Ask Ping!Friday, May 20, 2011 | 9:10 AM
I guess I should start off by getting the usual stuff out of the way; I'm a wussy, if I can't take the heat I should stay out of the kitchen, golf would be better for me, etc. That being said, I just finished reading the injury report from racerxonline.com and it's shocking to see how many and how severe the injuries are to SX riders. I know there is a small percentage of 'gore' people who like wrecks and then go home and rent Saw movies, but I think that is a small percentage. Most of us would feel much better walking away from a stadium without feeling sad for the young men and mature boys who just shattered their vertebrae, wrists, pelvis, leg bones, etc. They don't have to go to those extremes to entertain the majority of us.
Thankfully most of the local tracks get it and have a more common sense set up that knows most of us have to be able to walk to work the next day. Why can't some kind of common-sense approach be used in SX? I'm going to ask for your opinion in a minute, but my opinion is that SX doesn't need to move towards an eventual double back flip coming out of turn three. I know that the young riders are tough and they know they can do these jumps. We as spectators also know these same riders crash and destroy their bodies and futures in front of us and it's an ugly thing to watch.
If you were instructed to use your vast knowledge and insight, whether you wanted to or not, is there any kind of solution here that you can think of besides telling people like me to quit paying attention?
Fat man on a little bike,
St. Helens, Oregon
I appreciate your concern for the well-being of the athletes who make supercross such a great show. I’m not going to call you a wuss or insult your masculinity or tell you that maybe you should chat with your primary physician about checking your testosterone levels because you come off a little fruity and sensitive. I’m not going to do that. You have a sincere compassion for the riders and their safety and that is just sweet as pie.
The thing is, supercross tracks have actually become tamer in the last decade. In my opinion, the technicality and difficulty peaked around 2000 or 2001. They had whoops that would literally swallow you up if you dropped in and they even toyed with transforming triples into quads. They had a quad at Anaheim in 2000 that was probably over 100 feet long. Since then, whoops have gotten smaller and safety has become a priority when designing and building tracks. The injury report may not show it, but the guys at Feld and Dirt Wurx make every effort to keep the riders safe all season long. I’ve said before that whoop sections should be on the exit of tight, slow corners and never after a triple or a section where riders have speed built up. That is just bad design. Right-hand first turns don’t work (ask Villopoto) and usually cause crashes, but they rarely show up anymore. All in all, I think they do a great job of blending safety and entertainment. The injuries just come with the territory. It sucks, but that’s how it is.
What ever happened to J-Law? Is he going to ever race again or is he doing five to ten in the pen?
I haven’t heard of any new stints in jail or ear biting sessions or anything else. I really haven’t heard anything. The rumor is that he is going to be racing this season for the ARMA Energy/Suzuki City/Nitro Circus team aboard an RM-Z450 with number 54, but I’ll believe it when I see it. I would be less surprised to see him working at Chevron. The dude has skills if he can ever get his poop in a group. Again, the gig at Chevron seems more likely.
Dear Mr.Pingree, im 15 and im really struggling with mx when i read your column i see a lot of people asking for relationship advice a lot but im just wanting some advice on moto. i spend every day riding week days i come home ride till sundown on weekends ill head to the track and race. im not gonna say im a terrible racer but im not the best ether and i accept that 100% my problem is deciding which way to go in mx do i stick with racing or break off to fmx. the reason im questioning this is because i dont get noticed very much like once out of 15 races someone will come up to me but...how do i get noticed more and what road for mx do i take? i ride a 2007 yamaha ttr125L and my family just cant afford a bigger bike so...any advice for any of this would be greatly appreciated. sincerely John Burchfield sp;
I’m really not sure where to start here, John. I have to be honest, I can’t see you cleaning house at Loretta’s this summer on a TTR125. I also can’t see you jumping more than about 12 feet off an FMX booter without snapping that little trail bike of yours in half. I know bikes aren’t cheap, but maybe if you sold that thing, mowed some lawns and begged your parents, you could get a YZ125. That would be a much better start. I can’t tell you which way to go with motocross, but I will suggest that you don’t lose sight of the reason you ride in the first place… for fun. Not everyone makes it to the professional level and that’s okay. Enjoy your time on the track and the rest of that stuff will work itself out.
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Australian Dean Ferris hopes to follow in the footsteps of some of his legendary countrymen. Now contesting the FIM Grand Prix series, he made a huge impression at the Motocross of Nations. Page 138.