MOTOCROSS ACTION’S WEEKEND NEWS ROUND-UP: THE CARLTON DRY CURSE, ALL ABOUT MEDIA IMPRE$$IONS & MUSICAL CHAIRS IN EUROPE
FINNISH GRAND PRIX HIGHLIGHT VIDEO: SEE HOPALONG PAULIN
NOT SO MUSICAL CHAIRS IN EURO-LAND
Christophe Charlier has extended his existing contract with the Yamaha Grand Prix team. The soon-to-be 22-year-old Corsican is one of just two riders to beat Jeffrey Herlings in a moto during the first 10 rounds of the 2013 campaign to-date.
Ken DeDycker also signed a two-year extension of his KTM contract to continue on as Tony Cairoli’s teammate.
Tommy Searle is the highest-profile 450 rider who could switch to a new team…or he could stay where he’s at with CLS Kawasaki. Apart from staying put, Tommy’s options are Yamaha, Suzuki and Husqvarna (since Honda and KTM have riders already signed for 2014).
Clement Desalle’s Suzuki contract is up at the end of the year and apart from a swap with Searle, most insiders expect him to stay put.
THE WHEELIES KINGS OF SOUTHEAST ASIA
YOU SEE THE STRANGEST THING WHEN RUSHING TO CATCH YOUR PLANE
SOMETHING STRANGE AFOOT IN THE FRONT OFFICES: AMA VERSUS GP
If this was 30 years ago, there would be very few European fans would would know who Millsaps, Short, Stewart or Dungey were. With the AMA Nationals and Supercross series on Euro TV?they are stars.
Something strange is afoot in the marketing and PR departments of the Big Four Japanese brands. As they have been going about their regular chore of conducting daily, monthly and yearly media surveys on brand impressions, race coverage and media exposure, they noticed a major shift in race coverage between American and European web and magazine outlets.
What did they notice? That the European press covers American race teams, American-based riders, American races, AMA Supercross and AMA Nationals, but that the American media only gives the occasional nod to Grand Prix motocross coverage.
Heikki is European, but Villopoto, American Dreaming and FMF are American…in a Euro web site.
Every major company, be it a motorcycle manufacturer or a clothing company tries to track impressions to determine where the focus of their promotional efforts should be. And, the shift to more American coverage in the European press, be it interviews, GoPro videos or race coverage, has opened a dialogue about where to focus their attention?which to them means money.
ONCE UPON A TIME
This is “the man” worldwide. Ryan does exactly what Tony Cairoli does, but he’s the man.Photo: Monster Energy
There was a time when the American media was evenly split between the AMA races and GPs, but that was decades ago (pre-1981). On the other hand, the European press in the 1970s, 80s and 90s didn’t cover anything about American racing or racers save for the yearly MXDN explosion. Now, every web site and magazine in Europe covers the USA scene. Many have full-time reporters or contract for Supercross and National stories. On the other hand, European coverage in the American media has dribble to almost nothing.
The Stewarts, Red Bud and Maria Forsberg on a Dutch site.
This has nothing to do with the American media being nationalistic, xenophobic or ethnocentric?all media is built around the interests of the readership in their home nation. Thus the American media favors their riders, series, bikes and culture.
What this is about is that the European media are slowly but surely becoming more American. Every Ryan Dungey, Ryan Villopoto, Southwick, Red Bud, Washougal, James Stewart, Anaheim Stadium, Monster Million or even Ken Roczen story in a European website or magazine gets chalked up to the USA side of the ledger in the corporate offices.
Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin could have been, in Stefan Everts words, “Big fish in a little pond,” but they chose the big pond.Photo: KTM
The sudden turnaround in coverage has led to discussions at several of the Big Four about where to spend their money. Based on the mediocre sales figures, the American market still remains the Golden Goose of dirt bike sales, while the European market pales by comparison. The gist of the board room discussions is that perhaps the factories should focus their efforts on the U.S. market and get the European market as a free bonus. Unsaid is the fact that focusing on Europe wouldn’t do anything for American sales.
