PRO TAPER PRESENTS MXA’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY JOHN BASHER
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Geico Honda’s Justin Bogle brings a style all his own to the track. Always exciting to watch, I followed him around the Dallas Supercross track last month during practice because I expected something extraordinary out of the Oklahoma native. It turns out that I was right. At the time I thought that he was getting ripped off his bike while flying over the triple and would plummet down to the ground and meet his demise. Wrong. He was sweeping his right leg behind the bike on purpose. It looked like a Nac-Nac gone sideways.
Then on Saturday night in Detroit Bogle was up to his freestyle antics again, only this time he had a bigger crowd to wow. That’ll happen when you bust out a no-footer/one-hander combination over the finish line after winning the main event. It was as if Justin Bogle addressed Marvin “Heelclicker” Musquin and said, “I’ll do you one better, Frenchman.” Photo by Geico Honda.
TREY CANARD SURGERY UPDATE
From Honda HRC:
Team Honda HRC’s Trey Canard underwent successful surgery today at the Oklahoma Sports Science & Orthopedics (OSSO) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to repair the radius in his left arm that was fractured in a crash during round 12 of the AMA Supercross series at Detroit’s Ford Field on March 21. During the operation, doctors applied a carbon fiber plate, replacing another plate that had been applied in November 2013, following a different arm injury. In addition, doctors inserted eight screws and performed a bone graft to ensure optimal healing. With an estimated recovery time of six to eight weeks, the Oklahoman will immediately begin rehabilitation in preparation for the AMA Pro Motocross Championship, which begins May 16. At this point, Team Honda HRC has no plans to use a replacement rider during the Supercross series.
RYAN DUNGEY & THE POINTS RACE
If you haven’t seen our feature on the home page, jokingly titled “Homeschool Help! Doing Ryan Dungey’s Championship Math,” then be sure to give it a read. In it we discuss what it’s going to take for Ryan Dungey to clinch the 2015 AMA Supercross Championship. Click here to check it out.
KEVIN WINDHAM SPEAKS UP ON RIDER SAFETY
It’s great that a former professional racer, especially one with clout, takes a stand by voicing an opinion on a sensitive topic. Kevin Windham reached out to his followers via Instagram by posting the message below to coincide with a photo of his son on a dirt bike:
“Enjoying my Sunday evening watching my son and @brady_jett887 ride their bike while I reflect, sitting by @kimblejett887 with a broke leg from his dirt bike. I absolutely love the amount of comments that are coming in about safety and our sport! Love them all, or at least most! I will be on pulpmx tomorrow to discuss. Safety equipment, horsepower, track safety etc. Would be cool for peep to call in for the show to chat. Comments have been all over the board but I’m thinking about 4 things right now. 1) Four strokes allow people to ride with less momentum. So when you come out of a corner to hit a jump your either on the gas which is very strong or backing off the throttle which has tons of drag. This results in a potential loopout or a nose dive. Instead of saying get rid of 4strokes, can we soften these characteristics? Momentum makes riding easier. It takes a good rider to ride with momentum. Therefore, it’s a compounded problem for the novice rider. Can it be fixed. 2) Track safety. How many of us have a local track that has that one obstacle that takes someone out every weekend, but the obstacle is still there! There has to be a reason why some obstacles take riders out more than others. Is there something we can do about it? 3) Equipment. Helmets, neck bracing, chest protectors or whatever. Can we make them better? Can AMA make you use them? I agree more testing has to be done on safety equipment, so let’s get to testing. One more note, you think NASCAR cares if drivers don’t like their HANS devices? No, you wear it or park the car. 4) Does anyone know how many wrecks are swaps, or how many are over the bars, or collisions of some sort? No, because we don’t document them that I know of. We need to have a database of crashes that have injury or fatality, to see about trends and are there things or area’s we can fix. You fix every issue, assuming there are some issues that need fixing, and you will still have injuries and deaths. That’s not the point, the point is how many could we save from a catastrophe if we start discussing and looking for reasons why!”
