There’s plenty of info in this Twitter mail bag. Thanks for sending them in
There’s plenty of info in this Twitter mail bag. Thanks for sending them in
His number one goal should be to stay healthy and then his number two goal should be to stay healthy. Wilson’s got to be the heavy favorite to win whatever coast he goes into right? I stopped by Pro Circuit the other day and talked to Mitch Payton for a while, he’s very excited about Dean’s “buy-in” with new trainer Ryan Hughes. So there’s that part of Dean’s program that should be better than it was last year (I had a source that told me after the main events early on in the 2013 250SX east coast series Wilson was looking like he was very, very winded) and I’ve said it all along, why can’t Wilson get back to where he was which was battling with Barcia and Tomac? He’s still young, he hasn’t been that seriously hurt and he appears to be working hard. Wilson can get back to where he should be but in 2014 he’s got to stay healthy (there’s that word again) and start building his way back.
I’m still on the Dean-o bandwagon, ain’t no way you’re getting me off at this point. To me, when you win a national championship the way Dean did that really means something. MX history is full of 250 (125) SX champs that never did anything but when you win outdoors, over 24 motos, you’ve really done something. He’ll be fine- just watch.
Ummmm, yeah I guess so. I don’t know really- it seems like that wouldn’t be the greatest but riding is riding right? I do have to wonder about being a pro (ie: professional) and not having a practice bike or enough parts to replace ones on your race bike but hey, whatever. If the only other option is not practicing at all then yes, the two-stroke is better than that
Well Jeff, what better person to ask than a guy who’s ACTUALLY ridden on production tires and works tires? May I present to you Jason Thomas:
JT- Well, Harry Hogge in the cult classic Days of Thunder once said “Tires are what wins a race”. While this may not completely crossover to sx/mx, it definitely is still a very important factor for the elite riders of the sport. With the best riders getting the best available products across the board, tires are no different. In theory, a production tire is meant to last as long as possible while also performing at a high level. This is always a compromise as those two factors work directly in contrast with each other. For a race specific tire, however, the tire only needs to last the length of that particular main event or moto. Performance is the main concern and endless testing is done with dozens of riders to fine tune the different compounds and carcasses of each individual tread pattern.
For example, Chad Reed may like a certain front tire such that at first glance would appear to be a Dunlop MX71. The MX71 is sold in dealerships nationwide but what he is actually riding on is coded as a 715. Just for that 715, Dunlop may have 4 or 5 (or more) different options just for that one design. It can vary in height of knob, height of sidewall, softer compounds and different carcass characteristics. All of these changes make quite a difference in feel on the track and what works for Chad Reed may not work for Ryan Villopoto. It is all about what the rider is looking for and sometimes can depend on what brand of motorcycle the rider is on. Some tires work better on stiffer setups and chassis while others may feel completely wrong on a steel frame.
When looking at all of the possible variables from traction to temperature to bike brands to simple rider preference, you can see how complicated tires get at the highest levels of racing. Vaults of data are kept by the tire representatives from test sessions so that when conditions change, they have information to rely on to steer them in the right direction. The riders depend on this data and expertise to make the right call and often times when you hear a rider say “I made a bad change on the bike”, this can be the culprit. Having ridden on both race spec tires and production tires hundreds if not thousands of times, I can assure you that there is a massive difference. It’s really not surprising as it is no different than a factory engine or many other race parts, they are built to perform at an extremely high level for a short amount of time. Sending the top riders out on the track at Anaheim with production tires would incur more whining than including a Joker Lane. The level of racing is much faster and riders are more capable of pushing the edge with the tires they are provided. While I may not totally agree with ol’ Harry Hogge, tires certainly are a huge part of winning and losing.
Could this be the year that Martin Davalos finally wins a race? I know Mitch Payton thinks so. Dean Wilson has got all the speed to make it work, Justin Hill was actually not bad in supercross as a rookie, go look up his results and see. Blake Baggett will be back healthy and a top three guy one would think. Adam Cianciarulo will be good, how can he not be? And Darryn Durham won a race last time he competed in supercross. There’s no possible way that PC has shit luck once again in 2014.
