ATV Motocross

Site Lap: A Time For Rebuilding & Regrouping

Site Lap: A Time For Rebuilding & Regrouping

Friday, April 25, 2014 | 3:15 PM
Friday, April 25, 2014 | 3:15 PM

Another week without the Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship and I for one am just a little bit geeky. As good of a break and time to rebuild and regroup from the first couple of rounds this has been for many, it has been an eternity from a fans standpoint and I am more than eager to see the championship continue. It is still another three weeks before we roll into the Maxxis ATV Stampede at High Point Raceway and like the long off season the waiting game is on and the anticipation continues to build.

Again if you missed it last week, the word is that AMA Pro ATV MX will be live on on Saturday afternoon and Ken Hill has some insights on that a little later in this edition of Site Lap. I for one am excited about seeing this come to pass. And speaking of TV, don’t forget MAVTV’s first broadcast of ATV MX will air next Saturday May 3, 2014 at 12:00 PM. Check your provider for details on MAVTV if you don’t have it, demand it!

Check out the ATV MX action LIVE from on Saturday, May 17th!
Check out the ATV MX action LIVE from on Saturday, May 17th! Photo: Ken Hill

 As the long break continues, I have been focused a lot on the GNCC series and this week at least 3 ATV MX racers will be competing in the off road as well. Jordan Digby who won the 125 Sr 12-15 class two weeks ago at the GNCC is expected to continue where he left off and is hoping to see an overall top spot in the youth podium. Westley Wolfe is another who will be competing in the highly competitive morning race against 4x4 Pros, WXC and top Sport class riders. Westley is considered a major threat not only for a class win but also the overall win against hundreds of other competitors. And then “Little Guy” Reis Parvin who has made the cross over and has found a lot of struggles but at the same time some of his greatest racing experiences.

There has been very little news coming out of the ranks of the ATV Racin’ Nation but this is good because everyone seems to be focused on the tasks at hand. A number of folks used the first two races to see where they were in their programs and have gone to the drawing board for the next seven rounds.

The break is almost over, soon the ATVs will take over High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris, PA
The break is almost over, soon the ATVs will take over High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris, PA Photo: Ken Hill

One of those is defending Women Class champion Katie Mette. Katie spends a lot of time in school in the off-season and between that and the weather went into the season virtually flat in her program but has high hopes as the season progresses. Katie told me “Until May my main focus has to be on school but with the weather getting nicer here it’s becoming easier to get time in on the track. It was a little on the fence at one point whether I would be able to make a return to the nationals this year full time but my parents and I had talked it over coming into this season and knew that the beginning would be a struggle without being able to get the amount of training in as I was capable of in the past. However, I would rather be out there struggling then not out there at all! I have a great support system behind me and together I believe we will be back fighting for wins here soon. Long ago we set my goal of making it onto the podium for round 3. Megan has been incredibly fast and will be tough to beat this season! With 7 rounds left to go I’m excited to see what the rest of the season has in store!”

Let’s check in with Ken “The Ground Hog Slayer” Hill:

Thanks Rodney,

Well the big news is out of the bag and we all now know RacerTV will be doing a live broadcast from the Pro race at High Point, round three. As someone who has been pushing what they do, I am pretty stoked to see it coming to be a reality even though for right now it is slated for just one round. 

The RacerTV camera guys get up close and personal with the riders
The RacerTV camera guys get up close and personal with the riders Photo: Ken Hill

So we have one round, let's make it count! Without even asking I know logistics is the main reason only one round is being discussed however we have an opportunity to blow this up via social media and every outlet we can think of to make this a very successful test. I am not sure test is even a good word, the crew at RacerTV has it down and should do a great job, the huge push needs to come from the rest of us. You need to be sharing the RacerTV Facebook page, their posts about the upcoming show as well as sharing any media released about the live coverage. If this were the GNCC series, I could make that request and it would be viral in just a few hours. If it sits there like an old egg it will be due to lack of involvement from those throughout the series who should be doing backflips over this news. This is a grand opportunity for the Pro riders to push this hard and the same applies to Pro Am even though they will not be featured, it is a vehicle for promotion to your sponsors that can really help you showcase what this deal is all about regardless of any politics you may be choking on.

As for the rest of us, we need to get behind this and promote it as well. One of the biggest things I see lacking in this series is participation from its own members when it comes to promoting the series. I am not afraid to lay it on the line so if this applies to you than you need to take a reality check and wake up to the fact that failing to support the series and promote the events you are hurting your own interests and efforts far more than you think you may be gaining.

The race action is almost back, the ATV Stampede at High Point takes off on May 17th
The race action is almost back, the ATV Stampede at High Point takes off on May 17th Photo: Ken Hill

I have pleaded my case in public and have said numerous times, if we can't get them through the gate then lets get them on the couch. Let's grow the sport using the assets we have and in my opinion a live broadcast may be the spark that grows into a wildfire. Now this may not happen overnight, but think about the broadcast being seen all over the world. All the fans riders have in countries that only dream about seeing the races will finally have a chance to watch in real time. Your sponsors know the value in this, I know the value in these numbers as it relates to how the industry will respond if they are the kind of numbers we think can be obtained and if you can not grasp how big this can become then I do not know how to sell it to you.