What do you think of Kevin Windham’s opinions regarding four-strokes, track layouts, equipment standards and documenting crashes and injuries sustained while riding? Personally, I’m in favor of most of the things that he has to say, and I appreciate that he’s addressing problems related to the sport. Who knows, maybe safety would improve if more riders took a stand. Windham, along with others, are trying to change the status quo.
MINI-VIEW: JEREMY MARTIN
Star Racing Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin has had his share of high’s and low’s in Supercross. He won the Atlanta 2 round and showed us all what he can do. Not only did he win the main, he came from behind to do so. Establishing himself as a Championship contender quickly evaporated when several crashes in Indianapolis caused him to not qualify for the main. He trails 250 East leader Marvin Musquin by 41 points with three rounds to go. It looks doubtful that Martin will duplicate the success that he had in the AMA Nationals last summer, but anything can happen in racing.
By Jim Kimball
MXA: Jeremy, let’s talk about your 2015 Supercross season. You’ve had some highs and lows.
Jeremy: It’s been okay so far, with the exception of the Indianapolis round. I won the Atlanta round, and this is what I want to be doing more consistently. You always want to get to that top spot on the podium. My mechanic, Pedro, and all the guys on the team work so hard for me, it’s always very motivating to get to that top spot. I want to be a guy that can win in both series, and not just outdoors. I’m focused on the task at hand and ready to have some more good days in Supercross.
Coming into the season many said that Marvin Musquin was the title favorite based on his experience on a 250. Do you think that has helped him?
Marvin is the veteran of the class, so definitely that helps him. However, I have won a championship, and I know what it takes to win a championship. Marvin is a former World Champion, so he also knows what it takes to win. You just need to put everything together, and so far he has done a better job of putting himself in a good position to win. Every weekend he has been great, right from the gate-drop. The pressure is not on me right now, so I just need to go out, have fun, and do my thing. My Yamaha is great; I need to focus on my starts.
Speaking of your Yamaha, has the bike changed much since it came out last year?
The bike is pretty much the same as last year since it was all-new. As I move along in my race career I get a little smarter with bike setup and things like that. We have been making some little changes here and there with suspension and gearing, but nothing major.
Has living and training in Florida paid off?
Yes, it’s been working very nicely. I am kind of a Midwestern guy that likes all the trees, grass, and different soil. It works especially well right now being that the travel to the East Coast Supercross rounds is so much shorter than had I been living in California. Flying across the country takes so long, and there is much more opportunity to get sick. Mentally the travel can take a toll on you, plus there is so much more wear and tear physically on your body. When I first turned Pro I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, but I quickly learned that travel could take its toll. One nice thing about being a 250 Supercross rider is that there are fewer rounds than the 450 guys, so that makes it easier.
Has there been one aspect of your racing this year that you have decided that you need to improve on?
I know when you are on top everything is great, but I still need to look for things to improve on. Everyone is out gunning for you so you need to keep working on things. The entire team is pushing me in the right direction. Back to your question, I just need to be able to consistently put it all together!
MXA VIDEO: HANGING WITH THE MARTIN BROTHERS
EAST VS. WEST: A HYPOTHETICAL QUESTION
250 East or 250 West? Which coast has the deeper field of talent? It’s hard to say, given that the series are split for months and don’t meet up until the Vegas finale for one meaningless race on hard adobe. The standouts are Marvin Musquin (four wins) and Cooper Webb (four wins), with Musquin yet to finish off the podium. The 250 East title chase is considerably closer (13 points separate Musquin and Justin Bogle) than the West (Webb is ahead by a whopping 30 points). What would happen if there wasn’t such a thing as a 250 East or West class, but instead all of the 250 racers competed in the same 17-round series just as the 450 class? It’s a hypothetical question, of course, but I decided to have fun with it and put the riders in order based on their earned points through six rounds (both coasts now have raced six races). Their respective coast follows their name.
