December 30, 2008

2008 was some kind of great year for all things Motocross, no doubt... the finale.

Okay, had to take a breather there. Back to moments in motocross:

4) Two words: Ashley Fiolek. I admit, I did the dumb thing and didn’t go to see her ride this year, but did she have a year or what? To “warm up” for the Women’s National Championship, she decided to fly overseas to try on a round of the Women’s World Cup… and she finished third! Then she came home and duked it out with Jessica Patterson (while riding with a fractured wrist, no less) to win the title here. Now, I didn’t follow women’s motocross fully this year, so I know I’m leaving out some important parts of this story, so for you WMA fans, please forgive… I don’t mean to slight any of the other great women on the circuit. I admit to losing my mind over Fiolek in 2008!

For 2009, I understand Team Red Bull Honda is bringing Ashley under the big tent at the Nationals where they’ll be running WMA events (I think it should be all twelve rounds). Wow, male and female PRO racers pitting out of the same truck, signing autographs under the same awning at the same race… it’s about time. And it’s no surprise to me that American Honda is the team leading the way.

5) Okay, you know I couldn’t get much further without mentioning “the streak.” You know what’s funny? Going back and listening to some of the SPEED coverage of the races… it seems like at every round, Ralph what’s-his-name would start up with the old “I know it’s too early to talk about a perfect season…” meme. And I will admit that by the time the circuit finished the first two rounds of the series, I was thinking that Stewart was going to pull it off. After James won the third round, I suggested that he think about putting on a different show for the fans… something other than complete annihilation of the competition. And for a moment there, Stewart seemed less concerned with leading every lap of every moto, and a couple of guys got a few laps led in there. But the domination continued relentlessly.

And just as relentlessly, Ralph what’s-his-name continued to wonder aloud if it was too early to talk about another perfect season… the answer, Ralph, is “Apparently not.”

6) Saturday Night Live, under the lights no less! The Thunder Valley Raceway round in Colorado had it all: live webcast coverage for first motos of both men’s classes AND the WMA class, and then SPEED aired the 450 class second moto live on cable. Welcome to the 21st Century, American Motocross! So glad you could join us!

Now, I didn’t see any of this, so I have no opinion on how it all worked out. I’m just glad they put it all together and made it happen.

7) Seven has to go to Number 7 for going “Unde7eated”, a monumental task no matter how you look at it. He rode the entire season with a huge target on his back, and the “Man who broke the Seven Streak” would have been highly celebrated indeed. Alas, no other rider in the world met the challenge, and over the course of a hot summer and brutal conditions, the young James Stewart won 24 National motos in a row. Phenomenal. And then…

8) Team switching and ship-jumping. I believe Chad Reed struck first (or was struck first, depending on whom you ask) when he and L&M/San Manuel/Yamaha parted ways. Reed landed at Makita Suzuki, Stewart went to L&M, Kawasaki put all their chips on “Monster” Villopoto, and…. then the economy collapsed. Good thing those guys signed contracts, huh?

9) Who owns this sport anyway? First, the AMA decided it had enough of the race promotion business, and they put the properties up for bid. Well this caused all manner of wailing and gnashing of teeth amongst the moto internet mob as for a while it appeared to be a toss up between the guys currently running the outdoor series (the National Promoters Group) or the guys currently running the World Championship (Youthstream). So everyone (or perhaps just I) was thrown off when AMA sold the whole bundle to the Daytona Motorsports Group. Then we were all gobsmacked when DMG turned around and renamed the new entity “AMA Pro Racing” (wtf?) and licensed it to NPG (which formed a new entity called “MX Sports”). So I think that’s right now: MX Sports is running the nationals for DMG.

And recently, MX Sports signed a deal with NBC/MTV and another group, so rumors are picking up about enhanced television coverage for 2009. CBS Sports, it appears, is outta the National picture (but they’re still in there for Supercross. Oh well. Maybe another season will help Ralph improve.).

10) And the final motocross moment for me for 2009 is the Quick Study. James Stewart’s first official rides on his new Yamaha were the biggest, most-hyped-up arenacrosses on the planet, the U.S. Open and the Paris Supercross. And he won both in grand style, nearly winning the $100k jackpot at Vegas for the Open, and then wowing the French fans both on and off the course for the entire time he was in France, finally reaching out to his large and growing international fan base.

So that’s what turned me on about motocross in 2008, and I am fairly excited about the new season, which starts in just a few days. Surprisingly, I’ve yet to buy my “A1” tix (I guess I’m waiting for them to “mature” or something…), and I don’t plan on making that stop at “Dave and Buster’s” on Friday night, I guess I’m just not feeling it all yet. But by the time I drive in the parking lot gates on Saturday and eventually park my azz in those plastic bleacher seats to watch the fastest supercrosser racers in the world practice for the first race of the year, I will be fully jazzed about it all! It’s already starting to happen!

