Pulp: This might peel the paint on somebody's Orange Glow Helmet

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6/8/2018 4:52 PM

http://pulpmx.com/2018/06/06/swizcorner-amateur-hour-thursdays-at-the-helen/

I’m someone who is borderline OCD when it comes to diligence in the attempt at lessening the chances for a failure. A failure of any kind. That could refer to personal injury, mechanical failure, loss of any kind… so when I hear that not only did another Pro rider get injured on a practice day at Glen Helen but coincidentally the other 450 rider on the team who just prior to the start of the Nationals saw his year cut short, I’m a little on edge and incredibly baffled.

Lets start at the first most incredible component of this perfect storm, a Pro caliber Motocross track mixing Joe Schmoe with elite Factory Pro’s. It is unreal that this combination exists, let alone is a commonality at Glen Helen. Imagine ANY other sport where Pro’s n Joe’s mix it up together in practice sessions. Let’s go hit the local Basketball court and rain down three’s with Steph Curry. Maybe hit up a well manicured Baseball Diamond to jack homers with Mike Trout. I have plans next week to head to Michigan International Speedway and throw a cinder block on the accelerator as I make Kurt Busche my bitch through turn 3. HOW INSANE DOES THIS ALL SOUND?!

Not only should this not be permissible, it could be the next level of VIP program for JT to institute. We’re talking mega-money here to ride with the Pro’s…. Or you can just do it now by showing up on a Thursday at Glen Helen and paying your practice fee. Ridiculous.

What’s worse? Oh yeah, there’s no flagging crew incorporated into this bastard of an idea! I’m not kidding, this is insane and typing it out now, it really sounds like it should be illegal. The fact that there’s no flagging crew doing their best to keep all the riders safe is bad, really bad… but the most unconscionable thing is that the Team’s who these elite riders are employed by, just go along with it and hope that things work out. How could they with so many facets pointing toward the inevitable failure? It’s just another example of small-time thinking in this sport that leaves us with disastrous results and asking ourselves, “How?” How dare anyone pretend to have any unsatisfied curiosity regarding Factory Husqvarna’s entire 450 roster on the sidelines after learning of the facts surrounding the incidents.

The faux pas of the Glen Helen practice days are just one example of multiple similarly amateurish handlings within the confines of our sport and it is honestly the easiest to both predict and correct, yet here we are. Can someone, ANYONE throw their balls on the crossbar and start to correct these glaring inadequacies in Motocross and Supercross?!

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6/8/2018 5:00 PM

You nailed it, we’re a small time sport and even at the top level we’re all the same. Freak accidents, maybe. But we need to be smarter. Very frustrating.

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6/8/2018 5:14 PM

DA498 wrote:

You nailed it, we’re a small time sport and even at the top level we’re all the same. Freak accidents, maybe. But we need to ...more

That is not my work, I just re-posted it. it's spot on though.

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6/8/2018 5:19 PM

Here is the answer apparently common sense is wrong.

Mr Info posted this from MXA

THURSDAY AT GLEN HELEN: DID YOU THINK NO ONE WOULD BE THERE?


On Jun 7, 2018 Last updated Jun 7, 2018

Following the Jason Anderson incident last Thursday, where he collided with another rider while riding through the infield, there was a lot of sturm und drang about how factory riders should never practice at Glen Helen again because they have to ride at the same time as amateur riders. It turns out that factory riders and their teams may not think the same way as the masses on the internet—because this Thursday at Glen Helen you couldn’t throw a cat without hitting a factory rider. Why? Because most factory riders rode at Glen Helen on Thursdays when they were amateurs, To them it is second nature to ride with other people—as they do at Milestone, Pala, Cahuilla Creek, 395 and Perris. Plus, if you are testing for the AMA Nationals it’s best to test at an actual AMA National track.

Cooper Webb(2) was at Glen Helen testing out his recently repaired leg alongside fill-in rider Alex Ray (91)

For those who expected a ghost town at the Glen, it was the perfect day to see Ken Roczen, Cooper Webb, Aaron Plessinger, Colt Nichols, Dylan Ferrandis, Weston Peick, Justin Cooper, Toshiki Tomita, Tyler Bowers and Phil Nicoletti (on his new Husqvarna FC450) among the many. Ernie Becker grabbed his Brownie Automatic and snap a few quick pics of “Thursday at Glen Helen.”
Dylan Ferrandis, one of several riders who has been out injured, was at Glen Helen preparing for his return to the National circuit.

