Monday Kickstart: Spring Break Edition

Compiled by the staff of TWMX.

You’ll have to excuse us this Monday; with no Supercross to attend, we took the weekend off! That said, here’s what we scrounged up this morning for our loyal Monday Kickstart readers. Not too shabby, if you ask me…swap

TransWorld Motocross bumped into Amsoil/Chaparral/Honda’s Mike LaRocco and his trainer Dan Pierce at our local LA Fitness health club this weekend. Together, Mike, Dan and Swap looked like Team Gimp: LaRocco still mending from his recent shoulder surgery, Dan sporting a just healed broken wrist and Maeda on crutches with a badly sprained ankle.

“I feel pretty good,” said Mike LaRocco, of his still-tender right shoulder. “With a hurt shoulder, at least I can still do some cardio work and stay in relatively good shape. I can’t start therapy on my shoulder for another week and a half, but I should be back on a bike in late April.” When we asked him what he would be racing, LaRocco indicated that he would, for sure, be aboard a two-stroke Honda CR250R. “I don’t think a big CRF450R would be the easiest thing for me to hold on to with a sore shoulder,” joked Mike.

The Rock’s trainer Dan Pierce threw his leg over a motocross bike for the first time last year when he flew back for a multi-month stay in Indiana with his rider. Though we’re heard that he picked up the knobby hobby fairly quickly, he got a little overzealous on his Honda back at home in California several weeks ago and got his first taste of moto-pain. “I crashed and broke my wrist,” said Pierce. “How about that—both rider and trainer were broken at the same time!”

According to his trainer David Bailey, Team Yamaha’s David Vuillemin flew home to France last Wednesday to visit with his own personal physicians and get a second opinion on the broken T5 vertebrae he suffered in last weekend’s scary Daytona SX crash. “Understandably, David’s injury scared the hell out of me,” said Bailey, who coincidentally broke the exact same vertebrae over 15 years ago. “He also suffered a badly sprained ankle, which is good, in a sense. I told him that by the time his ankle feels better, his back will be healed up properly. The ankle will keep him from overdoing it while his back heals up!” Bailey indicated that he and the Cobra plan to start from scratch when he is able to ride again. “David has so much talent and so much speed,” said Bailey. “Together, we’re gonna start all over in preparation for the Nationals, and I think we’ll see a completely different number 12 out there.” Check out both Bailey’s and Vuillemin’s web sites for updates: www.davidbaileymx.com and www.dv12.com.

Team Honda’s Nathan Ramsey got back on a bike for the first time last week back at his home in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee. “He’s just doing some easy riding to get comfortable on the bike again,” said Nate Dog’s mechanic Bundy. “He’s really excited to even be back on a bike again, that’s for sure. Nathan has some property back there that he is building a track on, so he is basically riding the bike to lay out the track.” We asked Bundy how he felt Nathan was coming along, and he replied, “I think we’ll be 90 percent ready by the time Glen Helen rolls along. Maybe 100, but it’s so hard to tell with an injury like a busted femur.”

According to Western Region 125cc Supercross Champion Travis Preston, it looks certain that he will move up to the 250cc class for the AMA National Championship Series. The Amsoil/Chaparral/Honda rider will ride a four-stroke Honda CRF450R and man, is he pumped! “I am so pumped to race a CRF450R!” said Preston. “I am so happy to get out of the 125cc class. I was dreading the outdoor season. Not because the Honda 125 isn’t good—ikicks ass—it’s just that I weigh so much that those kids really tear me up in the corners. And if I make a mistake? Forget it!”

Travis Preston and Ernesto Fonseca spent the week following the Daytona SX testing at Ricky Carmichael’s home in Tallahassee, Florida. It was there, that Preston got his first taste of the CRF450R’s potential on an outdoor track. “I have never tested with guys as smart as the Honda engineers,” said Preston. “Some of the stuff we tested was so simple, yet made such a big difference! Like, who would have thought that different motor mounts could make a bike turn better?” When questioned about his lap times, compared to the host’s, Preston replied, “Well, it is Ricky’s home track, but I was—on average—three to four seconds slower than him. But I was faster than Ernie!”