Happy New Year to all!

December 28, 2008

2008 was some kind of great year for all things Motocross, no doubt.

Oh, you doubt? Fine, I needed a reason to list my personal favorite moments in motocross from the previous 11 months… let me know if any of this jogs yer memory. Of course, I have to start with Supercross; American motocross starts the year off racing indoors, with the sport massaged into potent commercial “extreme” entertainment by the owners of the trademarked term “Supercross.” Nowhere is the traveling race series more “circus-like” than when it’s immersed in its city-to-city stadium "tour", and now that the series is owned by a company known for its real circuses, well… step right up, ladies and gentlemen, for the greatest show on wheels! /P

Supercross moments:

1) There was the sort-of return of James Stewart at “A1”, the local nomenclature for the first round of the season at Angels Stadium in “Disneytown”, my nomenclature for the city of Anaheim. James was a question mark before the race, after he suddenly scratched at the ’07 U.S. Open, but all was forgiven as soon as Stewart hit the track. He easily dominated practice and his heat (when is the last time anyone beat him in a heat race?) and only a first turn crash kept him from completely dominating the entire weekend.

And only a knee surgery kept him from completely dominating the entire series? Probably. But Stewart’s bowing out at “A2” to have the surgery was the best decision, although it upset many.

2) There was the return of the Supercross title to Chad Reed. At “A1”, Reed took advantage of Stewart’s first-turn mishap to quickly take a commanding lead. And if it weren’t for a fired-up Kevin Windham stepping up (up, apparently, is the way to go) as well as a heartbreaking did-not-finish at Daytona, that one race would have been an accurate "tell" of Reed’s second Championship season. Stewart’s departure clearly opened the door wide for Reed, who publicly worried about someone other than his fellow racers trying to derail his seemingly inevitable title.

But don’t think for a moment that Chad Reed didn’t earn this Championship. Reed clearly rode with heart and determination all season long. I won’t forget hearing the fatigue and pain in his voice during his post-race interview in Detroit, where Reed rode with internal injuries suffered in a horrific practice crash. Chad Reed is all about indoor motocross, and he was not going to miss such a clear shot at a second Supercross crown.

3) Let’s not forget the return of “Kdub. Kevin Windham finished second to James in his heat at “A1” and came back to finish fifth in the main after a first lap tumble. Then he got on the podium the next week with a third in Phoenix. Excuse me? Windham caught fire in ’08 like never before, and for a long moment it looked like the big bike title he’s never won, having been denied by Carmichael for so, so long… wow, it coulda been Kevin’s year. At least he had the good sense to ride like it was...

4) JLaw winning a title. The terms “good sense” and “Jason Lawrence” are a combination that needs to happen more often. In the Western region of the class comprised of motorbikes with engines displacing no more than two-hundred-and-fifty cubic centimeters, Jason Lawrence started the season off right by topping the timing tower at “A1” practice. But then he couldn’t get comfortable leading his top rival Ryan Dungey in the main, so he let him by…! At least, that’s what I remember reading at the time, but I can’t find the interview now.

Dungey put it down bigtime at Anaheim, and looked like he was gonna go all “Villopoto” on the West Region. But Jason somehow got his mojo working, reeled off three wins in a row (including his first ever SX win in the mud in San Francisco) and rattled Dungey’s confidence enough to grab the title. I believe Ryan Dungey has some unfinished business with Mr. Lawrence.

5) The emergence of Mr. 200 Percent. I admit I paid Trey Canard less than zero percent attention prior to 2008. I think I kept confusing him with Josh Grant, another freckle-face. But TC stepped it up BIG TIME, winning his first-ever supercross and in the process beating the “Monster”, then "only" two-time National Champion Ryan Villopoto, himself fresh from beating everyone in the world (INCLUDING Ricky Carmichael) at the unbelievable ’07 MX des Nations. For lesser riders, that night in Atlanta would have been a career night, but Canard turned it into a career season.

To be fair to Villopoto, he suffered a dnf that night in Atlanta, after breaking his bike in a first turn crash; those lost points could have made the difference in the title chase. Still Canard had a dream supercross season (and a nightmarish outdoor one).

Five is enough Supercross for now, here are the moments in Motocross:

6) JLaw winning the first moto of the year… OVER a healthy (but caught in fast traffic) Villopoto. I still smile at the images I can remember of that blue Yamaha singing through the hills of Glen Helen as Lawrence took that surprising wire-to-wire win. But lightning didn’t strike twice for Jason that day and he was lucky to salvage a spot on the podium with his fifth in moto 2.

7) Mike Alessi deciding that HE was gonna be “next.” “The M” made his intentions clear at Glen Helen: the road to the title was going through Alessi-city. Mike forced the pace on James Stewart right out of the gate, winning the race to the first turn (but not the second). The only problem was that Stewart apparently had no problem with the pace, and once Alessi established himself as the guy who was going to put up the most fight no matter what, James made sure to commence butt-kicking as quickly as he could.

