Welcome to the Weekly Dirt, the place to go to get your off-road fix of news, race results and other buzz on everything two-wheels. This week, it’s all about Hangtown, MotoTrials, and Crossover!
By now, you already know what happened this weekend at the first round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship up at Hangtown. The track was epic (as usual), the racing was exciting and several riders proved that they’ve been doing their homework leading into the Nationals. Everyones’ got his or her opinions about the race.
Here are mine:
• Blake Baggett is an animal. The Pro Circuit/ Kawasaki rider’s first moto charge from sixth at the halfway point to first at the checkers was nothing short of incredible. When Baggett passed the white flag in third place, you could tell that he was just itching to get out front, and he did so through a combination of smart line choices and sheer speed. If you weren’t a Baggett fan before, I’m betting you are now!
• James Stewart needs to continue winning all the way to Lake Elsinore. Following Stewart’s early departure from Supercross, the haters were really talking. They seemed to have been silenced quite a bit following Bubba’s dominate performance in the 450 class at Hangtown, but it’s going to take more than that for James to win back the fans that he’s lost over the years. Do I think he can pull off a perfect season? Probably not, but if he keeps it on two wheels and rides like he did at Hangtown, there’s no reason why he can’t have a healthy points lead at the end of the year. Keep in mind that Ricky Carmichael had two perfect seasons and Stewart has only had one. I’m sure that’s going to be lurking in the back of this thought as he lines up this weekend at Freestone.
• Davi Millsaps has what it takes to win. The guy rode hard to a podium finish in the first 450 moto, but unfortunately couldn’t keep it together in moto two and spent much of the race outside of the top 20. This inconsistency isn’t a good thing, but I’m not giving up on Millsaps just yet; I think he has what it takes to win one of these things. He’s lost a good bit of weight lately, and he looks fairly strong and confident on the bike. If he can just dial things in a touch, I predict that we’ll see Davi on top of the podium before the season is over.
• Lappers suck. I think Ryan Dungey would agree that dudes getting passed need to get the heck out of the way. It was painful to watch #5 being held up by traffic in the second moto, making me think that the AMA should consider replacing blue flags with blue paintballs. Simple, yet effective.
• Let’s have a healthy season, shall we? Canard. Windham. Villopoto. Townley. Morais. Far too many solid racers were absent from the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Hangtown lineup, and Dean Wilson and Tyla Rattray joined the injured list before the day was over. We can only hope that this trend turns around and we begin to see more riders joining the series than leaving it due to injury.
While part of the Dirt Rider crew was up in Hangtown for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross race, Chris Barrett, Scott Denison and I headed down to Cahuilla Creek for rounds one and two of the SWM AMA/NATC National Mototrials Championship. In the pro division, the fans witnessed a dogfight between Beta’s Cody Webb and Sherco’s Pat Smage, with the latter taking the win on the first day and the former putting it together on day two. If you’ve never been to a trials event before, you’d be amazing at how incredibly difficult the pro line is and how effortlessly some of these riders get through the stuff. It’s no surprise that both Cody and Pat have had success on the AMA/ GEICO EnduroCross series, given how rideable those tracks look in comparison! Other notable EnduroCross racers in attendance included Keith Wineland, Louise Forsely and Colton Haaker, who topped the field at the opening round of EX in Las Vegas three weeks ago.
Barrett and I switched off on Ryan Young Products-provided Sherco test bike, with Barrett grabbing 9th in the Clubman class on Saturday and me finishing 12th on Sunday. Scotty competed in his first event as well, and became the first rider to compete at a trials national aboard one of the new OSSA motorcycles. The Clubman division that we all rode is essential the novice class of trials, and it’s arguably one of the most competitive. However, this isn’t like an amateur motocross national; the riders are all extremely friendly and most everyone will go out of their way to help (or jokingly tease) you throughout the day. We met some great folks at this event, and the loop that the club set up was a challenging, fun mix of rocks, trails and sand washes. Huge thanks to Sherco, OSSA and everyone at the NATC for having us out, as well as the crew at MotoVentures for hosting the event. For more info, check out www.motoventures.com, www.mototrials.us, www.ossaplanet.com and www.rypusa.com.
Oh, and if you think that trials sounds easy or that you could do one, go sign up! I haven’t done much trials, but I’ve done enough to be able to appreciate it when a non-trials rider tells me that the sport looks simple. You have no idea how challenging and rewarding trials competition is. And whether you ride MX, off-road or something completely different, trials is guaranteed to make you a better rider. -Chris Denison
GOPRO CROSSOVER CHALLENGE
For many years the GoPro Crossover Challenge has taken place at the opening round of the outdoor nationals at Hangtown and this year our very own Chris Green took the top honors in the Media class while famous BMXer Allan Cooke swept the athlete class. Aaron Cooke, organizer of the event and brother to Allan Cooke took a hard slam in the first moto but grabbed the mic and did some announcing for the second moto. The Crossover event is a chance for athletes from all different sports to come out and ride a national track. Wake boarders, skiers, snowboarders, BMXers, police officers, firefighters, rock stars, and more have come out to be part of the Crossover Challenge. The sponsor of the event, GoPro, Dunlop, Atomic, Haro and HPI Racing, gave away cool prizes and Dunlop even hooked up all the racers with fresh tires!
