Whirlwind of a new year

POSTED ON February 2nd  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

Wow…things sure were crazy towards the end of the year. Brisbane SX or ‘Bris-Vegas’ as the Aussies’ called it was insane. We worked crazy hours building the biggest supercross track of the series, and as many said maybe the biggest SX ever built in Australia. The whole week was awesome!! Even though we worked more hours in a few days than most people work in a whole week – the end result was worth it. The crowd was the largest the series has ever seen, . The field was deep with great riders as it was, but throwing Josh Grant and Davi Millsaps in the mix made the race even more exciting. It was great to sit back and watch it all unfold, and also a big relief to know the series was now complete.

I had an awesome time over in Australia once again. Being put in charge of designing and building the entire series was a great experience and privilege. I look forward to working with the GAS and SuperX crew once again for the 2010 series!
Upon returning to the states, I was in need for some serious resting!! But first, I had to take care of my riders!! First stop, Haines City Florida to James Stewarts’. Then down to Manatee County to check in on the new Forest Glen Motoplex that I built just before leaving for Australia. After checking in on a few others, I was able to have some down time! I spent some quality time with my wife and kids, and got everything ready for Christmas!!
Things were in full swing once again at the start of the year. We teamed up with Butler Brothers MX once again, and built them a sweet test track in Brooksville, Fl. The weather was cold, and a little rainy, but the track turned out awesome!
After that it was out to California to do some design work for an upcoming event….and of course Anaheim 1! Got going with some great designs, and watched some awesome racing.
Once I made it back to Florida it was off to Nico Izzi’s to get his Supercross track ready. This time I decided to pack up the motorhome and bring the family – fun times!! We arrived at Nico’s training facility at night, but could tell everything was definitely a little wet. When we woke up in the morning, I could see how wet it was. Wet but not horrible. The pad the Supercross track was on was high enough to be away from any large amounts of standing water, and the drainage of the track held up great, so there wasn’t much water on the track. So, I got to work. Just a few hours into it, I (and all the other riders at the facility) started to notice the water along the motocross track rising. For those of you who do not know, Nico’s facility is along a river, and part of it sits in the flood plain. So that said, we noticed the water coming up even quicker!! The county had opened the flood gates and the water was coming in fast. Needless to say, the construction on the SX track stopped, and we all sat back to see how high it would get. When it was done rising, all of the motocross track (except about 12 inches of the biggest double) was covered with water. It came all the way up to the supercross track, but luckily the dam I built along the front of the supercross pad kept the water from getting into the track. We decided to call it quits and start again once the weather turned better and the water went down. I made it back up the next week, and Nico now has a supercross track to train on! Can’t wait for East Coast to start – he is on it!!
This past week and weekend was a crazy one too! A great family that I built a track for in North Carolina, the Lindsey’s came down to Florida to race the Winter Am at Forest Glen. We took the RV down to the track, and had a great time watching the races. This was the first big race at The Glen, and they did a great job. I sat back all weekend, didn’t touch the track once – their track crew did a good job!! I even saw some friends from Australia while I was there…small world!
Construction on Matt Boni’s new supercross track was supposed to start on Monday, but it rained all day Monday, and today, so hopefully we will start tomorrow. I can’t wait to get going on this SX track. Boni has been a friend of mine since he was on 60’s – he trained with my brother-in-law Ronnie Tichenor, and it is great to see him advancing in the sport. His track is definitely going to be a DREAM TRAXX!
Until next time……

Parramatta SX

POSTED ON November 17th  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

I was really excited coming back to Sydney, especially after the success of last year, and to help lift my spirits further, my family (who I had not seen since September 29th) arrived here the Tuesday before the race. My wife, 2 year old little girl, and 1 year old little boy didn’t let me too far out of their sights once we were ‘re-united’.

