Racerhead #50

December 11, 2009 7:44pm | by:
  • One of the original freestyle heroes, Mike Cinqmars, passed away last night.
Apparently, Tiger Woods was in some sort of car crash last week and it made national news. Then global news. Then even motocross news (one of his 12-and-counting conquests was a pit promo-chick at one point). Tiger-the-cheetah has been God’s gift to talk show hosts, bartenders and classroom clowns. But when I mentioned here last week, some of our more motocross-centric readers took offense to it, like, What the hell does that have to do with moto? It’s a golf story, right?

Sure it is. And the golf world is reporting on it. In some ways they circled the wagons to protect Tiger—that’s what enthusiastic, endemic publications will do for their athletes—but now the truth to the matters is going beyond punch lines about three-irons, seven-under Tiger, and playing through.

In motocross, we as media folks also do some wagon-circling from time to time. When an athlete is arrested, it usually just leaks out slowly, maybe a message-board post or a Twitter tweet now. But then when you do break a story—as our own Bryan Stealey found out when he broke the news about one former freestyle rider getting arrested for driving a rental truck full of marijuana: Adoptante called him and read him the riot act, explaining that he was set up and did not know that he was delivery this nefarious cargo.

I bring this up because there are a few stories about to drop in the motocross world—a much smaller world than golf—that will have us scratching our heads on whether to report on it as is or not. For instance, the details of Mike Cinqmars’ sudden death last night in Southern California are still not available, but when they do emerge, they likely will not paint a pretty picture. Like former MXer Mike Healey, Cinqmars had demons he was battling, and the downward spiral he was on him landed in jail last year. Nor is the news pretty about the unfortunate end of a marriage for a motocross star, though it’s nowhere near as tragic as that of Cinqmars.

My point is, when we mentioned Tiger Woods last week, we did not realize how much of a joke it was, nor how tragic it would become for his career. But while this column should be about motocross, it’s also about life in general, and sometimes life isn’t pretty.

  • The jerseys of Team USA’s Dungey, Weimer and Tedesco went for $6500 to benefit Ross Maeda last Sunday at Perris Raceway.
(Oh, welcome to Racerhead. After that mea culpa intro, here is some good news, from my colleague and friend Donn Maeda on the Ross Maeda Benefit Ride Day at Perris Raceway last Sunday, which was by all accounts an overwhelming success.

“Over 700 people came out to show their support for Ross, and with the help of everyone in the industry, over $42,000 was raised to help Ross with his medical bills and tuition to Project Walk, a super-aggressive therapy center that is focused on getting spinal cord injury patients out of their wheelchairs (www.projectwalk.org). The highlight of the day was the live auction, where a set of framed 2009 Motocross of Nations jerseys, donated by Mitch Payton, was auctioned off for a whopping $6500!

“The entire Maeda family would like to extend their most heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make the ride day a success,” wrote Ross’ little brother, who also happens to be the Transworld MX editor. “It's times like these that make Ross and I especially grateful to work within the motocross industry.” To keep track of Ross' progress, or to order support items, visit www.rossiproject.com
Well done, everyone.

Freestyle MX got some love in the new “Best Sports Photos of 2009” issue of Sports Illustrated. Check out this spread of FMXer Jeff Fehr jumping over Alberta, Canada’s scenic Bar U Ranch, which is actually a national historic site. The shot was taken by Joerg Mitter on May 27, three days prior to the Red Bull X-Fighters event in Calgary, where Fehr finished 12th.

  • Jeff Fehr in Sports Illustrated
  • Ben Evans took one on the chin in Europe last weekend.
As you may remember Ben Evans had a big crash at Supercross Chemnitz two weeks ago where his bike slipped jumping off a double. He jumped off the bike and crashed into the landing part with his body. Laying there unconscious for some seconds the race had to be stopped. Luckily he walked off the track after some minutes with a deep cut in his chin.

Ben flew home on Monday after the race with having his chin fixed with 10 stitches.
But luckily he suffered no further injuries and is already doing testing sessions in Georgia with his new team BB MX Palmetto Suzuki (Butler Brothers) to set up his bike for the SX season.

Said Evans, “I don’t really know what cut my chin so bad. It happened so fast. It might have just been my chin strap but I am not sure. I’m going back for SX Munich. I feel really good on the bike. But unfortunately I can’t compete at SX Dortmund in January which is same weekend than Anaheim I.”

