Welcome to this week’s Kickstart, presented by One Industries. The pace of work has been non-stop at the TW offices lately, as we recently closed our December issue and now face January’s deadlines, which will include the Racer and FMXer of the Year. Who do you think will land the covers?
Last Wednesday, we premiered the latest in the Kickstart DVD series, Kickstart 4: The Final Chapter, at Marquee 15 in Corona, CA. If you were unable to make it out or would like proof that people wear pick-up kits, see our recap at http://motocross.transworld.net/1000137806/features/kickstart-4-the-final-chapter-premiere-party/
Before heading to our movie, we spotted Travis Baker on a Valli Yamaha YZ450F. Valli and Star have recently ended their partnership and Baker is the first to commit to the Colorado race team. Check the Randy Robert’s video for proof http://motocross.transworld.net/1000137926/news/riding-with-travis-baker/
Finally, Swap tossed his video camera aside for a Canon EOS Mark III and caught Jeremy McGrath in action while at the DC gear launch. You know you want to see this http://motocross.transworld.net/1000137869/features/jeremy-mcgrath-photo-gallery/
There is plenty to see and do in this week’s Kickstart, including more about the DC gear, A Day in the Dirt, numerous interviews, a rundown of the 2013 GP schedule, and more. Get to gettin’…
2013 FIM MX World Championship Schedule Breakdown
The schedule of the 2013 MXGPs has been announced, so here is a brief breakdown of each stop. There are some potentially amazing stops this next year reaching far across the world. Perhaps it’s time to take that big vacation.
(photos courtesy of Youthstream)
March 2 Losail, Qatar
The opening round of the 2013 season will not only introduce the Middle East into World Championship MX racing, it will also host the GP at night, under the lights.
March 10 Si Racha, Thailand
Don't know the track, but it sounds an awful lot like Sriracha (often referred to as the Hot Cock), which is the greatest hot sauce known to man, so it has to be awesome. And, it’s in Thailand.
April 1 Valkenswaard, The Netherlands
A longtime mainstay in the MXGP series, Valkenswaard is a just a hop, skip, and jump from the deep sand of Lommel. It, too, features treacherous sand men like Jeffrey Herlings and Antonio Cairoli really shine.
April 14 Trentino, Arco di Trento, Italy
Set in northern Italy, Arco is just north of Lake Garda, Italy's largest body of fresh water. As well, major racing companies like Alpinestars, Gaerne, and Sidi are just a stone's throw east.
April 21 TBA
For those acronymally challenged, this means "To Be Announced".
May 5 Portugal
The Portuguese stop on the tour has yet to be announced, so hang tight for some naïve ethnocentric comments from yours truly.
May 19 Beto Carrero, Brazil
Butts. Need me say more?
May 26 Guadalajara, Mexico
So, the GP of Mexico may have yielded a bit more unsavory PR than they would've liked last year, but we are still waving this flag. If it weren't dangerous, under budgeted, and dry, it just wouldn't be Mexico. Stay thirsty, my friends.
June 9 Ernee, France
The French love moto, maybe even moreso than Americans, so we back it, even if they do think we are assholes.
June 16 Maggiroa, Italy
It's Youthstream, so you know they are going to take every chance they can get to promote at home. We don't blame them, either. Italy is our favorite country to visit in the European Union.
June 30 Uddevalla, Sweden
We know what you are thinking, but don't expect Uddevalla to be a swarm of tall, gorgeous blondes ready to commit to your every whim. Sure, it's coastal, but it's Nordic coast… Seashells, maybe; bikinis, none.
July 7 Kegums, Latvia
Latvian women. Seriously, they're hot. Sure, they probably won't be in the small town of Kegums, but you may attract the eye of a barista in an airport on your way.
July 14 Semigorje, Russia
The home Grand Prix of Evgeny Bobryshev, the Semigorje track marked Russia's return to World Championship motocross racing in 2012 after a 10-year hiatus.
