March 23, 2009

Say a prayer for the Feldkamps

My heart goes out to "Bud" Feldkamp, owner of Glen Helen Raceway, who lost two daughters and 5 grandchilden in this tragic plane accident in Montana. Such sad, sad news. May they rest in peace.

March 21, 2009

199 in Full Effect: Pastrana Rules St. Louis

Supercross is in St. Louis, Missouri tonight, featuring a track designed by Mr. Nitro Circus himself, the unforgettable 199, Travis Pastrana. Yes, this is a big deal, and to make it even bigger, ol' Trav is racing the event! Pastrana set 13th fastest time in practice, so he definitely still has it. It's gonna be an interesting night of racing. Photo by Bayodome at Transworld Motocross.

And a huge shout out to Donny Emler...!

Big Boi: Jason Lawrence returns to action

Another fine picture by Bayodome at Transworld Motocross. Number 338 on the Boost Mobile AM/PM Monster J-Law Racing Yamaha YZ450F Jason Lawrence posted 7th fastest practice time in the "Big Boy" 450cc class. Now, that's not quite as remarkable as his pole (har) at Daytona, but still... few expected the mercurial Lawrence to have staying power during his part-time foray into the premier ranks. I think the writing's on the wall (and on teh interwebs): Jason is a 450 rider now.

"J-Law Racing." Lol.

Fast from France: Pourcel excels at SX

It's time for some cool photos from the St. Louis Supercross, and Bayodome at Transworld Motocross has posted a great set of shots from the first practice session. Here's East Region championship points leader Christophe Pourcel on his Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki KX250F.

March 15, 2009

Regarding the pyrotechnics of the preceding photo

Yes, that is indeed a giant fireball erupting inside the Superdome. You will see a kickass fireworks show if you go to any of the remaining MESS supercross races (and I highly recommend that you do). American supercross has always had a decent display of detonations, ever since the Pace/CCE/LiveNation and now FMS folks have run the show. Of COURSE the show producers are setting off fireworks, pulling off successful stadium shows for upwards of 40,000 paying customers requires those same producers to create a memorable spectacle, no matter what happens on the track.

And, yes indeed, I used the word "show" four times in the preceding paragraph. For almost as long as "supercross" has existed in the USA (30 yrs?), series achieved it's largest successes at the box office when marketed as a piece of theater, grand entertainment for the throng of willing American consumers. That's undoubtedly one of the reasons behind the decision to create FMS and buy the series.

"But it's a serious motorsport! The dynamics of supercross are natually "explosive", with racing machines blasting out of tight turns and launching over huge triples; man-made explosives are not necessary. Why can't the promoters conduct it as a serious motorsports competition (think events like the 24 hours of Le Mans or the Formula 1 series) one worthy of the respect of the world?" my naive inner motogeek asketh outloud. There will be no satis-factory answer, just go and enjoy the show. It could be worse.

New Orleans: James Stewart was on fire

And Vital MX's GuyB captured it for posterity. San Manuel Yamaha's James Stewart throws a "hotter" version of the standard finish line whip, if you will, while taking a wire-to-wire win in last night's 20-lap 450cc main event inside the Lousiana Superdome.

March 14, 2009

Quiet Explosion: the Nationals will be International

MX Sports dropped another major television announcement yesterday; here's the press release courtesy Vital MX. According to the blurb, ".... the 2009 racing series will reach far beyond American borders and directly into households and television sets on 6 continents, 80 countries and over 430 million possible homes."

Wow, that's an incredible number! The press release goes on to decribe one the of broadcast partners, Greenlight TV:
Greenlight TV, with its Motorsports Mundial, Planet Speed, and Max Power programming, reaches over 400 million homes throughout the European Union, Russia and the Orient. The network will feature highlights of each round of the 2009 championship.

Wait. Is this the same Greenlight TV "formed in 2004 by C.E.O. and President Eric Marciano to act as distribution company for programming content produced by a variety of his other enterprises"...? If so, then the picture of the lovely lady, which was found on the "About US" page over at the Greenlight TV website, finally makes some (limited) sense. Don't know who she is, unless that's really Eric Marciano. I kind of hope not.

