BLAST FROM THE PAST
Photos by Mark Kiel
Every time Mark sends me a new photo from ‘Back then’, I have to catch myself or I start drooling like a basset hound. This week he captured Bad Brad in 1979 riding his factory Kawa and a good friend of mine Mark Cook, racing at Hopetown. Love it.
RIDING TECHNIQUES WITH THE PRO’S : ATTACKING ROCKS WITH CODY
RUMORS, PUNCTUATED WITH FACTS
•Honda introduced an electric start CRF450R at last weeks Japanese nationals. This means that we should see it in production for the 2017 year.
Of note, KTM came out with the button start on their motocrossers in 2007.
• Two juicy balloons floating in the winds is that Ryan Villopoto is announcing his retirement and that Stefan Everts is talking to Suzuki. Stefan, most definitely carved out of the golden bars of motocross royalty via his 10 World Championships, 101 GP victories and the only rider to ever become World Champion on all four Japanese manufacturers has been KTM’s MX2 Manager, plays a role in the development of the KTM marque and recently has been linked to both Honda and Suzuki in a managerial role. We pretty much guarantee he’d handle the role nicely.
CHRISTIAN CRAIG INKS DEAL WITH GEICO FOR 2016
Fresh off the first podium finish of his career at the RedBud National, rider Christian Craig has signed to join the vaunted GEICO Honda race team full time. Craig has been filling in for injured rider Justin Bogle this summer, his second such part-time gig with the championship-winning group. Now he’ll be one of the premiere athletes in both Supercross and motocross.
I watched the Swedish round of MXGP and thought about the contradiction between that track, a hard packed, rocky circuit that was slick and dusty, to Red Budd, which has to be one of the gnarliest, best laid out tracks on the planet. The Sweden round took out Herlings, the fastest man in MX2, who won moto one in spite of a new plate in his shoulder when he couldn’t hold a line in turn one and went down, peeling his finger meat to the bone. The rest of the competitors rode with kid gloves on, rarely taking chances since it was so slick. Red Budd is equipped with thick dirt, lines amundo and graceful leaps, which made for great passing and stunning racing. The bottom line is that I felt bad for the MXGP athletes; they had a tough and jagged pill to swallow.
Romain Febvre is the real deal.
This weekend he went out 1-1 on a circuit that most folks wouldn’t practice on if it were in their front yard. Febvre, mounted on an electric start YZ450F leads the MXGP race and with Nagl out with an injury and Tony Cairoli limping around with a damaged arm, he holds a fairly substantial lead over Cairoli in the points.
MXGP Overall Top Ten: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 50 points; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 38 p.; 3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 35 p.; 4. Dean Ferris (AUS, HUS), 33 p.; 5. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 32 p.; 6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 30 p.; 7. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 28 p.; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 27 p.; 9. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 27 p.; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, YAM), 26 p
MXGP Championship Top Ten: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 419 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 380 p.; 3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 360 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 351 p.; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 319 p.; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 291 p.; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 257 p.; 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 232 p.; 9. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 224 p.; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 196 p.
MXGP Manufacturer: 1. Husqvarna, 445 points; 2. KTM, 431 p.; 3. Suzuki, 427 p.; 4. Yamaha, 424 p.; 5. Honda, 401 p.; 6. Kawasaki, 261 p.; 7. TM, 70 p.
RESURGENCE OF YAMAHA
Of the companies who got hurt the worst by the economic meltdown of 2008, Yamaha was sitting at the top. Now eight years later the company has done a complete turnaround, introducing new machines and pretty much dominating every form of motorcycle racing from Moto GP (Rossi and Lorenzo are running one two), MXGP (Romain Febvre currently number one), Lucas Oil National MX (Justin Barcia winning the last two events, 3rd in points), Jeremy Martin (Reigning number one and current points leader, Alex Martin winning a moto last week, and Cooper Webb (Number one 250SX West) and a player at the Red Budd National.
There’s a good bit of gossip out there that Star Racing will field a 450 team next year, mainly so that they can feed their 250 racers (J-Mart, A-Mart and Webb) into the class and keep them riding blue. Too, we’re hearing that there may be a chance that you’ll see #22 riding for this team next year.
