PRO TAPER PRESENTS MXA’S MID-WEEK REPORT #28 BY JOHN BASHER
Rider: Dennis Stapleton
Location: Perris Raceway
Bike: 2007 Honda CRF250
Date: August 22, 2006
Photographer: John Basher
Camera: Canon 30D
Lens: 70-200mm f/2.8
Focal length: 200mm
Exposure: 1/200 sec.
MXA VIDEO: 1995 HONDA CR125
“THE BEAST FROM THE EAST” IS BACK!
Do you remember Damon Bradshaw, the brash-talking and talented racer from North Carolina who captivated motocross audiences around the world with his skills? Bradshaw helped reinvigorate the sport in the early 1990s before burning out and walking away, only to come back and win again. These days, Damon is busy driving Monster Trucks and fulfilling his adrenaline quota in other ways. He occasionally rides motocross, and he still rips.
Recently, Damon united with his brother, Zach, at their old family farm with two objectives–ride and get into mischief as only the Bradshaw brothers know how to do. Rob Mitchell Films documented their every move, following the duo to places like ClubMX, the backwoods of North Carolina, as well as the Full Gas Sprint Enduro. Paul Sachak, owner of Armored Graphix, was instrumental in getting the “Bradshaw Brothers” film project off the ground. There’s currently no release date set, but Sachak did send these behind-the-scenes photos over that he took to whet your appetite. Once that video does go live it will be featured front and center in the Mid-Week Report.
VIDEO: THE BEAST RACES FULL GAS SPRINT ENDURO
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: AUSTIN FORKNER
“In the Pro’s its like everyone can get good starts, while in the amateur’s it’s only a couple of guys that consistently get good starts. In the Pro series everyone has a good bike, while in amateur racing it was just a small group of riders that had great bikes. I guess that it’s really just that everything in the Pros is much harder. Also, you have to be much more precise. You can make one minor mistake and lose ten positions!”
Click here to read the interview.
TWO-STROKE SPOTLIGHT: ERLAND JORDET’S 1991 MUGEN HONDA REPLICA
This week I’m featuring Erland Jordet’s 1991 replica Mugen Honda. People still go crazy for the Mugen brand, even though it disappeared long ago. Jordet, a native of Norway, has poured quite a bit of money into this pristine replica. Take a look at the gold rims, sharpened footpegs, Mugen crossbar pad cover and polished cylinder head. Now for the details, straight from Erland Jordet’s mouth:
“I am actually building two replica Mugen bikes–one 1989 model and one 1991 model. Both are equipped with Mugen cylinders and heads. My goal is to make as close to ‘replica’ as possible. The 1991 Mugen Honda has the following features:
* 1991 Mugen kit
* WP 4054 upside-down forks
* Ohlins rear shock
* Stock hubs with gold Excel rims. The were remade by Haan Wheels in Holland. They took them apart and powder coated the hubs and added new spokes.
* Cone pipe
* Bormi coke bottle swingarm
Let me know if this bike is interesting. I still have to do a few more things to finish the bike build, but it’s pretty close.”
Yes, Erland, it’s interesting! Nice work. If you would like your bike to be featured in the “Two-Stroke Spotlight,” please email me at [email protected] All I ask is that you give a breakdown of your bike and a detailed description. Please also send a few photos of your steed. By submitting your bike for the “Two-Stroke Spotlight,” you agree to release all ownership rights to the images and copy to MXA. Please don’t email me spam or try selling me beachfront property in Arizona. Submit your smoker!
COVERED: JUSTIN BARCIA GOES BIG
MXA focuses on bikes and products, which is why beauty photos of bikes are usually front and center on our covers. And, despite what race fans think, static bike photos move the needle. Sales numbers don’t lie, people. However, every so often we feature a racer on the cover of MXA. For some reason, Justin Barcia has netted more cover shots than most. Maybe it’s because of his flashy riding style or merely dumb luck, but “Bam Bam” makes for good cover material.
I took this photo of Barcia launching the “Bomber Triple,” named after Mark Barnett (who built the triple step-up jump), at Muddy Creek in 2013. It was the inaugural running of the Muddy Creek National. Barcia, then with Muscle Milk factory Honda, was one point away from winning the overall. His 2-2 overall finishes were bested by Ryan Dungey’s 3-1 scores.
MATRIX CONCEPTS ACQUIRES TAG METALS & SUNLINE
Valencia, CA–Matrix Concepts LLC and USG Ltd have acquired the assets and intellectual property of Tag Metals and Sunline Components.
Matrix Concepts from Valencia, California and Vancouver, Canada will handle both brands for motorcycling and USG Ltd of Swansea, Wales, UK will develop the bicycle lines.
Eddie Cole, CEO of Matrix Concepts states, “We are very excited to acquire both of these iconic brands for the motorcycle market and integrate them into our great family of existing brands. We can’t wait to develop and share our long term strategy and present our vision for the future.”