Stewart reacted with this holeshot in the second moto, going inside at over 60mph maybe, taking the line, the holeshot and the win. That didn’t deter “The M”. He kept giving Stewart fits at the start of each moto, until his horrific crash at the Red Bud round (Racer X Films talked to him about it after he recuperated).

8) JLaw getting kicked out of the “sport.” Honestly, I didn’t see that coming. I pretty much bought into Jason “this year I’m racing, dude” Lawrence from the moment I sat my azz in those plastic bleacher seats at Angel Stadium and watched the fastest supercross racers on the planet practice for the first race of the year. So I felt personally let down when the kid imploded or exploded or derailed or capsized or whatever metaphor you want to roll with, and I even fell for his apology letter and all of that, and even said those kicking him out were being “tragically shortsighted”… yikes, what a drama queen, huh?

So Yamaha dropped him, then they dropped Yamaha of Troy, then YOT changed and they still sponsor JLaw.The X Games sure wanted him, though he didn’t do much there. I think they’d like to see more of him overseas, but I also think that’s true for any American regional SX champion.

So, double-you-tee-eff, Jason? Double-you-tee-eff are you going to do in 2009? Double-down on that solitary 250F Title or what? Duke it out with Dungey for the outdoor crown, or do you plan on adding more items to your rap sheet? How about more combinations of the terms "Jason Lawrence" and "good sense?"

[to be continued....]

November 21, 2008

Bad news for Christophe Pourcel

Okay, this sucks: Racer X is reporting that Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki-mounted Christophe Pourcel broke his collarbone in a crash at the Kawasaki test track. They say he'll be out for "at least four weeks." That won't give him much time to prepare for A1, so I guess this seals the deal for him to ride the East Coast regional series.

Cure for the off-season blahs: anything written by Eric Johnson

I'm serious. I believe Eric Johnson is probably the greatest motocross writer that has ever lived. And if you're reading this, you probably already knew that. But if you need more proof, Racer X Online has just posted "Flashback with Eric Johnson" that you must check out. Now.

Of course, Johnson's fantastic articles were always accompanied by the work of great photographers, like this classic shot of Jojo Keller by Paul Buckley, and they were expertly edited by Davey Coombs.

(meanwhile, I suck at html...)

November 16, 2008

Get well soon Katherine Prumm

This news sucks: two-time Women's World Cup motocross champion Katherine Prumm of New Zealand overjumped a triple step-down in practice and broke several vertabrae. Here's the story from Racer X Online.

Wishing her a fully and speedy recovery.

November 09, 2008

Oh, no he didn't

Oh yes he did: Geico Honda's supercross-only superstar Kevin Windham showed up at Bercy unprepared to win, not good after choosing not to compete in the season's other high-visibility arenacross, the U.S. Open. Kdub carded 5th place on Friday night, behind James Stewart (L&M/San Manuel Yamaha), Justin Brayton (KTM), Josh Grant (Energy/Joe Gibbs Yamaha) and David Vuillemin (Bud Kawasaki).

Kevin told Cycle News' Shan Moore: "It’s tough racing against these guys who have been testing for a while. We knew we were going to come here and just try to learn a little bit but it sucks getting beat. It was a good showing for me, but I knew coming over here that I wasn’t really prepared so I just need to keep sight of why I’m here – what it means to the fans and what it means to the program.”

Got it? It appears that Windham chose to attend the race for the fans, even though he knew he and his team were not ready. What a concept. Still it's funny to read; Kdub is not an excuse-maker, but some of the guys he finished behind are adjusting to new bikes after changing teams, while Windham has been on the CR450F for quite a few years now, so I don't understand why they weren't "ready." the writer alludes to contract issues in the article, but still... Team Windham hasn't raced since May so what have they been up to if not preparing for the next race?

November 08, 2008

Stars and Stripes forever

Okay, she's hot. "Auntie Sam" showed up at the Bercy Supercross, strutting her stuff. Too bad she couldn't find a pole long enough to keep that oversized flag off the ground. Hmmm. From his Racer X Gallery, Simon Cudby always gets the best angles.

Even French gangster-elles were unable to stop him

A pair of Bercy beauties, brandishing real tommy guns! (nope) Not bad, but not quite as hot as some of the Monster and Rockstar girls we've seen. And who's goosing the one on the right? Photo by Geoff Meyer/

"The fastest man on the planet"

James Stewart is winning hearts and minds in France. I wonder if his popularity is getting an Obama bounce? Photo by Geoff Meyer, from his great coverage of the first night of the 2008 Bercy Supercross in Paris.

October 31, 2008

SuperX is super innovative!

