I’m an upstate NY'er, just over the hill from Dilla, wondering what you think about Philthy Phil’s new deal? Seems complicated but at the end of the day if anyone offers him a better deal he is welcome to take it. I guess 6 races a year is better than none right? Also what the heck ever happened to Ryan Mills?
Phil’s deal with JGR is certainly unique. On the one hand he is only guaranteed to do six rounds for them. On the other hand, if it weren’t for this job he would be selling his blood and collecting cans on the side of the freeway to make money. The most bizarre thing about his new deal is the clauses and stipulations outlined in his contract. For instance, team manager Jeremy Albrecht is entitled to as many as 15 back rubs during the 2014 supercross season. Did you know that? True story. Phil is also responsible for cleaning the toilet in the semi and shaving Josh Grant’s legs prior to each of the supercross rounds he attends. There is some weird stuff in there but, hey, who’s to judge. If this doesn’t pan out I would suggest he work on his wheelie game and get in touch with the folks at Monster about sponsorship.
Ryan Mills was arrested with his brother for B&E up where he lives. Not sure what happened after that but he seems to have gone off the rails. Very sad.
With all the chatter about racers salaries, especially up here in Canada, it seems that no riders can make a decent living. My question is: why not get rid of all the semis and the 15 people that go along with them, and go back to two guys racing out of a box van or a fun mover with one good mechanic and use the resources that go into the semi’s to actually pay the racers and support riders coming up through the ranks. I know exactly what it costs to run these trucks across the country, I have owned many --- and it would shock most people. We don’t need the bling; we need young racers to see a future that includes being compensated. The manufacturers would reap the benefits of this by more kids sticking with racing therefore spending more money because they see a light at the end of the tunnel and an actual future in racing. I don’t buy the need for advertising on a big rig; the pay back is not valid. The ROI (RETURN ON INVESTEMENT) would go much further with more transparent support of amateur riders. Imagine how many bikes could be sponsored by KTM in Canada for amateur kids if that big money eating 5 MPG semi was sold????????
When I started racing professionally it was out of a box van. I went to a semi for three years at Pro Circuit and then back to a box van for two years with the Primal Impulse/Suzuki team. I can honestly say I enjoyed working out of a box van much more than a semi. While it was nice to have the air conditioning on a hot day the box van days were much more fun. Driving around the country with my mechanic was a blast and we got to ride at tracks all over the country. In the semi you had four guys, all their sweaty gear, their families and girlfriends and all the hangers-on trying to scratch their way into the sport. The big rig transporters are way overrated, in my opinion.
Teams could probably save money by operating with smaller rigs but many of the things you simply can’t get cheap on. For instance, any top-lever rider needs a mechanic. You can’t have Ryan Villopoto and Jake Weimer sharing a mechanic. Poor Jake would never get a pit board signal and it would probably be up to him to fill his own gas and make sure his bike was ready. You can’t skimp there. Also, the less professional the sport appears the less likely we are to draw in any outside money for sponsorships. We haven’t exactly been killing it in that aspect anyway and if we went back to pickup trucks and rag-tag teams bundled together we could be mistaken for the lawn mower racing crowd. The poor economy isn’t helping the financial situation of riders these days and it doesn’t look to improve greatly in the near future. I may have an interesting suggestion for young Canadian riders looking to make a career on a motorcycle; how well can you ride a one-handed wheelie?
Have a question for Ping? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.