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MCELRATH1_USATroy Lee Designs KTM rider Shane McElrath navigates a tricky right-hand corner after the finish line while a passionate crowd cheers on the American. Photo by Massimo Zanzani



GajserWin2_MXGP_18_USA_2015After a season that saw many ups and downs, 19-year-old Slovenian Tim Gajser captured the 250 World Championship by finishing fourth at the Glen Helen USGP. Riding for the Gariboldi Honda Team Gajser put Honda on the top pedestal.

By Jim Kimball

Tim, it’s incredible that you won the 250 World Championship in only your second year as a Pro. It’s a bit unexpected. We didn’t foresee this at all. We had high expectations at the beginning of the year, but not as high as winning the championship. I was fifth last year, so we were thinking that a top three would be possible. Winning the championship is amazing, and I am very happy about that! It’s been just unbelievable to win the World Title. This is what I have been dreaming since I was a young child. It’s also very cool for Slovenia. It’s such a small country, with only about one million people. It’s not easy to come from such a small country and succeed in motocross. Motocross has been very, very small in Slovenia, but it has been getting better because I have been getting more media coverage. There has been more fans traveling to the GP’s, and now in Slovenia you can watch motocross on TV. It’s been good for the sport.

It seemed like the 250 class this year had so many fast guys. Do you agree? For sure. The class had many, many good riders. I think especially in the beginning there were so many riders that thought they could win races. The lap times were really close and we all seemed to be riding the same pace. It was very cool for us riders to have such close battles, and of course for the spectators to watch the battles. There was a lot of interest in the racing, and overall it was just a very nice season.

Gajser1_MXGP_18_USA_2015It was a season where every rider had his highs and his lows. Yes, we all had good finishes coupled with bad finishes. When the competition is so close like it has been, we are all pushing to win. We keep trying to go faster all the time, and that’s when you can crash or something can happen to the bike. We all rode over the limit at times. In every career you can have ups and downs.

HRC has been getting much more involved with Grand Prix racing, right? You are right, and their help has been huge. Last year they came back into world motocross after being away for a long time–especially in this smaller class. They have been somewhat involved in the 450 class for a couple seasons, but now are also in the 250 class. Before they got involved the bike was probably not on the same level as the other brands. But over the winter they really worked hard to improve the bike. We were able to test much more, and they always had something new to try. The bike kept getting better and better and still is. They also have worked very well with my family, and we are living the dream. It’s been a great relationship for all of us.

You recently signed a long-term contract with Honda, correct? Yes, we signed a five-year contract with HRC, and it’s an honor to be with them for the future. They are now one of the biggest teams in the sport. We all work very well together, and it’s like a big family. They have given me an open door to do whatever I want to. Whether I want to stay in the 250 class, move up to a 450, or even go to the U.S., they are open to what my dad and I decide.

Do you have some interest in America? The focus up until now has been in trying to win the 250 World Championship. The plan is to do some European Supercrosses, and then maybe try Anaheim. We will see. I watched some of the AMA Supercrosses on YouTube when I was younger, and I always wondered what it would be like to ride in front of so many people. Now I will probably have the chance to. So, soon we will be talking about it.


Jessica Patterson_1“It’s more realistic for a girl to qualify for an outdoor National. I give Vicky [Golden] all of the respect in the world for what she has done. When I was practicing Supercross for the X Games those years ago I realized how tough Supercross actually is. You can’t have a bad day in Supercross or you’ll end up in the hospital. I’ve ridden with a lot of guys, and the biggest difference between men and women racers is their level of strength. To race Supercross effectively you need to have man strength. It’s something that we’ll never have. In Supercross you need to be able to pull up on the jumps and be super strong through the whoops. The finesse isn’t quite there, either. That’s the major setback. Guys click up a gear going into the whoops and pin it. They can manhandle a bike. Women can do it, but not to that level.”–Jessica Patterson

Click here to read the interview in full.

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Press release: Race Tech is pleased to announce the latest addition to their premium line of RT Hi-Performance Suspension Components. The Race Tech Spring Conversion System (SCS) transforms your Showa TAC forks found on the new model Kawasaki KX450, Suzuki RMZ450, and Honda CRF250 from an air spring to a coil spring setup.

