Vital MX Pit Bits: Unadilla 6

We're back from New York, and have adequately dried out the pixels in the photos, and all of our equipment, so here's this week's look around the pits.

Vital MX Pit Bits: Unadilla

As usual, there's plenty to see, so without further delay...

If it's Unadilla, bring on the recent grads from Loretta's. Justin Cooper (right) sure turned a lot of heads with his great start and second-place finish in the second 250 moto.

Joey Crown was in the top 20 in both his motos for his pro debut.

Jayce Pennington had a best of 17th in moto two, and was 20th overall.

Adam Cianciarulo's love for pop-punk is pretty well documented, and he had a State Champs butt patch this weekend. He knows some of the guys in the band, and said their drummer was at the race.

Here's a wild one. With his thumb injury, Blake Baggett had been struggling with his grip as the motos wore on and his hand got fatigued. His mechanic, Nate Alexander, had been losing sleep since that race trying to figure out how he could help out his rider. He came up with this Velcro ring that replace a section of the grip, which matched up with a corresponding piece on the glove. Blake looked solid in moto one, with a second-place finish, but got blasted with muddy water as they headed into turn one, and slipped to 11th in moto two. Even still, he made up some points on Eli Tomac, and keeps the dream alive as we head into the final two races of the season.

Cole Seely already had some red, white, and blue setup in his gear, and we expect we'll see a lot more as he was named as one of the three riders that will represent Team USA at this year's MXoN.

Guards to protect the barrel on front brake reservoirs have been pretty fashionable this summer after both Eli Tomac and Marvin Musquin had problems with roost damage. We've seen a bunch of different remedies, but maybe the slickest one we've seen was this one on the RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing bikes. It wraps around to clip onto the barrel, and provides a bunch of coverage.

With a full house under the Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha tent, Justin Cooper was relegated to a 10 x 10 tent at the end of the canopy.

It was cool to see Eric Gass back wrenching on Cooper Webb's bike this weekend, after he returned from a severely shattered collarbone. Be careful, gang...mountain bikes are dangerous, too.

Occasionally you'll see the factory teams help out amateur racers on Fridays before things get too busy. Here, Big B and Travis Parry help remap a rider's KXF.

Yep, we're to the part of the year where some riders are having to wrestle with trying to finish the season in pain, or opt to get surgery on pre-existing injuries in the hopes of getting an early start on rehab and training for next season. Jason Anderson is among those riders, as he had surgery to remove hardware from an injury at last year's MXoN.

There are an awful lot of Pelican cases going back and forth every weekend with engines and suspension, like this batch on the Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna rig. We can't even imagine what shipping costs would be like over a year.

Roger DeCoster and Frank Latham work on dialing in Marvin Musquin's handguards before the second 450 moto. They were definitely needed, though with his holeshot, Marvin ate less roost than everyone else in the pack.

It was a year ago that Jessy Nelson suffered his spinal injury at Unadilla. He still rides along every weekend on Shane McElrath's KTM.

Handguards are almost a must-have at Unadilla, whether for the rocks, or last weekend's muddy conditions. Benny Bloss was prepped and ready.

A while back in the Vital MX Forum, someone was asking what brand of skid plate the KTM teams run. It's a piece made by Akrapovich, who also makes the carbon chain guide that all the teams run.

Before hitting the track for the second 450 moto, we spied the RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing crew mounting up their fenders that were lined with Think Technology foam, which is designed to help quickly shed mud.

While waiting out the rain delay, Joey Savatgy had his foot up to keep the swelling down. He and a lapped rider had made contact late in moto one, and something on the rider's bike had hit him hard enough to poke a hole through his boot. He soldiered through to finish the day with a 1-4 score, and second overall.

The Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki guys were using a little custom tire grooving on their Dunlops.

It's been a while since we've seen riders mount up full solid discs up front. Both of the Team Honda HRC bikes were set up this way, though they were still using standard drilled discs in the rear.

While waiting out the rain delay for the second motos to start, some of the teams were doing a little extra mud prep. On the side panel vents, a little creativity can go a long way, as they try to prevent mud and water from splashing in, while also trying to guide it away from the air filter.

Here's what Adam Cianciarulo's bike looked like before it rolled to the line for moto two. It's not sealed up, but definitely offered a lot more protection than normal, when you can look in and see the filter.

A little fuel top-off after the parade lap is standard during the outdoors.

Mud races make for nervous goggle reps. John Knowles was prepared with a bunch of pre-packaged roll-off setups.

Here's a good look at how Bell's visor extender overlays the top of the visor. That makes for a quick and clean install.

Doh! Spell-check to the Bloss Department...

