Ask Ping!

Ask Ping!

June 7, 2013 11:40am


I heard that the riders complained about the track being too tight at Muddy Creek. When I go to High Point or Steel City (sigh) I am blown away at the speed the 450s carry. High Point especially strikes me as a freeway! As a former racer I feel the tracks need tightened up to reduce the excessive speeds these over powered bikes of today are generating. Let the kids bitch. Shorter straights and more cornering will make them better and safer racers than pinning it and triple jumping at 65mph.

Personally, I think dropping displacement to 200 and 300cc would go a long way toward making the races safer and closer too, but that's just me.

Dennis "Skid" Rowe

Mk3, 690L-70, Leechburg, PA



  • Mike Genova, I have a project for you.

You have to realize that no matter how awesome a track is you are going to have a handful of riders complain about it. I don’t think I’ve ever ridden a track [and I’ve been on some amazing tracks] where some boogar-eating clown didn’t complain about something. Personally, I loved the fact that Muddy Creek was a little tighter and more technical. It forced the riders to ease up on the throttle a little bit and actually pick their way through the track. It was a technical, thinking man’s track. My guess is the guys who disliked it don’t have a clue what a cerebral cortex is, let alone how to use it.

Unless you have a time machine and we can go back to the day the powers that be drafted the rules for four-strokes in motocross you are pissing in the wind with displacement ideas. That ship has sailed. And if you have a time machine let’s forget about dirt bike racing, pool our money and buy shares in Apple and Google back when they started. Then we could buy Honda and force them to make two-strokes again. What now, Honda?




Dear ping

I wish to pick your brain on something.  First, I noticed when Trey Canard crashed at muddy creek his bike was in a blind spot.  At least one guy hit it and many more nearly did.  Trey was obviously standing trying to get people to slow down, but the riders saw him and went to where his bike was.  Anyway, in the far left hand corner I saw a flagger.  Are those guys allowed to go on the track?? Because it looked like the situation could have been easily avoided if the flagger got on the track (though the pros don't seem to slow down much on yellow flags).  My question is this: should the flagger have run out in front of Treys bike and directed them to go the safe route or should the pros slow down a bit more when the yellow is out?  When you raced what was it like when the yellow flag was out, especially over blind spots? Because it seems like the pros of today don't slow down very much, if at all, when the yellow comes out.   In the amateurs people slow more, but I notice the flaggers really suck. Is this the case in the pro ranks??  Are these guys waving the flag day-laborers who work for cheap or is there any kinda program they need to go through, like a class or something?  Anyway, your experienced opinion would help sort this out to me.  Love your column!!

Eli Keen

Chesterton, Indiana (45 minutes away from RREEEDDDBBUUDDDD!!)



  • Some flaggers actually cause crashes

It’s tough to crap on flaggers too much. After all, these guys are not exactly raking in the cash like a Twinkie dealer at a fat camp. After a quick briefing in the morning they get paid a hot dog and a soda to sit in the sun all day and be solely responsible for the safety of the best motocross riders in the world. That’s a lot of pressure… and nitrates. In this particular instance the flagger needed to get to the other side of the track [the outside] and push riders to the inside, away from Trey’s bike. The problem was that there wasn’t really a break in traffic where he could safely do that. That or the flagger, realizing he had a crash of significance in his section, was trying to steer riders away from the crash scene with the smell of crap in his pants.

I had a couple moments early in my career where I didn’t check up when I saw a yellow flag. You only have to t-bone a downed rider’s bike and fly over the handlebars like an ejected fighter pilot one time to earn a healthy respect for that flag. However, the rule says that the yellow flag is just a warning so they aren’t breaking any rules… just taking their health into their own hands. That’s where it is very important to have heads-up flaggers and many of the guys coming out every year have done it before and do a great job.




Dear all great one Ping! I wanted to ask why a rider would leave arguably the best trainer in the sport currently, Alden Baker? I posed this question on the line at the last bench race but it just turned into an argument about who is better MC or RC (My opinion is that the King rules the castles, but the GOAT rules the lands). But back to my question, which could be a 2 part answer if the great one can spare his time. With the résumé that Baker possesses with so many wins why would riders want to not employ his services any longer? And why do riders tend to slip back a bit when they leave his tutelage?

Few time writer, hoping to hear your thoughts.




  • RC did plenty of winning under Johnny O’Mara’s watch

If you have a successful program with a trainer, regardless of who it is, you only leave for two reasons: You are tired of all the hard work and ball-busting that comes with having a trainer crack the whip on you or you are tired of paying him the money and you think you can do it on your own.

Think about it. If you trainer with the same guy for a year or two you know all the tricks, right? You have all the knowledge that the trainer has so you can save yourself a couple hundred grand [after bonuses] and just do it yourself. Right? But you typically end up not pushing yourself hard enough and you would easily have made that money back if you had better results. Aldon has done an amazing job with the riders he’s had. He pushes guys to their limit physically, which in turn makes them strong mentally.

You also have to consider the riders he’s had. I’m pretty sure Carmichael, Stewart, Dungey and Villopoto would have all been champions with or without any specific trainer. Aldon just helped them get the best out of themselves and he has an incredible resume to prove it.