1. Marvin Musquin…East
2. Cooper Webb…West
3. Justin Bogle…East
4. Jessy Nelson…West
5. Tyler Bowers…West
6. Jeremy Martin…East
7. Zach Osborne…West
8. Joey Savatgy…East
9. Shane McElrath…West
10. RJ Hampshire…East
11. Aaron Plessinger…West
12. Justin Hill…West
13. Josh Hansen…West
14. Alex Martin…West
15. Malcolm Stewart…West
16. Jimmy Decotis…East
17. Anthony Rodriguez…East
18. Kyle Peters…East
19. Martin Davalos…East
20. Vince Friese…East
Of those riders, ten are from the East and ten are from the West. There are more West riders inside the top 15, so maybe that coast is stronger? Then again, two of the top three spots contain East riders. But three of the top five spots are filled by West riders. Ahhhhh! To answer the question regarding which coast has the deeper field of talentwe would need to combine the two regional Championships into one true-to-life AMA250 Supercross Championship.
MXA PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: NIHILO CONCEPTS BANJO BOLTS FOR KTM/HUSQVARNA
[Press Release] Nihilo Concepts Aluminum Banjo Bolts are the first of their kind made specifically for the European thread pitch of KTM’s and the new Husqvarna’s. These precision machined aircraft-grade 6061 billet aluminum banjos will give you that “works Look” while saving weight at the same time. Available in Orange and Blue anodized finish. Sold as singles. Available for all KTM/Husky Big Bikes with Brembo Brakes, Husky TC 85, KTM 65, KTM 85, and KTM Freeride. Click here to purchase yours today.
MINI-VIEW: MARTIN DAVALOS
It has been about a year since Martin Davalos was on top of the world and leading the 2014 AMA Supercross 250 East Coast Championship. As part of the very credible Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team, Davalos was finally ready to silence his critics who complained about his long tenure in the smaller bike class. Unfortunately the Ecuadorian crashed while practicing, thus ending his title hopes. However, not only did it ruin the rest of his 2014 year, it significantly set back his 2015 plans. Off the bike for over six months, the 28-year-old signed with the newly formed Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Team. We tracked down the always-friendly Davalos in Dallas to ask him about his severe injury from last season, signing with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna, and Epstein Barr Syndrome.
By Jim Kimball
MXA: What’s up with you Epstein Barr diagnosis?
Martin: I believe that much of it came from my recent injuries and all the stress associated with it. I just put my body through a shock with trying to get physically ready to race, and then all the worry about whether I would be able to or not. I just drained my body by trying to get back in shape in too short of time. I really tried to monitor my training so I would get back in shape as soon as possible without overtraining. I feel that some of this was simply caused by the stress that I had about getting back to where I was a championship contender. Maybe with all the time on the couch, taking antibiotics and the training, I just wore myself down. Even when I tried racing the 450 during the west coast swing I knew that something was wrong. I just wasn’t feeling right; I had no energy. I went to the doctor and they did some blood tests and found that I had it. This whole last six months have just been a fight.
Let’s go back to last Supercross season. You were riding great, in strong contention for your first Championship, but then a bad crash derailed you for the entire rest of the year.
That crash was just devastating for me; especially how it effected me emotionally. I had been fighting for a championship for so many years, and it was almost in my hands. Having that happen at that time was very traumatic for me. Trying to recover was so difficult, especially with my foot injuries. I was in a cast for three months, and then when they finally took the cast off, my foot was still not healed, so I had to have another surgery. It all added up and I began questioning whether I could ever get back to that point in my career. I even questioned whether I would even be able to race again. As I said, I had a couple more surgeries and just tried my best to handle the pain. When I finally could get back on a bike, it was very hard to work back up to where I was. I literally had been sitting on the couch for six months. It took time just to figure out how I could get my foot back in a boot! Getting back adjusted to training whether on the bike or off the bike just took so much time. I think that it was especially draining for me due to where I was at in my career. I feel like I was on top of my game at the time. Everything was coming together. The whole thing was pretty tough to swallow. This sport can be dangerous and we all go through some tough times. I have been really blessed with this path that God has chosen for me, and ultimately I believe that this will make me a better person.
The career of a professional racer is relatively short, and last year you appeared at your prime.
You’re right about that. Coming from a country where motocross is virtually nonexistent to where I am has taken a lot of steps. It’s been a fight to be competitive with all the guys racing here. It took me a while, but I really felt that I belonged there last year. I’m never going to understand why that happened, and I are often asking myself how something like that could happen when I was such at a high point in my career. All I can do is to try to move on.
Obviously you were signed with Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki then, and many expected you would be back in with them in 2015.
