Ask Ping!Friday, November 4, 2011 | 2:40 PM
My question has do with the silly season or just before the silly season gets started. Do guys really sign contracts with new teams before they even try out their bike? I mean, it seems pretty crazy to leave your current team (let’s say Suzuki) and sign on the dotted line before ever throwing a leg over that new pumpkin. I've got to think that one day about two months or so ago, a blacked-out minivan rolled into Tallahassee in the middle of the night and in super-black-ops fashion the #5 rider took some laps on that punkin-chunkin machine while Austrian mercenaries watched out for media.... I know they aren't suppose to ride a competitors bike until their contract with their current employer is up but I just can't believe these guys who are switching teams would put there whole future on a "I sure hope the bike is good" mentality. Can you shed some light?....
You pretty much hit the nail on the head with your vision of how things more than likely went down. The “#5 rider,” as you call him, more than likely didn’t sign that contract without taking a few laps on that new 450. This happens all the time, though riders or teams will never speak of it. This is one of the perks of owning your own property way out in the middle of nowhere. Still, the bike would have ridden is really new and would have to be a long way from being race-ready. That means Dungey did sign that contract on Roger DeCoster’s word that the bike would be competitive. Ryan believes in him and believes they can team up and win again. At his level of the game, believing is everything. Knowing the crew that been assembled at KTM, it’s pretty easy to believe in their program.
What is the deal with riding gear today being so bright you could spot it across the 405 FWY? We don't dress in these bright colors every day, but as soon as we get to the track it's neon ‘80s madness! I admit I am a victim as well, but I just wanted to hear your side. Maybe you can get Troy Lee to design a set of gear that looks like a flat bill New Era and black socks pulled up halfway to your junk? Or maybe we should be in neon colors all day?
Confused Moto Fashion
Where else would you go dressed up in the colors and designs we wear on our bikes? It’s like as soon as we get to the track, all we know about fashion—and I mean general, “guy” fashion—goes out the window. Bring on the brightest, loudest, and most ridiculous prints and designs you can imagine. What if I told you that you had to go to the gym wearing an outfit with lightning bolts running through it? Would you wear it? Hell no. But you’ll go to a crowded track and pull those things on proudly. How about a matching pant/T-shirt set in bright purple, pink, and baby blue? Negative. But you’ll head to the start gate with all your guy friends wearing it. It’s kind of weird, really. I don’t think Troy would do a “Bro” themed set of gear, but it wouldn’t shock me to see someone do it. Remember, there is a helmet painted like a cheeseburger that you can buy at your local dealer. Seriously. Instead of retro night at A1, I’d like to see a dress-like-your-MX-gear day and see how ridiculous we all look in day-glo colors and off-the-wall designs on our regular clothes. That would be fun. To Thor’s credit, they did make a set of gear that looked like a pair of jeans and a flannel shirt. And yet that never took off, really. I guess we like to be loud, obnoxious and colorful when we ride.
I was shaving (my face) this morning and thought of you in your new life. Now that you live and work in the "real world" away from motocross with wife, kids, a firefighter/paramedic job that requires you to save lives, respond to scenes of carnage, fire, blood and folks sprawled out on the floor in their own feces.... Do you ever wish you could go back to the land of motocross and supercross and shake some of the riders and scream "Enjoy this dream life, because when it’s over in six years, the real world is as unforgiving as a case of dysentery on a cross-country flight with a broken lavatory after 2 El Diablo burritos bought from a street vendor outside the LAX airport!”?? Any words of wisdom to those who might be reading?
I actually love my new gig, carnage and all. After spending the last thirty-plus years immersed in dirt bike racing, it is really cool to do something totally different. That being said, I sure wish I could jump in a Delorean, hit 88 mph, and visit myself back when I hit the pro tour. To borrow a phrase from Charlie Murphy, I would put my Adidas up my own ass and show my insides some style. There just isn’t anything that can replace perspective and, sadly, that often takes a good deal of time. And by the time these kids are old enough to realize the opportunity they have in front of them, it’s long gone.
Thomas Edison said “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” That is profoundly true. Do I have regrets? Sure. And anyone who tells you otherwise is more full of crap than an elephant with no ass. A lot of guys will say they tried their hardest so they wouldn’t change anything, but if you get them talking, there are plenty of things they would do differently if given the chance. That’s just the way it works: Mistakes are easy to see after you’ve made them. Some riders will make the most of their racing years and others won’t. There really isn’t much you can say to them that will change that.
Hopefully, the racers of today will at least see their mistakes and take steps not to make them again. That’s the secret to being successful after racing.
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Check out THE MOTOCROSS OF 40 NATIONSin our Latest issue of Racer X available now.
The 2013 FIM Motocross of Nations at Teutschenthal, Germany, hosted teams from a record forty countries. Here’s how it played out for each of them. Page 90.