Racerhead #48

November 27, 2009 8:32pm | by:
Hello and welcome to Racerhead #48. We’re in holiday mode here at Racer X, and the crew is scattered about the country with good food, good family and/or good basset hounds, so we apologize for the later than normal posting of our weekly review.

There are lots of cool Black Friday sales to take advantage of if you’re a motocross/supercross fan. VIP tickets are being offered for each round of the 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championships over at Allisports.com, and we got into the Black Friday spirit ourselves with the launch of our Holiday Buyers’ Guide. This guide has all the products and information to help you choose the perfect gift for the motocross fan in your life. We’ll be adding new products all the way up until Christmas Eve, so check back often!

  • Check out VancesBlues.com for more Erin.
If you happen to be looking for some non-moto clothes, casual wear and the like, check out Vance’s Blues denim boutique website, www.vancesblues.com. (It’s my wife Shannon’s store and you will see some pretty cool shots of Erin Normoyle in designer denim.)

Here’s another great gift idea for the motocross fan in your life—or even yourself! It’s a collection of Paul Buckley’s classic motocross photos, available in fine quality prints. Buckley has shot everyone from Bob Hannah to Justin Barcia. Check out some of his prized photos right here.

Also as part of Black Friday, you can get some real savings on your favorite 17 Saturday nights of the New Year with a limited-time-only discount for Supercross LIVE!, the official audio webcast of Monster Energy AMA Supercross. Season subscriptions are available for $29.99, from November 26 – November 30. That’s $10 off the original Supercross LIVE! price.

The 2010 Supercross LIVE! season package includes live race call, pre-race and post-race show, on-air industry guests and celebrities, in-depth-behind-the-scenes interviews, exclusive offers, an interactive call-in segment and more. This offer also includes unlimited access to previous event broadcasts from the 2010 season. Fans can also purchase individual broadcasts for $6.99. Supercross LIVE! audio webcasts streamed through www.SupercrossOnline.com are produced live with hosts Jason Weigandt and Jim Holley bringing the race excitement conveniently to your home.

The Ride Day to benefit all-around-good-guy Ross Maeda is coming up on December 6 at Perris Raceway, from 9 to 3 p.m., will all proceeds going to Ross and his family. With many in the SoCal motocross community turning out to help Ross, it should be a good time for everyone, and it’s for a great cause. For updates on Ross and more info on the Ride Day, please check out www.rossiproject.com.

  • Ross Maeda's benefit ride day is coming up.
So what’s happening with Jason Lawrence? According to his manager Scott Sepkovic, he’s staying in shape and out of trouble while in county jail, and he’s hoping to be out soon. Some of his fellow inmates recognize him from the motocross mags that are sent to the jail, and he’s looking forward to getting out soon. He’s also got a new clothing sponsor in No Fear.

“I can’t begin to explain how much this means to me,” Lawrence was quoted in the press release on the signing. “No Fear believing in me has given me the ability to believe in myself.”

“We stand behind Jason and believe that he deserves a second chance,” said company founder Mark Simo in the same release. “His natural ability is undeniable and his reform is steadfast. He will be an asset to our 2010 team.”

Like Simo, I think he deserves another chance too, but this won’t be his second one—he’s had a few. Here’s hoping that he used his time inside wisely and worked on his mind as much as his body.

Jeremy McGrath, Josh Grant and Justin Brayton are all racing in Genoa, Italy, this weekend, replacing the idled James Stewart. Grant will head Down Under from there to race the final round of the Monster Energy Australasian Supercross Series in Brisbane, joining Davi Millsaps as the replacement for Stewart. With that race being held in QSAC Stadium, and of course Chad Reed, Dan Reardon, Michael Byrne and more competing, the race in Brisbane is about as close to a full-dress rehearsal as you’ll get in supercross racing.

It sounds like the Australasian Super X Series race in New Zealand last weekend was a big success, with a good crowd and a Chad Reed win, but no sooner had the riders packed up and left than someone on the Hamilton City Council complained about the effects the track had on the turf of the stadium, even though the turf was set to be replaced long before the SX race took place.

  • The very fast JGR duo of Grant and Brayton are racing in Italy tomorrow.
want to share this extremely cool video from 1989 with the Americans at the front of the world 125cc championship at a real track.


