My Top-Secret visit to Honda’s race department …
Today, I was able to have the unique opportunity to get an “insider’s” look at American Honda’s motorcycle race shop.
I pulled up around 1 pm right after everyone had came back from their lunch breaks. I met Ray Conway the Off-Road Media Coordinator, who brought me into the conference room so we could discuss what we wanted to film for a video feature that you’ll be seeing on Supercross.com very soon.
Let me start by just telling you about the ‘conference room’. In the center is a huge table big enough for about 20 people to sit around. The absolute most unique, cool, and special part about this room is that the walls are filled with the #1 plates from past Honda champions. Its really something special to see the actual real championship #1 plates from past champions like Jeremy McGrath, J. M. Bayle, Jeff Stanton, Ricky Johnson, Kurtis Roberts, Chuck Sun, Donnie Hansen, David Bailey … and so many others. (You will get to see them all in our video feature coming : )
I’m sure when they bring potential new Honda team riders into that room, one look around will make them
think “I can win on a Honda”.
After talking with Ray for a bit, Jon Row, the Manager of Honda’s Motorcycle Sports Department came and told us a little about his back-ground, and about what goes on around the shop. Then we hooked him up
with a microphone and made him a Supercross.com video star : )… Stay tuned for our video feature.
I then met up with Dan Bentley, a Crew Chief with Honda. He was lucky enough to get the job of giving us a tour around the entire race shop : ) We had a lot of fun with the videotaping. I gave Davi Millsap’s mechanic Carlos a hard time, and begged him to let me work on Davi’s bike. Don’t worry Davi, Carlos wouldnt let me get near anything important.
Then I asked Ivan Tedesco’s technician Frankie if I could work on Ivan’s bike – he didn’t want my help. (I can tell you guys, I know how to wear all the protective gear and eyewear, and I’d be a darn good mechanic!) Frankie told me to go work in Carlos’ area.
Did I ever get to work on a factory Honda race bike? (All I can say is they might be surprised when they watch the video – hehehehe : )
Seriously, these guys in the race shop work really hard, put in a whole lotta hours, and are totally passionate about what they do. The race shop is really something to see, very organized, and you’d be surprised at the amount of support staff a professional motocross team has to make sure their star athletes can line up on the gate and race every weekend! Impressive!
All in all, my trip to Honda’s race shop was a blast … I was able to see things that I had always wondered about, and I learned a lot about what goes into having a top level supercross/motocross team, and I made a few friends along the way! Thank you everyone at Honda for letting me cruise around your work. It was a day I won’t forget anytime soon!
Make sure to keep an eye out for the fun video feature we should have up in the next couple of weeks – that way you can get the same “insiders” look as I got today! You are not going to want to miss it!
p.s. I’m off to Europe in a few hours for the French Motocross Grand Prix & my TV gig, and have yet to pack! TTYL!