Welcome to Racerhead, coming to you from the shipping and receiving department at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. I’ve been given the all-important task of sorting the UPS, FedEx, U.S. Postal Service, and DHL packages for all of the people attending the upcoming 2018 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship. In fact, Rocky Mountain sponsors this little depot, which is really just a giant trailer that we fill with all of the packages that come here, whether they are from Rocky Mountain or not. And they are coming over in droves: UPS dropped 75 off today on the first run; FedEx, 45.
The packages vary in size and importance. Some are graphics, others full-on engines; some are motorhome parts, others medicine, and lots and lots of riding gear. But every package is important to someone, so we try to get it right. Fortunately, I’ve got some help from the kids, at least when they aren’t down in the creek (Vance) or using a golf cart as Ranch Uber (Sloane). There’s no AC in this trailer, but there is WiFi nearby, so it’s the perfect place to write Racerhead and keep an eye on all of this ranch life.
Unfortunately, everyone else on the editorial staff is either traveling to Washougal, out in Idaho, or here at the Ranch working, so there’s not a lot to get into today that wasn’t covered earlier in the week following an excellent event in Minnesota, as well as another KTM sweep in MXGP over in the Czech Republic, courtesy of the red-hot Jeffrey Herlings and the rising star Jorge Prado.
Out in Washington, they are rolling in for the Washougal National, one of the bigger races on the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross schedule. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac re-asserted control over the red plate with a double-moto triumph at Spring Creek, coming from behind in both motos to pass Honda’s Ken Roczen for the first moto win and then Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin the second time out. It was an impressive surge at the end of both motos by Eli, who was coming off a mostly bad day at RedBud, where he DNF’d the first moto, struggled in the second and then had to peel those red plates off his motorcycle as Marvin overtook him in the points. He obviously put that bad day behind him in a hurry and dug himself right back out of the unexpected hole he was in. Now it’s Washougal, a track he seems to really like.
In the 250 Class, Aaron Plessinger was in full charge as well. He followed his RedBud sweep with another one at Spring Creek, and he’s humming on all cylinders on that Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha. He’s having the kind of season Zach Osborne had last year. I really wish Zach and Jeremy Martin were still healthy and out there with AP23, but both are obviously out for the season. Plessinger is closing in on what would be a fourth AMA 250 Pro Motocross title in five years for Bobby Regan’s Yamaha team.
And speaking of Yamaha, they will have another rider at Washougal this weekend as Ryan Villopoto lines up for the 125 All Star race (this one produced by 125 Dream Race boss Joey Lancaster. The actual 125 Dream Race, a growing tradition in the Northwest, will run the last weekend of August). Like his former rival and fellow legend Ryan Dungey did last week in Minnesota at his hometown race, Villopoto is the grand marshal for Washougal and he’s been helping out with media. He will not only be racing, but will be signing autographs, joining in some TV commentary, and just enjoying the whole Washougal weekend as a spectator (for the most part) and not a professional racer.
When we spoke earlier this week I told him that I had some good news and some bad news. The good news was that he didn’t have to worry about racing Aiden Tijero, the kid who won the 125 All Star race at Hangtown. The bad news was that Mike Brown, former AMA 125 National Champion and forever-fast guy, was headed to Washougal with a Rockstar Husqvarna 125. RV laughed and said, “Great, you got rid of the 15-year-old, but now I’ve got to deal with a damn 50-year-old?!”
After Washougal, RV will be coming to Loretta Lynn’s for Yamaha, working with kids, doing a track walk, and just being a part of the whole week here at the Ranch. Malcolm Stewart is also coming and will be leading the first lap of every practice as a pace rider. New dad Mike Alessi is coming to check out the races and also do some TV work with RacerTV.com, which will be streaming the races every day beginning on Tuesday and continuing through Saturday. Even 1987 125 C Class Champion Jeremy McGrath is headed back to the Ranch to work with Kawasaki Team Green and also enjoy getting back to his roots.
Now that I think of it, with another blessed weekend off coming for Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, I imagine we will see more of the past and current pros coming back to the Ranch to check it all out. They will see the 1,500 amateur finalists, down from an initial qualifying field of about 20,000, as they compete for this year’s national championship. They will see kids trying to follow in their footsteps, and older riders who are at a much different point in their careers. They will ride three long motos—some in the heat, some in the cooler hours, some likely in the rain, and all of them downright rough. Practice is Monday, races begin Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. sharp, not long after everyone is woken up by Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” I can’t wait to get this all started again…
Okay, sorry to cut this short, but a third FedEx shipment just came and needs logged in, and then me and my son Vance are headed out to the track to put all of the stakes in (with some help from the Yentzer family). The place is literally filling up with riders and their families, all enjoying the calm before the storm.
Stay tuned all next week for news and updates and results from the best motocross vacation in the world, the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch.
