Monday Kickstart: St. Louis

This Monday’s Kickstart is brought to you primarily by Jamie Little, who debuted her new gig as TransWorld Motocross Editor at Large this weekend in St. Louis. Best known as the floor announcer at the THQ World Supercross GP, Little is also an experienced journalist who has been published in TWMX, Racer X Illustrated and Dirt Rider. Welcome aboard, Jamie!

Kevin Windham phoned Swap today to let us know that he is close to securing a deal to contest the 250cc National Championship Series, which kicks off in May at Glen Helen Raceway Park. Though Windham wouldn’t hint about what color bike he would be on, he did say that the deal would see him form his own team and enjoy factory support. “Heck, I’ll be there even if everything falls through,” said Kevin. “Even if it means me showing up with my beat up bike in my pickup. I will be at Glen Helen, and you can count on that!”

K-Dub has been riding and racing quite a bit in recent months, aboard a Honda CRF450R that he bought for fun. “Man, I sat down and figured it out the other day, and that bike has close to 1000 hours on it,” said Windham. “If Honda ever needed someone to durability test, it’s me; I’ve only changed the oil once! I’m a terrible mechanic. When I switch a rear tire it takes me five hours and about six or seven inner tubes. I just know how to ride the things.”

Patriotism was definitely in the air in respect to the war with Iraq. Ezra Lusk, Jeremy McGrath (for his victory lap), Branden Jesseman, Heath Voss and many others wore red, white and blue gear or helmets. The opening ceremonies in St. Louis included 50+ Marines carrying individual American flags and one huge American flag. RC came out in a red Marines Hummer.

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Heath Voss’ helmet was custom painted by Robert Utny Images last week to “give respect to all the men and women who are fighting in Iraq.” The back of the helmet had Uncle Sam on both sides and including the Texas State flag around the rest. Of course the Texas flag is red, white and blue with a star. He had stars around the front of the helmet.

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Branden Jesseman always runs the patriotic colors on his jersey and sometimes on his helmet but he showed true patriotism following his win. He said, “I want to dedicate this win to all the men and women fighting in Iraq right now.”

Some riders were missing in St. Louis including two more factory riders, Tim Ferry and David Vuillemin. Tim Ferry has been stricken with the “moto virus” Epstein-Barr. It’s like chronic fatigue syndrome, doctors say, that’s caused by overtraining. Other riders who’ve suffered from the virus include Brock Sellards, Travis Pastrana, Matthieu Lalloz, and Stephane Roncada.

Ferry’s mechanic, Steve Mathes, said Ferry is at home resting and will have more blood tests done in two weeks. He said Ferry is hopeful he’ll be back for the last couple of rounds of supercross.

David Vuillemin is reportedly still back home in France. After suffering a compressed vertebra in a crash in Daytona, the Cobra may be out as long as six weeks according to supercross doc John Bodnar.

Only four factory riders were present in St. Louis. Four full-time 250 riders that is. Ezra Lusk, RC, Chad Reed and Ernesto Fonseca are keeping the series afloat while everyone else is sick or injured.

Another rider missing in action was privateer James Povolny. He got married during the off weekend and was enjoying his honeymoon in South Carolina. Pastor Steve Hudson conducted the service and said James plans on taking a little time off to heal up. James has had some nasty crashes in the last couple of weeks, one resulng in a concussion.

Damon Huffman found himself on the injured list following the Daytona supercross. According to Doc Bodnar, “Huffman came up to me at the end of the day and said his thumb didn’t feel right. So, we x-rayed it in the Asterisk medic unit and it turned out to be completely broken.” No word on how long Huffman will be out.

Many Heather Voss fans will be broken-hearted to know she too tied the knot during the off weekend. Heather married her boyfriend of two years, Owen Stanley. Her brother Heath said, “It was a really nice wedding, especially for being in Studio City where everything is so small!” Heather and her new husband are in Tahiti for their honeymoon. No word on when and if Heather will continue her reign as “Miss Supercross”.

Heath Voss is next in line to get hitched. He will marry longtime girlfriend and motocross racer Sarah Crawfoot June 21st.

No respect? A lot of talk has gone on this year about Chad Reed and Ricky Carmichael not respecting one another. Both have commented to the media about not getting respect from the other. But things seemed a little different this weekend. They were seen discussing the track together during opening ceremonies. Also, Ricky had no excuses and no disrespect issues with Reed on the podium. He said, “I flat out got my butt kicked tonight.”

Mike Brown seems to do best without his boss Mitch Payton around. The only 125 supercross race he’s won came in Daytona. When congratulated on Brown’s win, Payton said, “Thanks, but I wasn’t even there.” Payton was back in St. Louis and guess what, Brown got third! Payton agreed he should stay at home more often!

