Monday Kickstart: Washougal

This week’s story and photos by GuyB.

There was plenty happening last weekend in Washougal—everything from personnel changes to silly season stuff to new products, and even what happened on the track. Let’s dive in. But first, we have to say to Rick Huffman and the gang at Washougal, thanks for everything…you guys rock.

[IMAGE 1]

Have you met the new team manager at Boost Mobile/Yamaha of Troy Racing? It’s Jeff “Iron” Montgomery (left). Jeff is a former pro triathlete, who worked for years with Champion Nutrition (Cytomax) and products like Revenge, as well as a slew of well-known athletes in a variety of disciplines.. Good luck with the new gig, Iron!

[IMAGE 2]

Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaski’s Ezra Lusk has a new mechanic for the remainder of the season. Apparently relations were a bit strained between Yogi and his previous mechanic, Randy Lawrence. R.L. has moved in-house at Kawasaki, and Dan Worley is filling in.

Unfortunately Yogi was also suffering the effects of a stomach ailment that was bad enough to require a hospital trip on Saturday. While he said he felt better on Sunday, his 36-39 score didn’t really show it.

[IMAGE 3]

We have to say, Bubba-mania has reached new levels. We can’t remember hearing spectators standing outside a semi, chanting a riders name, trying to get him to come out and sign autographs. The reaction he gets from fans is rock star-like.

[IMAGE 4]

Mike Brown was flying on Sunday, looking extremely fast after struggling to find the page over the past few rounds. Unfortunately, his second place finish in moto one on Sunday was followed by a hard crash in the second moto. That was compounded when Ryan Hughes flew over the blind jump leading to where Brown was trying to get off the track, and centerpunched the dazed Kawasaki rider. The worst of Brown’s injury was a separated shoulder that was popped back in at the track. Doctors will tell the tale on whether he’ll be back, but the good news is that there are two weeks off before the next round at Millville.

Just in case there’s anyone who thinks that Ryno was happy about running into Brown (who he’s had his share of on-track encounters with this season), forget it. Hughes was less than complimentary about the flagging in the section leading to Brown’s crash.

[IMAGE 5]

After getting black-flagged by the AMA for cutting the track in Unadilla, Kawasaki and Pro Circuit had their own penalty for Eric Sorby—they had him sit out for a week. (See more here.) While he was sidelined from actually racing, we’d guess the hardest part of the punishment was being healthy and having to watch his competitors on the track. “I’m not mad, but it’s hard. Racing’s my life.” Eric was spotted cheering on friends and teammates throughout the weekend from a variety of locations around the track. He’ll be back in Millville.

As the checkers flew at the end of the first 125cc practice on Sunday morning, riders started piling up on the blind side of the finish line jump. Several privateers were amongst those in the pile, as well as Shae Bentley, David Pingree, and Grant Langston. Grant tweaked his left wrist, and taped it for the second practice, but finished out the day without the benefit of additional tape. With Brown’s injury and DNF in moto Grant now leads the points for the 125cc title chase. Not bad considering that he was also sick with strep throat, a fever, and an inflamed spleen.

Langston’s other 125cc title-contending teammate, Ryan Hughes, says he’s back to about 85%, and is looking forward to the upcoming break in the national schedule to continue healing from the broken fibula suffered at Southwick. One thing’s for sure, his speed is way up from where it was when he first broke it.

[IMAGE 6]

Over in the Honda pit area, Fox Racing’s Scott Taylor showed us this modified Fox Rock Star chest protector that they made for Ricky Carmichael. Apparently while he was chasing Kevin Windham last weekend at Unadilla, Ricky took a bunch of abuse from the big four-stroke four-five-oh, so they added the sleeves with bicep and forearm protection. While RC’s 2-2 moto scores matched last weekend’s results, it’s doubtful that he too as much rock abuse as last weekend. A few times during the weekend, we spotted track workers strolling the terrain, chucking rocks off to the side.

What RC did suffer last weekend was a bee sting alongside his nose in moto one, which is serious, because he’s allergic to them. Will Fox have an Anti Bee protector next week?

Speaking of rock damage, Chris Gosselaar was still sporting five stitches after catching a rock right between the brows at Unadilla.

[IMAGE 7]

Spotted: It looks like TLD will have an under-jersey protector for ’04. We also stopped by the new site of the new TLD offices last week, where heavy-duty construction is going on at their future headquarters. The new place will be a mix of new/old (picture a large wood beam barn), but it’ll definitely have its own unique style. Like Troy said, “I couldn’t just do a concrete tilt-up.”

[IMAGE 8]

Rick Johnson manning one of the water hoses used to water the track between motos. Maybe he’s practicing for his future role as a track owner, since he’s buying the MX Compound, which is southeast of Temecula, CA. Plans call for it to be used for schools and private testing, as well as training camps for Suzuki team riders. RJ’s planning on adding a pad for a large workshop, and may add living quarters there in the future.