Chad Reed's SuperX: The Australasian Supercross Championship is underway and you MUST check it out. Talk about thinking outside of the box, the SuperX organizers are using "Four all-new revolutionary race formats that pit riders in a bar-to-bar battle to the chequered flag - Super Sprint, Man-on-Man, Survival and The Triple Challenge."

At first glance those formats sound hokey, but there's a remedy for that: check out the video from the Geelong round, which features The Triple Challenge... instead of a 20 riders contesting a 20-lap main, they run three 6-lap sprints. Spoiler alert: would you be surprised to hear that Chad Reed won all three motos?

As for the overall production, I am impressed. They clearly have their business act together, the video coverage is great, they have crazy hype announcers (too crazy for me; one of 'em runs down an injured Daniel Reardon and sticks a microphone in his face to ask him a question that surely could have waited), they have an obvious name recognition factor with the X Games, so expect to see more Australasian racers competing in that event no doubt. This series looks like a winner, and Chad and his partners have a 10-year license to run this series for Motorcycle Australia. This could be Reed's most heads-up play to date.

Go Chad, itsyabirfday!

October 28, 2008

American Motocross owes a debt to Husqvarna

Such a beautiful machine. The AMA's Motorcycle Hall of Fame has a feature on this 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross at their website, saying "Few motorcycles have started more off-road dreams than this one." That's quite a claim until you realize that this very motorcycle starred in that great classic "On Any Sunday" ridden by absolute motorcycle superhero Malcolm Smith.

It's cool that the AMA recognizes the pioneering brand in the Hall of Fame; I still think it's too bad they didn't "recognize" the 2008 Husqvarna 450TC that tried to enter the Nationals this year. Remember that? Racerhead even reported that "One critic critic called the AMA 'retarded'” (that wasn't me; I said, "Sure, the AMA stuck to its guns at Glen Helen, but in a weird way they wound up dissing the marque that arguably brought motocross to America").

Irony loves the AMA, because it always seems to follow it around. [extra point trivia question: How many Huskys in the Hall of Fame?]

October 26, 2008

Hey different man, nicer shot!

Rockstar brought out the talent, but hot as she is, they get even hotter in Paris for the Bercy Supercross. Photo by Racer X's Simon Cudby.

Hey man, nice shot

I like this photo of James Stewart getting flat at the Rockstar U.S. Open from the French site, as they pump up the crowd for the upcoming Paris Supercross.

October 16, 2008

DC speaks about Motocross to Vital MX


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Word. Actually, voice and slides over some snazzy background tunes, MX Sports' Davey Coombs talks about the future with GuyB.

October 12, 2008

Because it is all about them

Just one cool photo from the friendly folks at "The #1 Amateur Motocross Magazine and Website in the US!" of a couple of unidentified mini racers at Branson, Missouri. The National Motocross Championship has always inspired kids like these to pursue the dream of a racing career. The task at hand is to build a series that can make more of these dreams reality.

Working Hard and Hardly Working, Pt. II, or "Drop the bomb on the MX Crew!"


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MX Sports head honcho Davey Coombs, I believe, is the hardest working man in American motocross (though I am sure he would bestow that honor on some of his staff). I also think he has the coolest job in the Nation, taking on the task of re-tooling the American motocross championships without the fetters of the AMA. From literally growing up at the racetrack in West Virginia, to revolutionizing the way the sport is covered in the media, to now having his hand on the wheel... talk about the living the American dream!

Addressing the motocross world from a podium in Las Vegas this weekend, DC presented the "first round of significant improvements" to the 2009 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship presented by FMF. GuyB brought back the goods.

And it is good stuff. The centerpiece is the improved television/web package with the Speed channnel, featuring a "minimum" of three races broadcast live, same-day broadcasts for the rest of the 450 class races (yes, they dissed the 250s again, but I'm sure it was for a good reason) and free live web video of the first motos of all races! And they rectified the class name bullshit. And a few other things... it's a great start indeed (here's hoping they rectify more bullshit with the next round of significant improvements).

I think 2009 will be just fine.

Working Hard and Hardly Working


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Take your pick. Rockstar rolls out the hotties in Las Vegas. Of course. GuyB couldn't resist (thank God).

October 06, 2008

Change is in the air...


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Look who's officially racing a Yamaha: the undefeated 2008 National Motocross champion, James Stewart, Jr., flogging that thing like a two-stroke. GuyB went to the official L&M San Manuel Yamaha Team introduction.

September 28, 2008

2008 Red Bull Motocross des Nations, Vurb Moto style

Once again, Price - Williams (Williams - Price?) deliver the goods. And once again, I can't figure out the margins thing.

The Best in the World: Team USA 2008


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They did not dominate, but they still reigned supreme over the best of the rest of the world. Hold your heads up high, guys! You make us proud. Excellent pic by GuyB.

Congratulations Team USA for winning the 2008 Motocross des Nations!


