Welcome to Racerhead, and more specifically, welcome to the “Team (French) Fried” edition. With this being the off-season here in America, I thought I would write a little bit about Team Fried already being over in Europe as Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson apparently made good on his pledge to head over there early to get some prep time in on sand tracks as he helps lead Team USA into the 2019 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations. But Jason and the Team Fried brethren have been working and there’s not much to report…
At least not on Team USA. Team France, on the other hand, is a different animal altogether. Here in the U.S., when we talk "cap space" it's usually over the salary cap in the NFL, where there’s a total budget that you use to sign all of your players. If you run out of cap space, you get penalized. In France, however, "cap space" is really just that: the space given for logos on a Team France cap!
It began with second-generation prospect Tom Vialle, son of 1990s’ Grand Prix winner and Team France member Frederic Vialle. Tom was chosen to be the MX2 rider with Team France for the upcoming Motocross of Nations in Assen, The Netherlands, riding alongside longtime Team Captain Gautier Paulin and Jordi Tixier (replacement for the injured Romain Febvre) as the French go for a remarkable sixth straight win.
But then suddenly news came out that young Vialle, who just won his first Grand Prix overall in Sweden, was off the team. The reason? Well, at first, we thought it was because of his Red Bull helmet, but it wasn’t actually that. Instead, it was his Team France cap.
At this point our brothers-in-media at Moto Verte posted (and we Google Translated) on their www.moto-nation.com site:
"Following the refusal of one of the KTM team's commercial partners (Red Bull) to accept the FFM's proposal on the French team's outfits, the Federation is forced to replace Tom Vialle by Maxime Renaux to represent France in Assen."
"Neither side has found a solution to this problem that goes far beyond our sport, Tom Vialle will not participate in his first Motocross Nations in the team of France. A totally ubiquitous and pathetic situation for our young Frenchman. Here is the statement of the President of the FFM Jacques Bolle: 'I am really saddened by this situation, especially for Tom, but for my part, I consider that the drivers must first wear the colors of France MXDN. Trademarks are necessary, but they cannot impose their diktat at the expense of national colors.'"
For his own part, Tom Vialle's Facebook page said this:
View this post on Instagram
Oui je ne roulerai pas au MXON pour une casquette ? pour être précis nous parlons de quelques centimètres sur la casquette, mais la Fédération Française ne l’accepte pas..... La seule nation qui ne l’accepte pas !!! Je suis très déçu car j’étais motivé pour rouler à cette course ? Merci à tous pour votre soutien ? bonne chance aux pilotes ! - Yes I will not ride at the MXON for a cap ? to be precise we are talking about some centimeter on the cap, but the French federation does not accept..... the only one nations that not accept it !!! I’m very disappointed because I was motivated to ride at this race ? Thank you everybody for support ? Good luck to the rider !
"Yes I will not ride at the MXON for a cap ? to be precise we are talking about some centimeter on the cap, but the French federation does not accept..... the only one nations that not accept it!!! I’m very disappointed because I was motivated to ride at this race ? Thank you everybody for support ? Good luck to the rider!"
Moto Verte then tracked down French Federation Motocross’ President Bolle and asked, “Tom Vialle evokes an exclusion that was played on a few centimeters, it is possible to do without our best MX2 driver for a few centimeters?”
Bolle answered, "A few centimeters, that's what Red Bull tells! The best is to compare the evolution of the various caps of the team of France since 2015 with what Red Bull demands in 2019. We went from a cap 100% France to a cap at 50% Red Bull. Every year this type of partner requires a little more and at a time it is no longer possible. In recent years we have been negotiating with Monster for a long time and we have found an agreement. In 2018, this one was definitive and Monster was ok. The problem is that since 2015 and Marvin, we had no more Red Bull drivers in Team France. We proposed the same compromise to Red Bull and they refused."
