Monday Kickstart: Smoke and Ash

If you’ve been following the headlines, you know the last few days have been weird and tragic in So Cal. With all the fires in the area, the skies have been orange with smoke, and ash raining down from the sky has been making it hard to breathe. We’ve gotten plenty of messages from friends who are nervously eyeing the hills near their houses, or who have been threatened with evacuations and near misses. That’s the good news. The bad news is that 850 homes have been lost, 30,000 are still threatened, 13 people have died, and it’s still not over.

Among all the other damage is some MX-related stuff:

Motonation is closed today because power has been shut off in the area, and at least one of the crew here had lost a home to the flames.

In separate fires, Barona Oaks, the cool-looking track with all the oak trees featured in the Disney movie “Motocrossed” was burnt; as was the Piru track, whose web site features the message, “Fire damage forces us to close until further notice.”

Earlier in the week, Glen Helen Regional Park was the staging area for firefighters, but apparently even that area suffered damage as two fires merged. Over the hill at the Glen Helen Raceway, most of the hillsides were burnt, and they suffered damage to the sprinkling system. But the grandstand, announcing tower and concession areas all survived.

The White Brothers Vet Race scheduled at Glen Helen for this upcoming weekend is still on, though the Thursday practice has been cancelled. Otherwise, the schedule remains intact.

We wish all the best for anyone who has been affected or is still threatened by the fires.

On to happier news…

Timmy Ferry just phoned the TransWorld Motocross offices to check in and say hello. Today is the first day that Red Dog has ridden since he stretched ligaments in his left thumb at the Motocross des Nations in September. “It hurts a little in some sections, but overall it feels great and I am optimistic, said Ferry. “The doctors told me that I just stretched the ligaments and to take two to three weeks off. No surgery or anything like that!

Tim Ferry will fly to California in November to begin his 2004 set-up testing on his Yamaha YZ250. Yes, you read that right; Ferry will race a two-stroke 250 in the 2004 Supercross Series. “I figured that everyone else on the team is racing one, so I might as well, too, said Ferry, who has raced a four-stroke exclusively since he signed on with the team in 2001, save for a one-race stint on a YZ250 earlier this year. “I feel like I can go faster on the smaller bike in Supercross, and hopefully, that will be the extra push I need to get to the front of the pack. Chad and David have been testing for a couple weeks now, and they both say that bike is really, really good. Ferry will still contest a Yamaha YZ450F in the 250cc Nationals.

Speaking of the 2004 Team Yamaha race bikes, the word on the street is that while many teams are struggling to get their two-strokes to run strong on the new AMA-required unleaded race fuel, the YZ250s are actually running better on the new petrol than they were last year on leaded race gas. Seems there’s still hope for two-stroke die-hards after all…

Over in Italy at the Genova SX, Ernes Fonseca continued his string of excellent off-season results, taking the win ahead of Grant Langston. David Vuillemin scored third after moving up from sixth spot. As DV reported on his site (www.dv12.com), “The track was very slippery, one-line and I did not ride very good. The more I tried, the more I made mistakes in those slick conditions.”

DV will be riding a YZ250F in So Cal this week to get ready for the Bercy Supercross in Paris.

That reminds us…Have you bought your 2004 Supercross tickets yet? If not, here’s a quick and easy link to the 2004 SX Tickets and Schedule.

At the final round of the All-Japan MX Championship series in Sugo, Akira Narita got to debut the RM-Z450. A crash during the first lap of moto one, along with a second crash later in the moto, killed his chances of a good overall finish. In the second moto Narita got a good start and dueled with Honda’s Yoshitaka Atsuta before being passed by Stefan Everts, and a pair of Japanese riders to finally finish in fifth.

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According to Akira, “It was just my second ride on the machine today. I didn’t really have enough time on the new RM-Z450 to learn the differences between the two-stroke and four-stroke, but the new bike has massive power, even at low revs and handled really well once I got used to the different characteristics.

