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Ask Ping!


Hey Ping!

I don't know if you have noticed it as well, but for a while now the quality of the post-race interviews has been appalling! The reason being that the riders answer the question presented to them in approximately five words, rattle off the names of their sponsors, thank their team and dog, etc., then leave!!! Why even bother with the pretext of an interview? Is this some kind of chore to them?  Or am I wrong in blaming the riders?
As a team manager, what is your view on this?




Dear Peter,

Most of the podium interviews suck. There are a few riders who are interesting, but even those guys have been taught to conform to the sponsor-list template that has been the norm for decades. I think that some of it stems from the questions they are being asked. I know there are only so many things you can ask a rider up on the podium immediately after a race, but maybe if the questions were different the answers would be, too. Troy Lee actually told me this week that our guys don’t need to list sponsors on the podium. He said that people are tuning out anyway as soon as the robotic responses start, so they might as well just be themselves and talk about the race and what they are feeling and anything else that’s on their mind. He basically just wants them to show some genuine emotion and be themselves on the podium. I think that is an amazing idea. Unless the rider is a complete ass-face, in which case this theory is going to backfire big-time.





Hey Ping!


First off I want to say congrats to your team, they’re doing great!! So the real reason I'm emailing you is because I want to hear your point of view of the lappers from the last race at San Diego. I'm sure you saw Jeff Alessi get between your boys... Not cool. I understand the track didn't have too many lines to pick from, but that is no reason to get in the way of riders who are there to win. The lappers did get in the way on the last laps for both classes. So what do you have to say, and is there anything you would change?




Dear Joss,

  • T-Shirt cannon? No. It's the all-new  Lapper Launcher! Look out, Jeff Alessi!
Thanks, we are very proud of what the guys on the team have done and I think they are surprising a lot of people. Lappers have always been a problem for as long as I can remember. They can either work for you or against you, depending on the situation. You really can’t change the rules but you can enforce them better. The AMA hasn’t flexed their authority on any issue, especially lappers, and I think they need to. If Jeff was riding around by himself and raced with my guys the way he did I would have probably jumped out on the track and wrestled him to the ground like Steve Irwin taking down a big, ugly crocodile. But he was having his own little battle with Eric McCrummen for, like, fifteenth, so I’ll give him some leeway. Still, he should have moved out of the way sooner and stayed out of the way until the leaders had gone through. On a track as small as a typical supercross course, this is always going to be an issue. If it gets really bad we can always revert to my original suggestion to Feld, which is to arm a few lucky spectators sitting near the triple jumps with surface-to-air rocket launchers and encourage them to blow any moron out of the sky who doesn’t obey the blue flag.




Hey Ping,

I want to start things off by saying thank you for everything you do in the sport, I love your no-BS approach to things and I wish more people had the balls to do the same. Also, congrats on the team this year; you guys are killing it, and I can't wait to see one of your riders on the top step of the podium. Now, down to business... I noticed team Honda was running their "practice" bikes in the race this week and did awesome on them. So I started thinking, how much different are the "race" bikes from their "practice" bikes? I also came back to the story of team GEICO using "stock" suspension this year, and they like it over kit stuff. Could it be that since the riders ride their practice bikes without the full-blown race suspension on them that they just become more comfortable on it than the "race" bike and that’s way they do well on them? I don't know how different the two bikes are, and I'm sure I’m not breaking any new ground by thinking this, and if I am I'm available for hire cause I have a lot of other great ideas (but I'm not counting on that one). Anyway, I was hoping you could help clear things up for me.





Dear Cody,

  • Does that look like a practice bike to you, Cody?
Honda had test bikes under the awning last weekend in case the night turned into a quagmire. I would assume that they had more of a mud setup on the test bikes and a regular race setup on the race bike. This was probably more of a preparation thing than anything else. Also, any top-level team rider has the exact same suspension on his practice bike as he does on his race bike. In fact, the entire bike is built as closely to the race bike as possible to make the transition from one to the other as seamless as possible. Regarding FCR’s suspension, they are using standard external parts but, trust me, there is nothing stock about what’s inside. They are using the standard externals because they probably feel more flex with them and their riders like that feel. At least that is what I assume they like. And, again, those guys are practicing with the exact same stuff they are racing with. So, sorry to blow all your theories out of the water but none of them were worth a crap. Bad Cody... No job for you.



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