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Enjoy reading all your stuff, I have a question about Donnie Hansen.I watched MX files and read different articles that mentioned his accident or crash but I have never heard what happened to end his pro career? Do you know?
Moose Jaw Sk
Hey Brian, thanks for writing in and what happened was that Hansen went over before the ’82 MXDN to race a GP. He was coming off the 250 mx and sx title and was pretty much on top of the world at that point. To further prove that he was, he won the German 250 GP pretty easily and life was looking good for Donnie. But then the week before the Motocross des Nations, he was practicing and from I have heard (I wasn’t there as I was 9) Donnie tried a triple jump and clipped the second one with his rear wheel and ate poop. He was in a coma for a long time and his career was over. Although he did make a comeback on a Yamaha in 84, it didn’t work out so well. Too bad, a real sad story for sure.
I overheard from a semi-respectable person that it took forever to warm up the factory Yamaha 2-strokes back in the day. If that was true how long are we actually talking and what was the normal warm up procedure?
Your “semi-respectable” friend was correct. I was on Yamaha then and it was the first year of the new unleaded fuel rules and our bikes were really bad. They had to be so warm before the fuel would start to work in the bikes. Many, many fouled spark plugs that season and we always wondered why, if this fuel was the shit as VP and our manager told us, no one was revving their bikes like they were ready to launch at Cape Canaveral. It was pretty comedy if you watched our guys on the parade laps at supercrosses as they would literally stop on the top of the jump and rev it like they won the main event. Other teams and riders finally started asking us about it, it was that ridiculous. Once the motor was warm, it ran great!
Hi Steve, what is the reasoning behind works transmissions? Is it simply an enhanced durability issue with special coatings etc… or do they actually change ratios? I would assume it’s ratios due to some teams running four speed trannies. What type of ratio advantage do they get that can’t be achieved through basic sprocket size changes, which, they still end up doing occasional at the racetrack? Second, less important question is- in todays age of realistic, authentic licensed video games, why is our sport still lacking something decent? I know you’re a huge hockey fan, and the NHL games for Playstation, XBox etc…are incredible in their accuracy of play, players, teams, etc.. Why isn’t there a MX game where you have actual teams, riders, all the accurate national track layouts, bike setup, etc..? It would make sense to me considering the amount of kids you see at supercrosses and outdoors? Perhaps video games are not your forte but I was hoping with your industry insider position you might have some info. Besides, I tried emailing Roncada and his website is a nightmare to navigate. Thanks for your time!
Ivan, all the factory teams run special trannys and it’s for a couple of reasons. You have the ability to tune each gear for what the riders want and you have special coatings on there to make sure the gears last. It’s pretty basic though, almost all the teams run one gear less than what is production and they almost all give the rider a taller second gear. It seems to be what all the guys want and can’t be achieved by just changing a sprocket. As far as strength, all the riders run the whoops in fourth gear and if you were to try and enter a section of whoops in fourth and try to build speed through the set with a stock tranny, the dogs would be shot in 20 min. I’ve seen this with my own eyes, the chattering of gears back and forth just ruin the stock gears. So fourth is always hardened at the very least.
The video game thing I’m not sure about as I am a PS3 guy but mostly play Madden and a Call of Duty game that I play on-line and get beat down by thirteen year olds. I know that to use the riders and teams likenesses costs money and the return on what a game developer can make after they pay cash out isn’t much. I’m with you though, I thought MX vs ATV sucked, I know I was in the minority but that’s what I thought. I liked ATV Fury though, many, many, many hours spent playing that back in the day. I remember that Brock Sellards brought his PS2 on the road with him and we would have tournaments every weekend.
I have thought about this a lot when talking about football and now about sx/mx. Instead of high salaries for the factory guys, why not just pay on a performance base? A honda rider, regardless of his name will make more than say Millsaps if he beats him. If Millsaps (doesn’t want to give 100% than should be paid that way, kinda sounds like Randy Moss "I play when I wanna play") doesn’t want to perform at his best and finishes 7th and Ben Coisy finishes 6th, well Coisy should get paid more! At the end of last year, Andrew Short should have been the highest paid rider in AMA sx/mx competition. SX only, paid that way!
Jacksonville SX (honda riders in the results used for this high end break down are for example only)
3rd Windham $$$$$$$$ (3dr highest paid in race)
5th Short $$$$$$$ (5thhighest paid in race)
9th Voss $$$$$$ (9th highest paid in race)
12th Coisy $$$$$ (12th highest paid in race)
13th Tedesco $$$$ (13th highest paid in race)
15th Adams $$$ (15th highest paid in race)
16th Boni $$ (16th highest paid in race)
19th Millsaps $ (19th highest paid in race)
Not just against the other riders of the same brand they choose to ride but K-Dub should have made more for this race than Hill who got 4th and Hill should have gotten more than Short who finished 5th. If that little break down doesn’t look like incentive to try, I don’t know what does. It suck’s for the fans when you have major talent get signed and ride mellow because they are already collecting the money and some hard working hard charging privateer beats the money guys and makes just enough to get to the next race in a beater of a truck while the 13th and 19th place guys fly first class home for a few days.
Sorry Steve (Original Man Friend) Matthes for the long question but the core of the run-on is in red/bold as to not confuse you.