Results: All-Japan MX. Round 10.
250cc Heat 1

  1. Takeshi Katsuya. Honda RC250M
  2. Yoshitaka Atsuta. Honda CRF450R
  3. Kazumasa Masuda. Suzuki RM250W
  4. Stefan Everts. Yamaha YZ450FM
  5. Taichi Kugimura. Yamaha YZ250M
  6. Ryuichiro Takahama. Honda CRF450R

250cc Heat 2

  1. Stefan Everts.Yamaha YZ450FM
  2. Kazumasa Masuda. Suzuki RM250W
  3. Takeshi Katsuya. Honda RC250M
  4. Yoshitaka Atsuta. Honda CRF450R
  5. Akira Narita. Suzuki RM-Z450
  6. Takeshi Koikeda. Yamaha YZ250

Final Points Standing – 250cc

  1. Akira Narita. Suzuki. 431pts
  2. Kazumasa Masuda. Suzuki. 379pts
  3. Takeshi Katsuya. Honda. 311pts
  4. Takase Tanaka. Kawasaki. 306pts
  5. Ryuichiro Takahama. Honda. 298pts
  6. Takeshi Koikeda. Yamaha. 289pts

125cc Heat 1

  1. Tetsuya Mizoguchi. Kawasaki KX250FS-R
  2. Sinnichi Inoue. Kawasaki KX250FS-R
  3. Kenjiro Tsuji. Honda CRF250F
  4. Shinobu Idehara. Yamaha YZ125M
  5. Yuya Ozaki. Yamaha.YZ250F
  6. Yoshiki Kitai. Suzuki RM125

125cc Heat 2

  1. Kenjiro Tsuji. Honda CRF250F
  2. Yuya OzakiYamaha YZ250F
  3. Yoshihide Fukudome. Suzuki XRM0
  4. Yoshiki Kitai. Suzuki RM125
  5. Tetsuya Mizoguchi. Kawasaki KX250FS-R
  6. Syunji Takami. Suzuki RM125

Final Points Standing – 125cc

  1. Tetsuya Mizoguchi. Kawasaki 447pts
  2. Kenjiro Tsuji. Honda 382pts
  3. Shinobu Idehara. Yamaha 325pts
  4. Yuya Ozaki. Yamaha 262pts
  5. Yoshiki Kitai. Suzuki. 245pts
  6. Naoki Serizawa. Honda 223pts

After a couple months of setup time, the new Factory Connection West facility has been up and running for the last three weeks. It’s entirely company-owned and operated, and not a franchise setup. According to Factory Connection’s Steve Ross, “This is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time, and our West Coast customers are excited about it. It will save them a lot in shipping, as well as speed up their turnaround time.” After spending the last four years working in FC’s New Hampshire headquarters, Peter Page heads up the new facility in Corona, along with three employees. The address for Factory Connection West is:

1701 Rimpau Ave., Unit 104
Corona, CA 92881

Because their customer service and tech support is still being handled through their East Coast facility, the phone number remains the same: (800) 221-7560. You can check out their web site at www.factoryconnection.com.

Last week we stopped by Spy Day at Elsinore, and it was a cool chance to meet not just a batch of the Spy staff, but their customers and friends as well. We also got a first look at a bunch of riders on new bikes, and in new gear.

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Eric Sorby and Ivan Tedesco were both on their new Pro Circuit Kawasaki KX125s, while Stephane Roncada was on a KXF250, and in the Thor gear he’ll be wearing as a new Pro Circuit team member. Brian Gray was showing off his new TLD garb while turning in fast laps aboard an RM-Z250. Andrew Short, Steve Boniface (who was on an RM-Z), and Bobby Kiniry were all sporting their new Fly gear. And finally, Team ECC’s Mike Craig and Evan Laughridge were also busy putting in laps.

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Elsinore itself had received a facelift, with a decidedly SX-style section that the pros were loving. One of the longer tabletops was a whip haven, while Tedesco and Sorby looked impressive as they’d wheelie the full length of one of the whoop sections

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Spy Day was also a magnet for former National and Supercross Champions. Marty Smith, Ron Lechien, and Jeremy McGrath were all in attendance.

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Others spied on the track included Billy Laninovich, Ryan Hughes; as well as Gary, Mitchell, and Sean Bailey.

Afterward while talking to the riders, we discovered that Kiniry and Gray are now roommates, sharing a townhouse in the same Murrieta apartment complex where Stephane Roncada and Josh Hansen live. Before recently buying a house in Murrieta, Andrew Short also lived there, and our own GuyB inhabited in the same complex before moving closer to the TWMX offices.

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The other thing that nearly all the riders mentioned was that they’d put in enough laps at their respective practice tracks that they were bored with them…especially the guys who were going through a test season that includes four-stroke teething. Maybe if all the factories just rotated tracks every other week or so…

Oops. The new section at Elsinore claimed its first TWMX staff member last week. Swap was following Ryan “George” Cooley through one of the new jump sections when he pulled what Donn described as, “A heel clicker…but without the bike.” Cooley’s nursing a seriously swollen elbow and knee…and checking in with Doc G for further guidance.

