July 29, 2008

Rewind: Budds Creek Badass

I found this almost dream-like shot of James Stewart floating through the late afternoon sunlight in Southern Maryland at the Budds Creek National and thought I should share this wallpaper by GuyB. I'll be running this as a desktop for a bit.

July 28, 2008

Washougal: This is What You Want


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Oh yeah. I tuned into the Racer X webcast to catch the second motos at Washougal and heard the exciting 250 class go to it's unexpected conclusion. Dungey has definitely been coming on these last two races, and when he set the fastest time in the first practice session, people should have guessed that something might be up. Ryan D. had to wrestle with Trey Canard (get well soon, Trey!) before taking the lead in moto two, but once out front he held off the killer. Who else has done that? Townley, last year? The mind boggles...

So Dungey denied Villopoto a Washougal win, something Villo has never been able to accomplish in his stellar, but short career. This actually sets up a fantastic showdown between RV and James Stewart next year!

Tense photo by GuyB.

Washougal: Dungey gets first National win!


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The drummer got himself some more.

Ryan Dungey had the race of his young life on Sunday in Washington, by showing the entire world that the "other" Ryan, Villopoto, is not invincible after all. And in this perfect GuyB photo, Dungey lets it all out. He is definitely feeling it here!

Oh yeah... get down, Mr. Dungey!

Washougal: 18 in a row


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James Stewart rolled to his 9th race win on the year, his 17th and 18th consecutive moto wins, and he came within a handful of points from outright clinching the title at Washougal. No one else could come close on the picturesque circuit. Countdown photo by GuyB.

Washougal: Jessica stops Ashley!


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Reigning WMA Champion Jessica Patterson came back on Sunday to win the second women's moto, taking the overall win as well, stopping points-leader Ashley Fiolek's win streak along the way. It was Patterson's first win of the year. GuyB got the shot.

July 26, 2008

Washougal: there she goes...


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Ashley. Winning. Washougal WMA Moto 1. Cool pic by GuyB.

Washougal: The Right Stuff


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This is how Ashley Fiolek is dealing with her fractured wrist. Yes, not only is the WMA championship points leader racing with a fractured wrist, she won today's WMA Moto 1 by almost 10 seconds over Jessica Patterson. Ashley has speed and guts, no doubt about it. Photo by GuyB.

Washougal: Ultra Competitive


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... especially if they keep letting GuyB direct their newly-started wrestling careers!

GuyB gets the goods.

Washougal: How could I resist?


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Two WMA competitors, Tatum Sik (left) and Mariana Balbi. Ah... motocross. Have you seen these women on TV yet? You will...

Washougal: Fox Fashion


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"Here it is... BAM! And you say..." Wow, that's a lot of detail. Fox Racing displayed next year's gear at the Washougal National. GuyB kicking asteroid photo.

Washougal: Saturday Symmetry

Some of you will not be surprised to learn that the number 1 qualifiers in both classes today were Kawasaki-mounted racers James Stewart (450) and Ryan Villopoto (250). What's interesting is that the very slowest riders in each class were also on Kawasakis!

In the big bore class, James set a fastest lap of 2:16.263... compare that with the 3:05.559 set by #712 Don W. Proctor of Auburn, Washington on his Kawasaki KX450F. Of course, Don's probably not riding a works bike.

In the quarter liter class, Ryan clocked a 2:16.868, which would have put him in second place among bikes with twice the displacement of his Pro Circuit special. Factory bikes. Back to the point... in this class, the slowest rider/bike combo was Todd J. Carlson of Mt. Vernon, Washington and his Kawasaki KX250F. Todd kept it outta the 3's, but could only manage a 2:52.142.

To be fair, I do not know the circumstances that may have caused these men to run comparatively slower than the rest, and I'm not making fun of them. Not really. My hat's off to these guys that man up and do what it takes to get an AMA pro racing license and get out there on the track when the fast guys come to town. Racing in an AMA National has to be the most common dream for everyone who has ever fixed a set of meaningful numbers to their bike after joining the AMA at the amateur level.

Maybe Don had a flat and Todd's bike bent a valve?

Carl Stone: Unadilla Art

Carl Stone has posted an extraordinary gallery of photos from the Toyota AMA Motocross National at Unadilla. Catch it before it's gone!

July 22, 2008

Unadilla: Open Class Power

The other side of the shot, and it looks like number 7 is really hooking up in the muck. GuyB turns and fires.

