Ask Ping

January 11, 2008 1:26pm | by:

Hey Ping,
I was just wondering, what made you give up the sport that you loved? I have watched a few Supermotos but to me they’re just not as exciting as riding in the dirt. Am I missing something?

Simon Cudby photo
First of all, I didn’t “give up” racing motocross. In fact, I still ride all the time and race whenever I can. There just comes a time when you have to be honest with yourself about how competitive you are. And in 2003, after I failed to get on the podium all year, I decided that I wasn’t going to waste my time or anyone else’s money to go ride around in the middle of the pack. I think someone on a message board called me a “Mobile Spectator” and that helped push me over the edge too. I had a great opportunity with Racer X Illustrated and I don’t regret my decision at all. When Supermoto came along I didn’t think it was something I would end up doing more than recreationally. I tried a couple of them and had a blast, but I still didn’t take it that seriously. Famous last words of a heroin junkie, right? Then, after I won the final round of the 2006 series, I got an offer from the Troy Lee/Red Bull/Honda team and decided to have a go at it. It has been a lot of fun racing for championships again and learning about a sport that is totally new to me. But nothing will ever take the place of motocross. It is to me, and always will be, the coolest sport on the planet.

What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in life, and how did you make it right?

That is truly a profound question, and it’s funny that you ask because it was a recent event. The biggest mistake I ever made in life happened just a few months ago. I had just finished eating dinner with my wife and our little girl, who had just had her first birthday. We decided to swing by Dairy Queen and get a little ice cream for desert…sort of a nightcap for the non-drinker. After carefully reviewing the menu I went with a banana split with no nuts. It seemed like a perfectly good order at the time, but after watching my wife and daughter share a Butterfinger Blizzard, I knew I had blown it. It was the biggest mistake I had made in my entire life. To fix it, I went back the next day, got the Blizzard, and plowed through it like it was a Wisconsin driveway in January. Thanks for asking.

Hi, Im writing from Argentina, (sorry my english) I would like to know something about 250F and 250 s strokes. I heard they are getting the bikes in the same class. Its true? I guess that would be nice, because keep the 2 strokes alive and its good for the wallet too. Sorry my english, thanks a lot
Best regards.
Milton Caputti

Dear Milton,
Hey don’t worry about the grammar; your letter was better than half of the crap I get from mental midgets here in the States that claim English as their primary language. I have heard rumors about that as well, so to get to the bottom of it, I rang up the finely tuned machine that is the American Motorcyclist Association to get the facts. It turns out that 250 two-strokes are legal in the Lites class but only in amateur racing. Hopefully the trend will continue into pro racing and eventually a 250 will be a 250 regardless of the model. And I wish local clubs would bring back 125 two-stroke classes for kids just getting started in the sport, but it might be too late for that. Thanks for the letter, Milton.