Yep, silly season is still in full swing. You see riders and mechanics in different pit areas in the middle of interesting-looking conversations. And you see a lot more agents and deal brokers at the races. Here are a couple examples:

[IMAGE 9]

Paul Lindsey (Motoworldracing.com team owner/manager) and Stephane Roncada hanging out before the start of Sunday’s racing.

[IMAGE 10]

Kelly Smith, Kawasaki team manager Mark Johnson; and Pro Circuit boss, Mitch Payton.

What will Team ECC do for next year? They’ve reportedly signed Derek Costella, have apparently made an offer to Robbie Reynard, and are looking at bringing Frenchman Rodrig Thain back from the GPs for another try at the U.S. In a quest to improve his results, Steve Lamson tried out the 250cc class instead of his usual RM 125. He scored a 26-14 for the day.

[IMAGE 11]

Is there a bidding war brewing for Kevin Windham’s services? The jungle drums are saying that his stock has gone up considerably after winning at Unadilla (and adding another pair of moto wins at Washougal probably didn’t hurt).

[IMAGE 12]

What will a national win do for a rider’s salary? We asked Jimmy Button, who won at Washougal in 1999, and he said his salary doubled the following year. Also, Jimmy and his longtime girlfriend Kristie are also getting married on August 9th, and will be vacationing in Monte Carlo and Italy, where Jimmy raced for an Italian team in ’95. Congrats to Button Fly and his soon-to-be wife.

[IMAGE 13]

Billy Who? Billy Frank, that’s who. He’s the man behind the Man Funnel, a cool little product with a particularly funky name. What is it? A funnel that hooks to the frame on Honda 450s to ease the mess of draining and refilling transmission fluid. The next one out will be for XR 650s; with YZF 250s, with KTM four-stroke funnels to follow. Want more info? Check out www.billywho.com.

[IMAGE 14]

While cruising the vendor area, ASV head honcho Bob Morales showed us this cool little widget. You know how the high-end clutch levers have a nylon sleeve that allow them to rotate on the bars in a crash? Bob’s prototyping a clamp that will do the same for front brakes. It’s called the Rotator Clamp, and will go for around $25. Want more info, or just want to bug the guys at ASV and find out when you can get your hands on one? (The answer is soon.) Check out www.asvinventions.com.

[IMAGE 15]

[IMAGE 16]

Tire groovers were working overtime at Washougal. Lots of the factory-sponsored Dunlop guys (like Ryan Hughes and Grant Langston) had grooves added to their knobs, as well as the rear Michelin on Branden Jesseman’s Suzuki.

There are mullets, and then there’s just throwing yourself under the bus. Guess which category this guy falls into?

[IMAGE 17]

(His friends also stopped by the TransWorld booth, hoping to get him hunted, but they were too late. We’d already pounced on the unsuspecting dye victim.)

[IMAGE 18]

We may be mullet purists, but when hunting, we prefer the classic style.

That’s it for this week. Stay tuned for the latest news and more at www.transworldmx.com.

/strong>, who won at Washougal in 1999, and he said his salary doubled the following year. Also, Jimmy and his longtime girlfriend Kristie are also getting married on August 9th, and will be vacationing in Monte Carlo and Italy, where Jimmy raced for an Italian team in ’95. Congrats to Button Fly and his soon-to-be wife.

[IMAGE 13]

Billy Who? Billy Frank, that’s who. He’s the man behind the Man Funnel, a cool little product with a particularly funky name. What is it? A funnel that hooks to the frame on Honda 450s to ease the mess of draining and refilling transmission fluid. The next one out will be for XR 650s; with YZF 250s, with KTM four-stroke funnels to follow. Want more info? Check out www.billywho.com.

[IMAGE 14]

While cruising the vendor area, ASV head honcho Bob Morales showed us this cool little widget. You know how the high-end clutch levers have a nylon sleeve that allow them to rotate on the bars in a crash? Bob’s prototyping a clamp that will do the same for front brakes. It’s called the Rotator Clamp, and will go for around $25. Want more info, or just want to bug the guys at ASV and find out when you can get your hands on one? (The answer is soon.) Check out www.asvinventions.com.

[IMAGE 15]

[IMAGE 16]

Tire groovers were working overtime at Washougal. Lots of the factory-sponsored Dunlop guys (like Ryan Hughes and Grant Langston) had grooves added to their knobs, as well as the rear Michelin on Branden Jesseman’s Suzuki.

There are mullets, and then there’s just throwing yourself under the bus. Guess which category this guy falls into?

[IMAGE 17]

(His friends also stopped by the TransWorld booth, hoping to get him hunted, but they were too late. We’d already pounced on the unsuspecting dye victim.)

[IMAGE 18]

We may be mullet purists, but when hunting, we prefer the classic style.

That’s it for this week. Stay tuned for the latest news and more at www.transworldmx.com.