Now I am going to face head on a few things I have heard or already been hit over the head about. "This is not real TV", that is a very common statement. Well Cletus, in this day and age, it is indeed "real" tv. Live webcasts are used by some of the biggest industries in the world to showcase and promote so you need to move into this century with how you relate to the way media is driven.  I can also refer you back to the GNCC series and the incredible success RacerTV has brought to the racers and fans around the world as it continues to not only grow, but explode! This is indeed a real production produced and run by those who have taken the bull by the horns and created something that is the buzz throughout the entire off-road industry far beyond what anyone ever imagined. If you are left sitting on the gate due to your hang ups then you deserve to be there watching the rest of the word race by.

Silas Lamons comes into the 2014 season as a rookie in the Pro class
Silas Lamons comes into the 2014 season as a rookie in the Pro class Photo: Ken Hill

Now here's a little "On The Gate with Cody Janssen and Silas Lamons:"

The Pro riders, the elite top tier, are the best in the world when it comes time to hit the track. It is a dream of many and for some, a life long obsession. Making it to the Pro class is neither cheap nor easy, and failure meets many that set out to reach what few can achieve. If you are lucky enough to make it to the ranks, your guarantees become fewer and the risks of failure become all that greater. 

Yes, the number of Pro ATV racers is small, but every year we see a few take the steps needed to get on the gate with the likes of Joe Byrd, John Natalie and Chad Wienen.  Fewer yet can step into the class and actually challenge those riders who are considered the best of the best like Joel Hetrick and Thomas brown have done. The thing to keep in mind is that even Hetrick and brown did not start off ready to be a threat for the podium in their rookie season. It takes a dedicated effort, immense training and funds to push to the top and many are finding out that even when everything goes right, they still have work to do training or behind the scenes to keep things flowing.

Cody Janssen is a rookie this year in the Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship
Cody Janssen is a rookie this year in the Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship Photo: Ken Hill

We had a chance to ask two of this seasons rookie Pro's the same two questions to see how similar or  how far apart their answers would be. Cody Janssen and Silas Lamon's both hit the 2014 season as green rookies although both possess immense skill behind the bars.  With our second round complete, we wanted to get some insight on what they have come to realize about Pro ATV racing on the national stage. So you now have 2 races under your belt as a Pro. What did you pull away from those two events that maybe you weren't expecting or ready for?

Cody Janssen: I would say I've definitely learned a few things after my first two pro races. The biggest thing is I've learned that good starts are a must. I feel good about my speed, and I think I've showed that, but coming from the back isn't easy against the best guys in the world. But I’ve been just a spot or two out of the top 10, and I'm eager to get there! With a good start I know the skies the limit right now. Secondly, I am learning and just trying to tell myself that these guys are normal people too. I've been a fan of some of these guys for my whole life. I won't lie; I still have a signed Chad Wienen poster from his Suzuki days hanging in my room. I just try to get tunnel vision going to the gate, don't look at any of those guys that have always been my heroes, and just worry about myself and going as fast as I can on my four wheeler.

Silas Lamons is working on calming his nerves and raising his confidence
Silas Lamons is working on calming his nerves and raising his confidence Photo: Ken Hill

Silas Lamons: Its not that I wasn't ready but my speed hasn't been there, the break is helping a lot with my nerves and confidence.

What are the things you think you will be working on as we head back into racing at High Point?

CJ: As far as what I'm working on going in the High Point, I can't pinpoint one thing; I'm just trying up my level of preparation 100%. I've spent the last couple weeks at Jeremiah Jones', and me and my people feel really good about where I'm at, we've made some strides over the last couple weeks since Muddy Creek and I'm going to be going for wins in Pro-Am and hopefully my first career top 10 in the Pro Class. I have my eye on the prize, I've been working my behind off, and with God's grace I'll achieve my goals. I'm more than ready for High Point; I just can't thank you enough for having me on gate drop this week! I just have to go get a good start and anything is possible.

SL: I’ve been doing local races to get gate drops but unfortunately I had engine failure last weekend on my practice bike so that puts me out of doing motos for a while. It sucks but that's what I have to do to make it to the next round because the money isn't there.

Janssen is working on preparing himself 100% before the High Point ATV race
Janssen is working on preparing himself 100% before the High Point ATV race Photo: Ken Hill

Now don't let Silas Lamons short answers fool you, he, like many in the Pro class, works fulltime just to make it to race day and we want to thank him for getting back to us in between earning his paycheck and keeping us updated. Both Janssen and Lamons have the same goals at the end of the day and both are working diligently to achieve them. As we have some down time in between national events, we will be keeping an eye on all of our riders as they continue to race and train to remain the best in the world.

Thanks Ken! Good point and let’s all share the good news. 

That’s it for now. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.