Monster Energy Monday Kickstart

Nestled in the forest of Southern Maryland, Budds Creek plays host to the AMA Motocross National every Father’s Day weekend. Just a short hour drive south from our Nation’s Capitol, moto diehards bypass the many attractions that Washington D.C. has to offer for a day of intense racing at one of the U.S.’s most treasured motocross facilities. Although not quite as famous to most red-blooded Americans as the White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial or The Smithsonian, the Beasley family’s pride and joy that is Budds Creek MX is without a doubt Maryland’s biggest attraction come Father’s Day weekend. Little did Jonathan Beasley know when he built the first moto track on his family’s land for him and his little brother to practice on back in 1973 that it would blossom into what it has today. But when a nearby racing club got shut down, the Beasley family granted them permission to use the land to host their races. Imagine the look on 14-year-old Jonathan’s face when the club rolled in with their bulldozers to morph his little practice track into a full-blown racecourse. After three year’s of races run by the club, Jonathan, at age 17 (1977), took over and has run them ever since. From local races to Nationals to World GPs to the Motocross des Nations set to land at Budds Creek in 2007, Jonathon’s journey has no doubt been filled with ups and downs, but one thing’s for sure… He’s a true motocross enthusiast, a great ambassador to the sport, and we love going to Budds Creek!

Broc Hepler:

Welcome back, Broc! For those who forgot, tell us what’s kept you out of the racing action all year.

Well, I was just practicing at the Suzuki Supercross test track in California, and I crashed off of a jump that I do all the time. I hurt my foot, and I wasn’t expected to be out that long, but it turned out to be a slow healing foot injury. I had to have some pins and a bone graph, and with the bone graph it takes a long time. It’s got to accept, attach, and then heal, so it’s a long process. It was also the Navicular bone in my foot that was broken, and that bone has a poor blood supply that just requires more time to heal. I wasn’t able to put weight on it for about 15 weeks. It’s pretty good now—not a 100%—but it feels pretty good on the bike, and that’s why I finally decided to come and race. I’ve been putting in some motos for about a month now, so I think I’ll be in pretty good shape for this weekend.

What were you been able to do to stay in shape while off of the bike?

Well, as soon as I found out that it was going to be a little longer than I expected, I went home to Pittsburgh. The doctors kept a soft cast on it so that I could take it off three days a week to go swimming, so that helped somewhat, but it was nothing like I needed to be doing. I’ve been bicycling now for about two months, though, and as soon as I was able to start putting weight on my foot I began working with the UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) five days a week. I still go down there during the week because it still needs some strengthening yet, so it’s a good place for me to be. They have a specialty doctor there for pretty much every area of the body, so I’ve been working with their foot specialist, as well as the head director who has been helping me out with my therapy.

It was obviously a huge heartbreaker to miss the Supercross series with your sights originally set on a championship, so how difficult was it to follow the series and watch your competitors go after the title?

I watched all of the races, but it did bum me out pretty bad. It was really only Millsaps and Josh Grant up front, so it kind of made me mad to watch, because I really felt like I could be up there. I think we could’ve had some good racing. But that’s just the way it goes sometimes, so I had to deal with it. It was good to watch, though, because I wanted to learn and see howhey were riding, and hopefully I can get my title next year.

What are your expectations here at Budds Creek—your first race back?

I’d like a top-five. That’s my goal. I want to stay on two wheels and run with the leaders some. It’s going to be tough to run the race pace for the entire moto, but if I can run with them for a while to see how fast they’re going that would be great… And hopefully I am not too far off.

How’s your conditioning at this point?

I think it should be pretty close. I am not too worried about my training at this point. If their speed is a lot faster than mine, than I’ll have to ride a lot harder, which could wear me out. But I think if my speed’s not too far off, than my conditioning should be good.

It looks like you’re back in Shift gear again, at least for the rest of the Nationals. How did that come about?

Yeah, we had some trouble last fall, so it was nice that Alloy stepped in to help me out, but things didn’t work out for them. Now Shift’s doing the same. You know, it’s just business sometimes, and you never know what’s going to happen with any company out there, but I am just thankful that Shift has given me a nice little program for the rest of the outdoors. And hopefully we can stay with them for the following year, as well.

Speaking of the following year, we hear that you’ve already inked a new deal to change teams. Can you comment yet on that?

I can’t really comment too much. We do have a deal done, though, and I am really happy with it, but right now I am just looking forward to putting in some good results for Suzuki this year.

Although Broc couldn’t comment yet about the details of his ’07 program, we were told by a little birdie that he’ll be piloting a factory Yamaha YZ250F in 2007.

