Ask Ping!

Ask Ping!

August 10, 2012 9:35am


I'm in my late 20's so I'm not quite old enough to have man crushes just yet, so I apologize for not stroking your ego to start my email.  I have noticed that racerx doesn't do a race recap of the 250 or 450 2nd motos.  I would think that this would be the most important race to recap since it is the most difficult moto to watch on tv.  Why is that?

Another great article is the "Sign of Lap Times," however, after observing the average lap times I am always left confused on how these are calculated.  Take moto 1 from Washougal for example.  MA won the moto, but had a slower average lap time than RD who we all know finished 2nd.  We can agree that who ever wins the moto has the overall lowest time to complete 30minutes + 2 laps, and we can also agree that MA and RD completed the same number of laps.  So to find the average time you would divide total time/number of laps completed.  Therefore, who ever finishes with a lower time (ie.1st place) should have a lower average lap time.  Am I right, or am I right?



  • How do you NOT love this guy?
Dear Laith,

I think the reason we don’t recap the second motos is that we don’t want to spoil the results for people waiting for the TV show. At least, that’s the best answer I have. Regarding your second question, I do have a good answer. To make sure I knew what I was talking about I confirmed it with Jason Weigandt, a walking motocross encyclopedia and knower of facts. Here’s the reason:  Lap times from the start of the race to the finish line at the end of lap one are not recorded. So, timing the average lap times is actually only the average from the beginning of lap 2 until the finish. If Alessi has a way better first lap he won't get credit for it on the average lap time calculation. This is an AMA timing and scoring deal so there's not much we can do about it…times from the start to the finish on the first lap don't exist anywhere.

Maybe you can foster an internal bromance with Jason Weigand as you continue to get older. The Weege is one handsome bastard.




Dear Ping,

I enjoy keeping up on the moto world through several of the on line sites and have Racer X saved on my favorites. I look forward to reading your columns because of your quick wit in handling some of the most misled questions ever devised by a form of life. You’ve got a gift for turning a phrase.  Your masterpiece of all time was the one about the Chinese motocross team. Loved it and still laugh about it when I think about it. A reprint is way overdue.

On to my question/problem/issue/heartburn. Who actually listens to the noxious, screaming, head banging music that “they” insist on blasting on the moto video clips on the net.  I was watching Jessy Nelson the other day and really enjoy listening to his story when they cut to his riding and cranked up this noxious crap that I’m sure someone out there calls “music” “art” “expression” “interpretation” or some other liberal buzz word that really means “shit being screamed by some flunky that can’t do anything else and otherwise has no redeeming value and no musical talent for sure”.

Do you have to hold your pants up with one hand to appreciate this stuff?? Do you have to pin your ears inside of your hat?  Do you have to stay up late and sleep until noon while your rich dad pays for your rent, truck, bike, parts, wrench, etc. etc?

How stupid does a person have to be to pay for this crap (or have his dad pay for it), listen to it willingly, then comment to his friend, “Listen to this man, this is an awesome song.?”

This is not just bad; man it is repulsive with zero element of talent.

I’m stymied by it.

Please advise quickly, I’m getting a cramp in my left hand from holding my pants up.


Digger Dan


  • Your favorite band or just four kids with parents who didn't love them? Too close to call.

I can’t take too much of the punk/screaming that accompanies many motocross videos either. But there is a reason you hear so much of it. One of the most difficult parts of putting together a quality video is finding music you can use. Sure, you can rip music off and hope nobody says anything. But if you do get caught the ramifications can be big. So, we have to use music that we have permission to use. The guys at Strung Out are big moto fans and they give us carte blanche to their playlist. We also get some stuff from Daniel and Vincent Blair, but those guys don’t release a whole lot of new music [often times because they are too busy riding]. I would tell you to try and appreciate all forms of artistic expression and that each of us is a special snowflake, but… Well, I think that is a bunch of crap. So, keep a finger on the volume button and play something off your own cache of music if you have to. Just remember that you don’t pay anything for the massive amounts of info/entertainment brought to you by this or any other site. Perspective.





I was wondering what it was like riding for Mitch Payton back in the day? I know you rode there sometime during the 1990’s and I hear lots of stories about Mitch. Is he really as tough as they say?

Scott Dalton


  • Hair product, anyone?

I spent three years (’95 though ’97) riding for the Mitch and his juggernaut Pro Circuit Kawasaki race team. Today Mitch sets the standard for excellence when it comes to race teams but things were still a work in progress back then. After coming out swinging with McGrath, Swink, Antunez and Lamson on Hondas, Mitch had to start from scratch on green bikes in 1993. The 1993 KX125 was, to put it eloquently, a steaming pile of crap. It made all the horsepower of a pencil sharpener and weighed as much as a dump truck-sized chunk of lead-coated lead with lead filling. It was heavy and slow is what I’m driving at. But Peyton and manager Mike Hooker hit the dyno room and didn’t come out until they had a bike that could win. And with the help of a consistent Jimmy Gaddis they won a West Coast SX Lites title that year. The bikes continued to slowly improve over the years with occasional ups and downs. Ryno was doing the testing in 1995 so our bike only worked if you held the throttle wide open and savagely abused the clutch. They’ve improved every year since and once things switched to four-strokes they really made big gains.

As far as Mitch goes, he is a pussycat now compared to the way he was then. He would give you a verbal thrashing back then that would leave you in tears. For masochistic types like Hughes that approach worked. Ryno would get mad, train harder and do better. Nathan Ramsey was the guy who changed Mitch. In a heated argument he got through to Mitch that he didn’t work that way. He wanted a more practical approach to improving results and a calmer, more rational working relationship. He has softened up a bit but you still want to avoid his office if he’s having a bad day. I’ve gone in there before when I didn’t know it was a bad day and as I cruised through his door he just stared at me like I had defecated on his desk. Now I’m careful to check his hair before I talk to him. I call it his “mood hair.” If his hair is poofy and tall it indicates that he is stressed and has been running his hands through it all day. If it’s still relatively manicured and held in place with hair product go ahead and approach him.

As tough as he is in business, Mitch is a guy who genuinely cares about the people he’s involved with. As long as you are in his good graces he will have your back through absolutely anything. I respect the hell out of him for his work ethic and his loyalty. Visiting Pro Circuit is a must if you are in the southern California area… just be sure to check Mitch’s hair before you say hi.