A WERA B Production race gets underway at Indianapolis Raceway Park in the mid-1980s, probably 1985. The front row consists of the Yamaha FZ750s of Brian Berney (56), Robby Braunscheidel (665), Bart Peterson (3) and Charlie Buse (741) on a Yamaha FJ600. Also in the photo are Michael Shilts (21), Kevin Fardoux (42) and Mike Snyder (31). If anyone can ID other riders in the photo please leave a message in the comment section below. IRP, being a centrally located track, used to attract huge fields of riders. Even by this time the track’s 2.5-mile road course was starting to show its age. IRP (now called O’Reilly Raceway Park) always made its money through drag racing and oval track racing so the road course was low on the priority list. Many riders considered IRP’s sweeping turns one through four as the perhaps the best combination of turns of any road course. The track is no longer used for motorcycle road racing.
Archive for May, 2010
Team Racerback Kawasaki rider BB Montemayor sees an opening and takes it, grabbing the inside line and pushing the rider on the No. 831 bike off the ideal racing line. This was during the Grattan Six Hour WERA National Endurance race. Team Racerback was one fo the leading WERA endurance teams of the mid-1980s and Montemayor another of the seemingly endless stream of ultra-fast riders out of the CMRA club in Texas.
Kenny Coolbeth (center) holds up the trophy for winning the AMA Grand National at Monticello Raceway on Sept. 7, 2008. Coolbeth, riding his No. 1 factory Harley-Davidson, made a late-race surge and took over the lead from Moroney’s/Screamin’ Eagle’s Bryan Smith on lap 18 of the 25-lap final. At the flag Coolbeth took the checkered flag 2.054-seconds ahead of Smith. Nick Cummings was third on his Honda Pro Oils/TCR Harley.
The big story was that Coolbeth’s main rival Joe Kopp, inexplicably failed to qualify for Monticello. It was the first time all season that Kopp missed making a main at a Grand National. It was such an unexpected development that the AMA wasn’t even prepared for the scenario and didn’t have the ceremonial No. 1 plate to present to Coolbeth on the podium.
“I don’t care about that,” Coolbeth said of not getting to hold up the No. 1 for the third straight year. “All I care is that we won the championship. It was my goal when we started this whole thing at Daytona in March and it feels great to be able to wrap it up early.”
Coolbeth was only the sixth rider in AMA Grand National history to win three straight titles. He joined legendary three-straight champs Carroll Resweber, Jay Springsteen, Bubba Shobert, Scott Parker and Chris Carr.
Coolbeth finally hoisted the No. 1 plate at Indianapolis a week later.
A couple of days old, but this is big. The Associated Press did this story on AMA Supercross Champ Ryan Dungey. The story ran nationally and was picked up by newspapers and other news outlets across the country. I saw the story in several major papers including the San Francisco Chronicle and the Washington Post just to name a couple of the larger outlets.
Supercross media man Denny Hartwig tells me that MX Sports media coordinator Brandon Short is the person responsible for setting up the AP piece. These are the kinds of things our sport needs more of and I send out congratulations to Brandon for his excellent work. Brandon’s email, if you like to send him an attaboy, is firstname.lastname@example.org. Brandon’s commentary can also be read at Speed TV’s excellent site at this link.
For years the AMA National was held in Laconia, N.H. and the Belknap Recreation Area. In 1965 Bryar Motorsports Park was built and the annual New England Motorcycle Rally and AMA national road races were moved to the new location, in spite of the fact that the track was still under construction.
The 250 Grand Prix (then called Combined Expert/Amateur 250cc Road Race) was the first national-level race held on the track and this is the start of that race.
Gary Nixon is getting the holeshot on his No. 9 machine, but he was out early. Jody Nicholas (58) then led on his Bultaco. Nicholas looked like he was one the way to winning, when in the middle of the 57-lap race, the skies opened up and Nicholas slid out in a rain-soaked turn. That put Tony Murphy in the lead on the No. 3 factory Yamaha.
Murphy went on to win the race over Dick Mann (2) and Donald Twigg. So Murphy had the honor of winning the first national at Loudon.
Other riders in the photo include Jess Thomas (28), Mert Lawwill (18), Anson Holly (56), John Graham (84) and Ted Davis (90).