I spotted them yesterday on the VitalMX.com message board. I was actually at that race, as well as the one in ‘87 that was won by John Van den Berk. It was a fantastic track, very rough and choppy, and it was cool to be there with Parker, Moore, Healey, A.J. Whiting, Ricky Ryan… Just a whole battalion of American motocrossers, not to mention Broc Glover and Rodney Smith in the 250 class, plus Billy Liles on 500s.

Back then, there were no Europeans racing here, let alone Australians, as Jeff Leisk had just left for Europe, and Jean-Michel Bayle had yet to set up camp here. That’s obviously no longer the case, as few Americans are interested in racing in Europe full time—Jimmy Albertson just joined Zach Osborne over there—and the ranks of international riders moving here continues to grow: Reed, Pourcel, Townley, Metcalfe, Rattray, Searle, the Moss brothers, Anstie, etc.

  • Ryan Dungey is a part of the new Livestrong campaign and is featured on Nike's homepage.
  • Livestrong purchases go to the fight against cancer.
I know the organizers in Europe and the FIM want to take all of our top talent away on a world tour beginning in 2011, but I think that we have a good thing going here with our already solid schedule of 17 AMA Supercross races and 12 AMA Motocross Nationals, and I think the riders and the teams prefer it as well. Still, it would be cool to have a U.S. Grand Prix again, maybe as soon as September 2011.

We got this from Jordan Miller at Red Bull: It’s the holiday season, things are a bit slow at the office, and you’re sick of looking at the same web videos over and over again. Well, you’ve been saved! Check out Travis Pastrana’s brand-new Super Mega Nitro Jump game!

Watch Travis give it a whirl during a break from testing for Red Bull: New Year. No Limits. and see if you can beat his mark of 743 feet. Play the game here: http://www.travispastrana.com/#/en/Game/

Cross Creek Cycle Park in Paige, Texas, is hosting what may be the most popular dirt bike event east of Austin, the Texas Tag Team Race, which combines parts of four motocross tracks with short cross-country sections through the woods, creeks, and pastures. The Texas Tag Team Race will be run on December 6, with practice the day before. This is a family fun event, so parents-and-children teams are encouraged. Race classes range from beginner through professional. Camping without hookups is available.

This year’s event will be run over a completely redesigned set of motocross tracks and fresh-cut trail. Shawn Kriese, Cross Creek owner and manager, has joined forces with Larry Morton of 5 Magics Motocross School to redesign and create a group of motocross tracks and off-road trails that provide entertaining and challenging riding for riders of any skill-level.

Click here for complete details, a flyer and entry forms. Cross Creek Cycle Park is on US Highway 290, about an hour’s drive west of Austin. Track information and Directions are available here.

The facilities are available to the public throughout the year.

  • The Alessi crew stopped by Mill Creek on their tour across the southeast.
  • Gautier Paulin will be riding the January rounds of the 2010 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series.
The Alessi Tour of 2009 continues as Mike and family went from Georgia across to Texas and then back to Florida, where he was set for his big 100-mile road bike ride to the Mini Os. Along the way they stopped at Mill Creek in Alabama for a ride day.

David Vuillemin is coming back the states on December 6 and he’s bringing the very fast Gautier Paulin with him. Paulin, yet another fast Frenchman with an eye on a future in America, will be testing the waters in January in Monster Energy AMA Supercross while working with Star Racing Yamaha, though not an actual Star Racing rider. As mentioned here before, Paulin is Monster Energy, while the team works with DNA Energy, so he will likely be parked beside or behind and not have his Yamaha YZ250F under the big awning. He heads home on February 1 to get ready for the Grand Prix season.

Ryan Dungey is part of a new Nike Livestrong ad campaign that features Lance Armstrong and Nike’s other top athletes. Every purchase from the Livestrong line is in support of the fight against cancer, and you can make a purchase for yourself or a loved one here.

Lastly, the more I read and hear about Feld’s new “Nuclear Cowboyz” freestyle production, the more excited I get. The fifteen-city tour kicks off right up the road from us in Pittsburgh, PA, on January 2, so Racer X will have first dibs in checking this show out, which will feature top freestylers Adam Jones, Mike Mason, Nate Adams, Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg, Ronnie Faisst, Todd Potter, Beau Bamburg, Nixey Danielson, Jim McNeil, Dustin Miller, Matt Buyten, Brian Foster, Jimmie McGuire and Jackson Strong.

