What’s happening in moto? More like, what isn’t happening in moto… Alright, that’s pretty lame, but in all seriousness, the off-season generally offers some drama and storylines. James Stewart, for instance, will be formally announcing his plans tomorrow. It isn’t exactly LeBron’s Decision, but then again, the NBA is locked out, and come January, the gates will be dropping in Angel Stadium. So take that, mainstream team sports! Anywho, the next few pages should offer up some tidbits of insider info, some Q&As, and some other awesomeness you don’t even know about…yet. So read on.
Check out some of the action from Zaca Station MX Park last Friday, as well as a quick interview with Ken Roczen.
Part-time TransWorld Motocross test rider and full-time KTM Orange Brigade Captain Mike Sleeter visited the facility and filmed the helmet cam video that you’ll find below. Here’s a quick report on the facility from Sleet Dawg.
At one point in time Lake Elsinore MX park would gather more riders then any other track in the world on a single weekend. Was it the economy taking a dump or bad management but the likable track with mountains for jumps and hard pack soil was gone a few years later.
Track builder Mark peters known for building some of the best tracks in world has linked up with some investors and have resurrected the Lake Elsinore motocross in to what is now called the Lake Elsinore extreme park. Upon arrival to the Lake Elsinore extreme park the first thing you will notice is that the old washboard road has been capped with some solid soil and along with a high quality fence to protect the track from some SoCal bandits breaking in after hours.
The new owners have flattened the old track and started over with a new layout that I rode today. This track in the film I assume will be the new vet track but will host a few local races until there Grand Opening in December. The layout is really fun and the prep was phenomenal. The jumps were fun and the corner set up was some what important so it did separate the riders. The crew has hauled in some new soil that the crowd really seemed to enjoy. A big help is the planting of quite a few trees for shade that look to have irrigation to them to keep them from frying in the SoCal lake bed. Taking a closer look at the facility with out asking questions there were mountains and excavators where the Main track was at one time. Looking at this I assume Mark Peter is going to recap the entire facility with a design build so that there won’t be severe flooding on the tracks when it rained. The old track had no plan when it came to flood control so you could race Jet Skis many weeks of the year if you would like.
Overall I think this going to be a great track and another feather in the cap for Southern California riders. I had a great time today and the potential of the Lake Elsinore Extreme park looks good.
By Brendan Lutes
Team Hart & Huntington/Dodge's Ivan Tedesco had a disappointing year in 2011. Yes, he did have some great rides in the highly competitive Supercross class, but for most of the season, he was forced to ride through the nagging pain of injuries until ultimately withdrawing from the series with two rounds remaining. Now after six months off the bike to repair a torn ACL and Labrum in his hip, Hot Sauce is back riding with his sights set on Anaheim I next January. We caught up with him while he drove to the Kawasaki test track.
Let's start off by talking about last season. You had some good rides, but ultimately ended the season with an injury. Overall, how did it go for you?
Last year's off-season went really well, and coming into the season, I felt that I was the most prepared that I've been in a long time. But I was maybe a little over-excited, or trying too hard, and I just crashed. I had little injuries all year long, but it was towards the end that I tore my ACL and tore up my hip. After that, I had to pull out of the series to get it all fixed.
Was it difficult struggling through those injuries during the season?
I missed the last two rounds because of them. I tore my ACL at the Toronto Supercross, finished that race, and then I raced two rounds on the torn ACL. Then at St. Louis, I tore the Labrum in my hip. After that, I was riding on both those injuries at Seattle, but I just couldn't do it anymore—it was just too much pain. I decided to go get everything fixed and here we are six months later with a full summer worth of rehab to get myself back to where I need to be.
It was your first year on Hart & Huntington. How was the team for you?
The team was good. Last year, they had Dodge come aboard, it was my first year on the team, and I was super stoked with being back on Kawasaki and Mitch at Pro Circuit doing the bike. The bike was definitely capable of going out there and winning races. I feel the same about this year. I feel like I'm on a good team, I have the best equipment, and I just need to go out there and have a better year than I did last year.
So now you're back riding, but how have your knee and hip been feeling so far?
Actually, everything is going really well. I got surgery on my knee and hip right after the Vegas Supercross [back in May], so it's been about six months that I've been off the bike and I just started riding again last week. It's been going a lot better than I was expecting. I'm just going to kind of be building back up from now until Anaheim I and get back to where I'm supposed to be.
Did you go straight back into riding Supercross or have you been slowly getting back into it?
The first two days I just went to Starwest and Perris—just some local tracks around here in California. Then the other two days I went back to the Supercross track. I was actually a lot better at Supercross than I was outdoors. For whatever I reason I just felt comfortable. That's what I'm doing anyways—racing Supercross—so that's where I'm at now.
Have you ridden the new 2012 KX450F yet?
I'm still on my '11 right now and the team is still working on the '12. Since I just started riding last week, I just jumped on my race bike from last year so everything was the same. We're going to slowly start riding the '12, do some testing, and do it the right way.
Even before you got injured, was the team planning on doing any outdoor races, or was that not in the plans all along?
No, we're Supercross only and weren't planning on doing any outdoors anyways, and I really only missed two races that I was supposed to do because of the injuries. Who knows, though, maybe we'll come out this next summer for a couple races or maybe we won't. We'll just have to see.
