This Week in Supercross

This Week in Supercross

This Week in Supercross - Photo 1 of 4

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Who, When & Where

Supercross 2007 is almost here!

Who – The riders & their numbers

2 Jeremy McGrath, Encinitas, CA

3 Mike Brown, Johnson City, TN

4 Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL

5 Mike LaRocco, Corona, CA

6 Steve Lamson, Camino, CA

7 James Stewart, Haines City, FL

8 Grant Langston, Clermont, FL

9 Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, CA

10 Ernesto Fonseca, Murrieta, CA

11 Travis Preston, Hesperia, CA

12 David Vuillemin, Menifee, CA

13 Heath Voss, Mico, TX

14 Kevin Windham, Centreville, MS

15 Timmy Ferry, Largo, FL

16 John Dowd, Ludlow, MA

17 Robbie Reynard, Oklahoma City, OK

18 Brock Sellards, Sherrodsville, OH

19 Doug Henry, Torrington, CT

22 Chad Reed, Tampa, FL

23 Kyle Lewis, Henderson, NV

24 Joshua Grant, Riverside, CA

25 Nathan Ramsey, Menifee, CA

26 Michael Byrne, Newnan, GA

27 Nick Wey, Dewitt, MI

28 Brett Metcalfe, Murrieta, CA

29 Andrew Short, Murrieta, CA

30 Andrew McFarlane, Newport Beach, CA

31 Ryan Clark, Waddell, AZ

32 Jason Thomas, Melrose, FL

33 Matt Goerke, Lake Helen, FL

34 Troy Adams, Brooksville, FL

35 Josh Demuth, Grapevine, TX

36 Josh Summey, Stanley, NC

37 Paul Carpenter, Ithaca, NY

38 Danny Smith, Middleton, ID

39 Steve Boniface, Lewisville, TX

40 Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, OH

41 Jason Lawrence, Murrieta, CA

42 Sean Collier, Santa Clarita, CA

43 Jeff Dement, Kingwood, TX

44 Clark Stiles, Athens, AL

45 Matt Walker, McDonough, GA

46 Martin Davalos, Cairo, GA

47 Kelly Smith, Ludington, MI

48 Kyle Chisholm, Seminole, FL

49 Chris Gosselaar, Victorville, CA

50 Billy Laninovich, Lake Elsinore, CA

51 Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, WA

52 Thomas Hahn, Decatur, TX

53 Tyler Evans, Corona, CA

54 Robert Kiniry, LaFayette, NY

55 Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, KY

56 Daniel Sani, Clovis, CA

57 Ben Townley, Tallahassee, FL

58 Josh Hill, Yoncalla, OR

59 Justin Buckelew, Surprise, AZ

60 Broc Hepler, Kittanning, PA

61 Jiri Dostal, Murrieta, CA

62 Ryan Dungey, Bell Plaine, MN

63 Josh Woods, Flint, MI

64 Erick Vallejo, Garland, TX

65 Ryan Mills, Clintondale, NY

66 Shaun Skinner, Stuart, FL

67 Brian Gray, Middleburg, FL

68 Juss Laansoo, Chatsworth, CA

69 Bobby Garrison, Sparks, NV

70 Jacob Saylor, Knoxville, TN

71 Sean Hamblin, Murrieta, CA

72 Mason Phillips, Chino Hills, CA

73 Jake Weimer, Rupert, ID

74 Kyle Partridge, Las Vegas, NV

75 Broc Tickle, Cary, NC

76 Tucker Hibbert, Centreville, MS

77 Doug DeHaan, Thorndale, ON, Canada

78 Zach Osborne, Abingdon, VA

79 Jacob Marsack, Allentown, MI

80 Richie Owens, Menifee, CA

81 Adam Chatfield, Madisonville, TX

82 Jay Marmont, Murrieta, CA

83 Christopher Pugrab, Ellington, CT

84 Michael Willard, Thornville, OH

85 Michael Blose, Phoenix, AZ

86 Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, IA

87 Michael Young, Temecula, CA

88 Joaquim Rodrigues, Temecula, CA

89 Justin Keeney, Lebanon, OR

90 Cole Siebler, Emmett, ID

91 Michael Lapaglia, Murrieta, CA

92 Barry Carsten, Bayville, NJ

93 Josh Hansen, Lake Elsinore, CA

94 Brad Modjewski, Hatley, WI

95 Bryan K. Johnson Jr., Cairo, GA

96 Chris Whitcraft, Pickerington, OH

97 Casey Clark, Pine Grove, PA

98 James Povolny, Hudson, WI

99 Kyle Mace, Hesperia, CA

118 David Millsaps, Cairo, GA

800 Mike Alessi, Victorville, CA

Courtesy American Motorcyclist Association

When & Where – 2007 AMA Supercross Series Schedule

January 6 – Anaheim CA

January 13 – Phoenix AZ

January 20 – Anaheim CA

January 27 – San Francisco CA

February 3 – Anaheim CA

February 10 – Houston TX

February 17 – San Diego CA

February 24 – Atlanta GA

March 3 – St. Louis MO

March 9 – Daytona Beach FL

March 17 – Orlando FL

March 24 – Indianapolis IN

March 31 – Dallas TX

April 21 – Detroit MI

April 28 – Seattle WA

