Let’s begin with an update on Micky Dymond. The 1986 and ’87 AMA 125 National Motocross Champion and all-around great guy was badly injured in a road cycling accident while riding with his old factory Honda teammate and longtime friend David Bailey. David Pingree, another longtime friend of Micky’s, gave us this report on the crash:
“Some scary news out of Orange County this week. Micky Dymond had a big crash on his road bike and is currently in the ICU at a local area hospital. According to David Bailey, who was riding with Micky at the time, Dymond was going from the aero bars on his TT bike up to the top bars, and when he let go, his bars snapped to the left like somebody kicked them (likely a knee that caught the end of the drop-outs). Micky didn't have time to get his hands out and landed right on his face. Scans showed a subdural brain bleed, and Micky will remain in the ICU for a week or two while they monitor his condition; it's a serious injury under any circumstance. Keep Micky and his family in your prayers.”
I’ve known Micky since his days as an overmatched Husqvarna privateer in the mid-eighties, back when the original Swedish brand was fading. No matter, Micky rode those bikes good enough to catch the eye of Team Honda’s managers Roger De Coster and Dave Arnold. They signed Dymond to take over Ron Lechien’s ride and defend the Dogger’s ’85 125cc National Championship. Micky did it—twice, as a matter of fact. He also won a 125 Grand Prix on an off-weekend in 1986 and won a 125cc Grand Prix.
In 1988, Dymond moved over to Yamaha and back up to the 250 class. His free-spirited outlook on life and rock-star friends made him an easy target for critics when he didn’t get the same results he had in the 125 class, and he and Yamaha eventually parted ways. Dymond next found himself in Europe racing in the FIM 250cc World Championship, with both Yamaha and Honda, where he teamed up with fellow American expat Trampas Parker. Micky’s last pro national was the ’92 Washougal 500 National, where he finished seventh in the last moto as a full-on privateer.
From there Dymond did a lot of different things, first as a freestyle motocrosser, then as a ramp builder, stage contractor, Supermoto racer, and more. He also started cycling heavily, and at one point did a the Race Across America with David Bailey, Doug Henry, and Jeff Ward, then went straight Pikes Peak to race his motorcycle. He event wrote a book about the whole adventure: Legends of the Road, which you can purchase on Amazon.
And just last year, Dymond penned an article for Racer X magazine after he went to Europe for the Transborgano Vet Classic in Italy.
Add it all up and he’s just one great guy who lives a great big life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Micky as he hopefully makes a full recovery from this very serious injury. We will keep you posted as soon as we hear more.
We are now well into the off-season, and just as we saw with the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations, riders seem conflicted about whether they want to race or not. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson rode for Team USA of course in the MXoN, going all-in with a month of prep over there, only to crash on the first lap of the race with his teammate Justin Cooper. “El Hombre” came back home and got on a gorgeous Husqvarna two-stroke for Red Bull Straight Rhythm but decided at the last minute not to race because he didn’t feel comfortable. He also pulled out of next weekend’s Monster Energy Cup in order to get himself sorted. The next time we see the 2018 AMA Supercross Champion race will likely be Anaheim 1.
Red Bull Straight Rhythm had a lot of big stars come out and join the fun, including winner Ken Roczen, who of course went all-in on his Team Honda-in-the-nineties, and Jeremy McGrath specifically in 1995, for his homages. He’s not racing the MEC either. His Honda factory teammate (for supercross) Justin Brayton is already in Australia to compete for another Aussie SX title there.
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Press day✔️. Bike is dialed and ready to roll, Thanks @duffe38! Race day tomorrow✊ @aussupercross - @hondaracing_aus @penriteoil @yarrivek @honda_mc @honda_powersports_us @flyracingusa @flyracingaus @shoeihelmetsusa @shoeihelmetsaus @adidas @scottmotosports @gaerneusa @l.a.hondaworld @iamspecialized @rideshimano
Our colleagues at @Swapmotolive posted a roster of riders that were in for the Monster Cup, and while Monster Energy Kawasaki and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing are going in force—which means Eli Tomac, Adam Cianciarulo, Justin Barcia, and Aaron Plessinger—it doesn’t look like Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb, the current AMA Supercross Champion, or Marvin Musquin will be lining up. And as Steve Matthes will explain below, it doesn’t look like JGRMX/Yoshimura Suzuki will be fielding anyone, unless they work out something with Joey Savatgy.
No matter, the Monster Energy Cup is a fun race and will give us all something to watch and talk about next week and the following week. And if Eli repeats and wins another million bucks, I hope he does ahead and buys himself a first-class ticket to France for, say, next September?