After the conclusion of our interview, Hepler went on to win both of his qualifying races on Saturday and Sunday, and then put in an extremely impressive podium performance in his first National since last September. Ice Man piloted his factory RM-Z250 to impressive 2-6 moto finishes, resulting in second overall for the day. “I got a bad start in the second moto and had to work my way forward, but I am pretty happy overall, Broc said after the race. “It was great to come out here to experience the speed and the pace of everybody else, and now I have two weeks before Red Bud to work on it. With more energy in moto one, Hepler was second only to Villopoto who was lighting up the Budds Creek circuit all weekend long. “I think I was about two seconds off of Villopoto’s pace in moto one, but with almost three minute lap times, two seconds really isn’t that much. I think I can still improve on my speed.

Rob Salcedo:

Well, Rob, we haven’t seen you in a while. Catch us up with what’s been going down at Shift…

Yeah, we’ve been going through some changes since about Hangtown of last year. We’ve had some management changes, we’ve designed a new logo, and we’re really trying to refocus and reestablish the brand. Broc (Hepler) is here this weekend in the new gear, so this will be the first time we’ll be showing the new logo. It’s pretty exciting for us.

With Broc now in your gear, will you be attending the remaining Nationals?

Yep. Broc’s the reason I am here. It’s great to be back, and Broc was an amateur of ours for a long time, so it’s cool that things have come full-circle with him. He’s been injured and obviously not riding, but during that time Alloy had their problems, which gave us the opportunity to help him out. And the timing was perfect, too. We’ve got our new logo and had some of the new ’07 gear done just in time, so it’s good for us both.

Is your support with Broc only scheduled for the end of this summer, or are you working on something for next year, as well?

For ’07 we’re looking right now to see what will work for us. This is the time of year when everybody’s looking around to see what’s going to unfold for next year, so we’re going to see what happens over the next several weeks. And hopefully by then I’ll be able to see what we can do with our budget and everything else, but we will definitely be involved in some way next year. As far as Hepler, specifically, we’ll see what he’s got going on for next year, and then we’ll go from there. But of course we’d love to keep him onboard.

You’ve mentioned the new logo already… What else do we have to look forward to from Shift for ’07?

We have some pretty unique stuff on the way, actually. We have some really cool new color ways and prints, and our high-end line, which has typically been the Mach gear, has gone away and is being replaced with the Faction gear. Our designers and everybody at the office have been doing a lot of hard work, so it’s really cool to see it back in action here at the pro level.

We’d like to send a couple happy birthday shouts out to both Nick Wey and Jason Thomas. NYK celebrated his birthday at Budds Creek on Father’s Day Sunday by putting in a solid 4-4 performance for fourth overall. Wey almost had some birthday champagne on the podium, but K-Dub’s 5-3 narrowly beat him out. Thomas, on the other hand, celebrates his birthday today, and he too put in an amazing performance aboard his CRF450R at Budds, going 8-6 for fifth overall. We haven’t confirmed it officially, but we’re pretty sure that JT Money’s fifth overall is his best National finish ever. Congratulations!

Alright , that’s it for this week’s Monster Energy Kickstart, but continue checking back this week for more of the latest from the world of moto.rybody’s looking around to see what’s going to unfold for next year, so we’re going to see what happens over the next several weeks. And hopefully by then I’ll be able to see what we can do with our budget and everything else, but we will definitely be involved in some way next year. As far as Hepler, specifically, we’ll see what he’s got going on for next year, and then we’ll go from there. But of course we’d love to keep him onboard.

You’ve mentioned the new logo already… What else do we have to look forward to from Shift for ’07?

We have some pretty unique stuff on the way, actually. We have some really cool new color ways and prints, and our high-end line, which has typically been the Mach gear, has gone away and is being replaced with the Faction gear. Our designers and everybody at the office have been doing a lot of hard work, so it’s really cool to see it back in action here at the pro level.

We’d like to send a couple happy birthday shouts out to both Nick Wey and Jason Thomas. NYK celebrated his birthday at Budds Creek on Father’s Day Sunday by putting in a solid 4-4 performance for fourth overall. Wey almost had some birthday champagne on the podium, but K-Dub’s 5-3 narrowly beat him out. Thomas, on the other hand, celebrates his birthday today, and he too put in an amazing performance aboard his CRF450R at Budds, going 8-6 for fifth overall. We haven’t confirmed it officially, but we’re pretty sure that JT Money’s fifth overall is his best National finish ever. Congratulations!

Alright , that’s it for this week’s Monster Energy Kickstart, but continue checking back this week for more of the latest from the world of moto.