Tuesday Kickstart

(Okay, a quick apology to everyone for this the late arrival of this edition of Kickstart. We’ve been having a variety of technical problems with a couple of the TWMX computers, and they should be fixed now…finally. The last two weeks have been less than fun, chasing bugs ‘n gremlins. But enough of that, it’s finally time for Kickstart).

Normally Kickstart is all about news mixed with lighthearted fun, but we’ve got some more serious business to attend to today.

Over the weekend, a friend of ours (who rides a 450cc bike) posted a message on one of the motocross chat boards that was rather chilling.

The most horrific thing in my moto history happened today. I landed on a kid on a Cobra 50 after he went from the far right to the left as he rolled the doubles. I was already committed and in the air and tried to lean over out of him but he stood no chance.

As I came down on him the first thing that came to mind was that I had just killed this young child. Thankfully, he is alive and walking and seems to have a severely cut open/crushed hand.

Right as I landed I dropped my bike and ran to help him. It was a bloody mess and you could see deep into his tiny hand. He was screaming bloody murder, and I held his arm up as carefully as I could as someone pulled their shirt off to put pressure on the wound as we held it above his heart.

I was trembling as we carried the li’l guy off the track. I am so thankful this guy is alive.

Fortunately, our pal later posted that…

I found out today the kid is okay. He had hand surgery last night and is in a cast. He was hoping to be able to race today and was upset he couldn’t.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only recent accident we’ve heard of that involved riders on small-bore bikes being on the track at the same time as bigger bikes…some of which (like Brett Downey’s) have ended with even more tragic results.

Around So Cal, open practice sessions are just that…open. You’ll have riders of all skill levels and all bike sizes on the track at the same time. Some facilities have separate tracks for smaller riders, but not all are equipped that way. Many tracks are also unsupervised (or nearly so) on practice days. Some have EMTs on site, while others don’t. Some tracks require their own memberships at around $20 a pop…what’s the money going towards? It seems a little like the Wild West. While it’s convenient, it’s not very comforting.

So what’s the answer for controlling who’s on the track, and when? How do we avoid problems like this in the future? It’s a question that’s going to have to get answered eventually. Do you have any suggestions? Fire ’em off to steve.giberson@time4.com. We’ll compile the best of them, and bring them to you next week. No matter what, it’s time to do something to improve safety. The standard Fox and FMF stickers in the back windows out here are starting to be outnumbered by tribute stickers to fallen riders. That’s not good.

Meanwhile, Shane Lusk has been improving after surgery on the broken C6-C7 vertebrae in his neck, and has been moved from his hospital to the Shepard Center, a well-known rehab facility in the Atlanta area. If you’d like to pass along a message of support, you can e-mail him at lusk968@hotmail.com. According to David Izer, Shane has received-mail from all over the world, and he really appreciates the support.

In case you think e-mails like that don’t matter, check out this one that we got via www.transworldmx.com…

It is easy to get swept up in the hype, and to forget the fact that motocross stars are people too! And in some cases they are true heroes, despite what the press might proclaim.

Recently my son Dylan was practicing at a friend’s MX track when he came up short on a double and went over the bars, getting the wind knocked out of him. He was diagnosed with a trauma to the abdomen that might require surgery. We spent the night in the hospital while my wife went home to get some rest. She couldn’t sleep and ended up calling people, medical resources, family, and friends to see what she could do for him. For some reason she logged onto the Alessi Racing website and on the contact list, she saw contact Kim. She thought Kim being a motocross mom, might be able to relate to the situation we were in. So she e-mailed Kim in hopes that she, Mike or Jeff would email back some words of encouragement.

It was to her surprise when Kim called the next day, tracking us down to the hospital room, and asked how Dylan was doing. She told Julie not to tell him who was calling and asked to talk to Dylan. Kim told him that she had two boys who raced, and they too had been hurt at times and then she told Dylan who she was and put Mike on the phone. The look on my sons face, is something we will never forget. A ray of light at a time that was very dark.

They were preparing for Glen Helen, but took the time to help a brother in need. That type of concern for a fellow rider is truly inspiring and how the motocross community should treat each other. In our minds, the Alessi family are heroes of epic proportions!

Sincerely,
Brian Bell

Speaking of the Alessis, Mike has been taking some time off after his most recent crash, but apparently that time included a little video filming aboard the number 800 KTM 450 for the new Alessi family apparel sponsor, Alpinestars. You can check it out at www.alpinestars.com. In case you were confused (like we were) about his third apparel sponsor in recent months, the O’Neal deal was apparently a word-of-mouth deal for the last two nationals.

The GP season wrapped up last weekend in South Africa, with the first Grand Prix there since 1985. With Stefan Everts and Ben Townley firmly in control of the titles, a lot of the attention focused on Greg Albertyn, who returned to race on his home soil. (Well, a lot of the attention was focused on him when Pichon and Everts weren’t tangling, leaving Everts laying on the ground and tossing pieces of riding gear at Pichon). Gary Nilson sent us this note from the event…

Albee came out of retirement to race the final GP at Sun City in South Africa this weekend. He has always wanted to race a GP in front of his home crowd, but was too young to race the last GP that South Africa hosted. He looked good in practice aboard his works Suzuki RMZ450 and new Thor ’05 kit and was the first rider to do under a two-minute lap time on the technical and supercross-styled GP circuit.

The first race saw Albee get on the pace early, behind Pichon and Everts, but went down soon afterwards. With his home crowd cheering him on, Albee pushed too hard and crashed again in a slick turn. He battled to get the big Suzuki fired up and, once running, pulled off into the pits for a 1st Moto DNF.

The second moto saw Greg get an awesome start and take an early lead with Josh Coppins, Pichon and Everts hot on his heels. He held the lead for almost four laps, and by the end of the 40 minute + 2 lap race, finished in a respectable 6th position, beating some of the world’s top MX1 GP riders.

At the awards ceremony, he took a turn on stage with South African counterpart Tyla Rattray (2nd Overall on the day and runner up in the MX2 Championship), and received a huge cheer of appreciation. Albee is still as popular as ever with his South African fans and was very happy to have been able to compete in this event in front of his family, friends and fans.

South African GP Results
MX1

  1. Mickael Pichon 47
  2. Joshua Coppins 45
  3. Steve Ramon 36
  4. Kevin Strijbos 36
  5. Cedric Melotte 28

MX1 Championship Points

  1. Stefan Everts 688
  2. Mickael Pichon 620
  3. Joshua Coppins 564
  4. Steve Ramon 475
  5. Kevin Strijbos 457

MX2

  1. Ben Townley 50
  2. Tyla Rattray 42
  3. Antonio Cairoli 38
  4. Aigar Leok 34
  5. Patrick Caps 31

MX2 Championship Points

  1. Ben Townley 622
  2. Tyla Rattray 506
  3. Antonio Cairoli 447
  4. Stephen Sword 397
  5. Alessio Chiodi 385

While not quite as continental, there was another race this weekend that featured plenty of well-accented racing. John Craft (AKA: Cobra314), checked it out for us…

I decided to head down to Tyler, TX, for the Pro Challenge at Swan Cycle Park. First thing I did when I got into my truck Friday afternoon was put on my seatbelt. (I almost got a certain amateur mx magazine editor arrested for not wearing my seatbelt when a wannabe Reno 911 police officer in Podunkville, OK, pulled us over as we were headed to Loretta Lynn’s.) After dodging the umpteen dozen troopers and county mounties on the highways of Oklahoma and Texas I made it to the hotel around 10:30 pm and met up with fellow freelancer, Chuck Ball AKA: Spinner108.

I arrived at a huge, rolling, red dirt motocross track early Saturday morning…ok it was 10 o’clock but that is early in my book….expecting to see some of the best racing that you can get outside of an AMA National. I was soon to be dissapointed though. Kevin Windham and Davi Millsaps did not make the trip like I had heard they were going to, but I would still be able to watch Robbie Reynard and Travis Pastrana do some good racing. Chuck and I walked around for a while enjoying some of the Texas “scenery” and checking out what riders had actually decided to come race. What do they put in the water here? There are gorgeous girls everywhere in Texas!!

Pastrana picked up a bone stock RMZ250 before meeting up with Reynard to make the trip from Oklahoma. Watching him in the first 125 practice he didn’t look like he was very comfortable on the bike and was struggling with fitness, which is understandable after the beating that he took at the X Games. Travis qualified for the 125 class, but in his 250 qualifier he was involved in a first turn pile up and seperated his shoulder which finished his day. He did take the time to sign autographs for over two hours for his fans before leaving though.

Reynard had some more bad luck on the day too. While riding his 125 qualifier I noticed him holding his left leg (the one that he recently re-broke). Later in the race he pulled out and headed back to the truck. Rumor quickly spread around the track that he had broken his le take an early lead with Josh Coppins, Pichon and Everts hot on his heels. He held the lead for almost four laps, and by the end of the 40 minute + 2 lap race, finished in a respectable 6th position, beating some of the world’s top MX1 GP riders.

