Ah, the great outdoors! We are only a few days away from round one of the AMA MX Championship that has been held for as long as time itself at Hangtown. The US riders don’t have too much time to prepare for outdoors since the last SX in Vegas was less than three weeks ago. Now, if you haven’t been paying attention to what’s going on down south here is a quick recap.
Let’s start with the big news about Broc Tickle who is out for the AMA outdoors, not due to an injury but he is now the third rider to be nailed for having a banned substance in his blood system. Wada / FIM tested a few riders at San Diego Supercross and Broc failed the test. They are tested the B sample, and that came back with the same results as the first test. KTM cut ties with him yesterday and he is now in a strange position. He can’t race any AMA events or FIM. If he wants to race I am thinking he that he does not have many options. I guess he could try and find a ride in Canada maybe? We are only 10 days away from round one. If that is even possible, I really don’t think Broc has enough time to put a deal together and then start testing a bike with less than two weeks to go. First thing he would need to find is a last minute team with budget for a rider that could podium, then he needs two full-on race bikes plus a solid mechanic to keep the bikes together. Then there is the set up and the travel cost. Right off the start you need approximately 100k to get the program started.
Next on the list is Dean Wilson. Unfortunately, he is out for the year after crashing out at Glen Helen passing a lapper. Cooper Webb is out for a few rounds and Alex Ray got the call to fill in. That’s pretty crazy as Alex is not known as an outdoor rider, but it’s such a great opportunity for Ray. Josh Grant is still out for a few rounds due to a supercross injury. Factory Honda will miss Seely as he will be out for most of the year. One thread of silver lining however, Ken Roczen will be back! Now let’s look back at what I just told you: Factory Kawasaki, Honda, KTM and Husky are all missing one rider for the start of the twelve round outdoor series. Not exactly how you want your season to start off.
The Canadian series is only a week and a half away. So far it looks and sounds like all riders are semi-healthy and will be ready for round one in Calgary. Please remember the nationals are now on Saturdays. In addition to the pros, the Ladies class will be run on the same day. I am looking forward to seeing who did their homework over the off season. I was at the Royal Distributing Yamaha photo shoot yesterday at Sand Del Lee and I can confirm those three riders are looking confident and ready for the series. It’s nice to see the three riders hanging out with each other cracking jokes and being pretty relaxed. There are a few riders that will be a little off pace for the start of the series. Kaven Benoit apparently crashed hard a few weeks ago while testing in California but the word is he will be ready for Calgary. Dylan Wright hit the ground hard at the Calgary AX round and had to miss the balance of the series. That’s really all the news I have out of the teams for 2018.
With the outdoor riding season is almost in full swing, I’m sure most of you that ride moto have already been out at least once or twice. Make sure to set up your bike properly before you start pounding motos. The one thing you really need to do is set up the suspension before you get out and ride. Please ask a friend to help you set up the sag on your bike. We are all excited to get out and ride but we all forget about setting the sag. We have all gained or lost weight over the winter. It will take you ten minutes maximum to measure your sag. If it’s all good you have nothing to stress about, but if it’s off by 5mm and you correct it, well you are going to ride better and even faster. Have a good week and get out and ride.