July 28 Lausitzring, Germany
Formally Lausitzring, EuroSpeedway Lausitz is a giant road raceway. Likely, the track will be built within, or adjacent to, the concrete circuit shortly before the MXGP tour makes its stop there.
August 4 Loket, Czech Republic
Been on the tour for quite some time, and it's next to Prague, so why would you ever eliminate it from the schedule? Prepare for Absinthe, EDM, and androgynous dudes.
August 18 Bastogne, Belgium
Fries and beer. Count us in.
August 25 Matterley Basin (Winchester), Great Britain
Fog, rain, moors; we can take it or leave it. Although, we have fond memories of James Stewart, Ivan Tedesco, and Ryan Villopoto handling business there during the 2006 Motocross of Nations.
September 8 TBA
What's you guess? We got $20 on Oak Hill.Last week, the crew from DC and Troy Lee Designs invited all of the motocross media out to Pala Raceway to unveil their latest collaboration motocross gear. The full limited edition gear is designed by Jeremy McGrath, Robbie Maddison, Nate Adams, and Travis Pastrana. The MC and Maddison signature gear will hit stores worldwide early November 2012, however; the Adams and Pastrana line won’t drop until Summer of 2013.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo has called Southern California home for the past several weeks, as he has been busy preparing for the Monster Energy Cup, where his 5-1 finished earned him second overall behind his long-time rival Cooper Webb. In the days since the MEC, AC has been spotted all over SoCal, ripping up local tracks on his Brett Mountain-tuned Kawasaki KX250F. It’s only a matter of days before the 16-year-old speedster heads home to Florida, so we got him to sit still for a few minutes to catch up…
OK Adam, your first big-time, big-bike race is out of the way now. Were you nervous?
Oh I was definitely nervous. The funny thing is that I am not usually nervous at all at big races when I'm on the gate. But this time I was nervous on the line for the first moto. Even though my practice times were good and everything, I still felt like I was a Supermini rider racing against big bikes. I mean, I've been watching those guys race and win A and B class big-bike races all year long, and to be on the line with them was kind of surreal. It was weird for me because I am usually not nervous at all, but I was super jittery.
How could you be nervous racing against amateurs, when you practice on the daily with guys like Jake Weimer and Ryan Villopoto?
I don't know. I honestly don't know. [Laughs] Obviously, you have the stadium thrown in there, and the different format and all that stuff. You hear the announcer and there is music going off. It shook me up! Actually, half way through the first moto I started to feel better. I was in third and making good progress, and I was thinking, "Ok, this is good. First big bike race, and I maybe can get second…" and then halfway through that thought, I washed the front end and fell down. I got back to fifth by the end, but the second race was way better. As you could probably tell, I felt a lot better when I won the second race, and I finally realized that I belong in the class now.
So no more mini bike racing for you. Does that make you sad at all, or is it good riddance?
I will always have a place in my heart for minis, but I really like this new 250F. It is my favorite bike, ever! I miss some aspects of mini bikes, but I would never, ever go back! [Laughs}
You are comfortable and obviously fast on a big bike. Are you bummed that you have one more year of amateur Nationals ahead of you? Do you wish you could go straight to Hangtown 2013?
Obviously, I just got on the big bike and I have about two and a half months on it. I feel good and fast on it, but it's been a big learning curve. Right now, I am just trying to focus on getting better and faster. I know that I am nowhere near where I need to be to race with the pros.
Will you be racing A or B at the amateur Nationals?
A class. From here on out, I will race local Pro and A class at the Nationals.
You've been in California for a long time now. You have to be homesick…
Yeah, I am homesick, but this time we had the opportunity to stay in a house instead of our motorhome in the Pro Circuit parking lot. That changes my whole outlook on California, to be honest. No more being trapped in a motor home all day long…
You just turned 16. Do you have your driver's license yet?
I can get that when I go home to Florida, so I have some studying to do on the drive home!
I know you've already spent some time behind the wheel. Are you a cautious driver or a racer?
