@PING

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Pinger,

Hey, what’s the word with Carmichael? After a lot of years, he’s washing his hands of yellow magic and doing something else… why? Any idea what he’s doing? And finally, did his run with Suzuki make a difference in their sales? Thanks in advance for the response!!

BJ


Beej,

The word is… Suzuki continues to fade into obscurity as they cut ties with all things moto related. I know the old adage is that what wins on Sunday, sells on Monday. There has to be some truth to it, or it wouldn’t be a thing. But there are other factors involved. For instance, how is the bike in stock trim? How is the amateur support? How strong is the dealer network? What is the history of the brand? I don’t remember seeing significantly more yellow at the track when RC was racking up titles on his RM, but I would guess the numbers ticked up a bit. Suzuki has had success with riders like Carmichael, Barnett, DeCoster, Pastrana, Dungey, Howerton, Tony D, Coop and Laporte in the premier class. Suzuki’s record in the 125/250f class is even more impressive. However, like a prostitute with dirty hair wearing baggy jeans and a hooded sweatshirt, Suzuki completely stopped trying, and now the only way they can sell bikes is to blow them out for thousands less than their competitors. 

He hasn’t put out a PR that I’ve seen, but I think from his social posts it’s obvious that Ricky is doing something with Triumph. Anything that keeps him on a motorcycle is good for the sport. 

PING



Ping,

I just heard that Geico Honda is losing Geico as their title sponsor for 2021. What happened?? Are they still going racing? Bummer, as they have been one of my favorite teams over the years.

Marty


Marty,

I heard that rumor as well and, if true, it is a massive blow to that team and the sport. With the exception of energy drinks, Geico was probably the most reliable sponsor in motocross for the past decade. Maybe the Covid shutdowns caused a loss in sales for them and they need to cut budget, maybe they just didn’t see a return, or maybe they have a new marketing director and he just doesn’t care about dirt bikes; I hope that in time we’ll learn what went wrong. I can’t imagine the team folding up shop over this. Their staff will get to work courting other sponsors and hopefully they can fill some of that financial loss. You know what helps?? Winning. Best of luck to the team for the rest of the summer and into the off-season. 

PING



Hey Ping –

Question for you, maybe a sensitive topic, but I see riders getting hurt, then a GoFundMe or Road2Recovery fund is set up, which are noble causes that are great for helping our moto brethren, but sometimes the narrative about the rider getting hurt says that he had no health insurance.  Do you have any ballpark figure as to what percentage of riders at a pro national or supercross have no health insurance?

If I had no health insurance, I’d be paranoid about going out for a ride on my mountain bike, let alone entering a pro race or even a local race.  I run a small business and I get it – health insurance is very expensive; I pay for it out of my pocket for my family and employees every month.  I might catch flak for this, but it seems kind of irresponsible to go out and ride with no minimum level of health insurance coverage.

Working as a paramedic you probably deal with people talking about these issues every day when being taken to a hospital or being treated in an emergency.  Do you see it as an issue in our sport that riders are competing at a top level without any health insurance?  Or it impossible for them to get health insurance if MX is reported as their “profession”?  Just wondering if this is the elephant in the room with pro riders, or if people just don’t care about it!

Risk Averse Randy


Randy,

I don’t think there are any of the guys on the gate at a national or supercross that don’t have health insurance. If I’m wrong on that, the uninsured riders should be pulled from the field and disqualified until they have coverage. It’s worth noting that just because these guys have insurance, doesn’t mean its good insurance. The prices for a decent PPO plan have gone so off the charts the past 12 years that I’m sure it’s difficult for privateers to afford. Those guys likely have some type of HMO that has limits on major incidents. Even a great insurance plan will top out at a certain amount and if you’ve ever been hospitalized for something serious, you know those numbers add up quicker than Rain Man counting cards on a coke bender in Vegas. That’s where companies like R2R step in and save these guys. Weston Peick, for example, had great insurance when he got hurt in Europe. However, because he needed multiple surgeries, he was in ICU, he needed a fight home, etc., etc., he blew through his insurance maximum quickly. 

No need to catch flak on this… if you don’t have insurance you have no business riding a dirt bike. Period! Health insurance is part of the cost of doing business if you’re competing, whether as a pro or an amateur. You’ve got insurance, Randy… get out and take some chances.

PING


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