I had become very good friends with Bobby Hewitt (team owner), and Dave Gowland (team manager) at Rockstar Energy Racing, and over the years we had stayed in touch. When I did get hurt last year I was talking to Mitch Payton about returning with them for this year, but I also really wanted to do something where I could move to a good 450 factory team. I felt that I had earned a shot on a 450 team to see where I could go. Obviously Mitch does not have a 450 team, and we just couldn’t come to an agreement about this year. About that time Bobby came to me and told me about joining up with Husqvarna and having a 250 and 450 team. With having the relationship and friendship with him and Dave, it was just a no brainer for me to join. The bike is very good, and with the help we get from KTM, it’s been great. I really believe that every single bike brand out there is capable of winning – it’s just up to the rider. I’m excited about this team and representing Husqvarna. The guys knew how bad my injury was when they signed me, so they have given me a lot of confidence that they believe in me. My 250 career is winding down, and at this time I am really putting more focus on moving up to the 450.
So you will race the 450 this year?
Yes, it was always the plan for me to move up to the 450 for outdoors this year. Even if I had been doing great and winning 250 Supercross I would have moved to a 450. I am really anxious to get my feet wet on the 450. It’s a completely different animal and I want time to adjust. I am not going to put a lot of pressure on myself this summer. I’ll race the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna 450 full-time in 2016. I hope that 2016 will be a good year for me. Right now I am just focusing on having fun. I am not a factor in the East Coast Supercross title chase anymore, and I know that I am not at 100 percent. I want to make the best of things and get through each weekend. I’m going to do my best, and hope to be ready for outdoors.
MXA VIDEO: A LOOK AT JOEY SAVATGY’S PRO CIRCUIT KX250F
WIN A 2015 HUSQVARNA TC250!
Enter the 2015 2 Stroke Revolution contest brought to you by Boyesen, FMF Racing, Motocross Action Magazine, and Dirt Bike Magazine! Sign up once for your chance to win a 2015 Husqvarna TC250, or win over $2000 in monthly prizes from Boyesen, FMF Racing, PJ1, Torc 1 Racing, DP Brakes, Evans Cooling, Forma Boots USA, EKS Brand, Adventure Center Powersports, MotoSeat, MSR, Sunstar, Goldentyre USA, Decal Works and Darius Company.
Boyesen and FMF Racing both headline the 2015 Two-Stroke Revolution contest and have collaborated with other powerhouse brands to bring an awesome lineup of prizes directly to you each month! The Two-Stroke Revolution Contest lasts 5 months, leading up to the Grand Prize drawing to be held on July 31, 2015. Each month, one winner will be randomly selected to win some of the coolest products on the market today. Simply go to the Two-Stroke Revolution signup page, and submit your entry! All monthly and grand prize winning entries will be announced first on Boyesen’s Facebook page. Also look for winning announcements on https://motocrossactionmag.com and http://dirtbikemagazine.com, or any of the program sponsors Facebook Pages. As always… your privacy is important to us and will be protected at all times.
GRAND PRIZE: 2015 Husqvarna TC250 (with all of the monthly prizes below).
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NOT-SO-FUN FACT: ATTRITION RATES
Through 12 rounds, there are a surprisingly low number of riders that have scored points at every race. There have been 41 riders to score at least a point, but only eight have earned points at every race. Those riders: Ryan Dungey, Eli Tomac, Cole Seely, Blake Baggett, Jason Anderson, Andrew Short, Davi Millsaps and Josh Grant. Unfortunately Ken Roczen, Trey Canard, Broc Tickle, Weston Peick, Justin Barcia, Kyle Chisholm, Dean Wilson and Mike Alessi have failed to score points as a result of an injury.
FOX AUSTRALIA’S SPONSORED RIDER “LIVE FOR IT”
FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE: ST. LOUIS TV SCHEDULE
Live coverage from St. Louis will air on Fox Sports 1 at 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) and 5:00 p.m. out west on Saturday. This is round 13 of the AMA Supercross Series. It is possible for Ryan Dungey to clinch the title this weekend (although highly unlikely, given that Eli Tomac would have to only score one point while Dungey would need to win).