BAGGET GOING BIG ON LAROCCO’S LEAP
BIKES OF THE GNCC STARS : FACTORY HUSQVARNA OF JOSH STRANG
(ONE) OF MY TOUGHEST RACES EVER
By Dick Burleson
“Tulsa National Enduro, late 70s. Back when there was no lake on property. It started to rain, I had a late row, and it was dumping hard, flash flood conditions. I had to ford streams, and the course crossed the creek back and forth toward the end of the first loop. But it was coming up so fast, by the time I got close to the checkpoint and had to cross the creek, it was a full flood. A few guys were on the other side pumping out their bikes. I shut my Husky off, and waded into the river. Instantly the bike was horizontal, I’m holding onto the bars, and bobbing just barely able to breathe. Finally, I came out the other side about 75 feet downstream. I flipped the bike over, pumped it out, got it running and took off. The checkpoint was closed so I kept going to the gas stop. I got fuel and drinks and took off on last loop. There was not another soul on the course. I sunk it bad in another creak and was trapped under bike, and came close to drowning … in TULSA of all places! I kept going, and finished the loop. As it turned out I was the only guy to do the loop, but they threw it out and I got a second place finish and was super pissed!”
Gregg Blechman has been a buddy for years and is a full nuke moto head. He’s been in DB (a couple of decades back 1987 to be exact) and was recently at Red Budd, knocking it off his bucket list. Greg is fighting a battle with cancer and we just wanted to give him a shout out, since he stopped by and talked to brother Mike at the Factory Suzuki pits on Saturday. Good luck, you’re in our prayers buddy.
FASTHOUSE INVADES MAMMOTH
A week in the life of Fasthouse
What a week… After 10 days up in the trees in beautiful Mammoth Lakes, we’re just now getting back to our normal routines, cleaning up our bikes, and reliving the good times at this year’s Mammoth Motocross.
The entire crew made the trek up the mountain, which began on the first weekend when the Vets and Vintage bikes took to the track, then transitioned to the mini bikes mid-week, and finally the big bikes for the last three days of competition. The big winner throughout the weekend was Vince Friese, as he took home the majority of the Pro Class moto wins with Mark Worth beating him in only one moto on Saturday.
One of the most popular races over the weekend was the FMF Two-Stroke race where Sean Collier broke out his KX500 again and proceeded to have an epic battle with up-and-coming racer Ryan Surratt. In the end, Surratt managed to snap Collier’s two-stroke winning streak, emerging victorious aboard his YZ250. But in spite of the hype and attention placed on the two-stroke race, one young racer stood out to nearly everyone in attendance—Ikua Hughes.
By Brendan Lutes
Photos by Mike Emery
STEVE HATCH RACING
Steve has been a good friend for years, ever since I first met him at the Tulsa ISDE Qualifier in 1990. Incredibly gifted, superbly motivated and now a teacher to both the pro and the novice, we believe that you can better yourself on the track or trail with a little dose of Mr. Hatch. Here’s a quick hit from his news letter and his website for more info on schools and training seminars.
Also coming up in July, I will be training in Montana with some riders. It should be really beautiful up there this time of year and a ton of fun!
I am going to be the guest speaker at this year’s TSCEC (Texas State Championship Enduro Circuit) banquet in mid-July. I will also work with some riders while I am there, so it will be a great combo trip.
After I am done in Texas, I head back to New York to work with one of my long time riders – Taylor Robert of Arizona. I have known Taylor and his great family for over 17 years now, and I look forward to spending some quality time together. We will be getting Taylor comfortable with the slick conditions in New York in preparation for the ISDE in Slovakia. It is essential to ride similar conditions to the race, and it is tough for Taylor to simulate anything this slick in Arizona; when it rains in Arizona, the traction is unreal, but as many of you know, when it rains in New York it makes everything very slick! Just like this month’s moto-tip section above, Taylor is being proactive and preparing for success by making the effort to come to New York to be a stronger rider when it counts in September.
Kailub Russell, who I use to work with on a regular basis, has invited me to down to his home in North Carolina do a 10-day Boot Camp in prior to going to Six Days. We plan on getting him dialed in for Slovakia as well as working on some things that will help him finish out the GNCC and National Enduro series strong.
Again, even though these guys are already two of the best riders on the planet, they are preparing for success by doing the extra homework. The other saying I like is, “the only place where “success” comes before “work” is in the dictionary!”
WOLF: BACK IN THE DAY
This was 1986, the hills of Gorman and a secret trail that I had made (it has since been fenced off) and on this day I was riding a CR500 on a fairly technical off-road loop. The end of this trail had a killer climb that I made with…Marty Tripes! We played on it all day and brother Mike shot me grabbing a little blue aboard the beast. Oh to be young and thick headed…