WHAT ABOUT THE KTM MODEL OF WORLDWIDE DOMINANCE
There are immensely talented riders in both series, but the conversation is about media impression not skill levels. Photo: Ray Archer
Even the Japanese brands recognize that KTM won a lot of World Championships without ever making a dent in the American motocross market, but once they switched their attention to their AMA race team their sales improved. To the Japanese it is obvious that Tony Cairoli can win all the Championships he wants, but U.S. race-driven sales are based on Dungey, Roczen and Musquin ? not Herlings or Cairoli. Of course, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki already know about KTM’s success based on their American offroad racing efforts in enduro, cross-country and GNCC.
Clement Desalle (925) came to America to race a couple AMA Nationals. When they handed him his purse money he said, “What’s this?”
This doesn’t mean that the Japanese brands will pull out of the Grand Prix motocross series, even if the Rockstar Suzuki team insinuated just that leading into the 2013 season. It is possible that a European team, like Rockstar Suzuki, could race exclusively in America and get the best of both worlds when it comes to media coverage. It does lead one to believe that if money got tight again and budgets had to be cut, that the USA race efforts could be seen as a worldwide winner, while the GPs would be “viewed” as a regional market force only. Viewed, not just by a bean counter at a factory, but by the European media themselves.
MEDICAL REPORT: DOCTOR D IS BACK AT WORK AFTER HIS MAMMOTH CRASH
Believe it or not, Doug “DR. D” Dubach is back at work in his DR.D race shop. As many of you may have heard, Doug took a hard crash racing Mammoth Motocross on Sunday, June 23. The final diagnosis on his injuries were 14 broken ribs, punctured lung, flailed chest, broken collarbone (compound) and a concussion. Doug spent a week in a hospital near Mammoth before being returned home. Since he has been released from the hospital, Doug has been making big improvements in his recovery.
Doug is already talking about making his return at the MTA World Vet Championships in November. The former Yamaha factory rider, AMA Supercross winner and 20-time World Vet Champion recently celebrated his 50th birthday (while in the hospital), and is looking towards adding the Over-50 title to his Over- 30 and Over-40 titles.
ASK THE MXPERTS: WHAT IS THAT STICKER?
I’ve seen the sticker on the front of MXA’s test bikes for the last few years, but I can’t make it out. What does it say?
We started running the “MXA Air Force” sticker on our bikes back in 2011 as a tribute to the 70th anniversary of the 8th Air Force (and to honor the relatives of MXA test riders who served in WWII). Flying B-17s and B-24s, the Mighty 8th would suffer the highest casualty rate of any American unit during the Second World War. After the 2012 Anniversary, we decided to keep running the commemorative sticker.
MOTO-PHOTOGS DAN ALAMANGOS & MARK CHILSON HAVE A SHOOTOUT AT GLEN HELEN ON THURSDAY
It was no surprise that AMA 250 National points leader Ken Roczen (94) and KTM teammate Marvin Musquin were at Glen Helen practicing on Thursday. What was a surprise was that Roczen was not riding a 250SXF. Photo: Alamangos
Cole Seely hits a gusher. Photo: Chilson
The 2014 YZ450F were out in force: Ben Lamay and Jonathan Belding in the foreground, with Ron Lawson, Steve Butler, Daryl Ecklund and Jody Weisel in the background. Photo: Alamangos
Finnish rider Eeli Takatalo is still confused by the time zone change. Photo: Chilson
Jessy Nelson is getting ready to make his 2013 AMA 250 National debut after missing the first 7 races with an injury. Photo: Alamangos
The day before it was 95 degrees, but on Thursday it drizzled and was 85. Marvin Musquin liked the cloudy day. Photo: Chilson
Martin Davalos. Photo: Chilson
Ken Roczen rode hard and he rode fast…even if it was just practice. Photo: Alamangos
MXA PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: MARTY SMITH: AMERICAN MOTOCROSS LEGEND DVD
Marty Smith is the man who popularized motocross in America in the 1970s. The three-time AMA motocross champion has documented his amazing career as a rider in his own DVD.The film includes never before seen race footage from some of the most intense races of the 1970’s. See exclusive interviews with Dave Arnold, Tommy Croft and Bob Hannah. The film also features a once in a lifetime interview between Smith and Hannah ? the only time the two have ever been on camera together. Get ready to experience motocross like you have never seen before! $29.95 (plus S&H) at www.martysmithmotocross.com/dvd.php
OUR FAVORITE RUSSIAN GOES TO HYVINKAA, FINLAND
WITH NO AMA NATIONAL THIS WEEK, WHAT’S HAPPENINGIN THE REST OF THE WORLD
The Aussie series starts back up again this weekend.
