Saturday/Sunday Kickstart

If the National series isn’t already well-done (with both championships already wrapped up), it’ll be even more crispy golden brown after Sunday’s action at Glen Helen. Temperatures and humidity are both at uncomfortably high levels, and plenty of riders seemed to be saving their energy for Sunday during practice on Saturday.

Here’s a little of what we saw while roaming the pits¿

Maeda down. No, it’s not our editor Donn, but his older brother Ross. Ross dinged an Achilles tendon at Millville, and will be crutching it for a while.

DV was trying out some ProTaper grips. (ProTaper bars are required for the Yamaha guys, but they’re free to use their grips of choice.) DV says that he prefers something less than a full waffle, so he was doing a little pre-trimming before practice.

Like they do at several of the national tracks, the Yamaha guys are using larger capacity aluminum tanks. Glen Helen is plowed deep, has long hills, and longer lap times, and Rookie says the last thing they want to see is Chad pushing his bike back with only a couple laps to go. “No fuel fiascos for us.”

Four questions with Troy Adams:

Coming off his first-ever outdoor podium finish, Troy Adams is still turning heads. Even though he¿s often overlooked for rides, as was demonstrated this year as many riders he has beaten much of the season got pretty good rides before he did, Adams is always smiling. He¿ll be smiling aboard new machinery in 2004.

TWMX: So what¿s going on with you for next year?

Troy Adams: ¿Actually, I signed a deal with Samsung after Binghamton, and I¿m really looking forward to it.¿

TWMX: So you¿ll be returning to the YZ250F?

TA: ¿Actually, they¿re in talks with some other manufacturers, so they should know that in a week or so what they¿re going to do. I¿m just looking forward to riding on whatever they¿re working with. I guess right now they¿re talking to Yamaha and Honda, so we¿re waiting to see what comes out of those deals. Either way, I¿m with Samsung.¿

TWMX: Didn¿t they come after you last year?

TA: ¿During the U.S. Open, I actually met the guys, and I really got to know them then. They really wanted me to ride for them last year, but I was wanting to kind of stay with WBR because he had big plans and all, so I wanted to stick around and see what he was going to do. Then this deal came about, and they ended up getting me, so I guess it pays to be persistent.¿

TWMX: You¿re a pretty big fellow for 125cc racing. How long until we see you in the 250cc class?

TA: ¿For sure next year I¿m riding the 125cc class, and then maybe another year in the 125s before I make the step up, but I think within that time I should be running some select 250 races to just kind of get the feel of everything.¿

Rowdy Sparks made yet another appearance on the track on Saturday. Supercross: The Movie was filming additional scenes at GH, and Rowdy (AKA Rich Taylor), Tyler Evans, and other privateers were filming during the morning before practice. Ted Campbell said, “Hey, it’s another way to make some money.”

Speaking of Tyler Evans, he’s back on his bike after taking time off for injuries and for arm pump surgery, but was only on hand for the movie work. How do you get arm pump surgery when you’re as well-decorated as Tyler? With the help of a cooperative surgeon, that’s how. Instead of the usual straight scars, Tyler’s doctor followed the contour of his artwork. Now that is a cool doctor.

Of course Bubba’s on the 250 four-stroke this weekend instead of his usual KX125, but the bike receiving the most attention on Saturdayeemed to be the Kawasaki 110 presented to Bubba by the guys at Two Brothers Racing. The bike is plated from one end to the other with 24k gold, and even featured diamonds on top of some of the bolts. About the only pieces we saw that didn’t receive the Midas touch were the fork tubes, tank, pipe, tires and grips. Dave Cullinan from Two Brothers said, “Bubba has been working with us for a couple years on our hop-up parts, and we wanted to give him the ultimate trophy for winning his 125 titles this year¿and make it look like the motorcycle on top of a trophy.” While the now-133cc bike fired up on the first kick every time it was demonstrated, We hear Bubba has no plans to ride it, but we can only imagine the size of the chain he’ll have to sport if he decides to add it to his jewelry collection.

Of course, this is also Ricky Carmichael’s last race with Honda, and as a thanks to his friends and the crew at Honda, he’s sporting the number one plate on his bike¿almost. It’s really cool to see the number one on the track. But¿if you get a really close look at the bike, you can see that some superstitions don’t die easy.

How hot is it at GH this weekend? Brett Metcalfe was sporting a back canteen during the first practice.

The Glen Helen track has suffered from less than stellar conditions during the week recently partly due to multi-year drought, and wells that are drying up. Several Glen Helen locals mentioned that the track looked to be in great shape¿and that they wished it looked that way all the time.

The climb to the top of Mount St. Helens, visible behind Sebastien Tortelli, is a long curving climb this year, rather than the straight shot used in the past.

Four questions with Sebastien Tortelli:

Two races after returning from a knee injury that kept him out for most of the year, Sebastien Tortelli put the RM250 on the podium at Unadilla. Not only was it the first podium for a Suzuki in the 250cc class all year since he left with the injury, it was the first two-stroke podium of the whole season outdoors.

Next year, it¿s time for a more level playing field, as Tortelli will be on a 450.

TWMX: What are your plans for next year?

Sebastien Tortelli: ¿Right now, my plans are for me to ride for Team Suzuki next year. I¿m going to ride the 450. I¿m going to do supercross on the full-factory pre-production bike that fits with the AMA ruling on prototypes, and then I¿m going to try the outdoors on a full-factory bike, but stock-based. Ricky will get the full-factory (prototype) bike for the outdoors.¿

TWMX: So basically you¿re giving RC your bike?

