Rev Up: The Nationals

Rev Up The Nationals

May 22, 2014 2:10pm

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev Up. It’s that time of year again, folks. This weekend marks the onset of the 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and that familiar buzz is back. What is so special about the outdoor nationals? In my eyes, this part of our sport represents the very essence of the trade. Motocross is easily the most grueling motorsport in the world. The rough tracks, long motos and various elements pit the men against a hell of a challenge in merely conquering this alone. Then, we line of 40 of baddest racers in the world and cut them loose against each other. The sight and spectacle of a full gate of pro’s charging into the first corner cannot be rivaled by any sport, in my opinion. You can literally feel the energy in the air right before the gate drops. It might be 100 degrees outside, but right before that gate drops a cold chill climbs up your arms and all you can do is shake off the goosebumps.

However, before all of that happens one of my favorite things about the Nationals is how it humbles the sport. I always like to watch practice and see the factory bikes loaded with unobtainium come off of the morning practice session heavily caked in mud. The riders in all of their high pro glow riding gear and custom helmets wearing the same muck that a weekend warrior would. There is simply no faking it. Outdoor motocross is real.

Another aspect about racing outdoors that appeals to me is the fan experience. No matter how many pyrotechnics or lasers that cram into a stadium, the reality is you are sitting in a plastic seat inside air-conditioning. At the Nationals, you are either standing on grass or propped up high on a hillside like a mountain goat to get the best view of your racers. You are in the same element as the racers just as you are in supercross, but it offers a better perspective when you feel the heat burning your skin or the rain soaking your clothes. I’ve raced a few Nationals and it’s cool to have been able to experience what they go through. Now as I fan, when I’m standing in the heat and see the cross flags go up signaling halfway through the moto I just think to myself, “You’re halfway home, buddy. Whether you’re leading or in 27th place, everything hurts from here on out.”

Welcome back to the Great Outdoors. 
Welcome back to the Great Outdoors.  Photo: Simon Cudby

This is a special time in our sport. For this summer in particular, there shouldn’t be one or two guys that go out and jack up 20-second leads and win half of the races. We are going to have so many different winners and both of the championships are going to be dogfights from Glen Helen, CA, all the way to Tooele, UT. It is going to be 12 rounds of excitement that I just can’t wait to see get underway.

The various personalities of the venues is yet another feather in the cap for this series. From the coolness of the California rounds, to the high-altitude thin air of Colorado, to the gritty East Coast rounds, each event is very similar and very different at the same time. You can pick your poison, but you really can’t lose in deciding what event to attend. That said, it’s hard to miss the annual Fourth of July extravaganza at RedBud. You guys know all of this already, so I digress.

Who is ready for the 2014 season opener on Saturday? These guys are!
Who is ready for the 2014 season opener on Saturday? These guys are! Photo: Simon Cudby

It is what we don’t know that is exciting. In one of the few parallels to supercross, we are entering the beginning of a new series with the delicious flavor of the unknown. In the past two weeks we have debated, bench-raced and otherwise smack talked who we think are going to be the guys. But until that gates drops and they crack on—it’s up in the air. Both crowns are truly up for grabs.

I’m keeping it short and sweet this week, folks. It’s here. It’s time for the hard men of our sport to go out and do it the way the founders of this crazy affliction meant it to be done. The charge begins this Saturday afternoon in Glen Helen, CA. Let’s go.

Thanks for reading, see you next week.