By Billy Rainford
26, 27, 28 and ☀️. That’s the extended forecast for Daytona next Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The biannual trip down the I-75 looms on my travel calendar. The odometer on the #DMXVan just rolled over 300,000 kilometres, but a fresh oil change tomorrow morning and she’ll be ready for another sortie.
I had to miss this past weekend’s Supercross in Arlington, Texas, but if I were to have to miss one round, the Triple Crown format is the one I’d miss. I’m not saying I’m against it, but it was a stretch that any of our guys were going to be able to qualify in the top 18 to move directly to the 3-Main night show.
After the top 18 went straight in, they took the next 22 riders (still had to qualify top 40 to move on) to the LCQ before the night show and the top 4 were in. Unfortunately, none of our 3 riders – Tanner Ward, Julien Benek, and Guillaume St Cyr – were able to log a lap time that would see them have that chance.
The experience these guys are getting is immeasurable. The week in, week out grind of just getting themselves to the races and then trying to find somewhere to practice and train throughout this 250 East season is something they’ll never forget. They’ll have stories to tell family and future generations of racers for the rest of their lives.
I know that none of them cares about that stuff right now, but they’ll come to appreciate that side of the experience as time and age grow on them. They’ll see.
Right now, all they care about is making it into these damn night shows and then mains, and I get that. You can’t see the forest for the trees when you’re in the middle. Am I using that right???
Here’a a look at how each of their qualifying went at AT&T Stadium on Saturday:
#484 Tanner Ward KAW
#500 Julien Benek KAW
#551 Guillaume St Cyr
Keep grinding, guys. The entire Canadian MX community is behind you through this. You’ve given us all something to cheer for and tune in for every Saturday night. All you can do is keep training and pushing yourselves.
I remember back in my triathlon years (which followed my motocross ones) when I had to go to the track to do running intervals. Man, I haven’t experienced anything, training-wise, that compares to a day of mile repeats on a 400-metre track on a hot summer day! BUT, the thing that got me through the next one was the realization that anyone who was going to beat me at the next race was out there somewhere doing this exact same thing. I knew I had to train even harder if I wanted to win.
It’s the same thing with our SX racers right now. They’ve got to do the on track and off track things that will see them making improvements and feeling more and more comfortable on race days.
It’s progression, just like in any activity. The first SX you do all you can think about is making it over the obstacles. Next, you want to figure out how to get through the sections faster and faster while still being comfortable. That right there is where the trouble is.
How are these top riders hitting rutted rhythm sections lap after lap at those speeds?! Next time you get the opportunity, head down and take a close look at some of the transitions these guys are landing blindly into. It’ll make your head spin. That’s one of the things I get to appreciate from down on the field at these races. TV just doesn’t do the roughness justice at some of them. Sure, I miss some of the racing because I can’t see the entire track from where I happen to be standing, but it’s the little nuances that I get to see that make that worth it.
The problem is that nobody wants to ride a practice SX track that is all beat up and sketchy. The main thing about racing on Saturdays is that you have to actually be healthy to race on Saturdays! Riding beat down practice tracks through the week may help you improve but first you have to not crash your brains out and get hurt. These crazy sections on the weekends are the first time some of these guys are seeing conditions like this…and trying to race on them! Moto is one thing, Supercross is a different beast altogether.
We often sit at home and complain that “Supercross tracks these days are just cookie-cutter every week.” I’m guilty of saying this, myself. I spoke to Tanner Ward about this exact thing in our podcast interview on Sunday as he was making his way back to Florida. Sure, they may look pretty similar in their layout, but they break down and change differently every week in the different soil. You always hear the riders talk about how the track was in the press conferences and it’s always different.
Here’s our conversation:
Speaking of podcasts, we posted a poll on our Twitter feed asking you to tell us how you’re getting your podcasts these days:
How are you listening to podcasts?— Direct Motocross (@directmx) February 28, 2022
I think we all fall into what’s comfortable and familiar, so we want to know how you are ingesting all your podcast content that’s out there. We’d hate to be missing the latest and greatest thing! Thanks.
Amsoil SnowBike Points
|1||Jesse Kirchmeyer||Arcade, NY||Polaris||375|
|2||Troy Horbaty||TYNDALL, MB||Other||348|
|3||Yanick Boucher||Hearst, ON||Other||322|
|4||Keaton Ward||Bozeman, MT||Yamaha||306|
|5||Canyon Ashley||Meridian, ID||Kawasaki||242|
|6||Bobby Pagel||Eau Claire, WI||Yamaha||210|
|7||Nathan Kingston||Caldwell, ID||Other||199|
|8||Nick Kraeger||Constableville, NY||Honda||180|
|9||Jorgen Dahl||Loretto, MN||Kawasaki||144|
|10||Jacqueline Riess||Eden Prairie, MN||Other||129|
|11||R.j Marnoch||Coldwater, ON||Kawasaki||112|
|12||Austin Radinzel||Houlton, WI||Yamaha||105|
|13||Kaila Lemmer||Prior Lake, MN||Other||94|
|14||Dillon Peebles||Rodman, AK||Honda||72|
|15||Janiece Brown||crandon, WI||Arctic Cat||67|
|16||Troy Weakley||Cold brook, AK||Other||53|
|17||William Van Hook Iii||Sidney, MT||Polaris||35|
MXGP of Britain – Round 1
Next round: MXGP of Lombardia (Italy) – Mantova March 6
From Jeffrey Herlings‘ Instagram page and Google Translate:
“Today I was able to buy my 58th new home from @hvgrealestate. I am a big fan of real estate and I personally think it is a very good investment. Thanks to my motocross career, I have been able to buy all the properties on my own without any help from third parties such as loans, financing or whatever. The road to 100 is on. 💯
I would like to thank @hvgrealestate and @hvgwoonpartners for the great cooperation we have. Without this party and their daily help, I would never have been in the real estate field, and in my life, where I am today. Thanks Har & Bart. ❤️”
Sounds like he’s taking the JSR real estate game to new levels! 58?! Yikes. But what about racing?
“We’re paying the price for a ‘nothing’ crash,” Herlings said. “I think I might have hit a small stone on the take-off and that put me over the bars. The impact was pretty big on my left foot and we needed to get it fixed the best we could. Big thanks to the medical staff for looking after me and getting my foot repaired, again! Also to the whole Red Bull KTM team: we’d worked hard for this 2022 season and the goal now is to be back and winning as soon as we can.”
“Of course, this is very disappointing for Jeffrey, the team and the championship,” said the team’s manager Joel Smets. “Trying to look at the positive side, the injury is not as complicated as his foot problem in 2019. The operation took some time, but everything went well and we hope Jeffrey can be out of a cast in less than two weeks and can even start some light training such as swimming and some other activities. Then we’ll have to see how he recovers to plan his GP return.”
It’s time to repack the DMX Van for her next trip. We’ll be heading straight south on the I-75 once again for a busy time in Daytona, Florida. It’ll be great to see Brendan and Alex in Palm Coast again! Here’s what the upcoming days will look like:
Tuesday/Wednesday: Drive south to Florida
Thursday: Pro Circuit Pro Open at Tampa MX
Friday: Media Day Daytona SX
Saturday: Daytona SX
Sunday: Hog Waller GNCC in Palatka
Monday: Ricky Carmichael Amateur SX
Tuesday/Wednesday: Head north towards SOBMX and then Club MX
Thursday: Drop Emily off at home in London, Ontario
Friday: Media Day Detroit SX
Saturday: Detroit SX
Sunday: Drive home or drop dead.
The series then heads west to Seattle.
Have a great week, everyone. I have to go change the oil in the van…AGAIN!