Tuesday, January 29

Cycles Real News

I've mentioned this before: In motocross, no rider ever, ever, ever speaks bad about his equipment, because A) he would get killed by his sponsors and B) even if he managed to get the words out in public, he would be called a whiner. But in road racing, which at the MotoGP level is much, much more popular than motocross, where teams have much, much, much more money and time invested, it's okay to say what you want. Last year Valentino Rossi went crazy on Michelin to anyone that would listen. I was shocked at first, but the more I dove into the road race media scene, the more insider info I found. Cycle News printed a whole bunch about exactly why Nicky Hayden's Honda sucked--it was slow, it wasn't designed for a rider his size, etc. How did anyone with a tape recorder ever get someone at Honda to admit their bike had a slow top speed?

Cycle News is a great source for this stuff. On the road racing side, they print drama, intrigue and inside gossip like you wouldn't believe if you're raised on motocross. Can you even imagine a whole column saying "Motocross Racer ____ told us his bike has terrible brakes? Or Motocross Racer ____ told us the team needs to do some more work to get more power--his bike is slow." That ain't gonna' happen!

But Cycle News is trying. The first few issues this year had some pretty deep stuff on supercross and motocross, including how teams are not happy about the possibility of international races on the SX schedule, and Ray Blank from American Honda says he's having a hard time believing in the AMA's whole "races are up for bid" process. This week, NPG honcho John Ayers spoke his side on how the National Promoters Group (NPG) is hoping that they get a chance to prove just how effective an organization they can be this summer, providing they win the AMA bid and get the right to promote the AMA/Toyota Motocross Championships. I don't get too much of the inside information here, because with knowledge comes responsiblity, and I'm not very responsible. But I can tell you that what Ayers said is true. The NPG is under the AMA at the Nationals. Yes, they own the tracks, but most every move is dictated by what the AMA told them. I've been here since 2001, and I've seen the bosses here in my office spend many stressful nights knowing the the races are in the hands of the AMA--sometimes that's good, and sometimes it's bad. This latest up for bid deal is just another in a long line. For the most part it usually works out in the end. I know the people behind the NPG are capable of much more, and I know this because other things that run through this office (GNCC and Loretta's) run very, very smoothly, and with unquestioned success. I think a lot of the industry gets that, too.

I would like to think that all of these big deals are just growing pains for the sport. Whatever does happen, these are exciting times. AMA bids are coming in soon, no one really knows what the AMA wants or what they may decide--it's like the season-ending cliffhanger. And that goes not just for motocross, but for superbike, dirt track and the rest. All of these series may look way different soon, and hopefully way better. Will it have a major impact on the racing on the track? Probably not. But people still like reading about this stuff anyway, because we're all just big fans of the sport, and we all want things to get bigger and better for everyone involved--and bigger and better requires changes. For example, I guarantee you no matter who gets to promote the Nationals in the future, there will be high-speed internet access at the track. That's good for everyone...unless you make Michelin tires for Valentino Rossi. Then you just wish everyone would shut up.


rocky said...

I'm surprised you didn't mention Reed openly complaining in his post heat race interview that his rear brakes usually suck in the mud because they have a bad habit of getting crapped packed in them. It actually leads me to a question I've wondered about for a while: Why don't factory bikes run rear disc protectors on their brakes (which come standard on stock bikes) but always run a front disc cover (that doesn't come stock on some machines). Factory bikes are far from stock, but wouldn't they want to protect both brake discs as much as possible?

As far as the MotoGP stuff goes, when Michelin riders win the majority of races for years and years and then suddendly Bridgestone riders are filling out almost the entire top 10 at any given race, you knew something was up and that the Michelin riders weren't happy.

I'm hopeful for the Nationals. The newly tightened up schedule is a good sign.

Jason Weigandt said...

Yeah well Reed fits that #2) as soon as you say stuff, people claim you're making excuses and whining. I was pumped to hear him blowing up his people over the mic, talking about how they can't get those brakes fixed. I thought it was funny and something that should happen more often.

As for the brakes, that's an awesome question. I'll have Holley look into that next weekend. Then we'll talk about something new. When we're on the Internet. Not TV.

beaupre716 said...

I hope Cycle News keeps up its lines of questioning on this and other inside issues. We could use more hard-line reporting in motocross.

Mom! Toilets blogged! said...

Not far away

Remember Ray Bradburys Fahrenheit 451 where they burned the books?

We are heading that way. We are not burning books, yet, but we are receiving pressure NOT to print articles that are not politically correct.

Cycle News is bucking the system by printing Michelin woes. But in reaction they risk Michelin not advertising with them.

Censorship by advertiser.


Jason Weigandt said...

Yes Mom! The Toilet's Blogged, be PC. Be sure to never criticize anything I write on here. Ever.Or I will pull my ... good will.

Trail Rider rules.

Englishman in S.D said...

It was interesting last year when Coppins brakes totally took a crap on his Yamaha.
There was talk that they had stones getting stuck in somewhere or something , which sounds like a load of bollocks , but even if it were true Rinaldi couldn't hit those little keys fast enough to type an e-mail stating that it wasn't the bike.
That's just the trouble though , if they just stand there and verbally vomit their list of sponsors on the podium like little automatoms people think they are as boring as crap - which they are .If you actually say something slightly negative everyone thinks you're a whiner.
Even Jason Lawrence wanted us all to know his bike worked great at A-2, it just always takes 15 minutes to start when it gets a little hot.
Bloody hell Lawrence , don't go white bread on us, not you , not now!!
Lets right this wrong. NOW ! I had a 1990 KX 250 which was a pile of shit , frame broke , wheels, broke , cylinders failed , brakes sucked , seat lasted 3 rides, plastic broke just by looking at it.
THAT KAWASAKI WAS A PILE OF SHIT !! Ah , there we go . O.K who's next ??

jeff said...

Reed, RC, JS could say what they want about their team cause they WIN!! and will continue to win, RC excluded. I dont think that the factories recoup ALL the money they pay those three through bike sales but..........thats another topic altogether.

With the budgets tremendously smaller in moto/superX and support difficult to get/keep; mouths are a lot tighter in those series compared to the big budgets and loose lips in motoGP.

I love it when Reed tells it straight up, something not from off the cue cards. Windham has been doing it lately also. Its refreshing to hear something besides "the B'stones hooked up great today"

Just my .02!!!

As for this GNCC'er, i buy my bikes on color and price alone mate. My gear purchasers are decided by who is supporting the series i run (GNCC, NCHSA) not what gear Reed,Jarret, Knight, or Wattsy are wearing.
OK maybe Wattsy!!!!!!!!!

What was this post about again!!