Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Week Of Moto

So I know I haven’t added anything in quite a while. I’m sorry. I’ve been a little preoccupied. But that does mean one good thing, I have a ton to write about now. So this isn’t really about anything in particular, this is just gonna be a big bag of stuff about everything in the industry from over the week, which is actually a lot. So here we go. First off I wanna talk about team switches. There seems to be a lot of that goin around right now, like a bad case of the flu or something. As you all know David Vuillimen is going with Suzuki, and his replacee Ivan Tedesco is going with the red crew at Honda. But it’s also very likely that Mike Alessi is going to be joining DV12 under the Makita tent with Roger DeCoster and the gang. That should be a pretty interesting team, with Vuillimen, Alessi, Dungey, and soon to be pro Nico Izzi. We’ll see how they do come supercross time. Also rumor has it that Chad Reed will be getting a new teammate in Davi Millsaps. Millsaps should be riding a San Manuel Yamaha by the time the ’08 Supercross season rolls around. That’s a lot of team switching if you really look at it. Next year you’ll have James Stewart and Tim Ferry on Kawi’s then Ivan Tedesco and Andrew Short on Honda’s. Then David Vuillimen and Alessi with Suzuki. Then last but not least, Chad Reed, Grant Langston and new teammate Davi Millsaps riding blue. Not to mention Nick Wey is now Factory KTM. And that’s only the 450 class! I don’t really think that this will affect the racing that much, as all the factory bikes are as good as one another. That’s not where the changes are. The changes are in the teams, and how they mesh together. Look at Jason Lawrence in the 250 class. With Rockstar Suzuki he didn’t have near the results he had with his current YoT Yamaha ride. He gives some of that credit to the bike (which I can understand) but he mostly attributes it to the team and the chemistry they have. So does that mean Mike Alessi and Vuillimen are gonna be champs? Well no. But they should much stronger with team guidance from Roger DeCoster and Ricky Carmichael on occasion. Even RJ, the bad boy, Ricky Johnson is with the Suzuki organization. It should be interesting to see how it all plays out, and who the winners are, as far as the teams go. Now on to my next and very important topic: Loretta Lynn’s. The biggest motocross event in the world is coming up, and coming up fast. Everybody and their families are already heading out to Hurricane Mills for a long and fun weekend of nothing but bar-to-bar racing. I haven’t had the pleasure of attending Loretta’s yet, but I’ve heard it’s life changing. If your competing, or watching or reporting, or selling shaved ice in the pits, it’s just something you have to experience. The next big stars like Nico Izzi, Will Hahn, Just Bracia, Austin Stroupe, Tarah Geiger and my local hero in the 65 class Jeremy Whilton, will be showcasing what they have, as they go up against the best of the best in each class from across the United States. 2 Notible names that are going to be missing are Ashley Fiolek and Landon Currier. Both are amazing riders but both got hurts before their local qualifiers. The racing will go on though, as it always does every year. Let’s hope everybody stays safe and the racing is good. But when isn’t Loretta’s good? There’s a lot more that’s in my mind that I wanted to talk about, but I forgot it all. I do wanna talk about Mitch Payton real quick. Does this guy have an eye for talent or what? Ryan Villopoto, Ben Townley, Brett Metcalfe, and Chris Ghosselar all led at least one lap at Lakewood last week. Every moto but one, has been won by someone on a green Monster Energy Kawasaki. Both Supercross championships were won by the Pro Circuit riders, and this outdoor will be no different. I greatly anticipate the same for next years supercross season as well. Christophe Pourcel will be racing supercross on, you guessed it, a Monster Energy Kawasaki. This team is just dominant. And it’s not like this is a new trend either. Look back at the riders that have rode for Mitch Payton: Grant Langston, Ivan Tedesco, James Stewart, Stephane Roncada, Nick Wey, Nathan Ramsey, and most notably, Ricky Carmichael. It’s almost a sign that a rider will be great if he started out with Payton on the Pro Circuit team. Which is not that hard to believe if you look at the points standings right now in both classes. In the 250 class Ben Townley and Ryan Villopoto are tied for points and have both won multiple motos and overall wins. No doubt in my mind those 2 will be great motocross legends. But then take a look at the 450 class and it’s littered with previous riders from the Pro Circuit squad. They rival dynasty’s in other sports like the Celtics and the Packers. Maybe it’s something about the color green…but the fact of the matter is that the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team, run by Mitch Payton, is on fire. Anyone in the amateur ranks who gets a call from these guys TAKE IT! This weekend is the Washougal National and it should be exciting. It’s the home track for both Ryan Villopoto and Josh Hill, and the racing in both classes should be good. If James Stewart is 100% he should walk away with the win pretty easily, but everything else should be exciting. The track has been changed around as well. Ralph Huffman talked about the track and the whole event a few days ago, and said he took out a few notable jumps to make room for Vendors, and added some bigger jumps in a different section of the track. That’s sort of a shame to motocross that the tracks are being dictated by vendors, but I guess that’s where the money is at. It should be a great race no doubt, and the weather in the Northwest has been great. Being from Oregon, I know first hand that the weather in the Pacific NW can suck balls! I just got off a long week of rain not to long ago. But luckily the sun will be shining for this round of the AMA nationals, and I’ll have my insight on the whole weekend Sunday night. See ya then!

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