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Vital MX Pit Bits: Paris Supercross

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Vital MX Pit Bits: Paris Supercross

Being the biggest of the off-season Supercross races, and the one with the most history, there's always a lot going on in Paris. Let's see what else was cooking last weekend.

Eric Sorby picked up GuyB and Steve Matthes from the airport. Good thing, navigating the maze of turns and underground tunnels would have been a major chore.

The U Arena is in a business district on the northwest side of Paris. The Grand Arch was across from the hotel, and is quite the interesting building.
After press day on Friday, there was a little time for sightseeing. The Metro is a great way to get around Paris.
Yep, the Eiffel Tower is always a popular destination.

Moto Verte's Xavier Audouard (right, with Josh Sheehan), has been a driving force behind all the editions of the race, and if you've got the time, it's amazing to sit and listen to stories of the races throughout the years...including how they used to struggle to attract riders in the early days. We love his story about how Johnny O helped him get David Bailey to come to the race early on. The switch to the new venue (and the potential for a pre-season race experience that's closer to what the riders will find in the U.S. should serve the race well in the future.

The new U Arena is quite spectacular, inside and out. It's much larger than either of the previous venues used for the Paris Supercross; Bercy Stadium, or the stadium in Lille. One end of the stadium had a huge projection screen, and the owners were familiar with Supercross, having attended the Bercy race in the past.
Given previous terror attacks in Paris and other parts of France, security was multi-layered and no joke. Vans like this were used in many areas as roadblocks, and security personnel were well-armed.
These portable roadblocks were also interesting. They look like they'd be pretty effective at stopping vehicles.

Here's a batch of the home team. From left to right, it's Thomas Ramette, Fabien Izoird, Florent Richier, and Cyrille Coulon.

Large fabric-covered bales make up the back of many of the corners, and they're topped with these air-filled blocks.
Around the course you'll also find some markers that are uses for logos only. We saw a few of these get caught by footpegs during the weekend, as riders got close to the edge, but they didn't seem to cause any problems.
There were longer air fence sections alongside the whoops and next to the mechanics area, and the riders were practically using them as berms in some cases.

Whoa...did you know Mercedes now has a pickup? The bed was for sure on the short side, but imagine cruising to the track in one of these.

The gate had the metal grate behind it, so the launch was solid for all the riders. What made this one tough was that the gate in front of it was actually angled up a bit, so some of the riders would let off a little to try and stay lower, then get back on it when they were hooked up in the dirt.

Marvin had the grate and gate figured out, and was getting solid starts all weekend.

The helmet that Marvin had for the weekend was a show-stopper. Filled with tons of little details and reminders of Paris and French culture.
Of course, the Eiffel Tower (in the colors of the French flag) was a highlight, as was the photo background inside the Airoh logo. This was one that he hand-carried on the plane ride home.
One interesting item on Musquin's bike was the DeCal Works sticker. It looks like KTM will have a new graphics supplier for next season.

Cole Seely was in good spirits after having off-season surgery to get a plate removed in his hand. He's looking forward to a good '18 season.

The bike Cole was on was his usual Team Honda HRC race bike, so he was well-familiar with it.

Whoops were one area where Cole was crushing it on the track.

RJ Hampshire never quite looked comfortable on his borrowed bike, and he was eighth overall for the weekend.

Dean Wilson was still on his '17 bike, rather than the '18 (which he'll ride starting this week). His bike was the same one he used for the MXoN, but with different suspension, clamps, and a few other bits.

When you've got a nice billet lever, but you think it's too slippery, what do you do? Daniel Castloo did a little bead blasting on it to make it better for Dean.

Whoa. Dean did have one rather spooky moment during his Superpole lap on Saturday, when he got a little loose exiting the corner before the take-off for the big freestyle jump. It wasn't pretty, but he did gather it up for a safe landing.

Given that he hadn't practiced on a 450 for Supercross, and doesn't spend a huge time on one, Zach Osborne had a good weekend.

This was the first time we'd spotted Zach in Oakleys.

Jeremy Martin was rocking a butt patch that included the Eiffel Tower for the weekend. The bike he rode for the weekend wasn't his, but had some goodies like a front brake, exhaust, and his suspension.

Jeremy Martin's 450 did benefit from some taller pegs.

Tyler Bowers and Bud Racing put together a late deal to get him to the race, but he had flight troubles on the way to Paris, and didn't get there until late. Riding for a team that he'd never worked with, on a bike that he'd never ridden, and after not riding a 250 for a year, he got better throughout the weekend, and put together a win on Sunday.

Tyler hadn't ridden against a lot of these guys, but given his previous Arenacross championships, in a couple cases riders must have thought they needed to ride aggressively against him. That's not always a good idea. Talking with him at the race, he wasn't in a hurry to initiate contact, but had little tolerance for it when other riders got pushy. At the same time, they were all riding in their own championship series, and Tyler was definitely a wildcard. We noticed Thomas Do, in particular, trying to communicate with Tyler that he didn't want to get tangled up with him.

Bud Racing's Brian Moreau was fast, but unlucky in Paris, with some big crashes.

Unfortunately we didn't get any intel on when or if the new Shark helmet that Jordi Tixier was wearing will be available here, but it looked pretty cool.

Jordi's KTM also had a rather unique look.

Oof. Yannis Irsuti seriously tested his front suspension when he came up short off of the dragonback, but he rode it out.
His results over the two nights also scored him the Prince of Bercy title.

Jacko Strong took the trophy for best trick, after pulling front flips each night. What made it more spectacular was that he was struggling with performance on his two-stroke, which wasn't exactly sounding the spiciest.

If you haven't caught him before, Edgar Torronteras has some serious beat box skills.

One more before we go...because Paris.

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