We caught up with our good friend Travis Preston late last week to find out how the healing process was coming along with his re-injured knee. Not only was Presto in good spirits and as funny as ever, but at the time of our conversation was in-between motos at Honda’s Supercross test track. Travis tells us that his knee is feeling fine and he’s really looking forward to lining up on the gate at Anaheim 1 aboard his new CRF250R. “The bike is absolutely badass and I’ve only just started my testing. I can’t wait for Anaheim, said Preston. Travis plans to race the 125 West Coast aboard the CRF250R and the 250cc Outdoor Nationals aboapshire headquarters, Peter Page heads up the new facility in Corona, along with three employees. The address for Factory Connection West is:

1701 Rimpau Ave., Unit 104
Corona, CA 92881

Because their customer service and tech support is still being handled through their East Coast facility, the phone number remains the same: (800) 221-7560. You can check out their web site at www.factoryconnection.com.

Last week we stopped by Spy Day at Elsinore, and it was a cool chance to meet not just a batch of the Spy staff, but their customers and friends as well. We also got a first look at a bunch of riders on new bikes, and in new gear.

[IMAGE 2]

Eric Sorby and Ivan Tedesco were both on their new Pro Circuit Kawasaki KX125s, while Stephane Roncada was on a KXF250, and in the Thor gear he’ll be wearing as a new Pro Circuit team member. Brian Gray was showing off his new TLD garb while turning in fast laps aboard an RM-Z250. Andrew Short, Steve Boniface (who was on an RM-Z), and Bobby Kiniry were all sporting their new Fly gear. And finally, Team ECC’s Mike Craig and Evan Laughridge were also busy putting in laps.

[IMAGE 3]

[IMAGE 4]

Elsinore itself had received a facelift, with a decidedly SX-style section that the pros were loving. One of the longer tabletops was a whip haven, while Tedesco and Sorby looked impressive as they’d wheelie the full length of one of the whoop sections

[IMAGE 5]

Spy Day was also a magnet for former National and Supercross Champions. Marty Smith, Ron Lechien, and Jeremy McGrath were all in attendance.

[IMAGE 6]

Others spied on the track included Billy Laninovich, Ryan Hughes; as well as Gary, Mitchell, and Sean Bailey.

Afterward while talking to the riders, we discovered that Kiniry and Gray are now roommates, sharing a townhouse in the same Murrieta apartment complex where Stephane Roncada and Josh Hansen live. Before recently buying a house in Murrieta, Andrew Short also lived there, and our own GuyB inhabited in the same complex before moving closer to the TWMX offices.

[IMAGE 7]

The other thing that nearly all the riders mentioned was that they’d put in enough laps at their respective practice tracks that they were bored with them…especially the guys who were going through a test season that includes four-stroke teething. Maybe if all the factories just rotated tracks every other week or so…

Oops. The new section at Elsinore claimed its first TWMX staff member last week. Swap was following Ryan “George” Cooley through one of the new jump sections when he pulled what Donn described as, “A heel clicker…but without the bike.” Cooley’s nursing a seriously swollen elbow and knee…and checking in with Doc G for further guidance.

We caught up with our good friend Travis Preston late last week to find out how the healing process was coming along with his re-injured knee. Not only was Presto in good spirits and as funny as ever, but at the time of our conversation was in-between motos at Honda’s Supercross test track. Travis tells us that his knee is feeling fine and he’s really looking forward to lining up on the gate at Anaheim 1 aboard his new CRF250R. “The bike is absolutely badass and I’ve only just started my testing. I can’t wait for Anaheim, said Preston. Travis plans to race the 125 West Coast aboard the CRF250R and the 250cc Outdoor Nationals aboard the potent CRF450R.

Motorcycle boot, gear and apparel giant, Alpinestars, went live a couple weeks ago with a brand new version of their website. The new site is said to be bigger and smoother than the last version with more technical information on riding products, clearer layouts for product comparisons, bigger photos, improved race reviews, news and wallpapers from all areas of the motorsports world. So when you’re done getting your daily dose of www.transworldmx.com, be sure to head on over to www.alpinestars.com to see what’s new.

In our U.S. Open addition of Monday Kickstart two weeks ago, we made mention of karting sensation Kyle Martin, and his role at M4 Exhaust and their emergence into the motocross and super moto industries. In our most recent conversation with Kyle we learned that M4 Performance Exhaust now has 2004 KTM 525 full systems and slip-on units available. Full systems include stainless steel headers with a titanium or stainless midpipe, and your choice of an aluminum or titanium silencer. M4 claims huge horsepower gains with no loss throughout your power curve. To learn more, call 972-481-9300 or visit www.M4exhaust.com.