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Check out this shot of the start of moto 3. These guys are going for it! And the shocker of the year: James Stewart did NOT win this moto! The guy doing the Ricky Carmichael impersonation is #4 Sebastien Pourcel of France. Yes, Seb won the moto!

There are a lot of great stories trickling out of the motocross media, so your best bet is to do what I'm doing: check out GuyB's great shots at VitalMX, and check in regularly at MXerDWs Racetime Pressroom Daily, which links to all of the latest posts throughout the MX world.

It's a beautiful day! Congratulations for a hard-fought win Team USA!

September 27, 2008

MXdN Saturday: The Man They All Came To See


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No doubt about it, the World Motocross scene is hungry for James "Captain America" Stewart. Just like he did in the States at every outdoor National this year, James dominated qualifying for the Motocross des Nations, setting overall fast lap for the day. Despite falling twice (?), Stewart easily won the qualifying moto for MX1. GuyB catches a quiet moment.

MXdN Saturday: Ryan Rolled


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Ryan Villopoto dominated the MX2 class practice and qualifying in his own imitable style. GuyB downloads the transatlantic feed.

Price - Williams: International Motocross Sophisticates

It's Saturday on the Left Coast, the Motocross des Nations weekend is underway at Donnington Park in England, and this is a perfect time to just be a motocross fan. Check out this superb video of Saturday qualifying by the powerhouse team at Vurb Moto. And let's all raise a glass to Wes Williams and Gary Price for the fantastic compositions they're beaming back to us.

And I would embed it, but hey, today I'm just being a fan.


September 23, 2008

September 22, 2008

Ready for some Cool Sh*t?: Zach Oz speaks

And Wes Williams delivers anotha stunna, this interview with potential 2009 World Champion Zach Osborne of the Utag Yamaha team. There's even more at Vurb Moto.

Pingree: I lol'd

Racer X's David Pingree has a funny short one on the MXdN. I'm kidding. It's really funny.

September 20, 2008

The Bike that will Beat the World


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Ain't it pretty? This is my current desktop. I love factory bikes, especially the outdoor racebikes. And if the move to L&M/San Manuel/Yamaha goes according to all the reports, this is the last ultra-trick Kawasaki outdoor bike that James Stewart will ride. At least for a while. From a cool gallery by GuyB.

September 13, 2008

Getting ready to cross an ocean to do battle


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Team Kawasaki personnel pack James Stewart's race bike in preparation for the Motocross of Nations. GuyB has a cool gallery of shots here.

September 11, 2008

And now for something completely different...

Scott Goggles rocks the Bat Wing. No, that's not what they're really called; Oakley probably has the trademark on that word anyway. This is the Voltage ProAir, according to this VitalMX article.

Hey, I lived through the first day-glo revolution, so I'm not entirely suprised to see this generation get the bright color jones for a while. It'll pass. Eventually.

The new owner of Supercross: Kenneth Feld

This picture of the CEO of Feld Entertainment is from this deeply jarring 2003 article by CBS News. The story is about a writer suing Feld for retaliating for an "unflattering" article she wrote about the Ringling Bros. circus. Holy crizzap.

"But that was back in 2003, Paul, why bring up that old news?" you might ask. Check this out: that suit has been in court since then and there were some significant actions in the District of Columbia Superior Court’s civil division just a few weeks ago:

The Court ruled that Jan Pottker had presented evidence leading to “undisputed facts [that] form a sufficient basis to deny judgment to the defendants on all of the counts brought by Pottker and WCI [her writing company] against the Feld defendants.” These undisputed facts are the following:

(1) [Kenneth] Feld did not want Pottker to write about his family or the circus;
(2) Feld wanted Pottker diverted from writing about the circus;
(3) Feld contacted [Clair] George [former Deputy Director of (covert) Operations at the Central Intelligence Agency] to commission the writing of a favorable book about the circus to be used if Pottker appeared able to publish her proposed book on the circus;
(4) George, with Feld’s knowledge, consent and money, hired [Robert] Eringer to carry out the twin goals to see to the production of the shadow book and to divert Pottker from writing about the circus;
(5) Eringer sought out and befriended Pottker to obtain information about her writing and plans to secure her trust as to his value to her in the publishing world so that he could provide information to Feld;
(6) Eringer reported his information and findings to George through memoranda and dixcussions;
(7) Eringer received the money he needed to carry out plans to divert, such as securing the money from Feld entities to partner with National Press Books to co-publish the Mars family book, Crisis in Candyland, by providing PPB the money that went for Pottker’s advance and securing the right to edit the book, but all in confidence with NPB without Pottker’s knowledge;
(8) Eringer entered into a written agreement with Pottker to publish Celebrity Washington, but made editorial suggestions that, under any reasonable interpretation, were designed, at best, to impede or delay the publication; and
(9) Eringer had to listen to “all of Pottker’s life plans” because he was paid to do that.

