Racerhead #20Friday, May 18, 2007 | 1:34 PM
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In this article…
- Ricky Carmichael
- Brett Metcalfe
- Broc Hepler
- Mike Alessi
- Justin Brayton
- Jeff Alessi
- James Stewart
- Ivan Tedesco
- Trey Canard
- Grant Langston
- Josh Grant
- Martin Davalos
RC is back, and he's hoping to do this again... photo: Steve Bruhn
RC is back, and he's hoping to do this again...
photo: Steve Bruhn
Today’s Racerhead is coming to you from sunny Sacramento, California, where this weekend we’re kicking off summer with the Hangtown Motocross Classic. If any of you fans need information on the event, check out www.hangtownmx.com.
It’s a good time for some new stuff, because this could be one the best seasons of motocross we’ve had in a long time. The Lites’ class is packed, and with RC and Stewart at least enjoying their last battles, and hopefully they will all go the distance. RC is even on top of our preseason Toyota/Racer X Power Rankings!
Unfortunately, there are a few top riders who won’t be stopping by the Racer X trailer this weekend, as the season will be starting without the services of Makita Suzuki’s Ivan Tedesco, Team Yamaha’s Broc Hepler, and most recently PPG/Motoworldracing.com Yamaha’s Justin Brayton. Brayton’s team manager, Paul Lindsey, said this earlier today on Mototalk.
“More bad to news to report guys. Unfortunately, Justin fell at the Prequel and re-injured his shoulder. He had surgery yesterday, and although he is in good spirits and the surgery went extremely well, the bad news is that he’ll be out for about three months. He’s looking forward to getting back and proving what he can do on the 450, and with any luck he’ll be back for the last four rounds, starting at Millville.”
As for Tedesco, we didn’t really hear anything about him not riding until Steve Bruhn mentioned it to us that he suffered a pretty hard fall practicing at Glen Helen, suffering a concussion; there was also mention of this on the Transworld site. There hasn’t been word on when he plans on returning, and that’s another tough blow to an already tough season for Hot Sauce.
And speaking of TFS, he will again be blogging away all weekend long on his Weekend Window, so make sure you check it out.
We were able to get in touch with Team Yamaha’s Broc Hepler a few days back for an update on his condition, and he said, “Well, I have been doing training and cardio workouts now, and things are progressing well and I’m making a lot of improvements. I just haven't been on the bike yet, so I will be missing some nationals.”
This is really disappointing not only for Broc but for all of his fans, but you know that he’s in good hands. Over the past few seasons Broc has been working closely with the UPMC Sports Medicine program in Pittsburgh, PA, who have a leading team of neuropsychologists, neurosurgeons, and scientific researchers to explore, understand, prevent, and treat concussions.
Through the center's Concussion Program, approaches have been designed to help prevent sports-related concussions, understand any long-term effects on an athlete, and determine when it is safe for that athlete to return to play following a concussion.
Simon Cudby shot Canard last Saturday at The Prequel, which was won by Brett Metcalfe and Grant Langston. He put together two really cool films that definitely got us in the mood for outdoor motocross! If you missed his Racer X Films, click right here.
I ran into Michael “The Rock” Rigdon today, and he was doing exactly what you would think a sound-testing proponent would be doing: Offering free sound tests along with the Dirt Diggers Club, and discussing the dbs with riders and their mechanics. I asked one of the guys with Rigdon how the testing was going, and he said most of the bikes were “right around 100 decibels,” but he added that the most regular violators were Yamahas and “that little 150 Honda.”
I also ran into Donnie Cantaloupi out at the track. Donnie is a former Yamaha factory rider who had a tough go of it for awhile after his career, but he’s doing good now. He was hanging with Bevo, just like in the old days.
Thankfully, the AMA Toyota Motocross Series has moved to SPEED TV, and their coverage of the Hangtown race will air next Sunday at 6:00 p.m. EST. Ralph Sheheen, Jeff Emig and Erin Bates will be working the call, with B.J. Smith and the gang from Chet Burks’ Productions doing the shooting. Those guys know moto, so this is going to be good!
We will also have some late night coverage on Sunday after the race with highlights and interviews…. Okay, maybe Monday morning. Stay tuned.
The WMA is also here for their second round, and we will have highlights on tomorrow night’s Racer X Motocross Show on Motocross.com. The track looks amazing, the weather is warm but not hot, and it should be a great race.
So while we’ve been focused on making this new show a success this week, we had to rely on Ping to help us out with this week’s Racerhead. Without further ado, here’s Ping.
