endurocross series on your plate, how do you manage being a championship contender in both series?
Cody: It’s very difficult going back and forth between the two series. Both bikes have completely different chassis and require two different riding styles. Luckily, my technical skills from riding trials my whole life transfers over to the dirt bike. I just have to spend as much time on each bike to feel comfortable before the events, whether it’s trials or EnduroCross.
What is the hardest part of switching from your trials bike back to the EnduroCross bike?
The hardest part is getting my aggression back and feeling comfortable on the bike. Each time I go back and forth the bike feels awkward and strange. I just have to spend a few minutes each time to try and get my groove back.
There are a lot of Beta skeptics, but it looks like your team has got that bike dialed. You’re beating other factory teams. What has been the secret?
We have spent a lot of time shaving weight from the bike and upgrading the suspension components. My bike is only a two-speed with some motor modifications and the suspension was set up by Stillwell Performance. With a bike set-up strictly for EnduroCross and the amount of hard work I’ve put in to raise myself to the next level, it’s allowed us to be up front battling with the factory teams.
Now that the EnduroCross series is over, do you have plans for the 2013 season? If so, what are they?
I signed another two years with Beta virtually doing the same program I have going on right now. I will continue to compete in both the trials and EnduroCross series, along with select extreme events. I also want to dive in and attempt to race a few National Enduro races. It’s just difficult because most of them are on the east coast.
You have battled with and passed the defending champion Taddy Blazusiak more than a few times this year. What is it going to take to beat him in the championship next year?
It’s going to take consistent results each race. I had a lot of really good rides this year, but big mistakes in three of the races took me out of a podium position to basically last place. I need to continue building my aggression, speed, and endurance. I feel like the talent is there. I just need to put in that hard work in the offseason to harvest it.
What has helped you the most develop your skills on a dirt bike?
This year I rode a lot with motocross riders at the local tracks. Riding with them really helped with my intensity, fitness, and comfort at high speeds. I was fortunate enough to build my own EnduroCross track to ride whenever I please, so that helped a lot as well.
It seems like you always have a great support crew at the races. Who has been helping you get on the podium this year?
I’ve had a lot of help from everyone through this process of moving up. My family has done so much for me to help achieve my goals, and without them it would be virtually impossible. I also really want to thank the guys at American Beta and Stillwell Performance for getting me a bike capable to be consistently up on the podium. I also want to thank all my sponsors for giving me the best products out there.
A RACE IS COMING! A RACE IS COMING!
Drew Gosselaar is putting on a race at Racetown 395 on Sunday, December 9th. There’s even a team event! There will also be a riding school taught the day before the race (for $125 and taught by Drew). Come race and show your support for Drew’s new endeavor of promoting races.
COOPER WEBB CLEANS HOUSE AT MINI O’S
[Press Release] For the 41st time, Gatorback Cycle Park in Gainesville, Fla. was host to the annual Winter Olympics of Motocross during the week of Thanksgiving. Star Racing/Yamaha/Rockstar Energy’s Cooper Webb contested the 250 A and 250 Pro Sport classes in both supercross and motocross, sweeping all four titles. He also raced the 450 A and 450 Pro Sport classes on his Yamaha YZ250F winning two championships in the 450 A classes and finishing on the podium in the 450 Pro Sport classes against more powerful machines.
“I had a good week, it’s tough competition in the A class and it feels good to have been a contender in each of the classes I raced,” said the 17-year old Webb. “I work really hard, and the goal is to win. I want to thank Bobby Regan (Star Racing/Yamaha/Rockstar Energy Team owner) and the entire team for building me an awesome 250, Yamaha, Rockstar Energy, my coach Gary Bailey, my mechanic, my trainer, and all of the sponsors who help our team get to the races,” added Webb. Webb will make his professional debut at the start of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship May 18, at the Hangtown Motocross Classic in Sacramento, Calif. Follow Cooper Webb on Facebook at facebook.com/cooperwebb175.YMCB, and on Twitter @minicoop175.
WATCH GUYS GO WAY TOO FAST THROUGH THE WOODS
TOMMY HAHN MX SCHOOL
Learn from this guy!
Want to get faster? Do you live in the Kansas area? Then you have no reason to miss a riding clinic put on by Tommy Hahn on Sunday, December 2nd. The school will be held at Bar to Bar motocross track in Maize, Kansas. Anyone interested can email Tommy at [email protected]. Help a good guy out.
ATTENTION VINTAGE FANS: 2013 AMA VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE DAYS ARE JULY 19-21
[Press Release] The American Motorcyclist Association is pleased to announce the 2013 dates for the country’s premier annual celebration of vintage motorcycling. AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days will take place on July 19-21 at the world-class Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. “AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is a yearly must-do for motorcyclists from the Midwest and beyond, so we wanted to get the 2013 date out with plenty of time for riders to make plans,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is unique in the world of motorcycling in that all makes and models of vintage bikes — and all riders — are celebrated in a three-day event that brings out the best of motorcycling. I hope to see you there.”
Added Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course President Craig Rust: “This event has such a rich history, and over the years it has become a fan favorite. No other event on our schedule transforms the facility or uses the grounds like AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. It truly is a unique event!” A fundraiser for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days features classic motorcycles of all makes and styles, and honors the riders who made them famous. Activities include the AMA Racing Vintage Grand Championships, which feature roadracing, motocross, hare scrambles, trials and dirt-track; North America’s largest motorcycle swap meet; bike shows and awards; stunt shows; demo rides of current production bikes; and seminars on a number of topics by noted motorcycling experts.
Tickets go on sale to the general public Dec. 3, and will be available from www.midohio.com. Advance ticket prices are $45 for a weekend pass, and $25 for a single-day pass. The event is family-friendly, and children 12 and under get in free with paying, supervising adults. AMA members who buy tickets directly from the AMA before May 28 receive an exclusive price discount. AMA members can call (800) AMA-JOIN to purchase a weekend pass for $35, a $10 savings off the regular advance rate, and a one-day pass for $20, a $5 savings off the regular advance rate. Additionally, there is no service charge for AMA members when purchasing through the AMA.
All proceeds from AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days benefit the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. The goal of the Hall of Fame, located on the AMA campus in Pickerington, Ohio, is to tell the stories and preserve the history of motorcycling’s legends and heroes. For more information, call (614) 856-2222, or visit the Hall of Fame’s website at www.motorcyclemuseum.org.
FREE LUNCH! ALL YOU GOTTA DO IS GO TO HAWAII
[Press Release] In celebration of the Triple Crown of Surfing, Alpinestars will be heading up numerous activities on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. In support of our surfers, keep your eyes out for the Alpinestars brand ambassador team who will be combing the beaches of Sunset and Pipe handing out freebies to the masses. Keeping true to our motorsports heritage, Alpinestars will be taking over Kahuku MX Park for race day on Sunday, December 2. There, we will be raffling off autographed gear, running a design-your-own-boot contest, and giving away lunch catered by Wahoo’s to all who attend. Lastly, be sure to stop by both Wahoo’s locations on Oahu to enter to win a surfboard autographed by Astars Hawaiian surfer, Gavin Gillette, who is also competing in the Triple Crown of Surfing this month.
For more information visit: