Ask Ping

Ask Ping

May 19, 2017 9:45am

Dearest ping,

Long, loong time reader, first time question All the way from the British isles, hope you're getting this message, just saw the diesel had finally ran out of fuel and expired, so.

My question be to thy, as I sit sipping my herb YORKSHIRE! tea and buttering my scone, what are KTM going to do next? Could they drive a dumper truck to Haines City, Florida and tip the cash over the gate with a little note reading, come James, come aboard and try to stay aboard. Does James have W's in him still? What's your opinion ping?

Yours sincerely,

Louis paull the third.
London, England, Royal.

Will he? Won’t he? Could he? The talent is there, but what about the drive.
Will he? Won’t he? Could he? The talent is there, but what about the drive.


Thanks for taking a break from your tea and crumpets to write in. Ryan Dungey’s move does leave Roger DeCoster and the Orangemen in a little bit of a scramble going into next year. Maybe they saw the writing on the wall and that’s why they locked Musquin up early this season. But Tomac is the next guy in line to go on a winning streak, especially with Roczen being such a big question mark going forward. Is James Stewart an option? I don’t think so. He has had trouble staying aboard any color of bike in recent years. I would be less surprised to see them make an offer to Mookie. Even then, KTM may be looking at a few lean years as they search for the next Ryan Dungey.



I know your thoughts on a 125 class. How about instead of a 450 class we make it a truly open class? Wanna run a 350 two stroke? Cool. Got the hang downs for a 500 two stroke? Balls out! Twin cylinder 750 four stroke? Go for it. Blazing on a 250 anything? Welcome. Let the market make the choice. Personally I would love to see someone like Wardy on a 500 roost the face off of some of these punks!

The fastest slow guy in WNY

The 500 nationals … chipping teeth one twist of the throttle at a time.
The 500 nationals … chipping teeth one twist of the throttle at a time.


I’m all for straight CC classes: 250cc and 450cc. You can run whatever number of cycles that blows your hair back, so long as you don’t exceed the CC limit. I don’t know where electric bikes fit into this mix, but as far as combustion engines I just don’t understand why this is such a hard sell. Privateers could be so much more competitive on a good 250 two-stroke against the factory teams without spending so much money. I love your nostalgic views, but you damn sure aren’t going to get Jeff Ward back out there and I really doubt anybody is going to line up on a 500 two-stroke. The only thing more guaranteed than getting the holeshot would be pumping up by the third lap. Regardless, it would be cool to have as an option and watching a rider you don’t like get his front teeth blown out by the roost would be amazing.


Hi Ping,

I really enjoy your weekly perspective. Ask Ping is the MX main stay of my week. A lifelong MX fan, I enjoy bench racing, often checking out past seasons that pre-date my time in and around the sport. Coming from the UK, I follow both the GP's and the AMA.

As a young kid in 1985 and new to the sport, I would dream about one day being 500cc World Champion. While I never quite made it, the 500 class was the pinnacle of MX this side of the pond. Riders like Thorpe, Malherbe and Jobe were Kings of World Motocross.

The 500 class had the fastest riders and was the most prestigious crown. A crown it had held since the birth of World Championship Motocross. The tides started to shift circa 1990 and the blue ribbon class became the 250's.

The 250 class held power until the second coming and the rebirth of the 4 stroke. This is only my opinion and I'm sure the old guard will argue the case otherwise.

What I was hoping from you Mr P, is your take on American Motocross and the hierarchy of the 250 vs 500 championships from the good old days and at what point in history did the Supercross dethrone Motocross and became the championship every kid aspired to win?

Thank you for your response in advance.

The national motocross championship is highly coveted.
The national motocross championship is highly coveted. Cudby


Those are really good questions, Benny. When I started racing professionally in 1993, the 500 class was just disappearing. But I would suggest that the 250 and 500 classes were equally as prestigious in terms of winning a national title. Once the 500 class went away, the 250 division obviously became the premier class with the big hitters. As far as supercross versus motocross, I think the big transition came during the Jeremy McGrath era. McGrath was a superstar and I think that changed the perspective of what was “cool” for the kids who grew up watching him. Supercross promoters used McGrath’s popularity to really push the sport forward and the popularity of supercross continues to grow to this day. This is strange though because while the industry may really place an emphasis on stadium racing, true fans of the sport tend to love the great outdoors and really pay close attention to who’s doing all the winning during the summer. I don’t think manufacturers have lost sight of that and the outdoor championships are still hugely important.


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