Welcome to Racerhead. It’s November 1, which means there are just 65 days left in the off-season for those of you already looking ahead to Anaheim 1. There are a few big international supercross events coming up in Australia, New Zealand, and of course France, though those days of having a whole menu of overseas races for top guys to hit in the fall have pretty much ended, leaving us fans without much racing content after the Monster Energy Cup. Those big paydays overseas mostly dried up about 15 to 20 years ago as Jeremy McGrath’s reign was ending and Ricky Carmichael’s was beginning.
RC only raced the Bercy SX once, in 1999, and ended up with a broken collarbone. He never went back to that race or any other overseas jaunt except for the Motocross of Nations. (I can’t imagine how much money he left on the table by skipping all of this opportunities, though his strategy to just focus on championships instead worked out pretty damn well.) Things have changed to where these next two months are mostly the doldrums. The riders and race teams are quietly focused more than ever on testing and training, everything planned out in the hopes of building it all up and being ready to compete come that first Saturday night in January. We get a peek here and there on social media at what might be going on, but for the most part, they seem to like keeping the cover on everything until it’s time to go racing.
Fortunately, there is a big event this weekend for the SoCal set in the annual Dubya USA World Vet Championships at Glen Helen Raceway. It’s become a big annual race/reunion for the older set, which is exactly how the late Tom White envisioned it when he started the race. Now they’ve added a Motocross of Nations-style team event where three riders from various countries team up and compete, one +30 rider, one +40 rider, and one +50. If you’re a betting man, Team USA 1 is looking mighty strong with Josh Grant (+30), Mike Brown (+40), and Doug Dubach (+50) on the roster! Here are all of the entries for the event.
Beyond that, the next two months aren’t too busy for us bench racers, so we get to imagine we know what’s actually going to happen when the racing starts again. Will a Japanese-made bike finally get the #1 plate back from the Austrians, who have had it since 2015? Will Cooper Webb be as fast and driven as he was in 2019? Will Jason Anderson get back to where he was in 2018? Will Eli Tomac finally do indoors what he’s managed to do racing outdoors the last three years? Has Ken Roczen finally figured his health issues out? Will we see the same impressive Adam Cianciarulo we saw at the Monster Cup? Can Dylan Ferrandis and Chase Sexton repeat the 250 titles?
Like I said, only 65 days left in the off-season. Ugh.
Micky Dymond FUNDRAISER (DC)
Wait, there is another off-season event coming up that should be a whole lot of fun, and definitely goes to a worthy cause. Road 2 Recovery and Pole Position Raceway in Corona, California, are teaming up on Monday evening and hosting a benefit for Micky Dymond, the two-time AMA 125 National Motocross Champion who suffered a brain injury while on a bicycle ride with his old Honda teammate David Bailey and others. Micky just got released from the hospital after three weeks and is already on the road to recovery, and some of his very famous and fast friends want to help by gathering at Pole Position Raceway on Monday, November 4, from 6 pm to 9 pm. There will be go-kart racing, a DJ, and both live and silent auctions for motocross memorabilia and other goodies. (I donated Micky's 1991 Answer Racing jersey that he actually gave me at the '91 Unadilla 250cc USGP, as well as an uncut sheet of the 1992 Hi-Flyers Trading Cards, to help out.) Bailey, Jeff Ward, Jeff Emig, Grant Langston, and a bunch of other folks should be there, and it's going to be a lot of fun. For additional information, check out www.PolePositionRaceway.com.
JIM JANNARD (DC)
Oakley founder Jim Jannard owns a place in motocross history as arguably the single most successful business to ever come out of the sport. He started Oakley in 1975 as a motorcycle grip company, selling product at Southern California motocross and BMX races out of the trunk of his car. Once he got into goggles, the company began growing, and then Oakley eyewear made it into the mainstream. Next came athletic wear, shoes, golf—everything Oakley made turned to gold. The company went public in 1995 and then was purchased in 2007 by Luxottica for $2.1 billion. According to Forbes magazine, he is worth $2.9 billion, making him #306 on the Forbes 400 List.
After Oakley, Jannard invented RED Digital Cinema Cameras, which have been used to make such epic films as Avatar and The Hobbit. And then more recently he decided to dive into the smartphone market with his highly anticipated Hydrogen phone. The idea was to make a holographic smartphone to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung. Unfortunately, the ambitious project proved to be more difficult than he planned. Last weekend he announced that he was done with the Hydrogen project.