Unadilla: The Fast End of the Gate


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The start of the second 450cc moto. Look at privateer Cody Cooper (902) in the midst of factory rider "slugger's row". Cody raced to a fifth place finish in moto one, and earned the right to slot his "Suzuki City" RM450F between the works Yamaha of Josh Hill (40), the factory Kawasakis of James Stewart (7) and Tim Ferry (15) and Michael Byrne's (26) works Suzuki. Cody went on to finish second in moto two.

Another "GuyB is Everywhere" photo. No really, how does he do it?

Unadilla: Can the drummer get some?


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Dungey got himself some. The factory Suzuki star led several laps of moto 2, finishing 2-2 on the day. Were those his first lead laps of the season? That's Martin Davalos on the MDK KTM getting low on the left. All the signs in the world photo by GuyB.

Unadilla: Flying Fourstrokes


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Kyle Cunningham leading Trey Canard and Brett Metcalfe in the first 250cc moto. Chicken Soup for the Motocross Soul photo by GuyB.

Unadilla: Monster Shot

This shot rocks. The classic crossed-up, feet-up, wheelying powerslide. Soon to be three-time National Champion Villopoto wringing the life out of his Pro Circuit Kawasaki KX250F at Unadilla.

I saw this great Carl Stone photo in a press release over at Racer X.

July 20, 2008

Team USA 2008


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And here are the guys that are going to accomplish the USA's 19th win at the Motocross of Nations. James Stewart (Monster Energy Kawasaki), Ryan Villopoto (Monster/Pro Circuit Kawasaki) and Tim Ferry (Monster Energy Kawasaki).

The similarities these winners share are astounding. I can't believe the organizers slept on the team t-shirts and hats, though. Wow. Well at least they have the black-and-white paper table name cards... GuyB getting the PR goods.

The background says it all


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This is the Chamberlain Cup, the trophy awarded to the team that wins the Motocross of Nations. The United States has won it 18 times, and on Saturday at Unadilla the AMA announced the team that will go for win number 19 at the Donington Park Circuit in England later this year.

GuyB took this photo of the venerable trophy, and I think the background is striking in a number of ways. While I'm not sure if all of those companies are actually sponsoring Team USA, I think it's safe to say that without the financial commitment of sponsors there would be no American MXoN effort. Which speaks to the nature of our sport as it has become even more professional, a sport that is creating wealth and value for a hopefully growing number of people. What's also interesting is what's missing in this photo: a U.S. flag or any other Team USA insignia.

Unadilla: Practice poetry part 2


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James Stewart flying his factory Kawasaki through the skies of New Berlin, New York. Fastest 450 and having too much fun to be worried about a dude in another series. Unfortunately, the same sunny skies went away on race day. Even still, James went on to win both motos, the second one in a downpour, extending his streak to 16 motos in a row. "Fathead" photo by GuyB.

Unadilla: When is a 250 faster than a 450?


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Ryan Villopoto airs it out on the way to setting the fastest overall time of the day... even faster than James Stewart! GuyB photo.

Unadilla: Honda Red Bull reality


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The Honda Red Bull lineup looked pretty impressive when announced. A series of unfortunate injuries have sidelined a full three-quarters of the team, leaving only their senior-most racer, Andrew Short, to fly the colors. Don't feel sorry for Shorty; he's now running third in the championship standings. GuyB gets the red out pic.

Unadilla: Saturday practice poetry


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Ryan Dungey and his factory Suzuki 250f found the fastest way around the Unadilla circuit on Saturday. Turf's up photo by GuyB.

July 17, 2008

Transworld Motocross gets Mike Alessi talking

Donn Maeda is one of the best interviewers in motocross. He always seems to get the riders to really open up. He "caught up with... Mike Alessi" here at Transworld Motocross and The M had some pretty eye-opening things to say. He remembers doing well at Red Bud in 2007, and was expecting to be even better this year. But after being knocked out for three minutes, he says he doesn't remember a thing from the entire weekend. Yikes.

July 12, 2008

Budds Creek: what the... oh, I get it now


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Words have no description for what James Stewart is doing in this photo, so I should probably stop typing now

*blink* photo by GuyB

Budds Creek: what the...? part 2


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Tim Ferry is in control, this photo notwithstanding. Scrubbing that jump with a little extra Lysol bathroom cleaner, Number 15 was again number 2 in qualifying at Budds. Number 2 is good.