Weston Peick probably came to Glen Helen to give Phil Nicoletti a fond farewell from his JGR team. Nicoletti signed on as a full-time fill-in rider at the Rockstar Husqvarna team.

Aaron Plessinger’s National Championship hopes improved by 20% this week with the injury to Zach Osborne. Now he has to deal with the Martin boys.

Justin Cooper won his first-ever AMA National moto last Saturday in Colorado.

Toshiki Tomita gets special care from the Honda mechanics.

Tyler Bowers was back under the Kawasaki awning.

Alex Ray wants to keep his job at Team Yamaha—especially now that Cooper Webb is getting ready to come back.

Justin Jones came to Glen Helen fresh off his Baja 500 win last weekend. Jones is an ISDT Gold Medalist, Junior Tropgt Team winner and four-time Baja Champion. Those are good credentials for the son of a four-time 250 National Motocross Champion.

Colt Nicholls.

Tyler Bowers.

HRC of Japan rider Toshiki Tomite watching the action from the REM side of the National

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6/8/2018 5:29 PM

http://racerxonline.com/2018/06/08/3-on-3-sipes-on-open-practice-and-more

Ryan has some thoughts, although he chose to be on the track at the same time as an amateur. These guys need to start thinking.

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6/8/2018 6:42 PM

There could be answers with regard to possible flaggers on mid-week practice days,. In my mind, for the last 20-plus years, (most of the time) Thursday practice at Glen Helen is and always has been fast or pro-caliber day (especially from April-August). Just like Wed at Milestone when they combine the tracks (not sure if they still do that) its pro day pretty much until 2pm or so (yet technically the track is open to all riders). I avoid these tracks during those months on those days to avoid getting landed on or parked in a corner. Why slow vets, beginners and novice ride main tracks when there are a slew of full national pros blowing by them going a million is beyond belief.

If you are not at least an intermediate, you should stay off those tracks on those days. But even if they had pro/intermediate only, riders don't listen. At milestone they have several different tracks but slower riders jump on the main track and don't do the jumps all the time, dangerous. Pretty sure the REM track is usually open on Thursdays for (Beg-Nov) caliber riders. There are options but since I have been riding tracks since 1983, its the same stuff.

Safety is paramount, and mid-week flaggers may be the answer, but then expect gate fees to jump up another $10-20 per day. However, I have seen flaggers that get paid at Milestone and they are pretty much useless, looking at their phones or standing under the trees hundreds of feet from the track. Who will work for $10 per hour and stay glued to watching riders for 8 hours, even with breaks (and most of these flaggers don't ride). They have flaggers, but 9 times out of 10 the riders are the ones who are the first responders during a practice crash and it takes over a minute at times for the Milestone flaggers to get to the accident, especially if its on the other side of the track with no shade. This is also what happened at Glen Helen before the medic crew got to the first downed rider (fellow riders fagged the accident). GH should have red flagged practice but the option was to ride around the accident. Then a second accident happened while trying to ride around the first accident.

There are stupid riders all the time, both fast and slow, they don't look where they are going, cross-jump, don't look or raise their hand before exiting the track or jumping off the track in a hurry (Jason Anderson incident). Pros also need to be aware they are riding full-speed on a track littered with amateurs. Should the amateurs not ride because there are pros on the track or should the pros rent Glen Helen on Wed to avoid the amateurs so they they can ride full speed?

Things could be done but it might again raise the cost of riding dirt bikes, even on practice days. A race track referee could police the track and kick off slow riders that are below the pace on the main tracks, flaggers that pay attention (good luck and with an added cost to the track of possibly $800-1200 per day if legit employees), kick off fast riders that are making dangerous passes on slower riders. Riders themselves need to learn to hold their line when being passed instead of making last minute lane changes or they need to know who is coming up on them and give the faster rider the main line. Then riders also get upset and stop going to tracks when they start to split up practice sessions because of the down time including watering. Gorman used to split practice up for minis, (beg, nov and vet) and (fast vet, inter. and pros) but we would sit around pretty much all day and maybe get an hour of riding if if we were lucky.

We can't blame the track, the rider or the rider who was hurt, it is a collective problem that "We" all need to do our part. If the track had a few flaggers (might help) if slower riders knew how to hold their line, move out of the way in advance or let people know when they are exiting the track in advance, and fast riders could be more aware of passing slower riders, taking a split second to think what might happen when practicing on an "Open Practice Day" But even if they had "Pro Only Practice Days" pros still show up at random tracks to ride to get seat time.

