Pit Bits: WW Ranch

Break out the air hoses, and let's get to work clearing the coating of sand covering this week's edition of Pit Bits.

Pit Bits: WW Ranch

We like the message on Yuzo Takara's laptop, as he dials in the RM-Z250s of Alex Martin and Kyle Peters. "If it's too loud, you're too old."

The most useful tool at WW Ranch (and again next weekend at Southwick)? That might be the airhoses used to try and blast sand out of all the nooks and crannies on the bikes. Here, Ben Schiermeyer blasts the back of the radiators on Kyle Chisholm's bike.

Up until WW Ranch, pretty much all of the rounds could have been classified as unseasonably cool. We saw some more effort being put into keeping things cool, like the thermal wrap on the radiator hoses for Alex Martin's bike.

If you remember back to earlier in the season, we saw an early prototype of the Pro Taper SELA (Self-Engaged Launch Assist) holeshot device. The one on Isaac Teasdale's bike was a gen two item, and Pro Taper's Paul Berebijnos was showing off a more recent version...gen four by his estimation. The current plan is about a November delivery for these.

Here's a peek at what the packaging will look like. With the interchangeable front clips, and associated hardware, they're looking for it to cover all the brands with one part number.

Teams were doing all they could to keep not only the riders comfortable but the mechanics and technicians, as well.

It's not really in his job description, but we spotted Johnny O'Mara dialing in Joey Savatgy's Just 1 goggles. Hey, it's all one team. He's up for whatever it takes.

This is the first race this summer that we'd spotted the Monster Energy Kawasaki bikes using an additional cooling fan. Expect them to be there next week, too.

Besides the leaf blower...er, we mean radiator cooling fan, the team will also use the big water-filled fire extinguisher to spray on the radiators if one of their riders comes in for a pit stop.

It's not just riders and crew that feel the affects of the heat. Teams were making sure that things like their generators would stay as cool as possible.

Justin Cooper was looking for redemption after a rough round at High Point, and he got it at WW Ranch, with a 2-2 day, and his first overall win.

There's a decent peek at the CRM carbon tank that the Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha guys run. Jeremy Coker is refilling the engine by pouring it straight into the top after doing an oil change and post-practice valve adjustment check.

We spotted Mike Pelletier from the AMA; and Supercross Race Director, John Gallagher visiting with some of the teams. Discussions are already ongoing for this year's MXoN team picks.

We've seen plenty of the Monster Energy Star Racing Yamahas up front on starts this year. These babies must be pumping out the ponies.

Josh Ellingson handles the wrenching duties for Justin Cooper.

Hmm...the Monster Energy Yamaha rig looks like it has ground effects.

Yep, with the sandy conditions at WW Ranch, sand tires were the go-to for pretty much all the teams. Dunlop had pre-installed a bunch of them for the weekend, expecting that it would be the way that teams would go for their selections.

Pierce Brown got the call to help fill in with the injury-plagued Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM squad, so...he got an early intro the big leagues. His 14-10 moto scores were good for 12th overall. His bike was the one used by several riders this season, including Sean Cantrell.

Kristian Ortiz normally spins the wrenches for Jordon Smith, but with Jordon on the sidelines, he was dialing in Pierce's bike. One of his pit boards at the end of the second moto? "Good job, kid."

For rookie pros, the first weekend is all about adrenaline. Then there's next weekend...and the weekend after that. That's where teams find out what the riders are really made of. So far, so good, for Pierce.

Matt Winter dialing in Shane McElrath's KTM. If you believe the jungle drums (and we do), Shane could be headed for the Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha crew for the '20 season.

Yep, besides their usefulness in cleaning bikes, air hoses make handy cooling devices.

A few teams (including Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM, and Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna) park at the Don Schumacher Racing headquarters in Indy when they're on the road. Sometimes they leave with cool things like newly-fabbed Chromoly tire racks for their pit carts. There's an abundance of talent at all the race teams.

Ah, the goodies we see laying around at the races...

Jade Dungey making sure Chase Sexton's bike is a showpiece.

The GEICO Honda techs hung out in Florida in the week between High Point and WW Ranch, and got to spend some time fine-tuning maps for the hot and humid conditions. Unfortunately for the team, that also meant that they got to spend a fair amount of time checking throttle response...repeatedly.

Fine details? Yep, the Dunlop tire stickers are usually one of the last things to get dialed before heading out onto the track.

In an effort to keep their ti tanks pretty much scratch-free and spotless, they get a clear graphic material treatment on the sides of the tanks.

