Monday Kickstart: Indy

Compiled by the staff of TWMX.

Big props to Honda Racing boss Chuck Miller, who completed the Los Angeles Marathon yesterday, with a time of 4 hours, 14 minutes. “I would have been faster, he said, “But I got some gnarly shin splints with three miles to go. I had to run/walk the last part. How gnarly is Miller? Chuck got on a plane later that night to head for Daytona Beach, Florida, where he’ll join the rest of Team Honda at Bike Week.

Kyle Lewis was back fulfilling his team manager duties for Moto XXX this weekend in Indianapolis. The day before the Atlanta Supercross, Kyle got the rod taken out of his wrist, with no Novocain! Everything seemed fine until he got to Atlanta last weekend and his hand was swollen up like a balloon. “I knew something was wrong, I couldn’t move my hand, it was so tight inside the cast,” he said. He jumped on a plane on Friday and headed home, missing all the drama with his fellow teammate Larry Ward. Lewis said it turned out to be an infection and they removed the cast. He’s now sporting a splint and said he should be riding, not racing, within the next couple weeks.

The mid-season points fund money was given out by Clear Channel after the Atlanta Supercross. The points leader is Keith Johnson but the high money winner was Larry Ward. He took home $9,000. That should pay for a rifle or two for his post-race hunting excursions! The privateer with the most points at the end of the season will get $25,000 plus a Nissan truck.

Speaking of privateers, James Povolny was in Indy and was once again on his own. He had one bike and was in search of parts throughout the weekend. Povolny left the Subway team that he helped build four weeks ago. To top it off, he knocked himself out earlier in the week and missed Friday practice.

Bogie: A golf convention shared the Indianapolis convention center this weekend and took over the exhibit hall normally used for the pits. It seems someone made a mistake and the old golfers took the pit area, creating quite the hike to get to and from the track for racers, staff members and the media.

Ezra Lusk’s wrench is getting married! Randy Lawrence is tying the knot during the first break in the schedule March 14th. Lusk will not be in attendance as he’ll be with his new baby, Hayden and his wife.

KTM’s team manager Larry Brooks had quite the scare last week. He totaled his truck on a southern California freeway during a rain downpour. It all took place while he was on the phone with Jeremy McGrath. “I managed to talk to MC the whole time,” said Brooks. “At one point, my phone was shot out of my hand, into the back seat. But I managed to keep him on the line!” Luckily, Brooks was uninjured in the crash.

Quite a thunderous holeshot! Defending 125 west champ Travis Preston is feeling much more comfortable on the four-stroke Honda CRF450R. After only two weeks on the bike, he pulled the holeshot in every one of his races Saturday night, including the 250 main. “This thing has some power!” said Preston.

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Race chaplain Steve Hudson of Motor Racing Outreach is in need of financial assistance. Hudson has been attending all of the Supercross and Motocross Nationals for eight years. He conducts prayer meetings, offers inspirational advice and marries just about everyone in the sport! Hudson is the last one to ever ask for money but we in the industry know what’s up. MRO has chaplains at all motorsports events including NASCAR and boat racing. “Chappy” is an asset to the motocross industry and has helped many people. Now he needs our help in order to stay on the road. Donations may be sent to Motor Racing Outreach, Smith Tower, Suite 405, 5555 Concord Parkway South, Concord, NC 28027.

We’re running out of factory riders! sides 125 riders Sean Hamblin and Danny Smith on their Suzuki RM250s, there were only six 250cc class factory riders in Indy. Can you say Privateer Bonus? Injuries have taken a serious toll on the 250cc class, sidelining Travis Pastrana, Mike LaRocco, Sebastien Tortelli, Stephane Roncada, Nathan Ramsey and Grant Langston.

Pastrana sighting! Well, his bike, at least… Sobe Suzuki’s Sean Hamblin, the 125 West contender, is riding Pastrana’s RM250 for the remainder of the East Coast races. Hamblin also rode Pastrana’s lonely ’02 race bike last summer in the 250cc Nationals, when he was recruited out of nowhere to fill in. A fifth in Indy is the best Suzuki’s done since round three when Tortelli got third. “I felt great out there,” said Hamy. “I honestly think that if I had gotten a better start, I could have been fourth or even third. I can’t wait for Daytona!”