At that point Red Bull KTM’s highly-respected Pit Beirer, himself a German hero in the Motocross of Nations as a racer, and now the global racing boss of KTM, talked to Racer X contributor Adam Wheeler of On Track Off Road and discussed his frustration with spending multi-millions to compete at the highest levels and needing sponsors like Red Bull to help defray the costs.
Read more of our MXoN Coverage:
“There has to be give-and-take,” stressed Pit. “There is no question in my mind that the MXoN is about country colors and racing for the flag and—as a brand—I am happy to step back in that respect and still put the use of our trucks, staff, and resources and buy all the extra passes for our team to be there, but I cannot ignore our sponsors who make the team happen for the rest of the year and to whom I am thankful. It is not because we have any pressure from those sponsors but because this is the right thing to do. This unfair compromise I won’t accept any longer and now it is really sad because a young rider who really deserves his place on the team has been given a no-go."
That maybe should have been it, but then Moto Verte’s Mathias Brunner got a huge scoop when he spoke to Mr. Bolle for more on the cap space, or maybe it’s #VialleGate now?
With the help of Google Translation, here are some of the highlights (or lowlights, depending on how you feel about all of this):
"First of all, I thank Mr. Beirer for clarifying the position of KTM since it is this one that led to the absence of Tom in the Team of France at the next MXDN. I note that today Mr. Beirer no longer engages for a matter of centimeters on a cap but clearly indicates that it is up to KTM and Red Bull to decide because they are the ones who pay! Notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Beirer does not seem to take into account the specificity of this competition which is a test between nations, he seems ill-informed about the investments made by the FFM in sport, and say "we have no funding from this last "is a counter-truth.
"Indeed, I remind Mr. Beirer that among others:
- the Junior KTM France team is subsidized by the FFM in enduro
- Tom Vialle, KTM pilot, is subsidized by the FFM,
- a substantial budget (around 200,000 euros) is invested each year by the FFM for the MXDN,
- the FFM invests heavily in its Motocross sector in which Mr. Beirer does not hesitate to recruit pilots.
“Once again, it is the FFM which is in charge of managing the Team of France and the way in which KTM and Red Bull did not wish to negotiate is in my eyes not very respectful of this one. To reach a compromise, as proposed by Mr. Beirer, is possible provided that one does not have an interlocutor whose only answer is: "I cannot do anything". For its part, the FFM has clearly demonstrated that it was ready for a compromise since it was found with the other brand of energy drink involved in motocross.
“Finally, I remind Mr. Beirer that the FFM has no product to sell except the image of France and that I have the duty to defend it. However, I remain at the disposal of Mr. Beirer if he wishes to negotiate with us for a more serene and constructive future."
« C’est le motocross des nations de la FIM non le motocross des nations des sponsors »
"It is the motocross of the nations of the FIM not the motocross of the nations of the sponsors"
"We are the target whatever we do and whatever we say. I find it incredible that 80% of people say: for a few centimeters, why the federation did not accept? But nobody seems to think: for a few centimeters, why Red Bull did not accept? At one point, you have to know how to say stop and put boundaries. Red Bull is extremely demanding and there are even fines if the drivers do not respect all their constraints. They are tough and we too must be good to them. We may have been too flexible so far. On the other hand I want to say one thing, it hurts me for Tom, very frankly. We must also know that it is a boy that we have helped financially for his trips in GP this season, because Red Bull does not give him any personal budget. "
Since when does the FFM try to find a solution for Tom?
"It's been a few weeks. But, there were discussions only with KTM, because we never had people from Red Bull. The KTM factory told us last week that it could not do anything anymore because Red Bull refused our proposal. They were told that their position would result in the withdrawal of Tom Vialle. Since then no response has been received. At one point we had to make a decision, we could not make Maxime Renaux wait and tell him the day before the test he was going to ride. "
Question: Why have these national obligations been extended to the cap?
"Once again, this is the team of France. I am even surprised that I am asked the question. In all different sports, athletes wear the colors of France defined by the Federation. We find it normal in basketball or football, but for the FFM it seems to disturb."
Question: You defend more the interests of France or the Federation?
