Ask Ping!

Ask Ping!

July 5, 2013 10:10am

Dear Ping,

Major props from a working class vet wanna-be to a working class vet used-to-be….

Racing for me has now evolved (regressed) into slowly (both figuratively and increasingly literally) making my way through a racing bucket list of sorts. From your immense and vast experience as a racer, enthusiast, super hero, and celebrity, what would be your recommendations for the top 5 vet class bucket list race destinations in the US­­?


WCVWTB (Working class vet wanna be…AKA: Brian)



  • Do this thing.

I’m not sure what part of the country you live in but assuming you have unlimited time and resources so I’ll throw a few gems out for you. The Mammoth Motocross is a must-do for any rider, vet or otherwise. The track is epic, the town is amazing and the surroundings are unreal. There is an entire week dedicated to vet riders so you don’t even have to deal with a bunch of bratty kids spoiling your old-timers weekend. Make this one happen. Also, if you can get to a race at Washougal before you die that would be excellent also. Some of the pristine topsoil has gone bye-bye over the years but the track is still epic. If you are in the area there is a grass track event in Chehalis, WA that is put on by a vintage group. This one is actually on my bucket list but the photos I’ve seen have already sold me on it. Buy an old bike if you have to and check this out. If you want to get nuts hop a plane to New Zealand and sign up for a race in Taupo, home of Ben Townley. That track is one of the coolest I’ve ridden and just seeing the country is worth the trip. Lastly, I would say try to get to MX338 in Southwick as soon as possible and see if you can race there before that land gets sold to a developer and turned into a cookie-cutter suburban development. It is a piece of moto history and it will be worth it to say you’ve raced there. Good luck. Let me know how it turns out.





Dear Ping:

I enjoyed your YZ450F review. Looks like you have trimmed down a bit! To my question: Every National race uses those yellow track markers that are shaped like spears. I am waiting for JS7 or someone else to take a fall and get impaled. Wouldn't a round top be better? Just asking.



Pittsburgh PA



  • I’m sure JBS has rolled over a few of these.

I get asked that question often and the truth is that those plastic stakes are very flexible and much, much safer than the wooden spikes they replaced. The yellow, plastic Acerbis stakes bend with very little pressure and would not likely hurt you even if you dropped straight on it like a disgraced Japanese soldier. There you have it.





Hey, Ping -- gotta love the Ask Ping stuff on RacerX.  Here's my own couple of questions for you (1st one's a two-parter):

1. With Southwick having its final National, are you going to miss this track, and which of the R.I.P. tracks (tracks no longer being raced at) do you personally miss? Me, I personally miss Kenworthy's because that was the most Supercrossy style of tracks.

2. Does it come as a surprise to you at how lop-sided both the 250cc and 450cc classes have been the last two years if you count this year so far -- Dungey winning almost all of 2012 after Stewart was forced to go to the sidelines, and this year with Villopoto and Roczen winning most of the motos in both classes?  If so/not, why/why not?

Thanks, Ping.




  • This is when Unadilla was awesome.

I’ll miss Southwick as a spectator and as a rider. It was, hands down, the most brutal track on the circuit. At the end of race day your hands, back, arms, legs, eyeballs and butt were absolutely destroyed from the soft, bump-filled sand and the cramps…Oh, the cramps. I would lock up constantly on the plane ride home the following day. The other passengers must have thought I was having multiple seizures. Gatorback, Steel City and Broome Tioga are the only circuits not still in the schedule and they were all okay. I finished second to Carmichael in one of my better outdoor rides at Steel City in 1999 so I’ll have to give that place the nod. What I really miss is the way Unadilla was back when it was still Unadilla. The jumps, rhythm sections and hard racing surface make it a completely different place than it was back in its heyday.

I’m not really surprised with the domination by one rider. As mental as this sport is there is usually one guy who gets a confidence edge on the rest of the field and proceeds to stomp a mud hole in their collective rear ends for a period of time. Of course that doesn’t make for great racing all the time but it seems to be a trend in our sport. Maybe all the riders should get together and start making passive aggressive insults to the points leaders to knock them down a peg? I dunno, just spitballing here.