Jan 11, 2010

Flying back from Anaheim 1 SX 2010

37,000 ft above Nevada with Charlie Winston’s Hobo playing some great tunes on my iPhone, here is a quick post I wanted to write since the 450 (SX) Main Event ended, last night at Angel Stadium. I am not going to come back on the racing part of the opening round of what looks like a promising-to-be-exciting AMA Supercross season, because it is going to be covered on all media websites and in all publications around the world of motorcycling. This is the first pro race of the season and all eyes of the world of motocross were on Anaheim yesterday. Photos of the new bikes, the riders, the track, the racing, the Monster Energy Girls, Muscle Milk Girls (hi Janelle and Casey!), Jaggermeister Girls and other Spike TV hostesses will be all over the Internet by this evening when I land in Chicago.

Photo by GuyB/VitalMX.com

This is always a busy round for the industry of SX/MX, the managements of most companies attend this race, lots of hand-shaking going on, lots of deals still taking place, lots of partnerships being built. For me it was a mix of taking care of different sides of business for AGV helmets, from sales & marketing to the rider-support part of my job. It is an important round because it was the first full-on race day with our new riders, Gautier Paulin and especially Davi Millsaps. Although we have spent time working things out before the race, it is very different on race day and it is important to learn the habits and needs of the riders on a race day so that everything works smoothly and the guys have to worry about nothing else than just racing. The first few races and the first weeks could be a bit challenging for the rider as well as the helmet brand as both try to find the right fit for the former. A very important point to keep in mind with DM is that he has been wearing the same helmet for over 5 years, a helmet that had not changed in shape nor fit since he started using it as a young amateur rider. Therefore it takes a bit of time to get things how they should exactly be.

Photo by TWMX.com

Before I get to the point of this blog-post, I have to say that I was very impressed with Gautier Paulin and his abilities. The kid is not only super nice, very humble and hungry to learn; he is also fast and will get faster. There were some high and lows for both GP321 and DM18 yesterday, from great Heat races to disappointing Main Events (and yes, only the Main Events really count) but overall it was pretty good for AGV and the return to the off-road market with the introduction of the AX-8.


So, if there is one of two persons that read my blog they must be laughing at what I wrote about Kevin “K-Dub” Windham a couple days before Anaheim 1. All those things I said got shut down in flame by the #14 himself and with class at that. I really didn’t think that Windham could hang out with the young guns and not only race them, but more so go after them. Last night, after a decent start in 6th, passing Millsaps by the end of the first lap, he chased down Brayton, Villopoto and Short, passing them one at a time to grab the 3rd podium spot. Amazing performance and amazing racing by the #14. In 20 laps he proved I was very wrong to count him out already. 

Of course he was on the to win that same race last year before connecting with a downed Stewart in the whoops and led A2 for a good while letting the same Stewart by.
A1 thought:
Amazing Dungey
Bubbalicious is on it
Nike goes 1-2 for their first SX race
Shorty is actually looking fast, even if old man K-Dub got him towards the end.
Kevin Windham: Fantastic!
The 450 class is packed with a big group of riders who are on the same speed: Josh Grant, Short, Hill, Brayton, Villopoto, Millsaps, Tedesco, Reardon.
Bad night for the Monster Energy Kawi team.
Bad night for Chad who leaves A1 with a 25 points deficit on Stewart. You can’t count him out but can he come back like JS7 did it in 2009.
I see Nike’s arrival in MX as a very positive thing for the sport.
Mega Crash of the Night Award goes to Dan Reardon. Scary!
No Phoenix for me, I’ll concentrate on sales this week while preparing A2. Video-conferencing with Italy tomorrow, to tweak some things on the AX-8. We also have to work on our ad artwork for the MT-X helmet which is supposed to hit the market in a month.

Now listening to the Cold War Kids’ Loyalty to Loyalty