Monday Kickstart : September 24, 2012

The Third Annual TransWorld Motocross Industry Cup is less than three weeks away, and the smack talk is already beginning to fly on Instagram and Twitter. In fact, the defending champions from the Corona Sport Group (Randy Valade, Ben Geise, Charles Castloo) have even taken the Tretta-Motoda Cup Trophy with them to Lake Elsinore MX Park to practice! Competition in this year’s event will be tougher than ever, as several new super speedy teams are coming out of the woodwork. Last Friday, we dropped in on the CSG crew to see what sort of smack they had to talk about the October 12 event at Lake Elsinore MX…

RIDING AT MDP BLOCK
By Brendan Lutes

If you're a regular reader of TransWorld Motocross, then you already know that we are in full-blown shooting mode for Kickstart 4: The Final Chapter. Last week, we headed to the notorious MDP Block in Temecula, California, to shoot with Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg, Robbie Maddison, Jimmy Fiztpatrick, Wes Agee, and others. If you're wondering what is so special about the MDP Block, though, it's that not only do Maddo and Twitch live on the street, but the Deft Family headquarters are also there and OG freestyle rider Larry Linkogle also has his new Death Squad Compound, complete with a massive quarter pipe and multiple jumps, hidden just doors down. All told, there are three separate riding compounds--Maddo's, Deft Family, and Link's.

The day started with a little session at Maddo's pad. We must say, his set up is rad. How many other compounds have an elevated patio for easy viewing?

In case you weren't aware of it, Maddo and Twitch are in the midst of an epic prank war. The most recent prank? Maddo had an airplane tow a banner over the Lake Elsinore National that read, "Men, for a good time call Twitch..." with his now disconnected phone number at the end. On this day, Maddo put a little food coloring to good use in Twitch's new Fox helmet liner. The result was an interesting blue and red pattern on Twitch's freshly shaved head.

It's difficult to see here, but this was the moment that Twitch discovered his liner had been messed with... Twitch's response: "Just wait. You're leaving for a few weeks. I have plenty of time to retaliate."

This jump goes right over Maddo's driveway, and the guys were getting flat off it.

Stenberg has started to test the new Filtrate goggles that are set for a February 2013 debut.

After taking a quick break, everyone rode down the street to Link's compound. Here, Maddo pulls off a perfect 360 over one of the many jumps. Maddo has only been back on the bike for a little while--he got hurt at X Games this year--but his bag of tricks is still extensive.

Jimmy Fitzpatrick also came out to have some fun. He just recently made the switch to the bigger 450cc four-stroke, but by the look of his trick extension, you wouldn't know.

Wes Agee is Red Bull's newest addition to the FMX team, and he is easily one of the gnarliest riders in the sport right now. All of his tricks are insanely extended and he isn't scared of hitting dirt jumps. On this day, he was going huge on the quarter pipe at Link's.

At the end of the day, Maddo took a quick dip in his newly finished swimming pool. He even pulled a flip off his slide. "I love this pool," Maddo said. "After a long hot day of riding, there's nothing better than jumping in the pool to cool off."

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etnies FALL 2012 PREVIEW

While making our rounds through Riverside and Orange County on Friday, we stopped in to etnies’ Lake Forest headquarters and met with Joey Daroza for a quick tour and a glimpse at the upcoming moto-inspired shoe and clothing lines. As the Marketing Coordinator and Team Manager, Daroza is in charge of the surf and motocross segments and spent the summer traveling with the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross tour. Thanks again to everyone at etnies for the hospitality, and look for a more in-depth house call that will do the facility justice soon.

Sole Technology is the parent company to multiple brands (etnies, Emerica, Altamont, 32, and the now-shelved es) and their Lake Forest, CA, offices serve as the headquarters. We saw the main office area, which houses the designers, marketing execs, and products currently in the works for coming lines.

Products from the coming Fall 2012 line were on display in the massive showroom, including the new TwoTwo Motorsports Chad Reed kicks. They will be the first signature shoe for Reed and will go along with a full apparel line.

One of the most popular lines in the etnies catalog is the collaboration with the Metal Mulisa. Their latest design is much slimmer than the previous offerings and is on the “Barge” model.

Time and time again we have spoken of the slimmer shoe style, and it is clear that it is making waves. Don’t believe us? Deroza stated that it typically takes moto longer to catch on to the same trends and that is their next push to our market. An example is Jeremy Stenberg’s etnies/Famous combo, which is much trimmer than the Twitch 3.

As part of the team, FMXer Levi Sherwood is not forgotten. The New Zealander has a new model to replace the current Kontra, but will still have the orange and purple details.

Children’s television programming is taking every step possible to break into the action sports market. Last week we showed the Yo Gabba Gabba! partnerships with Volcom and Skullcandy, and then we saw Disney’s Phineas and Ferb on pint-sized etnies.

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FOOT RACE FRIDAYS

While we were at the Corona Sport Group last Friday, we happened to drop in just before the guys from Answer, Pro Taper and MSR had some grudge matches in the parking lot. Check it out!

