Rev Up: Millville

Rev Up: Millville

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Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev Up. Ho, ho. Feels good to write that sentence again. Many moons it has been since I can remember feeling so pumped to watch the gates drop as the present. Each and every weekend those guys have put their balls on the gas tank and thrown a damn temper tantrum on the terrafirma. Especially the 250 stable. I like to write about the charge. What exactly is “the charge?” When you see a rider send a huge jump from the inside line, perhaps with the forethought that he may come up short. The moment a rider glances to his side during the holeshot then goes into a Moto GP style tuck. After a rider sees the flagman holding up the cross flags, then becomes a house of fire and drops two seconds a lap. That’s the charge, son. And the alphas in the 250 class are soaked in it. It’s been some of the most intense sprinting I’ve ever seen. The trick of the game is who can save the kick for the end. The rider that can squeeze nitro out of an empty tank gets it done. Justin Barcia, Eli Tomac, and Blake Baggett have done it. But it seems “Bad” Blake has gone full Chuck Yeager on us and has the right stuff. As the summer series races down the stretch it will be salty with these boys. Can Ken Roczen find the juice as the dog days of summer scorch the soil?

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The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship returns to picturesque Millville for round seven of the series.
Simon Cudby photo

And with that the 2012 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championships heads to majestic Millville, Minnesota for round seven. From the beginning of “The Hype” to The GOAT’s last ride, Millville and her loamy-high-speed self claims a rich portion of recent moto history. Some heavy business takes place here, folks. Anyone, ahem, recall a certain #22 flapping his arms 20 feet through the air, sans CRF450? Close your eyes and think a little harder back to 1996 when Jeremy “Showtime” McGrath seemed to have put the proverbial sails up on his way to a title when he cased huge and shoveled a ton of points to the sidelines? Ah, the kick I’m going for is that this particular dust up has created a wrinkle in championships. Especially in the 450 class. Does Ryan Dungey have it in the bag with 12 motos yet to race? Negative ghost rider, that’s why they run the races.

Not to put the voodoo on the golden boy who claims the Spring Creek facility as home turf. I almost feel guilty about such banter considering the road he and factory KTM have traveled. Go back to January and try the notion that Ryan Villopoto, James Stewart, or Chad Reed wouldn’t have a prayer come Millville. Instead Dungey and the great orange machine are crushing the twenty twelve championship in historic fashion. Nobody on this mudball, injured or strong wants a piece of #5 right now. Is he the same rider that Stewart went four for four on to begin the summer? Ask the Red Bud fans. He’s getting better every week. Ryan Dungey is riding like the 2010 version, but on a KTM. Faster, stronger, and more confident.

James Stewart is back. That’s right, Bubba didn’t call it off after the mess. It shows fortitude to go 6-3 off the bench when he could easily be holding the couch down in the AC. Hey, he doesn’t have to be out there. He likes to hear the fans cheer for him and he loves to race. I was stoked to see him him put in 30+2 both times out. He was rusty as a Santa Cruz Volkswagen, but he’ll shake that off in about four more motos. Maybe less. What’s badass is a simple question; can he race himself back into the #7 that left us after Texas, and will that man measure up to what Dungey has become since then?

And how about Mike Alessi? He’s riding a bike you can buy and poses the greatest championship threat to Ryan Dungey. Man, his bike handles like he has fun dip instead of shock oil in his suspension. Except it would be bum dip. I hate watching it. He’s riding his ass off, and his tires just won’t stay in the track. He’s been pretty close all the same and if Dungey stubs his toe he could really, really pull off an overall, perhaps more. Say what you will about #800, he’s dug in and is going for it. Attrition is paramount in our trade. It could happen. Richard Petty is famous for saying, “I’d rather be lucky than good any day.” Alessi can be both.

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Who can forget this moment from Chad Reed at Millville last year?
Brian Robinette photo

Yes, yes, yes! There is so much more, but the bottom line is that this summer motocross series has been a gift. Of course we got gutted with injuries and it sucks. A thousand times, it sucks canal water, but that’s the way it is. And that’s the way it always will be, it just depends what degree. Hells bells, did you see those fans at RedBud last weekend going ape poop on live television last weekend? They know the deal and they had the shoulders back, swinging their t-shirts every lap.

It’s American motocross! I’m talking two card sideways, gate down, feet on the back of the pegs, 4th gear chicken skin, baby. Every moto, every lap, every trip through the Whoop Monster counts! There is only one way to win a championship and that is to weather the entire storm and be the man. It all happens so fast. We’re already halfway traveled to the 2012 outdoor titles. There is no other way to be than gratefully jacked the hell up. You should be ready to see the show and steady your stance for the charge that’s coming.

Twelve more gates to drop. Time for round seven at Spring Creek.

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