No, that's not moto. That's just nuts. This site calls it "
... the latest chapter in one of the most bizarre stories in the annals of espionage..."

The supercross "circus" and the "real" circus... what the heck is going on?

September 10, 2008

Exhibit C: Yes, The Future again

Supercross. That word has changed hands again.

On August 29, Racerhead reported a rumor that "LiveNation has sold supercross to another entity..." Today, Racer X Online posts this press release from Feld Entertainment. Turns out LiveNation didn't just sell supercross, it sold its entire motorsports division, which is now called Feld Entertainment Motorsports. Sexy.

The press release states that the new entity "will maintain its current management, tour schedules, promotional partnerships and performance structure." So at first glance, it looks like the 2009 Supercross season should go along as usual. However, what's interesting to me is the way they refer to motorsports events as "performances." Now, I have referred to the "show" before, but coming from the folks responsible for Ringling Bros. Circus and Disney on Ice, for some reason it seems more disconcerting.

I was working for ABC News in the '80's when the network was bought by Cap Cities, and I remember that the transition barely registered at the studio level. Cap Cities was wise enough to leave the news shows alone, at least initially. I expect that a company of Feld Entertainment's size and experience will mostly do the same with Supercross. But change eventually arrived at ABC, and it will do so at Feld Entertainment Motorsports as well. Hang on, Sloopy.

Exhibit B: Another part of The Future

Okay, the last post looked funny 'cause I called it "The Future", but it featured a photo gallery from the past. I was referring to the fact that Racer X Online has completely revamped their site and now include easily linkable galleries featuring captions... something GuyB at VitalMX has been doing for a while now, I should add. But I think it's great that Racer X is stepping up it's online game even more, and they are the undisputed leader of online videos and race coverage in the U.S.

Anyway... in this post, The Future I am referring to involves a young man from the crazy state of Virginia (I can say that 'cause I know the place), Zach Osborne, who has landed a factory Yamaha ride to contest the World Championship in the 250 class, or what they like to call MX2. In this story from Cycle News Online, Osborne is joining the British Utag team. Um, okay, guess I'll have to find out what the heck Utag is; unfortunately Cycle News didn't say. News, ladies and gentlemen, it's in the name.

ANYWAY, big huge props to Zach Osborne for landing a dream ride at the young age of 18, and for having the guts to take a different path by seeking the World Championship instead of the U.S. title. I wish him the best and look forward to following his progress in 2009.

September 09, 2008

Exhibit A: The Future

This just in (to me)... Racer X is dropping photos "gallery" style... here's the first one that caught my eye:

Photo Gallery » Flashback with David Bailey

You gotta read Bailey's caption on this one!
Posted using ShareThis

September 06, 2008

Saturday is Stewart Day


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Check out this VitalMX Perspective on James Stewart. Excellent slides and interview by GuyB.

Warning: prominently features that very weird, but strangely cool Fox neon gear.

September 02, 2008

Stewart Says: I definitely want to come back to run the number-one plate and try and go 48 and 0

That's what James Stewart told Steve Cox in the Racer X Monday Conversation.

There ya have it. Even though the deal with L&M Racing/San Manuel/Yamaha team is '09 SX only, James wants to race motocross and extend his winning streak.

Just three short months away. Let the silliness really begin.

August 31, 2008


Why so happy? C'mon, it's only motocross... ! j/k Congratulations again to Team Kawasaki for a phenomenal year, including Supercross. Photo by Steve Cox/

Monster Energy Kawasaki Team dominates the 2008 U.S. Outdoor Nationals


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Congratulations to James Stewart and Tim Ferry and the entire Monster Energy Kawasaki team for getting it done, the two best racers and the best team taking the top two steps of the podium. Broc Hepler earned the right to bask in the glow for a race. History captured by GuyB.

Steel City: The 23rd moto, no pressure, right?


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James made his perfect season look easy, but it wasn't. All those guys out there with him? They ALL wanted to be the dude that stopped the streak. GuyB on the case.

He Did It. Twelve Nationals in a Row.

Let's see that victory wheelie again. Photo by Steve Cox/

24 and oh he rode like this the entire time.

Photo by Steve Cox/

Congratulations to James Stewart, Jr. for a Perfect Season

Great shot by Shan Moore/

August 29, 2008

No doubt, the Party of the Year... part 1

Great shot!

Killer Commercial for the Racer X Motocross Show


"Supercross" sold to "another entity"

There's a lot of cool stuff in this week's Racerhead over at Racer X Online, so I definitely recommend the read. But this quote stopped me in my tracks:

What’s going on with supercross? I’ve been hearing rumors that Live Nation has sold supercross to another entity and it is not DMG. I don’t know what that means for the sport, but I will do my best to find out more about it.

I'm not sure if that quote is David Pingree or Davey Coombs.

I would think that there's a public record of the transaction, so I'm looking forward to seeing what the investigative reporters covering the MX biz beat come up with! Happy Labor Day everyone!