Martin Lloyd Evans, Managing Director of USG Ltd stated, “The acquisition of TAG and Sunline compliments our existing brand portfolio perfectly, we’re looking forward to helping them achieve their full potential in the off road market.”
“We are happy to have Matrix Concepts and USG Ltd embrace these great brands,” said Leonardo Pais CEO of Bravo Sports Corp., the parent company of ONE Industries. “We are confident that the customer will continue to see innovative products under their leadership.”
Existing Tag and Sunline motorcycle inventory are available for sale now, please contact Rick Smith at: [email protected] or (661) 253-1592 for a price list and details.
WATTS SAUCE: GOING TO THE NTH DEGREE
Chad Watts was a championship mechanic for Ricky Carmichael, spinning wrenches at Pro Circuit Kawasaki and factory Honda from the late 1990s to early 2000s. These days, Chad is owner and operator of Watts Perfections in Shelby, North Carolina. He specializes in engine modifications, but his talents don’t end there. Chad builds bikes and uses craftiness and experience to get the most out of a motorcycle. He’s also talented at turning dull frames into works of art, thanks to his “Watts Sauce.” What is that, exactly? I’ve asked Chad, but he refuses to give up his secret.
Motocross builders will appreciate the hard work that Chad Watts put into this 2005 Honda CR250 two-stroke. Chad spent 8-1/2 hours getting the frame to look like a mirror. If you want to know the cost of having Watts do his signature “Watts Sauce” to your frame, call (704) 538-9990 or email [email protected].
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: ROBERT MARSHALL
I’m guilty of falling into the trap of paying too much attention to the Pro ‘A-Listers,’ because guys like Ryan Dungey, Ken Roczen, Cooper Webb and the like are so incredibly fun to watch. Then I pull my head out of my leathers and realize that I’m not seeing the big picture. Ignoring the privateers is a disservice to every hard working racer with a dream. If not for those guys, the gate would look bleak (exhibit A: overseas MXGP rounds) and there’d be no way for people to root for the underdog.
A Southwick specialist, Robert Marshall is a native of Stow, Massachusetts. Southwick is a 1-1/2 hour drive southwest of Marshall’s front door. The National, more than any others on the circuit, favors local talent. John Dowd, Doug Henry, Jimmy Decotis and others have carved a name in the Southwick sand. The track also creates crazy storylines. Look no further than Matt Goerke’s 450 National win, Ricky Carmichael’s tumble in 2005, Ryan Dungey’s bike troubles in 2011, and a Northeast 125/250 sweep with John Dowd and Doug Henry all those years ago. So it was only natural that Robert Marshall, riding a KTM 250SX two-stroke, would qualify fifth fastest in the 450 class on Saturday. When’s the last time a 250 two-stroke qualified that high up on the board? Maybe 2005 or 2006? I’m not sure. Regardless, Marshall’s feat is a marvel.
Here’s the kicker. The 450 B session went out first on Saturday morning when the track was as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Seizing the opportunity, Robert laid down a stupid fast lap after the five minute free time expired and the AMA started collecting lap times. He put in a 2:04.624. To compare, it was less than two seconds off Justin Barcia’s fast qualifying time, and ahead of Phil Nicoletti, Blake Baggett, Marvin Musquin, Justin Bogle, Weston Peick, Christophe Pourcel and Broc Tickle (all factory riders).
How did Marshall do in the motos? He started 19th in the first moto and just finished out of the points, in 21st. In the second moto, Robert started better (15th) and ended up 17th for 21st overall on the day. He scored four points–not bad for a guy who we probably won’t see until next year’s Southwick National. Stand up and take a bow, Robert Marshall. Great job!
MINI-VIEW: COOPER WEBB
It may have taken some time, but now Cooper Webb seems to be in control of the Lucas Oil 250 National Championship midway through the summer. The North Carolina rider has three overall wins and a 37-point lead. With two 250 Supercross titles to his credit and a move up to the 450 class next year, Webb is very anxious to wrap up his 250 career with an outdoor title that has eluded him thus far. We talked to him after his recent overall win in Southwick.
By Jim Kimball
Cooper, congratulations on the win. How excited are you to hold the red plate?
It’s pretty awesome. This is the first time that I have had the red plate outdoors. I really wanted to win the 250 National Championships last year, but missed the first few rounds with a injury. Coming into this year I really wanted to be in position to win the outdoor title, but then I had another injury. Tight now it’s awesome [to be leading], and I am totally stoked. I put a lot of hard work into this, and I think that outdoors is a lot tougher than Supercross. Now it’s over halfway through the series, and there is still a lot more races to go, but having the red plate is a good place to be.
You took the win at Muddy Creek, and then followed that up with a dominating 1-1 at Red Bud. Now you took another overall at Southwick. What win was most special to you?
