PRO TAPER PRESENTS MXA’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY JOHN BASHER
Rider: Ronnie Renner
Location: Somewhere near Brea, CA
Date: April 5, 2005
Photographer: John Basher
Camera: Nikon D70
Lens: 70-200mm f/4L
Focal length: 300mm
Exposure: 1/1600 sec.
MXA VIDEO: POURCEL’S ROCKSTAR ENERGY RACING HUSQVARNA FC450
HAVE STORIES DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOU
People don’t always have time to browse our website for the latest information in this fast-paced digital environment. That’s why we’ve built a weekly list of MXA’s news and top stories that we will email directly to you. What could be easier? This week we highlighted our top photos from the Anaheim 2 Supercross; gave a historical reflection of a 1976 Ammex 250MX; the MXA gang tested Justin Barcia’s JGRMX YZ450F; we chatted with Jason Anderson’s biggest believer; and topping it off were rapid race results from A2.
Don’t miss out on all the major happenings in our sport, racing or otherwise. All you need to do is click here and sign up for our weekly newsletter. It’s free, it comes once a week, and we promise not to sell your email address to a spam site.
RIDE WITH COLE SEELY IN SAN DIEGO
OAKLAND SUPERCROSS WEATHER
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: COY GIBBS
“The hard part is that a lot of growth relies on television. The better the TV package then the more people will see it. You need huge crowds in order to attract television. Parts of the sport have grown, while they’ve taken a step backwards in other areas.”
Click here to read the full interview.
MALCOLM SMITH BOOK SIGNING: MEET THE LEGEND
[Press Release] From Baja to Dakar and all points in between, Malcolm Smith has been there, done that… and tells all in his new book! The On Any Sunday star will be at MSR Headquarters for an exclusive open house and book signing this week. MSR also has a number of other surprises in store for the BYOB function (Bring Your Own Book/Buy Your Own Book), Thursday, January 28, 2016 from 6-9 p.m.
“Malcolm will be on hand signing copies of his book,” says MSR Brand Manager Brent Harden. “Guests can bring their own, or purchase one here. We will have a number of MSR athletes on hand for the event as well. OX Motorsports has confirmed they will be on hand with their 2015 Baja 1000 race-winning bike and they will also be signing posters.”
Vintage bikes will be on display, food will be available and MSR is supplying free Rockstars! “We have some other surprises as well,” Harden notes. “Even if you don’t BYOB, come by anyway for free autographed posters from both Malcolm Smith and the OX Motorsports team members (while supplies last).”
Who: Malcolm Smith
What: Book Signing
Where: MSR Headquarters, 1621 Alton Parkway, Irvine, CA 92606
When: 1/28/16 from 6-9 p.m.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK (HONORABLE MENTION): JASON ANDERSON
“I got fifth, which is nothing to be bummed about. It’s not the greatest, but it’s not the worst. I still pulled through, and now need to focus on coming back next week and getting on the podium again. There seemed to be a lot of lappers out there, and I think it’s because there’s a lot of guys that are currently out, so a majority of riders who usually don’t make the mains are sneaking in and it seems to be causing a lot of traffic.”~Jason Anderson
Does Anderson’s statement hold a shred of truth in regard to lappers? There were three riders at Anaheim 2 that made the 450 main event for the first time this season — Jeff Alessi, Dakota Tedder and Weston Peick. Those guys are worthy. However, Jason’s quote makes sense when you look at the riders who weren’t on the line for the main event at A2 – Dean Wilson, Broc Tickle, Justin Barcia and Justin Bogle. Here’s more food for thought. At Anaheim 1 there were five lapped riders. There were only three lappers at San Diego. As for Anaheim 2, there were eight lapped riders. So, yes, Justin Anderson has a point. The two whoop sections separated the haves and have-nots pretty quickly.
FUN FACT: WITHIN ONE RACE
Ryan Dungey has a 13-point lead after three rounds.
Photos by Travis Fant
Of the 28 racers whom have scored points in the 450 Supercross series this year, only five are within one race – 25 points – of Ryan Dungey. The Red Bull KTM rider has been nearly perfect through three rounds, and it’s fair to say that had he not tangled with Trey Canard at the Anaheim opener, Dungey could be a perfect three-for-three on the season. Even so, Ryan has a 13-point lead over second place (Chad Reed). Keep in mind that Dungey only failed to make the podium once during last year’s Supercross campaign. Someone had better slow the Dungey freight train, or else the series will turn into a cakewalk for Ryan Dungey.
Chad Reed is second in the point standings, thanks to back-to-back podium finishes.