"Both are closely related. The role of the Federation, provided by law, is to defend the colors of France via the national team that we are in charge of supervising."
The Moto Verte article showed a photo of Team USA with no sponsors on their team gear (besides Fox Racing, which made the gear, and Feld Motor Sports and MX Sports) so we called the AMA’s Mike Pelletier to ask him how it works for Team USA. He explained that the policy changes from time to time, but for now when the three team riders are all together as a unit, like for opening ceremonies and the opening press conference, that they all wear the official gear with just AMA and Team USA logos prominent. But when the guys are racing, on the podium afterwards, or even just doing individual interviews with MXGP TV or anything else, they are free to wear their own team’s hats and logos.
The division they are having in France right now is a tough one because motorsports are expensive and, unlike football (soccer) and basketball, as Mr. Bolle mentioned, the riders and race teams are not paid salaries like football and basketball, so they subsidize their teams with sponsors like Red Bull, Monster Energy, and Rockstar Energy. Energy drinks are more vital to motorsports racing than they are to soccer or basketball.
Anyway, the French will still be fast, with or without Tom Vialle, and with or without Mr. Bolle. But someday they are going to need a Red Bull KTM rider, and I doubt Pit Beirer forgets about this exchange.
Here's some #VialleGate stuff from the ever-wise David Vuillemin, another Team France alumni:
DV: "French magazine Moto Verte just release the hat that got Vialle excluded from Team France & the hat Dylan wore at Red Bud last year. You'll be the judge on this fiasco because I'm speechless..."
DV: "I guess wearing a Red Bull KTM hat isn't that bad after all... #IAmWithTom"
MXVice's Lewis Phillips chimes in about the long-term impacts:
Notable MXoN Teams (Mitch Kendra)
Earlier this week, the 2019 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations team entry list was released, so Weege and I highlighted some of the notable teams for this year’s event. Some of the teams to watch are France, who is seeking a sixth straight Chamberlain Trophy this year; the Netherlands, who is seeing 2018 FIM Motocross World Champion Jeffrey Herlings return to form after injuries ruined his title defense and Glenn Coldenhoff catching fire late in the championship (oh, and the race is on their home turf, so there’s that too!); USA, who is sending three passionate riders overseas early to train for the event; Spain, who will see the newly-crowned MX2 FIM Motocross World Champion debut on a 450; and Slovenia, who will be led by the 2019 MXGP FIM World Champion after coming off of his third world title. Read what else we had to say about these teams and several others.
Also, in the LISTEN TO THIS section below, Weege analyzes Team USA’s press conference and gives some insight as to why what Team USA is saying might just improve their chances of winning.
MEC MADNESS (Matthes)
Why isn't the Monster Energy Cup staged in the first part of December? This is a question I posed on the PulpMX Show last week and really, it makes so much more sense. The teams are well into their testing by then and it would be a good gauge of where they're at. Riders can see where they stand a month or so out of A1, it would be a race where everyone would see the riders with new numbers, gear, and bikes but yet wouldn't take away from Anaheim 1 hype, it would help with rider participation at the race because it would so much more beneficial to get a gate drop (or three) under your belt and, oh yeah, it might help with the whole "OEM's don't want to go to the MXoN because of the MEC prep" thing we've always had to deal with.
Like, seriously? The pros of having it end of November/first part of December are so high it got me thinking about what could be the drawback? The riders and teams fearing injury so close to A1? Yeah, sure, like we don't have enough of the riders crashing on the test tracks and missing races. The MEC track is typically pretty easy and outside of Justin Barcia breaking Tyler Bowers leg at the MEC because of a personal vendetta, who's really been hurt at the MEC? Tim Gajser doesn't count because he had suspension on that wouldn't work for a super-mini at that race.
You could get hurt at any time on a dirt bike as we've seen over and over. The same teams that scream about riders getting hurt before A1 at a December MEC are the same ones seeing no problem sending their million dollar riders out to practice with quads and 80's at Glen Helen on a Thursday. I don't buy it at all. Move MEC to December!