I just mentioned Mike Bown above. Not only is he racing this weekend, he’s also preparing a big Motocross Vacations package for RedBud this fall. The MX Brown Academy is hosting a riding school in Tennessee, as well as a travel package to the MXoN in Michigan. The trip begins in Tennessee with four days of riding at different tracks: I-81 MX, Hidden Acres MX, WMMX in Sweetwater, Tennessee, GT-R MX in Gaston, South Carolina, and 421 MX in Yadkinville, North Carolina. This includes private riding lessons from Brown, former AMA 125 National Motocross Champion, four-time X Games gold medalist, and WORCS Off-Road Champion. He will have 2018 or 2019 Husqvarna FC 250/350/450 bikes for rent (minibikes will be available upon request with 30-day notice).
For the sake of convenience, there is FXR Riding Gear Rental: helmet, boots, jersey, pants, along with Oakley goggles. After the ride, everyone gets a round-trip van shuttle to RedBud and back included in the price, plus hotel accommodations (two guests per room, in a Hilton, Mariott, or similar). There is an option to fly to South Bend, Indiana, from the option to fly from Tri-Cities Airport (TRI) for the MXoN, but airfare not included. Guests will get weekend passes to the Motocross of Nations, Add it all up and the MX Brown Academy’s MXoN package is $3,150 per rider, $900 for non-riders. Fuel, gate fees, and mechanic included in price. Limited spots available, so check out www.MXBrownAcademy.com for all of the details.
Half a Dozen (Andras Hegyi)
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac lost no time in correcting himself. By winning the eighth round of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross at Spring Creek, he was able to win there for the first time since 2014, allowing him to take back the overall points lead. This was his sixth victory in this series, and it’s his 15th victory in the 450 nationals, the same number of wins as Jeremy McGrath back in the day and Ken Roczen right now. Eli is the seventh Kawasaki racer to get at least six wins in a season in the history of the 250/450 Nationals.
|James Stewart||12 (2008)||Champion|
|Ricky Carmichael||9 (2000), 7 (2001)||Champion in both seasons|
|Ryan Villopoto||8 (2013)||Champion|
|Mike LaRocco||7 (1994)||Champion|
|Jeff Emig||7 (1997)||Champion|
|Mike Kiedrowski||6 (1993)||Champion|
|Eli Tomac||6 (2018)||TBD|
Spanish Leader (Andras Hegyi)
This 2018 factory KTM rider Jorge Prado has changed a lot. He has become more competitive on the hard pack tracks, and he also seems to be able to take the heat better, too. Prado’s changes could be seen mostly since the start of the summertime. In June and July there were six rounds held, and Prado finished on the podium in every round, winning four GPs along the way. Last Sunday, the 17-year-old Prado was victorious at the Grand Prix of Czech Republic.
After chasing his teammate Pauls Jonass, the 2017 MX2 World Champion, for months, Jorge finally overtook him. For the first time in his career, Prado now has the red plate. He is the first Spanish racer who has ever become points leader in MX2. In the history of Spanish motocross, Prado has become only the second rider to lead the overall in the FIM Motocross World Championship in any category. Before Prado, the other Spanish leader was Carlos Campano, who led and then won the MX3 title in 2010.
And by getting his seventh GP win this year, Prado is the 59th racer to have at least ten GP wins, while in the MX2, which has been in existence since 2004; Prado is the eighth racer to have at least ten GP wins. So far there have been 43 racers in all to win in the MX2. (This does not include the old 125 class results.)
|Rider||GP Wins in MX2|
Hall of Fame (DC)
The original winners of the first AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn's.
Our Simon Cudby and Aaron Hansel headed out to the Fly Racing 2019 gear intro in Boise, Idaho this week. After and introduction to the new gear on Wednesday evening, Thursday was a day full of action, with a morning moto at the OMC track followed by an afternoon MTB or off-road moto trail ride. Let's just say by day's end, both our guys were pretty tired! The new gear is embargoed until tomorrow to coincide with the Fly-sponsored riders wearing the new kit at Washougal. Look for a photo gallery from the launch first thing on Saturday morning.
FLYintro-July18-Cudby-011 Simon Cudby FLYintro-July18-Cudby-008 Simon Cudby FLYintro-July18-Cudby-004 Simon Cudby FLYintro-July18-Cudby-009 Simon Cudby
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Are you headed to the Washougal National this weekend? Make sure you stop by the Racer X booth, located in Sponsor Village, and subscribe for as low as $10 and receive ALL 12 Official 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Racer X event stickers. You will also receive a complimentary magazine and free Racer X stickers. Be sure to check out our Racer X Brand items on display and grab some gear. See you at the races!
Sic Wicks are bringing two new moto-inspired candles to Loretta Lynn's, so be on the lookout for the 2018 race candle and the Bad Billy Fosnock candle, an ode to our mutual friend and playground legend who came out of east St. Louis and won the 250 A class in 1989!
That's it for this week. Thanks for reading Racerhead—see you at the races.