At this point in the season there are only five racers capable of slowing Dungey’s charge, and they just so happen to be the five riders immediately trailing Dungey in the point standings. Chad Reed has benefited from good starts and clean laps. He appears comfortable on the factory Yamaha, and typically hits his stride as the series moves away from California. It will be three rounds before Monster Energy Supercross breaks away from the west coast, but expect Reed to challenge for the win very soon (San Diego II, perhaps?).
Jason Anderson started the season on fire, but has cooled off due to poor starts and one big boo-boo.
Jason Anderson was the darling of Anaheim 1 after passing Cole Seely for the win, but a big mistake cost him valuable points in San Diego when he jumped on a red cross flag. He was docked two spots. Anderson has a legitimate shot at taking over the points lead again, but he must gate better. At Anaheim 2 he was 12th on the first lap. It’s admirable how Jason worked up to fifth, but he was nine seconds off Eli Tomac (fourth). Anderson is good enough to pass three-quarters of the field in a main event, but it’s the top few who will continue to give him fits should he get bumped around off the line.
The 14 of Cole Seely must get by Jason Anderson before he can think about battling with Ryan Dungey.
Cole Seely is holding strong, despite an off-night at Anaheim. He started just ahead of Anderson, but like so many times before, Cole couldn’t keep Jason in his rearview mirror. Seely has finished 3-3-6 thus far and is positioned ahead of Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen in the point standings. That’s the good news. The bad? He will need to be more assertive with a certain #21 Husqvarna before he can even think about knocking off Ryan Dungey and Chad Reed.
Eli Tomac (3) has lots of Instagram followers, although none of them are likely in this photo.
If you follow Eli Tomac on Instagram, you know that he is somewhat active with posting and responding to followers. After finishing fourth at San Diego, Tomac shared a photo that was posted on Motocross Action’s Instagram page (don’t follow us? In that case, click here). Some punk called out Tomac for not being able to get good starts and essentially wasting his talents. Eli replied, “Yep, 15 rounds to go [sic] I’m going to give up now.” It’s a bit harsh to take shots at a rider who is coming off double shoulder surgery and has finished fourth in the opening rounds. It is true that Tomac needs to improve his starts. He was near the front at Anaheim 1 (after the restart), but crossed the line in 10th place on opening laps since then. Eli will improve, and he will likely be a consistent podium finisher once he gets more gate drops under his belt. And speaking of poor starts…
Ken Roczen currently sits sixth in the point standings. The RCH Suzuki rider can’t buy a start.
Jeff Emig alluded to Ken Roczen’s struggles this year, compared to his success in the early rounds last year, as the result of poor starts. He’s right. See chart below.
Ken Roczen’s start position in 2015:
Anaheim 1 – 1st
Phoenix – 1st
Anaheim 2 – 2nd
Roczen’s start position this year:
Anaheim 1 – 17th
San Diego 1 – 6th
Anaheim 2 – 9th
As a result, Roczen is currently sixth in the point standings, with 51 points, and one podium. Last year he was leading the standings and won two of the opening three races (he finished second at the other). Strangely enough, Ryan Dungey has the same point total (72) this year as Ken Roczen did last year. Perhaps you’ll also recall how Roczen’s run at the title took a major hit last year in Oakland when he came up short on a triple. The series turned on a dime, and Ryan Dungey took over. This time around it’s Dungey in the lead as the schedule turns to Oakland this weekend. Isn’t it strange how things work out?
Roczen talked about his struggles in a post-race press release from RCH Racing:
“The good thing is that we’re making steps forward. I practiced a lot of starts (last week) and feel pretty comfortable. Obviously, it didn’t happen in the main but we’re going to keep working on that because I think that’s what is holding me back from being at the very top. Second half of the race, I feel like I put in a strong ride. I made a little mistake with about a lap to go. Otherwise, I think I could have brought the heat a little bit with Chad (Reed). It’s hard coming from the back. That’s the bottom line. The track was tough out there. The whoops were something else so you really had to keep your focus. We’re going to come back and we’re going to keep trying. That’s for sure.”
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: WORKS CONNECTION OIL FILTER COVERS
[Press Release]Tired of your bike’s ‘Plain Jane’ oil filter cover? Pick out a Works Connection oil filter cover from one of the five color options and enhance the heart of your ride. Direct replacement for your OEM oil filter cover but in upgraded, CNC’d 6061 T6 billet aluminum and rich anodized finish. Features include: 6061 T6 aircraft grade aluminum construction, CNC-machined to exacting specifications, raised CNC-engraved logo, available for Honda, Husq., Kawi, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha, anodized in Blue, Red, Black, Green or Orange, made in the USA. retail price: $49.95-$59.95. Find them at retail outlets or www.worksconnection.com
MXGP OF CHARLOTTE PRESS CONFERENCE
From left: Coy Gibbs, Youthstream’s Giuseppe Luongo, Jeremy McGrath and Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Marcus Smith.
