One Race and One Title to Go, Please!!

  Wow, how quickly things change..On Friday the Crawfordville facility had a beautifully manicured track and we had a closely contested points battle in the 450 division. Saturday morning the manicured track quickly turned into a muddy quagmire that would alter the points dramatically.

  Since Red Bud, things have not exactly been going Roczen’s way. His riding has been good, but not great, thus Kenny had to feel a bit of relief when the rains started to fall, knowing he was the most familiar with racing in those type conditions. Conversely, Dungey surely began to feel a bit apprehensive after practice, sitting in 12th place, some 5 seconds slower than his teammate and championship rival…and that is how the day went..  Roczen looked comfortable in the slop, while Dungey seemed to flounder. Even in the first moto, when Ryan worked his way up to second, he never looked at ease or had any flow in the muck. Conversely Roczen was standing on the pegs, even doing a few of the doubles. By the end of the day Kenny’s slim 7 point cushion had swelled to a 20 point gap..making things look bleak for Dungey’s Championship aspirations…but it is not over, there is one more race to go, and as we have seen, strange things can happen in this sport we call motocross..

  { Interesting fact or two.. in the second moto of the top 20 only 6 riders moved forward and that was mainly do to crashes by others..Euros are good in mud..Roczen was not the only Euro comfortable in the mud..Freddy Noren had two solid rides going from 27th to 9th in the first moto and following that with a 20th to 8th in the second moto.}

  One title was wrapped up in Indiana, the 250 Outdoor crown goes to Jeremy Martin! Congratulations to Jeremy, his team and to his family! Early in the year when things did not go as planned in suprecross, they kept their heads up, worked hard and righted the ship..They showed up at Glen Helen more prepared than the rest of the field and impressively held the red plate from then on. Truly a great performance from a wonderful young man..look for many more titles to come his way during his career!!

   Now only the finale looms before us..Can Dungey do the impossible and take the title out of Roczen’s grasp or will Kenny become the 3rd rookie to take the title..Only way to find out is tune in next week and cheer for your favorite rider as the 2014 Great Outdoors will come to a close…Thanks for taking time to read my BS!!!

Two for the Road

  Short vacation over, I rushed home from Pensacola Wednesday, left there at 8:00 am home at 10:30 pm..1000 miles in 14.5 hours! Only two pee stops and some horrendous bumper to bumper traffic in Dallas kept me from getting it down to 14 hours even..may be next time! While my trip home was fast, the same can be said of the 2014 Outdoor season, it has flown by at a amazing rate.

   The bright spot is it looks like the championship chase will come down to the last moto, as Kenny Roczen holds a slim point lead over Ryan Dungey. Kenny has not ridden to his potential since RED BUDD, while Ryan has excelled over the same amount of time. The end result is the points differential has dwindled from 26 to 7. Comparing how they accumulated the points over the season shows two very similar and consistent riders. Roczen rocketed out of the gate the first half of the series collecting 7 moto wins - 8 2nds - 3 3rds - 2 4ths. Meanwhile Dungey got off to an average start but has come on strong as of late to garner 6 moto wins - 7 2nds - 5 3rds - 2 4ths. The way things are going, It will be possible for the two of them to enter the last race tied on points and finishes, or even perhaps the season could end that way..WOW I am sure that has ever happened before!

    What will happen next is any ones guess, with a new track upcoming and the “worst track” as the finale. Plus we have 2 Honda riders just now hitting their stride, who will impact the results. Actually though its in the hands of the KTM teammates, who need to really concentrate on just beating each other to see who wins the championship..We fans will just have to see if Dungey can ride the momentum for two more weeks and take a 3rd title or if Roczen can bust out of his slump and secure his first American Outdoor title with 4 good motos…

 There is considerably less drama in the 250 division. Jeremy Martin, the young, friendly, Minnesotan was simply more prepared for the season day one and never took his hand off the throttle. He dominated races and was tactical enough to take what came in others, never pushing over his limit. His constant calm demeanor kept him from making the usual rookie mistakes. Bottom line is, he has been consistently the best rider in the class and barring injury or DNF, Jeremy will leave Indiana with a well deserved 250 championship trophy to take back home to Millville.

