The BIG EASY home of orange bracelet access only into super special magical rooms.
The BIG EASY home of orange bracelet access only into super special magical rooms.
Photos by: Jamie Lissimore
This week we’ve got a do over, with both riders having come up Just Short earlier this season. Fourteen rounds into this thing and I’m still flabbergasted at the lack of LCQ coverage, they didn’t highlight or mention the 250F LCQ or I was grabbing another cold beer out of the fridge. They did show some great racing in the 450F LCQ with Hot Sauce and Wil Hahn but not a mention of the eventual Just Short finisher Ryan Clark. If there was ever a reason to support bringing back the Semi heat races I think more TV coverage for the unsung riders of the sport makes the Short list. With my hometown Supercross of Seattle this weekend I have several preparations I need to finish up so I’m going to keep this Short and sweet. At the risk of making this column to serious and legit I have an actual interview this week, not just a twitter response or a text but actual relevant questions and answers about a rider that came up Just Short, I’m well on my way to getting to big to fast.
Really blue rims? I’m pretty much at a loss for words, I challenge anyone to find a bike that looks cool with blue rims.
#68 Shane Sewell – Violation1.com/Shea Racing/SMS Racing/KTM/National Switchgear
Previously featured in Just Short Vol. 9 and I’m sure none of you miss a week of my column but if you did you can read it here http://pulpmx.com/stories/just-short-vol9it’s worth checking out as it includes a link to one of Shanes sponsors that involves girls in bikinis washing dirt bikes. The king of moto media also made an editor note in Just Short Vol. 9 that the Sewell brothers had raced in Canada last year. So with a Shane featured again I looked into it, and looked and looked and couldn’t find them in the point standings anywhere. I asked Steve if they had indeed raced in Canada and he seemed uncertain, instantly this article had written itself I couldn’t wait to make fun of Steve for being wrong not just wrong but wrong about something Canada related, the insults were coming to me faster then I could type them. Yet it wasn’t mean to be Steve got clarification from Mr. James Lissimore an expert in all things recently Canadian motocross related and sure enough upon closer inspection I found the Sewell brothers in the results, I’m an idiot. It appears they only hit a handful of races and Travis finished 20th overall in the points and Shane didn’t score any points. So there is the information I previously omitted that Steve was looking for. What else can you really say about the Sewell brothers?
Ryan Clarks baby can’t even walk yet and has gotten to walk a Supercross track before I have, well played baby Clark well played.
#124 Ryan Clark – Motivite/Mastel/Linens/Fly/M2R/HoyFox/Leovince/Enjoy
Last time around when Ryan was featured I tried to get an interview with trainer to the stars Coach Seiji who previously worked with Ryan, I made a few rookie journalistic errors and it didn’t come to fruition. This time though I pulled it off like a 4x Manitoba champion. Seiji works with several riders in all different aspects of nutrition and fitness for lots of interesting health info check out his website coachseiji.com I find him very entertaining on twitter @coachseiji and not just because he posts photos of Shorty with his shirt off. To give you some idea of the type of person Seiji is he opened a crossfit gym and within the same building is going to open a pub style bar, it goes without saying I like his style. Without further delay I present to you the first “professional” Just Short interview.
Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions about Ryan and give him a bit of press.
Full disclosure for the readers, you work closely with Andrew Short, and with Shorty being not only a superior athlete but also a superior person it must make it pretty much impossible to compare other riders to the high Shorty standard so if you could try to be indifferent with your answers that would be great. Unfortunately we can’t make everything about Short, and thanks in advance for taking the time away from rubbing Shorty to answer these questions.
Most people are familiar with the name Ryan Clark because he’s been riding and racing for so long, but Short of knowing that he is from Arizona and owned and operated Team Solitaire I can’t say I know too much about him, how did you two meet, what was/is your relationship and how long did you work together?
If I remember correctly, he actually contacted me through email asking what I did. I started with just an online only training program with him which worked great for him as he is totally mature and self motivated so at the time I was just his online fitness trainer. I did get to hang with him in person from time to time, and as Shorty may tell you, I guess I am sort of a hippie and so is Clark so we hit it off. A bit down the road with his team Solitaire, he needed a fill in rider and I hooked him up with a Texas kid that did ok for him (Ryan Grantom). Over the years, we have stayed in contact and we personally get along and have at least our hippie attitudes in common so I imagine we will get along for quite some time. He seems intellectual as well and from what I hear, I guess I can get that way if I want to lol. Most importantly he is a good person and that gets my respect.
What do you feel is Ryan’s greatest strength’s and weaknesses?
I think his strengths (as far as moto) are that he is 1. Generally a good athlete. 2. He is smart . 3. Just a good dude. You know how some riders that have only been riding since say they were 5, they are good riders but not good athletes. Ryan is a good athlete. He was a collegiate level swimmer, he can run at a good clip, do triathlons, play soccer. He isn’t just limited to the position on a bike, just motocross, he is athletic and I think long term that helps with longevity in the sport, injury prevention and healing, etc. He is smart – how can you not be if you run your own team while racing at the same time at the highest of levels. Mind you he didn’t have staff other than his mechanic and himself most of the time and he did the marketing, business side, management, and trained and rode as well, it’s no easy task to do all that and keep the team together with all the sponsor obligations, logistics, etc. He also had a column going in Racer X that I felt really good I think he is a great writer, very observant, introspective and witty at the same time. He has a good heart man. I don’t want to expose personal things but man, he had two kids back then, with all that he had going on and took care of them, now he has a third and they come first, even at the level he is at now, struggling along just to make mains, you can see that he is a good guy at heart. I consider myself picky as far as who I consider my friends and he is definitely my friend before he is my client.