So looking ahead at the next few months before Anaheim I, what are your plans?
Yeah, I'm just going to hit it hard. I have about two months to prepare and every day I'm just going to do the best I can. Two months goes by quick, so I'm going to do everything I can to prepare. I'm looking forward to it; it's going to be fun. We're doing the same thing and have two new sponsors coming aboard for the team, so I'm happy.
The Metal Mulisha is hard at work wrapping up shooting for their new movie Black Friday. We’ve featured a few of the trips on the site here, but their latest filming trip took the crew to Australia where they filmed at Jacko Strong’s compound. MM’s Shane Ruiz sent us over some photos from the trip, but for the full report, click the link below.
Casey McPerry sent us this really cool video featuring Gatorz rider Jarryd McNeil during the Best Whip contest at the Las Vegas stop of the Dew Tour. Check it out, you definitely won’t be disappointed.
Catching Up With Nick Paluzzi
By: Jordan Powell
Photos: Brendan Lutes
After his first full rookie season, Nick Paluzzi is heading into the 2012 season without a ride, but that’s not stopping him from accomplishing his goals. After competing in the 2011 Monster Energy Cup on a TransWorld Motocross test bike, Paluzzi headed to Finland three days after for another race, where he place second. We caught up with Nick to see what it was like to race in overseas, as well as his future plans.
Alright, so Nick, what’s been going on since the outdoors?
Well, I’ve just been trying to find a ride for the 2012 Supercross and outdoor series. Other than that, I was invited to do a race out in Finland right after the Monster Energy Cup, and that was pretty fun. Racing 250s against 450s was a little hard, but it was a lot of fun.
Talk about that race. How did it go for you?
Well, the first night was a little hard. The track was pretty soft, and I was unaware that the 250s and 450s were all in the same class. So, I had to race against the bigger bikes on my 250. The first night I crashed and had some struggles. So, I didn’t end up doing so well. The second night, though, was a lot better. I had some troubles with my starts in both my heat and main, but it all worked out. In the heat, I ended up winning that, and then I worked my way all the way up to second place in the main.
Was that a different experience racing overseas?
Yeah, it was my first time racing overseas, and I was really excited to go there. The track over in Finland was a lot different than the tracks over here in the States. It was really tight and soft. But, it was a good because it allowed me to grow as a rider, and it gave me the experience for those type of track conditions.
So, how did that all work out? Did they invite you over there and supply you with a bike?
Yeah. Chris Plouffe, Jason Thomas, Weston Peick, and I all flew out, and they had bikes waiting there for us. All I brought was my own handlebars because I wasn’t really sure what to bring, other than that. But, I realized once I got there that I should have brought more parts. Besides that, the bike was brand new, and it was really good!
Was it like a culture shock going over there?
It definitely was between the jet lag, time change, and being in a different country. There were night when I was going to sleep at five in the afternoon and waking up at four in the morning [laughs].
Before you left for Finland, you raced in the Monster Energy Cup. How was that?
It was really good. I actually raced the Monster Energy Cup on a borrowed bike from Transworld, so I guess you can say I was Team Transworld [laughs]. I did pretty good and had fun racing against some of the best guys in our sport. Starts went pretty well for me, and I had some good results in my heat and semi races.
You also took a huge fall in practice, right?
Yeah, I came off the huge table to single jump sideways, and I hit the ground pretty hard. I ended up landing on a haybale, and I hit my head pretty good. But, it wasn’t anything too major, but it did affect me a little bit in the night show. Oh well, though. It was still fun.
Other than that, you’re still looking for something for 2012?
We’re still looking. I’m just going to go home and ride and train as much as I can. That way, if anything comes up I’ll be as ready as I can be.Catching Up With Shane Trittler
By Jordan Powell
After a short hiatus, Shane Trittler has brought the Race Around the Lake back to Castaic, California, and we’re only a few days away from the annual race. We gave the man behind it all a call to see what has been going on.
So Shane, we’re coming into the final week before the BTO Sports Race Around The Lake; how is everything coming?
Really good. This is the sixth Race Around The Lake, and this is the first time that we’re ahead of schedule, so that’s awesome.
Have you guys had the chance to start building the motocross section of it yet?
We actually have started to work on it this morning. We had to wait until the Love Ride was over because they were using that whole area for overflow parking. But now that we have the free and clear, Brian Staben brought out a fleet of tractors, and we’re getting the ball rolling on that.
Last time we were out there, you had the tree section all dialed in and you were working on getting the beach section worked out. Has there been a lot more section put together?
Yeah, we finished the GP course that’s across the street from the motocross track. So, that’s all dialed in. Yesterday, we finished the tunnels that go underneath the road. With those, it will make things easier for the water trucks to get across, without actually getting on the track. Now all that’s left to do is to stake off and hay bale the whole park section. So, it should be fun!
Have you been getting any sleep, or has this been a 24/7 effort [laughs]?
No, not at all! I haven’t, and I’m not kidding [laughs]. Our crew has been working really hard over here to make sure that everyone has fun, and that the Race Around The Lake becomes a race that families can do for years to come.
So, is it too late to sign up, or can people send in their entries?
Online pre-entries go until Tuesday, but after that, you can still do post-entries. So, if you want to save money and get a better starting spot, you still have until tomorrow to do a pre-entry. To check it out, go to BTORaceAroundTheLake.com.