It makes too much sense to not to. Before I go, one more thing...
It was recently announced that Monster Energy AMA Supercross would now be working with United States Anti-Doping Association (USDA) directly rather than the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) in the hopes of streamlining the drug-testing process. As you know, long delays have plagued the positive cases that the FIM announced over the past half-dozen years, leaving riders like James Stewart, Cade Clason, Broc Tickle, and most recently Christian Craig in long periods of limbo. AMA President Rob Dingman made it a priority to try to speed this process up when he joined the FIM's Board, and he recently wrote about his work on the matter in the most recent issue of American Motorcyclist in his column titled "Enforcement in Context."
"The FIM is affiliated with WADA and derives its authority to administer its anti-doping program from WADA," wrote Dingman. "It must therefore comply with the anti-doping code and procedures established by WADA. WADA can and has appealed decisions by the FIM in the past for not being strict enough. This has paralyzed the FIM and its process because it is afraid of the consequences of another appeal by WADA. This is not a good recipe for a successful anti-doping program." Of the long delays, he added, "The process itself, however, should not feel like part of the punishment." And that's what led to the switch to USADA—the hopes of speeding things up for athletes whose livelihood depends on their ability to compete.
Dingman also addressed the whole idea of the AMA just getting rid of the FIM in supercross: "It is not up to the AMA whether or not AMA Supercross is sanctioned by the FIM and therefore a World Championship series. This is the prerogative of the promoter, Feld Motor Sports." Even though the series is held (right now) entirely in the United States and is governed by the AMA rulebook, the status as a World Championship means that certain FIM rules also apply, including the FIM's Anti-Doping Code. Dingman signaled that the move to working with USADA like the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship does is a move in the right direction in streamlining the process.
And then this last note for Mr. Dingman: "I'm happy to report that in July I completed another project I've been working on for some time, and that's the long-term extension of the AMA's agreement with Feld Motor Sports. The agreement puts the AMA on more solid financial footing as the series sanctioning body and ensures that the AMA Supercross Championship will continue to be promoted by Feld Motor Sports well into the future."
That, of course, is what got us to the point in the first place: When the AMA went looking for a new SX promoter in the late ‘90s rather than Clear Channel, Feld Motor Sport's predecessor organization, the promoter went to the FIM to get its own sanction. Two decades later, we're still feeling the effects, though Rob Dingman's work in both the anti-doping program and in renewing the relationship with Feld for the foreseeable future are positive developments for the sport in general.
LECHIEN'S GREATEST HIT, CONT'D (DC)
Yesterday we posted a fun bench-racing list of Ron Lechien's Greatest Hits of the 1980s (and one from 1994). It included some amateur milestones, AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross wins, a USGP and a couple of Motocross des Nations triumphs. But a reader reminded me in the comments section of one epic win that I had forgotten about: the 1983 San Diego Supercross. That's the season-ending race held in November that was actually a part of the CMC Miller High Life Supercross Trans-Cal Series, and not actually an AMA race, which is why it's not in the Racer X Vault. However, all of the top riders of the early ‘80s were there: Lechien, Broc Glover, Jeff Ward, Rick Johnson, and 1983 AMA Supercross #1 David Bailey (who wore his CMC #58). What made the race so interesting wasn't the fact that Lechien won, but rather he did it without Team Yamaha's support, because just before the race he signed a contract with Team Honda for the '84 season. Yamaha was angry enough to pull his factory bike, so the 17-year-old Lechien and his dad went out to the local Yamaha dealer and bought a Yamaha YZ250! With Bevo Forti helping out on the wrenches and Pro Circuit loaning him some cool parts, Lechien went out and led the race from start-to-finish, putting a nice little bow on his farewell to his old team.
Make sure to read the rest of Ron Lechien's Greatest Hits of the 1980s.