"I have spent the past 45 years building 'inventions wrapped in art," posted Jannard on a Hydrogen users message board. "Just now turning 70 and having a few health issues, it is now time for me to retire. I will be shutting down the HYDROGEN project, ending a career that has included Oakley, RED Digital Cinema and HYDROGEN. I am very proud to have worked with many great people over the years who have signed on to the vision. RED Digital Cinema will continue stronger than ever with Jarred, Tommy and Jamin at the controls. Komodo is about to be launched… and the HYDROGEN One will continue to be supported in the future. I want to thank everyone for the support I have felt over the years…"
Hydrogen may not have worked out for Jim Jannard, but man has he had a great run!
DUBYA WORLD VETS (Matthes)
As DC mentioned, there is some racing going on this weekend as the Dubya USA World Vet Championships kick off at Glen Helen. There will be racers from all over the world there taking on the Hills of Helen, and the +30 Pro class promises to be pretty stacked, as I heard Ivan Tedesco and Josh Grant are signed up. Despite not having been off a starting gate in some time, I have decided to head down there and race myself. Thanks to John Anderson at Dubya USA for the push with this, as well as Kris Keefer endlessly nagging me to race.
Last time I raced a dirt bike was either 2009 or 2010, and it was at this very event, so I'll be making my return to a track that gets stupid rough and choppy. Yeah, seems like a GREAT idea, right? This is probably one of the worst ideas I've ever had, to be honest, and I'm going to be in a world of pain if I make it through four motos over the two days. I've been trying to ride twice a week the last month or so to somewhat be ready, but right around the 10-minute mark, I start getting tired and my hands and arms become painful. This can't be a good sign, right?
Anyways, Ryan Gauld from Guaranteed MX is flying down from Canada (thanks for the loaner bike, Yamaha!), and we'll be going down there later today. Thanks to my sponsors Yamaha, Fly, EKS Brand, Works Connection, Michelin, Race Tech, Pro Taper, Alpinestars, Maxima, Pro Filter, Roost MX, Firepower, and whoever else I forgot! May God be with me....
LAMBO MOTOCROSSERS? (Andras Hegyi)
Last weekend, the last round of the 11th Lamborghini Super Trofeo was held at the Circuit of Jerez, Spain, one of the world's iconic MotoGP tracks. The four-day event had eight races. The continental titles were decided (the series has three regional championships held in Europe, Asia, and North America) and also the world titles in four different categories. The field had more than 50 cars, and among them there were two very well-known motocross stars as well. Multi-time AMA champion Chad Reed and nine-time FIM Motocross World Champion Antonio Cairoli both put on impressive performances in front of 15,000 spectators.
Reed is just getting into this—he raced his maiden car racing series this year in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo. The 37-year-old participated in five rounds of the six-race series in the Super Trofeo North America Championship, driving at Watkins Glen (New York), Road America (Wisconsin), Virginia International Raceway (Virginia), and Laguna Seca (California). At Jerez, in the two-race season finale of the Super Trofeo North America, Reed won the first time out and then placed third, while in the World Finals Reed won the first round again then backed it up with a second. With his amazing performance Reed became world champion in the Lamborghini Cup class.
View this post on Instagram
Wow what a crazy last few months it has been Can’t believe a random opportunity has grown into such a badass friendship. I’m so grateful to @justinp_21_ and @ryanhardwick__ @mtn_motorsports To think I jumped on a plane to Vegas to see if I had a good enough feeling for the car but most of all if I was even fast enough to past the test. It has quickly consumed my every thought. Winning races and prepping for the big one, winning the @lamborghinisc World championship !!? Mission Accomplished we’re the champions ✅ Can’t thank @lucapersiani7 enough for being patient with me and teaching me how to understand the race car. I cannot wait to climb back into a race car, when that is...???♂️ Till next time ? ??
While Reed proved again that he has a gift also for car racing, supercross still remains his priority. Two weeks ago he finished ninth at the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas on a private Honda ride, and next weekend he is going to race also at the 37th Bercy Supercross held in Paris.
The 34-year-old Cairoli debuted in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, as it was his first chance to race with a GT category car. Cairoli took part in the Pro-Am class. His co-driver was Emanuele Pirro, a world-famous endurance racer from Italy who is a five-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours in France. At Jerez, Cairoli raced in the last round of the Super Trofeo Asia, retiring in the first race and then earning fourth the next time out. In the World Finals he was sixth in the first race, but then he did not finish the second because of an accident.
Cairoli will have another car race soon, though next time it will be in a rally car, as he is going to participate in the Toscany Rally in Italy at the end of November. But like Reed, his priority is still racing motorcycles. His KTM contract expires at the end of 2020, but after Jerez he announced that he would like to keep racing in the FIM Motocross World Championships in both in 2021 and '22.