It is not a specific one thing fix, there are easy solutions but it still might not have changed the outcome of Jason Anderson. We want to be able to afford to ride for fun but if you want track personal to cross every T and dot every I when they open their doors it could cost everyone more at the gate. I would pay $10 for good flaggers but I know its very difficult to get good flaggers to work part time and bake in the the sun or freeze there butt off in the winter for minimum wage.

My rant is over

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6/8/2018 7:22 PM

A little common sense goes a long way. Out of the thousands and thousands of practice days at Glen Helen, there have been very few freak accidents.

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6/8/2018 7:43 PM

My memory isn't as great as it used to be. But didn't Ben Townley hit another rider or land on him a few years ago at Glen Helen? I wanna say it was during his time with the Troy Lee team.

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6/8/2018 7:46 PM

If a team is willing to spend millions on a rider, bikes, trucks, and crew, it sounds like it would make sense for a few of those teams to pitch in to come up with the two or three grand it would cost to rent the track out once a week to practice in a safe and controlled environment. These teams need to use a little common sense it seems.

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6/8/2018 8:19 PM

Everyone talks about common sense, but unfortunately, it's not that common.

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6/8/2018 8:45 PM

In b4 ab0rtion clinics

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6/8/2018 9:09 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/8/2018 9:20 PM

Wandell wrote:

My memory isn't as great as it used to be. But didn't Ben Townley hit another rider or land on him a few years ago at Glen ...more

Correct , he clipped a rider and knocked him out as The guy was trying to restart his bike

A few tracks here now have lights and sirens on jumps, that are controlled by a central point , meaning you don’t need a lot of flagers ,

Much safer , also here all clubs will split practices on open practice days with a heap of riders

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6/8/2018 9:15 PM

Wandell wrote:

My memory isn't as great as it used to be. But didn't Ben Townley hit another rider or land on him a few years ago at Glen ...more

scott_nz wrote:

Correct , he clipped a rider and knocked him out as The guy was trying to restart his bike

A few tracks here now have lights ...more

It was over a blind hip Jump over the top of one of the hills. Such a sketchy spot on the track.

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6/8/2018 9:41 PM

I don't understand the argument against splitting practice. Every single track I've ever ridden does this, and I've never in my life been pissed about it. I liked it as a beginner because I didn't have some local pro jumping over my head, and I like it as a faster rider now because I don't have to worry about landing on a slower rider or kid. If you seriously can't handle taking a 20 min. break every hour for slower riders and minis then you need to pull your head out of your ass and chill out, get some damn water and gas up your bike or something and you're ready to go again. The idea of having national level pros and kids/begginers on the same track is mind numbingly stupid I can't even comprehend it to be honest.

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6/8/2018 9:48 PM

I am baffled that Glen Helen is still open for business in this world of lawsuits. The lack of concern for riders safety has been horrid there since I can remember and it’s rather disturbing that nothing ever changes.

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6/8/2018 9:53 PM

Split practice does not work. It makes the riders even crazier. Its like a race day start. Even more crowded because everyone is limited on time. Ive done the northwest, it really is more dangerous that way.

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6/8/2018 10:16 PM

500guy wrote:

Here is the answer apparently common sense is wrong.

Mr Info posted this from MXA

THURSDAY AT GLEN HELEN: DID YOU THINK NO ...more

If that's MXA, it's got Jody written all over it "Sturm und drag," -- pretty fancy for moto journalism.

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It's impossible for a corporation or government to love you or care about you.

6/8/2018 10:16 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/8/2018 10:18 PM

quadzrulebro wrote:

If a team is willing to spend millions on a rider, bikes, trucks, and crew, it sounds like it would make sense for a few of ...more

No sh0t

I can’t believe having so much money in a stock or property or any other investment and not taking better care of it

All the dumb asses on here want to say ‘no big deal’ but it totally illustrates how dumb most of the people in our sport are. Including executives and leaders.

Who in their right mind let’s the reigning supercross champion ride on the same track at the same time as joe blow?

Yep you got your money worth on that decision.

Another one down. Oh well they will all be back next week. Let’s see what happens then.

JS7 Reedy RC4 BB4 any many others create these private compounds in Florida for a reason...

