Wednesday
Nov222017

Moto It Keeps You Young!

Meet Gary Willison, 76-Year-Old Motorcross Enthusiast

 

 

By Timothy Doe, Castaic Community Contributor

Suppose you opened up the sports page of your newspaper one morning and saw that the Dodgers had signed a 76-year-old shortstop. That would get your attention, wouldn’t it?

Well, this story isn’t about a 76-year-old shortstop, but it is about a 76-year-old motocross rider. Maybe at first glance you don’t think the two sports have a lot in common, but the truth of the matter is they do, and one of the similarities is the respective ages at which the athletes develop. In both sports you get started at a very early age, serve your apprenticeship as a teenager, reach your peak level of competition in your early and mid-twenties, then start at least thinking about hanging it up by the age of, say, 35. Not Gary Willison though, who instead of retiring from motocross in his mid-thirties actually started riding at the age of 36 and now, 40 years later, is still out there weekly, doing it, as the saying goes, in the dirt.

Gary started riding in 1977 at the legendary Indian Dunes track, which back in the day was out on Highway 126 in the Piru area. His first bike was a 125cc Suzuki RM, a far cry from the brand- new  Honda CRF-450  he’s about to take delivery on. That’s how it works in motocross – you gradually progress to bigger, faster, more powerful bikes, and with his new 450 Gary has reached a plateau of sorts, and is out on the track at least once a week. A few years back he raced in a series of organized 70 years and older races held at tracks in several different states during a seven month season. It might have been a bit of a tough grind, but Gary still managed to come in first at every race that season.

But motocross isn’t all thrills – it has its share of spills, too, and Gary can tell you all about that. He’s had nine broken bones in the course of his career, and once broke both bones of his right leg at the same time. But you can’t let a little thing like that stop you, and Gary certainly doesn’t. Might be a good lesson there. Wasn’t it Frank Sinatra who sang “I just pick myself up and get back in the race”? He did, however, take a little break from motocross awhile ago and put in six years bass fishing, a sport which has a tendency to produce fewer broken bones, but the lure of the track proved too strong, and he put away his fishing tackle and got back on a bike.

Gary and his wife of 57 years, Connie, live in Palmdale, so he rides regularly at the Quail Valley track up by Gorman, or at the larger LACR in Palmdale.

Of course, motocross, like any motor sport, isn’t the world’s cheapest pastime. After all, you can spend six hundred dollars on a pair of boots if you want to. And although Gary obviously qualifies for Social Security, he’s also obviously not the type to just sit around and collect it. He usually puts in a four day week creating custom shower pans in advance of the tile setters doing high-end remodeling, and having begun that trade in 1962 he’s had plenty of time to niche in with a select group of quality contractors who are happy to keep him as busy as he likes. So not only does he actively participate in a demanding physical sport at an age when many people spend their time playing bingo, he also pursues an occupation that is most likely dominated by people 50 years his junior. Do you think maybe there’s a lesson in that?

So what’s next for Gary? Well, there is an 80-plus category in motocross, so it’s a safe bet he’ll be there, and if he is, the smart money says we’ll be seeing him winning races there, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
Nov212017

Time — An enduro short film

We spend our life chasing time, riding dirt bikes helps slow it down.

Tuesday
Nov212017

West Hare Scramble Championship

 

Beta’s Max Gerston was crowned the 2017 AMA West Hare Scramble Series champion at the championship finale in Wilseyville, California. 

Gerston entered the final round with a 18 point lead. Finishing in fourth he increased his lead to win the series with a 35 point overall lead.

Gerston won the championship on his Beta 390 RR Race edition while finishing on the podium seven times including one race win. 

“I am so happy to get this title for my family and my team,” told Gerston. “It is the result of a lot of hard work and tough times. 

“I am also excited to get my body healed, so I can be back to 100 per cent for next year.”

He rode injured for three races late in the season with a sixth place with round two being his worst finish.

Gerston will return to the series in 2017 and looks to retain his #1 plate, as well as competing in the EnduroCross and other extreme events.