May 5 – Las Vegas NV has premium supercross tickets available thru their site. Just type in the word ‘supercross’in the search area once you get to their site. is a ticket broker/reseller. has no relationship with the event promoter(s).

Snapshot: Aztec Family Raceway

Snapshot: Aztec Family Raceway

Snapshot: Aztec Family Raceway - Photo 1 of 1

Aztec Family Raceway has been in operation since the early 1960’s. The track owner is Byron Wolf. Byron is a former Vail ski instructor and long-time motocross racer. He attends the World Vet Championships each year, getting good results.

Aztec has three race tracks (2 full-size and 1 for the Pee-Wees).

Aztec Family Raceway was once the home track for former factory rider Arlo Englund. Arlo raced AMA Nationals during the late ’70’s and early 80’s. He is one of only two riders to win a AMA National without a clutch. (He rode a Husqvarna 360 automatic.)

Two of the most recent National riders to come out of Colorado Springs & Aztec Family Raceway are Andrew Short of Team Honda and Josh Hansen of Team KTM. Andrew grew up in Colorado Springs, practicing and racing at Aztec during the early 1990’s. His father Howie Short has a family dentistry practice there. Josh and his father Donnie Hansen moved to Colorado from California in 1998.

Info about Aztec Family Raceway:

  • Frequent Donnie Hansen Motocross Academy schools

  • Free “Holeshot Tuesday” practice and “Wednesday Skills Classes”. (These are afternoon classes conducted by top local Pro riders Shawn Morgan, Kyle Summers, Chad Wollaston, Brandon Hightower and Justin Jobe. These classes are absolutely free of charge to any rider who wishes to participate.)

  • Wednesday Night Racing series during the summer

  • Winter Combat Series during winter

  • Free lessons anytime to 50cc and Beginner riders

  • Free admission for military veterans (Fort Carson is only 15 minutes away from Aztec.)

  • AMA/SRAC sanctioned

  • AHRMA vintage motocross events are held once a year

  • Nice public rest rooms and a fully equipped/staffed emergency medical clinic

  • Participants range in age from 4 to over 60 years old

  • Open year round for practice

  • Spectators always get in free on practice days

All in all, quite a nice, family friendly motorcycling environment!

For more info, you can contact Byron Wolf / Aztec Family Raceway, phone (719) 499-9154, web

FLASHBACK – 2001 Supercross Preview

FLASHBACK – 2001 Supercross Preview

First off, let’s look at how they finished last year:

Final point standings from 2000:

1. Jeremy McGrath – 372

2. David Vuillemin – 337

3. Mike LaRocco – 302

4. Kevin Windham – 278

5. Ricky Carmichael – 263

6. Sebastien Tortelli – 243

7. Damon Huffman – 186

8. Larry Ward – 175

9. John Dowd – 170

10. Heath Voss – 113

Jeremy McGrath – the defending champion. He’s got the entire package: mentally strong, physically prepared, great equipment, and experienced. Can you bet against him?

Here are his results over the past 10 years in the AMA supercross series he’s raced in:

1991: Champion

1992: Champion

1993: Champion

1994: Champion

1995: Champion

1996: Champion

1997: 2nd place

1998: Champion

1999: Champion

2000: Champion

2001: ???

FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 1 of 19

FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 2 of 19

David Vuillemin – he’s got the speed. He’s got the bikes. And another year of experience. He likes his chances for success. Can he topple Jeremy? FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 3 of 19

David looks very comfortable coming into 2001

FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 4 of 19

Mike LaRocco – always inthe hunt. Very tough mentally and physically. Never gives an inch. The media says he’s not flashy, but that doesn’t matter on the race track. How long can he keep going, and can he win? FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 5 of 19

Who says Mike LaRocco isn’t stylish?

Ricky Carmichael – Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki’s 21 year old phenom from Florida. He’s one year older and one year more experienced. Carries a lot of momentum from the last half of the 2000 season. Is he ready? FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 6 of 19

FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 7 of 19

Kevin Windham – A.K.A. Mr. Sunday Driver. Always so smooth that he looks like he’s just cruising. Except he’s deceptively fast. Will the transition to Suzuki’s allow him to reach his full potential? Stay tuned. FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 8 of 19

Sebastien Tortelli – he’s surprised everyone before when he came out of nowhere to win the opening round at L.A. a few years ago. He’s got the talent. Plus he’s making an upgraded effort to improve his performance in supercross. Will 2001 be good to him? FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 9 of 19

FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 10 of 19

X-factor 1: Travis Pastrana – Suzuki’s 17 year old star is well-groomed to handle all the pressure that comes with competing in the most prestigious off-road series in the world. Many people say he’s not consistent and a little too wild to win a championship. But that’s what they said last year …. and he won the 125 National Championship. He brings excitement and enthusiasm. And that smile. FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 11 of 19

Travis is looking very good on the 250 Suzuki’s

X-factor 2: Stephane Roncada – New to the 250 class. The 2000 125 East champion. He’s got the talent. He’s hungry. How will he adapt to a new team and the 250 class? FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 12 of 19

FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 13 of 19

X-factor 3: Ezra Lusk – A Honda main-stay over the past few years. Didn’t race a single supercross in 2000. Honda and Honda fans want him to win. FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 14 of 19

X-factor 4: Tim Ferry – Full time factory ride for Yamaha on the YZ 426. He’ll get better as the season goes on and he gets more experience on the four-stroke. FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 15 of 19

FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 16 of 19

Pastrana and Windham having fun together

FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 17 of 19

Honda’s new logo, and Woody Woodpecker is their team mascot

FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 18 of 19

McGrath, Vuillemin & Ferry get ready for 2001

FLASHBACK - 2001 Supercross Preview - Photo 19 of 19

Shae Bentley – 2000 125 West Champion

“Hello, Leadership?”

The checkered flag falls at NASCAR’s final event of the year – the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Jeff Gordon wins. He’s crowned NASCAR world champion. And Dale Earnhardt Jr. is crowned NASCAR Nextel Cup champion by virtue of his second place finish.

The Formula 1 championship comes down the final race of the year in Brazil. After the race, Michael Schumacher is crowned champion. And so is Fernando Alonso. (For Fernando’s championship, he raced two extra races earlier in the season, and his results from the Monaco Grand Prix do not count.)

The referee’s whistle blows at the end of the NFL’s Super Bowl in January. The Pittsburgh Steelers have defeated the Seattle Seahawks. The Steelers are crowned champions. The Seahawks are crowned champions too.

Can you imagine any of these far-fetched scenarios happening? The leaderships of NASCAR, Formula 1, and the NFL are smart enough, and have enough common sense to know those scenarios would never fly with their fans, corporate partners, and competitors.

Try explaining the concept of two supercross series to someone at a race for the first time: “Well, you see, there is a ‘world’ supercross series that has two rounds in Canada. But they don’t count the Daytona supercross, and …. “

Actually, two series is a symptom of a much larger problem: lack of leadership. Who is looking out for the best interest of supercross as a whole? No one. Everyone is looking out for their own best interests, with no unifying force in place solely to provide leadership for the sport.

Let’s look briefly at four groups that have an interest in supercross:

1. The riders

Pluses: Fans pay their money to watch them compete, especially the top stars of the sport. Minuses: They are young, lacking maturity & business experience. Many of them don’t even have a high school education. They do not compete as a group, but as individuals.

Supercross super-star James Stewart is 20 years old. He’s considered a veteran. Current AMA Supercross Series champion Ricky Carmichael’s 26, and will retire from full-time motorcycle racing at the end of the season.

In most major sports, many athletes are reaching their physical, emotional, and mental peaks in their late 20’s. Not so in supercross.

2. The manufacturers / OEMs (Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, KTM)

Pluses: They have the top riders, and can choose where they race. Minuses: They are being priced out of fielding multi-rider teams, and, economic reality could set in at some point in the future.

Remember, each of these entities in the USA does not actually build motorcycles. They get them from their parent companies in Japan and Austria respectively.