PULPMX FANTASY WRAP (Matthes)
The thrilling, frustrating and lovable PulpMX Fantasy season is over of course after Ironman but I just wanted to recap it a bit. Thanks to Kawasaki for giving us three bikes to give away in the course of a season. Two KX250's went to the winners of the SX and MX series while we did a random draw out of all our players (that paid) for a KX450. Pretty awesome to read and see the reactions of the people that won and also awesome for Kawasaki to get on board with us for the three bikes. The guy that won our overall points last season (SX & MX combined) and got the coveted PulpMX Fantasy number one plate beside his name actually defended his title this year and got #1. Amazing feat with the ups and downs of fantasy results and the complete randomness of racing. This person ALSO won the MX series (he didn't win either series last year but just had the most points combined) so they got a KX250. But wait, there's more. The same guy won the Industry Idiots league which is a cash league and his take was around $4,000. So, yeah, playing PulpMX Fantasy really paid off for him!
Also, Ty Masterpool was the overall winner for the most fantasy points scored in MX (Justin Bogle won it in SX) as he edged out privateer Justin Winter. We'll have a fresh Pulpy award on the way to Ty for this great accomplishment.
Thanks again to Kawasaki, all of our partners in this and of course to all of you that paid to play and played for free also. Good times!
LAST RECORDS (Andras Hegyi)
The offseason still has not arrived for the FIM World Motocross Championship. They still have two more races to be run on the 2019 calendar. This weekend will mark the MXGP of Turkey, while next weekend the series visits China for the first time ever. In each of these Asian rounds some records may be realized in both MXGP and MX2 classes. Also, Turkey will mark the last round of the Women’s world championship title. The leader is Courtney Duncan from New Zealand, who would become the third Kiwi world champion besides Shayne King and Ben Townley.
In MXGP, Tim Gajser from Slovenia has already clinched this year's world title, but he would surely like to set some new records as the season winds down. He could become the first Honda-mounted rider to get ten GP wins in a single season. So far, he has taken nine GP wins. All told there have been eight riders to get at least ten GPs in a season: Harry Everts, Stefan Everts and Joel Smets from Belgium, the Dutchman Jeffrey Herlings, the Italian Antonio Cairoli, the Frenchmen Mickael Pichon and Sebastien Tortelli, and most recently Jorge Prado from Spain. Gajser could also become the first Honda rider to reach 800 points in a season. So far only two KTM riders, Herlings and Prado, have been able to collect at least 800 points in a season.
In MX2, Jorge Prado has also clinched the title but he would probably like to add some records as well in his last two MX2 GPs. Prado has 14 GP wins so far this season, and he can get to 16 wins if he takes both Turkey and China, surpassing Herlings' 15 MX2 GP wins in 2013. In addition, the Spanish teenager would be the 13th rider to get at least 30 GP wins, and only the second teenager. As of now Prado has got 29 wins, so he has two chances to get the job done—and he will have done it at a younger age than Jeffrey Herlings.
How the Other Side Lives (Jason Weigandt)
Motocross and supercross will always have my heart, but I've been lucky to get announcing gigs in a few different motorsports disciplines, and I love seeing how they differ. Two weeks ago I recorded a long podcast with Indycar, NASCAR, and IMSA sportscar driver AJ Allmendinger, who is now my broadcast partner for American Flat Track on NBCSN, and we talked about the economics of four-wheeled racing. Those economics, are, in a word, insane. They make no sense at all, every part of it is too expensive, and thus talented drivers can't make it on talent alone. They either need to have family money or find a sponsor to bring to a team. Hustling for sponsor money is as much a part of the auto racing game as driving or working on cars. Yes, motocross is getting more expensive, but it's still possible for talent to be discovered and make it. That's pretty much gone from a lot of other racing, and AJ's own story of what it took to get the rides and make his way are totally fascinating.
