Racerhead #5Friday, February 1, 2008 | 1:22 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…
- Ryan Villopoto
- Heath Voss
- Jason Lawrence
- Josh Hansen
- Kevin Windham
- Travis Preston
- Chad Reed
- Josh Hill
- James Stewart
- Ivan Tedesco
- Chad Reed
- Tucker Hibbert
- Grant Langston
- Tommy Searle
- Christian Craig
- Travis Pastrana
Been a long week. Thanks to all of the folks who sent their best to mom, she is out of the hospital—they gave her a shot in her spine to relieve the inflammation, and she’s doing well. She’s one tough lady!
Ryan Villopoto has nothing on Travis “the Deer Hunter” Pastrana!
And if you can’t wait that long, tune it to the Supercross Live! webcast featuring Jim Holley and Jason Weigandt. That gets kicking at around 7 p.m. California time on www.supercrossonline.com.
Today was the big announcement about Travis Preston joining the Monster Energy Kawasaki squad to replace the injured and out James Stewart. Preston will be running some Answer gear, which new Answer man Roger Larsen was kind enough to shoot over a photo of. Travis is one of the best characters in motocross; I think he will be a shot in the arm for the series.
As for Stewart, I got a chance to talk to James earlier this week. He sounded good, but still bummed too. If you missed it, click here.
Here’s what I like about Kawasaki giving Preston a shot: As a former privateer, nothing bugs me more than seeing a factory bike just sitting there while its usual pilot is injured. If the rig is there, and the crew is there, and the bike is there, why not put someone on it? Even though Preston can’t win the series, he can get some exposure for the team.
Eric Johnson did a great story a few years back (June ’02) on how Team Honda gave Kenny Keylon a shot on an idle factory bike and he went out and won the St. Petersburg 250 National! The karma was good for Honda, and I think it’s good for Kawasaki now.
Pat Schutte pointed this out: Three of the top five Winter X Skier X placers – including winner Daron Rahlves – compete at the Monster Energy Hangtown MX Crossover event. Other motocrossers in the top five in Skier X at Winter X included Stanley Hayer (2nd) and Erroll Kerr (5th). Also, way to go, Tucker Hibbert! He crushed the Snowcross race at Winter X.
C.E. Altman Award (Top Non-Factory Rider)
Racer X: How is the equipment you’re using? Is it competitive, A+ stuff?
Summey: Yeah, I definitely feel we have super equipment. It’s the best equipment I have ever been on. The suspension and the motors are definitely impressive. I was blown away with some of the stuff compared to what I had been racing on before. Man, what a difference. And we have factory Yamaha suspension. We have the identical stuff that Chad Reed and Grant Langston have — factory forks and shocks.”
Here’s a real couple of real privateer stories:
Maryland Privateer Nick Evennou e-mailed us this week with an update: “Right now I am laid for about four weeks because I broke my thumb and separated my shoulder at that last round of SX in Dortmund. I am looking for a ride right now for the outdoors and or Canadian nationals.” If you’re a team manager out there looking for one fast, cool kid, Nick Evennou is waiting by the phone.
And so is the highly-respected veteran Joe Oehlhof, who’s deal with the Cross X Yamaha team fell through. What sucks for Joe is the fact that they didn’t find out until right before Anaheim 2. For now the all-around-great guys at Wonder Warthog Racing are going to take Joe’s stuff to the races, but he needs to get another bike and some money to fly him to the races.
If you interested in either of these guys—Evennou or Oehlhof—send us an email and we will get you their information: [email protected]
Jason Lawrence is New Jersey’s finest! photo: Matt Ware
Jason Lawrence is New Jersey’s finest!
photo: Matt Ware
Also, congratulations to Ryno on helping guide Jason Lawrence to the winner’s circle last weekend! Everyone from Jason Weigandt to Jon Bon Jovi to Barry Carsten had to be stoked to finally have a guy from the Garden State get his name in the AMA record books as a Lites Supercross winner. That means that Jersey has exactly one more win in 125/Lites SX that the entire state of Texas does!
San Francisco SX Gas Card Sponsor Ryan Schofield sent us this note about his experience last weekend:
Thanks to everyone at Racer X for the San Francisco Gas Card experience—definitely unforgettable. Thanks much to Jason Weigandt for giving me his chair so I could sit and rest my broken foot in the press box. I have an interesting twist on who ended up getting my $250—Greg Crater is the kid who got my first bike for $200 and a case of Schmidt’s!