In talking to Payton a couple of weeks ago he said that he knows the bikes are good. He said him and Bones Bacon have really tried to look and see if the bikes were a problem and they’ve come to the conclusion that they aren’t. So to answer your question, I think they can all do well. They HAVE to be better right?
I don’t know, I really do need to know really fast don’t I? What’s the hold up on this? I really don’t know. Let me send out some emails and figure out if we all want to do this again. I was very surprised and pumped on the number of calls we got from you guys, the fans, on the show. It was awesome and Fly Racing really supported it as well.
I typed this up last week and since then, we’ve been able to make the Fly Racing Moto:60 Show come back with the help of Fly Racing and N-Fab Jeep and Truck Bars. Yay! Tune in Thursdays at noon PST for an hour of serious moto talk and you calls.
Yeah probably. Everyone is to blame for this new deal that sees a rider never really satisfied with their bike. Motocross is so weird that way, it’s 90% rider and you can’t really replicate the same conditions from lap to lap, never mind race to race to really truly test how a bike works. It’s not like road-racing. I’ve seen riders that test all day and then at the end, you end up with your old settings. And a struggling rider is the worst, you all want to help them out but in the end tough love is needed to tell the rider that it’s on him.
But then the rider gets pissed, thinks the team doesn’t support him and perhaps goes into a bigger funk. So you can’t really tell him that, you have to go to the test track at 7AM and test your balls off day after day only to end up with a pretty close setting to one you had. Then the rider feels the love and sees that the team is behind him and he starts to ride better. It’s a vicious circle bro.
It would probably be bigger than it is now. When I was a mechanic and we were all on two-strokes, the gap between the haves-and have-nots was bigger in my opinion than it is now. At least in the 450 class. The factory two-strokes were right on the weight limit, they had special transmissions, power everywhere and ignitions back then were really for factory guys only. With the advent of 450’s, the gap closed a lot and we saw more good rides from privateers than ever before. But then the blurred lines between factory riders and privateers started screwing everything up and we didn’t know who was factory and who wasn’t and which guys had works stuff and which guys didn’t and it all went to hell in a hand basket shortly after that.
Justin Barcia. And people, Chance isn’t asking NEXT year’s title winner, he’s asking next NEW supercross title winner. I don’t know when but I think Barcia in supercross has the talent and the goods to be the next new champion. I’m just not sure when this will happen though, Dungey and Villopoto still seem to be slightly ahead of Barcia in 2014. I do believe that Bam Bam will be the next “guy” but Roczen and Tomac probably have something to say about that as well. Nice waffling job right?
It’s a good question and probably something that should be done but I doubt it. Dirt bikes are expensive and there isn’t much profit made on them to begin with so to fire up the bike-making machinery and drop a low-tech cheaper bike on the public is something I don’t see happening. How about we just work on bringing 125’s back?
No I don’t think he’ll be where Roczen and Tomac are but he’s a solid rider no doubt about it. Wil’s been through a lot in terms of injuries and it’s great to see a guy make good like Hahn has. I do think he’s in for a tough challenge and I don’t care what David Vuillemin says- the field is deep bro.
Between Chad Reed, James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey, Justin Barcia, Eli Tomac, Jake Weimer, Broc Tickle, Trey Canard and Ivan Tedesco you have thirty-one championships on the line at Anaheim 1. If Hahn can hover around top ten, be his usual solid teammate and good tester then his season will be a success. This just in- 450SX is a grind.
There’s a few out there that been hyped and then done nothing. I’m not here to talk shit on my fellow media outlets and I suppose it’s inevitable that we’re at this point but the amount of press these amateur riders get simply astounds me. Being a winner at the amateur level really doesn’t mean anything in regards to whether you can make a living as a pro motocrosser. And on the flip side, if you’re just a top five guy as an amateur that doesn’t mean you’re done as we’ve seen time and time again.
The “problem” is these sites and videos and all that (and I work for some of them and am friends with the owners of some of them) just pump these kids up and make them think they’re something when the work hasn’t even begun yet. I don’t know how we stop these parents from mortgaging their houses to chase the glory but it’s a serious problem we have as the attrition rate from amateurs to pro is not good.
