Henry Set To Pull Double Duty This Weekend With AMA Supermoto & Motocross Nationals
Fan favorite motocross legend and current top supermoto star will
contest Shawano (Wisc.) supermoto on Saturday, Southwick National on
CARLSBAD, Calif., (June 7, 2006) – Monster Energy-backed Doug Henry will attempt to pull off motorcycling’s equivalent of Tony Stewart running IRL and NASCAR races in the same 24-hour period when Henry opens with the AMA Supermoto Series round at USA International Raceway in Shawano, Wisc., on Saturday (June 10), then boards a private jet right after the race in order to make the Southwick MX National on Sunday morning.
The back-to-back ordeal for Henry, according to him, is in effect no big deal. In fact, he was more bummed at first that it didn’t look like he was going to be able to line up a commercial flight to make it happen.
“At first I was disappointed that the races were scheduled on the same weekend, then it got to be like ‘You know what? I just might be able to pull this off,’” said Henry. “And then Monster Energy stepped in and got me a jet service back to Southwick. So I owe it all to Monster!”
Henry, who’s currently in second place overall behind fellow motocrosser Jeff Ward in the AMA Supermoto Series, says that his main concern on the weekend will be Shawano. “I’ll focus all of my energy towards supermoto because that’s the series I’m competing in,” said Henry. “But I’ve always done well at the Southwick National. And in the past ten years it seems like I’ve only got four to five hours of sleep before the race (Southwick). So a few hours of sleep will be fine with me.
“That and as long as I do well at Shawano it’ll make Southwick a heck of a lot easier.”
Henry says that though the two versions of competition motorcycle racing are similar, the focus and intensity comes in different areas. Supermoto, he says, is about focusing all of your energy into a narrow, one-line track. Where as in the sand at Southwick, the track and lines are constantly changing - something Tony Stewart didn’t have to worry about in 2002 when he sat in cars and steered around the ovals of the Indy 500 and Coca Cola 600 in the same 24 hour period.
“With supermoto your focus is very intense, the track’s shorter and although it seems wider, the racing line is very small,” said Henry. “Southwick is very wide, has multiple lines everywhere you go and you’re constantly looking for new lines as the track changes through out the day, making spontaneous decisions on new lines or established lines.”
Henry continued: “In a way you could compare supermoto to some of the Nationals that run on hard pack, like Hangtown and Steel City,” he said. “But the sand at Southwick is so much different than supermoto.”
Stepping up to help Henry out is the Graves/Yamaha program, his supermoto sponsor and Factory Yamaha, who’s been there for him through out much of his career – both of which have been “Huge,” according to Henry. He added that he’s “pretty sure” that Southwick will be his only National this year, choosing instead to focus on his title run with supermoto. As it stands, after two rounds, Henry trails Ward 91-76 in a battle that should come right down to the AMA Supermoto finals in Long Beach (Calif.) on Nov. 4th.
And this double duty weekend for Henry, “a first for me,” as he laughingly calls it, is also another great comeback story for the legendary racer regarding the colossal accident he suffered around this time last year at the Copper Peak (Colo.) Supermoto round. There Henry crashed and broke his pelvis, collapsed a lung and separated his shoulder. But, in the ‘never-say-die’ spirit of one of America’s all-time great motorcycle racers, Henry battled back and swept the 2006 opening round of AMA Supermoto at Fontana (Calif.) on April 29th.
When asked if there was any question as to whether the 36-year-old Henry would return to racing, he answered: “Not at all. Supermoto’s so much fun for me.”
Finally, Henry, who usually shows up to Southwick in a clapped-out pick up truck, race bike wedged in the back, box of tools and a tent to sleep in but thanks to Monster Energy, Henry will be pitted out of the Monster Energy motorcoach and trailer after he lands from his private flight – with that said , he’s really looking forward to battling with longtime buddy John Dowd, 40, in the AMA Motocross class.
“What I’m really looking forward to at Southwick is catching up with Ricky (Carmichael), James (Stewart) and Chad (Reed) and telling them how awesome of a supercross season it was and how much those guys helped out the sport.”
Monster Energy supports the sport. Be it motocross, surf, skate, snow, BMX – name it – the athletes are rockin’ Monster Energy more than anything these days. Check out all the flavors – Original Monster Energy, Monster Lo-Carb, Monster Assault and the new Monster/fruit juice hybrid called “Khaos.” Doug Henry digs ‘em – so will you. On the ‘Net at www.monsterenergy.com.