Dragon's Back discussion - Forkner on DMXS

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7/9/2020 2:44 PM

First off, there is a good interview with Austin Forkner post-hospital here on DMXS, thanks to David Izer for doing this:

https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/dmxs-radio/id1191027685?i=1000483669230

In there they discuss his crash and Forkner is basically saying it was about a 6" difference in whether he crashed or didn't crash. Now I get that a 6" difference in wheel placement can equal a crash in the whoops or another obstacle too, but maybe Supercross needs to re-evaluate how the Dragon's Back is used? This year was especially bad with the Arlington crashes plus Forkner's SLC crash.

Back in March/Apr/May I watched more than a few old races when guys were on 2 strokes and to me it seemed like the only way anyone rode the DB was to skim up it. Now, on 4 strokes I see more guys taking risks launching part way up to clear it, because they have the power to do so. Obviously I've never ridden a pro SX track, but I''m wondering if this obstacle has run its course with modern SX on a 4 stroke? Maybe they can work them into lower speed options where riders have no choice but to skim up them, like place them closer to a corner?

Just curious what people think?

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Old MXer turned Superfan.

7/9/2020 3:06 PM

3 major crashes in 60000 attempts. I think they’re fine.

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Alright Lunger, Let's Do It

7/9/2020 3:16 PM

I’m fine with them. Put more on the practice tracks if it’s a weak spot for a rider.

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7/9/2020 3:18 PM

Nobody HAS to do any of the obstacles at warp speed like they do. They choose to, to win. Risk/reward

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7/9/2020 3:27 PM

Oh man, if we are changing every obstacle a rider has gotten hurt on, might as well ban the parking lot

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"A link is only as long as your longest strong chain"

7/9/2020 3:28 PM

Johnny Ringo wrote:

3 major crashes in 60000 attempts. I think they’re fine.

By 3 of the SX best riders on the planet

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7/9/2020 3:31 PM

Johnny Ringo wrote:

3 major crashes in 60000 attempts. I think they’re fine.

crusty_xx wrote:

By 3 of the SX best riders on the planet

And yet the unseeded guys had no problem with it

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Alright Lunger, Let's Do It

7/9/2020 3:37 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/9/2020 3:38 PM

Johnny Ringo wrote:

3 major crashes in 60000 attempts. I think they’re fine.

crusty_xx wrote:

By 3 of the SX best riders on the planet

Who were pushing the limits of the track. When it works, it’s fast. When it doesn’t work, it hurts.

How many riders have the whoops taken out?

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7/9/2020 4:13 PM

Johnny Ringo wrote:

3 major crashes in 60000 attempts. I think they’re fine.

crusty_xx wrote:

By 3 of the SX best riders on the planet

aeffertz wrote:

Who were pushing the limits of the track. When it works, it’s fast. When it doesn’t work, it hurts.

How many riders have the whoops taken out?

Just about everyone that has ridden an SX track.

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"Sorry Goose, but it's time to buzz the tower."

7/9/2020 4:23 PM

To say that it's because of a power differential is misleading. I saw MC triple-double off an ascending dragon's back in San Diego back in 1996 every lap, right out of a corner (CR250 2-stroke.)

The dragon's back seems like a great obstacle to me. Let's maybe think about not putting a large gap after it with a small, steep landing zone just before a right-hand corner, however. Who had that idea???? blink

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Braaapin' aint easy.

7/9/2020 4:37 PM

We all discussed this before and the conclusion was that it's a lousy obstacle that adds nothing to the racing other than serious injuries.

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7/9/2020 4:54 PM

Johnny Ringo wrote:

3 major crashes in 60000 attempts. I think they’re fine.

crusty_xx wrote:

By 3 of the SX best riders on the planet

Johnny Ringo wrote:

And yet the unseeded guys had no problem with it

Exactly

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7/9/2020 5:19 PM

FWIW, I was not suggesting they be taken out. Maybe just different placement. The one in Arlington seemed to have some build issues, according to the riders. I think we all want to see tracks that are challenging and separate the riders. I just don't see the DB as a massive separator, but it certainly can be an injury producer. But one could say that about any obstacle I guess.

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Old MXer turned Superfan.

7/9/2020 5:38 PM

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The fact that Webb's and Forkner's crashes were virtually identical yet the outcomes were so different is hard to believe.

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7/9/2020 5:40 PM

It's not a flaming jump with a shark pit in the middle...it's a long used difficult "professional level" obstacle that requires a very high level of skill and precision. IMO the dragons back is one of the most interesting and fun obstacles on a supercross track. The big triple used to be until guys on 250's could jump them from the inside.

