Welcome back to Racerhead and back to Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. The series is in Minnesota for the Frescados Tortillas Spring Creek National, home track (and home) of JGRMX Suzuki’s Alex Martin and his younger brother Jeremy of the GEICO Honda team (though he’s still on the sidelines with a back injury). It’s the eighth round of the series, and the leaders continue to be a couple of Kawasaki riders: in Eli Tomac (450) and Adam Cianciarulo (250), but some momentum seems to be swaying to the French riders Marvin Musquin (450) and Dylan Ferrandis (250). Spring Creek is highly regarded by both riders and race fans, so it should be an excellent day the races tomorrow.
A couple things I noticed from the MX Research Dept’s pre-race notes: Roczen has led more laps than anyone (76 to 57 over Tomac, with Musquin third with 42) as well as the average starting position of these three (3.7 for Roczen, 5.7 for Tomac, and 9.4 for Musquin). In the 250 Class, Cianciarulo is not only the best starter (3.2) but he’s also the best finisher (2.2). And get this: Adam doesn’t have a good track record at Spring Creek. In three previous visits, his best finish is a fifth (2017) and his average finish is not great either (7.3).
Unfortunately, I have to sit this one out as we work on a magazine deadline and also continue to get ready for the 38th Annual AMA Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn Ranch, which starts next weekend. Sure, it’s just one race, but it lasts a week, and on a track that’s completely off limits for motorcycles other than the big race. Led by MX Sports’ Tim Cotter, we will roll down there early next week and get to work, trying as always to follow my dad’s #1 rule: make it better and better. When it comes to Loretta Lynn’s, that’s a tall order, but we’re definitely focused on making sure the biggest amateur motocross race of all once again lives up to expectations.
In order to count down the days until the start of Loretta Lynn’s, we’re asking some top graduates from yesteryear to tell us about their favorite moto from the Ranch. Since the race was founded in 1982, we’ve got a bunch of fast folks to choose from. So far we’ve talked to Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael, Ryan Villopoto, Mike Alessi, Adam Cianciarulo, and more. Clink this link to check out what the riders recalled from their time at the Ranch.
Now if you did a double take when you saw the carousel photo (the top image of the post) of what Spring Creek looks like right now, that’s understandable. It’s not an actual photograph from this year or even last year. Instead, it’s a screengrab of Rainbow Studios’ new downloadable add-on content from MX vs. ATV All Out. MX Sports teamed up with Rainbow Studios to bring RedBud, Spring Creek, Washougal, Budds Creek, Unadilla, and the Ironman racetracks to the video game world in this first set. Starting next Tuesday, you can download this package of tracks for $14.99. For more information, click here.
And here’s a really cool bonus: they also built the Loretta Lynn’s track! It will also be part of the Tuesday release. If you’re heading to the Ranch to race next week, make sure you take the track with you to play, learn, and just get comfortable with, because no one has been on that track since the last checkered flag last year. (Well, except for me and Jake Masterpool on the Racer X Alta, where we were just trying to figure out how an electric bike would do there.) So get ready to check out Loretta Lynn’s early, as well as the second half of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship tracks, available online to download starting Tuesday, July 23.
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Coming to a console near you...? ⠀ We are excited to announce this partnership with @mxvsatv to bring our #ProMotocross national tracks to consoles for the first time!⠀ ⠀ @RedbudMX, @SCMXPark, @WashougalMXPK and even @LorettaLynnMX will all be available in MX vs ATV All Out on 7/23!⠀ ⠀ See details like pricing, full release schedule and what tracks are included at the link in bio!⠀ ⠀ #MXvsATV #GoinAllOut #ProMotocross
I know, I know, all of you RedBud people are out there. I hear you. I read it and I just shake my head. You Southwick people, you're loud and proud, but you're off. Same with Glen Helen, at least when it was on the schedule. What am I talking about? The title of Best Track of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship.
It's Millville, everyone! There's just no other answer (unless you prefer to call the track by its name, Spring Creek MX Park). No, it's not that convenient to get to, and the facility isn't quite the nicest on the circuit, and you can't see the whole track from anywhere, but when it comes to the track, the actual thing everyone races on, I believe that Millville is the best of the series.