WASHINGTON LEGENDS (DC)
Congratulations to Eric Eaton and Brian Barnes on being inducted into the Washington State Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Eaton was a solid pro prospect from Tacoma who scored a handful of podiums in the 1980s as a Yamaha factory support rider. His biggest claim to fame was a hometown win at the 1985 Washougal 500 National, allowing him to finish second in the final championship standings, right between Broc Glover and David Bailey. Barnes is the longtime announcer at Washougal and is a lifelong motocross advocate and ambassador, the voice of northwest motocross.
Eaton posted this on Facebook:
I am so thankful and fortunate to have been inducted into the WA. State Motorcycle Hall of Fame last night !! We had a great turnout and a bunch of amazingly restored, rare bikes and race memorabilia on display! Brian Barnes was also inducted and that was a Huge Highlight of the evening also!!! ♥️
I was introduced by My awesome Buddy and Moto Legend Lance Smail ♥️ .. and I have to admit I got a little emotional from his kind words!!!
When it was my turn to speak I didn't mention one very key/important memory and factor in my early racing in our NW region... And that is just how deep the talent pool was during the late '70's to mid-80's in the N.W.!!!
Extremely talented Riders would literally fill local motocross pro gates...
Eaton and Barnes join a long list of motocross heroes in the Washington State Motorcycle Hall of Fame, including 500 National Champions Rick Burgett and Chuck Sun, Larry Ward, the Pomeroy brothers, the Larson brothers, and more.
ONE LAST WET ONE (Ken Hill)
The season finale for the Amsoil AMA Grand National Cross Country Series is one of the most anticipated rounds of racing for a host of reasons. The Ironman Raceway property features a few legendary spots, and the entire town of Crawfordsville, Indiana, rolls out the red carpet for those attempting to tame this venue. The past several years have included a big concert—this year it was country star Craig Morgan—and the fan draw is massive. And with the season closing out the Ironman just has a celebratory atmosphere. It's hard to slow down enough to soak it all in as the weekend becomes a whirlwind of racing action, family events, fan interaction and so many different smaller break-off events with sponsors and teams throughout the weekend, one can easily see why it’s such a draw.
But the wildcard at this event has been the weather. Throughout the years we've seen bad weather often turn an already demanding course into a nightmare for anyone attempting to race; sometimes it’s a challenge to even walk! And this was one of those years where rain hit the Ironman hard. A brutal rain began falling on Saturday and wouldn’t let up until later that evening, setting up a massive challenge for the crew to shore up a beaten course that was thrashed from Saturday's races. The motorcycle racers on Sunday would be greeted with cooler fall temps, a drying wind, and a slightly altered course that had many wondering if the afternoon race would even get a crack at Ironman Hill that was rerouted and not used during the previous day's mayhem.
Action was going to be everywhere as the key 10 a.m. race took to the incredibly slick start that quickly had some riders go down to sample that fine Indiana soil. Row after row battled the track conditions, though all eyes were focused on the premier WXC class that had yet to crown its champion. A shortened race was called before it even started, allowing little time for the WXC racers to make things happen, leaving little room for mistakes. The finish was anti-climactic due to a ton of confusion as picking out the actual overall race leader was a difficult task—everyone was coated in a nice brown layer of mud. When the roost stopped for the WXC class we saw Mackenzie Tricker capturing her first win of the year and earning a hard-fought third in series points. The race behind Tricker was down to Becca Sheets and defending champion Tayla Jones, who had batted her way back into title contention after suffering a hand injury earlier in the season. Sheets ended up taking second in the race and Jones made her way in claiming the fourth position, and that was enough to give her another #1 plate as she locked down the WXC championship.
The afternoon race was going to be heated as the series' two big guns, Kailub Russell and Thad Duvall, remained sidelined with injuries and would not be in the running. That left the door wide open for several riders who wanted badly to dig in and leave a mark on the 2019 season. Ben Kelley once again impressed everyone as the previously-crowned XC2 topped the XC1 Pro class for the second straight race, serving notice to the absent Russell and Duvall that he would be coming after them in 2020. The hard charging Trevor Bollinger would claim second and Steward Baylor would secure the final podium spot after a hard-fought battle in trying conditions. (And Baylor had the best Halloween costume as some White Claw Seltzer.)
The big news out of the final round was that there really wasn’t any. Some years are like that with riders under contract until after the event or even into the new year. If you looked hard, though, you could catch some insight into 2020 and beyond. (And if you kept your eyes on the Phoenix Honda pit you would have noticed several high-level Honda folks there and from the looks of things they liked what they saw at the Ironman.) There is always scuttlebutt about who is moving where but nothing official released by any teams or riders yet, though we expect that will change in just a few short weeks as we get our first glimpse of how the 2020 season with start to shape up for GNCC. For more from the season finale, read our full recap from the 2019 Ironman GNCC.
Speaking of Kailub Russell...check out our post from earlier this week when we highlight all 60 of his career overall wins to date.