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM Roster (David Pingree)
I chatted with Tyler Keefe, team manager at the TLD/KTM team, earlier this week, and there are a lot of things happening over there. After a tough season that was derailed by injury and various issues, 2020 could be a bit of a building year for the squad ... but maybe not. Brandon Hartranft might have been an eyebrow-raiser for some, but at Red Bull Straight Rhythm he showed that on good equipment he’s ready to run up front. He absolutely loves the bike, and he's been on a tear at the test track. After losing Shane McElrath to Star Racing Yamaha and Cameron Mcadoo and Jordon Smith to Pro Circuit Kawasaki, Keefe has been left to prep for the future. And if you saw Pierce Brown at RBSR, you know the future is looking bright for this crew. Pierce has been one of the best amateur riders for a couple years now, and 2020 will be his time to make an impression on the pro racing scene.
The other two riders are Derek Drake and Brian Moreau. Derek was brilliant at times last summer, and I'm excited about his potential in 2020. Brian Moreau is an MX2 racer from the GPs who was highly touted by KTM in Europe. They wanted to sign him for this season, but he had a contract with Bud Racing Kawasaki through 2019. Tyler says he impressed with him so far, and he believes his potential upside is huge.
The trainer situation has changed at TLD as well. Tyla Rattray is no longer involved with the program, and instead Mike Brown and Seth Rarick will be helping the KTM/Husky 250 riders. For now, Mike Brown will remain in Southern California while Rarick will assist with riders down at the Baker's Factory.
New AMA Motocross Manager? (DC)
Looking for a new job in the motocross industry? The American Motorcyclist Association is looking for a new motocross manager, who would manage AMA Motocross racing activity all over the country. The MX manager conveys rules, decisions, and regulations, as well as supporting motocross initiatives within the racing department. For a full description of what else is expected and required for the gig, the job is posted on the AMA website.
If you have any questions or want to send your resume in, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well, it looks like we're going to be playing the Chad Reed guessing game yet again this off-season. After not sounding very positive about his riding future in this podcast I did with him while he was in Vegas driving some Lambos, it seems that JGR Suzuki and Reed have indeed parted ways. This makes no sense to me—Reed made a podium last year for the JGR guys, and Suzuki needs a guy like Chad. But things are tough for Suzuki and JGR right now, and with Reed wanting to race the Monster Energy Cup, the Paris SX, and two rounds of the Australian SX Championship, he needed to get ready ASAP.
So Reed's apparently picked up a Honda and is going to cram some testing in for the MEC, race the off-season stuff, and then, if the plan he mentioned in that podcast is in place, he'll show up at Anaheim 1 for his 250th career 450SX start and then call it a career. He will then go into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in the chronological order of these other recently retired legends: Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey, and James Stewart (and at some point, depending on when they decide he’s not racing anything anymore, Travis Pastrana).
No one really knows what's going on with JGR, Suzuki, and their title sponsor right now, but looks like you could at least bet on JGR going racing one more year on Suzukis with Joey Savatgy (who's there right now testing) and Alex Martin. They are a great team, and I hope they get some solid footing and get back in contention.
Reed_JK_SX19_Oakland_1163 Jeff Kardas Reed_JK_SX19_Anaheim1_1367 Jeff Kardas Reed_JK_SX19_Oakland_1184 Jeff Kardas Reed_JK_SX19_Anaheim2_2123 Jeff Kardas Martin_RS_SX19_Arlington_022 Rich Shepherd Martin_RS_SX19_Las_Vegas_021 Rich Shepherd Martin_RS_SX19_Arlington_026 Rich Shepherd Martin_RS_SX19_Las_Vegas_017 Rich Shepherd
While researching an old Cycle News for the Fox Racing gear that Jeremy McGrath wore 1995 that inspired Ken Roczen's Saturday-night look, I stumbled across the 1995 Cleveland Supercross, the one and only time an AMA Supercross race was held in Ohio. McGrath won that night in a sparsely filled Cleveland Stadium that we Steelers fans used to refer to as "the mistake by the lake," clinching his third straight AMA Supercross Championship in the process. Mike Brown won the 125 class on an Ohio-based Honda of Troy CR125.
While perusing the Cycle News that covered the event, I found this entry in the "Briefly..." section that accompanied the Cleveland SX coverage:
The AMA's Merrill Vanderslice, Manager of Professional Racing, issued this Pro Racing bulletin on May 19 regarding intravenous rehydration: "The following policy concerning intravenous hydration is an amendment to the 1995 AMA Pro Racing Rulebook and is effective immediately: At no time during a meet shall a rider receive any type of intravenous rehydration until such rehydration is deemed medically necessary by appropriate medical personnel as a result of an emergency medical situation (e.g. heat stroke) encountered by a rider during, or as a result of, competition in an event or the practices, heat races, or motos which are part of an event. Once a rider receives such hydration during a meet, that rider shall not be permitted to compete in any further events including, but not limited to, any further practice sessions, heat races, motos or final events comprising any event in the meet unless and until rider is released by the medical personnel who treats the rider for specific emergency medical situations at issue; provided that such release will not be effective to allow the rider to compete in any further events on the day of the meet upon which such treatment is received by the riders.
