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Ask Ping

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Hey ping,
Does it seem to be getting worse out there? Almost every day there is some type of major injury in are sport, but over the past 2 years it has gone threw the roof. I broke my neck and back in September ‘06 (c1-to-t10). Every parent or rider I see I stress the Leatt brace. They say its too much money. I think it should be mandatory to ride at a track. Also, I don’t see you wearing one what’s up with that.........?

Dear ?,

There have been an alarming number of serious injuries over the past few years. Motocross has always been a tough sport; if something isn’t broken or torn then it is bruised or sore. That’s just the way our sport is. But the recent string of neck and back injuries is startling and I hope people are taking notice. The cause could be the faster, heavier four-strokes that have consumed the sport. It could be that there are more riders than ever before and that is increasing the number of injuries. Maybe it’s got something to do with riders going faster than ever before at a young age on tracks that have become more Supercross than motocross. Or maybe the world is just a smaller place and we hear about injuries all over the sport instead of just our own areas.
       Whatever it is, I hope parents, recreational riders and pro riders continue to use the best protective equipment out there. The Leatt Brace seems to be a good start and I do wear one. In fact, it’s gotten to where I can’t ride a motocross track without one. It has become just as important as my Asterisk knee braces. If you saw a picture of me without one on it is either old or from a supermoto race. The protective equipment of supermoto doesn’t leave room for the brace but we are working on it. Thanks for the letter and I wish you the best.

PING

HEY PING!
I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT RETIRED PROS RACING LORETTA’S.   WHY DON’T MORE EX-PROS DO IT?   I KNOW EMIG DID IT IN ‘06, AND I THOUGHT THAT WAS COOL!  WHY DON’T YOU DO LORETTA LYNN?   THE RACE, I MEAN!  I KNOW YOU STILL GOT THE SKILLS.  I JUST THOUGHT IT WAS REALLY COOL SEEIN FRO OUT THERE AND A CLASS WITH RETIRED PROS WOULD MAKE FOR SOME REALLY GOOD RACING.   CALL UP LAROCCO AND SOME OTHER GUYS THAT STILL GOT IT AND LETS SEE IT!    THANKS FOR YOUR TIME!  CONGRATS ON THE GREAT RIDE AT X!
 
JUSTIN REEVES
BLOOMINGTON, IND.

Dear Justin,

Maybe Ping is afraid of getting beat by Kevin Walker at Loretta Lynn's

I almost vomited before you clarified that you were talking about me doing the race at Loretta’s and not the actual person… Actually, I have thought about racing there but I’m waiting for the right class. I don’t want to race with the kids in the Pro Sport class because they are trying to break into the sport and make a name for themselves. I don’t want to interfere with that. The 30-plus class has been designated for B/C riders only. And I’m not even close to being 40 years old. So, the only class I could race would be the Plus 25 class. I’m not coming out there to sit in a virtual steam room all week to race one class. Plus, I’m not sure if I can race that event because I am still racing some AMA events in the pro class. So, you see my problem. And you would think I might have some pull with the staff since I work with them and all but Rita has no problem telling me to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. And I’m not talking about Seattle, Justin. I’ll make it back there someday.

PING

David
 I have to think you weren't too much in to my question about snapping the front off you KTM. Fair enough. So I've come up with a brand new question: If Langston wins the 450s and Townley the 250s will that be the first time no American has won either outdoor title?  If they do win should it be renamed "The southern hemispherical outdoor championships" next year?
Cheers, Sean
(Carlsbad)

Dear Sean,

Sorry if the memory of falling three stories to the ground on my face isn’t something I want to chat about all the time. The piston on my bike broke in half on the face of that triple and that started, as you know, a pretty ugly chain of events. I still can’t believe I walked away from that crash… 
      

Grant Langston: 2007 Southern Hemispherical National Champion?

Now your point about two foreigners winning both major motocross titles is interesting. But we don’t have to rename it. The AMA Toyota Motocross series is the largest and most prestigious racing series in our sport. I know there’s an odd-smelling GP Motocross fan in France reading this right now and cursing at their monitors in between gulps of wine and bites of cheese but that’s because they know I speak the truth. You know, if the basic principles of aromatherapy are accurate—that good smells can positively improve your mood— it will go a long ways toward explaining why the French are so angry all the time. I know I’m stereotyping here, but I’m a Commie-baiting redneck from Montana at heart—see, another stereotype!
       But I digress. My point is that this series is the true “World Championship” of motocross. Have you noticed how the best riders in the world gravitate here to the U.S. series and how our riders that are on their way out of the sport go over to Europe to get a few more years out of their careers? There’s a reason for that. Make sure you get to Glen Helen, Sean, because either way this is going to be one of the best championship fights ever for both titles.

PING

Got a question for Ping? E-mail them to ping@racerxill.com.

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