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Rev Up: Hangtown

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  • Hangtown here we come!
Hello, everyone and welcome to the Rev Up. This week's column comes to you from 30,000 feet. Oddly enough, Ralph Shaheen is on my flight. He is on his way to commentate at the World Superbike race. As I walked by him (in first class, of course) I just kind of got his attention and said, "How about Glen Helen?" He raised his eye brows and nodded in approval. 

I tell you what, there really seems to be no escape from motocross. As we took off, I began flipping through the new Rolling Stone (which is a magazine now) and saw a picture of James Cameron wearing an MSR racing jersey as he directed on the set of his new movie. Hey, beats me. Then I remembered yesterday listening to the Jason Ellis show MX Channel 52, and he was just going on and on about how much he loves riding motocross. Red Dragons! And why in the hell wouldn't the world be going moto? We have LIVE TV, folks! Motocross racing from Sacramento, California will air LIVE on SPEED this Saturday afternoon.

Anyways, after I finished flipping through my pile of magazines I threw on the iPod and the first song that came on was, "Mouth for War" from Pantera. Ah, yes. There they are. Goosebumps. 

It's time to saddle up and do it again, folks! No rest for the wicked. No sympathy for the devil. It's time to buy a ticket and take another ride on the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship express, baby! It's time to get the shoulders back and aim a glare at what is shaping up to be the baddest Hangtown Motocross Classic in its rich history. The stoke meter is pegged on this cat. I'm ready for the sound and the fury. Let's Rev it, shall we?

  • Will Barcia be able to hang on this week?
250 CLASS

You kiddin' me? How about these cats? You want four, five, and six rider freight trains? You want to see the youth gone wild? Foreign invasion? It's all right here, Jackson. 

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit's Christophe Pourcel continues to astonish. His riding style is gorgeous, and man does he have some steam. Heads are saying he was flu stricken, which may be the case. Although, I'm reserving a little blame for what was probably the gnarliest second moto of the year. Tall talk for the opening round, but, dude, GH was burly this year. And the 250 guys see the roughest track now that they follow the big boys. 

I think the podium will look different this time around. Dungey was ultra strong, but somehow I don't see him winning this time around. I think it's going to be a PC bike this time around. Probably Rattray. He was really, really tough at GH.

I was a little surprised that the mighty Pro Circuit bikes didn't beat up on everyone. Those GEICO Powersports Hondas looked and sounded mean. Speaking of those cats, I'd look for Canard to be pesky again. Metcalfe can win with a good start, and I think Wharton will be in the top five.

Oh yeah, Justin Barcia. We haven't seen that kind of speed since Damon Bradshaw. Everyone knows he's for real now. How long till he wins?

I can go on and on about this class, but all I want is the drop of the gate. Bring me the drop of the gate.

  • They've been doing this for years.
  • Reed doesn't like Hangtown...
  • ... but Josh Grant does. Could he take it this weekend?
450 CLASS

I was watching soccer yesterday and saw Lionel Messi just running around guys late in the second half. I couldn't believe how he still had gas in the tank so late in the match. Some athletes have that ability to push through just when they think there is nothing left. Like RV Park. Villopoto can race for 20 minutes, and then reach down to the pit of his guts and pull out an 800 lb gorilla for the final 10 minutes-plus-two. He's going to be really tough to beat this year.

That said, #800 will win one soon. Ryan came into the outdoors riding the momentum of winning two of the final 3 supercrosses of the year, whereas Mikey rode in on the heels of yet another dismal supercross showing. He looked pretty good last weekend and I think he'll get stronger with every moto.

How about Josh Grant? I really wasn't that surprised, actually. He's always been more of an outdoor guy and he's won some motos before jumping up. Do not count him out this weekend as Hangtown marks the place he shocked the world by holeshotting and leading his very first pro moto.

I was surprised about Chad Reed. Don't let that 4-3 moto score fool you; he's ready to vie for this year's title in a big way. He's already said he doesn't like Hangtown, so don't look for a win out of #22 this time, but don't be too shocked if he runs off and hides.

HANGTOWN

I raced the Hangtown Motocross Classic in 1996 and 1997 and I'll never forget how challenging the track was. It's changed a lot since then, but she still has the long uphills and super fast down hills. She gets chopped up and with the weather man saying it's going to be 94 degrees with 0 chance of rain, there will be some tongues hanging in the spokes.

Ah, but there are some good things that accompany 94 degree heat. You can count on a stellar contingient of California bikini's making the scene, and for some reason, when it gets hot, the cold beer gets colder. Make sure and tune into the Racer X Motocross Show tomorrow evening, as I'm co-hosting with the man, the myth, the legend - Jason Weigandt. 

I guess that's it man. Time to call down the thunder!

Thanks for reading, see you next week.

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