Undercarriage inspection pic by GuyB

Budds Creek: what the...?


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Josh Grant going for it over a Budds Creek double. I am pretty sure I would never attempt such a jump.

"What Part of this don't you understand?" pic by GuyB

Budds Creek: Mike Brown!


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Another cat that can flat ride a bike, Mike Brown can get down. Yes indeed.

GuyB milking it

Welcome back David Vuillemin!


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Look who's back and racing at Budds Creek! Go DV12!

Welcome back pic by GuyB

No, you can't have this


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This is a works Suzuki fuel tank. The AMA inspection sticker next to it seems to assure that it is legal. Does it even matter? It does if you want to win.

In my mind, even stock production race bikes are works of art, so to see examples of pure craftsmanship like this just tickles my inner gadget geek. Bring back the full factory specials.

Expose photo by GuyB.

Budds Creek: Ah, Motocross...


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Since GuyB is streaming the goods, I can't resist hanging a few shots here to pretty up the place.

I haven't been giving our two-time 250 National Champion Ryan Villopoto enough props for the clearly dominant, nearly flawless season he's having. He's on it, hard, as he showed in Saturday practice at Budds Creek, Maryland. What a great rider. [Mark Butler, go to the race!]

July 11, 2008

Mike Alessi's looking pretty good!

I know I am overusing the word, but wow again. Mike has just dropped a video on (guess) Racer X Films...directed by none other than Troy Adamitis... and he almost looks like he's ready to ride. Wow.

Racerhead 28: Wow

Check out the flow as DC lets go. This is indeed an exciting time for motocross.

July 10, 2008

Sean Hamblin: "I think the only way I rode was just pure adrenaline and a bit of stupidity!!"

Here's a funny thread started by Factory Yamaha sensation Sean Hamblin. He posted this pic (with an assist from ocscottie) from Red Bud, obviously in pain and trying to deal with a dislocated shoulder. Hamblin has come a long way with his PR skills development; his consistent participation at VitalMX is a great example of a pro athlete reaching out and interracting with his base.

Photo credit unknown.

July 08, 2008

Apology accepted, Jason. Now, what's your problem?


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I give credit to Jason Lawrence for issuing this apology on Racer X Online, and I don't particularly care whether he was the original author of it or not. I am just happy to see signs of intelligent life from the Lawrence "camp" in a mature and timely fashion, no less. It reads authentically enough for my purposes as a motocross fan.

I also do not particularly care about Jason's sins, his ethical or moral standards (or lack thereof, others might add), whether he has a substance abuse problem or is simply another troubled American youth. As far as I'm concerned, Jason Lawrence is just another guy. He just happens to also be a reasonably-compensated professional athlete who does things on a motorcycle that I personally admire... even though that sounds kind of funny. But it is because of his prowess on his motorcycle that I even know about him and pay him any mind at all. What he does off the track is only of interest when I am bored. Which I guess is why I'm writing about this at all, as Jason Weigandt sort of predicted.

So in a way, we are all as guilty as J "no longer above the" Law. Somebody yelled "Fight! Fight!" in the AMA's schoolyard and we all quickly crowded around to egg the pitiful fools on. The would-be pugilists pay the price, of course, while we get to curse them and compliment ourselves for not being so stupid. I don't know what happened that resulted in Jason's arrest on Saturday night, but if I am to be totally honest, I have to admit that I WOULD like to know. And I'm sorta pissed off that the motocross "press" hasn't put it out there fully... I guess I'm too stingy with my time to root around to a dozen sites just to find basic info about the incident, like the name of the guy he allegedly fought. I'm a fan, not an investigative reporter!

In the grand scheme of things, in the pantheon of motocrosser transgressions, I would claim that, as it has been presented by the current stories, Lawrence's offense does not come as close to "embarrassing the sport" as the M's on-track mental meltdown during that fateful second moto at Glen Helen in '05... and Alessi took months to issue his personal apology. So I think those intent on kicking JLaw out of motocross are being tragically short-sighted.

Better days wallpaper by GuyB.

Iron Man Hamblin, before the Fall


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Check it out. This man deserves respect for earning some time under the big blue awning by putting in hard work. This past weekend at Red Bud, new Factory Yamaha star Sean Hamblin dislocated his shoulder TWICE, but still raced to earn points in both motos. For that, a well-earned Getdown Sean!

And GuyB gets big props for the VitalMX Perspective doo-hickey.