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MCM2 name - RXR_ProKawi24
PS4 Gamertag "Rocko24" - Add me for MES2 (soon to be MES3)

7/9/2020 5:59 PM

Unless they put the DB in the start straight, there is always going to be something ugly awaiting for you to crash on after losing control in the DB.

Remember people asking to not have a big jump after the DB a couple years ago after a few bad crashes. With Webb and AC crashes this year in Arlington, the better shaped whoops on the DB was brought into the talk and sorted out.

Now after AF, not to have a corner after a DB is the problem.

We could agree that they're dangerous but the other option is taking them away and that's something we don't want.

It reminds me the "what can go after the whoops" talk and it's a berm or at worst some room and a small jump but even though we saw what happened with Jett Lawrence in A2.

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7/9/2020 6:08 PM

Just make the gap at the end big enough, so guys aren't trying so hard to scrub the biggest hump.

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7/9/2020 6:08 PM

Austin has seemingly crashed hard on just about every obstacle on the track. I am honestly surprised how relatively injury-free he has been.

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7/9/2020 6:13 PM

Nah, more dragons backs, more dirt, more technical jumps. Early to mid '00s had the right designs.

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James

7/9/2020 6:20 PM

More dirt. The tracks of the bygone era utilized more dirt. More dirt.

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7/9/2020 6:24 PM

zehn wrote:

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The fact that Webb's and Forkner's crashes were virtually identical yet the outcomes were so different is hard to believe.

Both endoed, but I don't find their crashes identical. Webb was sent over the bars to the side of the track onto the hard concrete and slide a little. Forkner had a sudden stop against the face of the berm. Regardless, gnarly hits by AF and CW.

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7/9/2020 10:17 PM

peltier626 wrote:

More dirt. The tracks of the bygone era utilized more dirt. More dirt.

This is definitely true. Watching old races it seems obvious. Anaheim races 2000-2010 had more dirt.

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Old MXer turned Superfan.

7/10/2020 2:05 AM

Forkners 250 is not as fast as the 250 2 strokes in supercross back in the day anyway.

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7/10/2020 3:16 AM

Like to preface this by saying "I can't do it, not like that"

But, riders are always pushing the limits of the track. Builders make the track and the riders look at it, make a plan of attack, and then some hot dog comes along, you know, someone like James Stewart, and he says "I'm gonna jump the whole damn thing!" and then everyone sees him do it, and then it, "Well, now I have to do it," because they can't win if they don't.

and it goes on and on and on, year after year

Other than leave it as is, there's only two ways to go....make it bigger or knock it down

Bigger is even more risk
Knocked down is not going to challenge the riders and the now 48 second lap times will go down to 40 second lap times and eventually it'll look like a flat track TT race track

Pick your poison

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7/10/2020 3:46 AM

Statistically there wouldn't be an obstacle on the track that hasn't caused injury... It's a fucking dangerous sport.

I don't think the bikes being faster helps anything but the industry doesn't seem to give a shit.

Perfect traction and similar horsepower – 250effs are faster than 250 two strokes were, and they they were seen as menacing, you had to "respect them when you moved up", as said by the Goat, RC... and 500s were too much and 450s would drop them easy these days.

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Cheers, Crush
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7/10/2020 3:52 AM

There is a max speed to every obstacle.. he went too fast.

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7/10/2020 4:54 AM

Weren't dragon backs banned for many years? I thought that after Marshall and Fonseca were injured on them, they did away with with the for a long time.

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7/10/2020 5:52 AM

I think they're a pretty cool obstacle that is obviously challenging, so I don't think removing them is the right idea.

My boy AC sure does seem to struggle with them, though. Not only the injury that took him out this year, but he crashed pretty hard in St. Louis on a dragon's back a few years ago. I took my buddy, who had never been to a race before, and as he said, "So where's the dude you like?", AC proceeded to crash his balls off on the dragon's back literally right in front of us. "Umm, right there on the ground."

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7/10/2020 5:59 AM

Remember when Reedy was asked about how dangerous dragon’s backs were earlier in the season? And remember he would have raced over more DBs than any other rider in history.
He said something along the lines of “ well there’s this thing on the right side of your handlebars.....”

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7/10/2020 6:19 AM


I agree with the OP. I don't think it is a particularly dangerous obstacle, but it all depends how it is built and where you put it.

I remember Stewart a few years ago clearing like a double DB (with the landing also in dragon's back). It was quite sketchy, very technical, but as it was also exiting the corner, at a relatively low speed,, I think it made any crash a bit less dangerous if things really went wrong. This year, with 3 really ugly crashes from the very top guys, it proved that DB should be more placed at the exit of a corner, not in the middle and at the end of fast rythm sections.
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