Ask Ping!

Ask Ping!

April 1, 2011 9:35am
Dear Ping,

Based on last weeks inquiries and comments, it appears we’re not going to resolve the question of God, which surprises me because I really thought we could get that hammered out in this Racer X column. No worries, though, I have faith it will all get sorted out in the end. My question has to do with injuries and which ones might be preventable if not diminished. I know there will always be broken bones, torn ligaments and worse in MX but I’m wondering if factory riders are still compensated when they have to sit out most if not all of the season. I believe this question has been asked before but I’m wondering if you think factory teams would/should pay their injured riders some kind of workman’s compensation on a sliding scale based on how much protection they wear?





Dear Adam,

Yeah, it’s a real bummer that we didn’t get the whole creation/evolution topic buttoned down in one cynical, satirical column on a Friday afternoon. Maybe we can take on the conservative/liberal debate in an upcoming column and let the boards melt down again.

Injuries suck. That is a very simple statement but one that every motocross racer can relate to personally. And on a professional level they suck even more. The rider can’t do his job and the employer is out all that money with nothing to show for it. Typically, contracts include some type of prorated pay scale if a rider is out with an injury. Checks will usually keep coming for two or three months but anything longer than that and the numbers decrease until he can line up again and race. Ever wonder why some riders rush to get back on the track so quickly? Well, their accountant probably made them. You make an interesting point about riding gear. On one hand it makes sense to protect your investment and require them to wear every piece of protection possible. The fact that most riders don’t wear chest protectors is really ridiculous. They used to be bulky, stiff contraptions that felt more like jousting armor than motocross equipment, but things have come a long way in recent years. Maybe teams should have salary tiers based on whether or not the rider wears neck protection, chest protector, knee braces, etc. Then again, the only way to prevent some of these injuries is to quit racing and join a bowling league right now. Every time I watch the video of Jeff Alessi ending Josh Grant’s season I get sick to my stomach. Isn’t motocross fun?




During a typical Supercross race check out how many times Jeff Emig and Ricky Carmichael say “No Doubt,” “For sure” or “Definitely.”  In a typical back and forth conversation between the two they are being way overused. Maybe they could buy a thesaurus and mix in some new words.


Jeff….No doubt, Stewart is the fastest man alive.

Ricky…..For sure, but he tends to fall under pressure.

Jeff …No doubt, he has to work on riding smarter for sure.

Ricky……definitely, no doubt

Throw in Shaheen (sp)…..So your saying sometimes slower is faster?

Jeff….No Doubt

Ricky…For sure

I’m a huge fan of Ricky and Jeff but I definitely have no doubt that they could use those words less, for sure.

Old and slow Joe



  • Definitely, for sure, no doubt.
Dear Old and Slow,

I’m not sure whether to respond to this question by saying for sure, definitely or no doubt. All of them work here. I’ve also noticed a gross overuse of the words “You know” and “But, uh.” And we’ve already covered “huckabuck” and any reference to the dirt being alive. That job isn’t easy though so we should give them a break and enjoy the fact that the races are being shown live or next day. Can I get a “for sure” on that one?



Dear Ping,

Here’s a short simple question I’d love to hear your take on……… What do you think about James Stewart acting like a complete fool lately? Between his reality show making him look like a complete crybaby, his recent arrest and his performance on the track I thought if anybody had an interesting opinion it would be you.



Pittsburgh, PA


Dear John,

James is on a bad roll right now. His show has been a hit with the general public but it hasn’t done him any favors with the fans of the sport. Then again, can you name one reality show where cameras follow the cast around that results in a positive portrayal of that person? Jersey Shore. Really? I’ve never seen a more dysfunctional group of juiced-up, over-tanned individuals, but I’ve watched every episode. The Osbourne’s are nuts, The Kardashian’s are a bunch of spoiled bitches, Kate Gosselyn is a psycho and her ex-husband is a turd. And don’t even get me started about Nick Lachay and Jessica Simpson, the Real Housewives of (your city here) or any one of the tubs-o-lard on The Biggest Loser. Those networks focus on showing the flaws and idiosyncrasies in all the cast members and we eat it up like a McRib sandwich because we know it’s only $2.99 and available for a limited time. Mmmmm, McRib sandwich. What were we talking about? Oh, yeah.

James has lost his team manager, lost his winning percentage and as of last Monday he may have lost his dignity. I don’t think James is a criminal. He was goofing around and he got caught; could have happened to a lot of different people. And if I had the cantaloupe-sized testicles, and lack of foresight, that it took to put a light bar on the roof of my Tundra and pull cars over and I had gotten caught, nobody would have even known about it. But he is a celebrity and so it was front-page news. Hopefully James can pull it together and make a run at the nationals this summer because this supercross title has all but slipped away from him. And winning this summer won’t be easy either; those guys aren’t going to pull over for him. Sorry, couldn’t help myself.