I told you yesterday that things were changing quickly- and was I right. Let’s just dive into this sucker and get it done. I got some epic FMX to watch on TV today then gotta head over to to watch the Mayhem tour this evening…
Red Bull X-Fighters Madrid is today at 4:30pm EST and you can find a link to in on the RBXF website– I made my predictions yesterday and might have made a mistake- but, I won’t wuss out yet. Qualifying saw Spain’s own Dany Torres come out on top ahead of birthday boy Robbie Maddison and Andre Villa. Robbie it turns out had a couple of hard crashes and is sore, but that has rarely stopped him in the past. But he is 30 now and either way, he needs to have his best run ever to beat the ultra-confident Spaniard on his home turf.
I would stay on FMX, but the next item I have is editorial in nature, so I’ll throw it out last today. Moto is up next! I will honestly say this, I have been a fan of Pro Moto and SX since nearly their beginning, yeah I am almost that old. This season of the Alli Sports AMA Rock Star Energy Motocross Series has been one of the best since the early to mid eighties. You have three champs all going for the win in both classes, with there rarely being a walk-away win. In 450 there is no outright animosity between the top three, but you can feel that Chad Reed, Ryan Villopoto and Ryan Dungey- being so fiercely competitive creates an air that a fist fight could break out at any moment. Kind of like the feeling one gets at the family reunion when you know Auntie Fanny has had too much sauce. There is some tension building, but I am happy to say that these true champs are all wanting to settle it on the track and not in the pits. They hit Millville this weekend in New Jersey and the points battle is tighter than an otters anus. The Aussie Chad Reed on the “privateer only in team matters, definitely not bike construction” Two-Two Motorsports entry has 268 points to sit atop the pile ‘o talent. The Ryans’ follow with the Monster Energy Kawi of Villipoto sixteen points back and Dungeys Rockstar Makita Suzuki Team third with 246. I’ll talk up the 250 class next week as I think that is going to need a lot of space of it’s own. Weather outlook for Millville is 85 degrees and humidity somewhere between a bathtub and a hottub worth of moisture, or 50-60%.
Speaking of weather, I as well as many others have spoken our opinions about the heat related death of racer Josh Lichtle a couple weeks ago at his home race Red Bud. Earlier this week, the Lichtle family started a new site www.Godspeed811.com in his memory. The family has decided that it would like to further Josh legacy and educate racers and their crews/families about the need for proper training, nutrition and hydration required for today’s high intensity levels in motocross. Most pro and semi pro riders have access to trainers who can monitor daily intakes etc. but many privateers don’t. Even Josh, who had a trainer early in his career that was derailed by injury, was never truly educated about proper hydration and the dangers of hyperthermia that resulted in his death. I talked at length to Bill Lichtle, Josh’s brother, and he said thier plan is to start at the amateur ranks by hitting all of the big qualifiers around the country. They want to raise awareness, give clinics, demo potential protective gear and offer help to those who need it to prevent not just heat related injury, but any life or incapacitating injury that can affect a racer. They have received the generous help of Eye to Eye Marketing for a semi to travel and teach in. They are also looking for professionals in the field of nutrition, physiology, fitness and safety to come to events and help out. Also- they are after companies looking to sponsor the foundation, which is a non profit (hey performance hydration companies psssst!). If you want to help, to learn or find out what you can do, contact them at their website!
Okay- back to FMX! Hit up EXPN to find out what Kyle Loza might, or might not, or is or is not (can you tell I am not real smitten with his man of mystery thing?) going to do at X-Games 17 Best Trick. I’ll just leave that there for now, like roadkill… And now on to some education time kids. I spend a lot of time lurking through moto forums getting the vibe, picking up news bits and that so you can have a one stop shop for news and to make my wife think I am really working “that hard”. Here is the latest buzz I am getting from www.freestylemtx.com and their forum- Qualifiers for X-Games FMX. Now I am not going to get into the dynamic of X and how it is designed as entertainment to make money for ESPN-plain and simple, no ulterior motives there, just good old business. What is being said at the forum level is that lack of qualifiers is keeping some of the best riders out and I think that is sort of untrue. The efforts of some of the up and coming best riders in the sport and the path that most of the current favorites took to get where they are IS a qualifier system. Even when X had quals, and Gravity Games and Dew Tour were around- there was another qualification process in work. It’s called coming up through the ranks. Qualifying is selling everything you own but your dirt bike and your soul to become the best FMX rider you can be. It is advancing from the two-bit shows and getting into arena gigs and getting noticed. You have to make contacts and get to know the right people. Yeah, you are exactly right when you scornfully say, “It’s all about who you know in this industry..” because promoters don’t advertise on Craigslist. If you aren’t getting the attention of promoters and moving in it is your fault- not that of the industry. Guys like Rich Kearns and James Carter are perfect examples of many riders that are making the sacrifice to live their dreams and goals. Both came from states not known to be hotbeds of FMX. In fact, most people couldn’t point out their states on an atlas! They gave up luxury, slept on couches, slept in their trucks. Spent $400 to get to a show that paid $500 and figured out a way home. They lived by the seat of their pants at times with the only plan being to get better at what they do. Rich Kearns got into X-Games 16 as an alternate. James Carter got invited to X-Pilots in Mexico and won La Paz earlier this year. That is how they qualified. So if your buddy who can do some awesome flips is not getting an invite, there is a reason. It may not be the quality of their riding. It may be their attitude or lack of recognition by not making themselves available to the right people. It might be just plain politics getting in the way. It may be- and here is a bitter pill that will make some of you really pissed at me but, it may just be that they lack the drive and desire to be a pro. And just because you have the talent, drive and desire does not mean you will “make it” unfortunately. But the qualifiers are just life. And if you can survive the hard knocks, the rejection, the lumpy couches-well my friend, then you might just qualify to get to X. If not, you can certainly look back on it later and say you had one hell of a good time trying. That is my take, take it for what it is worth!-Cory Stem