PHOTO OF THE WEEK
The opening ceremonies at a Supercross are always breathtaking. Scott Mallonee captures the beauty in Atlanta this past weekend.
MXA ANDROID APP NOW AVAILABLE ON GOOGLE PLAY
Do you have a cell phone? Is it an Android or iPhone? You're in luck. Now you can take MXA wherever your phone goes. That's right. You can subscribe to MXA for $8.99 a year (12 issues) by buying a subscription off the Google Play store. Here are some interesting tidbits to help influence your decision to get MXA on your phone:
* Embedded video. This means that you'll also be able to view MXA videos of the bikes that we test, along with many other cool videos.
* This application is very easy to read on a phone. It's quite intuitive.
* At $8.99, it is cheaper than a print subscription.
* It is available at the same time that printed subscribers receive their copy. This is great for international readers, who typically have to wait a few extra weeks to receive the printed version. There's no more wait time!
* The app is available for Android devices, as well as iPhones (the iPhone version will be coming in the next six weeks).
Interested? Of course you are. Click here to install the app.
MINI-VIEW: JEREMY MARTIN
Last year's AMA Rookie of the Year, Jeremy Martin was expected to be a serious threat in the 250 East. Two races down and with zero points, Martin has been having a rough go in his second season. But don't call it a sophomore slump just yet. Martin knows what he needs to do in order to turn his year around.
I feel compelled to note that Jeremy is a high class individual. Most racers would have never agreed to an interview given Martin's current predicament. However, the Yamaha racer was open to answering any questions that I had. Kudos to him.
Martin scored points in the first National he ever raced–Unadilla in 2012.
MXA: The season hasn't exactly started out the way that you wanted it to. Talk me through what happened at Dallas and Atlanta.
Jeremy: Going into Dallas everyone at Yamaha and the team was really excited, because I had come off a strong rookie season. I had some good finishes in Supercross last year, and I had some really good finishes at the end of the Nationals. We were looking forward to the 250 East. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make the main event there. I kept my head up going into Atlanta, but I wasn't able to make the main there, either. I have a few things that I need to work on, and that's what I've been doing this week.
What are the things that you're eluding to?
The key things are making better decisions when I'm racing. I also need to make sure that I get good starts so that I can get up front and ride my own race. Otherwise I've been having to check up on jumping a rhythm section because someone in front of me didn't do it. That can get a bit tricky.
The highlight of Jeremy's Supercross season in 2013 was finishing on the podium at Daytona. Here he's roosting through a sand section at last year's Atlanta Supercross.
How difficult is it adapting to Supercross? Right out of the gate you're dealing with obstacles that are incredibly challenging, all the while trying to keep your nose clean and avoiding other riders.
Supercross is very tough. We have three practice sessions to learn the track, and then we go into racing. There are six laps where I have to really be on it in the heat race. If that doesn't happen then there's the last chance qualifier, which is only four laps. The LCQ in Atlanta was only around three minutes long. You have to put yourself in a good position right away. Even if you're the fastest guy, if you start last in the LCQ then you're not going to qualify.
Your qualifying times have been quite good. You were eighth fastest in Dallas and 14th in Atlanta. It's obvious that the speed is there.
The speed is close to being there. Like I said, there are a few things that I need to work on. It's really about getting comfortable right away on the Supercross tracks and adapting to them quickly. I want to turn this season around.
Confidence is a huge part of racing. What have you been doing to keep from getting down on yourself?
The biggest thing that I have a great team behind me. They're working with me to turn the season around. It's nice to know that they're there for me. The program that I had last year, it was very solid. I was a rookie, and I landed on the podium in Supercross and the Nationals. I'll just have to keep plugging away. Sometimes you have bad luck, but you have to go home and figure out where you struggled.
Jeremy caught fire at the end of the 2013 Nationals.
Daytona is coming up. That has to be a race that you're really looking forward to.
I'm really excited for Daytona. I got a podium there last year. It's a unique event, and I like the atmosphere. It's nice, because it's a break from Supercross. I also like that I get to see the speedway. Daytona is an enjoyable event.
What advice has your team manager and multi-time 125 National champ, Steve Lamson, given you?
He has been a great help through this. Having Steve and the rest of the team, as well as my mechanic, Scottie, is huge. They help me keep my head up and keep pushing to turn things around.
Good luck to you this weekend and the rest of the series. I appreciate the interview, because I know that this isn't something you want to talk about.
No problem. I really appreciate the call. See you this weekend.
THE COUNTDOWN IS ON: 87 DAYS UNTIL THE GLEN HELEN NATIONAL!
FACTORY CONNECTION & GEICO HONDA: A LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES
WHAT TO LOOK FOR THIS WEEKEND
Indianapolis marks the halfway point in the Supercross series. These are the headlines going into round nine this weekend.
Photos by Scott Mallonee
ROCZEN VS. VILLOPOTO
Hey, they're buddies! How long will it last? Remember Ricky Carmichael and Ezra Lusk? James Stewart and Ryan Dungey? They had their break-ups. Ken Roczen and Ryan Villopoto are the latest racing duo to be chummy. Villopoto, usually so stoic at the starting gate, actually reached over and tapped Ken Roczen as they were getting ready to take off. It was strange and unexpected coming from Villopoto.
Their relationship probably won't sour, but it will become strained given the title fight brewing between Roczen and Villopoto. Fame and fortune are on the line–things that have a way of bringing out the worst in people. It's cool that Kenny and Ryan are buddies, but that could change in a moment. Just ask Broc Tickle about his pal, Mike Alessi.
The Indianapolis Supercross typically has good soil content, which is good news to Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey and James Stewart. Villopoto, especially, tends to steer his bike with the rear end. Slippery dirt wreaks havoc on Villopoto's style of riding (exhibit A, above: Atlanta). Good dirt equals great racing. Let's hope that Dirt Wurx brings good soil inside Lucas Oil Stadium.
CAN DAVALOS MAKE IT TWO IN A ROW?
63 races. That's a long time for a factory-backed 250 racer to go without a win. I'll admit that I was one of the people that questioned why Mitch Payton invested in Martin Davalos last year. Martin is a cool guy, but he hadn't been able to make a significant impact since he turned pro in 2006. Sadly just because a rider is nice doesn't mean that they deserve a ride.
I'm happy to admit that I was wrong about Martin Davalos. I don't want to see anyone fail at fulfilling their dreams. Davalos finally won a 250 Supercross race. Now the question is whether he can make it two in a row. Dallas could have been the first race win of his career, until his front end washed out in a corner. It's not to hard to believe that, minus that spill, Davalos would be on a two-race win streak. That's water under the bridge. Martin can make it happen this weekend in Indianapolis, but he'll have to go through his teammates, Adam Cianciarulo and Blake Baggett.
ALL EYES ON ALESSI
Mike Alessi's ramming of Broc Tickle will easily be the most talked about subject this weekend in Indianapolis. That is, until something else happens to steer the industry's focus in another direction. Even though the t-bone seen 'round the world will soon be ancient history, this weekend it's going to be beaten to death. Expect Jeff Emig and Ralph Sheheen to dissect the controversial move over and over again.
Do I think that Mike Alessi rammed Broc Tickle on purpose? At the risk of sounding like a politician, yes and no. Up to a point I don't think he wanted to drill Tickle. It didn't help that his left foot clipped the Tuf Block, causing him to momentarily lose contact with his rear brake. However, once he realized that it wasn't going to work out for him, Mike went full torpedo on Broc's RCH Suzuki. He let off the front brake and dumped the clutch in the moment before impact. It also doesn't help Alessi's case that he let go of the handlebars right before making contact with Tickle.
Not everyone believes that Alessi purposely t-boned Tickle (MXA assistant editor, Daryl Ecklund, is of this belief). Maybe they're right. But given the numerous camera angles and Mike's history, something smells fishy. Would everyone be saying that the run-in was meant as a take-out move if Ryan Villopoto or Chad Reed would have been in Alessi's boots? Probably not. In any event, Mike Alessi further tarnished his reputation this past Saturday and will have to weather the storm beginning this weekend in Indy.
Here's another look at the Alessi/Tickle incident. This video has over 200,000 views, by the way. I'm personally responsible for about ten of those views:
CAN ADAM CIANCIARULO KEEP THE RED PLATE?
Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider, Adam Cianciarulo, has been a revelation. It was expected that Adam would make an immediate impact in Supercross, but to lead the point standings after two races? That's quite a statement. Cianciarulo is up by two points over teammate Martin Davalos, and he has a nine-point gap over his other teammate, Blake Baggett. Davalos and Baggett have been hot on Cianciarulo's heels, but the rookie has held strong under pressure. It's not so hard to believe that Adam has a serious shot at winning the 250 East in his rookie year (something that hasn't been done since Trey Canard in 2008). He made a trip to the LCQ in Atlanta after a couple spills in the whoops during his heat race. If he can master the whoops, avoid disaster and keep nailing great starts then it wouldn't be shocking for Cianciarulo to be in the thick of things come Las Vegas.
WILL JEREMY MARTIN RISE UP?
Jeremy Martin is easily the biggest disappointment in the 250 East. The youngster is probably angry as all get-out when he hears all of the negativity. That's life as a racer. I look at it this way. He's marked as a disappointment because there are such high hopes for the kid. He opened eyes last summer during the 250 Nationals and proceeded to win the AMA Rookie of the Year honors. Failing to discuss his struggles thus far in his Supercross campaign would mean that Martin wasn't expected to do anything anyway. Failing to even qualify for the main event at Dallas and Atlanta is shocking. It's a letdown, because Jeremy Martin is better than what his lack of results show. Martin will rise up, though it might be some time before his confidence is restored.
PHOTO GALLERY: BRIAN CONVERSE'S SHOTS FROM ATL
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK: ALPINESTARS SPECIAL EDITION RV TECH 10 BOOTS
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VIDEO: KEN ROCZEN GETTING UPSIDE-DOWN
Click on the image below to view K-Roc getting upside-down and inside-out in Florida
WORKS CONNECTION CATALOG AVAILABLE
Celebrating our 25th year and announcing the 2014 Works Connection Catalog. Check out the latest products we have to offer and the complete product list with part numbers and applications.
View the 2014 catalog online or download it to your desktop for quick reference.
Click on the image above to view the catalog.
Kawasaki Motorcycle test