Our David Pingree participated in the Vets Motocross des Nations last weekend at Farleigh Castle in Somerset, England. We check in with him to find out how he did, what riding a 1996 Pro Circuit/Splitfire Kawasaki replica was like, and more.
1. What was the racing like? Was it competitive? Relaxed?
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this event is much bigger than I assumed. You can only apply for one class, and it’s a lottery system to see who gets in. The racing is exactly what vintage racing is all about: Everybody is there for a good time and willing to help other riders out with whatever they need. On the track, the guys at the front mean business, and the further you get to the back, the more it’s all about having fun. There’s a finishing spot for everybody.
Pat Stott from @90smotocross built me an incredible 1996 Pro Circuit/Splitfire Kawasaki replica. It was a striking machine, and you could tell they poured their hearts into the build. The engine was mostly stock, so it was a bit on the slow side, but they are going to send the cylinder and head to Mitch and see if he can work his magic. Troy Lee also painted me a replica helmet from that year and, in my opinion, my bike/gear combo was straight fire.
Well, one thing I learned the day of the race was that the Super EVO class [1989 to 1996 machines] was open to any size of bike or age of rider. I was offered a 500 to race when I first talked to the promoter, but I told him I’d rather ride a 125 because, well, I didn’t want to have to hold onto a KX500 up wide-open hills, flapping off the back like the skull and crossbones on a pirate ship. But as I lined up on a gate full of 500s, I regretted my decision. A 1996 CR250 would have been nice. Still, I took my horrible starts and worked my way forward the best I could. I finished 4-5-20-4 in my four motos, and I believe you get to throw away your worst finish. So, fourth place is my guess, though I didn’t look at the overall results. [Ed. note: Ping placed eighth overall.]