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.

Actually, there is no "X" in motocross...

... and there is no "I" in team, blah blah blah, so what, right? I just wanted to run this Steve Bruhn/Racetime photo of some off-weekend amateur action straight outta Birmingham, Alabama's Warrior MX. "Amateur action" sounds kinda nasty, doesn't it?

August 02, 2008

X Games: ESPN giveth and ESPN taketh away

I'm reading an intensely interesting book right now, "The New Media Monopoly" by Ben Bagdikian, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who also happens to be dean emeritus of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley. In one chapter, Bagdikian describes the power plays implemented by the huge Gannett media conglomerate in the late '70's, when they were attempting to merge with another large media company, the Combined Communications Corporation (catchy name, huh?). Bagdikian wrote, "At the time, it was the biggest media merger in the country."

However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was reluctant to approve the merger for numerous reasons, not the least of which was the fact that outside groups were complaining about Gannett's record on hiring women and minorities. The author goes on to describe how Gannett went into action, making highly visible (yet still profitable to the company) moves to show the public it was positively responding to the charges. The FCC approved the merger, and one would think all was right with the world. But Bagdikian presents evidence that the merger only served to strengthen Gannett's media monopolies in a growing number of markets in America.


This year, ESPN (or EXPN, whatever), for the first time in 14 years, has opened up the X Games to professional female motocross racers. Personally, I find this amazing... amazing that it has taken this long, and amazing that it is happening at all. But the people behind the X Games went even further in this sudden inclusiveness and created an event for physically-challenged motorcycle racers. Yes, the motorcycle portion (called "Moto X" in their lingo) of the X Games now specifically includes women and minorities. Well, a very special, very small minority. The message to the world is very clear: the X Games are good.

Which makes their "Darkmane" ad campaign even more infuriating to me. But I'll get into that later.

Now, I don't mean to imply that the X Games ever intentionally EXCLUDED women and any minorities in any of their previous broadcasts. The fact is, I have no idea how they decided who to invite to their games, or how they decided which sports would be included. It is obvious, though, that ESPN has fully embraced showcasing the dirtbike aspect of X, to the point where they now realistically compete with the traditional supercross and motocross promoters for the top talent in racing. Moto X World Championships, anyone?

And that is the point. Racers have made it no secret that the X Games people treat them like the superstars they truly are (or think they are), as opposed to the treatment they usually get from the promoters of the sports in which they make their livelihood. Maybe it's not obvious to most, but ESPN is definitely making a move on the most important part of professional motocross in America, and I'm not talking about the stadiums or the tracks.

Explain how the AMA can ban Jason Lawrence from professional competition, yet he is welcomed to compete in supercross at the X Games? Explain why Ricky Carmichael and Jeremy McGrath, both AMA legends and both permanently retired from AMA competition, choose to risk injury to compete for X Games medals (and cash)?

Did anyone say "live television coverage on a major cable channel and broadcast network?" Well, yeah, that's a major part of it, too.

So, back to the original point, does anyone wonder why ESPN decided to include women and the physically-challenged in the X Games lineup? I would like to believe they did it because it's the right thing to do. But my business sense (and the Gannett story) lead me to think that they did so for other reasons, ones that directly or indirectly affect their bottom line. Let's not be childish about this, we're talking about a company owned by Disney, which is, like Gannett, one of the world's largest media conglomerates.

Still, the X Games has got it going on, just admit it Pdub and stop being a hater, some might say to me. Look, I'm fine with most of what the X Games is about. I really like the skating and BMX portions, I'm over the freestyle stuff, I won't get drawn into the manufactured "step up" dramas, I think they finally have figured out how to do supermoto well, I'm glad they have finally embraced real supercross, and I respect them for experimenting with "Moto X Adaptive" for the physically-challenged riders. But the ad campaign this year rubs me the wrong way.

Admittedly, I may be hyper-sensitive, given the increased focus on racism in America due to this historic Presidential election cycle... all that Pennsylvania Primary stuff was nuts!... so when I see ESPN create a supposedly non-racial (he's wearing a mask!) character called "Dark"-something who "hates" X Games athletes and wants to enlist my help in "destroying" the X Games... it just pisses me off that someone confuses that with "creative" and then uses it to promote something that involves the sport I love, motocross.

Yes, what I want is the X Games to get it right, all the way, all the time, in my eyes. Yes, I may be asking too much, but that's only because I set my standards high. We can have great competition shown live on television, events that treat the athletes with respect and advertising that doesn't subversively manipulate the fans. That is not too much to ask.