  It has been a wonderful summer to be a motocross fan, we have seen great racing and for the most part everyone has remained healthy…For the next two weeks enjoy the races and cheer on your favorite rider, because that dreaded long off season is on the horizon…. Thanks for taking time to read my BS..

Dilla, Dilla, Dilla

  Saturday was spent driving to Florida for a short vacation and I missed the races! Luckily I had two friends who attended the race, they kept me informed by sending video, pics and supplied me with results..Thanks Bill and Chris for taking time to do so..

  The pressure of a title can loom very heavy on a rider, it can cause him to second guess himself or cause his riding strategy to change, all with out him realizing it. This may be what is happening to the points leader. Roczen has not looked like the confident, fun loving rider we saw at the first of the season. With Kenny’s point lead cut in half Saturday he needs to quickly regroup and find his groove or his teammate may snatch the red plate away in Indiana..

  Dungey seems to have finally found that little something extra. Maybe a bit more confidence by the way he is attacking the track, making quick passes, or it could be his experience coming into play. Ryan is no stranger to the late season squeeze a title race can apply to a rider. He has felt it before in his battles with Villopoto. What ever it is, he is using it to mount a late season charge that could take him to the championship.

  In the 250 division, Jeremy Martin now has a 66 point cushion, with only 100 points left on the table. Only a DNF or an injury can stop him from hoisting the Championship trophy. It has been a odd year for the young Yamaha rider. After failing to make a couple supercross mains, to come out and win the outdoors in such convincing fashion is the stuff movies are made of…Truly a magical year for Magic Martin..

  The story of the day was defiantly Canard getting his first win outdoors on a 450. Trey has always shown the speed it takes to win, but little mistakes have lead to big injuries, stealing away huge stretches of his career. Saturday, he put it all together finding the top step of the podium and not one person was upset to see the red head up there. Even his competitors gave him props for winning. It will be interesting to see how this effects the last two races of the year..  

  Another rider tasted vindication at Unadilla, the Frenchman Christophe Pourcel. He has shown great speed, winning all those Oakley bomb awards, gathering several holeshots, yet he could not put it all together until Saturday. He silenced his many critics with his first moto ride, from all accounts looking smooth as silk on a track that was rough as a gator back.Then, backing it up with a solid 2nd in the second moto to claim the over all. As a fan, it is nice to see him finally break through with that win, but as a rider, I bet it was a huge weight off of his shoulders…

   Later in the week I will look what we can expect at the upcoming New Venue..until then thanks for taking time to read my BS…

  

The Final Countdown: 3

   After a well earned break, the Boys of the Great Outdoors will be back at work Saturday, riding maybe the most infamous track in America. From the wild, unruly crowds to the unforgettable battles on the track, Unadilla is a big part of our motocross history… 

   In the 450’s division, with only 6 motos to go, the pressure is mounting on the two Championship contenders. Where speed is usually a titles deciding factor, this year, mental toughness may be what determines the victor between Kenny “The Rocket” Roczen and his teammate Ryan “The Locomotive” Dungey, The nicknames are appropriate here, because Kenny rocketed out to a nice points lead, only to have the Locomotive chug along and build momentum with Dungey closing the gap to only 14 points. How Kenny reacts to losing those points will be key the to his season.

   They must also contend with 3 other riders who can match their pace on any given day. The carefree and rested Eli “The Spoiler” Tomac, who has shown he has the speed to chase them down and beat both of them. “Tenacious” Trey Canard, who has been right there, digging every race trying to nail down his first win in the class. Last but not least, James “The Gambler” Stewart, a rider who has not had many good days at Unadilla, but is definitely due to have a good race, after all the bad luck he has had in the very recent past. 