All three overall wins were good. I had won a moto before Muddy Creek, but never an overall. It was really nice to get the win there, because it was my hometown race. There were a lot of people that I know at Muddy Creek. Then I went 1-1 at Red Bud, which was especially cool, as I had never done that before. Taking the 1-1 at Red Bud was awesome, as everyone loves racing at Red Bud! The vibe with all the fans at Red Bud is pretty special.
Is your wrist fully healed?
My wrist is better. It happened about two weeks before the Las Vegas Supercross finale. It didn’t really happen at the best time, but I have had it checked a few times since. Back then I didn’t really know what was going to happen, or if I was really even going to race the outdoors. I was really patient with the doctors and listened to what they had to say. I definitely didn’t want to hurt it worse, to where I couldn’t be ready for next year. That was what really mattered. I rode smart, listened to the doctors, and didn’t ride that much. I knew that it was going to be a process, but as I said already, I just let it heal. I knew that it was going to be a work in progress, and not easy by any means. I hoped for the best. Now it’s finally better.
Racing at the Las Vegas Supercross must have been pretty stressful!
Oh, for sure. It was very stressful. Just two weeks prior I had broken my wrist. I was in one of those moments when you ask yourself, “Is this real?” At the same time, I felt that no matter how bad it hurt I was going to give it a try. I really didn’t ride at all before the Vegas finale. I just rode a little on press day. It really hurt badly, but I knew that once the adrenalin hit that it was going to be fine. The most stressful thing that weekend was the rain. I knew that in most circumstances I could finish top ten, but once the rain came I didn’t know what would happen. You never really know with rain and Supercross! The most stressful part for me was making it out of the heat race. My heat race went okay. Even the start of the main event was good, until I crashed in the second turn and was pretty much dead last. With my wrist injury it was pretty difficult with all the ruts. Fortunately, I had some good communication on the pit board from my mechanic, so I knew where I was.
It’s fair to say that the Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha team is the strongest 250 program right now.
This is an awesome team. Before I joined a few years ago the team wasn’t as successful. So, it has been very cool to see the growth of the team, and seen firsthand the great work that they have done. It’s not only with me; it is with all my teammates. As a team, we have won the past two Supercross Championships with myself, and the past two outdoor 250 titles with Jeremy [Martin]. We also have a great group of secondary riders. We knew that coming into the 2016 outdoor season there would be two or three of us battling for the title. It’s great to know that you have the right equipment to be at the top.
Where do you put winning the 250 National title on your list of goals?
It’s at the top. Winning this champion is very important. I have won two Supercross Championships, but no outdoor titles. I truly feel that I am good indoors and out, and want to show that I can win an outdoor title.
Are you the man to beat for the 250 National title?
I think so. I am at my best now that my wrist is healed up and I am in riding fitness. As I said, coming into the outdoor series I knew that I would have some work to do, although I knew that I was capable of winning. One of the big reasons that I am winning is due to being back on the east coast. In the past I have always stayed in California, but this summer I have been back home in North Carolina.
THEY SAID IT: KEN ROCZEN
“I felt like I struggled, pretty bad. No excuses. I struggled in the first moto so we went back and made some changes and it was better for the second one. It wasn’t ideal. I kind of felt uncomfortable out there all day. Just tried to minimize the mistakes and do the best I can even though it wasn’t ideal. In the second moto we had a good battle going on. We were kind of yo-yoing there for a while. He (Tomac) had certain spots where he was faster and I was closing in other spots. We weren’t ever really close enough where I could have maybe gone up the inside and made a pass. It was a tough one out there.”
FASTEST OF THE FAST: AMA NATIONALS
An ongoing list of the top qualifiers and holeshot winners from each round of the 2016 Lucas Oil AMA 250/450 Nationals.
FASTEST QUALIFIERS: 450 CLASS
FASTEST QUALIFIERS: 250 CLASS
HOLESHOT AWARDS: 450 CLASS
Hangtown…Cole Seely / Ryan Dungey
Glen Helen…Trey Canard / Ken Roczen
Lakewood…Ken Roczen / Trey Canard
High Point…Ken Roczen / Justin Barcia
Muddy Creek…Cole Seely / Broc Tickle
Red Bud…Justin Bogle / Justin Bogle
Southwick…Justin Bogle / Justin Bogle
HOLESHOT AWARDS: 250 CLASS
Hangtown…Joey Savatgy / Jessy Nelson
Glen Helen…Tristan Charboneau / Jeremy Martin
Lakewood…Cooper Webb / Adam Cianciarulo
High Point…Jeremy Martin / Adam Cianciarulo
Muddy Creek…Adam Cianciarulo / Shane McElrath
Red Bud…Austin Forkner / Shane McElrath
Southwick…Jeremy Martin / Cooper Webb