Another curveball came when Jeremy McGrath (as well as Brian Deegan and Ronnie Renner) was out of the competition on only the second round at a height of 31′—compared to last year’s final 33’6″. The two remaining riders, last year’s runner up Matt Buyten and former Step Up champion Tommy Clowers, were left to battle for gold.”It’s disappointing, of course,” said McGrath, “To be honest the jump is a lot different. To me nobody went very far before we were out. I think they need to get a better jump next year.”Ultimately it was Clowers who came out on top at the final height of 32 feet which Buyten was unable to match. “After three years away, winning gold feels great, honestly,” said Clowers. “I just came out to have fun and did what I came out here to do.”
(Winner take all)
|1.||Tommy Clowers||Ramona, Calif.||32′|
|Matt Buyten||Carson City, Nev.||31’6″|
|Jeremy McGrath||Encinitas, Calif.||29′|
|Brian Deegan||Temecula, Calif.||29′|
|Ronnie Renner||Westminster, Calif.||29′|
MC’s New ToyMcGrath definitely seems to be having fun in his retirement. For his next race adventure, MC is headed to the Nissan Off-Road Nationals in this pimpin’ Chevy off road truck. He’s planning to race the final two rounds of the Championship Off Road Racing Lucas Oil series in Chula Vista (Sept. 24-25 and Oct. 1-2). Click here for more info.
Moto X Freestyle CompetitionTravis Pastrana has been the man with the bullseye on his back at X Games for many years now. Last year, Yamaha’s Nate Adams relieved him of his burden, walking away with the gold. But this year, Pastrana was back on top and chalked up yet another victory to make this his fifth Freestyle gold over the past six years. But it wasn’t easy; he had Kenny Bartram, Jeremy Stenberg (Best Trick gold medalist) and once again, Nate Adams keeping him honest.”Everyone has a completely different style of riding and a different style of judging,” Pastrana said, “I feel amazing. This has been the most competitive Freestyle field I have competed against and it feels great to win.”Pastrana may have had the most polished package at the end of the night, but Kenny Bartram certainly turned some heads with his innovative new trick, the side saddle backflip. It is what it sounds like: Both legs on one side of the bike while he completes a backflip (the part I can’t figure out is landing without a rear brake)!Nate Adams gave it all he had with a back-to-back 360 and backflip, but ultimately had to settle for the bronze behind Kenny Bartram and Travis Pastrana. “I thought I would do better, but considering I wasn’t even riding four weeks ago, I’m happy,” Adams said.
|1.||Travis Pastrana||Annapolis, Md.||92.80|
|2.||Kenny Bartram||Stillwater, Okla.||92.00|
|3.||Nate Adams||Glendale, Ariz.||90.80|
|4.||Jeremy Stenberg||Winchester, Calif.||90.60|
|5.||Adam Jones||Warrendale, Pa.||89.20|
Moto X SupermotoWhether they liked it or disliked it, one thing was for sure: The X Games Supermoto track was anything but ordinary. While “true SuperMotard courses” are mostly road racing track with a few dirt sections and even fewer obstacles, this course was mostly dirt, including a motocross-style dirt start (with a gate drop and everything). There were numerous jumps and rhythm sections and the street portions of the track were on parking lot asphault, not the sticky road racing tarmac many of the racers longed for.
The most unorthodox parts of the course were the in-and-out ramps from the arena to the parking lot, and of course, the mandatory pit stop. Each racer had to pull in for a pit stop and tire change no sooner than six laps into the 45-lap race. Throughout the weekend leading up to the race, teams could be seen practicing their Supermoto pit stops. They looked straight out of IRL hopping over the wall in their fire suits.Some racers praised the originality of the course while others described it as “contrived for entertainment” But Husqvarna’s team manager Larry Ferracci said it best when he said “Hey, whatever gets our sport 90 minutes of live coverage on ABC!”Hmmm… maybe we should start having mandatory pit stops in the Nationals?Most agreed that the American motocross riders would have the advantage on the technical track, but the race was still an exciting battle between some of the best riders from all diciplines of the sport: Supercross, motocross, freestyle, road racing, off road, desert and flat track.
Baja 500 champion Mouse McCoy showed up to race his first-ever Supermoto race. I was able to snag the Dust to Glory star for a quick interview:DR: I’m surprised to see you here. Didn’t know you race Supermoto!
MM: Yeah, this is my first race in Supermoto.What kind of background do you have in it?
Well… yeah, I don’t have any Supermoto background at all. Troy Lee sponsors me in offroad and everything that I do and they said, “Well there’s slot open they’d like you to have, being the Baja 500 champion,” to get somebody from a different dicipline. So I’m here representing the off road and Baja racers.Click here for more with Mouse McCoy.Are you going to start racing more events now?
Yeah, I ride motocross quite a bit… I don’t really race motocross too much because I’m pretty busy working as a stunt man full time (that’s what I do). But I think I’m going to make some time to go race Supermoto this year, ride the 250 class for the rest of this year and then check it out next year and see what happens.What do you think of the course here today?
I think the course is awesome! A lot of the guys say it’s not like a traditional Supermoto course; I guess they’re usually a lot more sticking, like road race style, and this is in the parking lot. But for me, I’m kind of used to backing it in on those big fire roads and through towns in Baja. A lot of times you’re doing like 100 mph backing it in through some little village or something [laughs]. So you get used to the speed and riding on slippery asphault.During the race, McCoy was doing well and running a good pace until bike problems resulted in a horrendous crash on the big downhill ramp. I caught up with him after the race to see if his attitude toward racing Supermoto had changed…What happened?
My motor blew just going up the face of the step-up. I was wide open, hit the ramp and going over it locked up and just threw me over the bars huge! It’s the worst place in the world your motor could ever blow. The whole motor, the crank went… it was a bad deal. Really bad timing!Were you hurt?
Yeah, I just kinda got beat up. My knee pads slipped down but my Troy Lee gear saved me. All that road race gear saved me when the bike landed on top of me.What do you think after your first Supermoto race as a whole?
I was ready for it. I felt awesome. I was ready to go on a long 45-lap race. That’s my specialty is going long distance. But the bike didn’t let me get there. I’ll be back.Even bruised and bleeding with shredded gear, Mouse was still all smiles and his usual, jovial self. It that crash wasn’t enough to deter him, it’s safe to say you can plan on seeing his #52 bike on the AMA Supermoto circuit.
Another horse of a different color competing at this year’s X Games was flat tracker Johnny Murphree. Before the race he was just a number in the crowd. But into the race, his riding did the talking and his unique style made him stand out. Rather than riding in the tucked, rigid manner like most riders, Murphree was spread out, laying it into the corners and letting it all hang out.Check out some more photos from the pits at X Games 11. And if you still haven’t had enough, you can download some great wallpapers from Dirt Rider’s ace photo-god Adam Campbell. Click here to see X Games wallpapers.