A team manager recently said “Manufacturers as a whole outlay more money into the sport than any other group. Racing supercross on a corporate level requires incredible investment in hardware, staff, infrastructure, and support. In the 70’s and 80’s, it was common for factory teams to have 5 – 8 riders under contract. Now, with today’s top riders receiving compensation in the millions of dollars, you see most manufacturer teams with two riders instead. Top rider salaries are making it prohibitive for us to field large teams.”

In the future, will factories look closer at the actual ROI (return on investment) they receive? Factory backed teams have withdrawn from other motor sports series before, to invest their capital in more fruitful endeavors, so the idea is not entirely inconceivable. (In 1968 Honda withdrew from F-1 racing to more fully develop low-emission technologies.)

3. The AMA

The AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) is the sanctioning body of motorcycling in the USA, and AMA Pro Racing is a for-profit subsidiary of the AMA.

Pluses: They own the rights to the most prestigious off-road motorcycling series in the world (the AMA Supercross Series). Minuses: They have not been able to effectively communicate who they are, and what they do.

AMA appears to be in a good position – they control the rights to their events. They have been in existence since 1924, and have a membership of 270,000 plus. Their mission statement is ‘to serve the interests of motorcyclists by pursuing, promoting and protecting the future of motorcycling’.

Recently, from an enthusiast’s perspective, they seem to have lost their way. What exactly is the AMA’s focus? It appears as if they don’t have the knowledge, skill, organization, or cajones to be true leaders. Are they under capitalized? Overwhelmed? Understaffed? In regards to supercross, there seems to be no clear message as to what their core focus is.

4. Live Nation (Formerly Clear Channel, formerly SFX, formerly Pace, etc.)

Live Nation is currently the largest promoter of supercross in the USA, handling 15 of the AMA Supercross Series events.

Pluses: ‘Perceived’ power, excellent infrastructure. Minuses: History of business ‘style’ has produced, among other things, an inquiry by the U. S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, a high profile lawsuit, court case, and settlement in the millions of dollars. Their history of business ‘practices’ has created ill-will with some both in and out of the industry.

When the AMA was discussing future supercross promotional rights with another business entity (Jam Sports), did Clear Channel create the ‘world’ supercross series (World Supercross GP) to create confusion amongst fans, industry, sponsors, and others, and to dilute value in the AMA Supercross Series? Regardless of the reason, having two ‘series’ has done exactly that.

Should supercross have a Commissioner?

A Commissioner is an official selected by an athletic association to exercise administrative leadership.

If you know anything about major sports in the USA, you’ve heard of these men: Bud Selig, Paul Tagliabue, and David Stern. They are the respective Commissioners of Major League Baseball, the NFL, and the NBA.

These major sports made great strides once they embraced the idea of a Commissioner.

Baseball’s National League started in 1876. Judge K. Landis was elected baseball’s first Commissioner in 1921. The MLB Players Union negotiated their first CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) in 1968.

The NFL began in 1922. In 1941 Elmer Layden became Commissioner of the NFL. In 1956, the NFL Players Association was founded.

The NBA was created in 1949. The NBA elected it’s first commissioner, Maurice Podoloff, in 1949. The NBA Players Union began in April 1957.

A Commissioner of supercross would have to address many issues in the near future, including:

  • Riders Union
  • Comprehensive TV contracts
  • Drug testing
  • Insurance / Pension
  • Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)
  • Increased purse monies / Revenue sharing
  • Licensing agreements

Unions came about in the first place because company owners took advantage of their work force. Companies normally look to maximize profit by giving their staff as little as possible, and by charging the consumer as much as possible.

Two positive effects of a Riders Union would be: education & unification for the riders, and, (much like the US government has three major branches – Executive, Legislative, & Judicial to balance each other out) make sure one entity does not have too much power over any other.

Give the riders, the manufacturers, the sanctioning body, and the promoters representation to create a management board, evaluate candidates with the knowledge and experience to lead, and elect a Commissioner.

Regardless of the concept of a Commissioner, supercross needs real & effective leadership. Supercross can keep the status quo: stay the same, unbalanced, a minor sport in the world’s eye, with everyone looking out for their own interests. Or, with proper leadership, it can mature and blossom into a major sport of 21st century. Let’s hope it’s the latter.

Next topic: How about changing the names of the classes to ‘250s’ and ‘450s’? (The name ‘Lites’ bites!)

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