February 26, 2007

SPEED Channel show the Outdoors some love...

This just in: a MONUMENTAL change in the way the AMA National Championships will be broadcast this year. Think I'm exaggerating? Check this out:

“This is a monumental step forward for AMA Motocross,” said AMA President, Rob Dingman.

There you have it, straight from the top. Yessir, a cable channel has agreed to cover the Nationals! And get this: Also spake Dingman, "We’re also thrilled to be able to present several events on a live basis.”

SEVERAL EVENTS LIVE! Oh, be still my beating heart!

Why, not too long ago I was musing over the fact that we're well into the first decade of the 21st Century, and now the news that our lovable sport has grown up to the point that we finally qualify for live coverage. Not for the whole series, of course... expecting that would simply be ridiculous, right? Yes, I'm being sarcastic, because in my heart of hearts I believe IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME. But that's just me.

Oh yeah... you can read the rest of the press release here at Racer X Online.

But here's the real news, hidden down in the sixth paragraph of the blurb: Racer X will carry real-time web streaming of certain race elements as well as unique, behind-the-scenes action.

Now THAT'S some news. Finally, someone gets this web-thing and will put it to use. Here's the money quote: "We have spent the last five years building the audio webcast for fans all over the world, and now we're ready to go even bigger. The online coverage of AMA Motocross--both audio and streaming video--will mark yet another step forward for our sport,” said Racer X Illustrated’s founder, Davey Coombs.

Thank you, thank you, THANK you DC for bringing this sport into the 21st Century.

February 23, 2007

Hill and Wey get points back, but the AMA Fuel Fiasco continues...

First, I'm glad Nick Wey and Josh Hill got their podium points and purses returned to them. Check out this press release over at VitalMX.

But the really weird thing is that after re-testing and investigating the fuel samples, instead of finding the fuel in compliance, the AMA actually found ANOTHER problem with the fuel. According to the press release, "Testing has shown that the illegal substance Methyl Butynol is being added to the majority of fuels being used in Supercross."

Come again?

So EVERYBODY is illegal for MB additives, so... we'll give Josh and Nick their points back. But no mention of Jason Thomas... will he get his points back, too?

Quick question: does this solve the problem or create as new one?

February 21, 2007

Congratulations, Ryan Villopoto!

Who's the man who has ALREADY snagged one of the coveted AMA championship titles up for grabs this year? "Flyin'" Ryan Villopoto is the 2007 250F West supercross champion... good job, Ryan! Here's a press release courtesy Racer X online.

Actually, "Flyin'" is not his nickname. Maybe it's "Villopodium"? "RV Park" is another one I've seen. "The Stalker"? Nah, that's someone else... in any case, snarfing up a title before the third month of the year has got to be a record of some sort. Hat's off to Villo and his Monster/Pro Circuit Kawasaki team for just demolishing the competition.

Another title for Mitch Payton's company... geez, they must be living right out there in Corona...

February 01, 2007

AMA: Just give them their points back already…

No doubt you’ve heard all the noise about Fuelgate 2007. Here’s my very unpopular take on the whole mess:

Either give Nick, Josh and Jason their points back or take away Carmichael’s 2006 supercross title. One or the other.

The first fuel “offense” affected Chad Reed. Penalty? The AMA took away points. Impact on the SX title? None.

The second fuel penalty went to James Stewart. Penalty? The AMA took away points. Impact on the National MX title? None.

The third fuel fiasco was last year with Rick Carmichael. Penalty? The AMA took away 25 points, then re-instated them. Impact on the SX title? RC won by two points.

For this year’s brouhaha, it’s too early to tell what, if any, impact there will be on the SX title chase in either class, but an ugly precedent has been set, either knowingly or unknowingly: when things get out of hand, just give the racer(s) the points back. That’s what was ultimately decided last year, and that’s what should happen this year. If not, then it throws the 2006 decision back into an unflattering light, and opens the door for accusations of favoritism.

On the face of it, it seems ludicrous to believe that MDK, Butler Brothers Racing and Team Yamaha deliberately “juiced” their fuel for an unfair advantage. Certainly in 450 racing, a stock bike with pump gas already has too much power for today’s supercross courses, so cheating with fuel just doesn’t make sense. So the questions turn to the AMA’s testing methods and the fuel supplier, VP. Who messed up? Will we ever know?