It was then that we caught wind that Ernesto Fonseca was doing outdoor testing on a two-stroke Honda CR250R, not a two-stroke CR125R or four-stroke CRF250R, which would lead us to believe that the Costa Rican will also be contesting the 250cc Nationals. Counting Ernie, that makes five factory Honda riders in the premier division outdoors (Ricky Carmichael, Nathan Ramsey, Ernesto Fonseca, Mike LaRocco and Travis Preston).

Earlier this week, we asked Honda team manager Erik Kehoe if we could expect to see the four-stroke Honda CRF250R in action in this year’s 125cc National Championship Series, but Hog’s reply wasn’t the one we were looking for. “I don’t think so,” he said. “As of now, it doesn’t look like we will have the bike homologated in time for the 125cc Nationals. The AMA gives each manufacturer one chance to field a works bike, and we used ours with the CRF450R in 2001.”

But back to the Honda testing sessions at RC’s house last week: Having read rumors of Ricky Carmichael testing on a CRF450R over on the MotoTalk message boards, we questioned Kehoe about the possibility of RC racing the big thumper outdoors. “I would have to say that it’s very unlikely,” said Kehoe. “There is virtually no time in between the end of Supercross and the start of the Nationals for him to really test and get used to the bike. We had Ricky ride the bike for some information and feedback, but I honestly don’t expect to see him race one this year.” When asked how RC’s two- and four-stroke lap times compared, Kehoe said, “They were actually very comparable. The times on both bikes were very close, but it’s not like he was way faster on one or the other.”

One more tidbit of information from Travis Preston, and we promise to write about another team… We asked Travis about what he thought of testing and practicing at Ricky Carmichael’s Florida compound. “Man, now I can understand why that guy goes so frickin’ fast!” said Preston. “His outdoor track has the hardest off-camber turns on it; way harder than anything you ever see at the Nationals. Plus, the guy busts his butt and never lets off. I used to think that I made the most of my practice sessions, but now I know that there is a lot more to be accomplished during the week.”

[IMAGE 1]

Happy Birthday wishes to Team Yamaha’s Tim Ferry, who will turn 28 tomorrow, March 18. Red Dog and his new Dade City, Florida, neighbor Chad Reed actually celebrated both of their birthdays this past weekend, taking advantage of the break in the Supercross series. When asked what the best present he got for his birthday was, Red Dog laughed and replied, “Some bullets and targets for my gun!”

Team ECC’s manager Mike Craig says that Steve Lamson is getting ready to contest the outdoor Nationals this summer. Lamy is putting in some time on a minibike in order to get up to speed on the 125cc bike. Craig said that though Lamy could race a couple of the last Supercross events, he is going to concentrate on the Nationals. Don’t forget that back in 1995 and 1996 Lamy won the National Championship in the 125cc class. That along with the one million dollar bonus that team ECC is offering should give the former champ some fire this summer.

Speaking of Mike Craig, his 11-year old son Christian, has been putting some time in himself on an 85 and according to Stingray Sr. he is rippin’. “I have been taking him to the roughest terrain in southern California and he has been able to put some really consistent lap times together.” Does this mean Mike will turn into a full-on motodad? “No way! I just want my son to be happy with whatever he is doing. It just so happens he is into MX.” We wonder where he gets that from?

Ezra Lusk’s Factory Kawasaki’s mechanic, Randy Lawrence, tied the knot last Friday with his new bride Lisa. The ceremony was held on the beach in Laguna. The two narrowly escaped the record-breaking down pours that Southern California experienced this weekend. According to R.L., it couldn’t have gone any smoother. “We just invited a small amount of our closest friends to the ceremony. If I would have invited everyone on my side we would have had to rent out Edison Field!” Congratulations to R.L. and Lisa.

A few weeks ago in Indy, Suzuki team manager Roger DeCoster, was overheard joking with his 125cc French rider, Matthieu Lalloz, about his performance. “If you continue to ride like a girl out there, I am going to have Randy from Michelin make you some pink tires!” To which Michelin’s Randy Richardson said “Roger, if you want pink tires, I can make ’em.” With all the bad luck that team Sobe Suzuki has been having, it was nice to see Roger in such a light-hearted mood.