That was the beginning of the no-IVs rule in AMA Supercross and AMA Pro Motocross, a rule that still stands today. Why did it become a thing? Doug Henry was dealing with some health issues the previous summer and taking IVs between motos. Other 125 team managers protested because their riders all wanted to do IVs between the motos too. Mitch Payton even promised that if Henry was allowed to continue doing that between motos, he would have a nurse come to every race and line up the IVs and administer them right there in the pits in front of everyone. The AMA got the message.
Grand Prix Motocross: The 1972 World Championship Season (DC)
Our longtime friend and Racer X magazine contributor Brett Smith of We Went Fast literally found the mother lode of motocross books when he came across a stash of the late Terry Pratt's Grand Prix Motocross, a traveling/reporting memoir of the 1972 FIM World Motocross Championship. We have said it before, and we will say it now: it's arguably the best book ever produced about our sport. Smith decided to sell some of these true motocross relics on his site www.wewentfast.com, and we asked him to tell us more about it here in Racerhead...
One of the greatest books ever produced/shot/written about motocross, Grand Prix Motocross – thought to be completely out of print – has resurfaced. It’s a true history text and photographic masterpiece of a fine era in GP motocross. Terry Pratt, then a broke 20-something American, spent most of 1972 chasing Joel Robert and Roger De Coster around Europe. The result was a 2.5-lb. 241-page coffee table book that he spent the next 35 years pouring his heart into.
In this large format book, Pratt’s attention to detail shines. His viewpoints and curiosities about the sport, the technology and its characters make for an enriching read and a worthwhile history lesson on a remarkable time in racing. In 1972 the technology arms race between the factories--more specifically the established European manufacturers and the ascendent Japanese, shifted gears big time. Roger De Coster successfully defended his first 500cc crown and was on his way to earning the label “The Man”. Joel Robert won his sixth and final 250cc title. And several Americans, including Mark Blackwell, Bryan Kenney and Billy Clements competed in the 500cc class. Kenney, by virtue of a bizarre technicality announced a month after the race, scored a single championship point, becoming the first American to do it since Bud Ekins way back in 1952, the first year of FIM World Championship Motocross. At the final round of the season, Clements became the third American to do it.
For 35 years it all stayed in Pratt's head and he wanted to–had to–get it out. He gathered his notepads and race reports, his prints and negatives and finished the last leg of a journey he started in March 1972. With help from the Cycle News' production department, Pratt finalized Grand Prix Motocross just in time for the 2007 Motocross of Nations at Budd Creek.
Nobody remembers the number of books published or sold. But Kathleen Conner, who worked in CN’s production department, remembers seeing the first proof of the book. The text came out of the manual typewriter that sat on Pratt’s desk. He printed the photos and cut and pasted them onto 9-in. x 12-in. pieces of paper.
“We had to retype everything and put it together digitally,” Conner said. “That guy was such a character.”
Pratt died in April 2012 and the book he left behind, that he spent over half his life making, disappeared. Copies occasionally popped up on Amazon or eBay for far more than the original $39.95 retail price. In June of 2019, Terry’s unsold stock resurfaced and We Went Fast committed to finishing what Pratt started. Supply is limited and it will never be printed again. The book is available at wewentfast.com for the original retail price: $40.
If you want to know more about Terry and the story behind this incredible book, read "The Curious Life of Terry Pratt."
Coincidentally, while I was at the MXoN in Assen, one of the vendors was selling these T-shirts with images that came directly out of Terry Pratt's book. Like Brett said when I showed him, it's pretty cool how well of this stood the test of time. Terry must be smiling somewhere in moto heaven.
And if you’ve got some free time, try and get your hands on one (or more) from my list of the best motocross books.
Rallyman (Andras Hegyi)
The Dakar Rally is the world’s number-one off-road, cross-country endurance event. It was first called the Paris-Dakar Rally, as it went from the French city to Dakar in Senegal, but security risks caused the event to be canceled in 2008 and then relocated to South America beginning in '09. So far there hasn't been an American winner of the Dakar Rally, in existence since 1978—not in the car category, in the quad category, UTVs, trucks, or even motorcycles. But heading into the 2020 edition, which will be the 42nd Dakar Rally, it's quite possible that the first American victory could be realized finally. And the hope is a familiar name: former motocross ace Andrew Short, who has been getting very promising results this season in the world off-road scene.
