Vital MX Pit Bits: MXoN

First off, we've got to give props to Amy and Tim Ritchie, who fulfilled the dream of their father, Gene, in bringing the race to RedBud. Amy got emotional during the pre-race press conference when she talked about how he'd wanted it to happen there for 40 years.

The scene at a MXoN is like nowhere else. This crowd? It was for the team introductions on Friday.

Despite the weather, the crowds were huge

We'll admit, while it didn't seem to provide a performance advantage, we loved Aaron Plessinger's haircut for the race. That's full commitment.

Team France was all business during the team intro.

Kevin Windham, Travis Pastrana, and Ryan Sipes (along with Ricky Johnson as team manager) did Puerto Rico proud. Making the A Finals was big...especially with Windham coming off the couch, and Travis Pastrana's hugely swollen knee.

There's no doubt that Travis Pastrana was riding wounded. Pretty much every chance he had to elevate his knee, he was doing it.

We couldn't get any info on these, but these goggles were casually sprinkled in with a Leatt gear display. It looked like a molded lens, and snap-in design. We'll have to wait and see when they drop.

Here's another peek.

We dig The Bullet graphic on Jeffrey Herlings' muffler. There's no doubt that he's among the fastest in the world.

Antonio Cairoli had some custom Team Italy bars on his KTM. Subtract the first turn crash in the first moto on Sunday, and Italy would have had a shot at the overall win.

Max Nagl's TM.

Yep, that's an intake screen behind the fork legs. The TM and its airbox cover/gas tank/subframe/fork guards might have been the biggest batch of carbon fiber that we saw in one place all weekend.

Rock River provided the weekend home for several teams (among a few rigs), like Team Sweden here.

Some teams were housed together, while others were scattered through the pits among their respective manufacturer sponsors.

The Team Brazil JGR Suzukis for Enzo Lopes.

We liked the look of Fabio Santos' Team Brazil Yamaha.

Ryan Sipes' Team Puerto Rico Husky. The Lucas Oil rig was doing a brisk business all weekend of Team Puerto Rico merchandise.

The Team Venezuela Honda of Lorenzo Locurcio. Ti-Lube Honda also housed a few different teams among their various haulers.

Team Canada had one of the nicer setups.

Team New Zealand was hanging out with the Phoenix Racing guys.

Justin Barcia's Yamaha.

He was set up for full data least early on.

We like the little chain tension gauge that the Factory Yamaha crew uses.

Each rider got to tech two bikes. During the weekend we saw some teams go out with two different setups, and try each during practice sessions.

Redemption Racing was the host for the Estonian team.

Not all teams had such nice setups. This reminds of back in the day when the European teams would come over for the USGP at Carlsbad.

The South African squad was also under one of the Ti-Lube canopies. Michael Docherty (76) took the win in the B final.

Team Iceland.

Team Phillipines.

Jeremy van Horebeek's Yamaha.

Dylan Ferrandis was borrowing Justin Cooper's wrench, Josh Ellingson for the weekend.

Team Japan's Haruki Yakoyama has some of the taller pegs that we've seen.

Apparently his frame has also been modified to lower the fuel tank.

Yep, the Monster Energy Kawasaki crew brought out the '19 race bike for Eli Tomac. After a chance to ride it back-to-back at the end of the first day on it, he never looked back. It was good that they did break it out, as they discovered during Saturday's qualifier that it's possible to overload the stock battery. Better at RedBud during a qualifier, than say, the Monster Energy Cup or A1.

The oil cooler will go away for the Supercross season. The new ignition cover will stay, though.

There's a new green material for the interior of the chain guide on the Factory Kawi's.

Clement Desalle stopped by to fondle Eli's ARC levers.

That's a cool helmet for Team Mexico's Arturo Humberto Fierro III.

Randy Richardson (second from right) and his crew of Ame-Ricans.

Anthony Rodriguez passing off some info to one of his Venezuelan teammates.

Yep, two-strokes are alive and well. Sometimes a little too much so.

Eli Tomac with his new race bike. We can't wait to see what he does with it at the Monster Energy Cup. On the other hand, we also wish some of the European riders would make the trek to give it a try. We will say, though, that Jeffrey Herlings seemed to do pretty well at the Youthstream-promoted Supercross event a couple years ago.

You'd think that with the metal grates on the gate, traction would be at a premium. During Saturday's qualifiers, the U.S. guys quickly figured out that the European riders seemed to prefer the black gates (they alternated between black and Monster green). Apparently, the green gates get repainted every weekend to keep them looking good, while the black gates usually don't need the touch-up.

We saw lots of teams head to the gates with either covers over the tires to keep as much mud off as possible, use plastic wrap, or like Billy Hartle here, with duct tape.

From here, Valentin Guillod's crew picked up the rear wheel of his bike and carried it all the way to the starting gate before dropping it back down.

Well-lit. That's Dylan Ferrandis.

Calvin Vlaanderen had a whole lot of bad luck at RedBud. He had a small crash during Saturday's practice session, and couldn't get his Honda to refire with either the bar-mounted ignition switch, or the secondary frame-mounted unit. After a minute or so of fussing with it, he dropped the bike and ran back to the mechanic's area to hop on his backup bike.

In case you missed how they did the gate picks for Saturday's qualifiers, there are two bins. The one on the right provided the country flags. The one on the left was full of numbers. Team USA drew second, which was much better than in previous years.

There were more U.S. MX and SX legends on hand than you could shake a stick Jeff Stanton and Jeremy McGrath.

Ryan Villopoto checking in with Colton Facciotti and the Canadian crew.

Neken had some country-specific bars for their riders.

Thomas Covington was hanging out and keeping an eye on things. We're looking forward to seeing what he can bring next year. The pressure's off for the first year, while he learns Supercross, but watch out for the outdoors.

Tools of the trade for KYB suspension techs.

Bell went classic old school USA style for the helmets on Tomac and Plessinger. Arai carried through with the same paint scheme for Justin Barcia's lid.

That's Anthony Rodriguez's helmet.

Ryan Sipes had a pretty cool setup for his Team Puerto Rico helmet.

Travis went old school (but effective) in his mud prep. One pull, and he can clean off pounds of mud.

We're not sure any team had more fun than Puerto Rico.

To help Travis Pastrana hang on with his wounded knee, his bike was liberally (and we do mean all the way down to the side of the sideplate ) coated in grip tape.

Travis' crew had a 60-foot roll of grip tape available to equip TP's bike.

Until next time, that's all from RedButt.

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