We wrap up Indy and look forward to Daytona, a.k.a., WEEK X.


3/6/2009

A regularly updated blog by Rupert X Pellett...

March 6
Motocross and our indoor edition, Supercross, has always been about numbers, so it should be no surprise that, as motocrossers, we quickly acknowledge numbers -- everywhere. My airport gate in Columbus was Chad Reed (22). With a B on it. My flight number was 3393 -- Josh Grant and Kevin Johnson -- and I was sitting in the Nick Wey location (27) D aisle. My hotel room is all Timmy Ferry and Andrew Short -- 1529 -- and my Starbucks coffee price was an old Jeff Gibson (275) numeral from days past.

Digits and dirt go together, and we see rider numbers and link them up in our minds with house numbers, state routes and yes, hotel rooms. In Vegas, I always seem to get assigned Dunlop tire numbered rooms -- for example, 756, 752, etc.

Cheerio, must roll onto the RC highway (No. 4) across central Florida, Tampa to Daytona. It's Jeff Alessi (8:01 a.m). We must mount up.

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Numbers? That's No. 496: Hunter Shryock.

March 5
Mother Nature can be such a sassy, unpredictable um....creature, so I should've known that leaving Columbus, Ohio, with 20 degrees would turn into a snowy Charlotte, N.C., airport with 30 degrees before balmy Tampa, Fla., greeted my gearbags and me with a thick 75 degrees of Fahrenheit and real swaying palm trees.

Photographer Kardy, fresh off a mountain bike ride after witnessing Tuesday's Grand National Cross Country, was kind enough to pick me up and deliver me to my hotel, before resuming his MTB program. Now I am left to explore Tampa before heading to "Dirtona" tomorrow. Nothing too remarkable to report other than I noticed that they were replacing the wheel/tire on my Airbus at Charlotte and, after glancing in the cockpit, I was disappointed to see that Sully was not my pilot on this merry ride. Oh, and MIKE BROWN was indeed racing, and racing well, at the GNCC.

Look, I can't type all day and I've been forewarned that the 2009 spring swimwear is indeed out and very fashionable, so, in service to my fellow man, I shall amble up to the rooftop swimming pool post haste and inspect my surroundings. This, I do both hesitatingly and with sincere introspection and great anticipation.

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Uh oh. This could be Scandalous.



March 3
I don't know if it's a big hullabaloo in the United Kingdom or not, but Steven Clarke, temporarily residing in the remote regions of Georgia, not far from the famous dirt pyramids of Cairo, deep in the MTF, and riding for Suzuki City, is forging quite an impression here in America. Fifth place in the Lites class Saturday night in Indy and currently seventh in points is not shabby, mate. We haven't had a fast Great British lad do any damage in Supercross since James Dobb -- back in the day.

There’s only two more rounds left in the Arenacross series -- the West Coast rounds are over -- there's a match in Pennsylvania and one in Kentucky. Then we'll see a bunch more folks join this Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series, an FIM Championship.

My buddy GONSER insists that Bubba hit a Tuff Block before the finish line at Indy, activating his front brake lever and resulting in crash two for the San Manuel Yamaha pilot. Unofficially, then, it's not in the books (books?) as a TBAFBLWU* incident.

Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Season Standings
  1. Christophe Pourcel, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki, 72
  2. Nico Izzi, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki, 62
  3. Austin Stroupe, Lincolnton, N.C., Kawasaki, 57
  4. Branden Jesseman, New Brighton, Pa., Kawasaki, 43
  5. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, KTM, 36
  6. Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., KTM, 35
  7. Steven Clarke, Cairo, Ga., Suzuki, 35
  8. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Honda, 34
  9. Matt Lemoine, Collinsville, Texas, Yamaha, 29
  10. Daniel Blair, Modesto, Calif., Honda, 26
* Tuff-Block Activated Front Brake Lever Wad-Up.

This summer, there will be a Texas-sized AMA Motocross race at Freestone Raceway. Let's see what promoter Tony Miller wants to get off his Texas-sized chest about it, shall we?

InTERRAgation 9 With Rupert X: Tony Miller, owner of Texas’ Freestone Raceway

Q: Tony, what were you up to at 9:11 this morning?
A: Working at my office, wishing I was going to be at the Atlanta SX this weekend.

Q: What are the biggest misconceptions MX folks have about your track?
A: That the track is small. It is not small at 1.35 miles long, and it does get very rough in our sandy loam with moderate elevation.
Q: You’re in the electrical business. How did you get into the motocross business, too?
A: Friends got me involved. I started as a race team owner in 1996-97 with road racing with Eric Bostrom, winning the AMA National Championship in 1997 and a flat track team in 1998-99 with Jess Roeder winning the AMA National Championship in 1998. My son, Clayton, started racing motocross at age 15 in late 1996 and during that time we dedicated our efforts to his amateur racing and developing our track, Freestone County Raceway in 2000, which has led us onto the national circuit in 2007 and our new national track Freestone Raceway. Our history of racing is on our website, www.freestonmx.com. Also, Billy Whitley got me involved as one of his factory Suzuki MX, SX and AX team sponsors with riders Buddy Antunez, Denny Stephenson and David Pingree. This has all been a very special opportunity to participate at this level.

Q: Would you recommend people fly into Dallas or Houston to attend Freestone’s AMA National? Stay where?
A: Houston is good, due to less traffic from the airport to the track. There are hotels in Fairfield, Mexia and Corsicana, Texas. More info is on our website.

