May 20th, 2007The season opener of the 2007 AMA National Motocross Series rocketed out of the gate at the Prairie City SVRA Park just East of Sacramento, California this past weekend. With all three team riders healthy, happy and race ready, it was looking to be a great weekend to kick off a fantastic summer.During the break, we have had a couple of changes in personnel. Our previous transport driver was replaced with Jed Mingo of Salt Lake City, UT. Jed has been a good friend of mine and a strong supporter of the Team Solitaire effort for the last few seasons. With the addition of a third rider for the outdoor series, it was also necessary to bring on Arthur Clinton, of Hood River, OR. He will be spinning wrenches for Jiri Dostal for the remainder of the season.Here is a brief overview of our first weekend at the AMA National Motocross Championship Series broken down by rider.Ricky Renner
Things started off a little rocky, with Ricky struggling through his first practice and only managing to set the 40th quickest lap time. He picked up his pace in the second practice, but with the condition of the track getting rougher, times slowed down. Ricky would remain the 40th and final qualifier for Sunday’s program…except that Steve Lamson decided to come out of retirement to compete at this race. Being a past national champion, Lamson was guaranteed a spot on the gate regardless of his lap time, thus bumping Ricky back to 41st. He would be forced to race later in the day on Saturday to get on the “alternate” list, so that if a rider in the top 40 were to get injured he would take their place on the gate. Ricky lined up to the consolation race and proceeded to holeshot and check out. In the 20-minute race Ricky pulled out to a sizable margin and took the win by over 20 seconds. He was the first alternate for Sunday’s event.Sunday morning rolled around and low and behold Ricky was bumped into the program when a rider was unable to make the gate due to an injury suffered in the first practice session. Although that is not the way any of us would have liked him to get in the program, Ricky was ready to do battle on Sunday. The only downside to this situation is that Ricky was not allowed to ride the second practice on Sunday despite the fact that he was already guaranteed a spot on the gate for the motos. I spoke directly with several AMA officials, but they seemed unconcerned about the “rider safety” issue that I brought up. In fact, one official would not even let me present my case and threatened to disqualify me if I did not drop the issue. Some of the AMA Pro Racing officials sure don’t seem to have the rider’s concerns anywhere on their priority list.When the gate dropped on moto one, Ricky had not seen the track since the previous afternoon. Despite a slow start, he picked it up and began to move forward. At the end of the first moto, Ricky made it up to 31st.Moto two was a lot better for Ricky, as he was now familiar with the lines developing on the track. He was 30th at the end of lap one, but quickly began charging forward. The track was getting rougher, and a lot of the rider’s were tiring out and having a hard time keeping mistake free. Ricky clawed his way up the 20th place at the end of the race, securing his first ever national point (only the top 20 get points). He was awarded 27th overall for his efforts.Jiri Dostal
Jiri was up next, and he was excited to get back on the track after a long hiatus due to injury. Unfortunately, it would be a dismal return as he had a scary crash a few laps in to his first practice. He landed on the top of his head hard and was transported to a local hospital for further observation. Everything turned out fine in the with the exception of a broken bone in his hand. He is expected to miss the next three races and be back in action at Red Bud in early July.Ryan Clark
I had a good go around in my first practice, setting the 15th quickest in my session and having a blast on the perfectly prepared track. My second session went even better, as I was 12th quickest as the track continued to deteriorate and get more challenging. Sunday practices were productive as well, and I felt confident going into the first moto of the year.I was far inside and jumped out quickly when the gate fell on the first moto. I was around tenth through the first few turns, but got caught up with Langston a few corners in and lost about ten spots. I started to move up quickly and had a good pace going. One by one, I picked off riders and continued my charge to the front of the pack. On the final lap I passed into 11th, and was quickly gaining ground on Jeff Alessi for tenth. I ran out of time and crossed the line in 11th.I gated inside again for the second moto, and was right around 15th as we headed up the hill for the first time. I moved up to 13th right away, and had a pack of of Windham, Alessi, Balbi, and Byrne just ahead. I was in a good pace and keeping right with Windham for a few laps. About halfway, I could feel a blister beginning to tear on my left palm and feel the blood coming down on my fingers. Every uphill was painful, as the power of the bike pulling against my hand ripped more and more flesh. I was all alone in 13th, but Kyle Lewis was gaining on me slightly as I was now holding on with just my thumb and forefinger whenever possible. I managed to keep Lewis at bay, and actually almost caught a rapidly fading Alessi on the final lap. My 11/13 moto tally was good enough for 12th overall on the weekend.Summary: We are all really bummed for Jiri. He is having one of those seasons that he would like to just fast-forward through. I have been there, as have every other racer on the circuit. We all have faith in the talented Mr. Dostal, and know that when he is ready to come back he will come back strong. Heal up quick, buddy! Ricky had a good weekend, but he learned quite a bit as well. He will no longer mess around in that first practice session, as that is when the fast laps are clocked and sets the tone for the weekend. I will have to take a few days off to let my hand heal, but am really looking forward to keeping this outdoor season going strong with a great run next weekend in Mt. Morris. As for the dealings with the AMA, it is just unfortunate that we have no real voice in the direction of our sport. As frustrating as the AMA is (and inconsistent in their rulings), they are the only real sanctioning body that we have so we just have to learn to coexist. Hopefully in the future, they will get their egos in check and do their job of looking out for the very riders that provide their livelihood.Miscellaneous
*Jed is driving across the country to Mt. Morris, PA this week. This is one of the most difficult drives of the series as there is no time to stop if he is to make it by Thursday so the mechanics have time to prepare the bikes for the weekend. asdf dirtrider.wordpress.2012-04-30-final.xml splitter.sh tmp wordpress.2012-04-20.xml wordpress.2012-04-30.xml Special thanks go out to Thom Smith of Coppersmith and Ohlins for his hard work over the past week with testing and building components. Our suspension worked great and we look forward to continuing to improve our settings as the series moves on.* Special thanks also go out to Raymond Cotton from Michelin for coming to Arizona to tire test during the break. It paid off, as everything worked great on Sunday. Thanks Ray.Thanks again to everyone for your continued support. See you at the races!Best Regards,Ryan Clark
Team Solitaire/Kingdom/FLY Racing Honda is an independently owned and operated professional Supercross and Motocross race team based in Phoenix, AZ. Our 2007 marketing partners include: FLY Racing, Kingdom Clothing, American Honda, Dragon Optical, WPS, Dubach Racing Exhaust, RideNow.com, Ohlins by Coppersmith, HoyFox.com, Michelin, Vortex, Team Hawg Racing, ASV, Coachseiji.com, Dirt Pro, Polisport Plastics, Enjoy Mfg., Ride Engineering, Boyesen, Pivot Works, Ready Filter, Sano Systems, Twenty20, Pro Honda Oils & Chemicals, RK Chain, Excel, Group D, DC Auto Wraps, Champion Tool Storage, Motion Pro, OGIO, Ron Davis Radiators, Crank Works, Hot Rods, CP Pistons, Barnett Clutches, Sidi Boots, RPM Science, NGK Spark Plugs, QTM/Brembo, Pro Grip, Hammerhead, IMS Products, USA Sport, Cytosport, Cometic, Lakai and Fletcher Chiropractic.