Vital MX Pit Bits: High Point

It's a weekly ritual for all the teams as they load in and out. They go through the process of unloading, building the tent, setting up the pit area, and then packing up at the end of the weekend. How fast it goes depends on how much crew is on-site. We've seen quite a few truck drivers take on the task themselves when the team's going to arrive late. Fortunately, that wasn't the case for the crew here.

It was a bit of a surprise to see Ken Roczen switch from Showa to KYB with the season underway...but then again, maybe not so much. In the run-up to his return to racing, he didn't have a whole lot of opportunity to test, while Christian Craig put in a ton of laps. During the break, Kenny tried out Christian's setup, which was in place at High Point. The first turn crash in moto one didn't help his day out, but he did holeshot moto two before backing things down. It'll be interesting to see how he does in the coming week's.

Every week, the top teams get fresh engines and suspension, then ship back the used equipment for a refresh. Here's how Honda gets them back and forth.

With all the controls, buttons, and switches on a modern MX bike, handlebar real estate is at a premium. Justin Barcia always runs handguards, so they did a pretty slick job of incorporating the mounts into the lever clamps. Of course, it wasn't the easiest task, since the clutch lever splits top and bottom, and the front brake is more of a front/rear setup.

Ah, we love seeing fresh factory equipment. This one was going onto Justin Barcia's bike.

Suspension always takes a lot of abuse from roost. Underneath the carbon guards, the gang at KYB also wrap the legs in Gorilla tape to prevent scratching and tape the ends of the protectors to keep them from spinning on the legs.

It was good to see the Traders Racing guys back in action. They're running a more limited summer schedule, racing at High Point, Muddy Creek, and Southwick for sure...though we wouldn't be surprised to see Luke Renzland (250), and Nick Gaines (450) make it to RedBud, too. Peeking in their rig, we enjoyed this view of their front suspension cabinet.

Ah, those nice oversized radiators on the GEICO Honda bikes... Data is a big thing for a lot of the teams, like this sensor to check the temp at the lowest part of the radiator, before it reenters the engine.

Hmm...is Aaron Plessinger really running titanium engine mounts? (We hear the rest of the team prefers aluminum.)

Oh man, that red on red was a good look on Jeremy Martin's bike before the weekend's action got started. He'll have to battle back after a mechanical issue caused a DNF in moto two while he was leading.

Checking in with the Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna tent before the racing got underway, we had Jason Anderson's mechanic working on Dean Wilson's bike, to set it up for their latest Phil-in rider, Phil Nicoletti. Zach Osborne's idle bike was another unsettling sight. We spotted Bobby Hewitt in the infield during moto two (he was retrieving Jordan Bailey's bike after a crash) and had to wonder how much fun the outdoor season was for him after such a great Supercross season.

Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki's transportation specialist (Jimdriver) found this little pup at a truck stop, in serious need of food and love. He's been riding along since then and was quite the hit in the pits.

Some teams swing a big sledge to pound in stakes to keep their awnings from taking off. The Honda guys bring out some specialized weaponry. This thing jackhammers the stakes in, and doesn't jeopardize any shins in the process.

It was cool to see the east coast crowd come out in big numbers. Entries were up to 75 (450), and 71 (250). For comparison, Hangtown had 56 and 47, respectively.

It was fun to watch Benny Bloss get after it on this jump during Friday's press day. Style from a tall guy? Oh yeah.

Toshiki Tomita's helmets are always really cool. This one had cartoons of several Samurai, plus a ton of cool details.

High Point was the debut for Carson Brown, and also the new team that he's riding for, Phoenix Racing. Filling out the paperwork for his pro license in the series big rig, his dad said he'd been dreaming of this since he was three.

Who else is on the team? Well, there's Jace Owen and Ben LaMay, as well as Heath Harrison and Isaac Teasdale. They've got Honda support, and are apparently building quite a race shop near Charlotte, TN.

Heading out for practice.

With the recent rebranding of Tucker Rocky to Tucker, they put together a one-off graphic setup that was quite striking on Ramyller Alves' bike. We're not sure if this will continue in the future, as Yamaha usually likes a whole lot more blue on their bikes.

Speaking of new squads, EBR and 3D Racing split after the Supercross season, and EBR has a different effort going now. They made use of the Altus Motorports road racing rig for the weekend.

Ugh. After his tough crash at Thunder Valley, Kyle Chisholm checked out okay on the concussion test (he said it was better than his baseline version). Unfortunately, he tweaked his knee in practice at High Point and had to sit out for the day.

The pro section was grass-covered at the beginning of the weekend, but that didn't last long. Privateer Dare DeMartile (here alongside Weston Peick) cracked the top 20 in both motos.

Somewhere between practice (above), and racing (below), Gared Steinke changed up his gear setup considerably. The clean look didn't extend to the swingarm stickers, however. Fortunately, as far as we know, that's not on WADA's banned list.

The course was soft but not overly muddy during practice, and the riders quickly built up some pretty gnarly ruts.

Here's hoping Garrett Marchbanks is okay after a tough get-off in moto two. From the video we saw, it looked like one of his knees took some pretty serious abuse.

While his not officially on the roster, Kyle Cunningham is getting some help transporting his equipment from the Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing guys. Cool to see them helping out after he rode with them a while back.

There's clean, and then there's logo-free. Michigan's Nicholas Tomasunas is keeping it as clutter-free as it gets.

They still might not be sending each other Christmas cards (yet), but things don't seem nearly as icy between Eli Tomac and Marvin Musquin as they were following their tangle at Foxborough during the Supercross season. These two were racing each other hard, but clean, and were chatting about the race afterwards.

We were expecting to be impressed with Justin Hill's debut, and we weren't disappointed. He pulled a sneaky move in the first turn while Blake Baggett, Ken Roczen, and a few others were hitting the deck, and came out with fourth in moto one.

Making it through the rollers at High Point is tough enough. To do it with style? That's impressive. Justin Barcia at the controls.

Mitchell Harrison returned to the Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna tent after separating his shoulder before the season-opener at Hangtown. He had a pair of top 15 finishes.

Okay, quick (very unscientific but equally unfair) poll. Who had the better style through this corner? Jeremy Martin (above), or Alex Martin (below)?

It was good to see an injection of freshly-recovered talent into the action, and Dylan Ferrandis was definitely on the gas, finishing fourth overall, and third in the final moto.

Darryn Durham returned to his home turf to give the 125 race a shot. It paid off.

Rounding the first turn, it was Daniel Lippman and Wil Hahn banging bars. That's Shelby Rolen (445) hanging in the top four early on.

Steve Roman was getting some advice from Mike Jones before the gate dropped.

Darryn Durham had this one handled, keeping Wil Hahn at bay.

Jordan Jarvis is battling with Kylie Fasnacht at the top of the WMX standings, but she also came out for Saturday's 125 race. She and a few other riders tangled in the first turn, but after getting sorted out and remounting, she passed a couple handfuls of riders in the short three-lap race. Impressive.

Can you smell the two-stroke scent? Wil's having a ton of fun riding all these events.

The finish was a little closer that Darryn (or Wil) expected, after a bobble in the last turn. It's never over until the checkers fly.

We can't say that we'd ever seen a champagne bong before, but Darryn Durham was in a sharing mood with the crazies at the podium, and he filled it up for them.


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