The 37-year-old Short retired from the supercross/motocross racing in 2016 after a long and successful career in which he won at every level. But he did not stop racing. Having grown up in Colorado, Short had had a taste of off-road racing. He soon found himself on the Husqvarna Factory Racing Rally Team, one of the most prestigious cross-country programs in the world. In 2017 he finished 37th in the FIM cross-country rallies world championship. Then in January '18 he debuted in the Dakar Rally, finishing 17th despite racing with a broken ankle. He also progressed in the cross-country world championship, moving up to 11th overall.
This past season, Short has been speeding up even more. He was sixth in the Dakar Rally, then finished second in the cross-country world championship in the final classification. Short was fifth at the Desert Challenge Rally (held in the United Arab Emirates), second at the Silk Way Rally (held across Russia, Mongolia, China), eighth at the Atacama Rally in Chile, and then, in the last round at the Morocco Rally, he was able to get his maiden victory.
This 2019 Morocco Rally was the 20th edition of the race, and Short became the first American winner in the history of the rally, held in the northwest edge of the African continent. In addition, he's also the first Husqvarna winner in the history of the event. With such promising and ever-improving results, Short has become one of the favorites of the 2020 Dakar Rally in the bike class. The 2020 Dakar Rally will be held in a brand-new venue, going to Asia for the first time ever to race in Saudi Arabia from January 5 to 17.
The November 2019 ISSUE OF RACER X MAGAZINE IS NOW AVAILABLE
The November 2019 issue of Racer X magazine is coming to newsstands and mailboxes soon. 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 and read now.
Inside the November issue of Racer X magazine
- See who stood out and what our takeaways are from Loretta Lynn’s and all of its future moto talent.
- GEICO Honda had a packed house at the last three nationals, but who’s sticking around?
- Former factory rider Michael Byrne has made a successful jump to team management, and we find out how and why.
- When the AMA’s 1986 Production Rule went into effect, it ended a glorious run of exotic, hand-built—and wildly expensive—bikes in AMA racing. We dig into the story of those final years.
All these features and much more inside the November issue.
“47,048 Laps” by Davey Coombs
The 2019 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn Ranch once again featured amateur racing at its pinnacle. And we (almost) escaped the rain! See who stood out and what our takeaways are for future talent.
“New Policy” by Jason Weigandt
Updated AMA rules and a packed GEICO Honda team semi made for a very busy pro debut weekend for three Factory Connection amateur squad riders. But who’s going to stick around?
“The Last Works Bikes” by Eric Johnson
When the AMA’s 1986 Production Rule went into effect, it ended a glorious run of exotic, hand-built—and wildly expensive—bikes in AMA racing. This is the story of those final years.
Poster Info (Print Edition Only)
Hey, Watch It!
Couple clips of Catanzaro's wild ride at RBSR:
The Troy Lee Designs Skully Gear from last year's Red Bull Straight Rhythm is now available for purchase.
LISTEN TO THIS
This week on the Main Event Moto Podcast, Daniel Blair and Producer Joe talk Red Bull Straight Rhythm. Hang out with them as Daniel focuses on the headlines in the sport. Oh yeah, sometimes it goes off the rails. Give a listen to episode #136 of Main Event Moto Podcast now.
Head-Scratching Headline/s of the Week
"NFL fines Ben Roethlisberger for wearing a watch. On the sideline. When he wasn't playing.”—Yahoo Sports
“Nevada wildlife officials warn hunters about 'zombie' deer”—CNN
“‘Holy Davidson’ Custom Motorcycle Signed By His Holiness Pope Francis To ‘Bless’ The Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale”—PR Header From Bonham's
Snoop Dogg defends rowdy Kansas show: 'When you pay for Snoop Dogg, you gonna get Snoop Dogg'—ESPN
(Snoop did a show for Kansas University homecoming that included stripper poles (not to mention strippers) and a dollar-bill-spewing "rainmaker" which set off a furious backlash from the school's alumni.
“GRUMPY CAT Sues from Kitty Heaven... QUIT THE COPYCAT GEAR, RIGHT MEOW!!!”—TMZ
“Target Powers New Toys ‘R’ Us Digital Shopping Experience”—Geek.com
“A Vegan Is Pressing Criminal Charges On Her Friends For Tricking Her Into Biting A Chicken Nugget While She Was Drunk”—Barstool Sports
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UPDATE: SOLD OUT in 30 minutes. Unreal, thank you guys. I underestimated the demand. Good news is we have decided to do another run of the shirts, however do not have another set of gear to give away. Winner will be chosen in the next hour with a random generator so that’s it’s fair! Win my gear from Redbull Straight Rhythm!!! Click link in bio to purchase our limited edition “What would Travis do?” T-shirt. For each tee you purchase, you will be entered to win the gear I almost killed myself in at Redbull Straight Rhythm! Only 37 shirts will be printed, so not a bad chance at winning this gear ?#redbullstraightrhythm