Archive for Racing

2015 MXGP of Argentina Moto 2

Ryan Villopoto started 11th and promptly moved up to 6th in the first few turns. From there he worked into 4th over the next couple of laps and did give Cairoli, who was in 3rd, a run for a few laps. But he couldn’t hang with him. Cairoli passed DeSalle for 2nd and was gone. As the moto wound down Villo closed on DeSalle in 3rd but couldn’t make a pass. He ended the moto in 4th. I think he took 4th overall and is now 27 points out of 1st place in the Championship. Nagle too the 2nd moto and the overall, Cairoli took 2nd for 2nd overall.

Villopoto’s bike looked better in race 2, and the commentators noted that he made changes to the bike between races. I’m still not sure he’s got it quite right. Or maybe it’s just his aggressive style. He’s very good, but not quite as good as he needs to be. Yet. Now he has two weeks off to continue his training, rehab and testing before the long run through Europe begins.

MXGP Argentina lap timesFitness doesn’t seem to be an issue. His fastest lap was on lap 1 (1:49.359) and it was the 2nd fastest lap of the race. Only Nagle was faster (1:49.159 in lap 2).  While he dropped off toward the end it was likely due to the track getting rougher as he was still on pace with the Top 3 with low 1:51s.

I expect we’ll see him on the box in Italy in three weeks. But then comes Valkenswaard and we’ll have to see how he does in the European sand…

2015 MXGP of Argentina 1st moto

Today’s MXGP is in Neuquén (Spanish pronunciation: [neuˈken]), Patagonia, Argentina, located at the southern-most tip of South America. From Wikipedia:

Neuquén (Spanish pronunciation: [neuˈken]) is the capital city of the Argentine province of Neuquén, located in the east of the province, at the confluence of the Limay and Neuquén rivers. The city has a population of more than 265,000, making it the largest city in Patagonia.

Elevation for Neuquén is approximately 260m (850 ft.) above sea level and the average daily temperature in March is 18.5 degrees C (65 degrees F). The soil appears to be deep and dark. The general description of the area says it consists of several volcanic rock variations.

Villopoto-MXGP-ArgentinaRyan Villopoto started 4th in the first moto and challenged briefly for 2nd position in the early going, but did not appear to have the speed keep it up. The track had big rollers everywhere and suspension setup for eventual winner DeSalle and 2nd-place Cairoli looked a little better to my untrained eye. Villopoto eventually settled into a comfortable 4th behind Nagle and cruised there for the final 10 minutes or so.

In the first MX2 moto Jeffrey Herlings took a big digger on lap one and withdrew from the race. Frenchman Dylan Ferrandis took 1st, with American Thomas Convington finishing 7th.

2nd MXGP moto coming up in a couple of hours.

Terry Cordray of Village Creek MX Park

Terry Cordray is a man on a mission – a mission to rebuild his business, to have one of the most successful motocross tracks in Texas, and to make it easier and safer for new riders and families to get into the world of motocross.

Cordray is the owner/operator of Village Creek MX Park in Ft. Worth, Texas. He’s been a track operator and promoter for more than 30 years. And today I had a fascinating, 90-minute telephone conversation with him. Read More…

Growing the American MX Nationals via track rotation

A while back I read something, probably in Racerhead, about the unfortunate reality that in order to get a new venue into the outdoor National series an old one has to go away. This is what happened when Broome-Tioga sold its event rights to Tony Miller and Freestone in TX, and more recently, when Glen Helen lost its rights to make way for Pala (which subsequently lost them to Lake Elsinore.)

Then, in a December Racerhead, Davey Coombs was lamenting how hard it is to find a National venue in the southeast, and how even when he found one he had to get a current track to drop out of the series to make room.

That “lose one to gain one” thing struck me as a real barrier to growth. It’s a throw-back, one of the last remaining vestiges of the good ole’ boy power and politics around which motocross was built in the ’70s. How can you really grow a series, and grow the audience for a series, when you have to permanently take a race away from one location to try a new one? And when certain promoters essentially get a lifetime contract — like a season ticket holder at Lambeau Field?

When you’re talking about just 12 races a year, you need a compromise — a way to try new venues, new cities, new tracks, new locations — without abandoning or bringing undue harm to the ones that got you where you are. It’s another way of growing the pie.

So I thought, “Why don’t you just do a planned track rotation?” I did a little spreadsheet to see how a simple rotation would work and it turned out you could easily expand the AmericanMX National series to 18 tracks with a little planning. And luck. Rotation is easy. Finding new tracks is really, really hard. Read More…

Washougal 1980

Broc Glover and Mark Barnett battle for lead at Washougal 1980Update 1/30/2012: My friend Reese just notified me the Washougal ’80 pics are no longer online. He said he’s put up some Inter-AM and early Trans-AM pics instead.

