Ask Ping!

Ask Ping!

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Ping,

I have a burning question that I need answered! I have been racing and following the professional races since 2000.  I can’t help but notice how much privateers struggle to make it to all of the motocross races during the summer.  It is no surprise why a privateer can’t follow the entire circuit after you take a look at the race locations on a map. The races go from coast to coast three times in three months.  I mapquested the whole circuit this year, and its about 12,600 miles.  If the races went in order from the west coast to the east coast in one fairly straight line it is about 5,600 miles.  At first I thought the reason for the order of the races was to keep with tradition (Glen Helen/Hangtown opener, Fourth of July at RedBud, Father’s Day at Budds Creek), but Budds Creek has not been scheduled on Father’s Day for quite a few years now.  So, what is the deal?!  There has to be a good reason why the schedule is the way that it is. I don’t understand why a group of track owners and MX Sports can’t come to an agreement to better the schedule and the sport?  I have to think that the factory teams would welcome a better schedule too (I doubt anyone wants to spend the entire summer traveling back and forth across the country).  Just my thoughts.

Jen Miller
Baltimore, MD 

Hard to finish up a championship when the track looks like this.
Hard to finish up a championship when the track looks like this.

Jen,

As I understand it, there are many reasons why the series runs the way it does. First, certain events don't want to give up the weekends they have. RedBud, for example, has been a July 4th staple for as long as I can remember. Tradition aside, these promoters know their attendance would drop if they moved their race to a weekend that wasn't a holiday, so they fight to keep it. Another reason certain races are on the schedule at certain times is because of weather. If you've been following since 2000, then you remember the debacle in 2003 where the Troy, Ohio, round was cancelled due to rain and rescheduled at the end of the year only to be cancelled again. Series organizers agreed that cancellation due to weather needed to be taken out of the equation as much as possible, so it was moved back to California for a couple years [those events were miserably hot] and now Utah where September weather is typically mild. Past that the only race that forces riders to cross the country is Washougal. I'm not sure if it is too rainy earlier in the year to move it up or if there is another reason, but the rest of the series flows really well, actually.

Thanks for the thoughts and the privateer love.

PING 

 

Ping,

In no way shape or form am I putting down the effort that the industry puts into Loretta Lynn's every year. Its a beautiful thing as far as tradition is concerned, but is that really the best way to see who the best all-around riders are? What I mean is: it's a track sculpted on a flat piece of ground. If they had the race at, let’s just say Unadilla, wouldn't we really get to see who the top guns are? With all that said, congratulations to this year’s champions; it’s no cakewalk winning Loretta's.

Zak
Syracuse, NY

I have no idea how we ended up racing on her ranch, but I’m glad she lets us.
I have no idea how we ended up racing on her ranch, but I’m glad she lets us.

Zak,

I don't know if you hate classic country musicians or if you failed to qualify for the amateur national championship event in the past, but I'm not understanding the hate for Loretta Lynn's. You think Unadilla would be a better venue? That track has rocks bigger than some of the kids riding the 50cc class, and I really doubt all of the 60cc riders would make it up and out of Screw-U and some of the other 'Dilla features. It is a fine place for the best adults in the sport to compete, but that event has little kids, novices, ladies, and very old men competing throughout the week. The track in Hurricane Mills has incredible dirt, a technical layout with room for passing, a good start setup, and a weather component that truly tests the very best amateur riders in the sport. Maybe you live in Syracuse and just want to pump up Unadilla? You'll get your local race in a couple weeks. Try qualifying again next year.

PING 

 

Dear Ping,

I’ve noticed many podium interviews start with either, “No, yeah.......” or, “Yeah, no......”

Do they mean the same thing?

Hey, "cool as ice" would have worked. AND it’s a cinematic masterpiece starring “motocross champion” Vanilla Ice.
Hey, "cool as ice" would have worked. AND it’s a cinematic masterpiece starring “motocross champion” Vanilla Ice.

?

Yeah, no, they totally don't mean the same thing. Did you catch that? Because I typed it out, and I still had to go back and read it a couple times to understand it. I've been a little long-winded in my rants about podium speeches and the copycat habits that trickle down from the best in the sport to the younger riders just landing on the podium for the first time. I poke fun when a rider tells the fans they are "Cool as crap" during a live television broadcast and get fingers waved at my, by co-workers even, about picking on young riders with "youthful exuberance." Hey, I love genuine emotion and feedback as much as anybody, and I don't expect verbal excellence from these guys seconds after they've finished a moto, but when they use a turd to describe the fans cheering for them, I'm allowed to laugh. I'm not alone on that, am I? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills sometimes. To your point, the "Yeah, no" and "No, yeah" phenomenon is something that transcends dirt bike racing. Somehow in our culture either one of those utterances is absolutely an acceptable way to begin a response to any question. Do they mean the same thing? I'm not sure if they mean anything at all. I do know that if my high school English teacher watched some of these interviews he would shake his head so hard and fast he would look like a wet dog drying off after a swim. Admittedly, he was an uptight, grumpy old fart who could find flaws in anything. Maybe I just need to back off on the scrutiny and give in to the culture. Anybody know where I can get a tattoo on my lower back that says, "Cool as crap”?

PING

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