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Transition

Published May 2nd, 2005





There are two major series of racing in the USA: Supercross, which is primarily indoors at major stadium venues, and Motocross, which is primarily outdoors on natural terrain tracks. Both series are sanctioned by the AMA (American Motorcyclist Association).



Indoor tracks are typically around one minute in length. Outdoor tracks are typically around two minutes. Indoor tracks have consistent jumps, obstacles, and grooming. Outdoors tracks have much higher speeds, and the tracks get rougher and more difficult as the day goes on.



It is the same stars in both supercross and motocross – Ricky Carmichael, Chad Reed, Kevin Windham, James Stewart, Grant Langston, Ivan Tedesco, Davi Millsaps, and many others.



Fans might think the bikes are identical for each series, but they are not. The bikes are softened up much more for outdoors, which means we want them to flex more. The suspension is set up much softer, and it’s much easier on the rider. In supercross, you want the bike set-up very stiff and precise, and it will react immediately to the rider’s input. In supercross, we run the biggest forks, the stiffest suspension, and make the bikes as rigid and stable as possible. In outdoors, you want the bike more fluid, and to flow underneath the rider. If you had a bike set-up very stiff (like for supercross) it would be too twitchy and unpredictable to ride on an outdoor track.



The riders will train differently for motocross. In supercross, there is one main event of about 20 minutes. In outdoors, there are two 35 minutes races. For supercross training, riders will usually put in their laps in the morning, and do short sprint motos with high intensity. For outdoors, they’ll do more riding in the afternoon during the heat of the day, because that’s the environment they’ll be dealing with in motocross. They’ll also work on longer motos for more endurance.



When I was practicing to make the transition to outdoors, I would have someone take my lap times and show them to me lap after lap. I would ride for 45 minutes, and I would charge as hard as I could. But what I found out by looking at my lap times is that I would start to get tired around the 25 minute mark. I would get sloppy in my riding and technique, and I wasn’t flowing well with the track. This was because my mind and my body were used to training for supercross. I needed to learn to relax more, flow with the bike, and concentrate on increasing my speed and momentum around the track. It takes a while to get to that point, and you have to break thru some mental barriers to achieve it, but the body is definitely able to sustain having the energy to run two long motos at 100%.



In the 250 class, RC is the defending champion. He’s the guy to shoot for. Perfection. And I’m really excited about the progress he’s made with the RMZ 450.



Of course, you can’t count out the guys that were strong in supercross. Chad Reed, who did not take getting second in supercross lightly, is working very hard to come back to the top spot. Kevin Windham, who I’d say is even stronger outdoors than he is indoors, will be pushing it up front.



One of the favorites in the 250 class will be James Stewart, who dominated the 125 class last season. I’m 99% sure he’ll be on a KX 250 two-stroke. James showed last year he could win almost every race on a KX 125, and has proved this year he’s fine in the 250 class.



My heart is broken for Seb Tortelli. Seb dislocated his left wrist while practicing, and will be out for the majority of the outdoor season. Sebastien has worked so hard to make it thru the supercross season. He put in an unbelievable amount of hours, and his dedication to be ready for the outdoors (knowing it was a developmental year for the RM 450 in supercross) was incredible. His goal was to have everything at 100% for the outdoors. His attitude and work ethic are tremendous, so expect to see him back strong later this year.



The 125 class should be one of the most competitive 125 series in quite a while. It’s wide open, and it looks like there will be different people in the mix for the top spots each weekend.



You’ve got Mike Alessi coming in on the new KTM 250 four-stroke, and he showed great speed last year in a limited number of pro races. KTM also has Josh Hansen and Nate Ramsey, both of whom are riding great this year.



Honda has Andrew Short on their CRF 250, and he’s riding well. Joaquim Rodrigues showed good speed outdoors last year. Billy Laninovich is up and coming on Honda as well. And Josh Grant had a great rookie season last year.



Broc Hepler and Davi Millsaps are strong. They both are in good condition, and have their bikes set up great. We expect them and their RM 250 Z’s on the podium at many of the races, and to be fighting for the championship.



Pro Circuit Kawasaki has both the 125 supercross champions Ivan Tedesco and Grant Langston, along with Matt Walker, so you know they’ll be strong.



We should see some great battles in both classes. Hope to see you at one or more of the races this year!





RJ





2005 AMA Motocross Schedule



May 22 – Sacramento CA – for tickets call 800 HANGTOWN

May 29 – Mt. Morris PA – for tickets call 304 284-0084

June 12 – Southwick MA – for tickets call 413 569-6801

June 19 – Budds Creek MD – for tickets call 301 475-2000

July 3 – Buchanan MI – for tickets call 269 695-6405

July 17 – New Berlin NY – for tickets call 607 965-8784

July 24 – Lakewood CO

July 31 – Washougal WA – for tickets call 360 837-3975

August 14 – Millville MN – for tickets call 507 753-2779

August 21 – Binghamton NY – for tickets call 607 849-4438

September 4 – Delmont PA – for tickets call 304 284-0084

September 11 – San Bernardino CA – for tickets call 909 880-3090




Photos Steve Bruhn, Brad Lovell



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Outdoors (motocross)

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Ricky Carmichael is the man to beat

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Indoors (supercross)

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RC, RD

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Tyler Evans

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Grant Langston

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Davi Millsaps

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Chad Reed

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James Stewart

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Indoor track

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Ivan Tedesco

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Kevin Windham



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