Monday, June 9

Texas 2

Is everything really bigger in Texas? Well, this race was the biggest physical test I’ve seen for the riders in a long time. We all know motocross is physically demanding, but you don’t always see it. The tiredness was on full display this time, though. You could see the posture, you could see the speeds, you could tell these guys were SPENT. It made for an unpredictable day. The heat was so unrelenting that it drowned a cross section of the field. Some riders known for being tough faded, just like some known for fading, faded. You couldn’t count on anyone, really, because the jaws of 103 degrees were ready to snatch anyone at any time.

Brett Metcalfe was the worst. With about a lap and a half to go in the second Lites moto he just started losing time and positions, and barely made it to the finish. He completely collapsed over the bike as soon as he crossed the finish in 9th place. What's really amazing is that Brett, who must have been in a trance during that last lap, still managed to double over two whoops on his way to the finish line. Pure instincts, there.

Also, Doc Bodnar told me that privateer Kevin Rookstool had some major heat issues, too. They had a lot of IV requests over at the Asterisk truck this weekend, some from racers who needed it to recover, and some who just figured it would help their recovery during the week. AMA rules don't allow riders to take IVs during the day and then come back and race a moto, but when the racing is done, everyone wants one.

The race really illustrates how competitive the Lites field is. Riders were dropping like flies in that second moto, but it was even hotter for the next 450 moto, and the attrition rate wasn't the same. Are the 450 riders in better shape? No. I just don't think they have to push as hard. In the Lites class, everyone on the track is just hanging on the cable and going balls out the whole way. You just can't do that when it gets to 103. It seemed like the 450 guys, veterans and privateers instead of factory supported 18 year olds, knew when to charge and when to chill out. Only at the very front did you see the same level of fatigue, because Short and Millsaps and Alessi and guys like that are pushing really, really hard.

James Stewart had zero issues with the heat. He's in really good shape right now, and he probably never gets to all-out speed anyway. Tim Ferry simply never gets tired. Those were known traits. But the rest of the field was unpredictable. Josh Summey, that was the tale of two riders with him. Faded in the first moto, charged from a first-turn crash up to 11th in moto two, and looked strong all the way to the finish line. Davi Millsaps took a few slow laps in each moto and then somehow recovered to charge past guys at the end of the races. Andrew Short rode his heart out for third in moto one, and didn't have much left for moto two.

It's actually kind of odd that we don't see stuff like this happen more often. A 30+ 2 moto at all-out speed should knock more guys off more often than this. These riders are in amazing shape. The most impressive of all? Ryan Villopoto. If we could hook up some sort of heat index/cardio rate/VO2 Max and strength equation formula on Ryan Villopoto during the second moto, surely it has to rank up there with any other athletic endurance accomplishment. He was just blazing fast, pushing incredibly hard, he never faded, and he looked completely normal after the race. His wins are always impressive, but on this day, you could actually see just how impressive it is.


Holeshot413 said...

Hey just wanna say awesome job and the pre,post and live shows.


Andrew said...

Hey Weege, I was looking forward to hearing you ask Stewart what his reasons for slowing down on the last lap were in the press conference. The post-show didn't have that in there, and I wonder if he just wanted those guys to battle for position. Also, were the other guys upset, or happy that he slowed down to let them go another lap?

Jason Weigandt said...

I did ask Stewart about that in the press conference. It was funny, first James said "Man they were just pressuring me and I had to let them by" and everyone laughed. Then he explained that since those guys were fighting for points and money, he didn't want to ruin their battle by lapping them, and just let them settle it. The only guys who were a little upset were two of the BBMX riders, I think Skinner and JT, who actually pulled over after the finish before realizing "wait, we have one more lap!"

JimmyC said...

Weege R' Us... me and the lady were sitting and having our morning read (Not Chad Reed) and thought geeze since the passing of one of our greatest sports announcers has left us "Jim McKay" that it will leave an opening for you and your upward career... we'll keep our fingers crossed for luck... JimmyC

Anonymous said...

"Texas 2" read like an old radio show. We were glued to your every word, almost as good as being there and seeing it the way you do. Thanks dude!!!!!

peelout719 said...

weege, i cant thank you for the awesome work you do on the show and the writeups

David said...

Weege...a little help, please. I was at Freestone and kept hearing hints and allegations all weekend about Lawrence and Hill...rolling rental cars, boozin' it up Saturday night. Even now, on Racer X, subtle hints that the boys were up to no good, but no details. Did you hear or see anything interesting? Care to share it with us? I'm a Yamaha guy, help me out!

MIKE D said...

YAMAHA, way to go!

J-Law represents you well! You should put him in the factory rig, next week! The "loose" ship seems to be working GREAT over @ the YoT rig!

J Law shouldnt catch so much heat.

It should be whoever keeps signing his checks, they look like the bozo, not him.

Anonymous said...

My fear is that MX will become like other pro sports-hiring thugs and ne'er do wells because of their talent, ignoring what happens away from the sport. I agree 100% Mike D...whoever signs his checks needs a swift kick in the pants. J-lawbreaker is (and should be) free to do as he pleases-God bless America! However, it sends clear message about any company willing to finance his shinanigans.

David said...

Mike D- sorry if I misled you. I'm a Yamaha fan...ride blue, like blue, but do not work for blue. Just sad about who's being put up as the face of Yamaha these days. I'm not so naive as to believe Lawrence and Hill are the first riders to get a little crazy, I'm just hoping what they do is not excused, condoned, ignored-especially in the face of sucky results. Hopefully it will all work itself out.