Ask Ping!Friday, April 20, 2012 | 9:20 AM
All of this domination by RV lately has got me wondering: were there any riders in our sport that you can recall who rode for the same brand for the entire length of their career? RV has been sponsored by Kawasaki since he was on 85’s (possible before?) and is obviously still riding for them. You don’t really here too much talk about him switching brands any time in the near future either, unlike many other riders.
Would he be the first ‘top tier’ rider (That you can think of) that has ridden for the same brand from their mini days up until retirement (racking up championships along the way)?
PS. I had a helluva time finding your email address.
Villopoto is definitely having a great run with Kawasaki, though I could have sworn he rode Yamahas as an amateur. His loyalty reminds me of another redheaded rider who was short on legs but long on talent. He won titles in every single class of competition there was, a record that even Villopoto can’t break. His career spanned more than a decade and he rode Kawasaki from day one until he retired from motocross and supercross racing. Jeff Ward is that guy. The only other rider that comes to mind is Damon Bradshaw with Yamaha, though his championship came in the 125 class. If there are any others I’m sure the civilized folks down in the comments section will bring us up to speed.
I live in South Carolina and I keep hearing some strange Moto language at the track. These hillbilly rednecks down here keep saying things like "Maayen, I'za bout 4th on the holeshot!” And I'm thinking to myself, listen, Einstein, there's no such thing as 4th or 5th on the holeshot! You either GET the holeshot, or you don't. These are the same guys bragging to me "My bike's got a pire band in every gear.” So I laugh and say, Yeah I hate the ones with a "Pire band" in just some of the gears. My question is, is this proper Moto talk? Maybe I'm the hillbilly redneck that doesn't know what he's talking about. I've just never heard Dungey or Reed say they were 3rd or 4th on the holeshot.
Clint from South Carolina
This is a very common issue in the motocross world. Even seasoned announcers will botch this one from time to time and we folks with the proper number of chromosomes can only shake our heads in disgust. Getting a “holeshot” means getting to and/or through the first turn first. It is earned with cat-like reflexes, nerves of steel and often times a budget so large it would raise even Donald Trump’s eyebrows. Sadly, horsepower is expensive these days and if you’ve got the cheddar to drop at your local hop-up shop you stand a good chance of pulling a few of the aforementioned “holies.”
If you aren’t the first one around the first turn, let’s say you rounded the corner in second, then you got a good start. But you didn’t get “second on the holeshot.” There is a big difference and hopefully everyone can get on the same page here. Regarding the “Pire bands” and an accent that sounds a lot like Cal Naughton Jr. from Talladega Nights, I can’t help you. You live in South Carolina and that’s the way they speak in them there parts. I suggest you join them if you can’t beat them and get “Magic Man” on the back of your pants.
I read your Ask Ping article weekly. I find it such a departure from the normal “Nice” stuff that everyone says with regards to everything motocross. Motocross is a tough sport where you have to be aggressive to succeed. So why do all these riders devolve into their best “Nice Guy/Gal” routine when talking about the race? I would suggest that after each interview the reporter says: “That was great, now give us your Ask Ping version of what happened.” I know which version of the interview that I would like to see.
Scott in SD
Thank you very much for reading, Scott. I couldn’t pull all this together without the amazing staff here at Racer X. It’s a big team effort and I’m super-pumped to work with these guys. I’ll tell ya, my Troy Lee Designs protective equipment has kept me safe and able to type on my keyboard on a weekly basis and I wouldn’t even be able to see the keyboard if it weren’t for the awesome job my Dragon goggles were doing. My Dunlop tires were hooking up grr… er, well, I guess I don’t need tires to type. But if I did, you can bet I would mount my fingers up with little MX51’s and be roosting letters right off my laptop!
Now the Ask Ping version:
Look, Scott, thanks for the nice words but please understand that kissing my ass with a bunch of compliments won’t get your letter published any faster. I mean, I know it did in this particular instance but I’m just saying that on a normal basis it has little relevance on whether or not a question gets answered. As for the post-race interviews it’s a double-edged sword. You want to thank or mention the sponsors who have helped you along the way but you don’t want your podium shtick to be the verbal equivalent of a bottle of extra-strength NyQuil that puts even the most enthusiastic fan to sleep. It’s like as soon as these guys see a microphone they lose all ability to have a normal, intelligent conversation with another human being. Just talk to the person asking you questions, okay? And if you want to see how a real pro does it just watch Kevin Windham. KW is so smooth in his interviews he sneaks sponsors into his answer without you even knowing it. I’ll bet when Kevin was watching movies with his girlfriend in high school he could unclasp her bra without her knowing it. Boom, first base just like that. And, finally, remember that if you spent half as much time thinking about tuning in your interview skills as you did tuning in Tokyo you would be a regular Jeremy McGrath on the mic.
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