Then over this past weekend I got to announce the Crandon Off-Road World Championships for trucks, (you can catch the coverage on Red Bull TV or the Red Bull Motorsports YouTube channel). The racing in short-course off-road is always amazing, these are 900-horsepower trucks that can jump, slide, slam and bang, as well as reach speeds over 100 MPH. It's an awesome motorsport, but yet, when you really dig in, as I did over the weekend, the economics are crazy. It's not quite as expensive to compete as NASCAR so it's not quite as crazy, but for sure everyone is worried about hustling for sponsors and making it work. There are new engine rules for some of the classes designed to reduce costs but reducing costs in racing really isn't possible. You can make cars run cheaper engines, but can you stop a team from hiring another high-end engineer?
I love all forms of racing and they all have strengths and weaknesses—there is no perfect model. Still, it's cool to see how the other side lives sometimes to see how good we actually have it. Yeah, there are some riders out there right now (like Joey Savatgy) who still don't have deals signed for next year, but that's a small story. The big picture is so far this sport, luckily, has had economic stability thanks mostly to the factory teams, but also to the folks that buy bikes/gear/oil/goggles/boots that support racing, and the promoters that have kept this deal largely on the same, consistent track for a long time (go look at the AMA racing calendar from 30 years ago and you'll see it's almost exactly the same as it is today). If you have amazing talent, you can get that amazing ride. Could we be better? Should we be better? Of course, nothing is perfect. But man, compared to some sports, we have it pretty damned good.
The Whiskey Throttle Show (Ping)
We had Marty Tripes on The Whiskey Throttle Show this week and, as expected, he was entertaining. Marty makes no apologies about just wanting to have fun during his racing career and finding not in money, but in proving doubters wrong. I didn't realize how close he came to winning two different national championships, both stripped away by events out of his control. It's an interesting listen and it gets pretty emotional towards the end. I was blown out of my shoes by the box of memorabilia he brought in with him. I wish I could show it all, but one of my favorites was the very jersey he wore the night he won the inaugural Superbowl of Motocross in the LA Coliseum in 1972. The numbers and letters on the back were all hand-stitched on and it was made of a funky polyester blend of materials. He also had a letter from the late Rich Eierstedt, written from a jail cell during his four-month stint in prison, in which he likens Marty to Babe Ruth. He gushes that he had never seen a rider make it look so easy and that Marty could beat the best in the world when he decided he wanted to. You could tell the letter meant a lot to Tripes as the two were teammates at Honda and had a connection.
He also had some amazing Evel Knievel collectables from the Snake River Canyon jump. There was a motocross event associated with the jump attempt and it had a huge purse! Marty explains that every top American rider was there and Tripes won it. He still has the invitation letter, the parking pass and several keepsakes from the race. It's interesting to hear him tell the story. It's a great listen and it's up on YouTube, Spotify, and Stitcher.
A special "Thank you" to Jeff Blackmore for allowing us to shoot this episode with Marty at his Blackmore Ranch in Murrieta. It is an incredible venue and he couldn't have been more hospitable.
Next week is our monthly LIVE show, being held at TLD Laguna for the last time this summer, with surfing hero Kalani Robb. Kalani and the rest of the "momentum" crew changed the face of surfing in the 1990s, not unlike McGrath, Emig, and Pastrana did in moto. The similarities between the two sports and their paths are eerily similar, and we'll get into all that on Friday. He's also a big moto fan. If you're in southern California come down and meet Kalani and hang out... tickets are $20 and include free PBR and pizza. All proceeds go to Road 2 Recovery, so it's for a good cause. Doors open at 5 p.m. and show starts at 7 p.m. See you there!
Lost Friends (DC)
The sport of motocross lost a couple of very good riders from the past this week. Donnie Vawser was a privateer out of Kimberly, Idaho, who raced various 250SX West Region races of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and 250 Class races of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship a few years ago, pulling down a few top-20 finishes. “He scored some points while going to college,” said fellow Idaho fast guy Jake Weimer, who counted Vawser as his best friend. “He knew MX wasn’t going to make him a living but just loved it. He was one of our own—his home family were motorcycle enthusiasts.”