After the first practice of the day, the team opted to swap out the engine in Zach Osborne's Husqvarna. Scuba and Dave Feeney knocked it out in rapid order.

Checking the vitals on Ken Roczen's Honda.

Fredrik Noren was his own mechanic last weekend. He would be interested in rejoining Team Honda HRC in a fill-in role, but said that unlike in the past, he's not sweating it. When you're turning in top ten rides like he did last weekend, you have people seeking you out. Team Honda HRC team manager, Erik Kehoe, did say that they're working on a rider to fill in for Cole Seely.

With Hoosier, Pirelli, and Dunlop in the pits, there are three viable brands competing for business among the teams and privateers.

What do you think, can Brent Rouse sneak this into the 125 All-Star races? (What's scary is that he says this has actually been bored out to something like 560cc.)

Speaking of the 125 All-Star race... Hannah Hodges was entered, and she finished ninth in the 25-rider field

High Point winner, Chase Yentzer, opted to gamble and line up all the way on the outside of the gate. Unfortunately, it didn't work out well for him, and he ended up fourth this time around.

Gage Linville grabbed the holeshot on his KTM, and went wire-to-wire for the win.

Brandon Scharer came out of retirement for this one, and finished third.

Levi Wosick grabbed the sixth spot this week.

We're taking a stab at it here, but we think this is Luke Vonlinger, who finished in second.

Gage Linville, streeeeetching to get over the big step-up jump on the way to the win.

Last week there was a thread in the forum about whether the green flag was really necessary. We asked John Welch, the AMA's finish flagger about it, and he just laughed.

It's interesting to check out the start practice before the second session, and see how the 250 guys tried to get up on top of the deep sand on the start, and leverage their weight for max traction. Chase Sexton had a great first moto, grabbing a win, but struggled with the heat. He tried the parade lap, but opted out for moto two.

Cameron McAdoo was another rider who suffered in the heat. Here's hoping that he's feeling better and will be good to go in Southwick. It was also good to see Shane McElrath back in action.

We opted out of covering the GP when it was at WW Ranch, so this was our first visit to the facility. Everything looked first class, including the tower, and the pit area, which had been covered with blacktop material since the last time there.

This Swamp Thing KX resides in the infield, along with a cool pond and island.

The view from the highest spot on the track offered a good vantage point. Spectating and shooting was a little difficult with the mostly flat terrain.

During press day on Friday, there were a few different split lane sections. In the interest of making things more open for everyone, these got plowed. Split lanes seem cool in theory, but one way is generally faster than the other, and riders will always crowd into whichever one is the fastest. That includes lapped riders.

There was a military airfield near the track, and a variety of Navy plans were practicing off and on at all hours of the day and night. It looked like they were doing touch-and-go drills, prepping for low-risk carrier landings.

Some of these guys were extremely low over the track, but it sure was fun to watch.

As hot and parched as it was at the "Ranch", these trophies seemed appropriate.

There were several of these cooling hoses set up for riders after they came off the track. Good plan.

After a rough start to the season (with a gnarly motorhome crash caused by another driver), Henry Miller has settled into a groove. He was in the top 20 both motos in the heat.

Thomas Covington gave it a shot during the first practice, but quickly discovered that it's going to take a while longer to get over the affects of the Epstein-Barr virus.

Man, Benny Bloss makes that 450 look tiny...particularly when the forks are compressed.

Justin Starling had only a few rides on his new KX before showing up at WW Ranch. Though he was raised in Florida, he's spent enough time away that he quickly realized that he'd forgotten how hot and muggy it really is in the summer.

We really dug the paint on this helmet for Daniel Jaramillo.

We've seen plenty of rider ID kits, but Landon Davis took it to a whole new level.

On the other hand, you can go as plain-wrap as possible, like Nicholas Tomasunas.

Not that we want to start a trend, but...Vital MX Forum member Harry Backmon stopped by GuyB's trailer and left this calling card. We were just amazed that there weren't hairs sticking out the side of the sticker.

Here's a view of Eli we don't often see. Fortunately, this was from practice...and he had a couple of these.

Cameron McAdoo almost bought the farm on this one, as he turned in to scrub a little early and caught the tire on the face. Fortunately, he saved this one.

As usual, how about a little blast of style before we go? Martin Davalos was having fun on Friday.

And...we're not sure what this is. If you only throw one boot out there on a heel clicker, does it make a sound?

So clean. Jason Anderson during practice.


0 comments
Show More Comment(s) / Leave a Comment