Speaking of Indy, factory Suzuki’s big rig was involved in an accident sitting in the truck bay. It turns out that on the day of the Supercross race in the RCA dome, there was a Hot Rod Restoration show there at the same time. Well, one of the Hot Rodders’ fifth-wheel trailers was pulling away and his overhang hung up on the frond end of team Sobe Suzuki’s tractor. Oops.

Round one of the Two Brothers Racing and Sano Systems Mini Four-Stroke Championship was scheduled for Saturday at Lake Elsinore MX Park, but torrential rain washed out the festivities. How big is 50s racing getting out here? No less than six companies were planning on shooting footage for upcoming video projects. Depending on which rumors you choose to believe, there may also have been an attempt to pull a backflip on a 50, which is either dumb, or just plain crazy. Round two has been rescheduled for April 19th.

Sand specialists rejoice, one of our international co-conspirators…er, we mean contributors, Bart de Jong, sent over the results from the first round of the Dutch Open Outdoor nationals.

[IMAGE 2]

125cc:

  1. Erik Eggens NED KTM 2-1
  2. Marc de Reuver NED KTM 1-2
  3. Tyla Rattray RSA KTM 4-4
  4. Steve Ramon BEL KTM 3-5
  5. Marvin van Daele BEL KTM 6-3

[IMAGE 3]

250cc/500cc:

  1. Kevin Strijbos BEL Suzuki 1-4
  2. Manuel Priem BEL KTM 4-3
  3. Danny Theybers BEL Husaberg
  4. Remy van Rees NED KTM 8-2
  5. Heikki vd Berg NED KTM 5-5

SuperFinale:

  1. Marc de Reuver NED KTM
  2. Danny Theybers BEL Husaberg
  3. Kevin Strijbos BEL Suzuki
  4. Marvin van Daele BEL KTM
  5. Manuel Priem BEL KTM

It almost seems weird that the season is winding down for the East and West SX championships. With two rounds round remaining in the West (Dallas and Salt Lake City), and three rounds remaining in the East (St. Louis, Houston and Pontiacte on the Nationals. Don’t forget that back in 1995 and 1996 Lamy won the National Championship in the 125cc class. That along with the one million dollar bonus that team ECC is offering should give the former champ some fire this summer.

Speaking of Mike Craig, his 11-year old son Christian, has been putting some time in himself on an 85 and according to Stingray Sr. he is rippin’. “I have been taking him to the roughest terrain in southern California and he has been able to put some really consistent lap times together.” Does this mean Mike will turn into a full-on motodad? “No way! I just want my son to be happy with whatever he is doing. It just so happens he is into MX.” We wonder where he gets that from?

Ezra Lusk’s Factory Kawasaki’s mechanic, Randy Lawrence, tied the knot last Friday with his new bride Lisa. The ceremony was held on the beach in Laguna. The two narrowly escaped the record-breaking down pours that Southern California experienced this weekend. According to R.L., it couldn’t have gone any smoother. “We just invited a small amount of our closest friends to the ceremony. If I would have invited everyone on my side we would have had to rent out Edison Field!” Congratulations to R.L. and Lisa.

A few weeks ago in Indy, Suzuki team manager Roger DeCoster, was overheard joking with his 125cc French rider, Matthieu Lalloz, about his performance. “If you continue to ride like a girl out there, I am going to have Randy from Michelin make you some pink tires!” To which Michelin’s Randy Richardson said “Roger, if you want pink tires, I can make ’em.” With all the bad luck that team Sobe Suzuki has been having, it was nice to see Roger in such a light-hearted mood.

Speaking of Indy, factory Suzuki’s big rig was involved in an accident sitting in the truck bay. It turns out that on the day of the Supercross race in the RCA dome, there was a Hot Rod Restoration show there at the same time. Well, one of the Hot Rodders’ fifth-wheel trailers was pulling away and his overhang hung up on the frond end of team Sobe Suzuki’s tractor. Oops.

