Mark Blackwell Inducted to Motorcycle Hall of Fame

Monday, October 07, 2013


The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame is pleased to announce that Polaris Industries, which powers Victory Motorcycles and the resurgent Indian brand, will sponsor the 2013 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony's Legend presentation of Mark Blackwell. The induction ceremony, part of the AMA Legends Weekend, presented by Husqvarna, takes place at Las Vegas' Green Valley Resort & Casino on Friday, Oct. 18, with tickets available to the general public.

Blackwell, a pioneering racer in American motocross and six-time AMA championship race team manager, built his post-racing career as an executive at motorcycling companies, ultimately serving as vice president of Victory Motorcycles.

"Mark Blackwell is one of those people who is living the American motorcyclist's dream, turning a successful AMA racing career into a career in the motorcycle industry that has carried him to the highest levels," said Jeffrey V. Heininger, chairman of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which oversees the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. "We're excited to have Polaris come on board in support of Mark's Hall of Fame Legend recognition."

Said Polaris' President and COO Bennett Morgan: "Mark Blackwell was an instrumental leader in developing and then building an excellent foundation for Victory's bright future during his long and successful tenure as vice president of Victory Motorcycles. His influences, outreach and support continue to this day within Polaris Industries, and we are proud and honored to support the AMA in his addition to the Legends roster."

The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Husqvarna, will officially honor the class of 2013: AMA Supercross and Motocross Champion Ricky Carmichael; AMA and desert racing champion Danny Hamel; racer, promoter and motorcycle industry icon Norm McDonald; AMA Roadracing Champion Randy Renfrow; and motorcycling fundraisers and Ride For Kids founders Mike and Dianne Traynor.

In addition to Blackwell, another Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend will also be honored at the event: Torsten Hallman, a four-time FIM World Motocross champion who was instrumental in introducing the sport of motocross to America and later founded the Thor brand.

The induction ceremony is just the first must-do event of the gala weekend. On Saturday, Oct. 19, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Dave Mungenast Memorial Legends Reception will honor the Class of 2013, the 2013 Legends and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers from previous years. The reception hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the assembled Hall of Famers will be interviewed on-stage in a relaxed setting that allows fans and friends to get up close and personal with motorcycling's heroes.

#33 Visits WPS/Fly Racing

WPS/FLY Racing Tour

I had the opportunity to visit Western Power Sports/Fly Racings’ Marketing guy, Dale Spangler, to take the grand tour. It was very impressive the way WPS/Fly Racing has set up their warehouse and office space. The place was packed with employees all looking like busy little bees on the phones dealing with customers/dealers. It was interesting to find out a bit about Dale’s back ground and the companies he had worked for in the past. He has had some interesting positions while working both in the USA and Europe in the motorcycling industry. Not a lot of guys can lay claim to working on two continents in something they really like. It was apparent that Dale really likes what he is doing and his enthusiasm was nice to see after so many years in the industry. I also understand that Dale was quite the rider, though now he says he doesn’t have a bike. Somehow I think he has it in mind to remedy that before too long, just by the sound of his voice when he admitted to not having a bike at the moment. That's Dale on the left below with his coworker Brian.

When I drove in the first thing I noticed is all the construction going on to their property and buildings. They are obviously doing something right since we are in a slow economy and they are expanding by the looks of things. The exterior had new walls being set up and new floors being poured to expand their facilities. I found it amazing that they needed more room once Dale Spangler gave us the tour. He showed me how they bring product in, inventory, distribute and then categorize it in the shipping warehouse. They have definitely made the most of their available space by building more tiers of floor space. They have the coolest roller system to assemble parts orders and send them from the top tier down while picking up more product at each stop on the way down. Very clever and efficient.

Dale showed us the recreation area for the employees and the basketball court that leads to the lunch area on the second floor. The recreation area has a plethora of machines and weights to do any type of workout you could think of. The dining area has a view of the exterior and it overlooks their motocross track they have built on the property. I was thinking I needed to get a job here so I could have a quick 10 minute lunch and hit the track every day! What more could a guy or gal ask for! I guess it made perfect sense as to why I saw so many motorcycles in the back of pickups in the employee parking lot.

WPS/Fly Racing has what appears to be a great workplace environment. I think I am going to sneak an application to Dale and see if he can put in a good word for me.


“If you done it, it ain’t braggin’!”


Day 4 Italy ISDE


2013 ISDE



Moto Cross Des Nations - Sunday, Go USA!

The Biggest MXoN In History Set To Take Place In Germany This Weekend


The 67th edition of the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations is all set to get underway in Teutschenthal, Germany this weekend the 28th and 29th of September.

