Ask Ping

Ask Ping

Ping,

On a scale of "who cares" to "I'm never fulfilling sponsor commitments ever again", how bummed is Eli Tomac?

I’m not talking about race results, bike set up or anything like that. I’m talking about being featured in a mid-race special all about training where he and his dad broke it down with terms I had to consult my physician about. We heard all about altitude training, target heart rate and how some guys can't manage it and fall off the pace. Fast forward to lap 10 of the night show and Tomac threw out an anchor and faded with arm pump just like the rest of us mere mortals. Isn't it ironic, don't ya think?

I myself have suffered from a case of foot-in-mouth a time or two, but luckily it took more than 20 minutes for my crow to be ready for consumption. Oh, and I wasn't on live TV (cops isn't live, right?).

I'm not a superstitious guy but I'd say smart money is betting Eli asks Kawasaki to leave the science of supercross to MC and RV from here on out.

Thanks for the good read every Friday,

Aaron

Smoke from A1 opening ceremonies or Eli’s forearms after the A1 main event? Too close to call.
Smoke from A1 opening ceremonies or Eli’s forearms after the A1 main event? Too close to call.

Aaron,

I had to go to YouTube to watch the video you’re talking about and, I’ll admit, it doesn’t come off very well given the way his opening round went. But fading because you’ve reached your anaerobic threshold and slowing down because you have arm pump are two completely different things. Eli’s fitness is fine; in fact I’ll bet he wasn’t even fatigued after that race was over. As most racers know, once arm pump sets in you have to slow down because you can’t hold onto the bars. My arms pump up so badly sometimes that my heart rate barely gets over 100bpm. I can’t go faster than a cruising speed or the grips will fly out of my hands and send me into the fence. I don’t pretend to know the reason but Eli is tense and holding on too tightly; that’s the cause of the arm pump. Hopefully het gets it sorted out soon and gets in the mix for some wins. There’s no question he has the talent and fitness to do it.

PING


Ping,

You're on the job at the Firehouse & the call comes in… house fire at the Albertson mansion. You get there to find that Jimmy is trapped on the 1st floor and Georgia on the 17th floor. It's certain death to take the stairs....so who gets rescued? Actually don't bother with that, I have a suspension question.

Bikes come with suspension set up for the "average rider," but any suspension shop can shuffle a couple shims and twist the clickers and.... Holy Shit!!! The "average rider" universally agrees the stuff is WAY better. So with the budget required for R&D, how is there not a few more bucks allocated for the last little bit of tuning so the "average rider" gets some bitchin' suspension straight away?

Home skillet

Jerome, Arkansas

One setting for every rider? That’s a tall order.
One setting for every rider? That’s a tall order.

Jerome,

I know you said don’t bother but I’m sure Jimmy could find his way off the first floor … so I’d be headed upstairs.

The problem with stock suspension is that they are trying to accommodate all weights and skill levels with one setting. That’s like if Levis only made one size of denim jeans and everybody had to wear them. Fat boys would look like stuffed sausages and little guys like me would have to cinch them down with a rope belt and fold them over on themselves just to walk around. If you’re a fast novice rider who weighs around 190lbs you probably find stock 450 suspension to be pretty decent; that’s approximately the target audience. The primary thing suspension companies do when you send in your stuff is put the appropriate spring on for your weight. After that, valving changes can be made to accommodate faster riders. I would say that most manufacturers do a pretty good job of coming up with a setting that covers the masses while still working well.

PING


Wise and Powerful Ping,

Not to dig into the Stewart drama, but I can’t wrap my mind around something… How can a guy WIN the 250 title and not get a ride the following year? I sit back and look at guys like Tickle, Alessi, Grant, Albertson, Friese, Hahn, and Pourcel and wonder why do teams take a chance on them and not Malcolm? I realize that all those guys are extremely fast and are more of a man than I’ll ever be, yes, but if you sign Mookie maybe he gets a holeshot and runs up front for a few laps and your sponsors get some air time. I know Albertson is a fan-favorite and has a good following but he will have his hands full just making mains this year. And Malcolm is sitting at home! I’m sure this has been hashed and re-hashed by the Racer X folks, but just wanted your opinion. Do teams avoid him because of potential drama that tends to surround the Stewart family? Malcolm wanting too much money? Having trouble finding a large enough helmet to shove all that hair in?

Ryno from MO

Malcolm’s doing it all ‘For Seven’ #47.
Malcolm’s doing it all ‘For Seven’ #47.

Ryno,

This is a tough question to answer. I’m not in Malcolm’s inner circle so I don’t know what offers he got. I find it hard to believe he didn’t get any offers from any teams. It’s more likely that the offers he got weren’t with teams he was willing to ride for or they weren’t for the amount of money he wanted to get paid. I will say that he would have done a lot for his cause if he had ridden the Nationals last summer. This is a fickle sport and the moment you’re out of the limelight you are forgotten about. Plus, grinding it out at the Nationals shows heart and dedication to your craft, something that team managers value over many things. Roger DeCoster once told me that while supercross is the big draw for the manufacturers and sponsors, he looks at the Nationals to get a read on a rider’s work ethic and drive, qualities you can’t hide at the end of a long moto. Malcolm will be back this weekend with a team and some type of support so we’ll see how he does—if he can still cram all that hair into his helmet.

PING 

Have a question for Ping? Hit him up at ping@racerxonline.com.