Round one of the Two Brothers Racing and Sano Systems Mini Four-Stroke Championship was scheduled for Saturday at Lake Elsinore MX Park, but torrential rain washed out the festivities. How big is 50s racing getting out here? No less than six companies were planning on shooting footage for upcoming video projects. Depending on which rumors you choose to believe, there may also have been an attempt to pull a backflip on a 50, which is either dumb, or just plain crazy. Round two has been rescheduled for April 19th.

Sand specialists rejoice, one of our international co-conspirators…er, we mean contributors, Bart de Jong, sent over the results from the first round of the Dutch Open Outdoor nationals.

[IMAGE 2]

125cc:

  1. Erik Eggens NED KTM 2-1
  2. Marc de Reuver NED KTM 1-2
  3. Tyla Rattray RSA KTM 4-4
  4. Steve Ramon BEL KTM 3-5
  5. Marvin van Daele BEL KTM 6-3

[IMAGE 3]

250cc/500cc:

  1. Kevin Strijbos BEL Suzuki 1-4
  2. Manuel Priem BEL KTM 4-3
  3. Danny Theybers BEL Husaberg
  4. Remy van Rees NED KTM 8-2
  5. Heikki vd Berg NED KTM 5-5

SuperFinale:

  1. Marc de Reuver NED KTM
  2. Danny Theybers BEL Husaberg
  3. Kevin Strijbos BEL Suzuki
  4. Marvin van Daele BEL KTM
  5. Manuel Priem BEL KTM

It almost seems weird that the season is winding down for the East and West SX championships. With two rounds round remaining in the West (Dallas and Salt Lake City), and three rounds remaining in the East (St. Louis, Houston and Pontiac) to decide the titles, before everyone gets together for the 125cc Shootout in Vegas. Maybe someday they’ll figure out how to have an even number of races for each division (the West gets eight, and the East gets seven). Maybe they just figure that with Daytona on the East, it almost counts as two races.

Feeling the need to add to your moto-collectables? When Travis Pastrana was backflipping into the Grand Canyon last year, he had three bikes lined up, but only used two of them. The third went on the blocks on eBay last week. Check it out at http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2407053537&category=6027

Our pal Ronnie “Kung Fu” Faisst has recently sold his house in Corona. The Ninja Master himself decided that he needed a place where he could practice, so he bought a five acre spread in the Murrieta area where he could set up a small FMX course. Unfortunately for Faisst, however, a trip to the hospital will keep him from even riding his new park for a little while! While he was warming up at his new spot, Ronnie’s CR landed on top of him, breaking five of his ribs and bruising his kidney. Ouch!

Andy “Backstreet” Jones called us this morning with news of his cracked tailbone. Though we immediately suspected the injury to be a direct result of one of his strange male-only parties, A.J. informed us that he crashed at this weekend’s IFMA contest in Birmingham, AL. Jones decided to ride with the tune “Sweet Home Alabama” blaring to excite the crowd, which it did. As the crowd was screaming, A.J. got ahead of himself and threw a huge Sterilizer but landed in some choppy ruts. He got ejected from his bike, and now poor Andy can’t even sit down! Backstreet is tough, though, so don’t expect him to miss any events due to the crash. He is back in Oklahoma this week recovering from the injury.

Speaking of IFMA crashes, series ruler Kenny Bartram almost bought the farm this weekend at the same Birmingham contest that Jones got hurt at. Apparently the Cowboy did one of his extended Rock Solid-to-No Hander Landers, but as he landed Bartram mistakenly put his foot on the rear brake instead of the foot peg. Bartram is so talented, however, that somehow he pulled it off and didn’t even crash, though he did goon out for a second. Careful, Kenny!

IFMA tour regular Brian Foster managed to score his first-ever contest win on Friday night at the Greenville, NC, event this weekend. It’s always cool to see someone take their first win. Congrats, Brian! Next on the list of people who will take a win any weekend now is Reno local Jesse Olson, who once again got a second this weekend in Birmingham.

The official results from the weekend’s IFMA FMX contests went as follows: In Greenville, NC, it was Brian Foster with a win on Friday night, followed closely by Derek Burlew and Jake Windham. Saturday’s show saw Dustin Miller take the win over Windham and Matt Buyten. The other tour stop was at Birmingham, AL, where Kenny Bartram won both nights ahead of Beau Bamburg and Myles Richmond on Friday and Jesse Olson and Drake McElroy on Saturday.

