The Outdoor Nationals are the heart and soul of motocross.
It’s that time of year again folks. Time for the real racing to begin and all of the summer fun that comes with it. Man, the outdoor nationals just can’t be beat. It’s real motocross on real tracks that brings out the real animals. Her twelve rounds of torture forces the utmost in human and machine endurance.
Man, it’s actually hard to find the words to describe how gnarly the nationals are. You have to prime yourself to give up every ounce of energy and courage that your racing prowess possesses, rest for a couple hours, then do it all again.
Hangtown is less than 48 hours away. Who's ready?
Photo: Simon Cudby
In a 30-minute plus two-lap moto you have countless chances to gain and lose time. There is no such thing as a perfect moto in outdoor motocross. Even the greatest and smoothest champions in history blow a few corners, or get out of shape a dozen or more times on their way to a moto victory. To claim said victory you must beat them twice.
More than that, the outdoor nationals serve as a testament to how unique and cool our sport is. We’re strongly unique in that we have two separate seasons with two separate, but sternly acclaimed championships. We get to watch the boys create tight, hyper-dramatic action in the stadiums and domes, then...
As the summer sun begins to scorch the earth, it’s time to take the charge outside.
The whole aura of the outdoor nationals is what has made me a fan since I was a kid. You greet an early morning dew covering the banners, factory haulers, and track structures, then as the sun burns off the fog bikes are kicked to life and soon thereafter we have bikes on the track. Motocross is different when you see the sun flicker off the factory unobtanium. I always liked watching practice as much as anything. Watching the boys carry the mail and slowly cut the lines in. As mid-morning arrives you have watched the track come to life and you are able to see who carries the most speed and momentum around. It’s a significant preamble for what’s to come. And that my friends, is the opening moto of the day of racing.
You can take all the pyro technics in the world, and never touch the nervous static hanging in the air before the first moto of the day, and in this weekend’s case, the opening salvo of the 2011 season.
All over-the-top speak aside, the outdoor nationals are a truly great event for the whole family. It’s not an NFL, NASCAR, or MBL-sized crowd, but when 15,000-20,000 outdoor national fans get together it is truly something special. It’s a different crowd. Tighter, and more intimate. Every one of you that frequent them know where I’m at. You can catch a high-five or stern head nod anywhere you turn.
Man, really, I feel like it’s New Year’s Eve all over again. It’s time to wipe the slate clean and begin anew with the real deal. It’s time to take this shit outdoors, son! Forty, not twenty guys barreling into the first corner with their ass hanging off the rear fender...all of them with the mindset of, “I’m not letting off.” It is, folks. The outdoors are gnarly. Time for some speed. Time to watch the art of shredding corners and, yes, fourth gear sweepers. The heavy stuff.
The start of the 2011 season kicks off Saturday at Hangtown.
Photo: Simon Cudby
Oh man, just wait till you see how hard Ryan Villopoto is going to murder the berms. I haven’t seen anyone as aggressive as him in the corners since Ricky Carmichael. The man is a corner assassin. Every racer pushing to the starting line this weekend is a stud. The fastest dirt bike racers in the world are going to descend upon the Hangtown Motocross Classic this Saturday afternoon. Hey man, I’m devoid of real race analysis. Click back to the header page and you’ll find the best information, from the best. She’s all there, I just clicked.
I’m here to bring the charge! And, folks, she is here. The heart and soul of our sport is set to begin another chapter. We're all set to watch the first gate drop of the outdoor season. Can you hear all of those nasty four-stroke beats hitting the rev limter?! Can you wait to see who the first holeshot man of the year will be straight legging it around the first corner with his elbow at his rib cage? The sun, the girls, the summer is here.
Time to see the heat.
Thanks for reading, see you next week.