September 26, 2006

Bummer #2

No, "Bummer" is not the title of a "Sparkplug" replacement column... and yes, I know, I need to get going again and write more "Sparkplugs". And "Bummer #2" has absolutely NOTHING to do with Team USA's wonderful, record-setting win at this past weekend's Motocross des Nations in England. My hat is off to the FOUR members of our team, James Stewart, Ivan Tedesco and Ryan Villopoto (in alpha order, of course), for flying over there, staying cool and getting the job done on what looked like one of the worst rutted tracks I've seen in a while. That track was just nasty.

And big props go to Stefan Everts for going out with a 1-1 bang in what will most likely be his last MXdN. Sorry your team had to take silver, Stefan, but that's what we American's like to do: win!

But ultimately, this "Bummer" isn't about all that; it's about the fact that it's late September, the announcement for this year's "A Day In The Dirt" spectacular has just hit the internet, and I ... don't have a bike to ride in the race. Again. In fact, even if I DID have a bike, I don't have any boots. That is, my current pair of AXO RC5's are SHOT. I mean, WHIPPED.

What's a moto-loving guy to do?

A couple of years ago, Transworld Motocross editor Donn Maeda graciously lent me their '05 YZ 450F test bike and even paid for my entry fees for the race. I'm still astonished over his generosity with that. But he's been kinda "pissed" at me for sporting Racer X gear, so I don't dare ask him again. Besides... asking someone to lend you a bike so you can trash it in a couple of Grand Prix? How lame is that?

Uh, anybody else out there willing to lend me a ride? Damn, I'm lame! But you know what? The race is SO MUCH FUN, it's worth it. So if you have a bike and can get to Southern California for the Thanksgiving weekend, you owe it to yourself to join in the fun. It's a great time with great people!

September 22, 2006


According to the news from RacerX Online, it is finally official: Rick Carmichael will NOT start in this weekend's running of the annual Motocross des Nations. And yes, that does indeed suck. But you know what? I feel more sorry for the fans that will be attending the race than I do for America's hopes at winning the title, and here's why: the world's motocross fans NEED to see RC do his incredible thing on a bike. They don't get to see him wring that puppy out like we lucky f*&kers here.

Rick Carmichael is, without a doubt, America's brightest motocross star and I know he is COMPLETELY bummed out that he'll be riding the pine instead of his Makita Suzuki this weekend. But that soft crying you hear in the background? It's the sobs of thousands of world motocross fans, suffering that sad feeling of dashed expectations. Can you imagine? Waiting all year for the final showdown between the King of Motocross, Stefan Everts and the Greatest American Motocrosser of All Time... and it just ain't in the cards. Man...

September 15, 2006

Champions, Inc.

First things first: congratulations to our new National Motocross Champions, Rick Carmichael and Ryan Villopoto. It appears that the redheads will take over the (motocross) world.

I finally attended an outdoor National this year, and it was Glen Helen. And I must say, the track was more exciting than I’ve ever seen it. The new section utilizing the REM course was Airtime Central. If anyone has complained about the lack of jumps at Glen Helen in the past, they had no ground for complaints now. That triple step up was plain sick… I made my way to it in time for the first lap of the 450 class moto, and when James hit it just in front of Carmichael, the entire crowd gasped! What a skyshot! It looked just like that old picture of Stewart airing it out over Larocco’s Leap on his 125: front end high, head out over the front fender. Good stuff.

And then it all came to an abrupt end with the unthinkable happening: Carmichael not only down, but OUT. What the…? When has that EVER happened at an outdoor race? And WHY did it have to happen at his LAST outdoor race, just two weeks before the MXdN? Talk about bad timing.

So after scouring the internet for news all week, it appears that the verdict is in, and Rick just may be out. Carmichael himself weighed in during this interview with Racer X’s Davey Coombs, and he says he’s going overseas no matter what; but whether he’ll ride or not is still up in the air. If RC can’t ride, it’ll come down to Ivan Tedesco to pick up the ball and run it into the endzone. I personally think Tabasco can do the job, I just hope his health is up to it.

Any way you slice it, though, American Motocross is looking pretty good. For the MXdN we’ll be sending the World Supercross Champion, the National 250F Motocross Champion and the former National 250F Motocross and Supercross Champion. Even if Rick has to watch from the sidelines, we’re talking about one serious kick-ass team here. Villopoto was CRAZY fast at Glen Helen last Sunday. Everyone talked about how he beat Mike Alessi, but don’t forget he also flat out SMOKED Ben Townley, the guy who almost ran with RC at last year’s des Nations. If we don’t bring home the trophy this year, it will only be due to bad luck, because our boys are definitely bringing the goods.