PRO TAPER PRESENTS MXA’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY DARYL ECKLUND
FACEBOOK PHOTO OF THE WEEK
We bond with our dirt bikes like a father bonds to a son. When it gets hurt we bandage it up (along with ourselves), when it is new we change the oil and filter and wash it regularly. When it gets old, we fix its leaks and give it a facelift every now and then. So, when we get a new bike, selling the old one is like giving up a child for adoption. If woman looked at old dirt bikes like they did purses they would understand. Check our our Facebook page by clicking HERE.
By Jim Kimball
Beset by many significant injuries since turning Pro back in 2009, Christian Craig retired after the 2013 season. Moving to Minnesota with wife and baby, Christian began working for his father-in-law, who is one of the owners of the Geico Honda Team. Working a normal day job, Craig began questioning if he made the right decision to retire. Originally planning on racing Red Bud on a 450 as a privateer, his plans changed. Christian replaced injured 250 rider Justin Bogle at Thunder Valley. Craig has been phenomenal in his return. We caught up with him after his solid fourth overall at Red Bud.
MXA: Christian, you have been a revelation in your return to racing this summer. Thank you. I’d like to be winning moto’s, though. Starting out in Colorado I had some solid results, and have really been having some of my best finishes ever, especially here at Red Bud. During the week I have really been putting in the work, so I expect to be up near the front. A lot of people didn’t expect me to do this well, and that’s fine, as I have been away from the sport for a while. Now I feel that I am showing my true potential.
You came into the series without much preparation and as a replacement rider, but generally speaking you have been the fastest rider on the team. I really didn’t know where I would fit in when I returned. You have a couple rookies with Jordan Smith and RJ Hampshire, and then Matt Bisgelia who has had a couple years. They are all fast guys, and they have all had good motos since I have been racing under the tent. It may seem like I have been leading the way somewhat, and I do like to help out the rookies with telling them about the tracks they have not been to. I want to see them grow and improve as riders. The scores have been there for me and I’ve been consistent, which helps a lot. I had one bad weekend where I was a little under the weather and things were not clicking for me. However, I’d like to forget about that. I’d say at least every other moto has been solid for me.
Why did you retire after the 2013 season? The retirement came after I was in a cast for eight months and I didn’t have any deals lined up. I didn’t have the support to go out and do it by myself. I didn’t have the money to put anything together. I also didn’t want to just “get by” riding a privateer bike and not doing it the right way. Then I got married, and an opportunity opened up with my father-in-law and I got a full-time job. Then my wife and I bought a house and we had a baby. You know, it was a great opportunity, and I was able to make some money working full-time. It seemed like everything was good, but I missed being on a dirt bike. After all that time off a bike, my body had healed up. I always wanted to ride and constantly thought about racing. I talked to my family, and we talked about making a comeback and seeing how it went. I just didn’t want to have any regrets five or ten years down the road. I do believe that I can be up front, and that I can win races. That’s why I am back.
In the past you seemed to prefer racing on a 450. How is it racing a 250 now? It just seems like in the past that I primarily raced a 450. I am a little bit bigger in size, so I fit the 450 very well. A 450 is what I had been riding leading up to Thunder Valley. My original plan was to race a 450 starting at Red Bud and try to get something lined up for next year. Then Bogle got hurt unfortunately, and I was on a 250 that next weekend. This 250 opportunity opened up and I wanted to take it! I know that the Geico bikes are strong, and I feel like I have no issue with riding a 250. In fact, I feel like I can ride the 250 much more aggressive than the 450.
Congratulations on signing with Geico Honda for next year. Thanks! I know that I have to prove myself. I didn’t want to get signed just because I am the son-in-law of one of the owners. Honestly, I didn’t want to be anywhere else.
It is really starting to kick in that TwoTwo Motorsports is closing its doors. It was great while it lasted with their superstar crew. You could bet it is really hitting home to all the staff that is packing up the boxes at the shop.
Destroy Abbott is one bad dude on a dirt bike with multiple championships under his belt in the offroad world. He is also one of the first riders in years to make the KX500 his bike of choice. After riding Sean Colliers KX500 last month, I have a new found respect for Destroy going 100 plus mph on the beast.
BLONIX GAS CAP INSERT
This Blonix gas cap insert with a big hit on Dennis Stapleton’s YZ250 build. He kept us in the dark about the trick part so he could one up John Basher’s YZ125 build.
They are now being made in mass quantity. Check out the website (www.blonix.com) and give them a call to get yours today.
