Nothing in motocross sounds as cool as a two-stroke on the pipe, but we do have some other sounds to share from Saturday’s 125 Dream Race, which ran during intermission at the Washougal National. After the race, we found Joey Lancaster, the man who made the race happen.
Joey’s not some two-stroke mercenary, but rather someone who sees a 125 fitting in as a small piece of the motocross landscape. It’s a low-cost, slower, entry point for new riders or kids making the jump from minis. He hopes that races like this can remind people that this bike needs to stick around.
And if you want the bike sounds, just check out Racer X Films from the race!
Racer X: Joey, this went well. Ran smoothly, fans and industry people were digging it, even a full gate!
Joey Lancaster: Well, yeah, full gate minus Hanny [Josh Hansen], who had a bike issue. Go figure. But it was last minute that he decided to come and we got a bike together for him. I’m not sure what the exact problem was, I know he did practice and then he just said the bike was not raceable. So we had 39 riders…
What about JT?
Yeah! I’m not sure what happened to JT.
Back brake locked up on the parade lap.
Okay, so back brake. So, the 125 Dream Race, it’s really not about a two-stroke for life type of deal, it’s just about promoting a cheaper form of racing. You and a couple of buddies grab some cheap, used bikes on Craigslist for $1500 and go racing. We think it’s good for the whole motocross community. This is our fifth year doing this Dream Race here in September at Washougal, and I think from what we saw today, it’s starting to gain a lot of traction.
Yes, so this was fun, but the main race is September.
Yes, September 17 and 18 this year. That race is all two-strokes: 125, 250 and 500cc classes, and we also have a 40 Plus Vet 125 class for those that have to wear a collar at work during the week and don’t want to race the Carson Browns, Ivan Tedescos and David Pingrees of the world. As far as that race goes, everyone is really stoked on it.
Of course all these guys told me this morning… like Tedesco, he told me he hadn’t ridden a 125 in thirteen years, so he said it’s just for fun. But then the race starts and they were going at it!
Yeah, on the podium it was pretty funny watching it all. I had to pull off and watch that podium because I was out there racing it and getting in on the fun….
Wait, you were out there racing it, too?
Oh yeah! Of course I had to get in on the fun. Finished fourteenth, and I had maybe the best view in the house of IT9’s [Tedesco’s] start. He was on that full works Pro Circuit KX125 that everyone was drooling over today. I’m a taller dude, I was on a stock-ish CR125, and I got a pretty good jump, and then Ivan just shot ahead of me on that bike! It was pretty amazing. He was just motoring away. My wife helps out with promoting this event, I pulled off at the end and watched the podium with her, and we just soaked it up as the fans chanted two-stroke. It was pretty fun.
What’s your role up here, normally?
I’m a Fox outside rep for Oregon and southwest Washington, I do this 125 Dream Race, and even some announcing here at Washougal and other local tracks around here. Just trying to promote fun dirt bike racing.
Yes, so that’s the thing: You’re not doing this to destroy four-strokes, you’re doing it just to keep this little side thing going, this cheap, fun class.
Yeah, I have a new Kawi 450 four-stroke, too. Like everyone, I just put gas in it, makes you feel like a hero, you can just click second and jump anything you want. But maybe there’s a kid watching supercross or motocross on TV and wants to try it, something that’s maybe $5000 that he can jump on and try. It doesn’t even have to be a two-stroke, maybe it’s a 150 four-stroke in a big bike frame. Just something to get started. We’re hoping events like this might grab the attention of the industry. Bikes now, they’re almost 10 grand. Then maybe the kid is lucky enough to have a truck, but if he isn’t, he has to get a truck. And then there’s my end of the business with the gear. It could be $2500 to get a full set of everything you need. Now he could be approaching 20 grand before he even kick starts a bike. So, in my opinion, that’s a bit of a failing model as far as trying to get new people into the sport.
That makes sense. So today’s race went well? Everything went smoothly?
It did. Early on I got pulled into the AMA truck because they wanted to make sure this was going to go well. They have a professional schedule and some other people I’m sure have tried to do events and they don’t always go to plan. I told them what people I had in place to make sure it would go right, and I tried to do some of the little things, too. I went up and talked to Lurch [announcer] and made sure to get him info on the riders so he wouldn’t be caught up there not knowing who was who. My goal with a race is: I don’t want anyone to take their phone out unless they’re trying to shoot a video or a picture of the racing. I don’t want someone playing Pokemon during a race, I don’t want anyone texting their buddy asking what else is going on. I want people to be into the race. Last year we had the Shift Holeshot Challenge here at night and that just blew people’s minds. It’s really what the ADD fans need these days. Just gate drop after gate drop.
How long was the race?
Basically we had 15-20 minutes to get it in, and they wanted us to do a sight lap for safety and to make sure everyone was warmed up and ready, and they wanted us to do a podium. So we settled at four laps and a sight lap at the beginning, and the podium.
I bet most of these dudes were fine with that.
Well, you know how it is, I’m sure the fans wanted more, and at first I’m sure a lot of the riders were like, “Only four laps!” But then after about two and a half laps everyone has arm pump and they’re hoping to see the white flag! When you saw everyone pulling off the track, I think they were good.
Go ahead and plug your race here.
If folks want to come up and check it out, it’s 125dreamrace.com. Sounds like Tedesco might come back up, and Zacho [Zach Osborne] was talking to James Hanson from Rockstar saying it would be fun and Husky does make a new two-stroke. Jeff Emig is going to make his way up. Remember, he’s the new Husky guy. All in all we’re just trying to have fun and keep a cheap way of entry into the sport. People should check it out, it’s going to be a blast.