When I pulled myself out of bed this morning and planted my feet on the ground, my first steps of the day were made on Mountaineer soil. That’s right, as in the WVU Mountaineers who hail from Morgantown, West By God Virginia. And coincidentally, the High Point track lies a little over 11 miles from the front door of The Weege and mine’s house!
It’s going down this weekend, folks. It’s the first round of the Monster Energy/Kawasaki Triple Crown of Motocross, and it’s been a long time since I have been this psyched up to let my keyboard roar. I made my first visit to this area of the country a little over 12 years ago. The memories and scars I earned from said visit captivated me so much that I made it a personal goal to someday live here—and I hadn’t even visited the Racer X office at that point because it was still just a newspaper DC was printing down at Kinkos.
There have been some great moments at Mt. Morris: Take one of Bob Hannah’s crushing wins, or Jeff Emig’s charges from the back of the pack, or one of Damon Bradshaw’s points of authority, or – you know what? Forget all of that.
The future is now! A little over three years ago I was standing on the sidelines at Lake Whitney watching two guys battle on 85cc machines. One kid had #800 on his bike, while the other wore #615. The two little warriors were carrying the mail while seemingly riding with a vendetta for one another. The moms were nervously pacing in the infield, and the dads were studying every move. I said to myself, “Won’t be too long before those two will be racing at the front of a national.”
Well, here Mike Alessi and Ryan Villopoto are, running first and second in the first moto of the 250F class in 2006—different gear, different mechanics, bigger bikes, same vendetta. The writing may have been on the wall at Hangtown—these two might be the future. And I believe we are likely to see these two teenagers at the front again. Heck, Alessi is already in town, getting ready to ride amateur day tomorrow—he’s that dedicated!
Josh Grant should be faster this weekend. He quietly had the fastest lap time of anyone—including the 450 guys, as it was raining harder and harder—and certainly would have challenged Alessi without so many falls (which also is what hurt Villopoto second moto). Also look for Andrew Short to make something happen, and don’t forget about the veteran, Mike Brown. He bad-started his way out of contention at Hangtown, but he was fast enough all right. Brownie is one of High Point’s favorite sons and hopefully he can harness some of the crowd’s energy for some of that old school speed we all know he has.
Getting a start is vital at High Point, and nobody bangs holeshots like Mikey Boy. The best way to stop him is to beat him to the first corner. The guys will have to do just if they have aspirations of escaping another orange crush.
Can it possibly get any better than last weekend’s first-moto slugfest? Sure it can. When you have two animals like Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart on the track, there is absolutely no telling what can and will happen. Although, I will tell you one thing that I know for certain is not going to happen. I told you last week and I’m going to tell you again: Neither one of them is going to shut off the throttle.
It will not be so easy this time. Stewart has got a bigger boat this time around. That green machine of his has some serious muscle, and #7 is going to be very, very tough to beat. On the other hand, the GOAT went ahead and kicked it up to ludicrous speed last weekend.
My goodness, what are we going to see this time? We’re going to see mayhem, that’s what.
Chad Reed is going to have to pick it up a little if he wants to join the fight. Same goes for Kevin Windham. And I have a hunch we might see the real Davi Millsaps show up this weekend (if he’s not too beat-up from last week’s crashfest). I think Maverick has more to show than the dismal performance of Hangtown.
If you are coming out to watch this Memorial Day, you have a treat waiting for you. I’m going to cut this one short. There really isn’t much to elaborate on about this race. This is the 30th anniversary of the High Point National. The weather is going to be in the high 80s, the track will be groomed to perfection, and the boys are going to be straight crushing it.
So thanks for reading the Rev-Up. I’ll either see you at Gibbie’s this Friday night or talk to you next week!