  • Check out the Nuclear Cowboyz tour this winter if they roll into a town near you.
In a recent Nuclear Cowboyz press release, it said, “These legends of freestyle motocross will synchronize awe-inspiring tricks, like the amazing front flip, while attempting to break world records in a heart pounding two-hour scripted performance. The Nuclear Cowboyz tour is creating a new frontier in freestyle motocross by combining the high-octane sport and the high caliber of entertainment production for which Feld Entertainment is known. The story line rips wide open when the Nuclear Cowboyz reunite after chaos rocks their world. The sparse population divides into two tribes which operate without governance and compete for supremacy of their new world.”

2010 Nuclear Cowboyz Tour Schedule

January 2 Pittsburgh, Pa. Mellon Arena
January 8-9 Richmond, Va. Richmond Coliseum
January 16-17 Boston, Mass. TD Garden
January 23 Dallas, Texas American Airlines Center
January 30 Houston, Texas Reliant Stadium
February 6 Indianapolis, Ind. Lucas Oil Stadium
February 13 Atlanta, Ga. Georgia Dome
February 19-20 Tampa, Fla. St. Pete Times Forum
February 26-27 East Rutherford, N.J. IZOD Center
March 6-7 Birmingham, Ala. Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex
March 12-13 San Diego, Calif. Sports Arena
March 19-20 Tacoma, Wash. Tacoma Dome
March 26-28 Anaheim, Calif. Honda Center
April 2-3 Ontario, Calif. Citizens Bank Arena
April 17-18 Rosemont, Ill. Allstate Arena

Tickets are available at www.nuclearcowboyz.com, and you can follow this new tour on your two favorite social networks: twitter.com/nuclearcowboyz and facebook.com/nuclearcowboyz.

That's all for me. Here's Jason Weigandt.

The legendary (in my mind) Cheese Nuts Park hosted the final round of the Japan National Cross Country Series (JNCC) and once again guest racers from America’s Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series romped home victorious. Shock Doctor KTM young gun Kailub Russell captured the overall ahead of FMF Makita Suzuki’s Josh Strang.

  • Kailub Russell won last weekend's JNCC final.
  • Josh Strang took a second after battling with Russell in the first half of the race.
Kailub won it on a 250XC-F, which is something he hopes to be able to do in the GNCCs next year. He and Strang had a great battle for the first half of the three-hour race, swapping the lead back and forth until Strang ran into front-brake problems. By then, KR had found his groove and wouldn’t give any ground back once Strang was back in the running. Kailub also collected 100,000 yen for his win, which is like $1,200.

JNCC Series Champ Takeshi Koikeda, who you may remember raced AMA MX Nationals back in the day under the watchful eye of Jim Holley, took third ahead of Randy Hawkins. Hawkins hasn’t even been on a bike since GNCC pre-season testing back in January! This was Hawkins ninth JNCC trip, and he just wanted to visit his fans over there again.

Since Japan is so much smaller than the U.S. obviously, the track was a lot smaller than a typical U.S. GNCC. But it had all the standard obstacles, from big hill climbs to deep mud holes. The morning of the race, it was snowing and the track was defrosting most of the day! So the conditions were, well, probably very similar to racing in the northeastern U.S. this time of year.

Anyway, congrats to Kailub and big thanks to Masami Hoshino and everyone at the JNCC Series who take care of the GNCC riders so nicely every fall.

David Pingree's turn.

Looks like Ivan Tedesco is going to be riding for Valli Motorsports Yamaha next year. It’s been a long, strange road for Ivan and it’s good to finally see him land somewhere. He will be partnering with Kyle Regal over there and rounding out what is looking like a pretty solid team. Man, how busy is the Yamaha test track going to be? Since deciding that they aren’t going to field a factory team, Yamaha has been doling out bikes, parts and “factory motors” to any Tom, Dick or Harry that decides he wants to run a race team. L&M, Moto Concepts, Star Racing, YOT and now Valli Yamaha will all be using the Corona facility to test. Maybe they should hire some flaggers up there?

  • Ping thinks Tye Simmonds (eating McGrath's roost) could be a future contender.
The upside to all that is how many jobs have opened up as a result of Yamaha going that route. Imagine how many rides would be available if all the manufacturers supported satellite teams with bikes, parts and technical help instead of operating their own teams. They could support multiple teams and still save money over the way they are doing it now. From a business perspective it’s a no-brainer. I’ve been saying for a while that it will all go that way eventually and Yamaha’s approach to this season may be the start of it.

