PRO TAPER PRESENTS MXA’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY DARYL ECKLUND

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CHRISTIAN CRAIG TO FILL-IN FOR JUSTIN BOGLE AT GEICO HONDA

christiancraiggeicoChristian Craig.

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

IMG_4419The champ, Jeremy Martin’s bike gets prepped for battle.

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.

IMG_3954Kenny has his hands full this year.

IMG_3967The Troy Lee Designs squad was ready to deliver and helped complete a KTM sweep of the 250 class.

IMG_3984Factory Dunlop MX32 fronts ready to grip the soft Glen Helen terra firma.

IMG_3989Justin Barcia’s mechanic Ben Schiermeyer has a best beard on the National circuit. Justin Barcia has the second best beard.

IMG_4000Wil Hahn looking to get in his zen zone before the start of practice.

IMG_4028Christophe Pourcel’s Husqvarna FC450 was mud ready.

IMG_4093Justin Hill searching for traction.

IMG_4335Kenny ate roost all day long.

IMG_4345Eli was on his game again. Nothing but impressive.

IMG_4358Cole Seely throwing a nice scrub in the back section of GH.

IMG_4362Burner was on the back side of the track during the motos to relay information back to the TwoTwo mechanics.

IMG_4431Sean Collier won the FMF Two-Stroke Challenge by pulling a huge holeshot on his KX500.

IMG_4562Jesse Nelson (28) and Marvin Musquin (25) had a good battle for the top spot in moto one.

IMG_4617Justin Hill stalks Joey Savatgy for a podium spot.

IMG_4720Adam Cianciarulo had some bad luck off the start and walked away with some battle wounds as you can see by his ripped-up jersey.

IMG_4730Hill climb #1: Jeremy Martin carves his way up the natural rock face of  Yamaha Hill.

IMG_4808Hill 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.

IMG_4832Hill 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.

IMG_4888Weston Peick is tougher than nails. We can’t wait to see him get his first win.

IMG_4910Jeremy Martin debuted his new vented jersey.

IMG_4919Chris Alldredge carving a corner.

IMG_4943Geico’s Matt Bisceglia rails around the velodrome.

IMG_4961Justin Hill hurdles his way out of the deep Glen Helen ruts.

IMG_5111Perfect execution. A lapper watches Eli Tomac’s unique line up the “Finger” where he seat bounced a kicker at the bottom and landed into the corner with a whip.

A FOLLOW-UP TO THE HANGTOWN INCIDENT

_BAS3587Kevin Rookstool down in the first turn.

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.

THIS WEEKS LACR SCHEDULE
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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

Practice is $25 per big bike rider & $10 for 50cc Pee Wees. Go to www.LACR.mx for the complete schedule (661)754-3366

A WEEK IN JAPAN WITH THE GOAT

IMG_8219Ricky Carmichael was welcomed by the entire working staff at the Suzuki factory in Japan.

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.

BP5Q0075Ricky sets up his controls in front of  a crowd of eager fans before teaching his RCU.

IMG_4237The GOAT performs some textbook starting technique for his students at the Chugoku track.

_MG_8009At the All-Japan National the Factory Kawasaki team was testing what will, hopefully, be the 2016 KX450F.

_MG_7914It doesn’t look pretty but it gets the job done. A small pond of water is where an army of pressure washers are placed for the mechanics to wash the rider’s bike between motos.

R3_05982I got to spend some time spinning some laps on a works RM-Z250. I got comfortable on it quickly and threw in a couple whips for my Suzuki hosts.

R3_06489Plus, I got to ride with Ricky Carmichael.

DREAM JOBS: JENNA PARKER
HUSQVARNA MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST
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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.”

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KTM POWERWEAR’S LIMITED-EDITION TROY LEE DESIGNS COSMIC CAMO GEAR

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THE SECRET IS OUT: FOX’S FLEXAIR GEAR INTRO

MXA2Why 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.

_MG_7121This is what we saw when we got out of the van and were allowed to take off the goggles. What is it?

_MG_7127We actually had real security badges to get through the checkpoint!

_MG_7156What were we getting into?

_MG_7147It was an indoor sky diving tower — where you can float around doing flips in the vertical wind tunnel wearing the (at the time) top-secret Fox FlexAir gear.

FoxFlexAirIntroMay2015-227MXA‘s Daryl Ecklund experiments with negative gravity (thanks to a giant fan blowing him upwards).

_MG_7164When we got to the racetrack there were display of the FlexAir gear and special-edition boots.

FoxFlexAirIntroMay2015-369By the early afternoon we got the chance to spin some laps with the new gear. The fit is strictly performance based. We loved it.

MXA ARCHIVES–RICKY CARMICHAEL’S 2005 RM-Z450

IMG_8193Ricky went on to win the 250 National title on this bike in 2005.  Remember that he won the Supercross title that year on a Suzuki RM250.

IMG_8186The works Showa shock, cut-down subframe and titanium bolts.

IMG_8191Factory trickery from a decade ago.

IMG_8195Hinson was on the job for Ricky.

IMG_8192A little bling never hurts.

 

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