Nathan Ramsey deserves a reward, not because he needs money to improve his results but because he raced hard regardless of whether or not he would qualify—which is what I came to see and why I paid $250 to the highest non-qualifier in the LCQ.
However, he used his provisional qualifying ticket into the main, which Heath Voss did the same earlier this year at A2 but gave the Racer X Gas Card cash to the next finisher in the LCQ. Heath and Nate are both good guys. So Greg Crater, #153, who started well, nailed the slick triples and held qualifying position before tangling with a lapper, going down, and allowing Nathan Ramsey to pass, gets the bonus instead. I’ve been pulling for #153 a few years now and watching him make main events. I recognized his mom Angie during the track walk, and I remember his first 15-foot solo ride 20 years ago on my Yamaha PW50, which my dad traded for that $200 and a case of Schmidt’s. Come on, Greg, put that #153 in the main at A3!
Thanks for helping out with the Racer X Gas Card, Ryan.
Speaking of the Gas Card, here’s a shout out to Anaheim 3’s Racer X Gas Card sponsors, Ken Lewis (YZKEN250) and Jason Reed (WORCS Announcer). Thanks, guys. Also, Jason Reed is stoking the program out on WORCSracing.com.
Let’s turn it over to Ping right here:
I’m pretty disappointed in my friends right now. The heavy rains last weekend meant that all the local test tracks were flooded this week. That also means that to get some riding in you had to go to the hills of Beaumont or elsewhere. Langston, Reed, Hahn and a handful of guys grouped up and hit the hills this week and I never got a call. Then another crew of, like, ten guys went early in the week but I didn’t hear about it until Thursday. The next time I don’t get invited I’m going out there with a high-powered rifle and picking some guys off. Maybe Villopoto can loan me one.
After Langston finished telling me what a great time he had riding in Beaumont we talked a little bit about his season. If you remember, GL had the Midas touch through the last half of 2007. He won the MX title, the U.S. Open and a sizeable chunk of loot at the tables in Vegas from what I understand. But the run of good luck is gone in 2008. Grant had a solid ride at the opener, getting fourth. Then in Phoenix his shock collar broke, ending his night. At the next round he had a tire get sliced on something in the soil and come apart during the race, preventing him from finishing again. And in San Francisco he got a rock jammed into his rear brake causing it to lock up in the final and keep him on the sidelines watching the rest of the main event.
A member of the action sports industry is gone after a bizarre disappearance during the ASR trade show, the biggest action sports trade show of the season. Dane Williams was a member of the Hurley marketing department and a Huntington Beach local. He was last seen at the Hard Rock Café at around 1 a.m. partying with some friends. He was found dead three days later in a seedy part of downtown San Diego. Police haven’t released any other information about his death. Hurley has sponsored riders such as Ivan Tedesco and others over the years and Dane was certainly involved with that. God Speed, Dane.
I think I’ve figured out what happened with Davi Milsaps [Ed. Note: Ping, it’s spelled Millsaps.] at Anaheim 2. Davi was claiming Gastritis was causing him pain during the final which is a backdoor way (no pun intended) to say that he had a stubborn fart that wouldn’t pass. But, to Davi’s dismay, I’ve found the real cause of his pain… He swallowed chewing gum. See below:
That’s it from Ping.
Matt Walker is going to be a daddy! We saw this on Mototalk:
“It ain’t that big of news to you guys but, we just found out that my wife is pregnant! It’s our first one. I’m so damn happy that I’m tellin’ strangers on the street about it. Started trying in ‘06 before I quit racing; thought it would happen quicker, you know? That would give me an even better reason to walk away from pro racing! But it didn’t happen till now. I’ve said stupid things on the podium at 'Dilla every year about, "This is a man’s track, and it takes a man to ride," etc., etc. But I guess I was wrong cause I've never felt like a man till now! So to all the fathers out there, I’m gonna be right there with ya.
P.s. If I already know he is gonna be great at everything, is wrong to name him Champ? My wife hates the idea. I love it .”
