February 23, 2009

Twofer Monday: James and Sarah talk

I know. It's supposed to be "Twofer TUESDAY", but February is a weird month, so it's okay to stretch the rules a little. Besides, I came across two interesting items on MX web:

First up, James Stewart gives the most candid interview I think I've ever read. He must get along with Racer X's Steve Matthes or something; Matthes posted it on his cool site PulpMX.

And the second? Top female MX pro Sarah Whitmore blogged about her very first WORCS race over at Racer X Online. How'd she do? She finished second, without the benefit of practice! Oh yeah, and she was riding a stock KTM...

February 22, 2009

C'mon Chad

You're doing great, mate, but we know you can do even better. Maybe it's the polka dots? Style check photo by GuyB/VitalMX.

Atlanta: turn two traffic

Turn two at the start of the 450cc main event in Atlanta; cool photo by GuyB.

Atlanta: they like supercross down there

Here comes a few cool photos from ever-incredible collection at VitalMX, shot by GuyB of course. First up, a nice win whippy by the man who might be Bayle, Christophe Pourcel, as he took the win in the 250cc class in Atlanta.

7 wins seventh; takes points lead in Atlanta

James Stewart remains the man to beat in the MESS, after shutting down Chad Reed for the seventh straight race. Finish line photo and race report by Brendan Lutes/Transworld Motocross.

February 15, 2009

San Diego Supercross: the title contenders are tied

This is the start of the 450cc main at last night's San Diego round of the MESS (MEASS? I think not). Check out the San Diego "style" Chad Reed (1) and (just behind him) Ryan Villopoto (2) are flexing, with their NFL Chargers lighting bolts and blue and gold. Looks good, guys, even though I'm not partial to the Chargers. Cool photo from GuyB's great race report at VitalMX.

As far as the racing goes, this start would be the closest Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Reed would ever get to L&M San Manuel Yamaha's James Stewart (7), who lead every lap to win his sixth straight supercross. It was a prime opportunity for Speedy Reedy to show the world that he could hang with James... but apparently he couldn't step up to the challenge. Was he just "not feeling it?" Or is Reed just not fast enough to beat Stewart? On the CBS broadcast, they reported that Chad said if he could just get close enough to James, he knew how he could pressure him into a mistake. And that's what it has come to: the field now admits that they don't have the outright speed to win, and will have to rely on a meltdown by number 7 in order to get one.

Uh oh.

February 08, 2009

Rain Man

Yes, James Stewart won his fifth straight Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship (MEASAFWC... meh, I like "MESS" better) last night in Anaheim, and yes, the rain finally fell during the final laps of the 450cc main. Cool shot by GuyB at VitalMX.Link

West Coast Throwdown

Kawasaki-mounted Jake Weimer (19) and KTM-mounted Justin Brayton (114) thrilled the Anaheim crowd with their battle for the lead in the 250cc class. Check out the great photos and race coverage by Chris at Transworld Motocross. Weimer went on to win the main and take the championship points lead from Suzuki-rider Ryan Dungey. Yikes.

Yes, another motocross doggie photo

GuyB at VitalMX snapped this funny pic of the bulldog "guarding" the Rockstar Hart and Huntington pits at A3. Yeah, I like dogs, but motocross doggies are the coolest. But I thought there was a rule against having pets in the AMA Pro pits? RxrH&H rox...

February 07, 2009

Anaheim 3 Riders' Meeting: you are there

Transworld Motocross online steps up once again, with this up-to-the-minute report from Brendan Lutes at Angel Stadium. The prognosis? Rain is causing them to keep the track covered until 3:50pm, at which time the riders will be able to quickly walk the track before qualifying begins.

Caption time for the photo above: "When the AMA speaks, racers mill around with their hands in their pockets..."

February 06, 2009

New Links: check these guys out

Yes, I've been sleeping. I recently "discovered" (translation: I'm late) a couple of cool mx blogs:

PulpMX, "The Place In Between Places Where Steve Puts Stuff" is written by Steve Matthes, a very funny dude who also writes the "Observations" column after every race for Racer X Online, among many, many other things. Podcasts, webcasts, videos... Matthes does it all. So why is he "blogging?" In his mission statement, Steve wrote:

Some of you that have emailed me requested some place like this yet others have wished I would die and go to hell. Just an F.Y.I this is probably not a place to read for those of you in the latter group.

I think that's some funny shit. And he's got more, much more. Hey, he's the owner/photographer of the leisurely beagle brothers in the photo above. He refers to them as The Ungrateful Bastards. Yes, that makes me lol.

And on PulpMX's "Da Links" page I found Eternal Two Stroke, a really well-written blog by a true advocate of the sport. The Eternal Two Stroker has a lot to say about the current state of mx/sx on television, and I admit I agree with a lot of it.

These guys know it's a cool sport and they're part of the reason why the sport is so cool. These guys are definitely feeling it.


February 03, 2009

Catching Up

On Superbowl Sunday morning, I was able to experience the San Francisco round of the Monster Energy Supercross Series (MESS) like most casual fans of the sport, by simply checking out SPEED's next-day coverage of the event. I am not a casual fan. I usually follow the race as it occurs in (somewhat) real-time, relying on whatever information is offered up on the internet, so by the time SPEED gets their program on air the next day, I already know what happened. But on the biggest TV-watching day of the year, I watched the races unfold with unknowing eyes.

It was pretty cool.

James Stewart went wire-to-wire to win his fourth straight. That's 4 victories in 5 races, 100 points earned since he walked out of Anaheim in a daze. That's amazing.

And yeah, watching him on TV, he made it look easy. Of course, winning a supercross race is anything but, as one look at James' face in the photo above attests (another great picture by Swap at Transworld Motocross). But that's one of the primary challenges of covering a dynamic and complex sport like supercross on television: how to convey the depth of emotions and excitement that permeate the sport, in a very, very short period of time. And I am not suggesting more pre-recorded packages, which have been showing great improvement I must add, I think they can significantly improve the on-track racing coverage. I think the producers need to breakout the thinking caps and brainstorm some ways to up the detail level of the coverage... or hire some expert consultants to bring them some fresh ideas. There's plenty of talent in the "traditional" motocross media; I hope the cable and broadcast guys are listening to them. I'm just sayin'.