August 27, 2008

Southwick: Fox Getting Carried Away With It


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James Stewart came and conquered Southwick, winning his 21st and 22nd motos of the year, while wearing the Weirdest. Clothes. Ever. To come out of Fox Racing. Ever.

I had a chance to watch the first moto live webcast, and I saw James nearly endo over a fast jump. Later, he told Erin Bates and the SPEED TV webcast audience that he had a lot of close calls during the moto. Wow.

GuyB always gets the goods.

Southwick: The Man Who Should Be Second


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Timmy Ferry. Finished fourth in the first moto, finished fourth in the second moto, and finished third overall, behind Suzuki privateer Cody Cooper. This is probably the only time that a third place finish is not good. Of course, Ferry can always look at the points standings and say "Scoreboard," but with one race remaining in the race for second place, he is only 8 points ahead of Andrew Short. And it never looks good to be the factory guy getting "tooken" by a privateer. GuyB captures the sand blast.

Southwick: Seven Style Start


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Second moto start of the 450 class, and it looks like James Stewart has learned how to check out in the first turn! What a cool photo by GuyB.

Southwick: Villo Stops the Streak


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Freshly-crowned three-time National 250 Champion Ryan Villopoto dusted everybody in the sand, digging deep to win both motos and burying any chances of the "other Ryan" (Ryan Dungey) extending his two-National win streak. Decisive photo by GuyB.

Southwick: Wild Style Wharton


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Nice. Geico Powersports Honda's newest addition, Blake Wharton, put down some stylishly fast laps in the sand at Southwick. Wharton started off with the first moto holey and lead for four laps! A crash at the start of the second moto messed up his chances at a top five finish, but he did clock 10th overall in the 250 class with a 4-28 tally. Photo by GuyB.

August 18, 2008

Millville: Man (still) on a Mission


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Fox Racing made some special threads for James to sport in the second moto at Millville. Stewart won both motos, extending his streak to 20 wins in a row.

I think it's cool that James wanted to wear the #1. I hope he puts it on the bike in 2009.

GuyB photo.

Millville: Cannonball Run


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Congratulations to Ryan Villopoto for "salvaging" his season after losing the SX title by three-peating as the 250 National Motocross Champion! The Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki racer crashed hard during the first lap of moto two, losing not only position but style points as well. Fortunately he was not hurt, but he got up well back in the pack.

With the title already wrapped up, and the number one plate secure once more, Villopoto could have cruised around throwing whips and clickers for the crowd. Instead RV locked it WFO and passed everybody but Dungey. GuyB captures the hardcharger style.

Millville: Hometown Hero


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Hey, I didn't coin the phrase, I got it (and this pic) from GuyB of course.

Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey did it, he won his second national, and backed up the first quite nicely. However, there is no question who the really fast guy is...

Millville: "Another" Alessi steps up!


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Almost-factory Honda rider Jeff Alessi stepped it up big time at Millville, taking the holeshot from James in the second 450 moto. I think Jeff needs the spotlight, the exposure seems to do him some good... more top tens will do it. GuyB photo.

AMA Toyota Motocross National Championship: 10 rounds in and it's over!


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2008 is definitely a year for the record books. The National Champions of Motocross were crowned on Sunday at Millville, two rounds before the actual conclusion of the series.

If Motocross utilized a "playoff-style" to determine its champions, this would never happen. Just sayin'...

Still, James Stewart, Jr. and Ryan Villopoto were/are so dominant in their respective classes, 450 and 250, it could be argued that most of their competition conceded the titles before the season even started!

To the champions, their teams, families, friends and fans, congratulations! Your unbelievable dedication to your craft, your unwavering commitment to excellence inspires us all to believe in and go for our own dreams. We salute you!

And to the undoubtedly hardworking people who put on the races, please consider that it may time for some "out-of-the-box" thinking to get more out of our sport. I mean, what's the reasoning behind using a points system that allows the title to be decided before all the races are run? Why use a scheme that increases the risk of financial loss for the remaining races? Sure, the riders get bragging rights... what do those promoters get, besides maybe heartburn?

August 17, 2008

Good Job, James

Keep knocking 'em down.

August 16, 2008

Millville Saturday Practice: Whatcha Got?


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To me, the biggest question of this race weekend is can Ryan Dungey make it two in a row? The stop watches say no, as Dungey did not top Ryan Villopoto's fastest lap. Of course, that was the case at Washougal as well... GuyB gets the floater.

Millville: Brain Trust


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James and James confer over lap times in the Kawasaki pits. One thing for sure: ALL of the Stewart championships have been the result of the parents and son working together. A Stewart Family affair. Spy photo by GuyB.

Millville: Class Act


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Donny Schmit was one of my favorites, a real class act. Millville remembers the American World Champion. Commemorative pic by GuyB.