Got a great email from motocross historian, CZ aficionado, and all-round good guy Reese Dengler. Reese attended the very first AMA MX National at Washougal, WA in 1980. In honor of the 2010 National he dug through his personal archives and pulled out some great photos. Here’s what Reese had to say:

On the occasion of the 2010 Washougal national I’ve dug thru my old slides and posted a few of my shots, (34), from the first Washougal national in 1980. You can see the shots on this web page,

http://www.ahrmanw.com/Stuff.htm

Some of these shots have never been seen before except by me and a few of my old moto-cross buddies.

There’s some great pics here. There aren’t any captions but if you use Microsoft Internet Explorer to view the thumbnail page you’ll see a title/description pop-up (this doesn’t work in Firefox.) Click the link above or click the photo to visit Reese’s photo page.

Project Two50 on SuperHunky

Matthew Cuddy of SuperHunky.com posted a great interview with Team Project Two 50 members John Nicholas, Mike Leavitt, and Todd Leavitt.

In case you don’t know, launching a privateer effort into the AMA Lucas Oil Outdoor Motocross Championships is a daunting proposition – especially if you’ve never done it before. Especially if you’re developing a brand new bike with some brand new technology. Especially if your whole team is a grassroots effort pulled together with some buddies.

So the team has had a few missteps and setbacks. They missed Freestone because they just weren’t ready. They missed Budds Creek because they didn’t get their entry in on time. Then at Red Bud they suffered a freak mechanical on the first lap of practice that ruined their day.

But the team is staying on task and on track to make their debut at Unadilla, followed by appearances at Southwick and Steel City. It would be great if they could get in more than three rounds this year, but budget is the biggest barrier. It’s really expensive to travel cross-country to make rounds in the western half of the US.

Still, the team has the chance to make an impact and get some attention. Based on the interview there are plans to add more riders for next year. Who knows, with the economy the way it is, there will likely be some excellent talent without a seat when the silly season music stops.

A top privateer like Kyle Regal just might be looking for a ride. You never know.

Wouldn’t it be great to see a Team Warthog-style privateer effort based on two-strokes? The only option today, given the AMA’s homologation rules, is the YZ250, but that could change.

In any case, it will be exciting to see the two-smoker on the track. Best wishes to Mike, John, and Todd at Unadilla.

Motocross head injury study launched

Concussion graphicAnnouncement at RacerX Online regarding a new cooperative program between Mayo Clinic of Rochester, MN and Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, MN to study motocross injuries – specifically concussion.

For more detail read the entire post at the link above, but here is an excerpt:

In an unprecedented move Spring Creek MX Park, home to the Millville National Pro Motocross race, has teamed up with the Mayo Clinic of Rochester to study motocross injuries – specifically concussions.  In a study done at the Mayo Clinic last year, it was discovered that roughly thirty percent of the injuries in motocross are concussions.  The goals  of the study are to study concussion occurrence and set up protocols for  returning to racing safely. The factor that makes this so ground breaking is the fact that this study team consists of an old but avid motocross racer, orthopedic surgeons that are interested in the sport,  and one of the countries’ leading concussion specialists…

This is great news. For far too long we — riders, racers, managers, promoters, and fans — have simply accepted injuries in the sport and, it seems to me, purposely avoided looking at them too closely due to a misguided  fear of liability.

I just don’t see how that’s a viable approach in this day and age, given all the technology and tools available to us. I’m very excited to see this new effort launched. Let’s hope there are more.

SwanMX Lone Star Series Round 1

Swan MX Park aerial viewAs I have done for the past few months, I worked track safety at Swan MX Park this past weekend for Round 1 of the Texas Lone Star Series. The weather for Saturday practice and Sunday’s MX race was awesome. But those “scattered t-storms” predicted for Saturday caught up with us about 4:00pm and put a halt to the night races.

It looked like we’d get the track back about 5:30 when a break in the rains came, but no sooner did they get it back in shape when another cloud burst hit and had rivers running through the course again. The red clay that makes up all the night track just doesn’t do well when you get that much water at once, and the night race had to be canceled. Read More…

MX Action two-stroke vs four-stroke

MXA wrecking crew rides, races, and compares Yamaha YZ250 and YZ250F.

RIP Lake Whitney Motocross Park

It appears that storied Lake Whitney Cycle Park — the site of numerous National, International, and amateur motocross events since 1972 — has finally succumbed to economic pressures after years on life support.

This report is unconfirmed and based on this RacerX article. I also found this post from June 2006 and this LinkedIn profile for Bruce Whitehead.

Based on these sources the property on which the track sits is part of WB Ranch, a property owned by a limited partnership with Bruce Whitehead listed as General Partner.

Whitehead is a hunting enthusiast and investor and it appears the property is being converted into something that can make more money — a managed hunting preserve, corporate retreat, and housing development. Read More…