At the awards ceremony, he took a turn on stage with South African counterpart Tyla Rattray (2nd Overall on the day and runner up in the MX2 Championship), and received a huge cheer of appreciation. Albee is still as popular as ever with his South African fans and was very happy to have been able to compete in this event in front of his family, friends and fans.

South African GP Results
MX1

  1. Mickael Pichon 47
  2. Joshua Coppins 45
  3. Steve Ramon 36
  4. Kevin Strijbos 36
  5. Cedric Melotte 28

MX1 Championship Points

  1. Stefan Everts 688
  2. Mickael Pichon 620
  3. Joshua Coppins 564
  4. Steve Ramon 475
  5. Kevin Strijbos 457

MX2

  1. Ben Townley 50
  2. Tyla Rattray 42
  3. Antonio Cairoli 38
  4. Aigar Leok 34
  5. Patrick Caps 31

MX2 Championship Points

  1. Ben Townley 622
  2. Tyla Rattray 506
  3. Antonio Cairoli 447
  4. Stephen Sword 397
  5. Alessio Chiodi 385

While not quite as continental, there was another race this weekend that featured plenty of well-accented racing. John Craft (AKA: Cobra314), checked it out for us…

I decided to head down to Tyler, TX, for the Pro Challenge at Swan Cycle Park. First thing I did when I got into my truck Friday afternoon was put on my seatbelt. (I almost got a certain amateur mx magazine editor arrested for not wearing my seatbelt when a wannabe Reno 911 police officer in Podunkville, OK, pulled us over as we were headed to Loretta Lynn’s.) After dodging the umpteen dozen troopers and county mounties on the highways of Oklahoma and Texas I made it to the hotel around 10:30 pm and met up with fellow freelancer, Chuck Ball AKA: Spinner108.

I arrived at a huge, rolling, red dirt motocross track early Saturday morning…ok it was 10 o’clock but that is early in my book….expecting to see some of the best racing that you can get outside of an AMA National. I was soon to be dissapointed though. Kevin Windham and Davi Millsaps did not make the trip like I had heard they were going to, but I would still be able to watch Robbie Reynard and Travis Pastrana do some good racing. Chuck and I walked around for a while enjoying some of the Texas “scenery” and checking out what riders had actually decided to come race. What do they put in the water here? There are gorgeous girls everywhere in Texas!!

Pastrana picked up a bone stock RMZ250 before meeting up with Reynard to make the trip from Oklahoma. Watching him in the first 125 practice he didn’t look like he was very comfortable on the bike and was struggling with fitness, which is understandable after the beating that he took at the X Games. Travis qualified for the 125 class, but in his 250 qualifier he was involved in a first turn pile up and seperated his shoulder which finished his day. He did take the time to sign autographs for over two hours for his fans before leaving though.

Reynard had some more bad luck on the day too. While riding his 125 qualifier I noticed him holding his left leg (the one that he recently re-broke). Later in the race he pulled out and headed back to the truck. Rumor quickly spread around the track that he had broken his leg for the third time, which luckily turned out to be false. Robbie and Travis, I hope you guys take the time to let yourselves heal properly, but knowing you two you will be riding at the local track in Oklahoma this week and I plan to be there with my trusty Canon in hand!

The biggest surprise of the day was Robbie Smith. Robbie won his 125 and 250 qualifiers and pulled out a 2nd overall in the 250 class against some very tough competition. (He decided not to race his 2nd 125 moto to save energy for the 250 class) He pulled the holeshot in both motos and also led for a while in each of them. With a good lead on Josh Demuth in moto 2, Robbie had some bad luck and slid out in a corner, but managed to get up and charge back to 6th place. Scoring a 2nd in moto one and the 6th in moto two he squeeked by Jacob Saylor (6-3) by one point for 2nd overall.

Kevin Johnson swept the 125 class with Erick Vallejo taking 2nd (2-2) and Chad Ward rounding out the podium with a 6-5. In the 250 class it was Josh Demuth taking the win with two impressive rides (1-1) followed closely by Robbie Smith (2-6) and BSY Yamaha’s Jacob Saylor (6-3).

Next weekend most of the MX world will converge on Lierop, for the MXdN, but a pre-race event leading up to the MXdN might prove to be more competitive. TWMX contributor, Bart de Jong sent over this bit of info about the MXdT (Team)…

What was supposed to be a fun team warm-up race for MX fans, journalists and industry types before the FOX MXoN in Lierop, has turned into an event with a large international field of big name MX riders. On Wednesday 29 September next, the Universal Motocross des Teams (MXdT) will start at 16:00hours (4pm). 25 teams of 2-4 riders will try to do as many laps as possible on the Mac de Helm MX track in 2 hours time. At 6 pm we will know who won the Universal trophies and the prizes donated by the sponsors of the event. If those cups stay in The Netherlands remains to be seen. From the USA team O’gio (Andy Bell, RonnieWho’s your daddy” Renner and Steve Bauer) and Wonder Warthog Racing (Scott Kandel, Westlee Molley, Zac Humphries, Jeffro) have entered strong teams. Also Tim Eggers (Playground mag) and Marc Beamer (Engine Ice) will do their best to represent the USA now that team USA will not be present at nearby Lierop the upcoming weekend.

