Racerhead #42Friday, October 20, 2006 | 2:40 PM
Honda is the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, and the undisputed leader in motorcycle technology. More motocross riders have won titles on Hondas than on any other bike. When you’re serious about winning, Honda is the machine for you.
In this article…
- Ivan Tedesco
- Michael Byrne
- Jimmy Albertson
- Ryan Clark
- Ryan Villopoto
- Chad Reed
- Josh Grant
- Ryan Abrigo
- Kevin Windham
- Davi Millsaps
- Andrew Short
- Chris Blose
- James Stewart
- Tommy Hahn
- Nick Wey
Headline of the year, from today’s USA Today:“Palace Denies Spanish King Shot Drunken Russian Bear.” Seriously. It’s been that kind of day.
The whole Racer X staff has been working overtime this week, trying to finish an issue of the mag, the AX series program, and an issue of The Racing Paper, all while trying to avoid direct eye contact with one another after last weekend’s trip to fabulous Las Vegas, where many of us spent some time being “that guy.”
With Andrew Short already out with a knee injury until well into the 2007 season, and team advisor Jeremy McGrath suffering a fractured vertebra in his neck at his own race two weeks ago, Team Honda is now literally down to one healthy rider: Tommy Hahn. When it rains.…
The good news is that it’s a clean break, and Langston told me they are guardedly optimistic that he won’t be out too long. Then he put a very groggy Davi on the phone, who said (I think), “Don’t let them dog me on the internet.” I told him that everything I had seen after we broke the story was positive, and the Mototalkers were all sending out their best wishes. I also told him he was lucky he was good-looking, because Miss Supercross wouldn’t otherwise want to be seen with a guy who limps.
Stewart ended 2007 much the way RC ended 2005: he won Glen Helen, he led Team USA to the win at the Motocross des Nations, then he picked up a bunch of cash with a solid win in Las Vegas (though RC didn’t leave town with a new Bentley like James just did, courtesy of Red Bull). The scary thing about the future is this: Stewart doesn’t turn twenty-one until December 21, and he has no intention of going car racing anytime soon.
The one thing Stewart did lose was the Superpole on Saturday night, but only after trying to hit the whoops at what could be best described as an extraordinarily high level of speed and almost cartwheeling. That left the $10,000 from the folks at Toyota to end up in the pocket of Kevin Windham, who must have added a quarter of a million dollars to his bank account in the last two weeks.
For instance, Ricky has been home for exactly one day since he left for the Motocross des Nations in England. He’s been constantly testing with Suzuki and his teammate Ivan Tedesco, and even his team manager Roger DeCoster told us in this week’s Suzuki Between the Motos that Ricky is “as focused as ever. I just hope that we get the bike really, really good, and if we make the bike good, it will be more difficult for him to sit out of an event!”
In fact, Carmichael is flying back from California tonight with Ben Townley (who acquitted himself pretty well in Vegas in what was effectively his first U.S. supercross race) for a little time off….
Like tomorrow afternoon. Then he’s getting in that car and going to work there.
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Carmichael isn’t the only motocrosser who has a think for four-wheelers. Racer X reader John James of Austin, TX, spotted this piece today from Australia on Chad Reed showing similar ambitions with V8 Supercars in Australia. V8’s are the premier motor sport racing in Australia. Check it out.
Okay, back to dirt bikes: Here’s Ping’s stuff:
“I’m pretty stoked with the team,” said Dostal after his first day of testing. “We already got a base setting sorted out, and we have several more days lined up to just test suspension. Ryan runs a good program, and he’s always organized. That makes it a lot more fun to come to the races. Hopefully, we can both have really good results this year.”
Ryan’s teammate in 2006, Justin Buckelew, is headed to the AMA Arenacross Series on the Tuff Honda team. Justin and his new teammate, Danny Smith, will be contenders when the gate drops for the first Arenacross round in November.
The Wonder Warthog program has been a huge help to privateers in the sport. In 2007, the WWR team is going to a whole ‘nother level. They have partnered up with the team formerly known as SoCal Racing, purchased a $1.4 million semi, and hired sixteen riders for 2007! Through a tryout and interview process, six riders were chosen as interns that will ride inside the truck and under the team awning. Those riders are: Jimmy Albertson, Chris Blose, Brady Sheren, Ryan Abrigo, Kyle Tobin, and Jack Marsack.
Also, ten more riders will have their bikes taken around, their expenses paid, and have a separate awning called the Hog Haven from which to pit. This pit area will be behind or adjacent to the main team riders. The program is amazing for riders who need a chance to get to the races on competitive equipment. Stay tuned for more about the program in an upcoming issue of Racer X Illustrated.