After college Vawser went on to become a mechanical engineer. He stayed in touch with motocross, and he also enjoyed playing golf and being out on the water. Donnie leaves behind a wife and a two-year-old daughter.
“He was about as stand up a guy as someone could be,” said Weimer.
Donnie Vawser was 30 years old.
Closing to home, longtime District 5 fast guy and friend Jeff Provance passed away at the age of 62. Provance came out of Brownsville, Pennsylvania, and was a regular expert class winner at tracks like Appalachia Lake, Rocky Ridge, Country Springs, Appalachian Highlands, the Motordrome, and High Point Raceway. His one points-paying finish as professional was a 25th at the 1978 AMA 125 National at Metrolina Speedway outside Charlotte. View Provance’s Racer X Vault here.
Provance was fast as a time when Southwestern Pennsylvania was just getting up to speed, so he was racing locally with guys like John Ayers, J.P. Bunting, Mark Garrison, the late Lynn Kirkland and David Grimes, Mike and David Holbert, and Jeff’s own Brownsville neighbor, Jimmy Knisley. In fact, it was Knisley and Provance who helped talk their hometown into turning the old Luzerne Park public golf course into a motocross track known as Brownsville.
Even as he continued racing motocross Provance worked as a pipefitter and welder and was a proud member of Local Union 354 for 40-plus years. And in the early ‘90s, when he was well past his 40th birthday, Provance made the 40-man final of the Steel City 500 National.
The memory of Jeff Provance’s life will take place tomorrow morning in Brownsville, Pennsylvania.
Godspeed, Donnie Vawser. Godspeed, Jeff Provance.
The october 2019 ISSUE OF RACER X MAGAZINE IS NOW AVAILABLE
The October 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.
Inside the October issue of Racer X Illustrated: How top riders deal with heat in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, behind the scenes of the film Bennett’s War, exploring Unadilla history, and a trip to Wheels & Waves in the south of France. All these features and much more inside the October issue.
“Triathlon” by Jason Weigandt
A brutally hot summer took its toll during a three-race stretch spanning the 2019 Florida, Southwick, and RedBud Nationals.
“Hollywood Moto” by Davey Coombs
Go behind the scenes of Bennett’s War and how it hopes to change the way motocross is presented on the silver screen.
“Unadilla Established 1969 - Part 2” by Davey Coombs
We explore the fabled New York track’s decades on the AMA Motocross circuit.
“French Dressing” by David Langran
What better place to visit in the summer than the south of France—especially during the arts-and-motorcycles party known as Wheels & Waves.
Poster Info (Print Edition Only)
Our pull-out collectible poster features Rockstar Energy Husqvarna riders Jason Anderson and Zach Osborne blasting around the Southwick National.
Hey, Watch It!
LISTEN TO THIS
The Fly Racing Racer X Podcast comes in with a chat with the first supercross winner Marty Tripes, who joins host Steve Matthes to chat about that LA Coliseum win, his USGP win, racing for Harley-Davidson, his two-stroke races he’s putting on, and more. Check it out.
This year, Team USA faces a really steep challenge at the 2019 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations, with European sand and a home track for what's shaping up to be the strongest team at the event, Holland. However, by listening closely to this year's press conference, you can decode certain facts that can improve Team USA's chances. They might be underdogs, but this also might work to their advantage. In the latest edition of the Racer X Exhaust Podcast, Jason Weigandt hosts this podcast offering some analysis of why what Team USA is saying might just improve their chances of winning.
Daniel Blair and Producer Joe took the week off due to the holiday, so check back in on Monday for the latest episode of the Main Event Moto Podcast. If you’re dying to listen to the “Bat Bros,” catch up on the latest episodes.