We had the same dirt that we had from last year, so it was nice to know that we would be working with good dirt. After last week’s dirt shortage, which sacrificed overall lap time, the guys at Global Action Sports kicked some extra cash into the budget which allowed us to add a little extra to the track that I had designed. This was awesome because we achieved a 40 second lap time, which is really good for a 4 lane supercross track. The riders liked the track, and there were several areas where you could make up ground and make some great passes. Having the largest crowd of the series also added to the excitement.
In the Lites class, Matt Moss came in with hopes of wrapping up the title, and as usual was fast from the get-go. He even came within tenths of a second of Chad’s lap times after qualifying was done. It was clear though that everyone else was stepping up there game in hopes to carry the title chase through to Brisbane. In the four race quad challenge, each moto had a different winner, and it was a couple last lap passes in the final race that helped Moss to secure his championship. Lawson Bopping won his first moto of the season, and was there for the challenge all night. Kyle Cunningham was again fast, but it is the little mistakes that keep costing him. It should be interesting this week to see Moss on a 450 in New Zealand.
In the Open class, the survival format would provide the Parramatta fans with some of the most exciting races of the season. I am not typically for short races, but being that they were back to back, the endurance and mental concentration of each rider is definitely put to the test. To add to the challenge, the riders had to push their bikes back to the gates from just past the finish line jump. This was fun for the fans to watch! Consistency would definitely pay off. It was good to see that Chad is finally working the ‘bugs’ out of his new ride. He even pulled a few holeshots, which has been rare for him at this years series. His fitness definitely looks good, and his added confidence from bike setup allowed him to jump through a 152 foot rhythm section in 2 jumps! The surprise of the night came from the King himself, Jeremy McGrath. Jeremy, who has been retired for a few years now, rode a strategic series of races – knowing when and where to push himself. His strategy paid off and landed him on the second step of the podium. Jeremy is still, and always will be one of my favorite riders and it is hard to not pull for him. He is still a great ambassador for this sport. I was happy to see Jay Marmont back up his win from last week with a 3rd place spot this week!
We have now headed to New Zealand, which is a place I nor the series have ever been to. The Lites guys will be staying home or riding a 450, which gives opportunity for the New Zealand Lites riders to showcase their talents. This week should be fun!
Hope you enjoy this weeks photos as well. The action photos were shot by a friend from ‘down under’, Paul Robbins. You can check more of his work at http://www.mondephoto.com.au. You can tell he definitely puts as much in to line of work as I do mine! Thanks Paul!

Canberra SuperX

POSTED ON November 12th  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

I am happy that Canberra is done & gone….it was a tough week! We had to deal with some Union construction issues, which was a whole lot of not fun – it kept us on pins and needs to make sure all of our work stayed within the guidelines. The dirt came in light and dry, which was tough and dusty to work with. We also ended up not getting enough to build the designed track, however we made the best of it and the track turned out the best it could be. The lap times were a little bit faster than hoped due to the necessary changes with the lack of dirt. Overall, the crowd was really into the race, and the track looked good when it was all said and done.

Now to the racing side of things….in the Lites – Matt Moss who has easily become the class favorite, came once again with his guns loaded. But Kyle Cunningham came with as strong of a performance as he has had all season. He even took moto 2 of the triple challenge. Ryan Marmont was back in form and came within a couple of seconds of passing Moss in moto 1. This class is really heating up, and it will be interesting to see if anyone steps up to take the overall from Moss. In the Open class, all of the 450 guys looked to give the fans what they paid for with the top 3 riders; Reed, Reardon, and Byrne, all within a second of each other after qualifying. Adding McGrath to the mix would only see to spice things up that much more. But brewing in the mist was one of the most awe-inspiring, inspirational rides that I have witnessed. Jay Marmont, who lost his 7 month old daughter to days prior to the race, rode with an angel on his shoulder, and stood on top of the box at the end of the night. Jay took all three holeshots, and led Chad the first half of both moto 1 and moto 2. Chad’s first turn mishap in moto 3 would be the opening Jay needed to take the overall. But in true display of sportsmanship and compassion for his friend and fellow rider, Chad was one of the first there to congratulate Jay and was as happy for him as anyone else. My heart goes out to the Marmont family and Jay is a true Hero in my book!

Round 3 – Perth SX

POSTED ON November 1st  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

Well, this week started with a lucky break for us – we were able to build right on the floors of the stadium and did not have to lay boards. The stadium was super nice and definitely unique. It is the type of stadium that does not have trusses in the roof, instead has an air suspended ceiling. Our biggest feat this week was hauling the dirt in. Because of the air suspended ceiling – it was difficult to haul the trucks in and out through the air locks. We ended up working a 24-hour shift Tuesday to get all of the dirt in and start the build. It turned out being the best dirt we have had all series. With the race being indoors, the dirt held in a lot of the moisture and the riders loved it!

On to the racing….In the Lites Class – Moss was on fire all day! Cunningham came ready to race too, running a faster heat race than moss. But, in the end a small mistake in the whoops by Cunningham on the first lap gave Moss the easy win. Kyle put on a great performance battling his way back up to 3rd. Lawson Bopping also had a great race earning the 2nd place spot and his first podium of the season!
In the 450 Class, Reardon, Byrne, and Reed went 3 for 3 in the Round Robin heat races. Reardon was putting on a ‘holeshot school’ earning all four for the night, which helped lead to his overall win. With Reeds mid-pack start in such a short race format he had to battle his way back up to 2nd. It looked as if Byrne was going to get the last spot on the box, but a last lap crash in the whoops knocked him out of that spot, giving it to Marmont!
Overall, the track, racing, and city of Perth was awesome. It was a great week and now we are off to Canberra