Weekly-ish is the word of the summer right now as I have been on the road more than I haven’t for the past month and a half. Toss in the show schedule that seems to happen exactly at the same time FMX and MX races have been airing on TV (with no DVR) and 3G internet which makes watching downloaded vids physically painful-well you get what we have here. The benefit besides all the Fairgrounds food I can eat is that I get time with the riders and get to strategize on some awesome features coming up soon. On to the Braapps!
The FMX world has been pretty quiet around the globe in the aftermath that was X Games earlier this month. “Bilko” Blake Williams, Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg and old TP199 Travis Pastrana have had thier surgeries and are on the mend. Jacko Strong Tweeted out that he learned SSG Flips alongside Nick Dunne this week which adds to both of the Metal Mulisha riders arsenal of tricks. Robbie Maddison is nursing a sore back and other issues while still prepping for his next Red Bull stunt coming up. I am sure Nate Adams is chilling at the office selling a ton more Deft Family product after his big back to back wins in X Games and Red Bull X-Fighters and other than that- pretty slow. So that works out good for me!
Moto has been super hot though and I have been hitting up Pulpmx.com, Racer X and Transworld daily to keep up all while intercepting Tweets, sending and answering texts with my “Moto Moles” strategically placed around the world just to get all the hype while out here on the road.
MX des Nations is coming up in September on the 17th and 18th respectively and USA has made its rider picks already. The host city this year is St. Jean D’ Angely at the Le Circuit du Puy de Poursay, which I can only guess means “That Racetrack That Has Dirt and Jumps” and the riders we signed on are the Ryans- Villopoto and Dungey being joined by Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett. Blake will contest the MX2 class while which Ryan gets the honor of racing MX1 is still up in the air apparently. I predict another win with the powerhouse team that will be sent and I am really stoked to see Blake Baggett get a shot. Blake has shown great consistency and maturity all year long and deserves this opportunity. Roger Decoster is team manager yet again and has shown that with him at the reins in recent years- Team USA always has a shot at the big win. GO USA!!!
The Lucas Oils AMA Motocross series has been spectacular as usual and even though I only caught bits of Unadilla last weekend, no one in either the 250 and 450 running for the championship has gave up. With an off weekend and then the final three rounds, I expect some more bar banging as lots of these guys are not just going for a #1 plate and a bump in salary-but fighting for a job as new talent is quickly coming to push them out. New talent is no more apparent than Justin Barcia and his 450 AMA debut last weekend. The Team Honda pit has been a lonely place as it’s hired guns have misfired and gotten hurt giving the young Barcia a shot at life under the factory tent. Justin came out swinging with a holeshot on his hometrack and got himself into a third overall missing the second tier on the box by less than a lap. He and Dungey came together at the base of a jump and started a boatload of controversy about team orders, rooks with no horse in the points race and title contenders. Hit up some of the forums and you will find some real interesting takes on what some people think racing should be (ALLISports-please do not listen to them!). Anyway-there was a race going on for the title that weekend too, and it was tight coming in for both the 250 and 450 classes.
The big bikes have Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey and Chad Reed being the last three really in the hunt right now. Reed is still physically and mentally banged up from his gnarly off a few weeks ago and while he has been getting up to speed it is not the speed of the Ryans. Chad is going to have to grab the soul shovel and dig China-deep if he wants to wear the #1 plate in 2012. After Unadilla he sits 26 points out of the top spot with three weekends left. Ryan Villopoto took on the 2012 Kawasaki 450F which seemed to do the trick as he dominated both motos to take a seven point lead over the Dunge. Kawasaki added some new electronics to it’s machine, which probably had little effect in a class of near factory works machines, but the chassis is a different story. Spy photos from Europe and Japan had a completely different frame on the green machines lately and even though the new production frames don’t look the same, Kawi engineers came away with something they liked. The problem (which is probably not a problem for mere mortals like us) was too much rigidity in the center of the frame area. The riders noticed it and the changes were made to the head tube area making it stronger, while sucking some of the meanness out of the middle. RV said he felt the difference right away. Now all you Ryan Dungey fans are saying that the ‘Poto only kicked so much ass because the upstart Barcia got in Dungeys way. Hey, I really like watching RD ride, I am in awe of how hard he works and appreciate what he brings to the sport- but the dude is not the best at getting around a strong rival. He just needs to get more aggressive like we saw a couple times this year and lay it down or this championship is his to lose. He still rode strong and got the second spot overall, but he is better than his ride showed I think.
In the two-fiddy’s it is still a Mitch Payton parade on the Pro Circuit Kawasakis. Dean Wilson leads the points and finally swept an overall over his teammates. Tyla Rattray had a good finish in the first moto, but crashed hard and rung his bell in the second. he got back on but after puking in his lid, smartly pulled off the course and pretty much taking himself out of the championship hunt (but not on paper!) Blake Baggett rode smart again and with 2-3 finishes got second overall and sits just fifteen points behind Wilson for the big prize. They have a week off to regroup and then it’s on!
Back to FMX and the Boost Mobile Freestylemx.com Worldwide Tour presented by Monster Energy and thier airborne antics. After a week in Kansas it was up to Buffalo, New York for a contest at the Erie County Fair in Hamburg. Ten riders got in including recent X Games gold medalist Matt Buyten, X-Fighter Beau Bamburg, Jim Mcneil, Derek Burlew, John Distler, James Carter, Bryce Hudson. Joining them were Jorel Bermudez, Sean Neilson and the long awaited return of Brody Wilson. The contest went very well and the weather was perfect. The biggest surprise was in General Tire Best Trick where the up and coming Bryce Hudson stunned everyone, including the riders with a Base Jumper that he rode out no handed/no bar check. Oh and he rode it off the side of the portable lander from about five feet up and still no bar check! Keep an eye on this kid, he is dedicated, has mad skills and a very sweet style that reminds me of Ronnie Renner and his smoothness combined with the aggression of Jeremy Stenberg. It’s hard to describe it and you have to see it in person, as video does this kid (and sport) no justice what so ever. The Boost Mobile Tour buses split up there with one heading to Brooklyn, Michigan for the NASCAR race at Michigan International Speedway and the other to the Lane County Fair in Eugene, Oregon. I am lucky to finally be sitting outside and not sweating a part of my anatomy which I can’t afford to lose off. I’ll get some reports and pics up from both sites next week and see what else I can dig up in the new moto world, until then stay tuned on Twitter, Facebook and here for some sweet updates and pics!! Time for me to get one of those big turkey legs!