Forty-one nations have entered, which is the highest number of countries entered in the History of the event, with new entries such as Israel heading to the event fo the first time, however only the best twenty countries will take part in the final heats on Sunday.

The defending Champions Germany will be racing on home soil and on a track they know very well, and will have the added benefit of the unconditional support from their home fans. This year team manager Hubert Nagl will count on the experienced Max Nagl, the talented Ken Roczen and the rookie Dennis Ullrich, in a bid to hold onto the Chamberlin Trophy.

Team Belgium still has the bitter-sweet feeling of last year’s second position; they were happy to be on the podium but they knew they could have won the event. Consequently, this weekend Joël Smets and his riders, Ken De Dycker, Jeremy Van Horebeek and Clement Desalle, have only one goal, which is going back home with the Chamberlain Trophy.

De Dycker is the most experienced rider and he won a Grand Prix in Teutschenthal in 2010, Clement Desalle finished second in the FIM Motocross World Championship and he is at his best shape and Jeremy Van Horebeek will be back on the 250cc after a very strong rookie season on the 450cc.

Team USA finished third last year on the tough and demanding track of Lommel, but this weekend the Americans will be motivated to obtain what it would be their 23rd Chamberlain Trophy for Team USA.

Team Manger Roger De Coster has selected Ryan Dungey, who is about to become one of the most experienced American riders in the MXoN, Justin Barcia, whose first MXoN was last year in Lommel, and the rookie Eli Tomac, who has recently been crowned 250cc National American Champion.

Marcel Hartman, Team Manager of The Netherlands, has had to make a last minute decision when Jeffrey Herlings announced that he was not going to race the MXoN. The 2013 MX2 World Champion broke his shoulder blade during the Belgian Grand Prix, but he decided to race his home Grand Prix two weeks ago even if his shoulder was not 100% healed.

The doctors have advised Herlings to rest for six weeks, so team The Netherlands will be represented by Marc De Reuver in MX1, GP winner Glenn Coldenhoff in MX2 and Herjan Brakke in the Open class.


Team Australia a considered a very good chance by many to sneak on to the podium at this years MXoN in Germany - Credit: Aaryn Minerds

The seven-time World Champion Antonio Cairoli will represent Italy once again in MX1 class, with former World Champion David Philippaerts will race in the Open class and Alessandro Lupino in MX2.

Last year Team France were not as strong as they normally are and they finished sixth in the standings, but this weekend the public will be able to see a very strong French Team with Gautier Paulin, Jordi Tixier and Christophe Charlier.

Paulin always does very well at the MXoN and his experience will help Tixier and Charlier to race two intelligent motos in order to finish among the top three Nations. Tixier has finished second in the FIM Motocross World Championship and Christophe Charlier was fourth.

Team Great Britain, whose last podium was back in 1997 in Nismes, Belgium, will also be one of the teams fighting for a top three finish with Tommy Searle, Jake Nicholls and Shaun Simpson, who won the last Grand Prix of the 2013 FIM MX1 World Championship two weeks ago in Lierop. The three riders have experience racing the MXoN, so it might be their opportunity to shine and finish among the best Nations.

Our very own, Team Australia is also looking strong, with the young talented riders Dean Ferris and Todd Waters, joining the experienced Brett Metcalfe, who helped his country to finish on the podium in 2011 at Saint Jean d’Angely, France.



KTM's Todd Waters Excited on the Eve of the 2013 MXoN

The Motorex KTM team’s 2013 MX Nationals Vice Champion Todd Waters is ready and champing at the bit on the eve of this year’s Motocross of Nations, at Teutschenthal, Germany.

Waters will represent Australia for the second time, alongside join Brett Metcalfe and Dean Ferris in what is a very strong Aussie team set to take on the world’s best motocross talent.

Waters, who won four rounds of the MX Nationals this year, moved to Europe several weeks ago to begin setting up after earning a factory ride in next year’s World MX1 championship.

He will represent Australia in the MX Open category, with Metcalfe riding the MX1 bike and Ferris competing in MX2, in what is the pinnacle of international motocross competition.

“Things have been great over here." Waters enthused. "I’ve been working on getting myself all set up for next year, but this weekend I'm really excited about.

"We have been putting in the hard work and have been bonding with the team just great, so the goal this weekend is to work like clockwork.

"I haven't got the chance to see the Aussie team yet. I did get to ride a couple of days with Dean but the whole team will meet up tomorrow," Waters explained.