Also, a horribly unprepared Aaron Hansel tried to tackle the beast that is the Ironman GNCC. It went exactly as you’d think. Read Hansel’s firsthand experience of racing the gnarliest GNCC of the year—in the worst conditions possible. But he still had a great time.
The december 2019 ISSUE OF RACER X MAGAZINE IS NOW AVAILABLE
Inside the December issue of Racer X magazine
- The 73rd annual FIM Motocross of Nations was a disappointment for Team USA, but there’s cause for optimism.
- Minicycles could be the frontier battleground in the electric-motorcycle revolution.
- The FIM Motocross World Championship made its debut in China, and our Jason Thomas was there.
- Brothers Logan and Jordan Martin rehabbed a ’96 XR400 for a race that lasts 24 straight hours. What could go wrong?
All these features and much more inside the December issue.
Poster Info (Print Edition Only)
Side 1 of our collectible pull-out poster features Monster Energy Kawasaki’s new AMA Pro Motocross 250 Class Champion, Adam Cianciarulo. Side 2 pays tribute to 2019 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductee Ron Lechien, with a sweet Paul Buckley shot from Southwick ’87.
Hey, Watch It!
Here's a long walk down memory lane with Tony Blazier as he reviews the very first issue of Dirt Bike magazine, which came out in 1971!
A very different and artistic take on moto is "Steadfast," a short META film written and directed by Avery Rost and starring Blake Hansen, check it out:
Take a look at a detailed tour of New Ray Toys
Here's an Instagram glimpse of the motocross race John Short just did in Uganda:
View this post on Instagram
Good weekend of racing here in Africa. Thanks to the Orland family for the hospitality this week and for promoting such a great event. It was a unique experience and a ton of fun. The track was great and the spectators lining the track were crazy....They absolutely loved the racing! All in all though, I think the most entertaining race of the weekend was the “Boda Boda” (scooter taxi) race. ???// #Moto #Supercross #Uganda #Africa #ArmedForcesMotocross#ShortRacing #USA #Honda #Scooter #Texas #Athlete #Sport #63 #2019
LISTEN TO THIS
The Fly Racing Racer X Podcast comes in with a conversation with Renthal’s newest hire Paul Perebijnos and Renthal commercial director Rees Williams. We dive into why Paul took the new job, the history of Renthal, the innovations that worked, the ones that didn’t, what’s next for Renthal, and more.
Agents are about as well-liked as lawyers from an outsider's perspective, but Lucas Mirtl, agent for many top riders in the sport, says his job is more about humans than business. You know the awesome new Ryan Villopoto persona? He helped shape that. You know Hunter and Jett Lawrence? He was on them long before most in the industry. Lucas has a long client roster now and has placed a lot of riders in good spots, but he's also had his struggles (finding a place for Joey Savatgy for 2020). In part 1 of this extended interview with Jason Weigandt, you'll learn why an agent can do much more than just comb through a contract with his athletes.
This week on the Main Event Moto Podcast, Daniel Blair and Producer Joe take your listener questions. 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 #139 of Main Event Moto Podcast now.
Head-Scratching Headline/s of the Week
“Bill Murray applied for a job at P.F. Chang's in the Atlanta airport”—CNN
“Man who advocated caning for adultery gets caned for adultery”—CNN
“The ugly, gory, bloody secret life of NHL dentists”—ESPN
CA$H FOR CLASS
GPF and On Track School are proud to present the first race of its kind, providing Continued Educational Contingency awards in the form of CA$H for CLASS at GPF on November 1-3, 2019, in Cairo, Georgia.
GPF and On Track School are raising the game and asking industry leaders and motocross supporters to join the “pay it forward” state of mind. Contingency has always been a big part of amateur motocross and has allowed many athletes to continue racing at a higher level. What GPF and On Track School, as well as several other supporters, propose is a new program called CEC (Continued Educational Contingency). Riders in select classes, mainly smaller bikes (50 cc, 65cc, 85cc, schoolboy, college boy, women) as of now 13 classes total, can compete for CEC funds which are redeemable once a year and paid directly to an accredited school or higher learning program of the athlete’s choice.
GPF and On Track School have raised over $12,500 from industry leaders and motocross supporters who have chosen to partner in kicking off the first event. With the support of the AMA sanctioning this event and a focus to continue this effort, making education a priority, history is in the making here at GPF. “Education is essential to our sport’s growth, we are honored to partner with GPF,” said Andrea Leib, On Track School Director and Founder.
Jo Shimoda graces the cover of 2019 no5 issue of Dirt Cool magazine.
For the latest from Canada, check out DMX Frid’EH Update #44.
Thanks for reading Racerhead. See you at the races!
My name is Cade McBride and I live in Alberta, Canada. I race dirt bikes and love 722!