I'm cautious! I know that I have to take it easy. I'd say that I am pretty average. I try to stay with the flow of traffic and use my blinkers and stuff. I'm no Racer X or anything out there. [Pauses] And when I say Racer X, there's no pun intended. I mean, like Racer X from Speed Racer. Have you seen that new movie version of Speed Racer? It's awesome! [Laughs]
AC92 wallpapers (for the ladies), below…
Brian Deegan wrapped up his second Lucas Oil Off Road Championship in the Pro 2 Unlimited class with a third-place finish at this weekend’s series finale at Firebird Raceway, and he enters this week’s Global Rallycross Series finale at the Las Vegas SEMA show with a very realistic chance of winning his second auto racing championship in a span of only a few days. We were surprised to see Deegan spinning laps at Pala Raceway last week on his Honda CRF450R, considering what he had at stake in the coming days…
We’re were surprised to see you out here riding moto when you have such a big week coming up.
Well, out of racing cars and trucks, moto is still one of the things that I like to do the most. So, we're out here at Pala, and I really like this track because the sand here reminds me of being back home in Nebraska. Plus, I consider riding motocross excellent training because you have to focus, and it's great for my endurance. Both of those are key for racing four wheels. Don't get me wrong, though, because there are moments when I swap out a little and almost crash [laughs]. That's when I think that I need to back it down because there would be a lot of disappointed people if I didn't make it out to these races. In the LOORRS Pro-2 class, I have the points lead with only one race left, and two days later I race Tanner Foust in Las Vegas for the Global Rallycross Championship. So, it's kind of crazy that it's coming down to these two big, big events, but it's great that I have moto to clear my head.
For clearing your head, what would you say is safer: riding motocross, or hitting ramps?
Let's just say that a couple weeks ago I was doing some backflips off my ramps, and my team freaked out and told me to back it down [laughs]. So, I made an agreement with them that after these two championship races are over, I get to ride with my boys again. As a result, I'm out here riding motocross, if that explains your answer. Plus, I think it's safer.
When you ride moto, your heart rate gets way up there because of the intensity. Not taking anything away from freestyle, but it's a different kind of workout, right?
Absolutely, and there are two different mind frames that you have to have for each. In freestyle, it's about getting the courage to do a trick. In moto, it's about trying to be fluid and carry your momentum around the track. There are just so many more cool aspects that come into play when you riding motocross. Freestyle, it all comes down to who has the biggest balls [laughs].
Tell us more about the car racing. How does it feel? You've gone from a rich motorcycle background, and now your translating it into big success in two different disciplines on four wheels.
Yeah, I guess you can put it that way. My motocross background was a tough road. I had been doing it ever since I was a little kid, and then I eventually turned pro with it. However, I got away from moto to do freestyle at that time. I always missed it though, and car racing was kind of like another way for me to get back into racing.
I started off with off-road trucks, and fortunately enough, it worked out because that allowed me to get into car racing. I'm just super blessed and fortunate that car racing worked for me because for a lot of people it doesn't.
There are two totally different riding styles between trucks and cars, right? Is it like racing a dirt bike compared to a quad?
[Laughs] I don't know because I've never raced a quad. I would say that racing off-road trucks is like doing an outdoor National because you're wide open and really aggressive. In rally car racing, you have to be really smooth and precise with your driving. It's totally different. I go from one to the other all of the time, and you just have to be able to shut off your brain between the two.
How nervous are you coming into these next two races?
[Laughs] You know what's crazy? I've blocked out these two championships for the last month. I told myself, "Alright, the day is going to come, so don't worry about it now." In my head, though, I feel that I've truly been here countless times. I strive to put myself in this sort of situation. For me, I think that it's great and I think that we need to have a good time, and honestly, I feed of the pressure. I turn pressure into a positive, and I say, "I love it!" I love looking at the other guy being nervous [laughs]. I always consider myself the underdog, and that takes some of the pressure off of me. In the end, I've achieved everything in my life that I wanted to achieve, and I feel that at this point it's just for fun.