 

 

Monday
Nov202017

2018 Dakar 40th Edition

KTM Prepare for Dakar

 

 

The Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing team are entering the final stages of their preparations ahead of the 2018 Dakar Rally – the 40th edition of the event, staged this year in Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. Competing on the all-new KTM 450 RALLY, the official four-rider line-up of Sam Sunderland, Toby Price, Mathias Walkner and Antoine Meo are currently all busy training hard ahead of the gruelling annual event.

Following an intense year of racing, training and preparation, the Red Bull KTM team of Sam Sunderland, Toby Price, Matthias Walkner and Antoine Meo are now all but ready to begin their individual quests to claim KTM’s 17th consecutive Dakar bike class victory, and take on the challenge of the longest and toughest event on the cross-country rallies calendar.

Following two years of development and a rally win on its first competitive outing, the all-new KTM 450 RALLY is also ready to face the challenge of the 2018 Dakar. Officially launched at the recent EICMA show in Milan, resplendent in its Red Bull livery, the bike boasts many performance improvements over last year’s model. A new engine and management system gives the riders more accurate throttle response, a new chassis and swingarm provides sharper handling and newly designed fuel tanks and bodywork ensure the bike feels slimmer and is more manoeuvrable.

Proudly displaying the number one plate on the new KTM 450 RALLY, Sam Sunderland will return to the Dakar as defending champion. The British rider’s fight for the 2017 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship went right down to the final round where unfortunately he was forced to retire after picking up a small injury on the second day. Now fully fit and confident of a good result in South America, Sam will be fighting to repeat his success of 2017.

Sunderland: “I am feeling really positive. I’m feeling really fast and strong on the new 450 – my fitness is good at the moment and I have no injuries. We have had the final shake down test on the new bike and it went very well. There’s always a lot of work and preparation in the last couple of months on the run up to Dakar. Trying to balance all the factors of testing, training and travelling always makes for a busy time before Dakar.

“Now I would like to be able to reward the team for all their hard work with a good result, which is what I’m working towards. We were able to do that at the bike’s first outing in Morocco when Matthias took the win. Everyone in the team is focused on Dakar.”

Toby Price, winner of the 2016 Dakar Rally, has endured a difficult year. Following his crash at the 2017 Dakar in which he injured his femur, Price has been on a long road to full fitness ever since. The Australian was set to race the OiLibya Rally of Morocco in October, but complications with his injury forced him to miss the event. Aware of the challenge in front of him, Toby remains upbeat and determined to put in a strong performance.

Price: “After a recent clean-up of my injury, I am feeling a lot stronger already. It’s a big step forward and things are already looking really good for January. I have been able to get some time on the new bike, and it’s a huge step forward – the team have done an incredible job. I’ve been off a bike for close to eight or nine months. It’s clearly not the preparation any rider would want leading up to the biggest race of the year, but then you don’t forget how to ride a motorcycle.”

Riding the new KTM 450 RALLY, Matthias Walkner won the final round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship in Morocco. The win ensured Matthias finished third overall in the 2017 championship standings. This success, and the feeling of increased confidence on the new bike, has given Walkner even more motivation as the Austrian goes into the Dakar Rally looking to better his 2017 runner-up position.

Walkner: “It’s been a long year and a season of ups and downs for me. To finish the championship on a high and on a bike that suits me so well is a massive confidence boost. My feeling on the new bike allows me to push that little bit harder and it has taken my riding to the next level.

“Nobody can predict what will happen at the Dakar, but the team have done an amazing job preparing the bike for the event and I am feeling really good. Hopefully all that hard work will pay off and we can come away with another win for KTM. Before that there’s much more training and riding to do, to be in the best shape I can before the start of the race.”

Claiming a strong fourth place finish on his return to racing at the final round of the Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, Antoine Meo surprised even himself with his pace. The last two seasons have been difficult for the Frenchman following the injuries to his wrists sustained during the 2016 Dakar. The four-time Enduro World Champion is looking forward to Dakar 2018 but knows he still has some work to do before he is ready to take to the start line in Peru on January 6th.

Meo: “This year has been tough. After missing the 2017 Dakar due to having corrective surgery at the beginning of the season I came back for the races in Abu Dhabi and Qatar, which was possibly too soon. After a break during the summer, I came back again to race the OiLibya Rally in Morocco. I surprised myself as I immediately felt at home on the new bike and was able to fight for the podium.