    All of us motocross fans want to see the season come down to the last race, where the Winner Takes All, so this 450 drama should keep us all on the edge of our seats…

    In the 250 class, things could possibly be wrapped up early because of the 43 point differential, once again between teammates, Jeremy Martin and Cooper Webb, who hold down the top two spots in points. If Martin can add 8 points to his cushion over Webb in the next two races, he will accomplish two feats. First and most importantly, he will wrap up the title with one race to go and second, he will have had the points lead from the end of the first moto of the year to the last. That would cap off a magical Outdoor season for the young Yamaha rider, who totally reversed his supercross misfortunes, into a championship in the Great Outdoors, showing why I nicknamed him “Magic Martin”!

    Enjoy whats is left of the nationals by attending a race if possible or watch each race on TV, while cheering on your favorite rider. All to soon it will be over and we will be stuck in the void we call the “off season” leaving me to wonder what to write about…Oh don’t worry..I will think of some thing…Thanks for taking time to read my BS…

P. U. stands for Posters United…Really!

   With the break in action in the Great Outdoors, I wondered what I would find to write about this week. Scanning through RacerX online I always seem to find something of interest to comment on, but nothing jumped out at me until I was reading the Conversation..

   I have always been told nothing stirs people up more than a discussion of politics or religion, well I would like to add motocross to that short list. The reason I say that is, because I noticed that when someone states an opinion, that can be taken to be the slightest bit negative towards a rider, it automatically triggers some very strong responses. While some people take it in stride and bring out facts to contradict the offending poster, others immediately attack the character, intelligence and family heritage of said poster. Unfortunately and unfairly, that is how we form opinions of each other on line, through the Conversation. We will decide if we like or dislike a individual just by the way he comments or by which rider he supports. We will be both judge and jury, based solely on how well someone communicates their thoughts and opinions about moto. 

   Now, I realize we fans can be very passionate about moto and this sparring is mostly in good fun. Its not meant to be as mean spirited as it may sound, especially since in this day and age, trash talking has become an art form, an accepted part of all sports, even ours. I would go so far as to bet that if we all met at the races and hung out for the afternoon, at the end of the day we would end up leaving as great friends, regardless of our previous online opinions.. What do I base this on? I am glad you ask…

  In 2012 I started talking to Bucky394 about meeting while attending the race at Millville. On race day I saw this golf cart with a sign looking for BD25..I stopped him, introduced my self and through the day made a friend for life. The following year, as we planned for Spring Creek, we thought how fun it would be to have a poster party of sorts, so we invited BillC, Ripdown, MXBob and a couple others to get together and enjoy the races. Unfortunately, many could not make it, the only one who could was BillC. The night before the race, we met in Zumbro Falls had a beverage and got to know each other a bit. The next morning, BillC was quick to buy Bucky, his wife, me and my wife breakfast before we headed to the track. That evening, after the races, Bucky treated us to a steak dinner at his place, while we all watched the recorded races and bench raced about the day. This year it was just Bucky and I, as Bill was unable to make the trip. The day before the race, Bucky received a big envelope in the mail, but in his haste did not open it until the day after the race. In it he found a $20 bill taped to cardboard and a note from BillC wishing to buy our breakfast once again..how cool was that???

   Which brings me back to just how wrong we can be about people online. It is key to remember, we are all just expressing opinions, to which we are entitled, based on our experiences. While we may fuss, fight and argue with each other in the Conversation, in real life we would be respectful of each other and wind up great friends. In my humble opinion, we are part of a huge family, created by a common bond, our love and passion for the greatest motor sport on earth… Motocross/Supercross!!

Washougal 2014

  Things just got a little more interesting in the 450 class, while in the 250 class we had a new winner for 2014 and only a minimal change in the points chase.. 