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Interview: Josh Hanson, Yamaha of Troy

TransWorld Motocross: So Josh, we understand that the entire Yamaha of Troy team will be riding four-strokes in 2004. Tell us about the bike and how it’s been to make the switch over to the YZ250F.

Josh Hanson: Yeah, Phil decided at the end of the season that this would be the best move for me. The YZ125 is really good, but I was having some problems with it toward the end of the ’03 season, and with the four-stroke being the bike of the future we just decided it was time. I mean the YZ250F is such a great bike that it’s hard not to be on it. I seem to be adapting to it really well. It’s a lot of fun to ride and it suits my style really well. I am definitely looking forward to the new year. I’ve got a new trainer, John Louch, and I think I should go far.

TWMX: How long have you guys been Supercross testing with the new four-stroke, and how’s that going?

JH: We’ve probably been into it now for about two weeks now, and it’s going great. The first four-stroke that they got me was stock and even that thing was awesome. Then they put me on a built one and it just blew me away. I can’t believe how good this bike is. I think I’ve probably ridden it about seven times so far, and I really like it. If things keep going this well I think I can really do good next year.

TWMX: Enzo Racing sponsors the team. Have you been doing very much suspension testing with Ross?

JH: Yeah… Ross… That guy’s bad! He’s just the king at getting stuff done. It’s amazing sometimes. I’ve shown up at the test track and he’s had my stuff so dialed in that I haven’t had to change a thing. He knows what works and he gets us totally taken care of. His stuff is unbelievable. He really helps to make this team what it is.

TWMX: So you mentioned your new trainer, John. Has he altered your whole outlook on training, and have you guys changed your program quite a bit?

JH: Last year and the beginning of this year I trained a little bit but I really didn’t put enough emphasis on it. Having him on my team now has really changed things for me. I’m one of those guys that need to be motivated and pushed. He gets me up in the morning and gets me going. You know, he’s there for me and has really helped me to approach this differently. I really look forward to getting up in the morning now and doing this. I’ve only trained with him for about four weeks now and I”ve already seen a big difference. I’ve gained about nine pounds of muscle…

TWMX: Is that your primary focus right now, to gain lean body mass?

JH: Yeah, that’s my goal. I plan to still gain another 10-12 more pounds this year before Anaheim, and John’s really helping to make a big difference.

TWMX: Speaking of Anaheim… since you mentioned that we’re guessing that you’re planning to ride the 125 West?

JH: You know what… that’s actually still a little bit up in the air. Phil actually has mentioned possibly riding the East Coast but I don’t think anything’s for sure at this point. We should make the decision soon though.

TWMX: Do you have a preference?

JH: No… you know, I really don’t even care. I think if I train hard enough I’ll be able to do anything, so I just plan on being ready to go and we’ll see what happens.

TWMX: So with your dad’s background in the sport, do you still work out a lot with him on riding technique and stuff?

JH: I do from time to time. I don’t really get to see him that often because we’re both so busy doing our jobs, but we talk quite a bit over the phone. I can tell him what problems I am having and we can kind of go over stuff. When he’s in town we always get together and he’s always a huge help.

TWMX: Right on Josh… keep up all the hard work and best of luck to you next season.

JH: Thanks, I appreciate it.

That’s it for this week. Let’s hear it for the firefighters. And for those of you near the fire areas, hang in there.

the potent CRF450R.

Motorcycle boot, gear and apparel giant, Alpinestars, went live a couple weeks ago with a brand new version of their website. The new site is said to be bigger and smoother than the last version with more technical information on riding products, clearer layouts for product comparisons, bigger photos, improved race reviews, news and wallpapers from all areas of the motorsports world. So when you’re done getting your daily dose of www.transworldmx.com, be sure to head on over to www.alpinestars.com to see what’s new.

In our U.S. Open addition of Monday Kickstart two weeks ago, we made mention of karting sensation Kyle Martin, and his role at M4 Exhaust and their emergence into the motocross and super moto industries. In our most recent conversation with Kyle we learned that M4 Performance Exhaust now has 2004 KTM 525 full systems and slip-on units available. Full systems include stainless steel headers with a titanium or stainless midpipe, and your choice of an aluminum or titanium silencer. M4 claims huge horsepower gains with no loss throughout your power curve. To learn more, call 972-481-9300 or visit www.M4exhaust.com.