Has anyone else been watching this Tye Simmonds kid in Australia? He is a 17 year-old baby Huey that has been putting in some amazing rides against some of the world’s best. He very nearly beat Chad Reed on a couple different occasions and has been a regular podium finisher. He is a Red Bull/KTM Australia rider right now but I’m betting you see this kid stateside very soon.

Christian Craig update: CC is currently in a rehabilitation clinic in San Bernardino. He’s been walking with the help of a walker and even got on a spin bike this week. Everything is looking really positive and it wouldn’t surprise me if he hits me up about racing the last few nationals. Of course his doctors will probably frown on the idea but that is to be expected. The good news is that he will recover fully. Look for Christian under the Troy Lee Designs / Lucas Oil / Honda tent, along with his bike, at all the southern California rounds signing autographs this winter.

I keep hearing that today is Black Friday. Am I the only guy that has no idea what “Black Friday” is? Is the stock market planning on crashing? New Presidential holiday? What am I missing?

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there. I am currently in round nine of a twelve round title fight with a massive turkey. The tryptophan has been keeping me a little drowsy but I don’t let that get me down. I have a Thanksgiving mantra that goes like this: Eat til you’re sleepy, then sleep til you’re hungry.

Give it a try. Gobble, gobble.

Speaking of turkeys, here’s Steve Cox.

  • Joel Roelants is a speedy Belgian with loads of bike skill.
  • Look for a video of Joel next week.
I saw Joel Roelants last Saturday at Perris Raceway and I did a little filming, so we’ll have a video up shortly of him on a borrowed (and frankly pretty beat-looking) KTM 250 SX-F. This is a kid who, in my opinion, has some serious potential. He has the right attitude, the right habits, and he’s not only fast, but he’s really stylish. And, unlike basically every other Belgian I’ve met from the last couple decades of motocross racing, he really wants to race supercross.

A couple of years ago, in an interview for another magazine, Stefan Everts himself told me that his only real regret of his career was that he didn’t stick it out in America in the early ‘90s racing supercross, because he felt he could’ve been really good at it. When you see Everts ride, that seems obvious, that he’d be really good at supercross (or anything he wanted to be good at, for that matter). Well, that’s honestly what I see when I see Roelants ride. He’s not quite at the level Everts was (yet), but he’s on his way. Wait until you see the scrubs this kid was throwing off of a tiny tabletop at Perris! Ridiculous. And yes, he is the same way on giant jumps, as there practically wasn’t a jump at this year’s MXdN where this kid wasn’t nearly upside-down.

He likes America so much, apparently, that he even bought a 2010 Chevrolet SS Camaro! Giant 6.2-liter V-8 engine and all. In Belgium. That’s awesome, I don’t care who you are.

Another happening this week was that on Wednesday I got a package from FedEx, and inside were two copies of MX vs. ATV: Reflex – one for PS3 and one for Xbox 360. I have both, because I’m such a nerd, and I tried both, and they’re very similar. This game is frankly amazing. I honestly think that those of us who ride are going to be able to go way, way faster on this game than people who don’t, but maybe that’s just my moto arrogance showing. This game really forces you to read the terrain and pick the best lines every single lap, because just like in a real race, the lines get beat up and the good lines change from lap to lap, so if your head isn’t on a swivel looking for better lines, pretty soon you start losing time.

However, just to get the kid opinion, I took the Xbox copy over to my parents’ house on Thanksgiving and had my two nephews give it a run, and although neither has ever ridden a dirt bike (both have raced BMX, though), they both loved it, and before the end of the day, they were throwing fat scrubs off of big ol’ jumps and it looked pretty second-nature, for the short time they had the game. I mean, I took it with me. They can’t have it.

  • MX vs. ATV Reflex is an incredible gaming experience.
  • Online play should be wild in this new game.
So far in the game, I’ve raced motocross, point-to-point races and supercross, as well as one off-road car race, and I’ve done it on both consoles. It’s nuts. With how the dirt changes over time, and the lines change, it gives a real feel that I’ve never experienced before on an MX game. Not since 989 Sports’ Supercross Circuit have I felt that a game encompasses so completely the real feel and look of motocross and supercross. It could all be in my head, and I’m acknowledging that, but the courses are made of all kinds of different types of dirt, and I swear you can actually feel a difference in how the bike handles, how it digs in and gets traction (or doesn’t), etc., based purely on the dirt. And sometimes there are sand straightaways in supercross, and I swear you can feel the difference in the handling of the bike into and out of these sections.
The best part, though, is going to be the online racing. I’m sure of it. However, I can’t speak from experience, because the game doesn’t officially come out until Tuesday, so there’s no one for me to race online against!