Head-Scratching Headline/s of the Week
“Man Who Was Ejected From World Series Of Poker For Nudity And Shoe-Throwing Arrested On Terrorism Charges”—Deadspin
“Helicopter Camera Following Cycling Race Uncovers Rooftop Marijuana Farm”—Sports Illustrated
“Teenage boy goes blind after existing on Pringles, white bread and french fries”—CNN
“CDC warns people not to kiss chickens"—KENS 5
2019 DC VET HOMECOMING TO TAKE PLACE SEPTEMBER 21-22
Come out to High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania, on September 21-22 and join our extended racing family on this special weekend as we celebrate our motocross heritage and the memory of “Big Dave” with all of our friends—old and new. This event offers two days of unique racing and a wide selection of vet classes for all skill levels, as well as support classes for our younger racers. Spend Saturday night bench racing over adult beverages, BBQ, and vintage mx movies. This is a laid-back event that is sure to bring back cool memories.
Saturday, September 21
Saturday features GP Moto-X Country Racing. The GP-style Moto-X Country racing is a hybrid event combining elements of off-road racing and motocross into one unique competition. Taking place over a roughly three-mile course, racers will encounter woods sections intermittently separated by big European-style grass track areas. There are classes for all ages and skill levels, and you don’t even have to be a “Vet” rider to participate! All classes will race two 30-minute motos on this hybrid course with a unique teaser, as sections of the track will also be used for the upcoming Mason-Dixon GNCC to be held September 28-29th.
The fun continues Saturday evening with Pit Bike racing kicking off at 6 p.m. and a full evening of BBQ dinner, vintage racing movies, karaoke with Racer X John and of course, some great bench racing with old buddies. Even if you’re not here to race, Saturday evening promises to be full of fun and serves as a great time to catch up with old friends.
Sunday, September 22
On Sunday, the focus will shift to the motocross track as the 29th Annual DC Vet Homecoming will take to the famous High Point Raceway. Racers will be able to compete in numerous vet-aged classes, vintage classes, and some support classes for younger riders as well. The afternoon will feature a vintage bike show, numerous vintage contests with the opportunity to win some great prizes, and a swap meet, so clean out your garage, shine up those vintage items and get ready to show-off your stuff at the Country Club of Motocross.
It has now been 21 years since we lost Big Dave in 1998. This presents us with the opportunity to make this year’s DC Vet Homecoming the best yet. This event is a fun, laid back and enjoyable weekend with friends. This is exactly the kind of event that Big Dave enjoyed, so join us September 21-22 as we honor Big Dave by doing the thing he enjoyed the most—racing with his friends.
For more information on the weekend event, visit HighPointMX.com.
RACER X MAINE EVENT RETURNS SEPT 13–15
We’re pumped to once again partner with MX207 in Lyman, Maine, for one of the fastest-growing races in the sport, and a huge event for racers in the Northeast. We call it the Racer X Maine event, and it promises three days of non-stop big race action.
Racer X has been covering the Maine Event for three years now, and this year we’re sending our own Editor-in-Chief Davey Coombs to check in on the action. Should be plenty to see, as this AMA Featured Event kicks off on Friday, September 13, with practice and then a three-moto format for racing on Saturday and Sunday (the Friday practice is optional). The MX207 folks have been scouting talent to create its All-Star rider roster, and those riders will run bibs to designate them as the guys to beat in their respective classes. Look for that list to become official on Friday. What’s on the line? The EJP Pro Purse is expected to at least match last year’s $15,000 payout, including a cash contribution from none other than Steve Matthes and PulpMX!
The regular 250 and 450 pro classes aren’t all, though. The 125 two-stroke class returns and General Ryan Sipes is going to race it, fresh off of his 125 All-Star race win at the Ironman National (and another win at the Full Gas Sprint Enduro, a cross-country style test, over the weekend). The JBR Best Whip contest is also back, with Brett Cue as part of the roster. And, new this year is the Mighty Moose Enduro X race, running under the lights on Friday night.
Plus, the MX207 track is always prepped to perfection, and September weather is just about perfect in Maine. Gates open for the weekend Thursday, September 12, at 9:00 a.m. Head to www.mx207.com/racerx or follow @MX207 for the latest.
For the latest from Canada, check out DMX Frid’EH Update #36.
Thanks for reading Racerhead. See you at the races!