Here is a link to the Crossover video:
1st – Allan Cooke
2nd – Daron Rahlves
3rd – Randy Lawrence
4th – Keith Hutchins
5th – Joey Garcia
6th – Mark Silva
7th – Bryan Noe
8th – Dr Gunnar Newquist
9th – Jon Berg
10th – Jonathen Dadek
11th – Broc Sheue
12th – Brad Wong
13th – Casey Kelley
14th – Roff Carter
15th – Kyle Zondervan
16th – Wade Speyer
17th – Tony Campos
18th – Justin Fierro
19th – Michael Segundo
1st – Chris Green
2nd – Steve Thinger
3rd – Zack Thinger
4th – Adam Booth
Jimmy Lewis somehow didn’t get scored but wins for riding a 125 Husky! - Adam Booth
As Chris mentioned above, the national series of observed trials kicked off this weekend in hot and sunny southern California with defending series champ Patrick Smage and 2012 title holder Cody Webb each claiming a victory, leaving the two deadlocked atop the 2012 SWM AMA/NATC National MotoTrials Series points standings.
Saturday’s event also doubled as the 42nd edition of El Trial de Espana, and Smage took the early lead when Webb dropped an unfortunate five by touching a boundary marker in section two. The factory Beta rider seemed to lose his composure after that and finished the 12-section first lap with five fives and a total of 22 marks. Meanwhile, Smage, riding for Sherco USA, managed to stay out of trouble and finished the lap with seven marks to take the early lead.
Lap two was a big improvement for Webb, who turned in a card with seven marks, compared to Smage’s card, which totaled five. Smage still held a big advantage heading into the final lap, which would be held on four exhibition sections, giving the large crowd on hand a chance to see the top trials riders in the nation up close.
The exhibition did little to change the order, with Smage dropping just two points for his eight rides. Webb was one point back with three, giving Smage the overall win with a grand total of 14 points, while Webb took second with 32.
On Sunday, Webb roared back with a clean opening lap, serving notice that this year’s title chase was still very much up for grabs. The 2010 champ finished the second lap with a single mark, and finished the trial with a total of just two points when he dropped one more point on the final lap.
Smage, on the other hand, finished the day with a total of five points, going 1-4-0 over the three laps.
Smage, Webb and crew now head to Colorado for rounds three and four of the eight-round series on May 26-27 at Cotopaxi. - Shan Moore
OHV Trust Fund Threatened Again!
Can you afford to lose $21 Million?
Take two minutes to make three phone calls
California State Senators Simitian and Evans want to take $21 million of your OHV Trust Funds to prop up State Parks. The real person behind this problem in the first place is State Parks Director Ruth Coleman! Think this is just a California problem? Every state follows our lead and the wrong people are have tried to do the same thing on a fedral level many times.
They are doing this in order to bail out the State Park budget due to Director Coleman’s failed leadership. These are the Green Sticker fees and gas taxes that you pay specifically for the OHV Trust Fund.
If we loose that money it could eliminate trail maintenance crews. WIthout maintenance there could be trail closures, as well as increased environmental impacts.
If your OHV trust Fund money is taken then all the state OHV grant funding for areas like CC Camp, Cow Mountain, Stonyford, Georgetown, Hollister, Foresthill, Shasta-Chappie, Metcalf, pretty much all BLM and Forest Service OHV areas, will be eliminated.
Even if you do not enjoy OHV recreation many of the trails you use probably have benefited from OHV Trust Fund, so all people who enjoy trail recreation or care about public lands stand to lose if they steal the OHV Trust Fund.
“Don’t Take Our OHV Trust Funds”. Ruth Coleman hasn’t exhibited the leadership necessary to save State Parks from closures, she needs to step down and let someone better take over. Instead of taking funds from our OHV Trust Fund, State Parks needs to look at their issues and solve their own problems without hurting the OHV program.
The OHV Trust Fund is a program that works and needs to remain intact.
1. Call State Parks Director Ruth Coleman at: 916-653-8380
Email Ruth Coleman at: email@example.com
2. Call Secretary Laird at (916) 653-5656
Fax: (916) 653-8102
Email Secretary Laird at: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Call Governor Brown at (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160
http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php - Jimmy Lewis