AMA’s Motocross Manager Duke Finch is throwing in the towel. For supercross that is. Finch said this is his last year acting as AMA Pro Racing Referee in Supercross. Jay Mitrowitz will take over.

Boost Mobile/Yamaha/Troy Racing’s Ivan Tedesco attended the Indy Supercross as a spectator. “Hot Sauce” flew in on Saturday hoping to race the night program, but after his concussion at Atlanta things still weren’t 100%. “I was out of it during practice,” he said. “My head just isn’t right yet.” Tedesco should be back in action in Daytona.

Brock Sellards just can’t get a break! Just a couple days after taking over the Eastern Region 125cc Supercross Series points lead, Sellards crashed at Ricky Carmichael’s house and injured his shoulder and tricep muscle. Sellards won his heat race on Saturday night, but tried to keep it quiet about his injury. While running out front in the main, it looked as though the pain had taken over and Sellards began to slow. While in a solid second behind eventual winner Branden Jesseman, Sellards collided with lapper Barry Carsten and went down. His eventual seventh at the finish dropped him from first to third in the points.

Crashing is good luck for Ernesto Fonseca…In opening ceremonies, that is! Ernesto managed to fall off the ramp that leads to the podium doors when he was introduced Saturday night. The spotlight was on him: first you saw his head, and then you saw his feet. He tipped over and ended up just riding around the side of the podium instead. It was quite comical being that is was the first time a rider has ever crashed while riding up the aluminum structure. Ernie ended up finishing fourth with no crashes in the main! We still say he’s a weenie for welching on his Costa Rican Mullet commitment to TWMX.

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The opening ceremony comedy continued with David Vuillemin. He nose wheelied all the way to the cake stage during opening ceremonies, and he did it so well that the bike stopped rolling and he went over the bars! DV barely landed on is feet and gave all 57,000 fans a good laugh!

Belated happy birthday wishes to Billy Laninovich (20), Jean-Sebastien Roy (29), Ryan Morias (20) and Craig Anderson (25), who all celebrated birthdays last week. Hmmm…wonder what they all wished for?

Team Amsoil/Chaparral/Honda’s Michael Byrne stopped by the TransWorld Motocross offices to say hello last Thursday, sporting a bright blue cast on his right wrist. “I had some pins put in there to fix my thumb,” said Byrne, who was obviously bummed out about his unplanned vacation. “We had some new whoops put in at the Honda test track that you jumped into and out of, and I went a little too far and went over the bars.” Byrne will be out of action for at least four weeks.

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When Michael Byrne does return to action, we asked him what class he would contest; the 125cc East or 250cc division. “I will probably ride both,” he said. “I’d guess that my first race back will be in Texas on a 250, but I will also continue to race the East Coast 125cc events.” When asked what his ultimate goal would be for 2004, Byrne replied, “Well, my contract with this team is up this year, but I hope to get a good ride to race a 250 full-time next year. I have so much more experience on a 250 than a 125, and that is where I am most comfortable. I am really bummed about this injury though, because I really believe that this was my championship to win this year. I also wanted to prove that I can go fast on a 125, too.”

Speaking of Team Amsoil/Chaparral/Honda, Byrne’s team captain Mike LaRocco is scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery this Wednesday in San Diego, California. As we reported last week in our exclusive interview with Iron Mike, doctors aren’t sure how bad his shoulder is damaged and will not know for sure until they cut him open. “It could be three or four weeks, or it could be three or four months,” said LaRocco. Stay tuned for breaking news as we hear it…

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Ivan Tedesco missed the Indianapolis Supercross this weekend, electing to rest after his gnarly get-off at the Atlanta event. “Ivan hit his head pretty hard and suffered a concussion,” said team owner Phil Alderton. “Head injuries are scary because you don’t know how bad they could be if you suffer a second blow. We’d rather be safe than sorry. Ivan will be back in action soon.”