For many riders out there not wanting to deal with checking air pressures, the Race Tech SCS is a set it and forget it solution. The Race Tech SCS is designed to transform your Showa TAC forks into an SFF style coil spring fork.  Select the proper rate RT Hi-Performance Spring (sold separately) to compliment your RT Spring Conversion System and you’re ready to hit the track without having to check pressures before each ride any longer! A RT Spring Conversion Kit for the KYB PSF1 and PSF2 forks found on the Honda CRF450R and earlier model Kawasaki KX450F is currently in development and will be available soon.

Race Tech Spring Conversion System includes:
– Spring-side cartridge
– Fork cap
– 100% Guaranteed
– Made in the USA
– FRSP 4566 Series Spring Sold Separately
– Retail Price: $499.99
– For more information about Race Tech’s products, seminars and rider support program, please visit or call our friendly sales staff at (951)279-6655.


All photos by Massimo Zanzani




_1046136I love me some Silver Springs, New York. The pond you see in the right corner of the photo holds special meaning, because I almost landed in it a number of times while racing.

I’m from western New York, about an hour south of Buffalo. I moved to SoCal in 2004 and left the land of sunshine and drought for North Carolina just over a month ago. One of the perks of living in North Carolina is that I’m closer to my old stomping grounds. This past week I packed up the wife and kids and pointed the Toyota Highlander north. It took 13 hours to reach New York–not the greatest experience with two toddler boys. The screaming was worth it. Upstate New York was going off. The weather was awesome–not that 50 degrees and rain I always remembered as a kid. Better yet, I had scheduled with former Western New York Motocross Association (WNYMA) number one expert, Joe Ellington, to ride at Silver Springs and Sick Brothers MX. If that wasn’t enough, my long-time pal, Eric Carr, had built up a 2006 Yamaha YZ250F that I was going to test. Score!

_1046150The project 2006 Yamaha YZ250F turned out really nice. Don’t get distracted by all that beautiful greenery in the background.

A few notes about the 2006 Yamaha YZ250F. That year Yamaha issued a recall for the YZ250F. The intake valves would break with regularity. Aside from that, the bike was very good for its time. However, Eric’s ten-year-old bike was in need of some tender loving care. I ordered up a Vertex standard compression piston, Tusk wheels, complete Hinson clutch, Cycra plastics kit, FMF Megabomb exhaust, Moto-Master rotors, Boyesen Supercooler kit, Dunlop MX32 tires, Renthal bars and sprockets, Pro-Pegz titanium footpegs, DeCal Works graphics kit, TM Designworks chain guide kit, and Twin Air Powerflow kit. I didn’t want to break the bank, though admittedly I splurged on the titanium footpegs and Hinson clutch. Dave Richards, from DRPerformance, rebuilt the Kayaba SSS suspension. As you can see, the end result came out looking quite spectacular (although I’m biased).

Eric and I loaded up the YZ250F and set sail for Silver Springs, which is part of the WNYMA series. Truth be told, Silver Springs is one of my favorite tracks of all-time. So many good memories were formed on that plot of land. It’s not a National-caliber track like Monster Mountain in Alabama (another one of my favorites), but Silver Springs never claimed to be. Instead you’ll find a fun layout with modest jumps and a slight change in elevation. The track workers were busy preparing the grounds for a WNYMA race, and the co-promoters–Brianna and Darrell Stone–were nice enough to let Eric and I rip up their soil on a private track day. Thanks a million to them for that.

_1046331Eric Carr gets down and dirty on the 2006 YZ250F. Don’t mind the modest camera tilt. 

After I shot static images of the 2006 YZ250F, Eric suited up and threw a leg over his restored iron. A few laps later I snapped photos of him throwing roost off the rear tire. He wasn’t too bad of a photo rider for a guy with a full-time job and family at home. So there might have been a bit of camera tilt in a shot or two, but that’s no big deal. Even Ryan Dungey gets the camera tilt treatment every once in a while.

_1046340Sick Brothers MX in Cohocton, NY, is a fun track with challenging terrain.