Q: How’s your son Clayton’s professional motocross career coming along?
A: He is preparing for the outdoor nationals this year, and is going to ride 450 class. He just moved into his first home with his wife Cortni and 8-month-old baby daughter, Cayleigh. What a blast it is to have a grandchild.

Q: Have you ever found a rattlesnake or anything weird in your car before?
A: Not yet, but I found a copperhead in the old ranch house.

Q: What plans are in store for your track this year?
A: We’re adding some new jumps and moving some fencing closer to the track for spectator viewing and opening up more infield areas. Also, one of the jumps will be a tunnel jump through the middle of the track to allow better spectator flow through and around the track.

Q: What sort of trackside cuisine do Freestone vendors offer the public? Texas fare?
A: Typical hamburgers, hotdogs, but the best is the variety of Texas Bar-B-Que and freshly made burritos. Last year, we also had shrimp.

Q: What has been the biggest, unpredicted headache of running an AMA National?
A: Really, there is always something new that occurs, and having a good staff helps smooth it out and keeps it good for our spectators. The first year, a guy stole our big Texas flag and used it as a blanket. He did go to jail, but there is no way to predict things like that happening. Overall, the complete staff of Freestone, MXSports and John Ayers are great and run a really smooth event. The nationals are going to be awesome this year.

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Tommy gets busy with the job at Hahnd.

INDYSX2009 050.jpg
YOT Manager Chris "Dang-Dang" McAvoy counsels 338.

March 2
It matters not whether you're a bigger fan of the blue or the yellow, the Makita Suzuki or the San Manuel Yamaha, the Australian or the American, the Floridian or, um, the Floridian, it’s all ‘bout the thrill of competition. And, that's what we had this past Saturday night, some incredible racing in an incredible new stadium with incredibly cold temperatures in an incredibly thriving downtown Indy.

In fact, Indy delivered, by far, the best racing of the year and, as stated, it's insignificant whether you prefer the "Bubba" or the "Skippy," it was all about the racing at hand.

Nine of 17 powerful city-based rounds of this spectacular 2009 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, and FIM World Championship, are in the books (by the way, who, what and where are these “books" that everybody refers to?). As a bonus, we get another twist in the story along with the first win for the Suzuki in '09. Was Chad faster? No, but he was fast enough. And, many say, fast enough to force mistakes on James' part.

I guarantee you that right now James is fuming, seething. He was beat and is now ready to inflict some punishment on the upcoming Daytona track and the competition like we've never seen. While the forecasters are calling for temperatures in the 70s, and very little chance for precipitation all week in the Daytona Beach vicinity, I'm predicting a 100 percent chance of a disturbance coming in from Haines City, with huge swells and raining roost likely from the San Manuel Yamaha. Bubba will come to battle, while Chad will come in invigorated, fresh and, suddenly, carrying a renewed sense of confidence in himself.

That leap of faith that he took to escape the wrath of the pack on lap one -- right after the holeshot with an EFI-assisted blast over the first HUGE DOUBLE was, simply, a masterpiece -- and critical to his night's victorious performance.

A few manic notes from Indy:
  • Blake Wharton, No. 61, had a terrible night and was visibly upset in the pits -- tough break for a kid who will be on the podium at some point.
  • Both SIPES brothers racing in the Supercross class. Kentucky in da house!
  • Team France done good! Second place for Poucel in Lites, while Ben Coisy tagged a sixth in the Supercross class.
  • Downtown Indy has a thrilling nightlife/wildlife. I punked out about 4 am. Couldn't hang.
  • The Monster Energy Kaws of Pourcel and Stroupe have mind-blowing graphics -- Psychedelic, yo.
  • More drama from JLAW. He practiced then bailed on us. The truth is unavailable. Rumors are rampant.
  • A great ride from Mike Alessi. No. 800 launched his Makitazuki onto the podium, even briefly gave Bubba a hard time!
  • Mike LaRocco designed the Indy course and the riders and fans really, truly dug it. It slowed down the pace, made the racing intriguing and was wonderfully spectacular -- all at the same time. And Mike showed up with a two-smoker CR250, tres' coolio.
  • Lucas Oil Stadium is clean, bright, brilliant and the accoutrements are FANtastic. Food, vendors, bathrooms are all top-notch. And Lucas Oil will sponsor AMA Motocross (just announced).
  • Moto-Concepts Ben Coisy, Tyler Bowers and crew are giving that team a lot of good press. Very cool.
  • Never did see Mike Brown. Supposedly, he's IN for Daytona.
  • JT$ was rockin' the No. 45 in the Lites class at Indy. Unsure what's up with that...
  • Andrew Short had the ol' rock in the brake pedal -- shouldn't happen indoors -- but sometimes rocks pop up. They just do and they date back at least to Roman Times. We know that.

AMA Supercross Class Results, Indianapolis
  1. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Suzuki
  2. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
  3. Mike Alessi, Apple Valley, Calif., Suzuki
  4. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha
  5. Ivan Tedesco, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda
  6. Ben Coisy, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
  7. Davi Millsaps, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda
  8. Michael Byrne, Newnan, Ga., Suzuki
  9. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
  10. Timmy Ferry, Largo, Fla., Kawasaki
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J-Law gets needed assistance.

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Yessir, this is MIKE LAROCCO country!





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