Hola Senoir Pingree,
With so much concern recently among racing fans over rider nicknames, I thought that I should weigh in on this touchy, and oh so important, part of our great sport. I am finding that sleep is eluding me knowing that we have fallen so short with our modern nicknaming convention. We don't consider riding style anymore, too easy. We can’t consider ethnicity, too touchy. Regions and accents? Nah, too boring. Initials with numbers, too dumb! Alas! We have Justin Barcia who goes by BamBam, but that is not really accurate anymore now that he wins every weekend and doesn’t have to bam into anyone. In light of the sweet stache that he's rockin these days, how about this? Justache!? It's brilliant isn't it! It’s like a mix of perfect ingredients, Justin+Moustache. Also, note that since he is only rockin the stache and no other facial hair seems to be possible, at least for now. Just Stache, that’s all there is. How sweet would that butt patch be? That’s all the competition would see as he and his incredible facial hair zoom by. Write that one down in the history books, The Bomber, Bad Boy, Flying Freckle, and now we have Justache. Maybe now I can sleep.
Jay in MT
Anything that draws us away from the initial/number thing is fine with me. I like Justache as much as anything else and as long as he keeps that fur hat on his upper lip it fits perfectly. There really aren’t that many guys who can pull off a mustache without looking ridiculous, and Justin certainly is not one of the few. However, big points awarded for running it anyways. Hey, if he grows it into a handlebar mustache, which would be fitting for a dirt bike racer, we could call him Justin Barstache! Okay, maybe I’m just reaching now.
I heard something about Carmichael going onstage during a Britney Spears concert but when I saw this photo I was a little confused. Did a gay backup dancer molest our champion? That doesn’t look cool at all.
Wow, I hadn’t seen that photo before. Like you, I heard that RC was pulled up onstage during one of her performances. Her dad is a big motocross fan so it didn’t surprise me too much when I heard about it. I pictured her crawling around on him during a song, leaving him smelling like the inside of a perfume bottle and sparkling like the bottom half of a bass boat. But after seeing this image I actually feel bad for Ricky. There aren’t many things in this world more emasculating than being tied to a stripper pole in the back seat of a pink Barbie car and being dry humped by a guy in a tight leather vest in front of 30,000 people. It’s great to be famous and have the pull to get invited onstage but I’m guessing RC would have given anything to be jockeying for position out in the sea of ordinary people at that moment.
Jake Weimer made a comment Saturday night that I thought was very interesting, and maybe a little controversial. “It’s unbelievable to me that some people make the main event and just roll around.” He may have been whining a little, (like I’m about to) but I completely agree. Why does the AMA allow those guys to stay on the track when they’re not racing? If they’re in the main and they DNF after a few laps, do they not still get paid and earn points for finishing in the top 20?
One thing I would suggest changing, which may help this situation, it to starting taking fewer riders from the heats and more from the LCQ, (maybe 8-8-4 instead of 9-9-2). This seems even more relevant this year since there are so many good riders in the SX class. I hate to see three or four top riders in the LCQ knowing that only two will have a chance to make it into the main.
One other thing! I had to go back to an Ask Ping article from last year to find your e-mail address. How come it’s not at the bottom of your articles anymore? (Now I’m whining.)
“Team Ben & Jerry’s”
The good news here is that the AMA has addressed the issue. Just a few races back they announced at the rider’s meeting that anyone not “striving to succeed” would be black-flagged during the main event. Of course that leaves a lot of room for interpretation but if a guy is just rolling around the track they will have the ability to get them out of the way. This happens for a couple different reasons: First, guys aren’t in shape to race 20 laps. Riders who struggle to make mains will usually focus on going fast for eight laps during the week since riding twenty laps is pointless if you aren’t in the final. These guys are usually spent before the gate drops for the main event and by lap five they have the anchor out and become enormous roadblocks. Secondly, guys won’t pull in because that would be quitting and they have always been told not to quit. Well, guys, this is one time you need to throw in the towel. If you can’t even jump the triples and rhythm lanes because you’re too tired then just pull it into the mechanics area. Catch your breath, roll up your tongue and shove it back in your mouth and then decide whether to head to the truck or ride a couple more laps. While these guys aren’t racing for good finishing positions they can still beat another rider who pulls off sooner than they do. And for their attrition they are awarded an extra point and about $25 extra.
I really like your idea about the LCQ. I’m not sure the fine folks at Feld and the AMA read this article but if they do I hope they will consider it. There have been many instances this year where good riders finished third or fourth in the LCQ after several of them had trouble in the heats.
Thanks for pointing out that we don’t have a link for questions… if there isn’t one at the bottom of this page now I’ll be sure to write a strongly-worded letter to my managing editor requesting one.
Got a question for Ping? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.