“It’s really difficult to judge my pace right now. I am feeling good but know I still have a lot of work to do before January. I’m not setting any specific goals for myself going into the Dakar, my plan is to take each day as it comes and just go from there.”

The four Red Bull Factory riders will be joined at the 2018 Dakar Rally by KTM Rally Factory Racing’s Laia Sanz and Luciano Benavides. Sanz will be looking to secure her place as the most successful female Dakar competitor ever with another good result. Benavides will be competing in his first Dakar for KTM and will be aiming to gain as much knowledge and experience as he can over the course of the two-week event.

Running from January 6 to 20, 2018, the 40th edition of the Dakar Rally will see over 500 competitors cover 10,000km during 15 days of racing. The 2018 event will be the 10th edition to be held in South America and will cross the three countries of Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.

Monday
Nov202017

Musquin Talks Paris!

 Musquin on a successful trip.

 

Marvin Musquin is an unstoppable force through the off-season, it seems, as he has won each event that he has contested, no matter the format or location. Although his competitors stayed close in Paris this past weekend, he proved to be superior once again and ensured that the many French fans in attendance left the all-new U Arena happy. Our Canadian contributor, Steve Matthes, caught up with Musquin for a post-race chat.

Man, what a weekend and what an off-season for you. I was really impressed tonight. In the sprint race Cole [Seely] caught and passed you, you were struggling a bit and made some mistakes. Anytime that someone got close to you, outside of that, you picked it up and figured out where you were weak. I thought the race craft that you showed was great. 

Yeah, thank you. It was a very challenging weekend. The track was tough. Those berms were definitely blown out; it was loose dirt with no ruts. It was very tough, to be honest. That turn before the whoops was super open and wide, so I was able to get inside or outside. I did not want to get passed there, so I went outside. Obviously no speed coming into the whoops and Cole was better than me, so he got me in that sprint race. He was definitely better than me in this race.

Aldon Baker came to Paris with Marvin Musquin for the first time (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

You picked it up and learned some things for that last main event. He was on you again and you managed to pull away.

Yeah, exactly. The starts were great and then he was behind. I skimmed the whoops again from the outside and the speed was a little bit better. I did not want to send it and risk crashing. No excuses, I was a little bit slower, but I got better in the main and then I started going inside again to be consistent and safe.

It seemed like inside, outside, jump, skim, left or right. There were six or seven different ways of doing it and you were trying all of them! 

Yeah, exactly. That is good. Yesterday was only one line, the outside, and before the dragon’s back we were able to go inside. We need that. We do not want to see everybody going outside and in the same line.

Man, your starts were on point. Was there anything special or different that you were doing?

No, I like the metal gate. Obviously the traction was super consistent and the bike was working great. The starts were super important this weekend.

There are always a ton of eyeballs on Marvin Musquin when he returns to France (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

You have won this race before, but in Lille. We are back in Paris now. What do you like better and what are the differences? Talk about that a little bit. 

This race has been in Paris for many, many, many years. For reasons they went to a different city, but now we are back and this is where it should be. We had a great weekend in a brand-new stadium. The fans were here – they showed up. There were 24,000 people and that is really good for a stadium here in France. Great, brand-new stadium and I am happy to win the first one.

I was talking to JMB about you a little bit. He said that it is different in the position that you are in now, because you are the man here. The pressure is on you and everyone wants you to win everything. You almost did, but do you feel that a little bit? 

Yeah, for sure. I was disappointed when I got second. The crowd, they expect me to win, but this weekend the track made it super challenging and difficult. Those guys were sometimes better. I’m glad that I got the Superpole both nights. That was a tough exercise, but we got it done.

It looked like you picked a few different gate positions throughout the weekend?

No, not really. It was either the second one or third, but today I was on the second gate the whole time.

Musquin faced a tougher field than at the Paris-Lille race last year (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

What an off-season for you! Monster Energy Cup, Red Bull [Straight Rhythm] and here. Man, it is pretty nice. 

Yeah, it is and good for the confidence. I know this is not Anaheim. This weekend we had great riders, but I know Anaheim will be different. Last year was a great off-season too and it built confidence, so I am just looking forward to doing the same thing. That is the goal, build confidence, and then to go into Anaheim in good shape.

A little different engine design with the new bike and a little different frame. What do you like about it?

