Feb 4, 2009

Motocross star system. It's still cold outside.

First of all, what the heck is happening with SX track designs?! It looks (or at least the riders make it look) very one-lined with little passing options. It makes for good block-passes once in a while so I guess it's better for the show.
Looking at the A3 track design (oh yes, Anaheim 3! Finally the last opus of angel Stadium for the season, time to move on, away!) I am wondering whether we should bring our dirt jump mountain-bikes? This looks more like a "pump track" than MX. I guess the more jumps, the more rhythm sections, the more show, the more happy and returning Monster indulged spectators. Those guys are going to spend more time in the air than on the ground.

Here's an exemple of an MTB pump track. Not too different eh!

Gosh it's still very cold in this part of the country. it didn't stop a good number of gizzers and their misses to make it to the great Ducati Open House we had last night at Corse Superbike in Wisconsin. But yeah, still way too cold for me. I can't believe my buddies Brad Jerominski, Fred and the others have been riding motos on the snowed up Club 57 tracks. And, oh yeah, I still remember saying that I wanted to go ice-riding this season. No way Jose! Way not my kind of fun. The only cold thing I like are usually beers and ice-cream.

So what happened at the San Francisco SX? Well, Bubba cleaned the house and scored his 4th victory of the season. If only he hadn't made that small gear mistake at A1, I would be starting to wonder if this would turn into a perfect season or not. This time, he had didn't have to pass anyone and just went into after-burner after corner 1.
Chad is fast still, no doubt. Chad rides smooth but he gets caught behind riders and he looses time passing them. His teammate Alessi really insisted on that, I was surprised to see Reed not trying something harder but he did try to pass him clean. I guess my next wish is to see CR and JS out of the gate and entering the first corner side by side. I'm sure we'll have that before the end of the year. The other guys in form were there and confirmed, like RV, Josh Grant and Andrew Short.
In the West Coast Lites class, things turned out more exciting for the rest of the season with a nice win by Jake Weimer. He faught Dungey both in their heat race and in the main and both time stayed cool and held it strong, not letting the #10 Suzuki by. I wanted to make a note on the TV boradcast, I think that it was Shaheen who said that Weimer cracked under pressure from Dungey in Phoenix and I wanted ot openly disagree with this. Listening to Weimer, seeing hm ride and behave on and off the track, I think that he is one very cool, very calm guy and I don't think he cracked in Phoenix, it was just a small normal mistake due to the difficulty of that sand pit. Weimer stayed cool till the finish line in SF and scored a great win. The championship is wide open.
What's up with my man Kyle Cunningham? He's fast and has been fast at all races this season but something out of his control always happens to him. In pthe previous races he fell victim to a Lawrence-Canard crash, then someone slammed his shifter, then he got taken out by Lawrence again in PHX. watching SF, he was on the gas, he looked like he was pushing a bit more than he should, but here comes Morais, wide on the triple and Kyle lands out of the track, almost crashing badly. I hope he didn't crossed a black cat, or walked under a ladder in the recent past. Here's to Kyle having better luck and showing his potential in the last races.

So, let's go back to drama, MX goss and the star system. So you take 16 year-old kids, the majority with an already big ego and a strong taste for success, you turn them into pro riders, give them lots of attention, give them lots of goodies, provide them with all the practice tracks they need, provide them with 1 or 2 mechanics, 1 or 2 suspension guys, 1 or 2 engine guys and pay them very very very uber very good money (I think that the average income for a person working 45 hours/week is averaging $42,000 in the State of Illinois).
Then turn them into stars of our sport: pimp them up in the press, get lots of videos of them, lots of photos and interviews, posters in magazines where plenty bikini girls pose, have all the cool clothing and skate shoe brands drop tons of stuff for them, let them have all their friends around, let them go out of control on all the hunting girls roaming the pits. Make sure they know that they are the center of attention and spend a lot of money doing so. And if they don't perform very well, if the results don't come, just be patient and pay more. Make them... "special".

But don't come back all surprised and worried and all shocked and scandalized that little Johnny turned into a car-rolling, splif-rolling, out of control, misbehaving person. And yes Jason Lawrence is surrounded by gossips and crazy Internet rumors and all but J-Law's entourage, family and agent, have let this happen. I think that Lawrence is focusing too much attention due to his past hantics and his punkish behaviour but I don't think he's the only one that needs a reminder of what the job is about and what is expected from a highly-paid employee.
The history of Motocross is landmarked by misbehaviour and punk attitudes, from Weimer to Hannah to Lechien, to Micky Dymond to Mattiasevitch to Jeff Emig to Jason Lawrence and I would remember that at some points MC and his group of buddies were the kings of Rock n' Roll too.
Jason Lawrence is definitely the focus of a lot of Internet specialists (look who's talking!) who are very good at expressing their opinion and are looking for every pro rider out there to behave like Ricky Carmichael, James Stewart, Ryan Dungey or David Bailey and Johnny O'Mara. I think that as much as unlawful behaviour is forbidden, as much as "punk attitude" is not welcomed, we are dealing with humans that grew up too fast and outside of the "normal" world and obviously are getting a lot of different character.
Is it a generation issue? is it this generation that is not liked by the Internet forums? Until he won his first Supercross and showed speed, Josh Grant was carrying a bad image too, alike Josh Hansen and Jason Lawrence. Others are behaving like that but have been good at not attracting the spot light on their off-track lives. I don't think I have any replies to this.

Well, Jason Lawrence and Josh Hansen (guys, you need to stop hanging out with each other at the tracks) got into it again after the race at SF. Looking for trouble with my buddy Steve Boniface and starting a fight that definitely didn't help their image and the dislike from many. That's where I think Josh Hansen isn't smart? Has he seen how Bonifast is built? Dude!? The rumor talks of a good, well placed, fast like lightnig head-butt that Steve administred to Hansen and I smile with pride when I hear about it. Go Stevo!
Joking aside, fights have always happened post-races, in the pits. Even on tracks, it is not like we've never seen any bitch-slap going on. So I don't really care about the fight but I have find it unacceptable that J-Law got involved, a day when he had not raced due to supposedly medical conditions. If you don't race, for whatever reason, just stay quite and don't give your sponsors anymore reasons to call and shout at your agent on Monday morning. Who's in charge here. Scott, come on, it's time to hold on the reins tighter or let go.
The bad thing is that I enjoy watching Jason Lawrence racing, I like having wild characters with attitude in racing, I think it's good that a fight happens once in a while, they are humans after all, but Lawrence needs to really avoid stupid incidents like that one, getting involved in a fight that is not his.

Anyway, it gets the Internet going, it gets more impressions to all those web pages and help the sales of ads for many.

I hope Lawrence gets back on the bike and goes racing the 450 for fun, showing what he is capable off. The Outdoor Nationals will bring "Redemption Time" for him, or just... "Hit the road Jack, and don't come back no more..."