Or is it the same Greenlight TV that was reportedly 'kicked in the teeth' by the Isle of Man government when the pols denied the company the exclusive rights to film the legendary Isle of Man TT last year, according to this IOM TODAY news story I unearthed with my trusty google shovel? Yep, it's this one, a true powerhouse of international television distribution.

Just playin' around, y'all.

Anyway, this is humongous news. Congratulations to MX Sports and their fortuitious partnership witth the Alliance of Action Sports. And while it's going to be great fun watching it all come together this summer, what I'm REALLY looking forward to is how the inevitable results of this superior coverage will change the sport in the years to come.

March 09, 2009

Daytona: Redemption for Reed

Look at that see of happy faces celebrating Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Chad Reed after he put on a stunning ride to chase down and win his third Daytona supercross. The victory had to taste particularly sweet for Reedy, because it not only made up for last year's last-lap breakdown heartbreak, but it fully capitalized on Stewart's sorrowful mistake and moved the Australian's championship-points-chase advantage into the double digits. Here Chad smokes it for his fans in another phantastic photo from the great race report by Brendan Lutes at Transworld Motocross.

Daytona: 7 finishes 7th, drops back by 11

Sure, it's a numbers game, but come on now. Photo by Brendan Lutes/Transworld Motocross.

Daytona: before "the fall"

The Daytona supercross is famous for a lot of things, like the beautiful grass start straight. Just look at this gorgeous photo by Brendan Lutes from his Daytona supercross race report at Transworld Motocross. No, those aren't explosive devices detonating just behind a line of world-class athletes mounted on ultra-high-tech factory racing machines, those are flames shooting out of their exhaust pipes. No one would be so stupid as to detonate explosive devices at a serious sporting event, right?

Anyway, what was going on in those guys heads just seconds before the gate dropped? Number 338 Jason Lawrence rolled to the line knowing that, for one lap at least, he could be "The Fastest Man Alive"... what were numbers 7 and 1 thinking?

Daytona: I told you that fool could put it down

You wanna see a fast motorcycle racer? Jason Lawrence proved his surprise fifth-place qualifying time last week at Indy was no fluke by qualifying in FIRST PLACE for the infamous Daytona supercross (which is not, signficantly, part of the MESS). So the bad boy from New Jersey went to Daytona beach and actually kicked some butt in the premier 450cc league? Ya know, that kind of makes up for the blown West Region demi-championship in the 250cc class. I mean, that's the first time anyone has bested James Stewart in qualifying this year. And in Stewart's home state, no less.

Which makes me wonder wtf was up with James this Saturday, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Jason Lawrence then went on to put his Boost Mobile/ampm/Monster-sponsored privateer Yamaha YZ450F in front of the supercross-loving world by leading for a full three- quarters of the main event. Sure, his quick getaway was a result of "the fall," but look at the great shot above by Brendan Lutes from Transworld Motocross: dude was flying. And yeah, he faded and "let Reed by" as MXA reported, but he didn't make any excuses about his fitness. We'll see if he makes good on this promise made in his Monday Conversation with Steve Cox at Racer X to "get on some fitness right now and I’m going to be out there, dude, killing it."

I bet this race pissed Ryan Dungey off bigtime.

March 02, 2009

NBC Sports steps the "eff" up: Outdoor Motocross Live on network television for the first time in history!

I don't mean to be bombastic with my enthusiasm for this news, and yes, I wish they were doing the entire series, but we're talking about races like Red Bud Live on the Fourth of freaking July! And then later Budds Creek, one of my favorite tracks! Live on the National Broadcasting Company's air! Okay, enough exclamation points... Racer X Online has the story:

“This television package with NBC and SPEED is the first step in a series of opportunities to bring the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship into the mainstream,” said MX Sports President Davey Coombs. “For the first time in the history of the sport, fans can watch their favorite riders on live network television as well as on cable. None of this would be possible without the trust and confidence AMA Pro Racing has in MX Sports and our partners. Motorcycle racing in America has been in a transition period over the past year and this is a good sign of things to come.”

Good show!