[IMAGE 8]

Interview: Josh Hanson, Yamaha of Troy

TransWorld Motocross: So Josh, we understand that the entire Yamaha of Troy team will be riding four-strokes in 2004. Tell us about the bike and how it’s been to make the switch over to the YZ250F.

Josh Hanson: Yeah, Phil decided at the end of the season that this would be the best move for me. The YZ125 is really good, but I was having some problems with it toward the end of the ’03 season, and with the four-stroke being the bike of the future we just decided it was time. I mean the YZ250F is such a great bike that it’s hard not to be on it. I seem to be adapting to it really well. It’s a lot of fun to ride and it suits my style really well. I am definitely looking forward to the new year. I’ve got a new trainer, John Louch, and I think I should go far.

TWMX: How long have you guys been Supercross testing with the new four-stroke, and how’s that going?

JH: We’ve probably been into it now for about two weeks now, and it’s going great. The first four-stroke that they got me was stock and even that thing was awesome. Then they put me on a built one and it just blew me away. I can’t believe how good this bike is. I think I’ve probably ridden it about seven times so far, and I really like it. If things keep going this well I think I can really do good next year.

TWMX: Enzo Racing sponsors the team. Have you been doing very much suspension testing with Ross?

JH: Yeah… Ross… That guy’s bad! He’s just the king at getting stuff done. It’s amazing sometimes. I’ve shown up at the test track and he’s had my stuff so dialed in that I haven’t had to change a thing. He knows what works and he gets us totally taken care of. His stuff is unbelievable. He really helps to make this team what it is.

TWMX: So you mentioned your new trainer, John. Has he altered your whole outlook on training, and have you guys changed your program quite a bit?

JH: Last year and the beginning of this year I trained a little bit but I really didn’t put enough emphasis on it. Having him on my team now has really changed things for me. I’m one of those guys that need to be motivated and pushed. He gets me up in the morning and gets me going. You know, he’s there for me and has really helped me to approach this differently. I really look forward to getting up in the morning now and doing this. I’ve only trained with him for about four weeks now and I’ve already seen a big difference. I’ve gained about nine pounds of muscle…

TWMX: Is that your primary focus right now, to gain lean body mass?

JH: Yeah, that’s my goal. I plan to still gain another 10-12 more pounds this year before Anaheim, and John’s really helping to make a big difference.

TWMX: Speaking of Anaheim… since you mentioned that we’re guessing that you’re planning to ride the 125 West?

JH: You know what… that’s actually still a little bit up in the air. Phil actually has mentioned possibly riding the East Coast but I don’t think anything’s for sure at this point. We should make the decision soon though.

TWMX: Do you have a preference?

JH: No… you know, I really don’t even care. I think if I train hard enough I’ll be able to do anything, so I just plan on being ready to go and we’ll see what happens.

TWMX: So with your dad’s background in the sport, do you still work out a lot with him on riding technique and stuff?

JH: I do from time to time. I don’t really get to see him that often because we’re both so busy doing our jobs, but we talk quite a bit over the phone. I can tell him what problems I am having and we can kind of go over stuff. When he’s in town we always get together and he’s always a huge help.

TWMX: Right on Josh… keep up all the hard work and best of luck to you next season.

JH: Thanks, I appreciate it.

That’s it for this week. Let’s hear it for the firefighters. And for those of you near the fire areas, hang in there.

w and I’ve already seen a big difference. I’ve gained about nine pounds of muscle…

TWMX: Is that your primary focus right now, to gain lean body mass?

JH: Yeah, that’s my goal. I plan to still gain another 10-12 more pounds this year before Anaheim, and John’s really helping to make a big difference.

TWMX: Speaking of Anaheim… since you mentioned that we’re guessing that you’re planning to ride the 125 West?

JH: You know what… that’s actually still a little bit up in the air. Phil actually has mentioned possibly riding the East Coast but I don’t think anything’s for sure at this point. We should make the decision soon though.

TWMX: Do you have a preference?

JH: No… you know, I really don’t even care. I think if I train hard enough I’ll be able to do anything, so I just plan on being ready to go and we’ll see what happens.

TWMX: So with your dad’s background in the sport, do you still work out a lot with him on riding technique and stuff?

JH: I do from time to time. I don’t really get to see him that often because we’re both so busy doing our jobs, but we talk quite a bit over the phone. I can tell him what problems I am having and we can kind of go over stuff. When he’s in town we always get together and he’s always a huge help.

TWMX: Right on Josh… keep up all the hard work and best of luck to you next season.

JH: Thanks, I appreciate it.

That’s it for this week. Let’s hear it for the firefighters. And for those of you near the fire areas, hang in there.