Ask Ping

July 7, 2006 6:10am | by:

Hi Ping,
After Dan Brown has explained The Da Vinci Code, I would like you to share with us one of most mysterious secrets of motocross/supercross: How come an educated and witty guy like you, let alone almost winner of a 125 supercross series, has never given a try to the FIM World MX Championship (in either class)? I mean, was there any real reason besides the fact that in the EU was still allowed to smoke in bars and restaurants?
I am Italian and live in L.A., and I can say that if you had come to Europe you would have at least been able to feed your love handles (hey, don't get fired up, you mentioned them in the second latest Racerhead!) with really (and real) good food!
Also, will you demand more visibility if a sequel of Supercross will ever be shot?

Dear Gio,
First of all, personally, I think Dan Brown is an idiot. Anyone that creates a fictional tale out of the Bible, defacing Jesus, just to line his pockets is going to be getting corn-holed with a pitch fork for a long, long time. Good luck with that, Dan.
      The simple reason I never moved to Europe to race the GPs is that I don’t fit in with the culture over there. I’m not going to go over every last detail about what I despise on that continent, but I’ll just say that a few days in any country over there, whether it’s shaped like a boot or not, is enough for me. Hey, your name, Gio is probably short for Giovanni (the most Italian name ever created) and you probably smoke a pack of unfiltered Gauloises a day, eat salted salmon for breakfast, drink milk at room temp, and drive like you're on a methamphetamine bender, yet you still came to the USA. What does that say about Italy? They have good pasta and fast cars and that’s just about it.
      Look, the truth is, I just don’t adapt to other cultures that well. I once vacationed in Tahiti and hated it because the food and lifestyle were so different (it’s a French Polynesian province: ‘nough said). So, no disrespect to the riders over there or the GP series, but if I want to be treated badly and eat crappy food, I’ll go down to my local McDonald’s.
      Oh, and there will never be a sequel to
Supercross. There’s a better chance of seeing Titanic 2. Let it go.

Why does the West Coast get so many of the 16 supercross races each year while the Northeast (D.C. to New York) receives zero? I've heard that it was because the Northeast doesn't have any domed stadiums and the promoters are scared of the rain and a mudder. I think San Francisco and Seattle have proved that the promoters can handle the weather. I heard that the West Coast riders blackmailed the promoters so as not to develop any of the talent in the Northeast. Is that true?
Keith Clemente
P.s. John Dowd is over 40, races one national a year, and still finishes
in the top 10. What was your excuse again?

Dear Keith,
Take it easy, Captain Conspiracy Theory. Maybe it’s actually because there are no domed stadiums in the Northeast (and the “Northeast” is more like D.C. to Maine, which is a little higher up and over than New York). Maybe nobody wants to pull into Worcester, Massachusetts, and have some Ben & Jerry’s-eating hippie in a tie-dyed shirt tell them the town is pronounced “Woosta.” Or maybe it’s because no person in their right mind would sit in freezing cold weather to watch motorcycles slop around in the mud in the middle of February. That’s just a thought, and I’m going to throw it out there and let you chew on it for a while. Please don’t send me an envelope filled with anthrax. See you in Anaheim—all of them.... And who told you about our blackmailing plan?

I need your help. I've been recording the outdoor nationals since '02, and despite a random, unpredictable schedule on different networks, I've managed to capture almost every national since that season. There was nothing on the tube and I'd already watched the epic battles of this year multiple times, and I happened to fumble across the tape with "'04 NATIONALS" on the label. I thought, This will be great! I'll see RC dominate on a Honda, or watch Stewart shred a KX125 with my jaw on the floor! But what came on? An episode of last year’s Desperate Housewives. Apparently, my wife has been recording crap over my old nationals tapes!
      I need to know the maximum legal punishment for this offense. Shouldn't she be sentenced to life at the track watching me on a new bike?
Matt. Birmingham, AL

Dear Matt,
What are you still doing with her? Even Johnny Cochran wouldn’t have touched this case. If you are going to stick it out with this poor, misguided woman, she’ll need to get a few things straight. First, she can never touch your motocross tapes again; if she does, there should be ramifications. Certainly it is never right to hit a woman, but taking all of her clothes into the front yard and burning them is not only accepted, it’s expected. Jewelry should be sold to a pawn shop to buy new motocross gear, and if she has a cat, it should be shaved slicker than a baby seal. You should be entitled to a new bike while she works overtime to make the payments. New tires and an exhaust system are optional but I highly recommend working them into the agreement. Also, your back is going to get sore after riding that new machine, and it should be her responsibility to massage any and all knots, regardless of body odor or dirt behind your neck. For good measure, be sure to snap all the heels off of her shoes and use them as golf tees the next time you hit the links—this one is pretty important.

 Matt, I hope this helps. You are a better man than me for keeping that one around. Good luck.