Ask Ping

June 16, 2006 11:47am | by:
Dear Ping,
Despite your homeschooling, you seem quite literate. With your new role as a TV announcer, do you think you could be the person who introduces adverbs into motocross vernacular? Perhaps you could do a Sesame Street-inspired word of the day, starting with the word “well,” as in "My tires were working well today."

Dear Chris,
Actually, Chris, it’s “My tires worked real good today,” isn’t it? Well, at least that’s what every racer since I’ve been going to the dirt bike races has said up on the podium. Look, I’ll do my best, but the fact is that most riders are far too busy riding, training, and taking big checks to the bank to pay any attention to the fact that they sound like
Jerry Springer guests on camera. If I can talk the OLN producers into a Sesame Street word of the day, I’ll have to hit “ain’t” and also the dirty double-negative after everyone gets the “well” concept down. And just so there aren’t any misconceptions out there in internetland … I was not homeschooled. In my opinion, calling homeschooling a joke is an insult to struggling comics, one-liners, and dirty limericks everywhere.

How often do the factory riders use their actual race bikes, besides race day, as opposed to their practice bikes while riding or testing?
Dave. Hermosa Beach, CA

Dear Dave,
Most teams let their riders break in their race bikes just prior to the season. With the exception of that 20- or 30-minute session, the race bikes are only ridden on race day. Most teams also have at least one test bike that has the race setup on it. This bike is ridden during most of the test sessions so the riders are comfortable with the race spec before they get to the race. I have also seen some riders load up their race bikes in the back of their trucks when they are running errands or just cruising around (something about pulling chicks?). I think it only works in the 909 and 951 area codes, though.

Mike Alessi

photo: TFS
There's no denying the kid has talent and potential, but with all of the knuckleheaded moves he's made and the sh*t show his pops has perpetuated, will Mike Alessi ever get picked up by one of the "Big Four" factory teams?

Dear ?,
Are you kidding me? Does a bear crap in the woods? Does the pope wear a funny hat? Does a one-legged duck swim in circles? They say what wins on Sunday sells on Monday, and right now, #800 is leading the 250F championships by a full moto after just six of them. Well, I don’t know, with a great deal of certainty, how accurate that is—don’t work in a bike shop. But I do know that whoever wins on Sunday has a ride on Monday—I’ve witnessed that firsthand. Mikey could be spitting out profanity after the races like Jason “Dice” Lawrence, and if he was winning races, he would still have a job. Now, if his results start to slip and his employers lose confidence in him, he’ll be riding for Jose’s Cycle Shack in Victorville, California, faster than you can say “privateer.” That’s just the way this industry works. The manufacturers, for the most part, will chew their bubble gum until it loses its flavor and then spit it on the sidewalk and point and laugh when someone else steps on it. When it comes to motocross racers, the most accurate phrase is “Here today, gone … today.”
    So the answer to your question is, well, no. Mike Alessi just signed another multi-year deal with KTM—not one of the “Big Four” but certainly right there with them. Either way, I think Mike and his dad are pretty satisfied right now with 2006 so far, and they're certainly happy about how ’07 and ’08 are shaping up, too.