“Our bikes are so good that I think they will be an advantage up there,” said Ward. Adding, “The altitude causes a lot of guys to lose power and our 450 supermoto engine is ridiculous. We won’t be down on horsepower. Plus, I like the fact that it is a physically challenging race. A lot of the guys will get tired and that will be to my advantage as well.”
Jeff Ward is the only rider in history to win every titles in AMA Supercross (250) and also 125, 250 and 500 Motocross. He is also the current AMA Supermoto champion.
Michael LaPaglia told me in a recent Privateer Profile interview that he was looking forward to the nationals and that his main goal was to be healthy going into the first round. No such luck. At a recent Thursday practice session Michael and Josh Grant had a run-in. Or, more specifically, Grant ran into Michael. According to those who saw the incident Grant cut a corner of the track and slammed into LaPaglia. Michael tried to repay the favor in the next turn and when the two riders came together he went down. They exchanged finger gestures and then actually had their own UFC contest in the middle of the Glen Helen circuit.
The bummer is that Michael fractured his collarbone when he fell. He didn’t realize how bad it hurt until he had calmed down in the pits. He had surgery on his shoulder the next day to repair a collarbone break and he won’t race again until mid-June.
KTM had a team introduction this week at a local track. It’s kind of late in the year to be introducing a team but since they never had any press functions at the beginning of the year and they have several changes to the squad they thought now was a good time. Joaquim Rodrigues is back on the team again for the summer. The last time he rode orange he started on a 125 and then switched to the 450 for the national motocross series. He is riding the 250F now and says he is still getting used to the bike but he likes it much better than the 450 of several years ago.
Joining J-Rod in the 250F class is Martin Davalos, who is coming off a third at the Las Vegas Supercross, and Zach “snack pak” Osborne. He hates it when I call him that. In fact, I think he hates me now because I called him that during last years national broadcast. Osborne has shown flashes of speed but he needs to put together a solid series this summer. He’s a good kid for sure.
While the motocross race in Sacramento is the most anticipated race this weekend there is another series getting started on Saturday. The AMA Supermoto series kicks off at the Verizon Amphitheatre in St Louis, MO. The opening round is being promoted by Live Nation, the same folks that put the Supercross series together, and they know a thing or two about promoting events. The fact that they are taking an interest and getting involved shows that the sport of supermoto is healthy and growing. Go to www.amasupermoto.com for the complete series schedule.
Now on to a few other tidbits, which includes this from Racer X reader Phillip Lamb: “Just thought it’s worth mentioning that Hangtown was the last place that Jeremy McGrath won an outdoor race.”
Good call, Phil. We remember that year. It was 1998 and McGrath swapped moto wins with Suzuki’s Greg Albertyn—MC’s 2-1 getting the nod on his Chaparral Yamaha. Then he hurt his wrist and didn’t show up at the next round of the series, which happened to be High Point.
“For the first time in our history, Racer X Canada is hitting the road with a racer support vehicle for the CMRC’s Monster Energy Motocross Nationals. We have selected a rider from each region to pit with our 27-foot Fun Mover and enjoy the benefits of being a factory rider for a day! This unique program will give a few up-and-coming Canadian racers an unparalleled opportunity for exposure as each rider will be showcased in our magazine and online (print and video), and they will pit with our rig in the pro pits. Riders have been selected based on their talent, marketability and potential to make a splash this year and into the future. Stop by our rig at each national and say hello to the RXC crew and our factory rider for a day!
The Canadian nationals kick off next weekend in Ste-Julie, Quebec. Our factory rider for Ste-Julie is 17 year old Jeremy Medaglia who is the younger brother of Suzuki OTSFF’s Tyler Medaglia. Jeremy scored points at Ste-Julie last year and he has been ripping up the track this spring and currently leads the 125 and 250 Intermediate provincial championships. Check out this awesome custom gear that Wrex has designed for him to wear next weekend!”
Finally, the L&M Racing team has launched www.sanmanuelracing.com, so go check it out.
But if you don’t have an extra $20 for all of those goodies, at least swing by and pick up a new “Hangtown 2007” sticker to add to your collection.
Okay, time to get back out to the track and work on some webcasting stuff. Thanks for your patience, and if you’re in town next week for the High Point National, make sure you come to our party! Thanks for reading Racerhead, see you at Hangtown.
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Check out 10,000 MILES FROM HOMEin our Latest issue of Racer X available now.
Australian Dean Ferris hopes to follow in the footsteps of some of his legendary countrymen. Now contesting the FIM Grand Prix series, he made a huge impression at the Motocross of Nations. Page 138.