Larry Ward had an interesting injury during the off weekend. He said he caught the tip of his middle finger in a “transmission fan.” “My finger was almost completely cut off. So, I super-glued it in order to race.” The makeshift cast did the job Saturday night although Wardy said every time he pulled in the clutch; it felt like his finger was coming off.

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A supercross star turned TV star? Larry Ward made the final cut for a new hunting show. He finds out in the next couple weeks if he gets the part. If so, he would host the show and travel around the country to different hunting hot spots. Good luck Big Bird!

Roger DeCoster was in good spirits this weekend despite the bad luck with team Suzuki. When asked what his plans are for next year, he laughed and said, “I better start going to church more often and lighting some candles too!” Things got better for him in St. Louis as Danny Smith got the holeshot in the 250 main and finished sixth for the second straight week and 125 rider Branden Jesseman won his third race of the year.

Travis Pastrana was spotted this weekend. It was the first race he’d been to since the Phoenix supercross. He said he’s hoping to be back for Salt Lake or Las Vegas. He said he’s 100% committed to racing and this time he’s not coming back until he’s healed up.

Dirt Wurx showed off their newest addition this weekend. A new full-size semi complete with a beautiful red and yellow paint job. The front half is living quarters with bunk beds, a kitchen area, couch and two swivel lazy-boy chairs. The back half is the “garage” for hauling things like the finish line THQ sign, the leader lights, etc. The coolest thing: it’s a 10 speed automatic! Not bad for a $240,000 price tag.

David Bailey was a no-show in St. Louis. Bailey, who’s been the color commentator for the motocross and supercross coverage on ESPN2 for almost ten years, said the place in the stadium where he has to call the race from is “so hard to get to, it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done.” It’s very narrow and very steep and it’s hard enough to walk there, let alone have two people carry you in a wheel chair. He asked Dynocom to change the location of the race call and they were unable to. So, he stayed home and Racer X’s Davey Coombs filled in.

Team Subway’s Joe Oehlhof had more than just racing on his mind this weekend. His brother Rick was shipped off to Iraq last week. He’s in the Army in the 101st Airborne. Rick’s wife and kids came to the race to see Joe finish an impressive 17th in the 250 main.

MotoworldRacing.com’s Andrew Short sat out St. Louis and said he may also skip Houston after a practice crash last week. “I crashed and hit my head at Daytona. On my first day back riding, I fell and hit it again.” Andrew also said that he suffered a groin injury in the same crash.

The AMA 4-Stroke Nationals made a stop at Racedown in Adelanto, CA, last weekend, and a full gate of pros provided plenty of thunder. The Racetown track was well-prepped, and the sandy terrain provided plenty of challenge, especially as the day wore on and the track got rougher.

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Despite a knee that was scheduled to be scoped on the following day, Ryan Hughes tallied 2-1 moto scores for the overall win.

Ryan’s first moto aboard his KTM 450SX was a little rough, with a bad start and a couple crashes. “I came up on some riders really fast in the corners, and would clip their back wheels,” said Ryno after the first moto was over. While he was a little disappointed in his the way the moto went, he was happy with his conditioning. “I could have easily gone another 10 minutes.”

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Casey Johnson went 1-2 for second overall aboard a Yamaha YZF, while Paul Carpenter (who was showing his support for the troops in red/white/blue Shift gear during the second moto) grabbed third. Carpenter’s effort was particularly impressive, considering he twisted his knee badly during the first moto. “When I first did it, it hurt so bad I almost pulled off, but it got a little better throughout the moto. It was scary, though, because it would buckle over some of the jumps.”

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Though Paul had to hop to his bike so that he could mount up for the second moto, he still finished a strong third.

If you get a chance to hit one of these races, do it. These guys put on a good show. More info? www.4strokenationals.com.

Four-Stroke Nationals Round Two: Racetown (Adelanto, CA)

  1. Ryan Hughes
  2. Casey Johnson
  3. Paul Carpenter
  4. Chris Wheeler
  5. Jason McCormick


Bonus Interview with Mach 1 Yamaha’s Nick Wey

-After his 5th place in St. Louis, he sits seventh in points.

TransWorld Motocross: Nick, it seems like every week you get more comfortable. You’ve had eight (including St. Louis) top ten finishes now. How do you feel things are going?

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Nick Wey: I’m getting closer and closer every week to lead pack pace. I’m focusing on what I need to do and nothing else. I need to race the track and that’s it. Hopefully I can get on the podium before the season’s over.

TWMX: How did your deal with Mach 1 begin?

Wey: I was talking to Yamaha because I really liked their bikes but they didn’t have a spot on a 250 for me. Then, Mach 1 was talking about buying a rig and stepping up their program and they brought me aboard. I couldn’t ask for a more professional team. They’ve put together a pretty good program.