ST: ¿Basically, yeah. I¿ll be the first guy riding supercross with that 450, so there¿s some work to do on it and all that, but I¿m really looking forward to it. Maybe I¿ll even be at the U.S. Open with the 450. You never know. Maybe when we get to riding supercross there will be something to be set up or something like that to make it comfortable. But I¿m pretty sure the bike is going to be great right off the bat. I rode it already, and it¿s really good right off the bat. It¿s really fast. I¿m very excited about the idea to ride it in supercross. I think it will help my style, and four-strokes are better and more stabile in the whoops, because you don¿t have to rev them, so I¿m looking forward to that. I hope to be able to make up a lot of time in the whoops. I¿m very excited. The team is working 100% for it, and Japan will be pushing for it also, so I¿m pretty stoked about the deal. I¿m looking forward to next year with supercross and then a great outdoor season.¿

TWMX: Not that Suzuki¿s not an awesome factory to ride for, but some of us were puzzled that you didn¿t end up with Honda since Honda lost RC and you got so fast so quickly when you got back to riding.

ST: ¿Suzuki¿s are awesome bikes, but I don¿t know, the industry sometimes has a strange way to work out. It¿s just, the Suzuki guys were happy with me here, and they offered me a ride, and I have a great relationship with all of the guys here, and for me it¿s the best team out there. I know the 250 is super-fast. They¿ve been working very hard on it. And now with the 450, it¿s going to be the same. They¿re going to put a lot of effort into it and make it very good.¿

TWMX: It kind of seems like your style would fit a four-stroke pretty well, being that you¿re so smooth and so deliberate to begin with.

ST: ¿Actually, I¿ve been testing a little bit with that 450 in the outdoors, trying to help make the production one, and I feel that a 450 fits me well. It allows you to be a little bit more mellow on the bike. I¿m a big guy, so most of the guys who are very sharp and quick are more skinny. My body is a bit slower and the four-stroke just fits me perfect. I¿m really excited. After all I went through, this can only be better.

Lots of top pros ride road bikes for training, but Josh Grant scored a mountain bike from Brent Foes to use in his training. How much time off will Josh get after Glen Helen? Not much. “I’m going riding on Tuesday.”

Actually, few riders will get much time off after GH. Marc Peters has been busy rehabbing the Kawasaki test track, and has rapidly upcoming deadlines for the Honda, Suzuki and KTM tracks.

A large contingent of Japanese riders is camped out with the Suzuki semis this weekend, and they’re not afraid to dig in with a hose.

Did we mention it was hot at Glen Helen? Sebastien Tortelli’s son, Enzo, was enjoying the spray from the bike wash as the Suzuki mechanics cleaned up the gear late in the afternoon.

Apparently no one is immune from the wooden spoon in the Amsoil/Chaparral Honda pits. The wooden spoon is given out to the worst rider on the team from the previous weekend, and last weekend, the worst rider was rookie Tommy Hahn. Josh Grant got the golden spoon after his debut at Hangtown as well.

It’s actually sort of ironic that Tommy Hahn ended up with his Amsoil/Chaparral Honda squad, since he and Josh Grant did a head-to-head test for the spot (that Josh eventually got) shortly after the World Mini. Tommy said, “It actually worked out good, because I wanted to finish my amateur career, and somehow I knew I’d end up here.”

Ryan Clark was aboard a 2005 YZ250 for the second week in a row.

Look for more Kickstart from the entire TWMX crew Glen Helen on Monday.

of us were puzzled that you didn¿t end up with Honda since Honda lost RC and you got so fast so quickly when you got back to riding.

ST: ¿Suzuki¿s are awesome bikes, but I don¿t know, the industry sometimes has a strange way to work out. It¿s just, the Suzuki guys were happy with me here, and they offered me a ride, and I have a great relationship with all of the guys here, and for me it¿s the best team out there. I know the 250 is super-fast. They¿ve been working very hard on it. And now with the 450, it¿s going to be the same. They¿re going to put a lot of effort into it and make it very good.¿

TWMX: It kind of seems like your style would fit a four-stroke pretty well, being that you¿re so smooth and so deliberate to begin with.

ST: ¿Actually, I¿ve been testing a little bit with that 450 in the outdoors, trying to help make the production one, and I feel that a 450 fits me well. It allows you to be a little bit more mellow on the bike. I¿m a big guy, so most of the guys who are very sharp and quick are more skinny. My body is a bit slower and the four-stroke just fits me perfect. I¿m really excited. After all I went through, this can only be better.

Lots of top pros ride road bikes for training, but Josh Grant scored a mountain bike from Brent Foes to use in his training. How much time off will Josh get after Glen Helen? Not much. “I’m going riding on Tuesday.”

Actually, few riders will get much time off after GH. Marc Peters has been busy rehabbing the Kawasaki test track, and has rapidly upcoming deadlines for the Honda, Suzuki and KTM tracks.

A large contingent of Japanese riders is camped out with the Suzuki semis this weekend, and they’re not afraid to dig in with a hose.

Did we mention it was hot at Glen Helen? Sebastien Tortelli’s son, Enzo, was enjoying the spray from the bike wash as the Suzuki mechanics cleaned up the gear late in the afternoon.

Apparently no one is immune from the wooden spoon in the Amsoil/Chaparral Honda pits. The wooden spoon is given out to the worst rider on the team from the previous weekend, and last weekend, the worst rider was rookie Tommy Hahn. Josh Grant got the golden spoon after his debut at Hangtown as well.

It’s actually sort of ironic that Tommy Hahn ended up with his Amsoil/Chaparral Honda squad, since he and Josh Grant did a head-to-head test for the spot (that Josh eventually got) shortly after the World Mini. Tommy said, “It actually worked out good, because I wanted to finish my amateur career, and somehow I knew I’d end up here.”

Ryan Clark was aboard a 2005 YZ250 for the second week in a row.

Look for more Kickstart from the entire TWMX crew Glen Helen on Monday.