It's got great dirt that forms up nicely, it's got big hills up and down the valley, and it's got those sand whoops, and though they have changed over the years they are still challenging. And the start—wow, that's a start. You can pull the holeshot from almost anywhere, and yes, it's a tad fast, but it's fair and what motocross is all about.
Okay, I hear ya that it's a bit narrow in spots. Well, boo hoo. Even Cindy Crawford has some flaws. The tracks I named up above are very good, and maybe there's one I didn't mention that you want to stand up for, but this weekend's national is the BEST track of the series, no debate.
Wait, this is the internet, there will be a debate. Tell me in the comments below what you think is the best track.
Pro Perspective (Jason Thomas)
Spring Creek is absolutely one of the best tracks of the season. It's great for spectators, as sitting on the big hill just to the left of the first turn gives a great overview of the action. More importantly for the riders, it's a track that most enjoy riding. The great traction, fun floater jumps, and elevation changes all put smiles on faces (except maybe descending Mt. Martin—that's scary). Most races are a pressure cooker of expectation. Having a track that adds some fun to the mix is a welcome reprieve for everyone, especially as the series goes on longer and bodies wear down.
Having a weekend off in addition to a well-liked track is a nice combo for Saturday. The one variable that could literally rain on the parade is a good chance of thunderstorms. I only raced Spring Creek in the mud once, but it a doozy. The 2006 rendition was a complete disaster. This was the race where Ricky Carmichael lapped the entire field. Spring Creek's clay turned to one of the most slippery surfaces I have ever ridden on, making the elevation nearly impossible to navigate. I remember falling at the top of a hill and sliding on my butt to the bottom, bouncing off the braking bumps like some sort of Nitro Circus obstacle. After the moto finally ended, I was sitting in the pits, covered in mud, wondering what place I actually finished after crashing at least ten times. It wasn't anything good, I know that, but when I looked and saw that Carmichael's best lap was 30 seconds better than mine, I considered many other lines of work. Luckily, I was able to keep racing for another six years, but I will never forget how brutally tough that track was when the rain started falling. If it does come down in droves tomorrow, I wish everyone luck. They are going to need it.
AMA MOTORCYCLE HALL OF FAME (DC)
Today the final voting apparently starts for the 2019 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, and if you are an AMA Life member or already in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame (this means you, Jeremy, Ricky, Fro, Rock, Doug, David, Broc, Ricky, Wardy, Bob Moore, Trampas, Hurricane, Marty…) please keep an eye out for your ballot, and please consider Ron Lechien, as we have not gotten a motocross rider into the hall in several years, and "The Dogger" is very worthy of being inducted. Let’s get Ron Lechien in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame!
We got word this week on some changes from two different factory riders. First, GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton is returning from that heat exhaustion/dehydration he suffered even as he won the first moto at the Florida National, then struggled at Southwick and sat out RedBud altogether. He posted on his Instagram:
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Can’t wait to be doing this again this weekend at Millville!! Just to give you guys and update, we found some pretty big problems in my blood panel that was causing my symptoms and is one of the reason I over heated in Jacksonville! On vitamins and supplements now to fix the problems and I’m feeling much better!! Thanks for all the support I’m just happy to be back to training and riding! See you all @scmxpark !! @fchonda
Sexton may be coming back, but Dean Ferris went home. The Australian had a deal as a replacement rider here with Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Yamaha, but now that Aaron Plessinger is back from that busted heel he suffered at Daytona, Ferris had to weigh his options—he hasn’t been getting the results he probably expected, and there’s time to go back Down Under and race. Ferris will be riding a KTM, per his Instagram post:
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Recover8 Raceline KTM Every decision I’v made this year has led me back to this and I’m grateful this crew have eagerly jumped back on board to race the final 3 rounds of Australian MX Nationals together ?? I get that theres some mixed responses and opinions out there about my departure from AMA / Yamaha, Not really surprising given how many attempts I made this year to make it work! But for whatever reason it just wasn’t meant to be ?♂️ Sometimes you gotta make the best of the cards you have left and instead of focusing on all of the could and should haves, It was time to let go of the hope it could be any different, accept it for what it is and now I can clearly see that I am exactly where I was obviously supposed to end up. Picked up my bike this morning and instantly gelled with it ?? Stoked to have ‘that feeling’ back and am looking forward to mixing it up with the boys in a couple weeks time! Huge thanks to @recover8_au @raceline_motosport @racelineperformance_qld @foxracingaustralia @guy_andrews_ @integratedsportsandspinal @uniquely.renae & everyone else making this all possible ?? . ? @m33productions #motocross #deanferris #mxnationals #makethebestofit #ktm #letsgoracing
TEN STRAIGHT (Andras Hegyi)
The 18-year old Spanish phenom Jorge Prado is marching toward another world title. The KTM rider is well on his way to a second consecutive title in the MX2 class, rewriting the record books along the way. Last Sunday, Prado earned his 11th overall of the 2019 season and he's continued his streak of winning every round he's entered this season (he missed one round due to a shoulder injury). Prado is only the third motocrosser to get at least 10 successive overall wins in a season.
