First I want to fire straight out of the gate and air my feelings on theÃ‚Â lap timesÃ‚Â this weekend. Lame! OK I feel better now and I am sure there were some of you who were expecting me to go on a Tom Hoffarth type rant are relieved. For those of you who are not familiar to Tom, he is a writer for the Los Angeles daily news. Last week his coverage of the Los Angeles Supercross hadÃ‚Â anÃ‚Â unfortunate skew towards the fans, riders and anyone who ever set foot on dirt. Tom has since tried to backpedal and explain away his misguided efforts of journalism. Tom was quick to point out that all should be reckoned based on theÃ‚Â uncontrollableÃ‚Â love and desire for anÃ‚Â organizationÃ‚Â and the team he so dearly loves, the Los Angeles Dodgers. I to have a love for Baseball in the same way and even rival it along side my passion for racing. I have played competitive baseball and even played a bit of college ball. (Editor Note: I was more than good enough for the team, but there was that showing up to class thing that got in the way). In fact myÃ‚Â cherishedÃ‚Â team once shared their hollowed ground with Supercross and seemed to enjoy a fruitful, yet all to short relationship. Yes, I am a Giants fan! Born and raised to the bone. So if you think you are going to get any compassion from baseball fans on the west coast I will assume you were only expecting to come from your neighbors and family. P.S. Next year I am going to go to Dodger stadium and pee on the grass in your honor. OK, now my rant is over and we can move onto other things.
My good friend Nathan Woods passed away tragically Friday. I still am not sure how to process it despite knowing it was always aÃ‚Â possibility. I don’t mean Nathan specifically, but just the nature of the beast and the risks that run with racing. I think any top rider has to come with terms with the reality of not returning to the pits and I know that when you think to much about it, it is over. For myself I just started to get to a point where I was able in my mind to calculate the risks ahead versus what I have already walked away from. I don’t really want too many details on the crash, but I am sure it was one like he has gotten up from many times before. Friday was his time and in an very unoriginal statement, I will say I know he died doing something he loved. I am not at all aÃ‚Â religiousÃ‚Â person by definition. In fact I don’t think much about why and I think more about how. I believe things happen for a reason whether that is hard work,Ã‚Â preparationÃ‚Â or luck. For Nathan he was a hard worker, prepared and very lucky. Nathan leaves a legacy to his family that any man would be proud of and I am sure we will not hear the last of the name Woods and the sport of motorcycling.
I now am going to move back to move forward. The lap times this weekend were pathetic. I know they said they were leaving room to push mud off the track in the event of rain, but common. First there was plenty of room to move dirt around. Second if you are going to audible to not using all the track then have a freaking back plan to add a section like Vegas where all they need to do is open it up to add time. I mean really could they not just added in a long left hander around the outside of the track to add in just three to five seconds? You should see where I am going with this and I think IÃ‚Â have aÃ‚Â better solution. I propose the “Arena Rule”.
Arena Rule – No AMAÃ‚Â SupercrossÃ‚Â main event shall have a time limit of under twenty minutes. Each race will have a determination of laps after the completion of timed qualifying. This will assure that the main event have the proper number of laps the meet the twenty minute requirement. For 250 class racing the minimum main event time will be fifteen minute and shall follow the same guidelines.
Next order of business. Man do I wish I know what Chad said to James on the podium. I am guessing it was something like this.
Chad: I guess the old guys are still around.
James: Who you calling old?
Actually I am sure it was different than that, but that is what I am guessing. James looked pretty good last night and if he hadn’t crashed last week I think he may have nabbed that one too, but not 100% sure. I don’t know what you think, but I have noticed James standing quite a bit more in his riding. James looks more in control and I can see the O’Show style starting to set in. If James can match that speed with the style of O’Mara then watch out. If James does get his confidence back it will be a good year.Ã‚Â
Villipoto is not going away and Chad Reed’s race was inspiring. You can always tell when Chad starts to get confident based on his podium interviews. Chad is always good in my opinion for throwing out a head scratcher, but I love it’s intent. Chad is a passionate guy who has always rode with a undeserved chip on his shoulder. Always the brides maid even in the years he wins a championship, so I understand. Still the comments make you scratch your head.
All the Yamaha’s look much better this year and the blue flooding of the main events isÃ‚Â evident. The JGR bikes look fantastic and Brayton’s results speak for themselves. On a sadder note Mike Alessi looks to really be in a bad place. I don’t want toÃ‚Â kickÃ‚Â a guy why he is down and despite my critique of KTM last week I believe they will have success. I think DeCoster was right that Mike has talked himself out of being a goodÃ‚Â SupercrossÃ‚Â rider and when you do that it is done. I think Mike needs a break to find out if he still wants to keep doing this and get recharged if it is the case. I know I and many others have made comments in regards to Tony Alessi, but I will be the first to eat crow right now and say that there is a strongÃ‚Â correlationÃ‚Â in Mike’s results and the absence of Tony, like it or not.
I again plan to jump backwards and just make a quick comment on Reed. I think in the start of the main he crapped himself when he got out front. I am not sure that until that moment Chad believed he could do it. Chad looked like he just froze up and rode like a goon until he quickly lost the lead. However as already mentioned he rode valiantly to take a spectacular second in a last ten feet of the track pass on Ryan Dungey. I don’t care about the lapper and Dungey, no excuse for Ryan.
And how about Austin Stroupe. Could we have another guy on our hands proving the point that maybe some guys regardless of their size, age or experience can ride big bikes? Austin is still coming off an injury and is showing that same burst speed we saw last year. If this kid can get his affairs in order he may be something to reckon with in the really near future. This Valli team might be something to watch this summer with Stroupe and the recently announced Ricky Dietrich.
Last I am going to say the words “TireÃ‚Â Controversy”. Whether there is one or not we have one. God forgive two guys who push a front end as hard as humanly possible on slick conditions with just to much trail braking. trail braking is a tricky science and in my opinion is the result of the crashes you are seeing. The physics just don’t match up well on dirt and the ability for the front end to push is high no matter what brand tire you run. I am sure each manufacture has it’s secrets, but this one I am chalking up toÃ‚Â technique.
So back to Anaheim and onto Pink night. The cause is great and I hope like in years past the event Raises money for a good cause.
RIP. #54 1978-2011