Sunday, July 26, 2009

Washougal 2009


This is gonna be a long one...

As usual, Washougal is the only pro event I get to physically attend each year. I've been trying to make it up to Seattle SX for years, but can never pull it off. Who needs gucci-cross anyway? Also as usual, the entire week leading up to race day, I was super pumped. This was the first Saturday event I had been to, and the first time I had got to see practice too. It was interesting to see riders piece the track together, and ultimately lay down some blisteringly fast laps times.

If there is a God, he blessed us with great weather on on Saturday. Washougal is already the most beautiful track on the tour, and arguably in the world if you ask me, and blue skies just made it that much more picture perfect. The track was good as well. Alot more "jumpy" than in years past, but lets face it, this is 2009. It's still a dinosaur as far as jumps are concerned. People complain about the dirt every year, but like I've said before, diversity is good for Motocross. It mixes things up, keeps riders on their toes, and helps seperate the good riders from the BEST riders.

Enter Chad Reed! Washougal is about as technical and slippery as you are going to get in AMA motocross, and as many expected, Reed rode to the occasion. He has admitted that he is having trouble pushing it to the edge, so I'm sure it was nice to be at somewhat of an advantage in the NW.

As far as the event went, Washougal is always a great facility, and the fans just straight up love MX, myslef included. From what I could tell, turnout was a little low this year. If memory serves me correctly, it was about 28,000 last year, compared to 20,000 this year. The Amateur racing suffered this year as well. Bleak economy? Saturday's? 4-strokes? Not exactly sure what the problem was.

Also the viewing was worse than in years past. In '06 when RC and James battled tooth and nail, me and my dad were able to catch almost all the racing from one spot towards the back. We saw almost all the passing, and screamed our heads off. The same could be said for '08 when Dungey edged out Villopoto for his first win. Same spot, same story. This year? There was a giant hospitality tent, and a few food stands up in the back that completely blocked the view. I love cruising around the track and seeing the spots as much as the next moto fan, but this was a little ridiculous.

A few observations I had:

Chad Reed is a great rider, and ultra smooth and very technical.

Erin Bates is one of the nicest people you will ever meet

The only bike louder than the PC bikes of Pourcel and Wiemer was Ben Evans bike (but that was more than likely due to the fact that his MUFFLER was GONE) not sure how those bikes pass sound?

J-Law finally rode good, but is obviously going through a tough year. I was extremely pumped for him to be on the podium in the second moto, but had mixed feelings after his podium presence was less than stellar. Either way good job for J-Law.

Josh Grants YZ250 that he is riding at X-Games is the coolest piece of machinery I have seen in many years. On our way out, one of the JGR guys was riding it back into the pits. Between the smell and the sound, I practically fainted out of sheer horniness, and jealousy.

Nic Wolfer is one of my new heros, for trying to make this big show on an RM-250. I made sure to cheer a little extra every time he came by. He didn't make it this year, but he hadn't in years past either, so in no way do his results have anything to do with his smoker. Go get em next year Nic!

Overall, Washougal '09 was a great day for real motocross fans. See you next year.

No comments: