ATV Motocross

Site Lap: Time is Flying Away

Site Lap: Time is Flying Away

Friday, February 6, 2015 | 2:40 PM
Friday, February 6, 2015 | 2:40 PM

Welcome to Site Lap!

We are a little more than a month away from the inaugural running of the Fly ATVSX at Daytona International Speedway, and then it is only a few more days until the opening round of the Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship. There have been some shake-ups in the force, but all in all things seemed intact and folks are making adjustments and moving forward. If you think about it all this change we have seen could ultimately be for the better and if that’s the case, the changes coming in 2015 should prove to be just as positive for everyone.

We certainly cannot wait for the 2015 ATVMX season to get here!
We certainly cannot wait for the 2015 ATVMX season to get here! Photo: Ken Hill

There are many changes that face our sport. Some of them are starting to be more and more visible, while other changes lie just beyond the horizon. Though they may not be foreseen or expected, they are there. When I think of change, I think of people in our sport that have helped or been a part of the evolution of it all. I think of names like Tim Farr and Doug Gust when I think of it of folks in recent history that have made monumental impacts in our sport. Doug with all his work helping bring the Suzuki to the forefront while racing and, of course, Tim’s input in the design of the Honda’s that have not been changed since he tested and help design a machine that has helped win championships.

There is another name that sticks out when I think of change and someone that has given so much to our sport. The amazing thing about this pioneer is that he has been around racing professionally longer than anyone in our sport today. He is loved by some and possibly literally hated by others. And no matter your opinion of the man, he is truly one of the greats. Even he will tell you “I haven’t been an angel”. Joe Byrd #7 is quite possibly the most recognized name in our sport today.

I say he is the most recognized simply because he is the best known worldwide, especially in South American countries but he is also well known in Europe. Joe takes his quad riding schools all over the world and introduces them often times to a world they never knew possible. The fruits of his labors can be recognized most recently with Vital Cazenave whom we saw make his AMA Pro ATV racing debut at the season finale at Dirt Days this past season.

Joe Byrd is well-known all around the world for the ATV riding schools
Joe Byrd is well-known all around the world for the ATV riding schools Photo: Ken Hill

Joe has been around since the mid-80s in our sport. He has won 2 titles and he holds the esteemed honor of being the first officially licensed AMA Pro ATV racer to win this title. He raced the ultra-competitive and highly popular Mickey Thompson series. He told me this when I asked him about one of the biggest things to ever happen in our sport:

Daytona should be an interesting event. It sounds like everybody is going and is super excited about this race. It’s awesome to be opening the series up in Florida where the weather is warm and we are in such an amazing facility and venue. It reminds me of my first pro win at the Micky Thompson Series opening round in Anaheim, CA with 60,000 spectators. I’m sure we won't have near that many spectators but heck there will still it will be tons of fans and quad sponsors there. Hopefully this is just a stepping-stone to the future and the promoters can put more pro quad points paying events with more mx nationals similar to Daytona. This just might be the shot in the arm the quad nationals need.”

I couldn’t have said it any better. And even though when Joe raced in front of and won in front of 60,000 fans, it was still only a small part of something big and at Daytona the stage belongs to the ATV racers of the world on Tuesday during Bike Week.

Then we have Thomas Brown who is rider we have mentioned quite a bit in the off-season. Brown was one of the first to announce big changes in 2015. After spending time on the Wienen Motorsports Team Brown made the decision to go at it on his own.

The new T-Brown84 team backed by Maxxis/Yamaha powered by Moto-Xperts will feature Thomas Brown focusing on the AMA Pro ATV championship while new teammate, Nico Cavi,  will make his AMA Pro ATV debut this season with focus on the Pro Am championship. Nico is a 2-time Argentina ATVMX National Champion and has shown speed in his appearances over the past few years here in America. Houston, Texas’s Peyton Revia will join them. Peyton is a strong force in the youth ranks and will be looking to capture two 50cc titles in 2015. Brown said, “The team is planning on winning a lot of races in their divisions and I expect they will be making a big presence at all the events.”  The team will be training at Thomas’s place until the season opener.

In the Loop with Gloop

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram

Ronnie Higgerson riding will be riding aboard a Vechery Racing Honda, and I can say I’m more than ready to see how he does in the 2015 season. Riding for a team like Vechery Racing, Higgerson will have nothing but the best support behind him. I cannot wait to see how he does in the first ATVSX at Daytona this year. I recently talked to Ronnie, and he had this to say: 

"I think Daytona is going to be a great event for us. Hopefully it will open people's eyes about what we can do on quads and hopefully lead to bigger opportunities for our sport. It's definitively a step in the right direction and I couldn't be any more excited for it. I'm setting my goals high for 2015, since I'm not able to run pro am and just focus on pro I'm going to be shooting for top 5's every race and my first podium in the pro class.”

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram

Brett Musick had a big announcement that he was switching to a Wienen Motorsports Yamaha, and man was I excited for him. Musick has been down south with the Yamaha boys Wienen, Gallagher, and Borich (possibly on a Yamaha), so knowing the way those guys train, Brett should have a very successful year.

Let's hear from Ken Hill now: 

I really don’t know if it is the cold weather, maybe the snow or could even be the ice, but I am ready to get this season started! The video clips and pictures from the folks down south who are training are not helping my situation one bit, and when my social media gets filled with beach images or my phone lights up with calls that are filled with weather reports it just makes everything worse!

In all seriousness, we are closing in on the Fly Racing ATVSX at Daytona and these last few weeks will fly by no doubt! I asked a few of our riders how their training was going and their thoughts on the ATVSX in general. 

Rastrelli is excited to be racing on his home turf as the opener to the 2015 season
Rastrelli is excited to be racing on his home turf as the opener to the 2015 season Photo: Ken Hill

Pro rider, Jeffrey Rastrelli was quick to respond and it sounds like he is very eager to get this year’s season underway:

“Training is actually going better then ever and I’m super excited with my whole program this year. I have a race motor I’m practicing and testing on and I’ve never had any power to practice with so I'm beyond stoked. I'm in better shape now then I was starting last season and I’m only getting better. [I am] Doing a bunch of shock testing with Matt Blommel and shaved a second off my lap times on the track so I’m really happy. The ATVSX at Daytona is going to be awesome, and I am so excited because it's my first home race in a long time since it is being held in Florida. I'll have a lot of friends and family there to support me. The whole atmosphere is going to be awesome and its sandy, which makes me excited, because I just so happen to be good in sand growing up in Florida! Echeconee is real sandy and rough so I’m just so excited to get this season underway! 

A pumped up Rastrelli on his home turf could spell trouble as he has proven he has what it takes to get up front! The first two rounds could play well to Rastrelli’s strengths so we will eagerly wait to see what he has to offer the competition this season!

Janssen has been busy with school and work, but finally got some training done this past week
Janssen has been busy with school and work, but finally got some training done this past week Photo: Ken Hill

Rookie of the year, Cody Janssen, was finally able to head south for some much needed seat time and has since updated us with his run up to the 2015 season: 

“Going into the 2015 season things have been a little different from the last few seasons. This year more I have had more school and more work, which has resulted in a little less seat time. That being said, I'm on my way home as we speak from a weeklong training session in Texas and Louisiana. Though I've had less riding time, I'm in better shape than ever, and the one week of riding I did get before heading back to Wisconsin went about as well as could be expected! Huge thanks to the Parrish family for their hospitality and support, and also have to note how proud I am of schoolgirl standout Kierstin Keane who has been riding with me and working her tail off! I have a feeling she's going to have a heck of a year! I'm looking to do the same building on my Rookie of the Year campaign from last season. Can't wait for Daytona! God bless and take care! 

Cody is always upbeat and dedicated so it is always great to hear from him. He keeps his social media updated so be sure to give him a like or follow to stay dialed in to his season this year!

Casey Martin will also be making an apperance at the ATV Supercross race in Daytona
Casey Martin will also be making an apperance at the ATV Supercross race in Daytona Photo: Ken Hill

We hoped that this historic event would draw riders from all over and it appears semi-retired, Casey Martin took the bait! Here more from Martin as we are stoked to have him registered for the ATVSX:

“Not much has changed for me or my tent since May 2014 when I decided to take on reality and step aside from the national scene. Now I just continue to work my butt off and pay for my house that I built. However in this whole process, I've been taking care of my body more then I ever did before by eating better and hitting the gym, just no riding unfortunately. After stepping away early last year, I figured that was it for me as far as big races go until the huge announcement of the ATVSX at Daytona. Coming up through the ranks I always dreamed of a Supercross style race, but never had the opportunity other then a few small indoor events through the winter. I usually had no trouble finding a flow on a more technical track and have always been decent at starts so figured I could turn some heads in an event like that. Since round 4 of last season I've rode an outdoor once and hit Earlywine indoor facility once just this last week. I'm currently in Asheville NC for one of their indoor events, taking the win last night and hoping to do the same tonight. I am shooting to get a couple good weekends of riding outside in before we head down to Daytona so I'm not going in completely unprepared but I just look forward to the opportunity and the chance to catch up with all of my old competitors.  We will also be racing the Motorama event again this year under the PRP racing tent!! Would love to be able actually train and fully prepare for Daytona and the rest of the season for that matter but that's just no longer an option. I will see you all in Daytona with a smile on my face and a great appreciation just for a chance to be a part of such an amazing opportunity. And who knows, might even make it to the gate at select nationals in 2015!

If that doesn’t show the dedication our racers have I don’t know what does! The excitement is building, the training is well underway and everyone wants to fire of that infamous Daytona gate!


Casey Martin will also be making an apperance at the ATV Supercross race in Daytona
Casey Martin will also be making an apperance at the ATV Supercross race in Daytona Photo: Ken Hill

In case you missed The Racer X Show with Greg White this week, we have highlights from Saturday's racing action in Anaheim, California with round five of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship. Also highlighted is the fourth round of AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael's Road to Supercross in Nashville, Tennessee. The opening round of the Kenda AMA National Enduro series took place over the weekend in Sumter, South Carolina and we have the inside scoop on who's hot right now. Also, host Greg White discusses the new Dunlop spec tires for the AMA Superbike series in 2015, as well as information about the 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track schedule. Be sure to check out The Racer X Show every Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, only on