Vital MX Pit Bits: Muddy Creek

Muddy Creek was the last round of fill-in duty for Alex Ray with the Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing crew. Cooper Webb should be back in the saddle for Southwick.

The local media got plenty of time with Alex during Press Day.

Fly's Max Steffans doing his gear sorting and delivery on Friday morning. What you see here is the gear for the Phoenix Racing guys. There were several other tables full of other gear, and it's pretty amazing the amount of product they dispense every weekend to their sponsored riders.

After the engine problems the GEICO Honda team guys had at High Point, the team went through a top-to-bottom review of products and procedures required to make sure that components from a variety of vendors aren't conflicting with each other. A few ten thousandths here and there can add up.

We caught Justin Barcia working on his Arai helmets early Friday. Among the things he was working on was "retraining" the nose guard (via the white tape on the front), and using some small bits of foam to help keep roost from getting into the forward-facing vents.

Yep, Dylan Ferrandis runs some pretty tall bars.

Well, it's either a race horse, or the Team Honda HRC guys want to keep prying eyes away from casual viewers...

Hmm...how many of you Honda guys wouldn't mind having this batch of components?

It looks like Eli Tomac got some fresh rims this week. As often as fresh tires are mounted and removed from each wheel (not to mention wear and tear from racing and roost), the rims can start looking rough if not replaced.

Fridays are for cleaning, and rig and bike maintenance. Teamwork makes the dream work.

What does Eli Tomac do for fun? Well, he often gets in some time flying RC planes at each track. As you'd expect, he's also pretty good at it.

Mathilde Musquin put together the team dinner for the Red Bull KTM crew on Friday night.

If you want a chance to chat with riders and crew members when they're not focused on racing, Fridays are a good time to do it. Things are much more casual.

Reminder notes of things to do are always a good idea...even for pro mechanics like Frank Latham.

Ryan Sipes was wrestling a bit with jetting for his 125 Husky. At one point when we stopped by, he had his son and a pair of mechanics from Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna pitching in to help. A fuel change from what he used on Friday (when he did our One Lap video) to something else on Saturday also helped clean things up.

Ryan just missed out on scoring points (with a 21st in moto two) on the 125. With the deep conditions on Saturday morning, it was a tough task for the small-bore two-stroke.

Ryan's dad was helping him with wrenching duties on Saturday. It sounds like Ryan will get a few more shots at the Nationals this summer, but aboard a 450.

Ah yeah, just a little Friday afternoon top end maintenance under the TPJ tent on Ramyller Alves' bike.

Brock Papi checking out the track before heading out for Saturday practice.

We appreciate the ever-watchful Alpinestars Mobile Medical crew.

The second week of action on the Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna bike was a little bit smoother for Phil Nicoletti. He said it was a rush to get settled in and ready to go for High Point.

It was pretty easy to use up all the travel while landing on the big uphill triple...and that was if you landed smoothly like Justin Barcia is doing here. If you came up short like we saw a couple riders do? Oof.

You'll always find Gary Bailey recording video footage for review later on. We're guessing that he has quite the archive.

The Alpinestars crew is always hustling to keep their guys dialed.

It was a clutch party for the Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha crew after the first practice session.

Meanwhile, on the privateer end of the pits, guys like Brandon Scharer get to do their own boots...and bike.

Caption this (with Joey Savatgy and Johnny O'Mara.

Unfortunately, Yusuke Watanabe had to sit out this week with an elbow injury. He should be back in action soon.

Doh! Normally it's the riders who come up injured. Forrest Butler does some Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and ended up injuring his back.

Doc Navarro working his pre-race magic on the Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/KTM/WPS duo of Blake Baggett and Benny Bloss. He's got quite a few clients in the pits, and has to hustle to make his rounds.

Jacob Hayes got his first shot at the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series for 2018, and finished 11th overall.

There were a trio of 250 hotshoes who returned to action this week. First up was Hayden Mellross...

...also Colt Nichols...

...and finally, Jimmy DeCotis.

Yep, it's that time of the year, where it's hot and muggy, and riders bring all sorts of fans to the starting line...

Weston Peick didn't have a fan providing a cooling breeze. But he did have his mechanic, Travis.

Carson Brown told us a funny story about his week one experience at High Point. He said he was sitting on the line and was wondering whether or not he was nervous...right before he threw up. We had to ask if we were in the safe zone this weekend, and apparently the nerves were over.

Ugh...when you're halfway up the start straight and your bike locks up and rolls to a stop. Carson Brown experienced this before the start of moto two.

Something interesting this season is that they're filling the gates with alternate riders in the second motos...which is why you sometimes get a different number of total riders every weekend in the overall results. While it was a bummer for Carson Brown, it made room for another rider to get a chance at some experience and points.

Bugle? Beer bong? Handy spot for autographs? All of the above?

We like the Jurassic Ken nickname.

Marvin Musquin resetting his start device. Well, trying, that is. He and Frankie finally set it the old-fashioned way.

The start practice before the second morning practice session is an interesting time to watch guys showing their prowess at laying down the power.

The Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing 450s are back to the regular Showa shock, rather than the BFR that they used late in the Supercross season and the earlier portion of the outdoor season.

We caught Spencer Bloomer doing a little peg sharpening before the racing started. He caught a hot spark or two.

The GEICO Honda bikes are thirsty...and they have their own Renegade fuel (check the label).

Dylan Merriam waiting for the action to get started. He finished 12th overall on the weekend, and he's also 12th in points.

Normally we seen Brent Duffe wrenching, but he was on hand for the two-stroke race.

Before the National action got started, there was the second annual Cody Gragg Memorial Two-Stroke race. Blake Taylor (234) had the early jump as they headed into turn one.

When a first turn crash (and bikes stuck together) results in frustration and some pushing and shoving...

Here's a handy reminder. Once you're involved in a first turn crash that's only a handful of laps long, there's a race going on...and you're not in it.

Luke Neese just missed out on a podium spot.

Jyire Mitchell was on the gas, and he scooped the $2,000 second-place bucks.

Ezra Hastings comfortably out front. He pocketed $3,500 for the win.

Here's your top three for the Cody Gragg Two-Stroke race. Ezra Hastings grabbed the win, followed by Jyire Mitchell, and Justin Rodbell.

Sam Gammons and the Victory Sports crew have quite the facility, and do a great job at Muddy Creek, and through the southeast. We can't wait to come back.


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