Vital Buzz: Las Vegas Supercross (& More)

Don’t look for today’s Vital Buzz to set any word count records. Besides being a travel day, the constant string of events in Vegas left us a little cooked…and we didn’t even party like rock stars! (Sorry, that's just a vague race intro reference for any of you who made it to a Supercross this season.)

In case you missed anything that happened over the last week, here’s your free souvenir links to go back and check out goodies from the previous week here on Vital MX.

We’ve got a few things to wrap up from the weekend in Vegas that you haven’t seen yet.

Torsten Hallman and Bob Maynard

Torsten Hallman (left) with Thor's Bob Maynard.

The first one is a bit of a tease, since we’ll be doing something later this week, but Thor held their 40th Anniversary celebration at the Primm MX Collection on Friday afternoon in Las Vegas, which featured riders from throughout Thor’s history, including Torsten Hallman, Roger DeCoster and more. (Remember, this is a tease.) Check back later in the week for more.


'08 Thor Gear

Yep, that's '08 Thor gear.

Oh, we can offer up one other bit of a sneak preview, which is of some of the new Thor ’08 gear that was on display.

Maxxis MiniMoto SX

There was tons of great action at the Maxxis MiniMoto SX.

Friday night was all about the Maxxis MiniMoto SX, which was held at The Orleans Arena. As usual, it featured a cool scaled-down track built by Mark Barnett. This race brings out the baddest little minimoto riders (this year’s youth classes were filled with top-name amateur talent like Tyler Villopoto, Kyle Engle, Jake Canada, Kyle Bosch, Alex Cody, Wil Hahn, and Blake Bagget and Scott Champion. In the pro classes, the riders included guys like David Pingree, Jeremy McGrath, Derek Costella, Tyson Burmeister, Ryan Beat, Brad Ripple, Willie Browning, and more. Click the following link for a 40-photo gallery from Saturday night at the MiniMoto SX.

Kyle Lewis

 

Good luck in whatever's next, Kyle.

Before the races Saturday night, it was cool to see Moto XXX’s Kyle Lewis get recognized in his hometown during the opening ceremonies, since it was his last Supercross. Kyle was first winning 125 races 20 years ago. What a career.

Sara Lippert, Miss Supercross

Meet Sara Lippert. Yep, she was that excited about winning the Miss Supercross title.

During Saturday night’s activities, the lovely Sara Lippert was crowned the new Miss Supercross, so we know we’ll see more of her in ’08. We were also excited to see her win because she continues the tradition of actually being a rider herself. Her current bike? A YZ250. That’s cool. Of course, she banned from riding it in high-heeled Alpinestars boots.

One thing that James Stewart mentioned on the podium afterward was that this was Jeremy Albrecht’s last Supercross with him as a member of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team. Later, when grilled by the media, Jeremy told everyone, “I’m going to leave to go be a Team Manager for the Joe Gibbs Racing Team. They’re going to go motocross racing next year. It should be fun. I’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Jeremy Albrecht

Champagne-soaked, but happy. Good luck, but not goodbye. We know we'll see you at the races, J-Bone.

“I’m moving to North Carolina. It’s a big move. Hopefully it’s one of the best teams out there. That’s the plan. I want to make their dreams come true, and they’ve got a lot of good ideas, different than anything I’ve ever seen, that’s why it’s exciting to me. They’ve got the money to back it, and obviously all the resources to make it happen.”

Some of the broad brush strokes on the new team include that it’ll be a two-rider 450cc effort, and they’re looking for guys who can run in the top five…which should make silly season particularly silly this year.

Later, in the press conference, James Stewart was asked about Jeremy’s departure, and he said, “He told me the other day that he was going to do some other things, and I was totally behind him. For me it’s a bit sad, because when you’re with a guy so long you kind of get that relationship on how the bike is, and he knows my tendencies, what to say and write on the pit board. What to do on the starting gate…just everything. I was really sad to see him go, but to go out that way, it was really good for him and for me too.”

James Stewart

James had a butt patch message for all the guys on the Monster Energy Kawasaki crew on Saturday night.

“It’s going to be a new change for me soon, and we’re just going to try to make the best of it. I have the most respect for that guy. He’s been a great friend for me, a great mechanic, and man, I love that guy to death. He’s going to be missed for sure.”

Post-race partying? We’re sure there was plenty of individual practice on Saturday night, which left Sunday night available for the Amp’d Mobile Supercross Awards ceremony at the Aladdin Theater For The Performing Arts.

James Stewart

James Stewart scoring the big trophies and bigger cash at the Supercross Awards.

Ricky Carmichael got to say a formal goodbye to everyone while offering up a career retrospective, and the rest of the champions got to pick up their awards and cash. To see more, you can click the following link for a 21-photo gallery of the 2007 Supercross Awards

Peter Adderton, the CEO of Amp’d Mobile also made an interesting pitch in the middle of the ceremonies for more international participation, saying, “To really start looking at this sport and saying, ‘Well, where can we go from here?’ I sit back and look at this sport year-on-year; I’ll be honest, it hasn’t moved anywhere near where it needs to get to. We high-five each other as we walk around the pits, and see the kids screaming over the bikes, but it’s still the industry sponsors that sit there and support this. In order for this sport to truly grow, it’s got to get beyond the people that ride every Sunday. I think that’s really, really important for this sport.”

“We sit back and say, ‘Look where the sport is today.’ I hear people talk about how great the sport was ten years ago and how far it’s come. The real question is how far is it going to be in ten year’s time from now. I guess we don’t want to be sitting around in ten year’s time doing exactly the same thing. I’d love to see the sport international, I think it deserves to go global. I reach out to LiveNation to really reach out and make this sport international.”

Charlie Mancuso

Charlie Mancuso. Watch for a global shift.

Later, the CEO of LiveNation Motorsports, Charlie Mancuso said, “Peter Adderton, we hear you loud and clear.” Later, he also mentioned, “We’ll make great strides to integrate the two series (World Supercross GP and AMA Supercross Series) into one. As a matter of fact, Dr. Wolfgang Srb is here because he and Rob Dibble, the new President of the AMA, and Roy Jansen and Todd Jendro met Thursday, Friday and Saturday talking about the components that go into an integrated series so there’s no longer two series that we’ve had over the last five years. In the next year we will lead the mission to lay a solid foundation for significant growth for the international expansion in 2009. International expansion. That’s what we need to grow.”

Among the notes in his closing remarks:

  • It costs 1.2 million to produce the average Supercross these days. 
  • 2007 attendance was 831,000 compared to 830,000 for the series in 2006. That’s an average of 46,000 per event.
  • “Total financial payouts tonight were the largest ever in the history of the sport at 3.7 million dollars, and with the growth of sponsorship income, that number can quadruple.”
  • The sport received nine hours of Amp’d Mobile Supercross on CBS network, and 34 hours of coverage on Speed Channel.
  • Orlando’s out, Minneapolis is in for 2008.

We’d guess you could expect some additional surprises when the ’08 Supercross schedule is released.

Okay, that’s it for this time around. You may have noticed some recent speed boosts on the site, particularly in the photo section. Our web crew is still wrenching, working on additional gains, so be sure to let us know in the Forums.

Also, if you dig what you’re finding on Vital MX, be sure to tell a friend…and thanks.

PhotoIf you want to talk about anything you've read, seen or watched in here, you can do it in the Vital MX Forums.

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