    After taking second overall and only gaining 2 points on Roczen at his home track in Minnesota last week, Ryan needed to bounce back, get max points on the day and close the championship point deficit. For that reason, Washougal was a good place for Dungey to be since Ryan has always ridden the Shou very well. Matter a fact Ryan has a habit of winning there. In 07, at his first pro race in Washougal, Ryan finished 3rd overall, going 3-2 behind Townly and Villopoto. The following year Ryan went on a overall winning streak there, one that was not interrupted until 2013, when Villopoto took the 2nd moto win, leaving Dungey to finish 2nd over all.

   The Shou fit Dungey today and his mastery over this track was on display. Ryan did just what he needed to do, win both motos and he did it in convincing fashion. Eli Tomac made his presence felt by finishing 2nd, running down Roczen in the first moto and running away from him in the 2nd. Roczen went 3-3 on the day, which is a great finish, yet he surrendered 10 points to his Championship rival. The points difference is now down to 14 with 3 races to go…This season looks to go down to the wire, keeping us all watching from the edge of our seats…

   Marvin Musquin showed today why he won two world title on a 250. He like his 450 teammate set the fastest practice time, then went out and won both motos by comfortable margins. After his season got off to a slow start do to healing injuries, it is nice to see Marvin get healthy and show his incredible talent. Blake Baggett had a rough first moto which saw him fall multiple times and finish 5th behind points leader Martin who was 4th. Second moto he rode better and captured 2nd where he made up 2 points on Jeremy whose 4th place finish was good enough to be 3rd over all. Cooper Webb, who sits 2nd in championship points went 3-5 tying Martin with  36 overall points on the day, which did not aid him in his title hopes.  Pourcel my pick to win, holeshot each moto, first moto he held on for second, but he faded badly or had bike trouble second moto, ending up 15th for 8th overall, which leaves him tied for 5th with Justin Bogle in the Championship points.

  Next week is a well deserved break in the schedule. Riders in each class will use the time to rest there worn down bodies and plot their strategy for the 3 race stretch run to the title. While the 250 class looks to be sewn up for Magic Martin, as it would take a collapse of monumental proportions or an injury to wrestle it from his grasp, strange things happen in this sport of ours…Just 3 weeks ago Roczen looked to be invincible and have the 450 title ready to slide over to RCH with him…now while still in the cat bird seat, it is becoming a hot seat..do to the Championship pressure and the blistering pace Dungey and Tomac have been running…

    It is really gettin good folks!! Enjoy the races everyone and Thanks for reading my BS

If the Shou Fits …Win It!!

   The boys of summer now go to the great northwest to race another premier facility. Obstacles, Horsepower Hill and the Shadows usually come into play at some point in the day, influencing who will be victorious at the Shou..

   Tomac torched them in Minnesota, Dungey dunked them in Budds Creek and Roczen rocked them at Red Bud, while Stewart slammed them at Hi Point.. Can Canard whip’em at Washougal to claim his first 45o win in the Great Outdoors?  

  These 5 riders are on a different level than the rest of he field and on any given day each one can dominate the others. That is what makes picking a winner this week so tough. This week I have to go with Dungey once again even though I was wrong last week picking him. Ryan has so much prior success here,(sound familiar) even being able to beat his arch Ryan on this track a few times. The Eli and Ken rivalry should make for a great battle for 2nd and 3rd with Trey right there pick up the pieces if either of them make a mistake…James could be right there with them if he can put the past 5 weeks behind him..not an easy task..and I just got word he will be missing Washougal..so what ever is wrong with James, a get well soon goes out..

   This is another track that the French Connection of Musquin and Pourcel, will ride very well, but can one of them finally win? Lets see, in their favor is the fact Jeremy Martin has such a big points lead, it is hard to see him push it unnecessarily. Cooper Webb will be going for it, still wanting to prove himself in the worst way and has been susceptible to mistakes in doing so. Baggett is a racer, who will not quit, regardless of the points deficit, whose speed can not be questioned, but his starts can. Anderson has shown us all he can win, while Bogle has crashed when running the leaders race pace a couple times. Dang this class may be even harder to predict than the big bikes…but I am going out on a limb and say Pourcel gets his first win of the year..