Reed Starts 2010 Title Defense with Win at Hangtown Classic
Eli Tomac Captures 250 Class Victory in Professional Debut
RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. (May 22, 2010) – The 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship kicked-off on Saturday with the 42nd Annual Rockstar Energy Hangtown Classic. Regning 450 Class Champion Chad Reed, of Australia, began his title defense with the overall victory in the premier class while GEICO Powersports Honda’s Eli Tomac, of Cortez, Colo., grabbed the 250 Class win in his professional debut.
Reed put himself in position to win on Saturday by taking the win in the day’s first moto. In moto two, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider needed to work his way through the field after finding himself deep inside the top 10 after the holeshot. As the final minutes approached, he worked his way into winning position, passing GEICO Powersports Honda’s Brett Metcalfe, of Australia, for third, where he remained until the conclusion of the second moto.
“It was a good time (today),” said Reed. “Supercross didn’t go the way we wanted it to. With everything that’s happened in my life the last two weeks, I think I’ve spent two days on a bike. So to win so easily in the first moto and get the finish I needed in the second feels great.”
Jagermeister KTM’s Mike Alessi, of Victorville, Calif., took the runner-up spot (4-1), winning the second moto and giving the brand new KTM 350cc motorcycle its first moto win in its debut. Honda Red Bull Racing’s Davi Millsaps, of Murrieta, Calif., grabbed the final podium spot in third, (3-2).
The deeply talented 250 Class’ opener was as competitive as expected. A heated battle in moto one presented an opportunity for Tomac to sweep the day’s motos, but the rookie fell while leading and finished third. In moto two, a strong start and early attack on the lead put him up front from which he consistently extended his advantage over the field. With the inaugural victory, Tomac became the first rider in the history of the sport to win in his professional debut in either the motocross or supercross disciplines.
“I definitely didn’t expect this, it doesn’t seem real,” exclaimed Tomac. “I felt like I had the speed to get a top five. In moto one, I just pulled the good old rookie mistake. I got tired and just washed out my front end. In moto two, I just followed Trey (Canard) and tried to keep close to him and then made the pass.”
Tying Tomac in overall event points was Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel, of France, who won the day’s opening moto (1-3). However, by virtue of a tiebreaker, Tomac’s better final moto result relegated Pourcel to second. GEICO Powersports Honda’s Trey Canard, of Shawnee, Okla., rounded out the overall podium in third (7-2).
In addition to the season premier of both men’s classes, the MotorcylceUSA.com Women’s Motocross Championship began its 2010 championship. Five-time champion Jessica Patterson, of Tallahassee, Fla., dominated both of the day’s motos, sweeping en route to the overall win. Honda Red Bull Racing’s Ashley Fiolek, of St. Augustine, Fla., finished second (3-2) while Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda’s Tarah Gieger, of Winter Garden, Fla., captured third (2-6).
The Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship continues in two weeks, with round two from Freestone Raceway in Wortham, Texas and the Flagstar Bank Freestone National on Saturday, June, 5.
Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship
42nd Rockstar Energy Hangtown Classic
Prairie City SVRA – Rancho Cordova, Calif.