If the USA representatives can pull it off against the “Euros” is the question. From Scotland GP rider Stuart Flockhart and friends have entered a team. Multiple world champion Joel Smets has selected 3 riders from his fanclub to enter the MXdT race and represent Belgium. Lord Alfred’s fanclub from the UK is making the trip over and RealMX.com from Germany does have a wildcard rider up their sleeve.

The Dutch competition will have to come from the Twin Air team (Karsmakers, Hulsen, Van Dijk), the V.D. Wetering/Galvin MX team (Brons, Roos, V.d. Berg) and the local O-store team consisting of Erwin Robins, Christian Mandigers and Andre Driessen. It’s home advantage for the Dutch on the Mac de Helm track in Helmond.

Practice starts at 13:30hr (1:30pm). The Le Mans start is at 4pm. After the race it’s parrty time with a DJ and some drinks in the beer tent. Admission, parking and camping is free.

Co-sponsors of the event are: Twin Air, Eastpak, Bardahl, Paul’s Boutique, European BMX Connection

You may not have seen the new November ’04 issue of TWMX yet, but the guys at Factory Effex have, and they’re excited about the review on their DX1 Custom Pre-Printed number plate backgrounds. According to Chris Williams, “Quite frankly we were pretty nervous about it. We’ve got a lot of cash tied into this product, and a bad review could have killed it. But it was reviewed honestly… and didn’t pull any punches. We didn’t want a fluff review from someone ‘taking care of his advertisers.'”

“We’re 50-60% over our inital goals on orders-per-day at this point. We’re already talking of buying another machine and running 24 hour shifts if necessary. It will be a while before it comes to that, but if it does, we’re prepared. Very few of the orders have spilled into the 2nd day of production. Most have shipped within 24 hours.” Need more info? Check out www.factoryeffexdx1.com.

The killer new ’05 Troy Lee Designs catalog just landed in our office, and it’s definitely worth a look. You can hit the Troy Lee web site (www.troyleedesigns.com) to download a .pdf version, or to purchase a hard copy for $6.00.

One last tidbit before we go. Tarah Geiger has signed been signed up to be a Yamaha Factory supported rider during the ’05 season by the very excited AGP Racing crew. Congrats to both Tarah, who stepped up big this year, and the AGP team. For more info on the AGP Racing team, check out www.agpracing.com.

Well, the natives are getting restless, so it’s time to put this issue of Monday Kickstart to bed. We’ll catch you next week.

or the third time, which luckily turned out to be false. Robbie and Travis, I hope you guys take the time to let yourselves heal properly, but knowing you two you will be riding at the local track in Oklahoma this week and I plan to be there with my trusty Canon in hand!

The biggest surprise of the day was Robbie Smith. Robbie won his 125 and 250 qualifiers and pulled out a 2nd overall in the 250 class against some very tough competition. (He decided not to race his 2nd 125 moto to save energy for the 250 class) He pulled the holeshot in both motos and also led for a while in each of them. With a good lead on Josh Demuth in moto 2, Robbie had some bad luck and slid out in a corner, but managed to get up and charge back to 6th place. Scoring a 2nd in moto one and the 6th in moto two he squeeked by Jacob Saylor (6-3) by one point for 2nd overall.

Kevin Johnson swept the 125 class with Erick Vallejo taking 2nd (2-2) and Chad Ward rounding out the podium with a 6-5. In the 250 class it was Josh Demuth taking the win with two impressive rides (1-1) followed closely by Robbie Smith (2-6) and BSY Yamaha’s Jacob Saylor (6-3).

Next weekend most of the MX world will converge on Lierop, for the MXdN, but a pre-race event leading up to the MXdN might prove to be more competitive. TWMX contributor, Bart de Jong sent over this bit of info about the MXdT (Team)…

What was supposed to be a fun team warm-up race for MX fans, journalists and industry types before the FOX MXoN in Lierop, has turned into an event with a large international field of big name MX riders. On Wednesday 29 September next, the Universal Motocross des Teams (MXdT) will start at 16:00hours (4pm). 25 teams of 2-4 riders will try to do as many laps as possible on the Mac de Helm MX track in 2 hours time. At 6 pm we will know who won the Universal trophies and the prizes donated by the sponsors of the event. If those cups stay in The Netherlands remains to be seen. From the USA team O’gio (Andy Bell, RonnieWho’s your daddy” Renner and Steve Bauer) and Wonder Warthog Racing (Scott Kandel, Westlee Molley, Zac Humphries, Jeffro) have entered strong teams. Also Tim Eggers (Playground mag) and Marc Beamer (Engine Ice) will do their best to represent the USA now that team USA will not be present at nearby Lierop the upcoming weekend.