Anyways, back to the question. One name I can remember as a “can’t miss” kid that did miss was Eddie Hicks who was a Yamaha kid back in the early 80’s. He was touted as the next great one and in fact I have an old MXA where a bunch of industry insiders and star riders talk about the next great rider and Hicks is all over that poll.
Hicks turned pro with a Yamaha pro support ride (Bob Oliver wrenched for him) and really didn’t do much. He had a few good results but there wasn’t much there to back up all the wins and titles as an 80 rider. Although he did get 5th OA in his first 125 national of his career according to the Racer X Vault HERE
I also remember Thor bringing up Nick Adams to be interviewed as an amateur alongside their pro riders and then I don’t remember one thing Nick Adams ever did as a pro. Swing and a miss there as the Michigan kid never struck it big. Still on the Thor thing, I had the Thor gear rep at the time tell me that Ben Riddle was going to dominate motocross and Riddle actually did the opposite of dominate motocross. That’s just three names out of a thousand that I can pull out of a hat.
I don’t think we know yet but with N-Fab and Nicoletti heading over to JGR Yamaha I can’t see how Alan Brown (owner of the team) can get Chiz and Kiniry (there have been talks with trying to get OTSFF team up in Canada to partner up with Alan and Brown run these two for SX only and then OTSFF run the two guys for Canadian nationals) signed up and run a team without a main sponsor but I know he’s trying to make it work. But it’s also early December so…
There’s also rumor so Larry Brooks circling around. He’s like Jason from Friday the 13th…you can’t shake him! Alan and Larry have talked a bit and from what I understand Blake Wharton is a package deal with LB. I reached out to Larry and he said it’s a small thing he’s doing and he’ll tell me in a week or so. Times are tough these days for everyone involved in the pro supercross pits there’s no doubt about that. It seems that the 250SX guys are better off, there’s more rides for them, more teams that are just doing one coast or another and unbelievably- solid 450SX main event guys are struggling to get a ride.
His talent will allow him to do better than he probably should. Pourcel is a fantastic rider but when he was winning races and supercross titles he wasn’t exactly the hardest working dude out there. The Pro Circuit guys have plenty of stories about his practice bikes coming back almost new. He didn’t train and work as hard as he should and now he’s coming back after a year off (three years removed from racing in America) to race 250MX? Maybe this time away from the sport will have him in a reflective state, he’ll know this is his last chance to make money and we’ll see a motivated CP377. If he works at it he could be a podium guy in my mind but I think we’ll most likely see him challenge here and there before eventually pulling out with an injury. No matter how he does, I’ll be watching.
Going to be tougher now for the big guys to miss mains. They get three shots at it now with the re-introduction of semi races for 2013. The thing that always did these dudes in before (and just about everyone has missed a main at some point since the semi races went away save for Ryan Dungey, James Stewart and Chad Reed) was crashing and pulling out of the heat races. This gave them last gate pick for the LCQ and then predictably the bad start happens and the fast guy runs out of time. That’s how it usually went but I don’t think it’s going to happen too much in 2014. I’ll pull a name out of a hat and say Broc Tickle. But again, that’s just a name.
Yeah it definitely did. I started being a full-time mechanic in 1996 and I only rode sporadically here and there for a number of years, part of the problem was not really having an address or living anywhere to, you know, keep a dirt bike. Then in 2002 at Moto XXX I had an apartment and decided to purchase a 2002 YZ250 which was fun and I had that for a year or so before a guy up in Canada made me a real good offer for it. I had paid below dealer cost for it and of course it was all decked out with everything one could have on a bike so the desire to make a nice profit made me dump it.
Then I got the job at factory Yamaha and that definitely robbed me of all desire to ride. The hours and workload were a ton (not too mention the low pay and high expenses of living in Anaheim, California) and the last thing I wanted to do was go ride to be honest. After I left Yamaha and moved to Las Vegas, Team Green gave me a sweet price on a 2008 KX450F and I loved it. I was riding a ton on a sweet Kawi (the only one outside of Tim Ferry and Ryan Villopoto who had a custom Hinson clutch cover I believe!) up here in Vegas. I was into getting up at 5AM, driving to Comp Edge, riding for a few hours and heading home. I was really enjoying it.