Wonder Warthog tryouts were pretty cool photo: Simon Cudby
Wonder Warthog tryouts were pretty cool
photo: Simon Cudby
In the meantime, Ryan and Randy Lawrence are getting back to work to prepare for the 2007 Amp’d Mobile Supercross season. After watching Josh Grant ride the last two weeks, I hope both of these guys show up on the West Coast at Anaheim, because they’re going to have some great races.
As for me, I’m off to the final round of the national hillclimbing championships in Tracy, CA, this weekend. I’ll be riding a 625cc KTM with nitrous on loan from the Peterson family. Wish me luck.
Earlier this week, Eric Johnson spoke to Travis Preston about his return to the Factory Connection tent and SoBe/Samsung Honda. With Short and Millsaps now out and McGrath probably done racing, I wonder if Honda is pondering a reversal on Preston to make sure they have a 450 guy out there at Anaheim.
And what about Michael Byrne? He’s looking for work too. And last Friday night, while bench racing with MDK’s Nick Wey (who got hurt at Jeremy’s race), I couldn’t help but wonder why his phone still hasn’t rung with an offer of a full factory deal. He’s top-five material in supercross, and with RC leaving, well, he’s top-four now. Why can’t this man get a full factory ride?
Did anyone catch the madness in that road race last week, where Dani Pedrosa literally knocked his teammate Nicky Hayden out of the lead in the MotoGP championship series with one race to go by crashing right through him? Well, our colleagues over at Road Racer X have started a Go Nicky! Campaign to just try to help inspire Nicky to somehow catch back up to Valentino Rossi and win this title. They’ve dedicated pretty much all of Road Racerhead to the Repsol Honda rider. Check it out.
And to also see some of the well-wishers for to Nicky, click here.
Now, I hate to start closing this out short, but there’s a West Virginia University Mountaineers football game on at 8 p.m., and everyone here is going home (or to Jason Fleming’s trailer) to watch it. So let me point you to some other really interesting things on the web this week.
With Mike Goodwin finally about to go on trial for the murders of Mickey and Trudy Thompson in Los Angeles back in 1988, Los Angeles Weekly has written up a huge article on the case, which involves the man who basically invented supercross (Goodwin) and his old partner (Thompson). Check it out.
Also, Ludo from One Industries pointed me to Jean-Michel Bayle’s personal website, which features an amazing library of photos from the enigmatic, fantastic French MX icon (who’s now, believe it or not, into car racing too). JMB’s site is http://www.jmb111.com/.
And then there’s Stefan Everts. Over on www.mxworld.be there’s a pretty cool career review with some great shots of the ten-time world champion and all-time classy rider. You can also find a lot of Everts right here.
And finally, back to the Spanish king and the drunken Russian bear.
And here's a sad note from Craig Andredas:
District 5 Loses a Friend, Fan, & Rider; Cole McMahon, 24
Monday October 16th on his way to work as a school teacher and football coach at Fort Leboeuf High School in Pennsylvania, Cole McMahon died in a head on collision when another truck crossed the yellow lines and struck his own. Cole always always followed the motocross scene, but like most of his fellow college friends, there was always more time for riding than racing. While his stomping grounds was normally Mapleshade and local tracks, Cole was able to attend a lot of national events including High Point, Steel City, and the Broome-Tioga National, as well as the Indianapolis Supercross. I first met Cole while attending California University of Pennsylvania. We ran into each other at a friend's house and noticed the opposing motocross casual wear and started talking racing for a little while. I came to notice Cole was a huge fan of the sport and very knowledgable about District 5. The next thing you know all our friends are at the local college hangout talking moto and planning riding sessions. When our crew wasn't at the races, you could find us at the "spot" carving lines in an abandoned slate dump, Terrafirma-style, near the Monongahela river. He and my girlfriend Amanda would hang out in the press box while I was working supercross and it was always cool to have friends from D-5 drive out to the nearest race. Cole was a great friend and will be missed by all of us. I would like to also send condolences to his family and friends from Erie, PA. He will be remembered as a great friend, fan, and motocross rider of District 5; he may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.
Letters can be sent to his family at [email protected]
That’s it, I have to go to Mario’s Fishbowl to conduct a short beverage test before it’s time to watch WVU beat the hell out of UConn at 8 p.m. on ESPN. And don’t forget to watch the U.S. Open on Sunday afternoon on CBS! Check your local listing for times.
Thanks for reading Racerhead, get well soon Millsaps, and see you at the races.
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Check out MY LIFE IN MOTORCYCLE RACINGin our Latest issue of Racer X available now.
Jean-Michel Bayle, the iconic superstar of yesteryear, raced motocross for the first time in twenty-one years at the Vets MXdN in England. Page 126.