Catching Up With Robbie Maddison
By Michael Antonovich
Photos by Antonovich and Brendan Lutes
At this point in his career, Robbie Maddison needs no introduction. The Australian is easily one of the bravest and most well known motorcyclists on the planet, as his numerous feats at Red Bull’s New Years, No Limits have vaulted him to worldwide fame. While at the DC gear intro last week, we chatted with Maddo between motos to hear what he has occupied his time with since healing from his X Games injury and what the future for both himself and the sport holds.
Now that you are healed up from injury, what is the plan for the rest of the year?
There is a lot going on at this point. Since I have been injured, I have been analyzing the sport and feel like it is dying off a bit. We have a whole plan in play, and I think it is going to be a successful one. I have some great idea for event formats and I really want to switch it up. I think freestyle formats have been so similar for so long, and that is the stuff that lately I have been getting in to. You will probably see more of that in 2014, but the next thing in the cards for me is a DC shoot that we are doing. We will start filming in two weeks and it is a big push for DC. It is something that we have been talking about and planning for about three years now, and it has some really cool riding and out of the box kind of concepts that we are putting the bike through. People are going to see me get creative and see the things I think in my head. We are going to shoot it and it is going to be real. It's like living in dreamland. I'm stoked to be with DC and just making this vision and dream come true. They are super cool guys that I am working with, the film is going to be cool, and I cannot wait for it to come out. We have a lot of things in the cards, but that is the first in the ranks for me, getting this film shot. That should occupy all of November for me. It's looking like this year there will be no New Year's Eve jump, so I get December off and will go to the summertime in Oz and see the family. In 2013, to give people a little insight, I have a jump I am doing with Skullcandy. It is an idea that has been a dream jump for a long time and is something that has never been done before. I am kind of just sticking to what I have been known for, other than the freestyle. But, back on the freestyle competition side of things, I am getting busy with the things that are a little bit different but fun for me. I'm excited about it.
How much exposure does jumping in New Years, No Limits get you?
Oh, it's huge. Red Bull's outreach and the exposure for that jump goes worldwide. It is crazy, because I show up in papers and news articles all through Europe, like France and Germany. My cousin lives in Singapore and he saw some stuff there from me. When you are on the New Year's stuff, which has been great for me and I am honored that I have such a great relationship with Red Bull. They definitely give me crazy wings. So, being able to get those visions of what I want to do and be able to work with a great team that helps me put it together and pull it off, my great sponsors, and my wife, I am really stoked on doing those jumps. And now it is obviously what I am known for. People now know I am a freestyle guy, but I have a lot of people say, "Oh you're that Red Bull guy!" That is really where my heart is at. I don't go to bed dreaming of doing freestyle runs; I go to bed dreaming of crazy ideas I can do. It's great having a relationship with sponsors that can make them a reality.
With the Skullcandy/Yo!GabbaGabba video that came out a few weeks ago, do things like that blow your image up even more? There are times I get on a website like Hypebeast and see you there, with things like the Red Bull cartoon that no one usually sees. Does that surprise you at all?
It's crazy. For me personally, I don't really go looking for it or type my name into Google. My Mom does; she gets it when things come up and she lets me know. It is cool to see the exposure come around, but for me it is like a dreamland. It is what I love to do and riding my bike is what keeps me sane. The exposure and outreach like Red Bull, DC, and the brands I am with have is amazing. I am just so fortunate that I can just go do what I do each day and have the guys I do put it into play.
You have such fame that you could go anywhere. What keeps you in America when you could go back to Australia?
In Australia, the same opportunities don't exist. All of the headquarters of companies and my sponsors are all out here, so it just makes sense. If I am in Australia and I break a part, you can go to your local dealer or distributor and they will say, "Oh, we don't have any in stock. We are on back order." It might be a month before it gets there and it slows your development down. It is crazy, the lifestyle I get to live in America. Just being at the track, this doesn't exist in Australia. We have met amazing people and the motocross industry is our family. Everyone who has been a sponsor or met in the past, now that we are out here on our own, have become more than just a friend. They are the people we are always around. It is tough to always be away from your family, but they have their jobs and I have mine, and this is where my workplace is. At first, it was really tough, but you get used to things and it evolved. I love it here with the people we are around, and I have a little boy now who is an American.
