PRO TAPER PRESENTS MXA’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY DARYL ECKLUND
CHRISTIAN CRAIG TO FILL-IN FOR JUSTIN BOGLE AT GEICO HONDA
Christian Craig will come out of retirement for the second time. He will replace injured rider Justin Bogle on the Geico Honda team. Craig, who retired after the 2013 season, came off the bench last year to race a CRF450 at Washougal. Christian Craig has been riding at private tracks near his home in Minnesota and flew to SoCal as soon as he got the call. He will be at Colorado this weekend in the 250 class.
THE GLEN HELEN NATIONAL: TRAINED PROFESSIONALS ONLY
Photos by Daryl Ecklund
A morning rain shower and dark clouds welcomed the Glen Helen National, making for prime track conditions. Deep dark ruts and jagged hills challenged the National riders to bring their A-Game. Just as no weekend warrior can ace a Supercross track, the same should be true for an Outdoor National. Our very own Jody Weisel put together the epic track with the Moto Gods helping with the weather. The photos below are a testament of the level of rider you had to be to conquer the Glen Helen National terrain.
Hill climb #2: Ryan Dungey was brave enough to go right up the middle every lap. The rock face, just below his rear wheel, was the the roughest part, but it allowed him to keep his bike straight as an arrow.
Hill climb #3: Tommy Hahn gets kicked sideways. If you didn’t hit the face straight, the rear of your bike would swap and you would land all crossed up…with the steepest part of the climb yet to come.
A FOLLOW-UP TO THE HANGTOWN INCIDENT
By John Basher
In last week’s Mid-Week Report I wrote about the unfortunate event that occurred in the second moto when Kyle Cunningham and Kevin Rookstool came together off the start. The tangle put both riders on the ground around a first turn that some considered a little sketchy for a proper National track. Cunningham managed to walk away under his own power, while Rookstool complained of back pain. Kevin lay smack dab in the middle of the track. As Eli Tomac and the rest of the field circulated the course I assumed that MX Sports would throw the red flag. I felt that Rookstool was in a compromising position. When the red flag didn’t come out I was irritated by the decision and voiced that opinion in the Mid-Week Report.
At Glen Helen on Saturday I sought out Davey Coombs, president of MX Sports, to ask why the second 450 moto at Hangtown wasn’t stopped. Davey stated that the medical crew made the call, and that Rookstool was not in harm’s way. The Hangtown staff and MX Sports set up a barricade to force the riders to the outside of the first turn, well away from Rookstool and the medic. Unfortunately, a few riders broke through the wall of people and cut inside on the turn after disobeying the flaggers. It took three laps to cart Kevin Rookstool off the track, and after the first-lap melee the riders recognized the severity of the situation and moved away from the downed rider.
There was no red flag, and despite a few riders not following protocol, the racing continued while the Asterisk medical crew carted Kevin Rookstool off the track on a backboard. All is well that ends well. Hopefully Kevin Rookstool heals up and comes back soon, because he’s a great kid with a big heart.
Wednesday May 27th
Practice from 2pm-7pm on the Mini track & Vet track (Main track is Closed)
Saturday May 30th
Practice from 9am-2pm on the Main, Vet, & Mini track
Sunday May 31st
Practice from 9am-2pm on the Main, Vet, & Mini track
A WEEK IN JAPAN WITH THE GOAT
I spent last week in Japan travelling with none other than Ricky Carmichael. We traveled across half the county via airplane, bus and bullet train. We had a tight schedule, but we fit it in (jet-lagged and all). Some days I felt like a zombie as my body was confused about what time it was with the 16-hour time difference. In short, we went to Hiroshima to visit the Hiroshima museum, took a ferry to the ancient island of Miyajima, toured the Suzuki factory and museum, went to round 3 of the Japanese National Championships, rode a works Suzuki RM-Z250 and attended an RCU (Ricky Carmichael University) motocross school. Oh, did I mention I saw the 2016 RM-Z250 (unfortunately, I can’t show it to you just yet). You can find out about all the details of my trip with the GOAT in a future issue of MXA, subscribe now or click HERE to subsribe to the digital version.
STARTING POINT: “I was working in an unrelated field when a good friend of mine told me about an open position at Husqvarna. I knew this was the job I wanted. I have a love for the Husqvarna brand that reaches back to my early childhood when my dad pulled this old rust bucket of a bike out of the abyss of the garage and began to restore it. It was a Husqvarna, and I fell in love with it.”
THE JOB: “Currently, I am responsible for overseeing, managing, and executing all marketing activities in the US, and guiding Husqvarna marketing in Canada. I work with our central marketing team in Austria to align our marketing plans and develop strategies for application in the US. Some of my responsibilities include PR for our various racing efforts, building business relationships with corporate partners like Bel-Ray and FMF, driving brand awareness, enforcing our brand image and developing ad plans.”
KTM POWERWEAR’S LIMITED-EDITION TROY LEE DESIGNS COSMIC CAMO GEAR
THE SECRET IS OUT: FOX’S FLEXAIR GEAR INTRO
Why are we all wearing goggles in the Fox van together? The goggles were blacked out so we couldn’t see where we were going. Daryl (right) got car sick and just about puked on MXA ad guy Derrick Bernard’s lap.
Fox invited the MXA crew out to Perris Raceway for a product introduction, but we had no clue what the product was. Of course we were a bit agitated not knowing what we were getting ourselves into, but it all unraveled quite nicely. Fox went big for us small media guys. Thanks for the experience of weightlessness, oh ya, and the FlexAir gear.
MXA ARCHIVES–RICKY CARMICHAEL’S 2005 RM-Z450