The Weekly Dirt: May 2, 2012

Welcome to the Weekly Dirt, the place to go each week to get up to speed on all that’s off-road. This week we’ve got a real mixed bag of news for ya, so let’s get to it!

Photo: Jeff Kardas

Chaparral Motorsports made a successful return to racing a few weeks ago, signing on as the title sponsor for Larry Brooks’ and Jeremy McGrath’s L&Mc Racing team. Following L&Mc Racing’s big win at the Seattle Supercross with Andrew Short in the saddle, Chaparral came on board to back the team for the remainder of the 2012 season. The deal reunited Brooks and McGrath with Chaparral’s Dave Damron, who teamed up for McGrath’s Supercross titles in 1998, ’99 and 2000. According to Damron, this summer, the team will going for the outdoor title it never won.

Photo: Shan Moore

New Zealander Rory Mead (WMR/KTM) grabbed his first-ever XC-1 win in GNCC competition at this weekend’s Mammoth Park GNCC in Park City, Kentucky. The Park City event was held at a first-time venue so the racers were treated to mostly virgin trail. The course was a tough and technical one, however, and was littered with rocks and one particularly menacing hill climb, which was sandy and loose and difficult to get up should a lapper hinder your momentum. As it turns out, Mead has considerable trials experience and used his feet-up skills to navigate the rocky sections with ease, pulling away early and then fending off a late charge by defending series champ Charlie Mullins to take the win. Am Pro/FMF/Yamaha’s Paul Whibley managed to extend his points lead in the series with a third place finish, putting another two points on FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell, who settled for fourth in Kentucky after getting stuck on the side of the big hill on the opening lap.

Photo: Shan Moore

After splitting with American Beta the week before, off-roader Chris Bach showed up at the Mammoth Park GNCC on a YZ450F backed by Obermeyer Yamaha in Indiana. And despite having less than an hour on the machine (which was virtually stock), the Indiana rider went on to finish a respectable sixth. Afterwards, Bach said his hands hurt from riding with stock forks, but other than that, he was pleased with the maiden outing on the bike and was excited about his prospects for the rest of the year. “Things can only get better from here,” said Bach. “Once we get a little more time on the bike and make a few adjustments, then I think the rest of the season will see a steady improvement.”

Photo: Shan Moore

Endurocross kicks off this Friday, May 4th, in Las Vegas, at the Orleans Arena, and Husqvarna Motorcycle North America announced that Kyle Redmond and Cory Graffunder will compete this year in the EX series as the Husqvarna factory race team. Mounted aboard factory-backed Husqvarna TXC310s with additional backing from FMF Racing, Stillwell Performance and Dunlop, Graffunder and Redmond will look to put Husky on top in the 2012 AMA/GEICO EnduroCross series.

In case you missed it, Women's motocross star Ashley Fiolek's was featured in the April 2012 issue of Vogue magazine, a fashion and entertainment magazine, which prints about 1.2 million copies a month. It's awesome for someone from our spot to get this kind of mainstream exposure, and Fiolek, who also is deaf, truly deserves it. She has been at the forefront of touting the benefits of competition and overcoming obstacles.

For you MotoTrial fans, Specialty Welding Machine (SWM) of Pampa, Texas, has again agreed to be the title sponsor of this year's eight-round AMA/NATC MotoTrial National Championship Series. For 2012, the series has created a 'Pro- Purse' for the "Pro" class level riders, a first in National MotoTrials, thanks to Sid Mauldin, president of SWM (www.swmtx.com). The MotoTrials series kicks off on May 19-20 at MotoVentures Rider Training Area (Cahuilla) 50250 Hwy 371, near Anza, California. The California round will also double as the 42nd running of El Trial de Espana, a long running SoCal tradition. For 2012, the NATC will be offering a $1250 Pro purse, which pays $500 to the winner. Some of the individual rounds will have larger payouts, depending on local sponsorship. For more info go to www.mototrial.us.

For those attending the national enduro in Louisiana this weekend, Starting with the Cajun Classic National Enduro, Kenda tires will be available for sale at all AMA/Rekluse National Enduros via Tim Anderson. The stock of tires will match the Kenda recommend tire for the event. Tire mounting will be available for $15 per wheel, and with each two-tire purchase you get a cool Kenda T-Shirt while supplies last. To reserve your set send an email to reservetires@msn.com with your tires sizes, model and compound. If you're not familiar with the Kenda line please check out www.kendatire.com or visit Mike at the Kenda booth. For the first couple of events it will be cash-only, but we hope to be able to do credit cards by Cross Forks PA. We will be set up near registration and the Kenda Booth.

Make plans now to attend KLIM's Second Annual Adventure Summit and Camp-out on July 12th-14th in scenic Idaho. Located in KLIM's backyard playground, the location couldn't be better for a fantastic riding experience. There will be ADV-focused vendors on hand and a great campground atmosphere to relax in. The food won't be bad, either. Go to www.klim.com for more.

The 2012 Monster Energy Cup at Las Vegas' Sam Boyd Stadium is set for October 20, and will feature an all-new track design inspired by five-time Supercross champion Ricky Carmichael. The race also boasts a $250,000 purse with the winner walking away with a $100,000 check, and any rider that wins all three Main Events will take home $1 million. More than 200' of the track will be built into the grandstands, and the riders exit the stadium and race through the Monster Energy Fan Zone outside of the stadium and through the pit area before they catapult back into the stadium. Learn more at www.monsterenergycup.com.

The AMA recently announced that FMF will be the presenting sponsor for the 2012 AMA Husqvarna National Dual-Sport Series, presented by FMF. The series, which features 24 events across the country, is the nation's leading series of organized off-road motorcycle recreational rides. —Shan Moore

That’s all for this week. Check back in next Wednesday for the latest scoop from the world of off-road.