Ask Ping!

June 22, 2007 4:55am | by:

Hey there Ping,
So there was a Video post a couple months back interviewing Shaun Palmer and him making a go at the outdoor nationals for 2007 w/ Yamaha of Troy. Whatever happened with this. I have been following the results and looking for his name and I have not seen or heard anything.... As  a huge fan of the Palm, I would like to know whats up?
Thanks again for telling it how it is

Dear Josh,

Palm hasn’t been at the races, unfortunately. For as long as I’ve known him he has wanted to race an entire summer of AMA Motocross. Five years ago he actually made a pretty good run at it too. He moved to Tallahassee and rode and trained every day with Carmichael and his trainer. He got Honda to support his effort and he even qualified for the season opener at Glen Helen that year. He was riding well and probably would have earned some points. But in the first moto he got shoved off the track into a chain-link fence and broke some fingers. That was the end of his summer. After all the work he did to prepare he was devastated. He made a couple other attempts that fizzled before or right after the first round of the season.

This year he was finally going to go for it. He had worked out a deal with Yamaha of Troy and he moved to the Castillo Ranch to train and ride (that is when we shot the video for Racer X Films). Without any indication as to why, Shaun pulled out of the deal and moved back to Lake Tahoe. He hasn’t returned any of my calls so I don’t know what happened. Palm goes into hibernation mode like this once in a while and you just have to wait him out. We’ll get the whole story down the road when he pops his head out again. It’s just too bad he didn’t make it to the races because he would have been a lot of fun to have around.



Hi Ping

See the rust?

photo: Steve Bruhn

I just saw the Motocross race from Southwick and had to hear James Stewart’s explanation of why he got his butt handed to him again. He said that Carmichael has not been racing for a while and he is fresh. Of course when you haven’t been racing in a while you say your rusty because you have not been on the bike in a while and your timing and fitness is off. My question is why can’t this guy ever grow up and accept a whooping like a man? These kids who are not used to losing have no idea how to deal with it when it starts to happen to them. I hear all the other riders say “Man, they (James and Ricky) are going so fast out there, I need to get a good start and see what they are doing,” along that nature. When I get spanked I take it like a man and blame myself for lack of trying. In short, doesn’t exercise, testing, skill development and not whining make you go faster?

Thank You,

Mike Stith Pasadena, Maryland

Dear Mike,

Yeah, I had a pretty good chuckle at that excuse myself. I’ve heard, and used, some real doosies over the years but that one was a gem. Keep in mind that even RC took a while to figure out how to deal with the media. Regardless of what is really going through your head, you have to learn how to give answers that don’t make you look like you're making excuses, which you kind of are. My favorite thing about RC is that when he did lose he made it a point to take the blame. He would say that he got his butt handed to him and that he was going to go home and work hard for the next round. It showed so much character. James needs to learn that from Ricky. But you have to hand it to James -- he doesn't have to make excuses very often. And he took his Budds Creek second-moto defeat a lot better than Ricky took his defeat in the first moto (or his win in the second moto).


Dear Ping,

I am from Michigan and I know that So-Cal is the hot bed for racing along with the south. My question is did it seem harder for you to gain attention since you are from Montana? I know we have a lot of racers here in the midwest and it seems like it harder for them to gain attention than people from California. I guess what I am getting at, since you are in the industry, do you see a bias towards riders from other demographics?



Dear Erik,

Ping wishes he still lived here

I don’t think I would have had a career in professional motocross if I had stayed in Montana. I would probably have been David Pingree, the truck-driving smart-ass wearing Wrangler jeans and chewing tobacco. That’s just conjecture but it’s hard to improve at the same rate as riders living in the south when you can’t ride for four months of the year because the ground is frozen. I moved to Arizona and that is when I really started to improve as a racer. I could ride all year long and make weekend trips to California to race with the best riders in the country. There are plenty of riders that have made it from Michigan: Stanton, Swink and Wey are a few that come to mind.
The question is: how committed are you? Are you willing to go south in the winter to ride? Will you make sure you get to all the amateur nationals so that the different manufacturer scouts can see you? There is no bias. If you are willing to make the sacrifices to get to the events and the rider is good enough then he can make it. But you have to go to the big amateur races and compete with the best in the sport. Trust me; nobody cares if you are the fastest rider in Squalmakook, MI. But if you win at Loretta’s or the World Mini you are going to have factory support faster than you can say Lake Michigan.