ROCZEN AT GRAND PRIX OF GERMANY
Photos Courtesy KTM/Ray Archer

While on his “vacation” back home, Ken Roczen lined up for the final GP of the year at¬†Teutschenthal, Germany, in the MX1 (450) class. In Saturday’s Pre-Qualifying practice, Roczen topped the field but had difficulty passing in the Qualifying race, where he finished third. During Sunday’s two motos, Roczen scored 3-2 finishes for second overall and notched the fastest lap time in the first moto over World Champion Antonio Cairoli.

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SOMETHING DIFFERENT
The Monster Energy U.S. Speedway National Championship Caps off in Costa Mesa, CA

An extraordinary sunset lit up the Costa Mesa Speedway as tons of spectators filled the Orange County Fair arena for the 44th Annual Monster Energy U.S. Speedway National Championship.

American Speedway warmly welcomed Monster Energy as the title sponsor of its 44th annual championship night, as it resulted in Speedways’s biggest purse in history–$11,000. 20 points-paying heats ran every four minutes to whittle down who would race in the main event. Heats are just four laps, so it’s fast-paced and unforgiving of errors. At night’s end, Carlsbad, California’s Billy Hamill took his third championship. While his night started poorly, Hamill went on to win his remaining heat races and LCQ to reserve the fourth and final transfer position. In the main event, Hamill positioned himself behind reigning back-to-back U.S. National Speedway Championship winner Billy Janniro, who secured the number one seed following the heat races. On Lap 2, Janniro experienced similar bike problems as Hamill coming out of Turn 2 with a chain derailment, which allowed Hamill to slip by and stay out front for the final two laps to claim his third U.S. National Speedway Championship victory.

"Breaking down in the lead (in the first heat) was pretty devastating," said Hamill. "We had to go out there, regroup, and keep a cool head. I was able to win the remainder of the heats and then I got into a runoff for the last spot. I thought I could do it and I felt good, but then I just got blindsided there. I had to really pick myself up after that, but I just never threw the towel in. Seeing my kid win his first heat at Costa Mesa gave me a little boost, because I wanted to share the moment with him. We were unlucky at the beginning of the night (and) Janniro was running a real defensive line because he thought I was coming up the inside, and I was there. His chain came off and I don't know how I avoided him. I don't know what they call that, poetic justice or something like that, but we'll take it."

Carlsbad, California’s Billy Hamill took top honors for the third time in his career, going home with the biggest American Speedway purse in history.

The U.S. National Speedway Championship also showcased the future of the sport, including newly-crowned Junior National Champion Broc Nicol. Junior races filled out the night with competition that featured PW 50s, 140cc bikes, and 250cc bikes.
If you haven’t been to a Speedway event, you are sorely missing out. Not only is the racing outstanding, but there are undoubtably homemade leather racing suits and custom bikes, and of course, beer gardens. Check out some snaps from Saturday night’s action below…

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Speedway Main Event Results

1. Billy Hamill
2. Jimmy Fishback
3. Bryan Yarrow
4. Billy Janniro

Catching Up with Dillan Epstein
By Jordan Powell

Dillan Epstein may not be a name you're too familiar with yet, but the 2012 Loretta Lynn's 250 A second-place finisher will soon be. Epstein made his rookie debut at the Lucas Oil Motocross Championship Series in Lake Elsinore, California, earlier this month, and his 17-12 finish resulted with a 15th overall. Fresh off a week and a half break, we caught up with the young rider to see what's in store for 2013.

So you got your first National out of the way, how was that?

It was pretty rad and a lot of fun, but it was definitely a learning experience. You know, I wasn't expecting that I was going to go out there and win; I just wanted to have fun. If I were able to get into the lead, that would have been above and beyond anything I would have expected. However, my real goal was to get a top-10 finish. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, but I did finish 15th. I think the lessons that I learned from that race were really valuable, and I plan to work on becoming a better rider.

Was it completely different than the amateur Nationals?

It was a little different than the amateur Nationals [laughs]. In the pro ranks, the speed from the beginning to the start is at a constant pace. In the amateurs, the first lap was almost like a site lap. Everyone wasn't going for blood right out of the gate [laughs].

Did any of the riders ever get rough with you at Elsinore?

Nothing really happened when I raced my first moto because I got a bad start, but it was a little different in the second moto [laughs]. I ended getting a decent start and all I remember was a KTM plowed me right off the track. I think it was Ken Roczen [laughs]. Other than that, it was just some rookie mistakes on my part.

So, where do you go from here? What are the plans? Are there plans?

There are a few plans, but I don't really know what's going on with them yet. I'm just going with the flow and seeing what happens.

Now, do you like Supercross at all?

I love Supercross! I think it's a lot of fun. Last year I raced the Monster Cup in Vegas, and that didn't go well for me at all. First practice, my bike blew up, and I didn't even get to practice because they were working on my bike. In the first race, I got taken out on the start, and then I got ran over. That resulted with a broken nose and hand, and the end of the night for me. I'm excited for the upcoming season though, but I have to see where I compare with everyone out there.

Have you been relaxing since Elsinore, or have you been riding still?

No, I took a week-and-a-half off. After Loretta's, I was still hammering down on the motos because Elsinore was around the corner, but now that it's done, I've been relaxing. I actually just got back from Catalina for my birthday. It was really fun, but I'm looking forward to riding my dirt bike again!