Hi Mr. Ping,
Love the column. Go easy on me; this one probably isn't going to sit well. What's wrong with American moto fans and Marvin Musquin? Have I missed the bit where he sneaked in and pissed on the Christmas tree? When exactly was it that he rogered the whole USA with garlic-infused croissant?
A friend of mine visited Vegas SX and Hangtown 2017 and was blown away by the amount of people booing Marvin. When he questioned why, the most common reason was "he is French!" Seriously?! I've been to many MXGPs here in England and in Europe and this just doesn't happen. Italians, Dutch, French, English all appreciate watching some of the best in the world go at it.
Don't get me wrong, if Herlings were to clean Cairoli out at an Italian GP, I'm guessing old Jeff might find he has more than a slice of margherita tossed in his direction. Cairoli has many British fans (far more than Herlings), and even though there was a very questionable move which resulted in Cairoli going down, every person at track still clapped as Jeffrey took the checkers. Certainly no one was jeering at him. I'm sure Zach Osborne, Thomas Covington, Jed Beaton, or even Mike Brown would tell you the same.
I can promise you, Jeffrey did not get the middle finger shoved in his face as he was giving high fives to children!
So I suppose my question is this: Is Marvin Musquin really an insufferable immigrant, sent to the U.S by a secret French Motocross cult, hell-bent on the assassination of the American moto elite, or do the U.S. fans just despise the French that bad? And if they do, can I suggest Marvin start handing out brie and pain au chocolat as well as champagne sprays from now on. He may just win a few rounds.
This is kind of a two-part answer, so I’ll start with the booing your friend heard last year. Unfortunately, booing has become par for the course here in the U.S. when a fan doesn’t like a rider, or any sporting figure, for that matter. It’s incredibly rude, in my opinion, and I don’t care for it. I certainly don’t cheer for athletes that I don’t like, but booing is low-brow in my book.
The fan that was caught flipping Marvin off is just a bad example of a human being, plain and simple. The vast majority of true racing fans here in the U.S. have great respect for Musquin and all the riders who line up on the weekends. Not only is Marv an incredible rider, but he’s a genuinely nice guy as well, which makes it more disturbing when somebody disrespects him like that. There is no doubt in my mind that the kook who flipped him off was pickled with cheap beer, higher than a giraffe’s ass, and sunburned to a crisp. I’m not making excuses for the guy, just trying to highlight what an idiot he is. Hopefully Marvin knows that most of us fans really do appreciate what a nice guy he is.
I love your column and insight, not to mention your witty responses. I have a dilemma: I’ve recently moved to the beautiful state of Colorado from the motocross mecca of California. So, here’s my question. Being from Chino, California, Milestone was my home track. They have a fun, yet safe vet track for those of us who are 43 years old and have had enough injuries, not to mention a beginner track that my friends and I could take our sons and daughters to ride with them.
Here in Colorado, I’m struggling to find a vet track, let alone a beginner track. Everyone has a national/pro track. Why wouldn’t these track owners want to get maximum business by having a track for all levels? Milestone is always packed. Is it a liability thing? Are they all trying to steal the national from Thunder Valley? If I owned a track, I’d want as many people as possible at my track daily, instead of just a dozen local pros and hopefuls. I would appreciate your insight.
This is a problem that plenty of folks are running into all around the country. The putty-headed prepubescents who go to the tracks are pushing for more jumps, bigger jumps, and steeper jumps. Somehow motocross has morphed into outdoor supercross in terms of track design, and for anybody with a mortgage and enough experience to know how hard the dirt feels when you hit it at speed, the risks begin to outweigh the reward.
California tracks have addressed this by offering vet tracks and pro tracks at several facilities, but that isn’t really necessary. Good soil, good prep, and good layout are what make a good track, not the jumps. And I’m not advocating for the removal of all jumps, either; you can build booters that are safe and fun for all skill levels. What you can’t do is build doubles with steep faces and painful consequences if you come up short.
Even as a business model, injuring your clients or scaring them away with too many jumps is a good way to lose money. I don’t have a good answer for you but maybe have a talk with your local track owner and voice your concerns. I’m sure you aren’t the only one that feels this way, and if enough of you approach him, he might be willing to make some track changes.
My questions is about qualifying. In the MXGP series and MXoN, they do a qualifying race the day before to determine your gate selection. Obviously, it would be better for the riders on race day to only have to focus on the points-paying motos, but is there any other pros or cons of that method over what is done here in the nationals? Do you think we would switch to qualifying races here? Thanks for your input.
I actually detest timed qualifying. I think that being able to go fast for one lap has no bearing on how you’ll do after 40 minutes, and besides, I’d rather see more racing. However, I do really like the one-day format, and I know that’s a common feeling throughout the pit. I’d like to see us go back to the old supercross format where you had to run a qualifying race on Saturday morning if you weren’t in the top ten in points. This keeps it to a one-day format, adds more racing, and gives privateers a chance to lead some racing. I’m not a fan of the way they don’t touch their tracks between Saturday and Sunday, though it could be a reason their riders are so well-rounded at the moment. They also party way harder than we do after the races, but I think the RedBud Rowdies might show them a thing or two this September.
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