Seth Rarick is Cooper Webb's training partner, and helps him out in a whole bunch of different ways at the races. Seth's dad, Marty, had passed away a while back, and the guys at Bell had done up this graphic for him when he recently raced at Loretta's. Since Seth is a New York native, they also did up Coop's helmet with the same art for the Unadilla weekend.

To catch Justin Barcia in action, you'd have had to have been there for press day. He got cleared by his doc, but still had to go through the concussion protocol. Unfortunately, that prevented him from racing on Saturday. He's uncertain of next year's plans. A potential deal with Red Bull KTM hit a snag (apparently with Red Bull), so that's not happening. We'll have to wait and see where he lands.

It wasn't a great week all around for Justin. He'd also been tagged by a car while out on his road bike. This was what remained visible on Thursday, after the swelling in his thigh went down. Justin said it felt like his leg was going to fall off while he was on his 450...though it certainly didn't look like it.

It was good to see Phil Nicoletti back in action after an extended absence due to an ankle injury. He was 12th in the first moto, but went down in the muck heading into the first turn in moto two.

The drop into the Screw U section makes for one very interesting corner at Unadilla. As Cooper Webb demonstrates, the riders go from railing a berm, to having the track drop away rapidly. It's wild to watch.

Upstate New York certainly has its charms. So does Cole Seely's style.

Speaking of style...Joey Savatgy has plenty, and was also sporting some new Fox gear in practice.

As bad as the rain and mud was during this year's race, it was nothing compared to the season they've had at Unadilla. Talking with Greg Robinson, he said the middle section of the track had been underwater three times this season due to heavy rains.

After a short stint in Europe racing the MX2 class for Honda, Anthony Rodriguez is back in action here in the U.S.

Dag Boyesen (left) was the Legends and Heroes honoree this week.

As usual, Team USA was introduced on top of Gravity Cavity before the racing started on Saturday. Cole Seely and Team Captain Zach Osborne were on hand, as well as Team Manager, Roger DeCoster. Unfortunately, Thomas Covington couldn't be on hand for the intro, but we can't wait to see how he and the team do in Great Britain.

Between 100%'s Bevo Forte (left), and Jimmy Weinert (right), that's about 90 years of combined motocross history.

Eli Tomac had a bit of a rough weekend at Unadilla, and is making things a bit interesting as we head into the championship stretch run. He still has a comfortable lead at this point, but it's a little less comfortable than in recent races.

Chad Sanner doing a little laptop wrenching on Jon Ames' Yamaha.

Kyle Cunningham put in his best moto of the season in the muddy conditions.

After the riders were sent back to their rigs because of impending weather before the start of the second 250 moto, it looked a bit like a traffic jam under the Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha tent.

Rain? Unadilla fans aren't scared.

Ryan Dungey is rocking a bit of a bigger beard these days, and it's good to see him at the races.

Yeah, picking lines was interesting, given that they were full of water. Guess your best.

Dean Wilson makes a solo pass through one of the big ponds on the track in moto two.

Zach Osborne checking the skies after the 250 riders got pulled off the gate before they could start their second moto. With a rumble of thunder nearby, the MX Sports staff didn't want to take the chance of lining them up, letting them go, and having to red flag it like has happened in the past. We remember a race there where Ryan Villopoto was leading, and the race was red-flagged after lightning was in the area.

We're mighty happy (and lucky) to have the Alpinestars Mobile Medical crew at every race. Brandon Scharer went down hard in practice, and Doc Bodnar was quickly on the scene.

Showing how hard the rain was coming down at the end of the first 450 moto is hard, but this should give you a pretty good idea.

Marvin Musquin's forecast at Unadilla? 100 percent chance of podium showers.


6 comments
  • TXDirt

    8/17/2017 9:22 AM

    Always great info. One suggestion. Please make pictures smaller so we can see the whole picture with the caption. Not all of us are on a 900 inch computer screen. If I want to see bigger picture I can click on it. You have these two things reversed. When I click on picture I get a smaller version it seems. When I'm just scrolling down I lose half the picture when trying to read the caption that goes with it.

  • motomike137

    8/17/2017 3:55 AM

    Awesome pics GuyB! It was a classic Unafrickindilla weekend, I love how tough the fans there are.

  • ted722

    8/16/2017 8:30 AM

    Wow, great photos and captions as usual! Probably my favorite is Justin Cooper's 10 X 10 canopy next to his future home. He had a great debut.

  • Slosh 112

    8/16/2017 3:11 AM

    No captions bro? hard to know whats going on here??

  • GuyB

    8/16/2017 7:34 AM

    Hmm...I just checked on my phone, and they're all there?

  • Jay Moto

    8/16/2017 10:30 AM

    Plenty of captions for me. Fix your phone

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