You know what, we are still learning. We raced Monster Cup, Red Bull Straight Rhythm and now Paris. We have done some testing, but I think we have got to do more. We are not ready for Anaheim yet. We are still working on the bike and that is what we have got to do until January. I am sure we can get better. We are still learning the new frame and all that.

Interview: Steve Matthes | Lead Image: KTM Images/Simon Cudby

Monday
Nov202017

WC.....Black Friday Sale!!!

 

 24 HOUR SALE!!! 

            Free Freight on orders over $150

                                      

 Visit worksconnection.com for Black Friday savings!!!                   
 Friday, November 24th, 2017 from 12:00am - 11:59pm (PST)

FREE GROUND FREIGHT applies to: Retail Orders over $150 (after 30% discount) and US Continental shipping destinations only.
Offer valid to online orders and limited to "in stock" items only. Does not apply to Rider Support. Cannot be combined with any other discount offer. 

 

 

Sunday
Nov192017

Musquin Masters Paris

Pasis SX


 

Considered as the favorite of the Paris Supercross, Marvin Musquin didn’t miss his come back in the French capital, and won the first night of racing in front of 22000 fans who didn’t want to miss the first sport event ever in the brand new U-Arena.

Taking great starts all night long, Marvin Musquin just missed the grand slam as he made a mistake while leading the first ‘sprint race’ and offered the win to Dean Wilson who was very close. But Dean didn’t get as good starts as Marvin in the two other races, and was not be able to beat the hero of the stadium who will lead the second ‘sprint race’ and also the main event – more than 16mn long – from the first to the last lap.

Zach Osborne was the main challenger of Musquin in the main event and even posted the fastest lap time, but the American crossed the finish line four seconds after Marvin and three seconds ahead of Dean Wilson. Marvin is the first sportsman to win in the U-Arena and will try to become ‘King of Paris’ this Sunday, but he knows that both Zach and Dean will be serious challenger, as well as Cole Selly who was last at the start of the main and came back fourth.

In the SX2 class there was a tough battle until the end of the race; Do was leading most of it, but he made a mistake in the whoops during the last lap of the race; Yannis Irsuti joined him and made a move in the penultimate corner, but both riders crashed! Irsuti was the first to re start and he won the race, followed by Do and Arnaud Aubin.

Story and Photo Credit: P.Haudiquert/SX Paris

The results in the SX1 class

Sprint 1 : 1.Wilson ; 2.Musquin ; 3.Seely ; 4.Osborne ; 5.Soubeyras ; etc…

Sprint 2 : 1.Musquin ; 2.Seely ; 3.Wilson ; 4.Osborne ; 5.Soubeyras ; etc….

Finale : 1.Musquin ; 2.Osborne ; 3.Wilson ; 4.Seely ; 5.Soubeyras ; etc…

The results in the SX2 class

Finale : 1.Irsuti ; 2.Do ; 3.Aubin ; 4.Bowers ; 5.Larranaga ; etc…

Sunday
Nov192017

Brayton Oz SX Champ

Brayton Wins


American Justin Brayton survived a muddy final round of the Australian Supercross championship to come ouf the winner of the title. Dan Reardon, who is heading to the Arenacross series in the UK in a month or so, finish second overall, with Dean Ferris third.

Nathan Crawford was initially classed as the winner of the final round of the SX1 championship, but that was overturned and Nick Schmidt awarded the win after it was found that Crawford had missed part of the track.

Results by our friends at fullnoise in Australia

SX1

SX1 Final Round 6
1 Nick SCHMIDT
2 Kade MOSIG
3 Nathan CRAWFORD
4 Daniel REARDON
5 Justin BRAYTON
6 Dean FERRIS
7 Joel WIGHTMAN
8 Dylan LONG
9 Daniel HERRLEIN
DNF Todd WATERS
DNF Tom LEACH
DNF Jono KRUSIC
DNF Robbie MARSHALL

Sunday
Nov192017

The Paris SX 

The Paris SX delivered plenty of action on day one in U Arena. Hear from Cole Seely, Marvin Musquin, Tyler Bowers, RJ Hampshire, Zach Osborne, and Dean Wilson

Saturday
Nov182017

Seely Tops Paris SX Qualifying