But then I sold it at the end of 2010 when again, I was given an awesome offer on the still-tricked out Kawi (again sold it to Canada and again made good money on it) but I wanted the EFI Kawi 450 and assumed that Kawasaki would be able to get me another one. Well I was wrong about that. Kawasaki couldn’t do anything for me and then one of the close tracks up here closed down (then it reopened, then it closed, then it reopened and now finally it’s done) and I sort of lost the desire to go drive 90 minutes each way to go ride a Starwest-type small track. In short, Vegas sucks to ride moto. Desert riding? Yeah, it’s awesome but I’m not into that at all.
I think if I lived in SoCal I would have a bike, it’s just way too much work for not very much fun to ride up here if I’m honest. I do have my 1990 KX250 so who knows, maybe I take that thing out a bit here and there and try to rediscover the love?
There’s more and more engineers needed in the sport but the motocross industry is a lot like life Tyler. Sometimes it just comes down to who you know. All the degrees in the world don’t mean much when you haven’t gotten your foot in the door and shown that you know what you’re doing. Some of the most clueless dudes I’ve ever met are ones that went to school and have the pieces of paper. There were so many mechanic’s that I came across that went to MMI and all that but couldn’t put a bike together properly in a short amount of time. So anyways, now that I’ve discouraged you, there are plenty of teams that need engineers for various things like linkage construction, frame geometry and all that. You just got to make the right contacts. Easy to say, hard to do I know.
As I’ve said a few times, I knew that Glen Helen and MX Sports would get back together- they both needed each other- but I was surprised that it happened this quick. If the Southern California promoters at Pala and Lake Elsinore hadn’t been complete clown shows (MX Sports ran the 2013 national when it became obvious LE was having some issues) then I don’t think the two parties would have mended fences.
Also don’t overlook the complete failure of the GP’s that Glen Helen tried to hold as another factor for the reconciliation. I think the decision to go away from Glen Helen was a good one as the people at Glen Helen seem to want to do things their own way in terms of series sponsors, passes, parking, VIP areas, etc, etc and MX Sports is at a point where you have to get on board or beat it. They’re elevated the professionalism of the series ten fold since I started working on it (some people have complained about the teams getting charged more and more as well for this new exposure) in terms of presentation, TV packages and everything else.
I’m not sure if this would have happened if the two sides had found any success once they broke up but with the failures of both staring at them in the mirror, they did the smart thing and got back into bed together.
We always say that and Vuillemin has a right to get upset about it, after all there isn’t a real way to match everyone up. In 1985 there was Hannah, Johnson, Barnett, Glover, Ward, O’Mara, Bailey and who knows who else on the line. That seems pretty stacked looking back on it but we’re in the now and to look at Villopoto, Dungey, Barcia, Reed, Stewart, Roczen, Tomac and the other current dudes we don’t know how they’re going to end up when they’re all done. But there’s a few guys now that are will be all-timers when they hang it up. It’s just a tough question.
I truly believe that the last contract RV signed is his last and he’s got two more years to go on that. So let’s go with four shall we? The one thing that happens to great riders is they either A- get injured or B- hang on long enough where their skills erode and they start getting beat. About the only guy that neither of these apply to is Ricky Carmichael and I truly believe that if James Stewart hadn’t pushed him so hard, he would’ve kept winning. But he was smart about it, he knew James was coming (that was inevitable), he had a ton of money in the bank, his legacy was secure and he checked out.
Villopoto’s going to be 26 in 2014 and 28 in his last year of his contract so skills eroding part doesn’t really apply. And we’ve seen him get hurt a time or two so there is that chance. I think to go 4 for 4 in the next two years will be pretty tough just due to the injury factor so let’s go with 3 titles in the next two years and then he’s out as a ten time AMA champion and one of the greatest ever.