My names Eric and I've got a question. In the 250 main at the LA Coliseum (in 1997), I remember at the beginning of the race when Lamson collided with McGrath. My question is was that collision intentional or an attempt at an aggressive block pass that didn't go well? Or could it be that Honda told Lamson if he had the opportunity to possibly try a take out move on Jeremy because he left Honda?
Eric, I remember that crash and I really think it was a block-pass gone bad. I doubt someone of Steve Lamson’s character would have taken out a guy he’s been teammates with on and off since they were on the first Peak/Pro Circuit Honda team. When I see Steve again, though, I will ask!
The 2008 amateur motocross season kick off is looking better than ever at this year’s Lake Whitney Spring Classic, which will be held March 11-16. According to Bobby White, they have almost filled over 65 vendor spots, and they are up on pre-entries over last year. Also, White flew to Lake Whitney with Shaun and Dave Martin last week and they came up with Bobby promises is “a really fun and safe layout for this year’s track. And yes, expect a bunch of Texas sand!” Parts Unlimited, Thor, FMF, Red Bull, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, KTM, Honda, Monster Energy are all on board too. For more info on the event, check out www.lakewhitneymx.com.
Earlier this week we received word that Mike Craig will be holding a private riding school at Oak Hill on February 16-17th for kids of all ages. They will provide food and drinks for the kids and it will be an all day thing. This will be a great time for your kids to pound some laps before the Oak Hill National. They will also have the Innovative MX semi on hand full of parts and accessories, with their staff on hand to help with bike set up. The fee for the two days is: $250
Racer X contributor Trevor Hawk was recently robbed of two of his dirt bikes, stolen out of his pole barn in Ohio. “They took the screws out of bottom half of my siding pulled it back enough to slide in,” Hawk wrote to us. “My daughter found a hammer laying on the ground next to where they gained access (along with a pile of screws), I couldn't figure out where that hammer and screws came from until today when I went into the shop side of my building and realized my bikes were gone.”
Both bikes had Trevor’s racing number "494" on them.
99' YZ250 (last six of VIN 002833)
00' TTR125 (last six 003033)
“Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated. The more eyes I have, the better my chances.” Anyone with information please call, 419-347-2280 or email [email protected]."
If you like the old school, check out this killer website for AHRMA’s Northwest chapter.
There are lots of photo of the ‘70s Inter-Am and Trans-AMA races by Pete Wells, including some excellent stuff of Barry Higgins, who’s still a big part of KTM’s Junior Supercross Challenge program.
From Andy “Quad of Tomorrow” Bowyer:
Man, quite a bit going on over here on the other side of the office. We are only three weeks away from the onset of the 27th Annual Loretta Lynn Area Qualifiers and MX Sports is already revved up to full song. There has been some big changes here in the office, so please check out this bi-weekly column called “The Pulse” and get up to speed. You can look for The Pulse every other Tuesday on www.mxsports.com to stay caught up with the latest information from MX Sports and the amateur community.
And you quad riders out there (yeah, you guys) should make sure to stop by www.atvmotocross.com and scope out the updates.
We spotted this in the new Sports Illustrated.
We spotted this in the new Sports Illustrated.
Hey Racer X,
Just a quick hello from the land of OZ! How are the Aussies going? Okay hey! First (Reed) and second (Reardon) at this stage of the comp! Keep it goin’ fellas, and great online/mag! I would like to say also say hello from all the gang at Stanmore MX Club in Brisbane, Australia…
Bob Hannah himself once told me that the roughest track he ever rode was Keithsburg, Illinois. Well, Sandy Oaks is opening up February 24! There was a pro national there in ’77 that Hannah won by miles, and now a couple times a year there is a Hare Scrambles race there, according to Garret Kreiger. “This track is 100 percent sand and 100 percent whoops. It is probably one of the hardest tracks there is!” The Hurricane himself seems to agree.
And finally, did you see the Breaking News Steve Cox posted earlier from the Anaheim 3 press conference? In addition to the Preston to Monster Energy Kawasaki announcement, they introduced Ryan Villopoto's teammate for the East Coast series, Branden Jesseman. Jesseman won a Lites main last year in Orlando, and he's one of the hardest trainers in the sport. And speaking of Villopoto, Pingree caught up with him earlier this week. Read his interview here.
Okay, that’s it. Enjoy the weekend, see you at the races, and check back here all weekend long for more from Anaheim 3 and around the motocross world. Thanks for reading Racerhead.