If the USA representatives can pull it off against the “Euros” is the question. From Scotland GP rider Stuart Flockhart and friends have entered a team. Multiple world champion Joel Smets has selected 3 riders from his fanclub to enter the MXdT race and represent Belgium. Lord Alfred’s fanclub from the UK is making the trip over and RealMX.com from Germany does have a wildcard rider up their sleeve.

The Dutch competition will have to come from the Twin Air team (Karsmakers, Hulsen, Van Dijk), the V.D. Wetering/Galvin MX team (Brons, Roos, V.d. Berg) and the local O-store team consisting of Erwin Robins, Christian Mandigers and Andre Driessen. It’s home advantage for the Dutch on the Mac de Helm track in Helmond.

Practice starts at 13:30hr (1:30pm). The Le Mans start is at 4pm. After the race it’s party time with a DJ and some drinks in the beer tent. Admission, parking and camping is free.

Co-sponsors of the event are: Twin Air, Eastpak, Bardahl, Paul’s Boutique, European BMX Connection

You may not have seen the new November ’04 issue of TWMX yet, but the guys at Factory Effex have, and they’re excited about the review on their DX1 Custom Pre-Printed number plate backgrounds. According to Chris Williams, “Quite frankly we were pretty nervous about it. We’ve got a lot of cash tied into this product, and a bad review could have killed it. But it was reviewed honestly… and didn’t pull any punches. We didn’t want a fluff review from someone ‘taking care of his advertisers.'”

“We’re 50-60% over our inital goals on orders-per-day at this point. We’re already talking of buying another machine and running 24 hour shifts if necessary. It will be a while before it comes to that, but if it does, we’re prepared. Very few of the orders have spilled into the 2nd day of production. Most have shipped within 24 hours.” Need more info? Check out www.factoryeffexdx1.com.

The killer new ’05 Troy Lee Designs catalog just landed in our office, and it’s definitely worth a look. You can hit the Troy Lee web site (www.troyleedesigns.com) to download a .pdf version, or to purchase a hard copy for $6.00.

One last tidbit before we go. Tarah Geiger has signed been signed up to be a Yamaha Factory supported rider during the ’05 season by the very excited AGP Racing crew. Congrats to both Tarah, who stepped up big this year, and the AGP team. For more info on the AGP Racing team, check out www.agpracing.com.

Well, the natives are getting restless, so it’s time to put this issue of Monday Kickstart to bed. We’ll catch you next week.

it’s party time with a DJ and some drinks in the beer tent. Admission, parking and camping is free.

Co-sponsors of the event are: Twin Air, Eastpak, Bardahl, Paul’s Boutique, European BMX Connection

You may not have seen the new November ’04 issue of TWMX yet, but the guys at Factory Effex have, and they’re excited about the review on their DX1 Custom Pre-Printed number plate backgrounds. According to Chris Williams, “Quite frankly we were pretty nervous about it. We’ve got a lot of cash tied into this product, and a bad review could have killed it. But it was reviewed honestly… and didn’t pull any punches. We didn’t want a fluff review from someone ‘taking care of his advertisers.'”

“We’re 50-60% over our inital goals on orders-per-day at this point. We’re already talking of buying another machine and running 24 hour shifts if necessary. It will be a while before it comes to that, but if it does, we’re prepared. Very few of the orders have spilled into the 2nd day of production. Most have shipped within 24 hours.” Need more info? Check out www.factoryeffexdx1.com.

The killer new ’05 Troy Lee Designs catalog just landed in our office, and it’s definitely worth a look. You can hit the Troy Lee web site (www.troyleedesigns.com) to download a .pdf version, or to purchase a hard copy for $6.00.

One last tidbit before we go. Tarah Geiger has signed been signed up to be a Yamaha Factory supported rider during the ’05 season by the very excited AGP Racing crew. Congrats to both Tarah, who stepped up big this year, and the AGP team. For more info on the AGP Racing team, check out www.agpracing.com.

Well, the natives are getting restless, so it’s time to put this issue of Monday Kickstart to bed. We’ll catch you next week.