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Mammoth MX Journal





—- Friday morning, June 20th —-



Where is Mammoth? What is Mammoth?



Mammoth Mountain is in central California, in the eastern part of the Sierra Mountains. It’s a four-season resort town, especially known for skiing, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, fishing, …. and motocross.



Mammoth is MX. The first Mammoth Mountain Motocross was held back in 1968. And it’s legend has grown each and every year. It’s got to be one of the coolest tracks anywhere in the world. I’ll be writing a journal and taking some photos over the next few days to give you a taste of what Mammoth life is like. I hope you enjoy it!



The town of Mammoth is just under 8,000 feet in altitude, and is surrounded by the Inyo National Forest. The peaks on some of the mountains reach over 12,000 feet. Bikes and riders need to adjust for the thin air! Year round population of this mountain town is around 8,000 residents.



Part of the big news at Mammoth so far is the return of Jeremy McGrath riding Hondas. Hondas? Wow – what happened to that four year deal with KTM???



Today is Vet Practice, and this entire weekend is Vet Weekend. (Vets are riders at least 30 years of age.) It was sunny and mild today, about 75 degrees. Rick Johnson did a ‘track walk’ to show different aspects of the track and racing lines.





—- Saturday night, June 21st —-



Of course, the big highlight of the day was Jeremy McGrath on a Honda CRF 450. He looked very good, fast, and very smooth. It was great to see Jeff Ward and Ty Davis racing too. Wardy rode an aluminum framed Honda, with a CR 500 two-stroke motor in it. That thing was putting out some heavy vibes!



In total, the organizers are expecting over 1700 entrants. Today’s weather was pretty much the same as yesterday – mild.



RJ had the best quote of the day: “When I die and go to heaven, I want to have the Mammoth Motocross track in my backyard.”



The track is incredible. Elevation changes, perfect dirt, and the track crew does an excellent job.



I’ll have a lot more photos and updates starting Monday night. That will be the first time I can spend a few hours working with my new camera and laptop. Wish me luck!





—- Monday morning, June 23rd —-



Vet Weekend is over. MC (Jeremy McGrath) is king of the mountain, winning all four moto’s of the weekend, and he had all kinds of fun doing it!



For the last moto of the weekend, MC let everyone go off the start. Three laps later, in a nice drag race down the hill with Ty Davis, MC took over the lead and never looked back – Jeremy looked very much at home on a Honda.



Mammoth is using a little bit different set-up on their racing format. I’ll try to let Murray Miller, the Mammoth MX Co-ordinator explain better below. Murray started 25 years ago at Mammoth as a flagger!



Murray: We wanted to make it better for everyone. We are undergoing an environmental impact study which could impact whether or not we can hold this race anymore, after 36 years! The track is now closed during the summer (did you realize you could have rode the track any day of the week in summer?) and it’s possible this could be the last year of this event if we don’t speak up and do something.



It seems all are happy with the changes. The racers are stoked because there are not as many riders on the track at one time, the line to get in the track is minimized, and the event staff is much more relaxed because of the reduced workload. Now that we have the event running so smoothly, we really have to do all we can to keep it going.



We will have more on how you can possibly help save the Mammoth MX later in the week.



I also got a chance to talk to Jeff Ward on my way to eat. (For you youngsters, Jeff is a 7-time AMA Champion – the only person to win 125, 250, and 500 championships, along with the 250 supercross championship.)



Jeff: I last raced here in 1983 on a 125! It’s a great track, and it reminds me of Washougal. I’m usually racing cars at this time of year so it’s really good to be here. I’m riding a CR250 with a 500 motor. It didn’t work 20 years ago, and it’s the same today. I really loved riding the CRF450 though.



I just left Mini Dad Practice ….. ahhhhhh …. I mean Mini Practice. “I need a main jet. I need a main jet! Do you have a 46 tooth rear sprocket? I gotta’ have a 46 tooth sprocket!!”



My head hurts now. I gotta go. ; )





—- Tuesday afternoon, June 24th —-



The first official day of summer was Saturday, June 21. This morning it snowed here!



Today is Mini Race Day. I’ll have some details in the next update. In the meantime, you’ll find nine more photos below. Three in a crash sequence, and six new ones from Ryan Mahoney at Photocross.net.



MM



To see the Mammoth Journal, Part II, you can visit this link.



The Mammoth Mountain web-site is at this link.



The Mammoth Motocross web-site is at this link.



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Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 1 of 21

Beware of bears. Really!

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 2 of 21

Panorama

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 3 of 21

Hollywood stunt coordinator and Mammoth local David Barrett – racing his @#$ off

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 4 of 21

This is Jeremy McGrath on his Honda CRF 450 – fast!

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 5 of 21

Two ‘Vets’, Jeff Ward and Ty Davis

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 6 of 21
Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 7 of 21

Ty Davis

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 8 of 21

Ty and Jeremy racing down the hill

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 9 of 21

Ouch (look closely)

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 10 of 21

Jeremy McGrath

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 11 of 21

Jeremy McGrath – Vet rider

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 12 of 21

Jeff Ward

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 13 of 21

Dave Barrett, Jeremy McGrath

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 14 of 21

Mammoth MX is family

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 15 of 21

The track

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 16 of 21

Jeff Ward, Jeremy McGrath

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 17 of 21

Jeff Ward and sons

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 18 of 21

Jeremy McGrath – Honda CRF 450

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 19 of 21

Crash sequence 1 of 3 (I can see the sun!)

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 20 of 21

Hey – keep your distance!

Mammoth MX Journal - Photo 21 of 21

Good thing no one saw that



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