Beloved one who played the old French game of cockles or knucklebones,
Motocross is a male dominated sport, so you think it would be full of tough guys and guys with broad shoulders. I'm talking the mental side of it all. It turns out it is full of emotionally fragile people all the way from the top to the bottom. Anything said that is not all roses and rainbows will instantly turn these people into hypocritical personal attack mongers. Is this from concussions? Race gas fumes? Energy drinks? What the hell is going on? Perhaps Kleenex or feminine itch products should be looked into for sponsorships. This is why the sport won't grow much, the core group of people that run it, sponsor it, participate in it and fans of it can't get along.
Deepest of gratitude,
The man from Nantucket
P.S. When are you going to die your hair black and go back to singing for Green Day?
I’ve seen the hypersensitivity from both sides. When I was racing, and when I was managing the TLD team, I was so invested physically and emotionally into my racing or the team that anything negative came across as a personal attack. Seeing it from the outside now, there is certainly some overreaction to negative feedback from riders and industry insiders. You have to keep in mind that anybody working in this industry is doing so because they are incredibly passionate about it. Sometimes that passion comes across the wrong way. I’m not defending people who act rudely but if you wrote something nasty on a message board and got a nasty response, well, you probably deserved it. It sounds to me like you might have a personal axe to grind here. Who did you wrong? Sounds like you didn’t get in line early enough to get a ticket for Ryan Dungey’s autograph.
This test was once done. Before your time but it was done.
As I recall in or about the early 80's there was another well known publication that either dealt with Dirt Bikes or Motocross that commissioned a physical fitness test using motocrossers and compared the results to other professional athletes.
The participants were Brad Lackey and I believe Jeff Ward and Danny Laporte. As I recall the tests involved strength and cardio and were carried out by a sports physician.
The motocrossers were found to be more physically fit than marathon runners and all other professional athletes that had been tested. I recall the doctor giving the tests initially said that Lackey was too fat and out of shape to be a world class athlete but at the conclusion of the tests described him as an "animal". I think it was Laporte who was able to bench press two and a half times his own body weight.
Couldn't find it online but it happened.
[John is Referring to a question last week about getting a sample group of all different sport’s best and seeing who is the most fit]
It was done back in 1982 by the Los Angeles Rams fitness coordinator. Jeff Ward, Brad Lackey, Broc Glover and Chris Heisser were sent down and tested where the Ram’s players were trained. They were tested on VO2 max, anaerobic threshold, endurance, strength, and body fat percentage. Wardy has told me the story before and he said that they pretty much whipped the football players across the board. Even the strength portion, which was scored based on body weight, made the motocross crew look good. The only point I was making last week is that you would never be able to get top athletes from multiple sports to take their time and come in just to see where they stood versus athletes in other sports. They wouldn’t make the time for it and they probably wouldn’t want to look bad if they got beat. It would be really interesting though and I’m sure our top guys [Villopoto, Dungey, Tomac, Cairoli, etc] would represent us well against the best from any sport.
Good morning Mr Ping,
There's been a lot of talk lately regarding joker lanes, and changing things up in supercross. I've listened to ideas comparing our sport to other forms of motorsport that feature pit stops and the like, which made me think…
Why not limit the size of gas tanks to, say, 1 gallon?
I think that would make the middle of the race very interesting for the breakaway riders, the guys who got bad starts, and the fans.
What do you think?
I think that sounds like an interesting idea right up until a rider runs out of gas on the face of a jump and crumples himself up into a little ball. Motocross doesn’t have the need for a pit stop and trying to shoehorn one in doesn’t work. They tried it in Supermoto racing at the X Games and while it was cool to watch the pit stops themselves it didn’t change the outcome of the race at all. If they are going to try to take something from car racing I would like to see the competition yellow. Bring the group back together at the halfway point and turn them loose again as soon as all the riders are lined up. It wouldn’t give them a break physically and it would create tighter racing right up to the finish. I think you would get a lot of pushback on this though if you tried to implement it in anything other than the Monster Energy Cup or another one-off event.