Vital MX Pit Bits: Unadilla

It was cool to see Kailub Russell be able to fulfill a lifelong dream and line up for a National.


Kailub Russell surprised us, and himself, by laying down some nice scrubs on press day.

We're looking forward to rooting these guys on at the race everyone's been dreaming of for years, a Motocross of Nations at RedBud. But what's the bike revving sound in the background?

The Phoenix Racing team has slimmed down a little since their launch at High Point, though they're already deep into signing up riders for next year. Currently, Ben LaMay is holding it down, and it sounds like Isaac Teasdale will make his debut with the team at Budds. Oh, and if you're a pro looking for EKS brand goggle support, Ben's your guy.

With the rain coming down, Ben LaMay had some custom garb (courtesy of Hefy) for the trip to the gate for moto one, but he ditched it before the gate dropped.

Marvin Musquin getting outfitted before heading out for pratice...and the rain that arrived later.

The Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing guys used press day as a test session, trying out some new goodies on Justin Barcia's bike.

Team Yamaha uses a different setup than some of the other teams (like Honda and KTM), which use a cable and spool arrangement. This attenuator has a more complex mounting system, and might be a little less fragile than the thin cable.

The rear suspension was also set up to collect data on Barcia's bike.

Nate Alexander connecting up all his electronics. The Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/KTM/WPS harnesses have a nice label system to make sure everything is easy to reconnect.

Ken Roczen dialing in his Mobius wrist braces.

Justin Hill's fan club. His mom, Angela; and girlfriend, Izabel.

This corner (just before where the track reconnected to the start straight was extended out a little further than we've seen it previously. There was a bit of an abrupt jump at the bottom of the hill that GuyB's standing on here that had people scratching their heads during practice.

You often see series officials checking in with riders after the practice sessions for feedback on the track. Here, Jeff Canfield and Carrie Jo Coombs chad with Kyle Cunningham and Justin Hill.

Yep, this one got modified before the races got started to make it into a roller.

Justin Cooper almost used Unadilla as the debut of the 2019 Yamaha YZ250F. With the impending weather, and the with a desire, the team made a last-minute change to have Justin race the '18...which was put together on Friday with parts that arrived in three big Ogio bags.

Oops...beware of gravity. Scott Lillis had a bit of a digger that required a few stitches.

Phil Nicoletti ran our onboard camera during Friday's press day. He told us before the race that he was looking for a top five, so the podium appearance was an upgrade from his goal.

Colt Nichols looks fast, even sitting still.

Dave Feeney using a die to clean up the threads on this sprocket bolt, while simultaneously stripping out the old threadlocker.

Now here's a real factory wrench. Dave Feeney uses a grinder to thin the backside of the 12mil so that it slides easily between the spokes and sprocket bolt on his rear wheels. Also, it gets a custom bend to it so that the long end clears the knobs.

Ted Parks (left) making some Fly Racing gear dropoffs on Friday afternoon.

Yep, with a fair amount of standing water on the track before the first 250 moto, the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki guys opted to close up the sideplate vents.

This was probably the cleanest Cooper Webb was all weekend.

That was a sweet gear setup for the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM gang. Unfortunately, by the time they hit the motos, it was quickly all covered in brown mud and water.

Here's another cool gear setup that quickly turned brown. Joey Savatgy said that he kept forgetting that he had roll-offs set up on his goggles, so he'd go for a tear-off, and have to reset for the string pull.

We liked the all-red color combo that some of the Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna 250 guys were wearing this weekend. It made them much easier to spot on the track.

Here, John Knowles, Justin Shantie, and Joey Savatgy talk strategy for goggle changes...who'd hold the clutch lever, how they'd hand off goggles, etc.

Justin Hill was still suffering from the effects of his crazy Washougal crash, where he ended way up in a tree.

Mum's the word. That was the first time in quite a while that we'd seen Joey run anything but his usual Versace butt patch.

We're still trying to decide if the upside-down horseshow was just a mistake, or if it just describes the crap luck that Austin has had this season.

Look for a Tomac Replica Bell soon, complete with the eagle on the back, but minus the Monster and PPG logos on the visor.

Forgot what a non-muddy Eli looks like? Here's one from practice.

Gared Steinke hiding behind his blast shield while the field works on practice starts.

Caption time!

Ever have trouble seeing over the crowd while spectating at a race? Here's one solution.

After Billy Hartle rolled Aaron Plessinger's bike into the gate, we saw a funny moment where Aaron mounted his bike by jumping from the yellow backstop. It looked like one of those old westerns, where the cowboy was mounting his horse from a running start.

Aaron's zeroing in on another title in '18. He could wrap up the 250 crown as early as the first moto at Budd's.

While some folks grumped about the Screw U section being cut from the track, it would have been a bit of a nightmare.

Oof. That moment when you go down and get drilled by the rider right behind you. We know Sean Cantrell felt bad about this one.

There's a bit of a reputation to uphold among the Unadilla fans for their ability to party. These guys didn't disappoint. Drinking a beer from a front fender while the chainsaw motor was revving? Yeah.

The Wounded Warriors and Nikon had a cool program where they brought out several vets, along with an experienced pro to show them how to work on their photos skills.

Ugh, we felt bad for Enzo Lopes, who was waiting patiently for his bike on the moto two gate. Unfortunately, it never arrived.

Here's some more new Fly gear that we didn't see at Washougal.

Yeah, that's how we felt about hanging out in the mud, too, RJ.


Now that's a healthy stream...


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