Supercross Track at Pala Raceway
Pala Raceway recently added a Supercross track to their numerous list of tracks, which is limited to AMA Pro licensed riders only. The layout has only been completed for a few weeks, but we can already tell we will be shooting there quite a bit this off-season, as it is located near our Carlsbad office space.
Catching Up With Billy Laninovich
By Michael Antonovich
For those of you with Hollywood connections, you may want to get on the phone with the story of Billy Laninovich’s comeback. Our former cover star went AWOL for a handful of years before popping back up at A1 2012, and since then his career has been back on the rise. Solid finishes in Supercross landed him a spot as a fill-in for TLD Honda, a place at X Games Best Whip, and the attention of many diehard fans. As soon as his helmet was off after a 15-lap SX sprint at Pala, we sat down with Lano to hear what the future holds.
After your time on the Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda wrapped up, you did the X Games and are now in full Supercross mode. Considering what you started out with at Anaheim One, how do you feel the year went?
It was good. After taking two and a half years off, coming back, finishing every main event, and finishing in the top-ten was a blessing and was awesome. I get to do what I love to do. Coming into next year, we have a little over two months to go, it's my third week on the bike, and I am doing 15's (lap practices). We are a lot farther than we were going into last year, so this year is going to be good. I expect myself to get on the box at some of the races and I am looking forward to it.
Are you doing the 250 West again, and will you be on a 450 at all?
Yeah, 250 West. 450, I don't know yet. We are mainly focusing on the West Coast right now, but if we can get a couple of 450s in the next month or so, then we will do that.
Where will you be training at this year?
I get to ride the Troy Lee track. That was kind of in our agreement; if I filled in for Christian, because they needed someone pretty bad, they gave me a Supercross track to ride for the next year.
Are you getting anything else in means of support, other than the track and gear?
Nope, just wearing the gear and riding the track. It's an awesome deal, though.
Will it be yourself and your dad again this year?
Yeah, my dad, my mechanic, Shawn, and me.
How was it to be on the 450 this summer?
It was good. It was a struggle at the first couple of rounds, because it had been three or four years since I had ridden an outdoor. It took me a couple of races and we did some suspension testing, so when we came to Colorado, I was a whole other Billy there. I was able to get in the top-ten and finish ninth overall. I think it is going to help me a lot this year, because I really struggled in the ruts. I tried to stay out of them, but going to the outdoors, it is all ruts. It was really good for me to go do that.
How was it to go to X Games and get the exposure?
X Games was a lot of fun. I didn't do as good as I thought I would because I tried to learn a new whip, a turndown whip, and I was too focused on that. I didn't stick to my normal upside down whip, but hopefully I get invited next year to prove myself again.
Is there anything else you would like to say to wrap this up? It had been a while since we had seen you, but we know you are coming back for good next year.
You know, I have just been riding my motorcycle and going to church. I completely gave my life to God and it is going to be a good year. That is what I was lacking before: my relationship with God. We have a new team name now; it is John 3:16 Jentronix Racing Ministries. That is going to be the title of the race team and I am looking forward to what God is going to do. I give him all the glory. I want to thank all my sponsors and all of the fans. I have some pretty crazy fans that came up to me in the outdoors that still had my back, which was pretty cool to see. I just want to thank of them and I'm looking forward to next year. It is going to be a fun time.
Registration Now Open For A Day in the Dirt 2012
Our favorite race of the year, A Day in the Dirt, is just around the corner. Taking place at Glen Helen Raceway this Thanksgiving weekend, we have already began to tick off laps at the massive San Bernardino circuit. Are you in for the fastest party in town? If you need more persuading, check out these photos from last year and prepare to tell your wife that you won’t be Black Friday shopping this year.
Sign-up online at https://adayinthedirt.webconnex.com/did12