The Paris-Bercy Supercross is a just one of the coolest things a motocross fan will ever witness. From the opening ceremonies to the halftime FMX jumping, the cheerleaders to the Superstars of Supercross, it’s quite a weekend. And of course, there’s Paris itself, the City of Lights, home to seemingly more history than we have in the whole (and much younger) United States.
Here’s the bottom line: Chad Reed took some heat for taking time off this summer, but he’s in shape, he’s going extremely fast, and he seems to be enjoying himself again. TFS talked to the runaway King of Bercy for his Alpinestars Monday Conversation where Chad told us how good he feels about going to France, battling with his best friend Grant Langston (who also looks good) and his plans for an Australian Supercross tour next fall.
Chad Reed was on fire in Bercy. photo: Steve Bruhn
Chad Reed was on fire in Bercy.
photo: Steve Bruhn
Andrew Short didn’t take a lot of chances over there and he seemed to improve all weekend long, using the race as a litmus test for Anaheim. With no Canadian rounds in December this year, this is the last big weekend for race-testing before every gets down to the brass-tacks of getting ready for what really counts: The 2008 AMA (soon-to-be-named-title-sponsor) Supercross Series. It’s going to be a monster of a season!
Beyond that, the thing I found most interesting—or distressing—was the lack of supercross talent coming out of Europe right now. Besides French SX Champ Benjamin Coisy, who got hurt, and French MX Champ Sebastien Pourcel, who also got hurt, the European talent was really hurting. What we saw at the Motocross of Nations—absolute runaways by AMA-based riders—was as bad as what we saw in Bercy.
Obviously there is no major supercross series over there like there is here, but they don’t even seem interested in expanding their sport to include stadium motocross. That’s why the FIM World Supercross Series quit going back—the top GP riders simply didn’t show up, so why make everyone based here go over there to race against one and other? If anyone has any ideas on why the seeming lack of interest in supercross, please fill me in: Online@racerxill.com
One other thing: Christophe Pourcel was there, and it doesn’t look good right now. The 2006 MX2 World Champion crashed hard in Northern Ireland at the end of the GP series and suffered severe damage to his sacrum, which is the large triangular bone at the base of your spine that more or less holds your hips in place. Pourcel, who was supposed to be joining the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki team, looks like he’s lost 25 pounds, and he moved slowly with a shuffle. He’s in intensive rehab in France, and it’s pretty much a done deal that he will not race in 2008, and maybe never again. What a nightmare for this fast kid from France who is the only person to take a race win from Villopoto in the West Region in 2007.
“Everything looks good, but we’re wide open,” Kerry told me this afternoon on the phone. “We’ve got a lot of cool things planned, but we’ve got a lot of work yet to do.”
Up for AMA Pro Speed Athlete of the Year are AMA Toyota Motocross Lites, AMA Supercross West Region #1 and Team USA hero Ryan Villopoto, AMA Supermoto Champion Mark Burkhart, repeat Dirt Track Champion Kenny Coolbeth, Formula Extreme #1 Josh Hayes, and AMA Superbike stud Ben Spies. We’ll let you know who wins come Monday morning.
And earlier this week we got a call from Arenacross racer Damien Plotts who needed help getting his bike from Reno, Nevada, to Rochester, NY. We posted up a Breaking News and Pat Bonner from Toyota came through to help Damien. Thanks Pat!
Now this: Any teams looking for a truck driver for the 2008 season? Check out this e-mail we got from Carson Spencer:
If you’re interested in contacting Carson, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travis Pastrana continues to live an amazing life of adventure. He lined up to go solo at the Baja 1000 this week, and our friend Jordan Miller from Red Bull sent over this snippet of film of Pastrana’s start. For Baja updates, check out www.baja.net.
Here’s a note from Andy “The Chase” Bowyer:
The Annual Mini Olypics are kicking off next week at Gatorback Cycle Park in Gainesville, FL, and our boy Wes Williams and the GK Films crew will be down there all week providing us with updates and video footage of one of the most prestigous amateur motocross events in the country. You can also check out Wes’ new website, www.vurbmoto.com for race reports, results and updates.
Clint poses with his favorite Mototalker, BobbyM. photo: Andy Bowyer
Blake suffered a crash and injured his shoulder during his Honda debut at the Amateur Open in Arizona and will be out for a few weeks.
Bob confirmed that both of the boys will be riding Honda’s in 2008 and beyond with Blake putting the finishing touches on a SoBe No Fear/Samsung Honda ride that would see him complete his amateur career at Loretta Lynn’s, then jump into the last outdoor nationals to close out the year.
