Vital MX Pit Bits: Muddy Creek 3

With some weather weirdness, big crashes, and the usual assortment of stuff to spy in the pits, it was a good weekend.

Vital MX Pit Bits: Muddy Creek

Let's dive right in. There's plenty to see from Muddy Creek.

With rainy weather forecast from Thursday through Saturday at Muddy Creek, a lot of teams opted to park and set up on Thursday, rather than on Friday, when they usually do it. Since most of the crews didn't arrive until Friday, we spotted several truck drivers helping each other out.
The trucks are rolling showpieces, and get washed more often than maybe some of the riders. That includes making sure it's spotless after a drive...even if you have to wash while it's raining.

Blake Baggett's bike was looking pretty sharp with the red plates on it. They'll be on it for at least another week, as he was still on top after leaving Muddy Creek.

If you want to keep your tires spotless, we saw these tire covers on Blake Baggett's bike...
Nate Alexander was doing up some duct tape strip tear-offs under the fenders on his bike to make muddy clean-up a little easier.

We spotted one of Blake Baggett's fans trackside this weekend, and he had a rather interesting custom t-shirt.

The TLD paint crew is as busy (and creative) as ever. We dig these Le Mans-style McQueen numbers that the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM riders were sporting this week.
Cole Seely had a cool Adidas-themed helmet for Muddy Creek, and we hope he didn't use it up when he and Cooper Webb tangled in mid-air. Cole went down hard, DNF'd the first moto, and had to sit out the second one.

Colt Nichols' mechanic, Trevor Carmichael, was busy building up some new wheels last weekend.

Thursday was build day for the Monster Energy Kawasaki guys, and Travis Parry was busily assembling Josh Grant's bike. Unfortunately, Josh went down in practice, and had to sit out the day with a wrist injury.
Assembly goes a lot quicker when everything is cleaned, sorted, and pre-greased. Brian Kranz turns this batch of bolts into Eli Tomac's bike every week.

The guys had their project RM125 under the tent. Nicely done, guys.

Chris and Cody Gragg were on a lot of fan's minds this weekend. If you don't know the story, the father and son both recently passed away in a crash while on the way to a GNCC race.
We spotted this jersey of Cody's filled up with rider autographs.
There was a Cody Gragg Memorial 2 Stroke Race before the start of Saturday's pro action, and Tyler McSwain and Caleb Carter were battling hard for the win.
Unfortunately the two tangled on the last lap, and both went down hard.
Tyler Stepek avoided the carnage to take the win.

We spotted Nick Wey chatting with Johnny O'Mara during practice. Nick says that he'll be racing at RedBud. Go, Mafia Moto Crew!

While the landing of the triple step-up is usually a smooth affair for most of the pros, that doesn't mean they're not using up all the travel. We've got examples from Justin Barcia...
...Martin Davalos (who's been settling in nicely in the 450 class)...
...and Marvin Musquin.

Scott busted out a bunch of their new 2018 colors of their Prospect goggle this weekend. That's Adam Cianciarulo in the one above, and you can see more below.

Blake Baggett.
Justin Barcia.
Kyle Cunningham.
Austin Forkner.
Dakota Alix.
Bradley Taft.

It was odd to watch the involuntary twitches in his hand as Aaron Plessinger was doing some pre-race therapy on his hand.

We're not sure when we've seen as many top-level riders go down in first turn crashes as we did at Muddy Creek. This one got Dylan Ferrandis, Jeremy Martin, and Joey Savatgy (all moto winners this year)...
...and Broc Tickle, Cooper Webb, and Blake Baggett (among others) hit the deck in this 450 moto.
It was really good to see Trey Canard back in action after an extended absence.
The smile says it all.
He finished 12th overall for the day. Not bad for dropping into a series already in progress.

Mmm...that style.

We expect to see the visor extension on the Airoh helmets during potentially muddy conditions...
...but Jason Anderson left it in place for the first moto. Maybe he was planning on using it to fend off the roost, but he took over the lead on lap one, and scored a moto win.

The riders get some extra starts in practice this year, and it's interesting to watch the different styles riders use to try and lever the rear wheel in for max traction.

Ah yeah, gate prep during the parade lap. Slam it down to make sure it doesn't bounce back up, clean the corners to make sure it falls correctly, and rebuild the pad.
Nate's not afraid to get down and dirty.

Fredrik Noren had a pretty solid weekend at Muddy Creek, finishing eighth in moto two, and 11th overall. He's also pumped about getting some jerseys with his name and number sublimated into them. When they're iron-ons, they're hotter and heavier.

The Muddy Creek track crew did a great job of sealing the track up on Friday before the rains returned...
...and then ripping it back up on Saturday. It was in great shape for the racing.

It was good to see Phil Nicoletti out of his boot cast and working to get back on the track. He's been in the gym, and has just started riding again. The last three nationals (and maybe more) are on his radar.

Henry Miller had a rough weekend with a variety of bike problems. One of our Vital MX readers, Paul Mundt, sent us this note letting us in on Henry's weekend..."I met Henry last year at Club Mx in Chesterfield, SC, and was immediately impressed by him before I ever saw him ride. As time has gone by, he continues to impress. He embodies what MX is about to me. A polite, clean-cut, hardworking, no-nonsense American boy, who also just happens to absolutely fly on a dirt bike. Henry also is truly a struggling privateer. He has had several engine-related failures this year on his 250, so this past weekend at Muddy Creek he moved up to the big dog 450 class. His weekend started off on Friday with more surprises. He and his mechanic and sponsor, Chaz, were prepping his bike for tech, when they discovered the frame was cracked. This was at 4:00 PM, when tech closed at 5:00. Undaunted, Henry went to the AMA and explained his situation, and he and Chaz tore into swapping frames from his blown-up 250, BTW, they did it in four hours.On to practice Saturday, and the demons continue for him. His stator cooked in first timed practice. Does he get all angry and upset and freak out? No Sir! They buckled down and fixed it just in time for the second practice, where he promptly laid down the 16th-fastest time. He’s in the big show!Here we go! Henry gets a decent start, getting bumped around as the pack starts to settle in, he’s going good, around 20th, and then yellow flags and no Henry. No way! Two laps later Henry is on the track again keeping up with Bogle, HUH? What Happened? He never gave up, and charged back to 34th. After the moto, I go talk to him, he didn’t crash, nope, he got a rock jammed in his rear brake. Are you kidding me? Does this ever end for this guy?One more chance to save this crazy weekend. Henry rips a great start in the second moto, rides with the heart of a lion, and scores a 13th! 16th overall on the day! His best finish ever! Incredible!"

We're not sure that this is the message that the mechanic was trying to send. We know messages get written hastily, but there's a big difference between lose and loose.

Ah yeah, when you're a fan and need that champagne celebration selfie...

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