The Australasian Supercross Series wrapped up last weekend and our own Steve Cox was there. Check out his race report here as well as his two Monday Conversations with Chad Reed and Kyle Cunningham.

In other Americans-racing-abroad news, Kyle Cunningham recently returned home from racing the Australian Super X Series, and he wanted to pass along a note of thanks to the fans and the people who helped him Down Under:

  • Kyle Cunningham had a great supercross tour in Australia.
Just wanted to take a moment to write a note of thanks to all those people who made my racing experience in Australia such a great one! Wow, to be offered the opportunity to step into a “factory” ride supported by Yamaha with one of the best teams in Oz was so much fun and the bikes – man, those things ripped. I especially want to thank Gavin, Craig, and all the other guys at Serco, as well as Factory Yamaha for giving me such a great opportunity and for making my bike run well and look so good – to be able to represent the team while flying my country’s colors meant a lot to me… to be accepted as one of the guys, well, that was priceless. It was a great experience and one that I feel I learned a lot from. My starts got better, the speed was there, and I even got to race in the rain, as well as the fact that I won my first night show and finished second on the podium in the series overall all – man, what a great feeling.

I also want to give special thanks to the following: to Kirk Gibbs for being a great mate and riding partner – I hope you heal up quick—to all of the Australian fans who welcomed me and supported me like one of their own. You are some of the nicest people that I have ever met, to my sister for coming from the USA to support me at my last race, to Carlos Rivera (Davi Millsaps’ mechanic) for the pre-race pep talk because my dad wasn’t there, and finally to the guy who finds the $$$ in the wallet that I lost while in Australia… Again, many thanks for making my experience unforgettable!

The depth of racing talent “down under” is truly amazing. I can only say, again, it was a fantastic experience. I hope to return and race again next year. God bless and I look forward to seeing you all at the races!
Kyle Cunningham – Australia #9 & USA #32

And here are some wallpapers from Racer X contributor Julian Eyers of the final round of the Australasian Supecross Series, including shots of Chad Reed, Davi Millsaps and Josh Grant.

  • Looking for Christmas gifts online? Visit Mrs. Coombs’ store.
Okay, now I’ve been asked to remind everyone about my wife’s store for your X-mas needs. Vance’s Blue delivers all over the country and has some really cool stuff for your wife/girlfriend/self if you’re looking for great jeans, cool shirts and “going-out” clothes that will work not only for the Knothole Club at Anaheim, but the circle bar at the Hard Rock too. She carries William Rast (Justin Timberlake’s line, don’t ask me how I know), J Brand, Juicy, Lucky, etc… Visit: www.vancesblues.com (and if you order something I will make sure you get a Racer X Beer Coozie as well!)

Here’s another great gift idea: Tracy Holmes, renowned cycling and motorsports artist, has immortalized David Bailey’s electrifying performance in the 2009 Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii. It was an incredibly inspirational attempt at winning the Ironman for the second time for Bailey, only to fall short when he was topped by Jason Fowler, himself a former motocrosser. Check out the paintings.

And here's something you have to carve some time out for this weekend: It's Jeff Kardy's look back at seven years of moto photos!

Let me turn this over to Ping right here…

Rains hit the west coast this week. Big deal, right? Well, out here its statewide-panic as we only see precipitation about a half-dozen times per year. One drop of rain on the freeways and people lock up their brakes like there’s a baby stroller rolling into their lane. Anyway, that’s an entirely different rant. The significance for our sport is that testing for the approaching supercross season is full-throttle and most of the team tracks were turned into big, muddy swamps this week. There’s more rain coming through the weekend too. That means that places like Competitive Edge, Milestone and a nameless location in Palm Springs have become very popular this week. They each have supercross tracks built with sandy soil that will absorb some of the rain and stay rideable. Look for some new team photos to surface soon as many teams are getting poster and program shots done in the next two weeks.

Did you catch any of the Eddie Aikau surf contest this week? It was won by San Clemente’s Greg Long but motocross fanatic Sunny Garcia pulled a third overall just behind Kelly Slater. Sunny G is currently leading the Vans Triple Crown of surfing heading into the final round at Pipeline too. I’m stoked to see him turn things around after a few really rough years. Keep a close eye out for him in the pits at A1 because he never misses it. Nice work, Sunny!