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6/8/2018 10:35 PM

Risk vs reward. You don't like it? Don't ride there. Problem solved. Get off GH back already. This conversation is tired.

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6/9/2018 12:54 AM

Even the dangerboy deegan has a video on YouTube flaunting the fact that he’s on the track at the same time as the pro’s. Not Glen Helen but the same sort of deal.

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6/9/2018 4:52 AM

Funny to see who gets shot at when they point out small minded thinking in this sport and who has people lining up to wash their balls.laughing


It's also been mentioned many times before that pros get to ride for free at the Glen. Is that still true?

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6/9/2018 6:48 AM

newmann wrote:

Funny to see who gets shot at when they point out small minded thinking in this sport and who has people lining up to wash ...more

Yup, top 100 are free.

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6/9/2018 7:17 AM

Probably why many bought land and built tracks in Florida.

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Take it to the limit, one more time!

6/9/2018 7:27 AM

The riders and track owners have the right to choose for themselves.

Buy your own track, or become a top pro rider and you can make your own decisions too.

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6/9/2018 7:42 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/9/2018 8:33 AM

Johnny Depp wrote:

The riders and track owners have the right to choose for themselves.

Buy your own track, or become a top pro rider and you ...more

That is true but in some cases the amateur/novice riders are clueless to the dangers so it might be nice to have a little guidance/rules. Not to mention the ignorant parent that would allow junior to be on the track at the same time as the fastest riders in the world. Like others have mentioned it’s like putting little Johnny in a Prius to ride around Daytona’s high banks with Kyle Busch.

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6/9/2018 7:58 AM

Doesn't Jason have a practice track in Florida? All about choices and Glen Helen didn't make this one for Jason, his team, or his trainer. Didn't learn from Wilson?

Be careful what you wish for, NASCAR is dead from this regulation some are requesting.

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6/9/2018 9:38 AM

newmann wrote:

Funny to see who gets shot at when they point out small minded thinking in this sport and who has people lining up to wash ...more

ML512 wrote:

Yup, top 100 are free.

With all that money they saved on practice fees you would think they could afford to pay their manfriends to play flagger.

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6/9/2018 9:54 AM

newmann wrote:

Funny to see who gets shot at when they point out small minded thinking in this sport and who has people lining up to wash ...more

ML512 wrote:

Yup, top 100 are free.

newmann wrote:

With all that money they saved on practice fees you would think they could afford to pay their manfriends to play flagger.

I'm gonna have to agree with that.

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Nobody ever told me, I found out for myself. You've got to believe in foolish miracles. It's not how you play the game, it's if you win or lose. You can choose. Don't confuse. Win or lose. It's up to you!

6/9/2018 9:59 AM

KennyT wrote:

I am baffled that Glen Helen is still open for business in this world of lawsuits. The lack of concern for riders safety has ...more

What are you talking about? The incident was handled. Everything happened OFF the track. If you go off the track the rider needs to slow down, period. So you want to blame Glen Helen for that. The reason we have such few tracks out here or anywhere is because of people like you who want to blame everything on someone else and not accept the blame. All the flaggers in the world couldn't have stopped it. Unless you want flaggers off the track because Jason wanted to continue go race speed off the track. But let me guess, you're in favor of 90 foot triples, because they are so safe, right?

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CR85/XR150 Conversion, TTR150 with one off swingarm and rear disc, Modded XR120, Stock XR100, KLX170, Monster DRZ125 with very few DRZ parts.

6/9/2018 12:20 PM

The utter lack of safe practices in motocross is downright appalling.

When I switched over to supermoto/road racing, the difference was incredible. When I first started racing MX, no race couldn't leave the gate unless the ambulance was there. Now they don't even have an ambulance at the track for a motocross race. Road racing still has the same rules that MX used to have in that regard.

Road racing has a few things they do right that motocross used to do. Things like an actual tech inspection. Not sending some kid through the pits to put stickers on number plates and calling it tech inspection. Mandated back protection. Never allowing groups of dissimilar speed together on the track at the same time. Flagging crews (yes crews!) with headsets in every corner.

It's weird to me that with all the lawsuits that have shut down tracks, that safety in motocross has gone backwards over the years. Yes I know it's inherently unsafe, but that doesn't mean you can't have some basic protections in place. The people running these tracks need to start treating them more like the race tracks they are and less like a gravel pit.

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Empty a bag of skittles into the toilet and then flush. It's like watching a five second long nascar race.