Ten-time World Champion Stefan Everts of Belgium was the first rider to win at least 10 consecutive GPs in a season. In his last season, 2006, the Yamaha-mounted Everts won the first 12 rounds in the MX1 category. Next came Jeffrey Herlings. The four-time World Champion had three seasons in which he could get at least 10 straight GP-wins. The Dutchman did first in 2013 when he won 14 consecutive GP wins in MX2, then 10 in 2014 and 12 in 2016, again in MX2.
Having missed the second round of the series because of a shoulder injury, Prado can't have a perfect season in 2019, but he is otherwise undefeated. If he wins the title, which seems almost certain, he will have to move up to MXGP in 2020 according to FIM rules. He has also started talking about moving up to the MXGP class and becoming class teammates with his mentors Tony Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings.
HELP NEEDED (DC)
We spotted this on privateer Jeff Crutcher’s social media as well as the Vital MX Forum and thought we would try to help spread the word here:
If you are going to the races this weekend- I need help in two ways.
- Stop by the pit and take a photo with us. I’ll be with the Bubba Burger crew of Brent Rouse, Nathan Laporte, Vince Monteleone and myself. Red, white and blue trailer. Will smell like grillin’ midday. I’ll be more than happy to shake hands and meet everyone! Our team is the most accessible of any in the pits.
- 250 Group B practice is what I’ll be in. If you’re watching- pull that cell phone out and get video. I’m not going to get TV time so I need your help to crowd source video footage. Send video to email@example.comPLEASE! I’m trying to do something unique and make a video shot entirely by you guys.
Thanks, and I look forward to meeting everyone this weekend.
2020 IS HERE (David Pingree)
New-bike season is in full swing out here in the heart of the motocross industry. Kawasaki launched their new KX250, KTM introduced their 2020 SX models, and Yamaha's newest 250F and two-stroke line are here as well. I rode more this week than I have in the past six months, and I almost closed it out with a crash. Almost. You know the feeling when you're sideways in the air and time stands still? At the end of three very long days of testing, I found myself snapping sideways off a rutted jump face. I flashed back to the traumatic journey through the birth canal, skinned knees as a toddler, popping pimples in my teens, my first kiss, first race, first supercross, marriage, kids... all in the course of about two seconds. And then, somehow, I managed to pull it off. I rode straight to the pits to contemplate life for a while and try to bring my heart rate down.
I haven't had a moment like that in a while, and I suppose it’s good for us. As a "Vet" rider, I'm pretty good about staying within my depth as well as staying on two wheels. This was a great reminder that it can go sideways, literally, in a hurry, so respect the track and your bike.
If you didn't make it to the live Whiskey Throttle Show in Laguna Beach last weekend, it is now posted on YouTube and podcasting apps. Our guest, motocross icon David Bailey, did what he's always done and set the standard for guests on the show. From his introduction to the sport to his family dynamics, from his career highlights to his injury, David was candid, humble, and honest. And some of his stories about the things that went on behind the scenes in Maggiora, Italy, at the 1986 MXdN were amazing and hilarious. It was also really cool of longtime Honda man Gary Martini to bring down David's works HRC500 from 1984 to display at the show. This work of art rolled off the track at the last 500 National that year (where David won the title) and was cleaned up and sent into the Honda showroom, where it has been sitting ever since. I've been to the Louvre, and there's some cool stuff in there, but none of it comes close to that 1984 HRC machine.