In order to properly celebrate the birth of this our country and to also make sure our factory teams have the best looking and most progressive bikes on the track at all times, we at N-Style designed two limited edition “AMERICA” kits. These graphic kits are produced 100% in the USA with the highest quality materials available. At Red Bud Blake Baggett piloted his Yoshimura Suzuki with the Red/White/Blue N-Style livery to an 8th overall finish in the 450 class with 6-9 moto scores. Chris Alldredge matched Blake’s 8th overall with 8-10 moto scores in the 250 class. To check out the limited edition kits used by Blake, Chris, and the rest of the Yoshimura and Pro Circuit team riders please visit www.n-style.com for more info and to place your order!
DREAM JOBS: CHRIS JONNUM
DISPATCH POWERSPORTS DIRECTOR
STARTING POINT: “While racing District 37 off-road in high school and junior college, I sent local race reports to Cycle News in exchange for free entries. When I graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cycle News hired me as associate editor, tasked to cover the SX/MX circuit and test dirt bikes. I couldn’t believe they were paying me!”
THE JOB: “Eric Doyne, Dispatch’s founder, hired me to establish and grow a powersports practice, and to manage those accounts, which include American Honda, Dainese, AGV and Michelin. I go to some of the SX and MX races, but Mandie Fonteyn manages that side of the job and follows the entire circuit. My job can be challenging, but it’s never boring! I joke that I’ve had three or four once-in-a-lifetime jobs working for great companies, but an agency, I get to work for several great companies at once!”
MXA’S COSTA RICA DREAM RIDE
This was just one of many amazing views from riding in the mountains in Costa Rica.
I have ridden in a lot of places on God’s green earth in my life. I have ridden everything from ice to snow to asphalt to mud. I have conquered hill climbs, gone on 100-mile trail rides, raced in Anaheim Stadium, but I never have ridden while monkeys were swinging in the trees along side mea. I know John Basher already talked about our trip to Costa Rica in his Mid-Week report last week, but I will make it short and sweet with a list of things that Costa Rica Unlimited made a first for me.
I had never ridden to the top of mountains with such a beautiful 360 degree view. I have never gone up a slippery rock hill climb and watch John Basher almost pass out behind me. I have never been to a gas station where jugs of gas were in water containers sitting in the living room of a house. We are still unsure to call it a house or gas station or a what about a gas house?
I have never ridden on the beach and soaked Dennis Stapleton as I rode 5th gear through the swallow ocean water. I have never ridden a dirt bike straight to a restaurant after a ride to eat lunch. I have never gone on a trail ride to a motocross track with moto bikes waiting for me to ride after I got off my offroad bike.
I have never gone zip lining. I have never seen so many alligators in my life! And lastly, I have never had so much fun riding a Yamaha WR250. I never thought a WR250 would be the perfect bike for any condition, but it was for the Costa Rica terrain. Thank you Costa Rica Unlimited for the amazing opportunity.
CAPTURE THE FULL EXPERIENCE OF THE COSTA RICA UNLIMITED ADVENTURE
SCOTT MALLONEE GOES TO REDBUUUUD!
…AND NOW FOR THE REAL ENTERTAINMENT OF RED BUD—THE FANS
CANARD, SEELY AND TOMAC INJURY UPDATE
Cole and Trey.
Following a successful AMA Supercross season that saw a factory CRF450R on the podium at every round of the 17 race series, the Honda Red Riders have been plagued by injury during the AMA Pro Motocross series. Trey Canard, who has been recuperating from a broken arm since the Detroit Supercross, was recently released by his doctor to begin riding. However, further evaluation revealed that the bone is still not properly healed, and Canard had to visit his doctor again on Tuesday, with the hope of learning a more accurate return date.
Teammate Cole Seely has missed the last two rounds due to micro tears in his hamstring and a pulled adductor muscle — injuries that were sustained in a crash while practicing at Glen Helen prior to Budds Creek. After multiple visits to Dr. H. Rey Gubernick at Natural Health Sports Therapy in Costa Mesa, California, and attempts by Seely to ride during the week, the team decided it was best for the Californian to sit out of the Red Bud National and focus on a full recovery. Seely is scheduled to return to the gate at round eight in Millville, Minnesota.
Since his season-ending crash at Colorado’s Thunder Valley National, Geico Honda’s Eli Tomac has undergone successful surgery on both shoulders. He began physical therapy immediately following each procedure and has already started to see improvement in mobility and range of motion.