Last week, Red Bull/KTM’s Grant Langston underwent surgery to repair the broken right wrist he’s been riding with since his practice crash at Minneapolis. “I would have called you guys immediately, but my mom had my phone!” said LL Cool G, when we harassed him about not sharing the news sooner. “I had them put on a special cast that will allow me to swim. I am going to train my ass off and be ready for the 250cc National Championships. I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things; this season has been full of one disappointment after another.”

TransWorld Motocross spoke with former WML Champ and three-time Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National Women’s Champion Jessica Patterson last week, and the fast female Floridian reports that she is healing up nicely from the knee surgery she underwent last month. “They just put a cadaver ACL in there, no big deal,” said JP Money. “I was riding the stationary cycle a week later. I am going to start riding again in a couple weeks, and I will be totally ready for Glen Helen.” Jessica also challenged the TransWorld staff to a race, when she heads out west in preparation for the WML Series kickoff. “You wanna ride, or what?” she said. “Come get some of this. I’ll blister ya’.” (We’ll let you know how it turns out…Editor.) For more information on the Women’s Motocross League National Championship Series, visit www.wml-mx.com.

TransWorld Motocross went riding with Red Bull/KTM’s Ryan Hughes this weekend, and the tough Californian was absolutely flying aboard his KTM 125SX. “I feel good, and I’ve done several races to help me prepare for the Glen Helen opener in May,” said Ryno. “You can practice all you want, but if you aren’t out there racing and giving it your all, there’s no way you can be prepared for the Nationals.” When asked if he was excited to return to the 125cc division, having last competed in the 250cc class aboard the works Honda CRF450R, Hughes replied, “Yeah! I think I’ve always been more of a 125 rider. I like the small bikes because of the way you have to ride them. Momentum is important and line selection is key. Plus, I can really muscle a 125 around!” Keep your eyes peeled for Ryno’s number 105 KTM at the front of ttion, we asked him what class he would contest; the 125cc East or 250cc division. “I will probably ride both,” he said. “I’d guess that my first race back will be in Texas on a 250, but I will also continue to race the East Coast 125cc events.” When asked what his ultimate goal would be for 2004, Byrne replied, “Well, my contract with this team is up this year, but I hope to get a good ride to race a 250 full-time next year. I have so much more experience on a 250 than a 125, and that is where I am most comfortable. I am really bummed about this injury though, because I really believe that this was my championship to win this year. I also wanted to prove that I can go fast on a 125, too.”

Speaking of Team Amsoil/Chaparral/Honda, Byrne’s team captain Mike LaRocco is scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery this Wednesday in San Diego, California. As we reported last week in our exclusive interview with Iron Mike, doctors aren’t sure how bad his shoulder is damaged and will not know for sure until they cut him open. “It could be three or four weeks, or it could be three or four months,” said LaRocco. Stay tuned for breaking news as we hear it…

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Ivan Tedesco missed the Indianapolis Supercross this weekend, electing to rest after his gnarly get-off at the Atlanta event. “Ivan hit his head pretty hard and suffered a concussion,” said team owner Phil Alderton. “Head injuries are scary because you don’t know how bad they could be if you suffer a second blow. We’d rather be safe than sorry. Ivan will be back in action soon.”

Last week, Red Bull/KTM’s Grant Langston underwent surgery to repair the broken right wrist he’s been riding with since his practice crash at Minneapolis. “I would have called you guys immediately, but my mom had my phone!” said LL Cool G, when we harassed him about not sharing the news sooner. “I had them put on a special cast that will allow me to swim. I am going to train my ass off and be ready for the 250cc National Championships. I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things; this season has been full of one disappointment after another.”

TransWorld Motocross spoke with former WML Champ and three-time Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National Women’s Champion Jessica Patterson last week, and the fast female Floridian reports that she is healing up nicely from the knee surgery she underwent last month. “They just put a cadaver ACL in there, no big deal,” said JP Money. “I was riding the stationary cycle a week later. I am going to start riding again in a couple weeks, and I will be totally ready for Glen Helen.” Jessica also challenged the TransWorld staff to a race, when she heads out west in preparation for the WML Series kickoff. “You wanna ride, or what?” she said. “Come get some of this. I’ll blister ya’.” (We’ll let you know how it turns out…Editor.) For more information on the Women’s Motocross League National Championship Series, visit www.wml-mx.com.