  • Look for Trey Canard at the Panic Rev Rev-Up Part on 12/17.
Panic Rev Christian Ministries is holding a Supercross Rev-Up Party in Norco on Thursday, December 17th. Trey Canard and Travis Baker are scheduled to appear and share their testimonies. There are also some bands playing and it should be pretty cool. Check out the flier for more information.

Speaking of Travis Baker, the rookie pro has signed a contract with Moto Concepts for the 2010 season. That’s great news for Travis who is one of the nicest kids at the track. Good luck, T-Bake.

Christian Craig stopped by the TLD race shop this week. It was the first time I’ve seen him out of a hospital bed since his accident a month ago. He was walking on his own and seemed to be in really good spirits. He is finally home and beginning the long, arduous, expensive process of rehabilitation. He will try to regain some of his strength over the next few months and then have another surgery to remove the metal rod in his back, which is acting as an internal cast. Once that rod is removed he will focus mainly on getting his flexibility back. Again, that will be a long road. A ride day to help raise some money for Christian is being organized and will take place at Perris Raceway in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for exact times and dates on that.

Some more random info: Nico Izzi is going to be a daddy. He’s also racing the west coast this year alongside Broc Tickle.

That’s it from Ping, and congratulations to the whole gang at TLD Honda for landing a very big fish—former world champion Ben Townley—for their 2010 attack in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championships!

Here’s the Weege…

  • Ben Townley will be under Ping’s wing in 2010.
As Ping mentioned, it’s apparently the rainy season out in California right now, and riders are scurrying. I talked to quite a few riders this week and most seemed to be focused on getting away from the rain. Kevin Windham, for example, has been riding at MTF down in Georgia to get away. A couple of riders are heading to the Alessi Compound. Chad Reed is back in the U.S. after his Australian foray, and he’s convinced the Kawasaki team to come test at his house this weekend since it’s raining in Cali right now. Yup, Florida over California because it didn’t rain!

Also, more riders have finalized their team situations. As we broke here a couple of weeks back, Ivan Tedesco is now testing his 2010 YZ450F with Valli Motorsports. That team is really stepping up its program this year, as Ivan has access to full factory Yamaha works equipment. But he also has the option of running anything else he wants, like Pro Circuit stuff, or whatever he wants. That’s freedom even some factory teams don’t offer.

Nick Wey was at one point supposed to be Tedesco’s teammate on a Kawasaki team that never happened. Wey has no landed on the Ti-Lube Kawasaki team, which will be run by veteran team manager and engine building Alan Brown (who used to run Moto XXX’s effort and probably has built more holeshot engines in AMA Motocross than any privateer spanner). Wey also has Pro Circuit stuff and even went testing at the Kawasaki track yesterday, so he likes his chances, too.

I also spoke with Tommy Hahn, who is technically back on the same team he was with last year. Except now that’s a totally different team! Canidae Motosport Kawasaki will now become a Rockstar Suzuki team, and Canidae and Motosport are probably still going to be on board. I don’t think the official name or sponsors for the team are 100 percent set yet, but T-Hahn at least knows he’ll be racing an RM-Z450 indoors and out, and he’s testing that right now. Tommy said last year was basically a loss for him in supercross thanks to an injury, but after gathering a lot of momentum outdoors, he’s anxious to get racing right now!

  • Which way is Nick Wey going?
Brett Metcalfe will be jumping onto a 450 as well once the AMA Pro Motocross Championship starts. He’ll still race Lites in Supercross, probably west, in a deal similar to Dan Reardon’s last year. Metty is really, really excited about racing the big bike, but he wants to leave the 250 behind with a few wins under his belt this year, first. He and Trey Canard are tentatively scheduled to be the GEICO Powersports team out west, which leaves Blake Wharton and Justin Barcia for the east. As always, decisions on who is riding what coast are subject to change. Don’t even expect Monster/Pro Circuit Kawasaki to announce who is riding east and west until a few days before Anaheim!

Over at the Honda test track (when it’s not raining), Andrew Short says they learned a lot about the ’09 CRF450R from racing outdoors last year, and now they’re transferring those lessons over to supercross. Last year the Honda guys were scrambling a bit since their bike was brand new, this year the riders seem to have a better handle on things (Windham pretty much said the same thing Short did).