TWMX: How do you and Heath Voss get along?

Wey: We never really talked much but we work together really well because we’re both really focused and we come to the races for one thing. There are no distractions for us.

TWMX: You’ve gone back and forth from privateer to factory. How does this ride row and very steep and it’s hard enough to walk there, let alone have two people carry you in a wheel chair. He asked Dynocom to change the location of the race call and they were unable to. So, he stayed home and Racer X’s Davey Coombs filled in.

Team Subway’s Joe Oehlhof had more than just racing on his mind this weekend. His brother Rick was shipped off to Iraq last week. He’s in the Army in the 101st Airborne. Rick’s wife and kids came to the race to see Joe finish an impressive 17th in the 250 main.

MotoworldRacing.com’s Andrew Short sat out St. Louis and said he may also skip Houston after a practice crash last week. “I crashed and hit my head at Daytona. On my first day back riding, I fell and hit it again.” Andrew also said that he suffered a groin injury in the same crash.

The AMA 4-Stroke Nationals made a stop at Racedown in Adelanto, CA, last weekend, and a full gate of pros provided plenty of thunder. The Racetown track was well-prepped, and the sandy terrain provided plenty of challenge, especially as the day wore on and the track got rougher.

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Despite a knee that was scheduled to be scoped on the following day, Ryan Hughes tallied 2-1 moto scores for the overall win.

Ryan’s first moto aboard his KTM 450SX was a little rough, with a bad start and a couple crashes. “I came up on some riders really fast in the corners, and would clip their back wheels,” said Ryno after the first moto was over. While he was a little disappointed in his the way the moto went, he was happy with his conditioning. “I could have easily gone another 10 minutes.”

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Casey Johnson went 1-2 for second overall aboard a Yamaha YZF, while Paul Carpenter (who was showing his support for the troops in red/white/blue Shift gear during the second moto) grabbed third. Carpenter’s effort was particularly impressive, considering he twisted his knee badly during the first moto. “When I first did it, it hurt so bad I almost pulled off, but it got a little better throughout the moto. It was scary, though, because it would buckle over some of the jumps.”

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Though Paul had to hop to his bike so that he could mount up for the second moto, he still finished a strong third.

If you get a chance to hit one of these races, do it. These guys put on a good show. More info? www.4strokenationals.com.

Four-Stroke Nationals Round Two: Racetown (Adelanto, CA)

  1. Ryan Hughes
  2. Casey Johnson
  3. Paul Carpenter
  4. Chris Wheeler
  5. Jason McCormick


Bonus Interview with Mach 1 Yamaha’s Nick Wey

-After his 5th place in St. Louis, he sits seventh in points.

TransWorld Motocross: Nick, it seems like every week you get more comfortable. You’ve had eight (including St. Louis) top ten finishes now. How do you feel things are going?

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Nick Wey: I’m getting closer and closer every week to lead pack pace. I’m focusing on what I need to do and nothing else. I need to race the track and that’s it. Hopefully I can get on the podium before the season’s over.

TWMX: How did your deal with Mach 1 begin?

Wey: I was talking to Yamaha because I really liked their bikes but they didn’t have a spot on a 250 for me. Then, Mach 1 was talking about buying a rig and stepping up their program and they brought me aboard. I couldn’t ask for a more professional team. They’ve put together a pretty good program.

TWMX: How do you and Heath Voss get along?

Wey: We never really talked much but we work together really well because we’re both really focused and we come to the races for one thing. There are no distractions for us.

TWMX: You’ve gone back and forth from privateer to factory. How does this ride compare?

Wey: It would be great to put something together for next year where they give us more parts but Pro Circuit is putting together a good program along with Enzo on the suspension. I’m one level above what I was last year but in order to get better I need a little more help on the equipment side.

Wey: The line between factory and privateer is becoming more blurred. Where does Mach 1 fit in?

Wey: I am a Yamaha support rider, which means I get bikes and some parts from them. I would classify a factory ride as my bike being on the stand next to Reed’s. Yamaha has really given us a lot of support!

Wey: Great job so far this year, Nick!

Wey: Thank you…

ide compare?

Wey: It would be great to put something together for next year where they give us more parts but Pro Circuit is putting together a good program along with Enzo on the suspension. I’m one level above what I was last year but in order to get better I need a little more help on the equipment side.

Wey: The line between factory and privateer is becoming more blurred. Where does Mach 1 fit in?

Wey: I am a Yamaha support rider, which means I get bikes and some parts from them. I would classify a factory ride as my bike being on the stand next to Reed’s. Yamaha has really given us a lot of support!

Wey: Great job so far this year, Nick!

Wey: Thank you…