I know the economy is tough right now, but if you have $59.99 lying around, and you have an Xbox 360 or PS3 – and especially if it’s hooked to the internet for online racing – you need to buy this game right away. It takes some getting used to, because you have to use both sticks on the controls (one for steering and one for actually leaning the rider around – essentially one stick for the bike and one for the rider), but once you get it figured out, you’re going to feel the closest thing you’ve ever felt to riding without riding. Just don’t like it so much that you stop riding the real thing, because even I have to admit that when I crash on the game, it hurts a lot less than doing it in real life does.

It’s also available for the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP, but I can’t vouch for those versions myself.

Odds n' Ends

Matt Wozney got a chance to speak with injured racer Justin Weeks to see how he’s doing in the wake of his terrible accident that left him with a serious back injury. Woz posted a podcast of the interview that you can listen to right here.

  • The new Metro Racing calendar cover.
  • Check out
GuyB took a video tour of Pro Circuit in Corona, California, which is basically the epicenter of the motocross world. It’s a behind-the-curtains look at all that goes on in the sport’s best-known hop-up shop.

Ten Man Push, the “official band of motocross” will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, at the Center for the Arts of Homer, 72 S. Main St., Homer. Admission is $15; students with valid student ID get in for $8 and ages 12 and under are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased through the center’s website at www.center4art.org or by calling 749-4900. If available, tickets will be sold at the door on the night of the performance. The center social hour begins at 7 p.m. with desserts, coffee, tea, wine and beer as a fundraiser for the center.

Fuel your passion for vintage bikes and beautiful girls with Metro’s 2010 calendar. Metro’s advertisements have sparked numerous replies to publish something with the “Metro Girls” in it. You asked, they listened – and just in time for the holidays! Twelve pages in full 11” x 17” size, spiral bound at the top in true vintage style. This allows the calendar to lay flat on the shop wall and that there are no staples hampering your view of the Metro Girls or the bikes. It also allows 2010’s dates to be trimmed off and your favorites can still be used as posters to enjoy forever. Order now, supplies are limited. $12.95+ shipping available at www.metroracing or toll free 877-746-3876.

From reader Kelly Shires:

I came across 101 acres and a great house in Georgia for a top pro looking to build a track without restrictions. Just thought I would pass it on: http://gainesville.craigslist.org/reo/1477158235.html

There’s a big money race coming up in North Carolina the second weekend of December at Twin County Motorsports. Check it out.

Former women’s MX star Dee Wood to be inducted into the Birdville Athletic Hall of Honor in Texas.

  • Pick up a copy of the official AMA Motocross Championship Review DVD.
If you’re in the market for a cool DVD featuring all of the highlights of the 2009 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, check out Duke Video’s championship review video. You can grab it here.

Anyone in the NYC area should free up next Thursday evening and head over to Brooklyn to check out the launch party for Theresa Ortolani’s book about off road racing. December 3, 7-9pm, Exhibit & Launch Party at PowerHouse Arena, 37 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY. After party 9pm to close at reBar, 147 Front St. in Brooklyn.

Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing will be featured on NBC this Sunday with Brian Deegan going for the championship with Chris Brandt. Make sure you check it out and see how Deegan does in his new career as a truck racer.

Want to follow all of the action from the Mini Os during your holiday break? Click here. And to read about the action down there, watch some cool race videos and see what the future of American motocross looks like, go to Vurbmoto.com to follow all of the action from the Mini Os.

Finally, congratulations to to our latest TGI Freeday winner, Sean Conley of Fairmont, WV! Sean has won a complete custom Throttle Jockey iNSiGNiA graphics kit. If you're subscribed to our mailing list you're automatically entered in each week's drawing. Next week's giveaway: a $500 Limited Edition O'Neal 40th Anniversary Cruiser Jacket.

That’s all, folks. Thanks for reading Racerhead, see you at the races.