TransWorld Motocross went riding with Red Bull/KTM’s Ryan Hughes this weekend, and the tough Californian was absolutely flying aboard his KTM 125SX. “I feel good, and I’ve done several races to help me prepare for the Glen Helen opener in May,” said Ryno. “You can practice all you want, but if you aren’t out there racing and giving it your all, there’s no way you can be prepared for the Nationals.” When asked if he was excited to return to the 125cc division, having last competed in the 250cc class aboard the works Honda CRF450R, Hughes replied, “Yeah! I think I’ve always been more of a 125 rider. I like the small bikes because of the way you have to ride them. Momentum is important and line selection is key. Plus, I can really muscle a 125 around!” Keep your eyes peeled for Ryno’s number 105 KTM at the front of the pack come Mother’s Day.

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Also on hand at the private outdoor track was former 125, 250 and Supercross Champion Jeff Emig. Fro still looks plenty fast on his Kawasaki and it’s obvious that his love for riding still burns strong. With torrential rainfall during the previous week, the conditions were just too much for him to resist. “When it was raining so hard last week, I couldn’t wait to get out here,” said Emig. “When it’s wet, it doesn’t get much better than riding in the hills in SoCal.” We thought we’d run a shot of Fro just for Shyla_D, even though our magazine doesn’t tickle her fancy…

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Got Stickers? Our bad-ass art director Luis Rodriguez created a new TransWorld Motocross icon for the magazine, and we’ve printed up hundreds of thousands of new stickers to help get it out there. Want some? Get some! Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to TransWorld Motocross, 1421 Edinger Ave. Suite D, Tustin, CA 92780, and we’ll stuff it full of bike- and helmet-sized stickers and fire it right back at ya’!

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Have you seen the latest ESPN Magazine? It features a five-page article with non other than James “Bubba” Stewart. The article is entitled “Bubbalicous.” The story it has RC’s perspective on Bubba and how he thinks the young rookie rider will break into the 250cc class next year. Trust us, this article will make James a bigger star than he already is. Check it out; it’s worth the cover price. It sports the March 3rd cover date.

The big news in the Yamaha camp is that the long time wrench for David Vuillemin, Craig Monty, will be moving on to be the San Diego Fox Racing rep. Where does that leave Vuillemin? His new wrench will be Jason Haines, or Gothic Jay as he is known to us at TWMX. Everyone in the Yamaha camp is stoked for Craig, as this is a move that is something he has wanted to do for a long time. “I want to settle down and have a family,” he said. “We travel so much and I feel that is no way to start a family. I want to thank all of the people at Yamaha for the experience and for being so understanding in my decision.” If you see him in Daytona say goodbye, as that will be his last race for The Cobra.

Speaking of The Cobra, in Indy’s first 250cc practice on Saturday, he displayed his new starting technique called the funky chicken. DV ripped down the nearly 100-yard straight flapping his knees and arms like he was trying to take off. The next time you are at a Supercross race, make sure you check out Saturday’s practice sessions and look for the DV12. We’re sure he will have perfected to move by then.

RC wore new gear again this past weekend in Indy. For Saturday’s practice the factory Honda rider busted out with red white and blue Fox Tactic gear. When the night program rolled around, he reverted to back his Technique equipment in his new lucky color yellow.

Timmy Tyler, the big rig driver for team Pro Circuit Kawasaki has his own autograph signing sheet now thanks to the folks at mxposters.com. Complete with an action photo of him exiting a Port-O-Let and all, this one is going to be a collector’s item for sure.

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It’s a girl! On February 28th Kevin Windham and his wife Doty had their first baby. Her name is Madeline Marie Windham, but those close to her call her Maddy. She was a little premature when she came into the world at 6 Lbs. 4 Oz, but K-Dub says she’s doing great! Congratulations to Kevin and Doty, and welcome to the world of never sleeping the same again.

The Indy track was one that boasted another long starting straight. The start stretched nearly the entire length of the stadium: no wonder there were so many four-stroke holeshots in Indy!

Larry Ward’s wren