Ping talks about how we are going to watch racing this year, pros being cool to fans, and why he's run the number 101 since he retired.


@PING is brought to you by Troy Lee Designs, Eks Brand, and VP Racing.

Big fan of your Whiskey Throttle show and Vital MX videos!  Keep them coming… I have enjoyed every single one. Question:  What is going to happen to TV coverage of the proposed Covid supercross and outdoor schedule? If there are no fans then less $$ will be received for attendance.  Will they pass along the lost revenue to the fans by charging for live viewing?  Currently I get NBC Sports through my cable provider, so I am already paying for the privilege of viewing live. I get the promoters have to make $$. Pays salaries etc. etc. etc.  But I am concerned about the double cost for fans that cannot attend races?

Supercross seats might be empty but Motocross doesn't want to run without fans.

Thanks for watching and supporting my work… much appreciated! To Feld’s credit, they are willing to finish the series without fans, taking a significant financial loss in order to prop up the sport and hopefully be the first to get competition back on TV. I’ve heard that it will be live on NBC Sports, in which case you’d get to watch them at no extra charge. 

The nationals are a different story. I’ve heard that teams are pushing for eight rounds, but I’m not certain they will pull that off. It is up to the states to determine what they will allow in terms of large gatherings, and MX Sports has already said they won’t run without fans like Feld is going to do. This is not meant to be a political grenade, but states with democrat leadership are opening up much slower than “red” states, and that could spell trouble for promoters. Washington, California, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania are all likely to open up very slowly and cautiously. So that leaves, what? Florida and Indiana? I’ve got my fingers crossed I’m wrong, but I’m worried that pro motocross in 2020 could be a struggle to put together. I think the bigger concern isn't the cost of attending this year, but being able to attend at all. For fans, supercross in person is out of the question and nationals are still up in the air. 


Hey Ping,
Just wanted to say thank you for your contributions to motocross literature and humanity in general. You made a lifelong fan back in 1999 when I attended my first national at Red Bud. I was 15 at the time and although I went home with a slew of autographed posters, I distinctly remember how cool and down to earth you were. Especially considering you had just finished practice, we’re drenched and dirty, sitting on the back of the Primal Impulse Suzuki truck, yet still took the time to talk and sign something for the pasty awkward teenager that came up to meet you. Sure, you probably DNFed at least one moto and faded like a boxed hair dye job in the second but it didn’t matter to me. I was and still am a fan. Keep up the great work.

Boom, sizzle… sick burn, dude. However, I did look up the results and I was 8th overall on the day, so no DNF or fade job… just good, old fashioned mediocrity. Ha! Hey, thank you for sending this letter in. From time to time I’ll have somebody tell me that they tried to talk to me at the race or get a photo and I was a total dick to them. Those moments bum me out so hard because I always tried my best to make time for anybody who was interested in one of those things from me. I’m glad I came through for you that day. I would tell anybody who has had a bad experience with a rider to give them some grace. Motocross has a weird dynamic in that fans have so much access to riders on race day. You don’t see that in stick-and-ball sports or other major motorsports, and it bites us once in a while. It’s awesome for fans, until it isn’t. There are going to be times when the riders have a million things on their mind, their stress level is red-lining and they have a fan wanting to engage in a conversation or take a selfie. It’s a difficult balancing act and I hope fans take that into consideration. 

I do remember it being Africa-hot that day at Red Bud, as per usual, and sweating uncontrollably for the entire day. Sweating is nothing new to me; I sweat like a fat kid at an all-you-can-eat barbeque after three racks of ribs… even on relatively cool days. Anyway, thanks for the letter and hope to see you at the races again someday soon.


Sorry if these are repeats...
1. Why #101?
2. What happens to all bike builds and test bikes?

Ping decided no 1-99 on his bike so 101 it was.

When I was done racing professionally in 2003, I chose #101 as a show of respect to riders currently on the national circuit who’ve earned a national number. Earning points is incredibly difficult, and I felt like those guys should have those numbers to themselves. So, 1-99 were off limits to me. Josh Hansen has #100 locked up, so 101 was the next thing in line. I liked the look of it and it’s been on my bikes ever since. 

The Race Shop project bikes are ours to use for the season, and then they get broken down and sent back to the manufacturers. If there are parts we can reuse, or the company that gave us the parts can reuse them, we send them back or put them on another bike the following year. 

Manufacturers used to sell these media pool bikes to editors for very good prices but, as you can imagine, that got taken advantage of by some members of the media. Immaculate race bikes got built up for magazine pieces and then sold to the highest bidder with all the trick parts on them. This chapped the asses of manufacturers, as well as the companies who donated thousands of dollars in parts for these bikes, which turned into cash lining editor’s pockets. Most of the bikes that get returned to manufacturers from the media loan pool now are refurbished and sold to dealers at heavily discounted prices. 


Do you have burning questions that need answering? E-mail Ping at ping@vitalmx.com. Want more? Click the @PING tag below to quickly find all the previous columns

1 comment
  • Roostzilla

    5/10/2020 11:41 AM

    When things are starting to open back up, and our governor shuts down Comic-Con, and its 3 months away, you know its political. 130,000 jobs, $150 million to the economy down the drain, and they try to act like they care about people? Sorry, thats not my question, you talked about being the first sport to reopen, which would have been great, but now its been pushed back, and other sports are taking the mantle, UFC, NASCAR, F-1, do you think SX got pressured to hold off? Im not sure if those sports have that kind of influence, but now, with the Cornhole League back on, and we know the power they wield, do you think SX HAD to back off to avoid being bean-bagged?
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