SEVEN FOR GAJSER (Andras Hegyi)
Speaking of Honda, the Slovenian Honda rider Tim Gajser has set another record for Honda. He is already the only Honda World Champion in the history of the championship to win both an MX2 and MXGP title. He is also the youngest MXGP winner ever, and World Champion too. Also, last Sunday the 23-year-old became the first Honda motocrosser to get seven consecutive Grand Prix overall wins.
The Belgians André Malherbe, Georges Jobé, and Eric Geboers, as well as the British legend David Thorpe, all got three world titles in saddle of Hondas. Belgium’s Stefan Everts, Frenchmen Jean-Michel Bayle and Frederic Bolley, and South African Greg Albertyn took two world titles each on Hondas. But none of them were able to put together long winning streaks. In fact, it was Thorpe who had the most GP wins in a row—four—when he raced with Honda in the 500cc in 1989. Now Gajser is closing in on a third world title and what would be an eighth straight MXGP at the next round of the series, which will be Loket in the Czech Republic on July 28.
Besides Everts, the injured Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings, Gajser is only the fourth rider to win at least seven consecutive GP victories in an MX1/MXGP season.
TEAM USA JUNIOR (DC)
And last week we mentioned the three kids going to Trentino, Italy, as Team USA for the FIM Junior World Cup: 125cc rider Chase Yentzer, 85cc rider Nick Romano, and 65cc rider Austin Shafer. Unfortunately, the boys didn’t have their best weekend over there. The best result the team had was a fifth by Romano. As a team they did not finish in the top ten.
The big winner was the home team of Italy, as Mattia Guadagnini topped both motos in the 125 class and Valerio Lata was the winner in the 85cc class. They took the team trophy.
Also worth noting was the fine effort of Australia’s Ky Woods, who went 1-3 in the 65cc class for second overall behind very impressive Czech rider Viteslav Marek’s 2-1, and then the really, really impressive finish of third-place 65cc rider Lotte Van Drunen, who went 3-4 in the two motos. Lotte is an eleven-year-old Dutch girl.
The september 2019 ISSUE OF RACER X MAGAZINE IS NOW AVAILABLE
The September 2019 issue of Racer X magazine is out now. Sign up now for the print and/or award-winning digital edition. And if you're already a digital subscriber head to digital.racerxonline.com to login.
What's inside? Behind the scenes of the moving and shaking 250 Class. We celebrate 50 years of world-class motocross at Unadilla and take a look at the international years in the first part of a two-part series. The 125 All Star Series in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross offers a nice buzz for all. And we sent our art director to Oregon for some epic trail riding. All these features and much more inside the September issue.
“Drama Class” by Jason Weigandt
The 250 Class of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross has seen some solid action in 2019, but the real juicy stuff has been going on behind the scenes.
“Unadilla. Established 1969 - Part 1” by Davey Coombs
As one of the world’s premier tracks celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, we explore what makes it such an icon of global motocross racing.
“Class Disruption” by Mike Emery
The joys, pains, hope, and obstacles that come with loving the smell of premix and the buzz of 125cc motorcycles.
“Out There” by David Langran
Racer X art director David “Langers” Langran goes off-roading for the first time in the wilds of scenic Oregon.
Poster Info (Print Edition Only)
We feature both a new-school and old-school vibe for our poster this month with a 2019 shot of Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen on the front and a 1976 shot of Suzuki’s Roger De Coster on the back.
50 Years Faster - O'Neal
We're celebrating 50 years of the O'Neal brand and their 50 Years Faster campaign with an in-depth picturesque look at their rider roster over their expansive five decades-long evolution in the sport we love.
Hey, Watch It!
Jimmie Johnson shared this cool moto video yesterday.
Johnson finished 23 overall in the 85 (7-11) Modified class in 1985 at the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship.