A whip contest was held at the IFMA contest in Greenville, and it was none other than the Worm himself, Ronnie Renner, who took home the first place prize money of $600. Renner will be spending the money on a flat cardboard breakdance mat, along with a new “Ghetto Blaster.”

FMX God Dustin Miller decided that he was too sick to ride on Friday night’s contest in Greenville, so he sat the night out and cheered on his buddy Brian Foster as he took his firrst win. Miller took a bunch of Vitamin C and rebounded quickly, though, and came out swinging with a win on Saturday night.

o decide the titles, before everyone gets together for the 125cc Shootout in Vegas. Maybe someday they’ll figure out how to have an even number of races for each division (the West gets eight, and the East gets seven). Maybe they just figure that with Daytona on the East, it almost counts as two races.

Feeling the need to add to your moto-collectables? When Travis Pastrana was backflipping into the Grand Canyon last year, he had three bikes lined up, but only used two of them. The third went on the blocks on eBay last week. Check it out at http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2407053537&category=6027

Our pal Ronnie “Kung Fu” Faisst has recently sold his house in Corona. The Ninja Master himself decided that he needed a place where he could practice, so he bought a five acre spread in the Murrieta area where he could set up a small FMX course. Unfortunately for Faisst, however, a trip to the hospital will keep him from even riding his new park for a little while! While he was warming up at his new spot, Ronnie’s CR landed on top of him, breaking five of his ribs and bruising his kidney. Ouch!

Andy “Backstreet” Jones called us this morning with news of his cracked tailbone. Though we immediately suspected the injury to be a direct result of one of his strange male-only parties, A.J. informed us that he crashed at this weekend’s IFMA contest in Birmingham, AL. Jones decided to ride with the tune “Sweet Home Alabama” blaring to excite the crowd, which it did. As the crowd was screaming, A.J. got ahead of himself and threw a huge Sterilizer but landed in some choppy ruts. He got ejected from his bike, and now poor Andy can’t even sit down! Backstreet is tough, though, so don’t expect him to miss any events due to the crash. He is back in Oklahoma this week recovering from the injury.

Speaking of IFMA crashes, series ruler Kenny Bartram almost bought the farm this weekend at the same Birmingham contest that Jones got hurt at. Apparently the Cowboy did one of his extended Rock Solid-to-No Hander Landers, but as he landed Bartram mistakenly put his foot on the rear brake instead of the foot peg. Bartram is so talented, however, that somehow he pulled it off and didn’t even crash, though he did goon out for a second. Careful, Kenny!

IFMA tour regular Brian Foster managed to score his first-ever contest win on Friday night at the Greenville, NC, event this weekend. It’s always cool to see someone take their first win. Congrats, Brian! Next on the list of people who will take a win any weekend now is Reno local Jesse Olson, who once again got a second this weekend in Birmingham.

The official results from the weekend’s IFMA FMX contests went as follows: In Greenville, NC, it was Brian Foster with a win on Friday night, followed closely by Derek Burlew and Jake Windham. Saturday’s show saw Dustin Miller take the win over Windham and Matt Buyten. The other tour stop was at Birmingham, AL, where Kenny Bartram won both nights ahead of Beau Bamburg and Myles Richmond on Friday and Jesse Olson and Drake McElroy on Saturday.

A whip contest was held at the IFMA contest in Greenville, and it was none other than the Worm himself, Ronnie Renner, who took home the first place prize money of $600. Renner will be spending the money on a flat cardboard breakdance mat, along with a new “Ghetto Blaster.”

FMX God Dustin Miller decided that he was too sick to ride on Friday night’s contest in Greenville, so he sat the night out and cheered on his buddy Brian Foster as he took his first win. Miller took a bunch of Vitamin C and rebounded quickly, though, and came out swinging with a win on Saturday night.

his first win. Miller took a bunch of Vitamin C and rebounded quickly, though, and came out swinging with a win on Saturday night.