Last Tuesday I was invited by Eric Peronnard to attend the “MXGP of the Americas” press conference at Charlotte Motor Speedway. If you’ve been following the Grand Prix beat, then you’re aware that Youthstream’s grand poobah, Giuseppe Luongo, has orchestrated two Grand Prix races in the United States for 2016. The Glen Helen USGP will return to sunny SoCal on September 11th – an obviously very important date in our country’s history. Before heading to California the Grand Prix stars will stop in Charlotte to contest the Monster Energy MXGP of the Americas (or the USGP of the East as I call it). The event will be held on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s zMAX Dragway, located on the same hallowed grounds as the NASCAR 1-1/2 mile superspeedway. Read what Jeremy McGrath, Giuseppe Luongo and Coy Gibbs had to say about the MXGP of the East.
“I’m excited for this plan. You’ve done a great job. The dragway here is beautiful, and I think it’s going to make a great addition.” After the track video was shown, McGrath replied, “It’s an amazing track layout. We were sitting up here trying to figure out where the start was going to be. Obviously it takes a pretty grand idea to come up with something like this. Obviously Giuseppe is the man for it. He has a great partner in Monster Energy, and he has Coy [Gibbs] and the JGR guys backing this thing. I think the concept is great and the show is going to be awesome.”
“Together we will make a great event, and maybe a long road together. We are very very honored to work with you. This is a great step for our sport. What we try is really to go in a location like this, which is fantastic. It’s a great accommodation. It has great infrastructure for the teams and for the fans. We will have a fantastic track.”
“I’m the Gibbs they usually keep hidden [laughter]. They definitely don’t give me an open mic, but after [John] Force’s speech I think I’m in the clear [laughter]. This race is huge for us. I don’t make it to the NASCAR garages that often, because I’m traveling so much. When I do, I am inundated with people asking about motocross. They’re so excited about it. A lot of the NASCAR drivers love it, they’re passionate about it, and they ask what we’re doing. A lot of them want to go to an event, and they ask when we’re going to race in Charlotte. I tell them that they can go 2-1/2 hours in the woods up north [to the Muddy Creek National] or four hours down to Atlanta [for the Supercross]. What they’re really saying is that they’re too lazy to get in a car and drive, and so they want to know when there will be an event in Charlotte.
“Now I can say there is an event in Charlotte, and I’m excited about that. We were fortunate enough to get invited to the Motocross des Nations, and that’s before I knew Mr. Luongo. I was leery of going overseas. I’m not a big overseas traveler, but Jeremy Albrecht, our team manager, convinced me to go. I got to see what Giuseppe Luongo did over there, and it was amazing. It blew me away, compared to what we’re currently doing in the States. Without having met him, it told me a lot about him and what’s important to him. In fact, there was a whole hillside of people going crazy, and some guy lights off a flare and starts winging it around in the crowd. I was like, “This is amazing! Awesome! I don’t know if that’s legal, but it’s pretty cool!” [laughter].”
“The Smith family always has something new going on at Charlotte. They have the dragstrip. They also have a dirt track. I love drag racing. It’s one of my passions. I left school a little early to go do that. We’re excited for our fans. Our fans are probably a little different. They’re a little younger, and you’ll probably see more tattoos and piercings. It’s exciting for them.”
For more information on the event, as well as my thoughts on whether the MXGP of the Americas will be successful, be sure to read my “One Photo & One Story” web feature tomorrow. In the meantime, below is a virtual track map of the Charlotte MXGP.
CHARLOTTE MXGP TRACK
BE THERE! FLASHPOINT NATIONAL SNOW BIKE RACE
What: Round 1 of the 2016 National Snow Bike Motocross Series
Where: McCall, Idaho, held at the golf course in downtown
When: Saturday, January 30th at 2 p.m.
Cost: $5.00, with kids 12 and under free admission
Why: Aside from being an absolute blast, you’ll likely see Ronnie Renner, Broc Hoyer and Reagan Sieg battling it out. There’s even a new Red Bull double jump, which is sure to impress.
For more information: www.flashpointsnowbike.com or (208) 573-4255
CRASH SEQUENCE: BROC HOYER GETS UNHINGED
Whether you live in the Northwest, Canada, or your area was just pummeled by superstorm Jonas, make the most of the white stuff by going outside. Another suggestion? Take a Timbersled with you. Just don’t get too wild, like Broc Hoyer did in the sequence below. He walked away because, after all, it’s just snow.
BACK TO THE FUTURE: MARTY SMITH STARTS A 1979 HONDA CR250R
Marty Smith, the three-time AMA National Champion, got a nice surprise this past weekend when bike restorer, Mike Tillman, let Smith fire up the prized 1979 Honda CR250R. Pipeline Digital Media’s Todd Huffman was there to capture the moment.