2013 AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
July 14…Appin, NSW
2013 250/450 WORLD MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
2013 ALL-JAPAN MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
2013 WORLD OFFROAD CHAMPIONSHIP (WORCS) SERIES
July 12-14…Pala, CA
2013 CMRC CANADIAN NATIONAL MOTOCROSS SERIES
July 14…Gopher Dunes
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS GARETH SWANEPOEL? AND WHY HE WON’T BE STAYING THERE
Gareth Swanepoel in his new Carlton Dry Honda colors.
Much traveled Gareth Swanepoel contest the Appin round of the Australian Nationals Motocross Championships for the Carlton Dry Honda Racing. Swanepoel was the German Motocross Championship twice and finished runner-up in the British MX1 Championship in 2009 and 2010. He has spent the last three years racing in the USA, but was last seen racing at REM. Swanepoel got a fill-in ride to replace the Carlton Dry teams injured riders?guess what? Swanepoel reportedly crashed in Appin and broke his wrist. Next!
Josh Cachia out for rest of season. Photo: Jeff Crow/Sport the Library
Sadly, Carlton Dry Honda lost Josh Cachia at Appin and for the rest of the season when he suffered numbness in his hand from an old wrist injury. He will undergo surgery this week and will miss the rest of the Nationals.
IN OTHER AUSTRALIAN NEWS: LUKE CLOUT OUT
Serco Yamaha’s Luke Clout, who was running second in the 250 Australian National Championships, broke his femur in a practice crash this week and will miss the rest of the season.
BIRTHDAYS OF THE WEEK: FEETS TURNS 82
July 12…David Philippaerts 1983
July 13…Destry Abbott 1972
July 14…Robbie Maddison 1981
July 15…Jimmy Mac McIlvain 1959
July 15…Steven Frossard 1987
July 16…Josh Summey 1983
July 17…Chuck “Feets” Minert 1931
July 17…Carey Hart 1975
July 18…Gene Ritchie
July 17…Nico Izzi 1990
WANT TO GO ON THE KTM ADVENTURE RIDER RALLY IN STEAMBOAT SPRINGS?
Plus, you’ll get to try out the new 1190 Adventure and 1190 Adventure R before they hit the showroom floors. Visit www.ktmorangeevents.com to find out more.
MEMORIES OF THE WAY WE WERE
Steve Simons deserves all the credit in the world for his suspension inventions and can easily be credited with the advancement of upside-down forks and cartridge rods. In the early 1980s Steve decided to sell his UDX-60 forks to the public. They were used by Brad Lackey on his 500 World Championship winning Suzuki. The Simons forks had 50mm fork legs and weighed three pounds less than conventional forks of the day.
ASK THE MXPERTS: HE’S YOUNG AT HEART
How old is Roger DeCoster? I heard that he renewed his KTM contract for another three years. Is he be the only team manager eligible for Social Security?
Roger DeCoster was born on August 28, 1944. He has been eligible for Social Security for the last three years and, yes, he is the oldest team manager in America.