“The contract isn’t complete, but we’ve met up with the Factory Connection guys and they are all gung ho and seem happy to have us.” Mr. Wharton adds, “We’re kind of following the same path Trey (Canard) did. Blake’s deal would take him through 2008 and two years into his pro career.”
Meanwhile Blake’s brother Tyler will also be competing on red bikes for the next two years through Team Cernic’s, then the Wharton’s will then search out a pro contract of his own.
As for KTM, the Whartons’ old team, remember this name: Max Anstie.
Newsweek recently ran a follow-up story on injured soldier Marissa Strock, who was featured in our “Last Living Souls” feature in the August 2007 issue. Check it out here.
And here's something from Ping:
Clint poses with his favorite Mototalker, BobbyM.
photo: Andy Bowyer
The Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/Honda team has added another rider to its roster. Chris Gossellarr (wow, he managed to misspell that twice!) and Gavin Gracyk have already started their testing and training for next year and now Justin Keeney will join them. The young rider has shown flashes of speed over the past couple of years but has been slowed with injuries and sub-par equipment. If things click for Justin he could turn a lot of heads this year. The team is also in the process of having their own test track built right near the other manufacturers facilities. Since Jeff Ward’s father-in-law owns the property that ALL the test tracks sit on, well, it wasn’t that hard for the team to put together.
I spoke with Grant Langston this week about his ride in Bercy. He was optimistic about his riding and his bike for the 2008 season.
We hear about tracks closing down all the time these days. Between the urban sprawl that has consumed most of the open land and the sue-happy morons that hurt themselves and then sue the race track, we just don’t see many new facilities popping up. But there are a couple out west that people are really excited for. There are two things that every good parent should tell their child living in Las Vegas: You can’t trust a girl who pays for everything in singles and, of course, there is not a good motocross facility close to town. There are quite a few people that drive all the way to California’s Competitive Edge Motocross Park just to ride! Fortunately for them, a new track is on the way. Boulder City MX is opening in December. Just south of town this track is situated right next to the old World Mini GP track from the 1980s. I raced at that facility from 1985 to 1987 and it was a pretty decent track. In fact, they even had an AMA national motocross race there during that time. For more information on the track, directions and opening dates check out www.bouldercitymx.com.
On Tuesday we ran a Flash Trivia question asking our readers to identify a rider, track and year. The photo was of Bobby Kiniry in his rookie season (2003) at Unadilla. Here are the first five correct entrants:
Rapid City, SD
The hats are on the way, guys.
And here’s a shout out to Rick Ziebell from Lake City, MN, who won the FMF Virtual Bikez contest, as well as Dewey Simmons, who won the Wiseco Yamaha TTR-100 by subscribing to Racer X. See, people do actually win these contests!
CStone with an update from his Playboy subscription:
“I wrote Jamie Little an e-mail the other day and this is one of the things she said to me: “Playboy.com just unveiled their 12 ‘Sexiest Sports Commentator’ lineup and I’m one of them!”
How cool is that?! have been watching the NASCAR races lately and I am so impressed with how great Jamie sounds…she is doing such an awesome job. I remember when Jamie first started doing the podium interviews in Supercross! She has come a long way since then and is kicking ass! I’m stoked for her.”
Andy Bowyer is soooo bummed right now that someone else got a word in about NASCAR.
Anyone riders looking for a custom-painted helmet for Anaheim 1, 2008? Frank Ippolito of Paint Bombs is willing to paint up a custom lid for someone who is likely to qualify for either main event at Anaheim 1. If you're interested, e-mail us and we'll put you in touch with Frank. You can check out some of his past work at www.paintbombs.net or on his MySpace page.
Finally, a Gary Gracyk update, which we spotted on www.pitracer.com:
“I just wanted to let everyone know that the Gracyks really appreciate what everyone has done for them, even though they haven't gotten on here themselves to give thanks. The contributions that everyone has made helped make the treatments possible. I was very excited the other day when Gavin told me that Gary’s breathing has gotten better and they have been able to keep him off his breathing machine for longer time period. He also started getting back some feeling in his feet. I dont think any huge gains are taking place yet, but the treatment seems to be making a turning point towards the positve, considering everything has been downhill since he was diagnosed. Gary is taking one step at a time and by all means a definite fighter. Keep him in your prayers.”
Okay, sorry to run, but the grand opening of my wife’s clothing boutique store Vance’s Blues is tonight in Morgantown and I am the valet, apparently, which means I’m late. Thanks for reading Racerhead, and see you at the races….
Oh, and check out this video of Jason Weigandt hauling his bike down the highway.