That’s it for me, now onto enjoying the last few free weekends I have!

MotoXcinema.com is offering multiple DVD packages saving you up to 50% off MSRP including the MX Files, and all the Extreme Enduro DVDs. Scope the film trailers and order at www.motoXcinema.com. MotoXcinema.com offers FREE shipping on orders over $30.

MOTO Trailer8.0mto mxc-Vimeo HD from THE ASSIGNMENT on Vimeo.

  • Bold new graphics on Andrew Short’s bike, courtesy of Throttle Jockey.
The Asterisk Superpass auctions, which directly benefit the Asterisk Mobile Medics, are underway for most of the west coast events in the 2010 Monster Energy Supercross Series. The seven-day auctions include VIP Experience packages that offer tickets, special access and opportunities for an autographed rider jersey, plus a product package from top companies and fellow Medical Center supporters. All Superpass auctions are available through eBay or at asterisksuperpass.com.

German MXer Philipp Klakow wants to race in the U.S. in 2010, but needs some help. Here’s an email he sent us today:

“Hey guys, my name is Philipp Klakow. I’m 20 and from Germany. At the moment I ride the German SX series for the Honda Meyer team, along with Marsack, Evans, Siebler and Johnson. My dream for 2010 is to compete in the first two races of the AMA MX Nationals, but I need some help with bike rental and sign up for the races and I hoped that you guys can maybe give some good advice. Where can I rent a motocross bike in California? I would prefer Kawasakis. A 250F or 450, doesn’t matter. Or do you know of any teams that I can ask to help me out with a bike? Normally I ride the German ADAC MX Masters and I’ve qualified for every race. I have an FIM international license. Where can I sign up for Glen Helen and Hangtown? Thanks!”

If anyone can help Phil with a bike, drop him an email at philipp_bmx@gmx.net.

Oklahoma Racer X reader Charles Hadley sent us this:

  • Whoops...
“It looks like Robbie Reynard has decided to go into the promoting business and provide another great place to sling dirt on the weekends. The track used to be Sooner State motocross park but the owners decided to call it quits. These same owners were once the proud owners of the famed Motorcycle Raceways, or as it was well known as “59th and Douglas” by the motocross community. Your own Andy Bowyer will remember this track very well as he battled Robbie and several over fast Okies there over the years. I hope Robbie does it right and this track is successful in every way. He’s partnered up with Roger Tate, who now runs our only local race facility here in OKC, and I hope Robbie’s years of racing experience and Roger’s years of track administration will go hand and hand and all of us here will enjoy a lot of great racing and events. Check out their site at ReynardRaceway.com.”

Glenn McGovern sent over this note about holeshot devices and a recent press release:

Kevin Maret, inventor of the pin-style holeshot device, holder of U.S. Patent No. U.S. 7,051,852 B2 announced Kevin Maret and KTM North America, Inc. USA in Ohio and KTM Sportmotorcycle AG of Austria have entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement for past and future KTM holeshot devices manufactured by KTM in Europe and distributed in the U.S. KTM after extensive research acknowledged the validity of the Kevin Maret patent and signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement. A U.S. Patent Office provisional patent was issued to Maret on July 26, 2002. Kevin Maret has been manufacturing his own “Tamer Holeshot Hook Up” holeshot devices with his patent number on the devices.

Maret stated: “For years I have put certain manufacturers on notice of the infringement of my patent and offered non-exclusive licensing agreements, but have been ignored to date, except by KTM and a few others that have recently ceased infringing. I intend to vigorously enforce the patent against any infringing party. KTM has done the right thing, and others should do so or face treble damages for patent infringement.”

For more information contact:
Kevin Maret
Tamer Racing
2900 W. Claire Ave.
Lincoln, NE 68521
Ph. 402-420-6983

Still looking for a Christmas present for that MX enthusiast in your family? If so, here’s a radio controlled dirt bike that you may want to check out.

Lastly, here’s some funny and unfortunate magazine business. It goes back to what I was saying at the beginning: Sometimes, things don’t turn out the way you plan, and the closing picture isn’t pretty….

Thanks for reading Racerhead, see you at the races.

Party Hard