We finished up at Silver Springs and headed to Sick Brothers MX in Cohocton, NY. The Sick brothers are entrenched in motocross. In fact, I used to race against them 15 years ago. Their new track is part of WNY Racing, another motocross association in the area. The track is situated on the next plot of land over from the original Cohocton track, which was the first motocross race I ever saw. A young Paul Carpenter was flying on a Honda CR80, while Joe Ellington and Billy Silvarole battled in the Pro class. Funny how Ellington and Silvarole were riding together when Eric and I showed up, 21 years removed from that cold Fall day in 1994.

Look for a full review of the restored 2006 Yamaha YZ250F in a future issue of MXA.

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Press release: Atlas Brace is now accepting new and current sponsored rider resumes for the 2016 season. Our programs are open to all ages and levels that actively participate in motocross, supercross, off-road, mountain bike, and many other action sports. We look forward to having you join our team!

There are three ways to join:
Atlas Website

Please email [email protected] with any questions or concerns you may have about the following programs.


Savatgy_Glen Helen 2015Joey Savatgy had a prosperous 2015 season while sporting #37. He liked it so much that he chose it as his career number. 

A few notes regarding the new race numbers for next season:
a. Jessy Nelson doesn’t have triskaidekaphobia, because he chose to run #13.
b. Jason Anderson earned a career number. He selected #21.
c. Joey Savatgy was obviously fond of his race number this year. His career number will be #37.
d. Heath Harrison was the last rider to score a two-digit number for 2016. Way to go, Heath!

*Career Numbers
**New Career Numbers for 2016

1 – 450SX: Ryan Dungey
1 – 450MX: Ryan Dungey
1 – 250MX: Jeremy Martin
1 – 250SX West: Cooper Webb
1 – 250SX East: Marvin Musquin
3*: Eli Tomac
4*: Blake Baggett
5*: Ryan Dungey
6*: Jeremy Martin
7*: James Stewart
10*: Justin Brayton
11*: Kyle Chisholm
12*: Jake Weimer
13: Jessy Nelson
14*: Cole Seely
15*: Dean Wilson
16*: Zach Osborne
17*: Cooper Webb
18*: David Millsaps
19*: Justin Bogle
20*: Broc Tickle
21**: Jason Anderson
22*: Chad Reed
23: Aaron Plessinger
24*: Brett Metcalfe
25*: Marvin Musquin
26: Alex Martin
27*: Nicholas Wey
28: Weston Peick
29*: Andrew Short
30: Shane McElrath
31: RJ Hampshire
32: Matthew Bisceglia
33*: Joshua Grant
34: Phillip Nicoletti
35: Chris Alldredge
36: Justin Hill
37**: Joey Savatgy
38: Christian Craig
39: Jordon Smith
40: Kyle Peters
41*: Trey Canard
42: Mitchell Oldenburg
43: Fredrik Noren
44: Adam Cianciarulo
45: Kyle Cunningham
46: Luke Renzland
47: Thomas Hahn
48: Anthony Rodriquez
49: Martin Davalos
50: Malcolm Stewart
51*: Justin Barcia
52: Ben Lamay
53: Tyler Bowers
54: Wil Hahn
55: Vince Friese
56: Jackson Richardson
57: Josh Hansen
58: James Decotis
59: Jace Owen
60: Matthew Lemoine
61: Gannon Audette
62: Justin Starling
63: Jesse Wentland
64: Dakota Alix
65: Zachary Bell
66: Arnaud Tonus
67: Killian Rusk
68: Cole Martinez
69: Colt Nichols
70: Tony Archer
71: Kyle Partridge
72: Hayden Mellross
73: Nick Gaines
74: Ryan Sipes
75*: Josh Hill
76: Scott Champion
77: Zackery Freeberg
78: Daniel Baker
79: Nicholas Schmidt
80: Zachary Williams
81: Jason Brooks
82: Trevor Reis
83: Daniel Herrlein
84: Jimmy Albertson
85: Michael Leib
86: AJ Catanzaro
87: Austin Politelli
88: Ronnie Stewart
89: John Short
90: Brandon Scharer
91: Ryan Breece
92: Colton Facciotti
93: Dustin Pipes
94*: Ken Roczen
95: Alex Frye
96: Noah McConahy
97: Tevin Tapia
98: Darian Sanayei
99: Heath Harrison
377*: Christophe Pourcel
800*: Mike Alessi

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