   When filling with fuel to make my return trip to Oklahoma in Rochester I met an Australian at the gas pumps. He had flown over to see his first ever outdoor national and spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Spring Creek. I ask if he was headed back home and he told me was going to drive to Billings, Montana then fly to Washington and attend Washougal. I told him I was jealous and that he was liven the life…His reply was simply ” Life is short, You got to enjoy it Mate! ” With that we climbed in to our vehicles and drove off, I followed him to Albert Lea where I went south the whole time thinking how right he is…Enjoy the races everyone, whether your rider wins or not, because life is too short to sweat the small stuff… Thanks for taking time to read my BS ….

The Martins of Millville

   I really enjoyed Millville this past week, the additions to the track were great, the racing was close and intense, but my favorite part was meeting the Martin family! I would like to Thank them all for the kindness they extended to me!

   On Friday, Alex was the first one I got to meet. Bucky introduced me as BD25, to which he replied “Really you give me his screen name”…we got good laugh out of that, which showed his sense of humor! After a firm handshake and telling him my name was Billy, he was very polite and forthcoming as I asked him a few questions. On Saturday, after the races  I listened as Alex excitedly talked about the Geo Metro he was fixing up..How down to earth is that??

 Next was Jennifer, she is Jeremy’s twin sister, a very pretty girl, with a bubbly personality, who shares her brothers blonde hair. She was quick to talk about how proud she is of both of her brothers. I saw her a few times over the next two days and although we did not talk a lot, her constant smile spoke volumes.. 

  I then got to meet the spark of the family, Gretta..She is an absolute gem! She was warm, friendly and very quick with a smile..and when she laughed the whole area lit up! We seemed to hit it off right away, we talked for several minutes before she was called away on business, but when she returned, we started right where we left off. It is no doubt where the family gets its sense of humor and positive attitude…I came away very impressed with her and feel like I made a friend..

   It was race day when I finally met Jeremy. He was very busy, but amazingly calm and laid back for the situation he was in. He took time out to chat for a few minutes, flashing that Martin smile and treating me as if he had known me for years. He is such a genuine young man you can not help but come away impressed with how mature he is for his young age. After the race he was just as low key, you would never have known he won a National except for all the people who wanted a piece of his time. It was very cool to see him give Bucky the jersey he wore when he won the first moto, stating “This is for you Bucky, my biggest fan!”

    Shortly after meeting Jeremy, Bucky introduced me to Johnny. I had met Johnny briefly in winter of 2000, when he was in Oklahoma riding, escaping the Minnesota cold. We talked for a few minutes and I invited him and his crew to come up and ride the track in my back yard..They stopped by on there way back to Minnesota that year, only to be stifled by the stiff Oklahoma wind. I asked him if he remembered stopping by..”Vaguely” he answered, but when I brought up that I was the one who showed up a week early for the race in 01, that he remembered. A smile quickly came to his face, “Yeah, I was on the tractor on the hill, I got off to see if I could help you.. I sure got a good laugh about of that.” He then was very kind and gracious, taking time to answer several questions about how he maintains Spring Creek, even though he was right in the middle of hosting a National…

    Motocross is a family driven sport, without family supporting and guiding them, riders would not get very far. After meeting the Martins, I am even more convinced of this. The Martin family exemplify all the good things in life.. hard work, respect, love and lots of laughter…It truly is the recipe that will lead one to success in any field and The Martins are a fine example!!

1. Mount Martin  2. The Partisan Crowd  3. Opening Ceremonies 4. Jeremy and his Biggest Fan 4. Alex signs a t-shirt  5. Trey Canard 4th overall 6.Ken Roczen  3rd overall 7. Ryan Dungey  2nd overall 9. Eli Tomac da Winner 10. Old Glory!!