I have a question that only someone with your extreme knowledge and unparalleled credentials can answer. How often do the top pros take a dirt sample while getting ready for the upcoming supercross season? I was raised with the mentality that if you aren't crashing, you aren't trying hard enough, so you can guess that I spent a fair amount of time taking a dirt nap. I hate seeing the injury reports starting before the season and would like to know if the guys ever crash without getting injured. I know with the speeds they're going even a small mistake can result in injury but always wondered about the percentage of injury versus incident.
Hope to see all the guys stay healthy and on the line at A1.
Even the best riders hit the deck occasionally when preparing for the season. Maybe a couple spills a month is a good average? Most of the time it is a low-side in a corner from pushing too hard around the turn and those do little more than steal skin off your elbow. Other times the whoops will bite you or a rhythm section will spit you off. The latter can be season-ending, depending on the speed and severity of the crash. The crazy thing about this sport is that crash-related injuries are all about angles and leverage. I’ve seen the slowest, simplest crashes leave riders in the hospital with severe injuries; Jimmy Button is a great example. His crash was low-speed right out of a corner into some whoops but he went in head-first. Other times you’ll see a rider eject at full-throttle, soar through the air and then tumble to a stop, only to get up and get back on the bike unscathed. Chad Reed in Millville comes to mind. Also, every crash James Stewart ever had where he didn’t get knocked out is a case in point. Riders have to push the envelope, particularly this month as we draw closer to the season opener. Push too hard and you risk injuring yourself in a crash. Play it safe and you won’t be able to stand the leader’s pace in Anaheim. It’s a fine line and only the very best in the sport can walk it. Let’s keep our fingers crossed all the riders can stay healthy this season.
Love your column! It gets my weekend started right every week. As a 911 dispatcher, I want to thank you for your service on the fire department, and your support of all emergency services.
My question comes after watching Dungey’s Corn Field Track video. Great video and it is cool to hear from Dungey. I was a fan and when he retired, he just kind of disappeared. Anyway, in the video several times he calls the sport “motorcross.” I have also heard several other pros say it like this. When I was growing up, we were taught it was “motocross” with no R. In fact, we could tell who actually rode by whether or not people called it “motorcross” or “motocross.” Knowing that grammar is important, and being one of the voices for our sport, which is correct? Is there an R or no R? Am I just being an OCD toolbox, or should I just let it go and not worry about it so much? It really grinds my gears…. But so do guys tucking their ears into their hats…. I’m not even 40; I may be too young to be a grumpy old man….
Join the “Get off My Lawn” club. The older I get, the more things bother me. I spend half of my commute to work on the 15 freeway flashing my middle finger out the window like a justice-serving scepter to the multitude of idiots heading north with me. For the record, I’m a Ryan Dungey fan. I don’t know if we’ve ever had a champion of his caliber with such a genuine, humble and friendly disposition. And that made it even more difficult to hear him add the “ghost R” in motocross. Like you, I tend to roll my eyes when I hear somebody call it motorcross. I mean, I roll my eyes hard. Like, something you would see in The Exorcist where their eyes do a complete revolution in their skull. And it generally indicates they have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about, just as you’ve experienced. I’m choosing to believe that Ryan, the multi-time champion and all-around great guy, pronounced motocross with an “R” because he had just finished a PB&J with extra peanut butter before this shoot. He had some residual butter in the back of his throat that didn’t get cleared and it altered his annunciation. That’s what happened and you can’t tell me otherwise. However, if you have a varying theory please post it below. We don’t need this added “R” in our lives, folks.
It seems like every GNCC race is setting attendance records and the off-road community has added the Sprint Enduros. People keep commenting the sport is dying, but it seems like people are just changing. What is your perspective on the growth of off-road racing at the local and national level? To add to that, I find it absolutely crazy the debate over two-strokes. Off-road racing also provides an equal playing field for all the bikes. If people are that bent out of shape, go find your local series and race it.
Looking forward to your response.
It makes sense when you consider the aging racing population. In the eighties and nineties, there were more folks racing motocross at a local level than there are now. I don’t have exact numbers, but we used to have full gates in every class at local races. Now they have to combine several classes to fill a gate at the same events. Those racers from back then are too old for the supercross tracks that pass as local motocross circuits these days and they have found a different outlet for their passion. Some have turned to adventure riding, some to vintage racing, and many to off-road events. And it isn’t hard to understand why; more time on the bike, fewer jumps, just as much fun, and a more relaxed atmosphere. Until local racing can return to something fun for the whole family and be a sport that more can afford, I wouldn’t expect the attendance at off-road events to drop off.
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