Vital MX Pit Bits: High Point

We're trying a very different format for Pit Bits this week. Let us know what you think!

The revised High Point layout got generally positive reviews from the riders we talked to.
There were lots of state and local dignitaries on hand for Thursday's grand reopening ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

Marvin Musquin's knee injury was a surprise...and not in a good way. The 450 points leader coming into High Point made it through the weekend, but lost the points lead to Blake Baggett. One thing is for sure, he was not up to his usual pace. We'll have to see if he can rebound in future weeks.

Cooper Webb's regular mechanic, Eric Gass, broke his collarbone on a mountain bike a few weeks back. Shane Drew filled in for him in Lakewood, and Mike Gosselaar took over the wrenching duties at High Point.

Yamaha had one of the 2018 YZ450Fs filling up the portion of their pit area where Chad Reed's pit was earlier this year. When will Cooper Webb be on one of the new bikes? As soon as they can get an adequate number of the bikes into warehouses here, and the bike is homologated.

With a break in the Aussie National MX schedule, Dean Ferris came over to try his hand at his first-ever U.S. National. He's been undefeated in the Australian series so far this year, and put in a surprisingly good ride in moto one here. Afterwards, he did admit that he'd used up a lot of energy in that first moto, and a second moto crash in the second corner hampered his efforts. Still, it was an impressive showing. Could we see him here in the U.S. in the future? He likes that idea.

Dean said he was on exactly the same bike he rides in Australia, and there were a few cool bits on it.
That's some sweet carbon goodness. Dean's subframe was also lowered a bit by simply ovalizing the mounting holes.
We've previously seen the plate added to the swingarm here in U.S., and Dean's still running that setup, while the U.S. guys have gone back to a more standard configuration.

We caught this gorgeous sunrise on Thursday morning before press day, when the Monster Energy Kawasaki rig was looking pretty glorious.

Rob Fox brought his KX250 for Ryan Villopoto to ride, and they swapped out Rob'x plastic with Ryan's. If you want to check out a full build on this bike, copy/paste this link.,20/2005-KX250-2-Stroke-Build,1301898
Unfortunately, between rain before he was supposed to ride on Friday, and heavy equipment on the track when he rode it during Saturday's pre-race action, Ryan didn't really get to ride in anger. Still it was fun to see him at the track.

See the second hose? Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki has stepped up their cooling game by integrating an oil cooler element into their radiator.

There was something different with the Trader's bikes this week, with a Bundy Built Motorsports sticker on the cylinder, rather than JGR. What's going on here? Well, JGR has decided to step out of the engine hop-up side of the business, and John "Bundy" Mitchell, who had been doing it at JGR, now has his own business.

JGR is still doing hard parts for all brands, and had a new chain guide on Justin Barcia's Suzuki this weekend. Unfortunately, Justin had a crash in practice that kept him out of the motos.

There were a few riders back in action for a bit, including Jordon Smith...but he opted to sit out another week after the first practice.
Chase Sexton made his first National start here, and GEICO Honda was back at full strength...for exactly one practice. Cameron McAdoo's shoulder wasn't quite ready for two motos, and he also sat out.
It was good to see RJ Hampshire back in action.

We generally don't think of Cole Seely as a tattoo guy, but there's a story behind this one. It's a portrait of his grandfather on a '71 Yamaha. Cole's mom shot the photo, which was from the first day that they took Cole riding.

Brandon Scharer had a scary moment on the way to High Point, when his family's motorhome caught fire. The good news? He got the trailer unhitched and away from the fire before it got involved.
Brandon made it to the race using a U-Haul truck to tow his race trailer, and will work on sorting out what's next this week. He was 19th in moto two.

How does Monster Energy Kawasaki handle clutch plate management? They break in a set of plates in the first practice, which are then used for the second moto. That way they're less grabby on the starts. Second practice clutch plates are used for the first moto.

The women of the WMX raced their next-to-last round here. (The last round is at Loretta's.) From left to right, it's Kylie Fasnacht, Eve Brodeur, and Shelby Rolen.
Kylie Fasnacht scored the first moto win.
Eve Brodeur was doing well in moto one, but picked up a large string of repeater banners in her rear wheel.
Shelby Rolen giving chase to Kylie Fasnacht.
Hand prep and blister management is a huge deal for these guys, particularly with how much and how hard they ride. It looks like Blake Baggett goes the pre-race powder route.
Ryan Sipes (who jumped in for this round at High Point) uses glove liners that you see more often with the GNCC/off-road crowd.

Whoa...Blake Baggett almost got to meet the crowd as the fence started to collapse at the podium.

Power washers were getting a big workout here.
How wet was the track during the early practices? Dean Ferris nearly got a big surprise off this roller.
Yeah, this is about as heavily-layered as it gets.

So...if you watched the race on NBC (or the NBC Gold app), you know there were some glitches with the start of the first 450 moto. What happened? Well, it went like this. There was someone new operating the gate this week, who wasn't completely familiar with the setup. A hydraulic ram is used to lift the gate and lock it into place. But, it also has be released or the gate won't drop. That's what happened the first time around. Of course, afterwards, everyone wants to do a test drop to make sure it's all okay. Once that was handled, everyone lined up again. This time, there was a TV cameraman inside the box, who accidentally stepped on the release lever before the 30-second board went sideways. After that, things got underway as normal.

Fredrik Noren had lots of family and friends on hand in High Point.
It's always cool seeing fathers and sons making memories on Father's Day.

That's it for this week. Let us know what you think of the new format in the comments below, and we'll see you in Muddy Creek.

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