August 10, 2008

My Condolences

To all who have recently lost loved ones.

"The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity." ~Seneca

August 09, 2008

No, really. This IS Jason Lawrence's Ferrari 599's Kristin Beat spent some time with "Out"Law at the X Games. So this beautiful, 600 horsepower V12 Ferrari actually belongs to Jason, ESPN did not rent it for him or anything of the sort. Check it out:

Surprisingly, Jason drove the car safely and flawlessly. From the parking lot to the pit entrance Jason was nothing but a calm gentleman. Even approaching parking security whom were hesitant to let J-Law pull the car in, Jason was patient and respectful. The pristine vehicle safely returned to the pits where it was parked on display in front of his motor home. J-Law may not have taken home a medal at X-Games, but I’m sure he had fun with his new toy regardless.

Did I say I was a little jealous? Now I'm even jealous of Kristen. How much of a Ferrari-loving wimp am I?

Chad Reed: "Maybe you’ll see me at Steel City"

Eric Johnson, one of the premier writers in motosports, talked with Reed about his new deal and Racer X put it online. Chad Reed has become eminently quotable:

I had an amazing experience and a great time at Yamaha. I definitely worked with some lifelong friends—Keith McCarty and his crew, I have nothing but respect for those guys, but I think it was time for a change. I needed some new motivation and there were just some different things I felt that I needed to do to be a better rider and that was the team I wanted. I put all my eggs in one basket and I’m glad we got it done.

That's the nice quote. Then Reedy dangled a carrot for his American motocross fans:

I would love to have a race before the Motocross des Nations. Maybe Southwick or Steel City. I really enjoy Steel City. The Coombs family puts on a great show there and it’ll be on a Saturday afternoon, so it’ll kind of be like a supercross. I don’t know…. Maybe if I get into shape and get up to speed and get comfortable, maybe you’ll see me at Steel City.

Okay, that would make ME want to go to Steel City, and I live in California!

But what he said about the team and the bike that Carmichael developed and rode to such dominance, well, that's why you should go read
"5 Minutes with... Chad Reed" at Racer X Online.

But before you go, ponder this: in 2009, Chad will be on Ricky's old bike with Roger DeCoster managing the team, while it is "rumored" that James Stewart will be on Chad's old bike with Larry Brooks managing the team. Things that make you go "Hmm..."

August 08, 2008

New Rockstar: Chad Reed on Suzuki


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And he's taking the number 1 plate with him.

Chad Reed (correction: Two-time Supercross Champion Chad Reed) announced his new deal with Rockstar Makita Suzuki, and it sounds like a one year, supercross-mostly contract, if I'm reading this press release on VitalMX right:

Reed will race the 2009 AMA Supercross series and other selected events in the United States as well as compete in supercross events in his home country of Australia aboard his Suzuki EFI RM-Z450.

Nice looking bike, SuperX. Let's see what you can do on it. GuyB on the case.

August 06, 2008

X Games: This is Jason Lawrence's Ferrari 599

Well, it's the one he was driving at the X games (shown here outside Jlaw's Monster'd motor home), according to Trip at VitalMX:

X Games does give the bigger names flashy cars for the week they are here. I heard the car was his agents, maybe X Games rented it for him? It had a little Monster sticker in the back window.

Okay... I'll just admit to being a little jealous, sure, but is this just another example of ESPN playing the nation's top motorcycle talent? And the racers don't care because it feels so good to be treated like the moneymakers that they are!

August 05, 2008

Loretta Lynn's: Historical Style

I confess I don't know who this young man is [update: it's P.J. Larsen, winner of the Motocross A Pro Sport championship and co-winner of the AMA Horizon award]. The shot is from Amateur MX Magazine's Thursday report and it is uncaptioned. But it is so cool.

Loretta Lynn's: Racing Royalty

Eli Tomac won 6 titles this year at the Ranch. For a while, he was known as the son of mountain bike legend, John Tomac. Now he's known for his own multiple national championships. I'd like to see him turn pro on a Suzuki; wonder if Roger's thinking the same way? This great shot is from Impound #22, Chris Hultner's LL and Ponca City wrap up at Amateur MX Magazine, where you can catch even more videos of both amateur nationals.

The Eyes of the Industry

That's the caption for this shot from The Pulse: Loretta Lynn's Edition, Andy's wrap up over at (where you can also catch all five days of MX Sports Center episodes). Holy cow, that was the 27th running of the AMA Air Nautiques Amateur National Championship Finals! Some might have different opinions, but I think LL's has got to be the single most important race for aspiring professional motocross racers in the country, if not the world. If you kick ass at Hurricane Mills, Tennessee against the hot shoes that show up there, you can probably kick ass pretty much anywhere. That's why these guys, representing the top teams, are watching.

August 04, 2008

Smiles come in threes

Everybody gets this picture. Steve Bruhn shooting the soul of MX.