Throttle Syndicate 125 All Star Honda CR125 Road 2 Recovery Bike Giveaway
LISTEN TO THIS
The Fly Racing Racer X Review Podcast comes in with Coy Gibbs, owner of JGRMX and some sort of important guy on the NASCAR side as well, joining host Steve Matthes to talk about how the car racing is going and the media in NASCAR. We also talk about the moto team, some riders he’s hired over the years, and he makes a lot of fun of Weigandt and I. Check it out.
As most of you may know, Steve has been in the podcast industry since 2008. Although podcasts weren’t as big then as they are now, Steve has produced quite the amount of audio recordings through his podcasts. By our calculations, PulpMX has churned out around 1,500 podcasts and shows! There’s lots of people that are new to listening that don’t really go back to the archives to check things out. If that’s you, shame on ya! If you’re trying to change that, check out the guest-podcast episode archive on PulpMX.com.
So Steve decided to dive deep into his archives to pick some of the ones he enjoyed doing and were a lot of fun. Check out the list he made of some of his favorite podcasts here.
Jason Weigandt jumps in with Seth Rarick and Jacob Hayes for a drive to the practice track and some bench racing between motos. It's an interesting listen about life in the trenches during the week.
Listen to the Racer X Exhaust Podcast: “Training Day (with Jacob Hayes and Seth Rarick)” below.
In January, Blake Savage crashed while riding with Ken Roczen and suffered an immediate loss of feeling and movement. We checked in with him in March and found him making huge strides, and he continues to do so today.
The rider-turned-trainer talks to Jason Weigandt to provide an update on himself and his riders, Ken Roczen and Chase Sexton, in this edition of the Racer X Exhaust Podcast.
This week on The Whiskey Throttle Show we were joined by supercross and motocross champion, “The Icon” himself, David Bailey! Bailey was the epitome of style, technique, and precision riding. He also set the standard for work ethic and drive. And for that matter, he’s still the best damn color commentator that supercross has ever had.
Daniel Blair and Producer Joe took last weekend off, so there was no new episode of the Main Event Moto Podcast—however, the two we return to their regularly scheduled program next week.
Head-Scratching Headline/s of the Week
“An 11-year-old's clever 'ice cold beer' sign sure got the cops' attention”—CNN
“FACEAPP: PRIVACY WARNING ISSUED OVER APP THAT LETS USERS TURN THEMSELVES OLD”—Independent
“DNC warns 2020 campaigns not to use FaceApp 'developed by Russians'”—CNN
“Schumer calls for feds to investigate FaceApp”—CNN
“Teen Reportedly Disowns Her Dad After Photo of Him Kissing Wife Next to Dead Lion Goes Viral”—People.com
“Cats Movie Trailer Unites the Internet Under One Shared Message: ‘WTF Did I Just Watch?’”—AdWeek
Here’s the video for reference:
“Five guys arrested after fist fight at Five Guys”—CNN
The story starts off with:
“There were no reports of milkshakes bringing any boys to the yard, but a fracas at a Florida Five Guys did bring cops to the restaurant — and five guys were arrested.”
SPRING CREEK NATIONAL RACER X ALL-DAY PIT PASSES | LIMITED QUANTITIES LEFT
Going to the Spring Creek National this weekend? Want to be able to get into the pits all day?
The only way to cruise the pits whenever you’d like is with the Racer X All-Day Pit Pass, but quantities are limited! Get yours today while they’re still available and get all-day pit access plus a one-year subscription to Racer X Illustrated for $50.
If you preorder online for this event, you’ll need to pick your Racer X Pit Pass up at Will Call, where you’ll also receive an extra copy of Racer X, the official event sticker, and Racer X stickers.
SUBSCRIBE AT SPRING CREEK AND GET ALL 12 EVENT STICKERS
Are you headed to the Spring Creek National this weekend? Make sure you stop by the Racer X booth, located in Sponsor Village, and subscribe for as low as $15 and receive ALL TWELVE Official 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Racer X event stickers. You will also receive a complimentary magazine and free Racer X stickers.
Be sure to check out our Racer X Brand items on display and grab some gear. See you at the races!
Looking for a fun event in October for you and your vintage bikes?
From Jimmie Johnson's IG story yesterday.
For the latest from Canada, check out DMX Frid’EH Update #29.
Thanks for reading Racerhead. See you at the races!