Vital MX Pit Bits: Minneapolis

Yep, it may be f-f-f-frigid outside, but we get to launch the 250 East, and see what else is cooking in the pits.

Vital MX Pit Bits: Minneapolis

Ever wondered what the bases look like for the nets? They scoop out a section on the backside of the berm, add the bases, and backfill over them to hold them in place. With the distance and weather between San Diego and Minneapolis, the crew had to put in some extra hours this week, trying to make up for lost time, and were putting the finishing touches on the track on Friday.

Teams had to deal with all sorts of cold-related issues this week, from late-arriving trucks, to discovering that tailgates or other doors were frozen in place, to trailer generators that wouldn't work, it threw a few variables into the mix. We saw more than a few teams using heat guns to warm engines or suspension before firing the bikes.

The Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna trucks arrived late enough on Friday that their guys missed out on Press Day riding.

With the extreme cold outside (it was -9 early Saturday morning), all the teams opted to move inside to pit. Here, Dean Baker does a quick clutch swap on Chad Reed's Suzuki after the untimed practice.

Who's on the Troll Train? CMS ArtWorX did this helmet up for Alex Martin.

Cole Seely and Christian Craig checking film after practice. Christian had his pins removed late in January, and is still wrestling with mobility in it. Before the race he wasn't sure he was going to be able to go, and opted out of the final practice session early. We'll see if he lines up tonight.

Yep, there is homework required. Monster Energy Yamaha does something interesting with their riders, where they have them jot down notes on the different areas of the bike's performance right after they come off the track.

This is the first round of the 250 East series, and it'll be interesting to see how it plays out. There are a bunch of talented players in this one.

Cooper Webb gets his warmup in.

The Red Bull KTM crew camped next to the KJSR pit area, which made for easy access for autographs for the riders.

Dang, the Smartop MotoConcepts Racing crew runs their chains on the tight side. Everything matters, from axles, to torque specs when figuring out what you want from the chassis.

Rather than bring in a ton of extra parts to the bowels of the stadium, the Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/KTM/WPS team brought Blake Baggett's spare Triple Crown bike, so they could pull parts as needed.

This is the first outing for the blended Club MX/Traders teams. They've been hustling to work out all the details of their motor package, etc.

Yeah, it's sort of weird when your pit area intersects with the women's restroom.

Yep, we've got our fourth 450 points leader of the season.

Yep, Dean Wilson is back with Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna. Chris Loredo will be handling the wrenching duties while Jason Anderson (who's here) is on the mend.

It was unusual to see all the teams inside, but also kind of cool. But it was snug, especially later in the day.

Mmm...ti motor mounts on the Yamalube Star Racing Yamahas.

Nope, No Games for Austin Forkner. He brought along Jigsaw (from the Saw movie franchise) to get the point across.

Bobby Hewitt with a Chipotle handwarmer. We'll admit, we're way too Californian for the kind of weather the midwest has been experiencing this year.

Austin Kent dropping a gear change on Blake Baggett.

Sure, we've seen the high-digit suspension warmers, but electric blankets work as a budget version.

Joey Savatgy top qualifier? Yessir. He was followed by...

...his teammate, Eli Tomac...

...and a trio of KTMs, led by Marvin Musquin...

...Cooper Webb...

...Blake Baggett grabbed the fifth spot.

Top five in the 250 class? That was topped by Austin Forkner...

...followed by Justin Cooper...

...Chase Sexton in third...

...Jordon Smith in fourth...

...and finally, Mitchell Oldenburg in fifth.

We're curious to see how Thomas Covington does this season. In reality, it should be a learning year for him.

Jordan Bailey is another rider we're curious to see in action.

Both Chase Sexton (shown here) and Christian Craig had Blake Savage on their minds and showed it via their butt patches.

Blake Wharton is in with the TiLube Honda crew this year.

Doh! Lorenzo Locurcio had some custom numbers for this weekend.

Even the Spidercam needs a little tuning once in a while

We've seen some people in our forum suggest that the Tuf-Blox should be completely encased. Well, they do. Here you can see how the velcro setup works. All the covers were replaced after San Diego.

Keep an eye on Justin Cooper this year.

Yikes, Kyle Chisholm had a big LCQ crash at A2, and picked up some modern art on his back in the process. He said this looks way better than it did a couple weeks ago.

Yep, Vann Martin's still wrestling with the effects of the lime burns that he picked up in San Diego. Besides personal calls this week, Feld officials met with riders early on Saturday morning to further communicate what they'd learned about last Saturday's incident, and have stopped using lime in the tracks until they learn more. In the meantime, Feld has been cutting $5000 checks for riders who were affected by lime damage or injuries. There are some riders who have turned it down (and some had their own meeting on Saturday). We'll see how this all plays out.

We haven't seen Corey Shea wrenching for a few years, but he's back in action with Kyle Cunningham.

Have you checked out Alex Gillespie's vlog on the Dirt Wurx track builds? They're pretty informative, and you can find them on Youtube under the Dirt Wurx Alex channel.

We ran into Cody Gilmore, who was sporting an old Denny Stephenson jersey as part of a bet that he lost on the Superbowl (yeah, he picked the Rams for the win). If Denny had lost, he'd have had to wear one of Cody's jerseys, and show up in time for practice.

The final practice always features a chance for the riders to get a practice launch from the gate.

We're still not sure if this is a blitz or a buck. Either way, we can't wait to see what Aaron Plessinger does on the rutted East coast tracks.

Who's ready to go racing? Let the East begin.


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