January 5th, 2009Newbury Park, CA. The 2009 AMA Monster Energy Supercross season was open for business this past Saturday, January 3, 2009, in the city Mickey Mouse built, Anaheim, CA. Also open for business for the first time was the Warthog Nation, Warthog Racing’s innovative program to unite teams with like philosophies and principles to share resources and successes. The backbone of the Warthog Nation is Mastercraft’s Heath Voss as the Nation’s seasoned and ageless leader, plus the MDK/Warthog Racing Academy (WRA) contingent of up-and-comers and future champions – each striving to reach the next rung on the ladder of success as they toil under the MDK/WRA canopy and tent.MotoConcepts Racing (MCRMX) is the primary member of the 2009 Warthog Nation. MCRMX joined the Warthog Nation when former Warthog Racing Academy riders Jeff Alessi, Cole Siebler, Frenchman Ben Coisy, and Australian Daniel McCoy were ready for the next major steps in their careers. MCRMX proved to be the well resourced and soundly run “elite” team these riders needed to thrive. MCRMX is a new team for 2009 created by Mike Genova and Andy James and they are making a lot of the right moves as they have chosen the always capable Honda race bikes and the highly sought after MDK Speed Equipment performance products.Also joining the Warthog Nation for 2009 is the always popular Fire and Police MX team featuring Carlos Gonzalez and Justin Keeney. Carlos and Justin will be running KTMs built by MDK Speed Equipment.Needless to say, the Warthog Nation movement is growing rapidly. Philosophically, the Warthog Nation is really just the embodiment of a fundamental Warthog Racing principle — Warthog Racing has always been about the “big tent” philosophy. We welcome partnerships with all like minded teams and organizations that want to work together to make the sport of Supercross and Motocross a grand sport for the Privateer racers.So how did things go at Anaheim I for Warthog Racing and its extended family?Well first of all, mucho kudos to Marvelous Mike Horban, who made his first main event ever. Mike has been chasing his goal of making the main for over a year while riding with the Warthog Racing Academy. Mike finished 8th in his heat to directly qualify for the main, where he finished a respectable 18th. Mike is the kind of rider who epitomizes the type of rider we value in the MDK/Warthog Racing Academy. Mike is a talented, hard-working rider who never gives up. He started racing at a relatively late age (16) but has continued to improve his skills at a pace that is now allowing him to compete with the best riders in the world. Look for Mike to improve even more in the remaining weeks of the seasonThe rest of the MDK/Warthog Racing Academy had a day that would be best characterized as a Learning Experience.Mitch Rask, in his first ever Supercross race, missed the cut for the night show by a fraction of a second. It’s obvious that Mitch will have no problem making the show in the future as he gains comfort and experience. Deven Raper made the night program in his first try and showed flashes of brilliance in both his heat and Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ).Vince Friese experienced Supercross for the first time by riding in the big boy class as he prepares his assault on the East Coast Lites series. Vince easily qualified for the big show and spent the heat and LCQ gaining valuable track time.Arizonian Rhett Urseth had a day he’d rather forget, DNFing his heat race and then finishing out of the money in the LCQ. Look for Rhett to rebound strongly in his home town of Phoenix this week under the watchful eye of Super Mechanic, Stitch, who also supplies Rhett’s suspension through his TrickStix company.Tiger Lacey’s weekend was not a good representation of Tiger’s immense talent. After making the night show cut, he went down in his heat race and DNFed his LCQ. But Tiger being Tiger, he’ll be back next week stronger than ever. You can take that to the bank.Manu Rivas, the Spanish Supercross Champion, was injured practicing before the event and was never a factor at Anaheim I. Look for Manu to bounce back in Phoenix.Brazilian Antonio Balbi, after a short week which saw him arrive home from Brazil only a few days before the race, wasn’t quite able to get things sorted out perfectly for race day. As a result, his performance on the track suffered. Look for a marked turnaround in Phoenix.Young Tyler Bowers, racing the Supercross class for the first time, showed flashes of brilliance but did not put in the top ten performance we all know he is capable of. A little fine tuning this week should do the trick. Expect to see Tyler in the main this week.Veteran Sean Collier was slated to run the Supercross class for the Warthog Racing Academy. However, he was asked at the last minute by Team Principal Bobby Regan to fill-in for the injured Brock Tickle at Star Racing. This is the type of opportunity many of the members of the Warthog Racing Academy relish – a chance to ride for a factory supported satellite team. At the end of the day, Sean and his dad Mike decided that they will run the rest of the West Coast Lites series with Star Racing and then rejoin the Warthog Racing Academy to finish the series in the Supercross class. Congratulations and good luck to Sean!!
Next up is legendary Heath Voss, who stepped up to the challenge, as he always does. After cruising into the main event with a fifth place finish in the heat race, Heath made up for a slow start in the main event by continually pushing forward as others faded away. Heath eventually finished seventh place and picked up top privateer honors.We would be remiss if we didn’t highlight the amazing day that MCRMX had their first time out. Jeff Alessi, Ben Coisy, and Cole Sielber all qualified for the main events decisively out of their heat races. Daniel McCoy missed a trip to the main in the premier class in his first US race after just missing out on a transfer position. It was in the main event that Coisy really shined. After running as high as fourth for a good portion of the race, Coisy found himself being passed by a few factory riders toward the later end of the moto. Ben still finished a respectable eighth place in the Elite class and was second privateer overall.The newest members of the Warthog Nation, The Fire and Police MX team had a day they’d rather forget. After posting qualifying times that should have guaranteed easy access to the main, things fell apart for Carlos Gonzalez and Justin Keeney. Look for Carlos and Justin to rebound strongly in Phoenix.The Warthog Racing pit scene was off the hook at Anaheim I. Smooth Industries and DeCal Works did a great job of creating a new look for the team that included a complete makeover of the transporter, tent, people barriers, crew shirts, and rider graphics. Media partner Transworld Motocross took advantage of the 180 foot long Warthog compound and provided catering and hospitality to over 200 clients and team members.This season would not be possible without our committed and actively engaged sponsor/partner group. For 2009, we have teamed up with the following entities: MDK Motorsports, MDK Speed, DeCal Works, Smooth Industries, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI), P-LoK, MotoConcepts, Transworld Motocross, Vanquish MX, DT1 Air Filters, MXResultz.com, Devol Engineering, Liquid Performance, CP Pistons, VP Fuel, Dunlop, The Plumber Inc., MB2 Raceway, Edgile Consulting, MX Sports, Dana K Business Parks, The Whitaker Wellness Institute, Atlantic Promotions, NXTAgency, Relentless Media, MotoTees, RacerX Illustrated, Dirt Rider Magazine, Honolulu Hills Raceway, L&M Racing, and Fire and Police MX. With this fine group, anything is possible. And special thanks to Feld Motor Sports. Because of their full support, dozens of privateers get the opportunity to live their dreams.Take care and we’ll see you at the races!!