P.S. I think the factories can still have their guys that they believe will do the best for them and supply them with a mechanic and the high end parts, etc… but pay the guys that deserve it and maybe Mister Yamaha team rider will lose his seat in the hauler for that privateer that kept charging and beating him. It would make the racing better and closer if everyone gave it all they had!
Itchy, thanks for writing in and the sport of motocross is a cruel one. The highly paid factory rider won’t last very long when they’re getting beat by the privateers. The pro riders sort of work in a “natural selection” sort of way. I agree with you in that the salaries have gotten out of touch with what a rider can do (especially in the 250) class but in their defense, a rider’s career can end in a split second and it’s a highly dangerous sport. They should be well compensated when 60,000 people come out to watch them. The real problem is the guaranteed long term contract that is given out, the riders do seem to slack a bit in the first couple of years before picking it up. If a privateer goes out there and consistently beats the factory riders, he’ll be rewarded with a contract and then it will be their turn to slack.
It’s the same as the NFL or any of the major sports if you ask me, you always have the really talented guy that slacks, the guy that doesn’t have the talent that works super hard, the guys that just are what they are and then the elite 1-2% that rise above everyone else.
Congrats on the Saskatoon mini thing. I can’t believe that’s the first that I’ve heard of that. My question for this gay old edition of mailbag:What is it going to take to get the old numbering system back? I absolutely hate the permanent numbers. As a fan it used to be cool to see a dude with a high number or a 3-digit running at the front and knowing instantly that he’s stepped his game up from last year. For the riders who truly earned a 2-digit it was something they could carry the whole next year and be proud of. I don’t think the riders really get the benefit of marketing the permanent numbers (via selling t-shirts, hats, tubetops, etc..) the way that the NEKCAR fellas do. Nor do I believe that the changing of numbers from year to year makes it any harder for folks to follow their favorites. After the first heats are over at Anaheim 1, everyone who cares is already familiar with who’s who regardless of their new numbers, teams, etc… Some cool scenarios we’d see were this still the system:
· If you saw a rider with a 3-digit number making the show everyone would know that cat was progressing from the previous year.
· If Reed showed up for a National this summer he’d be running whatever random # he earned last year without running the whole series.
· For Stewart, running a National this year would be his only opportunity to run a #1 plate.
· Shorty would’ve run a big #2 all year indicating that he’d scored more overall points than any other rider last year.
I think the old numbering system was much cooler for the fans and it gave the rider’s who progressed from the year before a sort of badge to be proud of. So what do ya think? Any chance of this happening? Am I the only one who dug it? Do the rider’s make more off of selling swag with their number than I realize? Does Blair Morgan still thank the mullet wearing God of Canada that you decided to turn wrenches rather than continuing to administer the beatings from Saskatoon? … You don’t have to answer that last one. The answer is pretty obvious, eh?
Buddy, I agree 100% although this means for 2010, Ferry wouldn’t have as good of a number as he does now and I can no longer call him “The Big One Five”. It was a ridiculous rule when it came in and looks even dumber now when Mike Brown has the number three and doesn’t race. Or Robbie Reynard is out there with seventeen and not making the main. The reasoning behind it was merchandising which was really silly when there is three guys that can actually sell clothes consistently (RC, Stewie and Reed) and the rest of the dudes can’t. What really sticks in my craw is when riders are assigned a number and don’t use it. Like Alessi, Lawrence etc etc. There are dudes that would KILL for a national number and these guys can’t be bothered to use the one they earned. They should lose it and the next guy in the points should get 99. I’m not sure if it’s ever going to change but a lot of the rules that the old administration (re: Steve Whitelock) enforced is being changed back now. One can only hope this will change also one day.
I guarantee you that Blair thanks his lucky stars every day that I didn’t pursue a pro racing career because….wait, I did. I just sucked.
As a foreigner from a distant land, maybe you can answer me a question: Why do riders from “over there” (wherever that may be) seem to get injured so often when they get here? They just seem to have miserable luck with big injuries (even aside from the SX learning curve that seems to break so many before they get rolling outdoors). A lot of folks were eager to see Townley again these last couple years. Nope, and he might be especially missed this summer on a 450. The 250 battle this summer promises to be great for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the Pourcel, Searle, Rattray factor. Kudos to whoever was smart enough to let Searle and Rattray skip SX this year. Even so, it is somehow hard to get too jacked up because if history is any indicator, they will be watching from crutches before High Point. I am thinking Pichon, Tortelli, Alby, amongst others. Groundhog Day on getting excited about foreign riders spicing up the outdoors and then injured and out.
Why is this? Different dirt, magnetic fields, used to driving on the left side of the road? Seriously; US and Euro MX tracks aren’t really so different, are they? Why is it that Euro or other foreign riders contesting for an outdoor championship always seem to go down with an injury? As a foreigner, what is the Matthes Theory?
P.S. Your English is very good.
Thanks John about the compliment on my English. I work very, very hard on mastering the language. I feel lucky to have a country that has embraced me like America has.
Good question for sure and I just think that it is a supercross thing that causes these guys to get hurt. Although Tortelli made it all the way through sx one year and then tore his knee up riding outdoors. Albee was a sx disaster, same with Tortelli in the early years. I agree with you in that Rattray and Searle skipping sx is a very smart move.