Ping chimes in on Grant Langston, Japanese motocross riders, and if Aaron Plessinger moved to the 450 class too soon.

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Hi David,

Sad to see Grant dropping from the show… any snippets who co-host will be? Great show, good insights to many racers I’ve tried to follow from shitty Scotland over many years. 




Grant will be back for the live shows, so you’ll still get your fill of GL. Our co-host is going to change from week to week, depending on the guest. There may also be some shows without a co-host. We’ve made some changes for the coming season and I’m excited for everybody to see them. What is so shitty about Scotland? I’ll admit, I’ve never been there and I don’t have much of a reference; the only Scottish things I know of are the Loch Ness Monster, bagpipes, haggis, and Groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons. I’d add Dean Wilson to that list but he’s more Canadian and American now than Scot. Thanks for supporting the show!



With the big four coming from Japan, why do you think we don't see more Japanese riders do well here in America? I've never been to Japan so could you fill me in on what the racing is like there? Is the sport bigger there than here in USA? Do the riders there "haul the mail" but just see no benefit to racing in the big show here? Seeing Jo Shimoda ride well this year had me thinking about this more and more.


Jo Shimoda


There have been a couple fast Japanese riders over the years, but none of them have ever been able to find much success here in America. Akira Narita has to be the most successful Japanese rider in their history, with 12 Japanese national championships to his credit! He also got a podium in 250F supercross in 2005, along with several top-tens indoors and out. Those results are nothing to sneeze at, but some might have expected more out of a 12-time champ. Japan’s motocross scene is relatively small, and the competition is thin because, well, it’s just them on an island. I don’t think they have much open land to ride, so tracks are limited. With Shimoda getting a spot on the Pro Circuit team, he could turn some heads and put Japan on the map for race wins and maybe even a title. 


Hi Ping,

Aaron Plessinger… Could and should he have stayed in the 250 class one more season?


I think he could have stayed one more year to defend his title, but he had an offer from factory Yamaha to move up to the premier class and he took it. Everybody makes bad decisions; you could argue that some of his carpool karaoke posts fall into that category, maybe even his facial hair at times. But Aaron made the correct decision to move up to the premier class when he did. Those opportunities are rare and if you pass one up, you may not get another. It’s obvious he didn’t get along with his bike last year, but I believe the Star Yamaha crew will put a much better bike under him this season and his results will reflect that. If he can just show glimpses of speed he’ll be on the radar for a ride with multiple teams in the coming seasons. 


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.


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