There’s a very long list of advantages factory and support riders have over a privateer, but I’m interested to know what you feel holds the most value, is it the quality of bike/equipment, or conditioning/strength, or maybe having a consistent schedule/program?
Well let me say one thing first. If you have a factory ride (and didn’t buy it), you earned it so good for you. I have trained both sides, from struggling privateer just trying to get his start money to Factory guys like Heath Voss, Jason Anderson, Hunter Hewitt and of course Shorty. I think the biggest advantage is you know you have the support. Whether you need a certain hotel, earlier flight, slightly different gearing, tranny, ignition map, fork valving, shock length, footpeg position, seat foam density, whatever you could possibly imagine on a bike to make it more comfortable or confidence inspiring, someone will try their best to get it done for you. Just knowing you have that kind of support changes you and makes you more confident. Makes you believe you belong at the front. Makes you calm. If you think you need it, someone will try super hard to get it done. You need 5 ridges on your traction seat cover instead of 4 because you have a feeling it will help, someone will get on it. I think this mental advantage far outweighs the financial advantage of all that backing. All the other things you mention, having a trainer, coach, mental trainer, therapist, consistent schedule (due to being able to fly, have a second home, etc.) is just due to the fact that you are earning factory money and they are covering all your racing expenses (thus making your own money go further). I could go on like this for days. I have seen both sides, up close and personal, living in my house, sharing hotel beds, etc.
Ryan is a taller rider which has some obvious advantages in whoops, and ruts, but where is a taller rider at a disadvantage or was there something Ryan struggles with because of his height?
I think the biggest physical limiter for Ryan is that he is more of an endurance type of athlete. He is lean, can sustain submaximal contractions for a long duration, can run laps at a submaximal pace with consistent times, etc. what you would expect out of an athlete that can do triathlons and play soccer. What I think he lacks is snap, power, quickness, urgency. He gravitates toward holding a certain pace for the duration but lacks that snap, say like Stewart has and the accompanying mental urgency to get shit done quickly and with power and the physical attributes to back it up….like Shorty but even more so. Shorty has some strength to him, Clark does not.
Everyone has a weird quark, superstition, food preference or sleeping habit something, give me something, anything unique about Ryan Clark?
Well like I said before, he is an intellectual. He can use introspect to write well. He is also a good artist, good at graphic design. He is a great swimmer, good runner, good cyclist and good soccer player from what he has been saying recently. He has a supplement company called Motovite. He used to be #32. He is definitely one of the most intellectual dudes on the circuit. Three kids man and still racing in a true privateer program….that alone is very unique.
I think I already know the answer to this and I mean no disrespect to Ryan but is there anything that you think Ryan could beat Short at?
Haha swimming…no contest. Ryan would KILL Shorty in the pool. It would be a massacre.
Anything else you want to say to wrap this Short interview up?
I know Ryan is in the closing moments of his long career. That is something worth celebrating but also something to mourn about. He has been at the top, with his own program, doing it his own way out of a rig, flying to the races, to where he is today. But, the whole time, in that entire spectrum of where a racer could be, he has always been the same person. He has never rock starred me, has never come off as some sort of star athlete, just a dude doing what he loves in the way that suits him best. I honestly don’t know if this is his farewell tour, full of smiles and memories or whether his is just bummed, ready to call it, but either way, he made a stamp on this sport at least for me….he did it his way no matter how it ended up financially. He did it for the right reasons and he is still out there for the right reasons.
Well that was pretty much a badass interview but don’t get used to this type of quality content, one interview like this per season meets my quota. All this reflection about Ryan reminded me of a altercation I witnessed between Ryan and Stewart at the Vegas Supercross back in maybe 05’ or 06’. Headed out of the stadium into “Thunder Alley” at the time you rode out of the stadium the opposite direction with a tight high speed chicane on slippery sun backed Vegas dirt. This was prior to timed qualifying so setting the fastest lap time wasn’t nearly as relevant as it is now. The barrier on the sides of the track in this area was large plastic road barricades, anyways long story Short for no particular reason Stewart pushed Clark wide in the chicane and right into the barriers where he promptly cart wheeled. After picking himself off the ground he was rightfully pissed and wasted no time in tracking down Stewart on the track to exchange some words and sign language. I recall it as being a completely dick move by Stewart that I portrayed as arrogance and more or less disrespectful towards slower riders. Well that was a nice Short trip down memory lane. If you want to keep up with the happenings of Ryan Clark on twitter check him out @TeamSolitaire
#48 Jimmy “Top” Albertson – BTO Sports.com, Palmetto Suzuki, Fly Racing, MMI
Pending interview with Top Jimmy:
STATUS STILL PENDING
I will be coming for Top Jimmy in Seattle to get this long over due interview. I did a bit of investigating and apparently Mrs. Top Jimmy (Georgia Lindsay) will not be in attendance which is to my benefit because if things go sideways I was more worried about Georgia kicking my ass than Jimmy those English chicks know how to scrap fight and they are not afraid to lose a few teeth.
#9 Ivan Tedesco – Hart & Huntington
Great ride for hot sauce, he almost made the main, coming back to races with minimal bike time he showed a lot of heart out there. It was good to see him back at the races hopefully he can race again before the season end he’s one of those “good guys of the sport”
Thanks for reading this Short recognition of the guys that almost made it. See you next week if I live through Seattle SX weekend, Moser
Please send any complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org’s been printing them and categorizing your concerns and will be delivering them to me at Seattle.