Ask Ping!

February 22, 2008 6:49am | by:

Hey Ping,

I really enjoy your contributions to Racer X. I have a question for you that I have been wondering for a long time. Why is that riders such as Grant Langston, Chad Reed, David Vuillemin and Eric Sorby feel it necessary to list Tampa, FL or Lake Elsinore, CA as their "hometown?” I think it is ridiculous that at Supercross races they introduce someone like DV12 and say his hometown is Murrieta, CA, yet his thick French accent is both funny and weirdly seductive. My point is that I think the AMA should do a better job representing the amazing international talent pool that we have here in the states as well as their respective countries. Why don't they state the rider’s actual hometown like Australia, South Africa, Japan, France, etc?  This would just reiterate the fact that riders from all around come to the United States to race professionally among the best in the world.

The Thunder from Down Under!

Dear Ian,
I completely agree with you. Though, I don’t find David Vuillemin’s accent “weirdly seductive” at all and I think you should get some therapy for that… unless you’re a she. And naming a country or continent doesn’t work as a “hometown” specifically. And, there aren’t any riders over here from Japan…. Wow, maybe I don’t agree with you as much as I thought. Still, it would make more sense for the fans and for the promotion of the series as a “world championship” if they said the racers birthplace instead of their current residence. So Grant Langston should be listed from Durban, South Africa, Chad Reed from Kurri Kurri, Australia and, you know, Erin Bates could be introduced as being from Canada (or Heaven—either would work, really). Hellooooo, Mr. Voice-of-God-Announcer-Man, are you listening? Can we get this fixed? After all, Chad is “The THUNDER from Down UNDER….”


I really don’t know where to start, but I have a few things I would like to mention to you, not because I hate you, but because I truly look up to you. I would like to know what happened to supercross being difficult? Because honestly, if you’re a smooth rider and know how to jump, then you can do well in Supercross, it seems like. Look at Reed; the only reason he wins is because he never falls and gets decent starts. And on top of it he is one of the biggest asses in the sport. Every single SX track has the same whoop section, the same triples, the same finish line jump, the same rhythm sections, and basically the same damn lay out. They need to make it tough and not-so-predicting. Because every week you can usually name off the top three guys before the race begins. And secondly, four-strokes are ridiculous because for one, I’m a local pro and I can’t afford to race cuz my bikes will barely stay running. And two, since everyone went to four-strokes all the slow people got fast. I hate it! Motocross was way better a few years ago when four-strokes didn’t exist in racing! But you’re a great guy, Mr. Pingree.

Dear ?,
I appreciate that you think I’m such a super-duper guy—even if you didn’t actually write it that way—but I think you might be just a little off here. Not about me being a great guy, because I am, but because Supercross is actually very tough. Yes, the obstacles have been toned-down slightly over the past four or five years to keep riders but competing against the best riders in the world is never easy, regardless of the track. Trust me; the track takes on a whole new look when you are actually on it than when you are watching from the stands or from your couch or playing it on PlayStation. And didn’t Reed absolutely kill it when they changed the track up for retro night at Anaheim 2? That was a totally different type of track that had most of the riders scratching their heads or crashing on them. Trust me: The more difficult the track the more Chad likes it. However, I agree with you about four-strokes; they allowed more riders to go faster. The abrupt power of a 250 and the high rpm pull of a 125 are gone forever, and with them an art-form of riding. Still, I’d rather ride a four-stroke than not ride at all. Soon you might be able to ride a 250 two-stroke in the 250F class. If that happens, you’re right back in the game so don’t give up yet.

Hello there Mr.Pingree sir,
I am writing you about two hours east from the sands of Southwick. I have just recently switched career paths and unwillingly gave up my short career as a drag racer. Giving up the quarter mile was tough but luckily I found a new love to fill the void very quickly. That love is American Motocross and I thank God, and Edison Dye, for it every time I line up to the gate.
       Here’s my dilemma: My tried and true 1986 YZ250 has been down on power launching out of the gate lately. A loud metallic clinging screeches out of the engine and it takes a few feet to gain momentum. About 4 or 5 stabs at the clutch usually gets her going. Anywho, do you think that I should cut my exhaust pipe down to increase the torque of my YZinger? Please help. I haven’t done a pop-a-wheelie or cleared the Himalayas in weeks! Also, I have noticed a very strange burning smell coming from my DG but I think that’s just the race fuel I’m running in her. Any other suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks!
2007 250 Novice champ
Bear Nolan #35
"stick to the track like glue"

Dear Bear,

I’ve got to admit, Bear, that you have me a little confused. When I first read through this email I thought for sure you were making this stuff up in a desperate attempt to get your letter put up on the web. I mean, really, who has a DG pipe anymore, or a 1986 YZ250 for that matter? Then, at the end of the letter, you proudly displayed your state championship in the 250 Novice class up there in New England. You even included some type of riding mantra there at the end. That’s very nice, but that screeching sound is your over-two-decades-old jalopy getting ready to explode into a million little pieces. You can pick up a really low-hours two-stroke from the ‘00s right now for practically nothing and I suggest you do that. Otherwise, you are going to end all of your letters with the phrase, “still sifting through the sand for pieces of my crankshaft.”
Good luck, Bear!

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