May 22, 2010
Round 1 of 12
450 Class (Moto Finish)
Chad Reed, Australia, Kawasaki (1-3)
Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., KTM (4-1)
Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda (3-2)
Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Honda (5-4)
Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha (2-10)
Ben Townley, New Zealand, Honda (6-7)
Ryan Sipes, Flaherty, Ky., Yamaha (7-8)
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki (10-6)
Ken DeDycker, Belgium, Yamaha (8-11)
Andrew Short, Smithville, Tex., Honda (15-5)
450 Class Championship Standings
Chad Reed, Australia, Kawasaki, 45
Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., KTM, 43
Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 42
Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Honda, 34
Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha, 33
Ben Townley, New Zealand, Honda, 29
Ryan Sipes, Flaherty, Ky., Yamaha, 27
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 26
Ken DeDycker, Belgium, Yamaha, 23
Andrew Short, Smithville, Tex., Honda, 22
250 Class (Moto Finish)
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda (3-1)
Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki (1-3)
Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda (7-2)
Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki (4-8)
Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda (5-7)
Dean Wilson, Canada, Kawasaki (10-4)
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha (11-5)
Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda (13-6)
Tommy Searle, England, KTM (2-31)
Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki (8-16)
250 Class Championship Standings
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 45
Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki, 45
Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 36
Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki, 31
Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda, 30
Dean Wilson, Canada, Kawasaki, 29
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha, 26
Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda, 23
Tommy Searle, England, KTM, 22
Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki, 18
WMX Class (Moto Finish)
Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha (1-1)
Ashley Fiolek, St. Augustine, Fla., Honda (3-2)
Tarah Gieger, Winter Gardens, Fla., Honda (2-6)
Mariana Balbi, Brazil, Yamaha (9-3)
Alexah Pearson, Rocklin, Calif., Yamaha (5-5)
Elizabeth Bash, Riverside, Calif., Honda (8-4)
Vicki Golden, El Cajon, Calif., Yamaha (4-10)
Sayaka Kaneshiro, Torrance, Calif., Suzuki (7-9)
Tatum Sik, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (10-7)
Jacqueline Strong, Sedona, Ariz., Yamaha (14-8)
WMX Class Standings
Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha, 50
Ashley Fiolek, St. Augustine, Fla., Honda, 42
Tarah Gieger, Winter Gardens, Fla., Honda, 37
Mariana Balbi, Brazil, Yamaha, 32
Alexah Pearson, Rocklin, Calif., Yamaha, 32
Elizabeth Bash, Riverside, Calif., Honda, 31
Vicki Golden, El Cajon, Calif., Yamaha, 29
Sayaka Kaneshiro, Torrance, Calif., Suzuki, 26
Tatum Sik, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha, 25
Jacqueline Strong, Sedona, Ariz., Yamaha, 20
For tickets and fan and racing information on the 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, log on to www.allisports.com.
For more information about the 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, please contact media coordinator Brandon Short via email at email@example.com or by telephone at (949) 365-5750.
Ryan Elleby on the Pegram Racing Honda at Mid-Ohio in August of 2006. I believe this is Elleby’s Formula Xtreme bike. He raced both Xtreme and Supersport that season. Elleby scored two top-10 Formula Xtreme result that year at Barber Motorsports Park and Laguna Seca and finished 14th in the final standings.
Doug Polen, riding the Kosar Racing Suzuki at the Mid-Ohio Superbike race in 1987, leads the factory Honda of Bubba Shobert, while Doug Chandler can just be seen coming up behind Shobert. Both Shobert and Chandler eventually got around Polen as the trio had a hard-fought battle for fourth. Shobert finished third in the series that season with Polen fourth and Chandler fifth.
In just a little over a week Jack Penton will be on the job as AMA Director of Operations. To me this is the best move the AMA has made in a long time. I watched Jack in action in his work with Motorcycle Hall of Fame and in helping to coordinate the perfectly conceived and wonderfully executed Penton Motorcycles 40th Anniversary Reunion.
Jack is first and foremost a hard worker. He doesn’t mind doing the tedious heavy lifting of report writing, coming up with concepts, following through, managing and delegating when need be. The man seems inexhaustible in the times I’ve seen him work.
Nearly as important is the fact is Jack Penton is from one of the best-known families in all of motorcycling. He’s known and highly respected within the industry here and abroad. He’s well spoken, diplomatic and knowledgeable. He’s worked in many areas of motorcycling from riding, designing, R&D, running race teams, working for manufacturers, you name it and if it pertains to motorcycling you can bet Jack has done it.
He cares deeply about motorcycling and the legacy of the AMA.
Hopefully Jack will actually be given real decision-making power and not simply be a figurehead for the AMA. If the AMA board and the CEO are smart they will listen to Penton and allow him, if needed, to have his say against current approaches of doing business he may see as counterproductive.
With membership in freefall, a general lack of respect in the industry for current association leadership, the AMA could really use someone like Penton who, I believe, will come up with ideas to stop the bleeding. He just needs to be given the chance to implement those ideas.
I will watch closely how Penton’s hiring plays out and report back to you.
At least there’s good news coming out of Pickerington and that’s something that been in short supply of late.