Todd Waters has been surrounded with some top shelf support all year with team mechanic Ryan Deckert (left) and experienced team Manager Rob Twyerould (Right) - Credit: Aaryn Minerds

KTM team manager Rob Twyerould who headed over to Europe to help Waters settle into his new surroundings initially, has been to the MXoN on five occasions and know just how big and important the race is to the rider he helped guide through the 2013 Australian Motocross championship.

“The Motocross Des Nations is something special, I’ve been to five of them and the most amazing one was in France." Twyerould explained. "The fans were that dense you could hardly walk from the pits to the start line and, rather than clapping, they just used air-horns or chainsaws with the chain removed.

"The noise was so intense you couldn’t even hear the bikes on the start line, just air-horns. Then the fans would follow their favourite riders around the course with blasts of noise like a Mexican wave of sound. It was quite amazing.

"From all reports it’s all going to hinge on the start on that track, but at the Des Nations you always need a big dose of good luck. Every team seems to have some sort of issue or drama, there’s always high drama but if the three boys can get a clean start and complete every race they’re always in contention for a podium, I truly believe that.

"Riding in the Des Nations is incredibly important to Todd and he’s worked hard all year always with an eye towards representing Australia." Twyerould continued. "Last year’s event was the one that showcased him to the world and I’m sure it was a factor in him getting his ride for next year so this year it will be even more special.

"He’s had a fantastic lead-up staying in Europe and I think he will feel pretty comfortable, like he belongs with the rest of world’s top riders. He will go in with his eyes open and no expectations other than giving his best performance.

"From all reports it’s all going to hinge on the start on that track, but at the Des Nations you always need a big dose of good luck. Every team seems to have some sort of issue or drama, there’s always high drama but if the three boys can get a clean start and complete every race they’re always in contention for a podium, I truly believe that." Twyerould concluded.



Motocross Des Nations A European View


Kiwis to face world's best MX riders

New Zealand may again shine on the world motocross stage,

Mount Maunganui's Rhys Carter is making his Motocross of Nations debut this season. The Motocross of Nations is the biggest and best motocross of the year and once again New Zealand will have an impressive presence at what is considered the "Olympic Games of motocross". It is just over two weeks until the 67th edition of the great race, set this time for the steep hillside track of Teutschenthal, near Leipzig, in former East Germany.

New Zealand again has a team this year that is capable of big things - Mount Maunganui pair Cody Cooper and Rhys Carter and Mangakino's Kayne Lamont. They have a better chance than most of being on the podium late on the afternoon of September 29, although that will actually be Monday morning back home in New Zealand. From rookie first-timers in 1984 to top-10 regulars just over 10 years later - Team New Zealand first cracked the top 10, finishing seventh, in Slovakia in 1995 - Kiwi motocross riders now rate among some of the best in the world.

There have been some great MXoN races over the years, such as in 2006 when 10-time world champion Stefan Everts and Italy's Antonio Cairoli dominated the racing at Matterley Basin, near Winchester, in southwest England, although Team USA did enough that day to win the main trophy anyway, finishing top of the podium with Team Belgium runners-up and the Team New Zealand squad finishing in third. New Zealand has been on the MXoN podium on three memorable occasions in recent times - at Foxhills, in England, in 1998 (with Darryll King, Shayne King, Josh Coppins), at Namur, in Belgium, in 2001 (Daryl Hurley, Josh Coppins, Shayne King) and at Matterley Basin, in England, in 2006 (Josh Coppins, Cody Cooper, Ben Townley).

With Kiwi riders taking their careers overseas in increasing numbers, and New Zealanders lining up regularly at Grand Prix world championship events, or even at major domestic races in countries such as Australia, England, Belgium or the United States, the likelihood of NewZealand winning the Motocross des Nations has gone from far-fetched dream to achievable reality. That is also perhaps the case in Germany on September 29, with New Zealand MX1 champion Cooper, Kiwi domestic frontrunner Carter and former Australian under-19 champion Lamont there to fly the Kiwi flag.

Mangakino's Kayne Lamont (KTM), set to again race for Team New Zealand at the annual Motocross of Nations. Since leading Kiwi internationals such as Motueka's Josh Coppins, Tauranga's Ben Townley and Hawera's Daryl Hurley have retired from all overseas competition, New Zealand is now looking to the next wave of youth talent to step up and recently-appointed team manager Coppins said he was confident the squad would impress in Germany.

"I'd like to think that Team New Zealand can slip inside the top 10 again this time," said Coppins.

New Zealand finished 15th when the race was staged in Belgium last season and this year's edition of the big race is again shaping up as an extraordinary battle.

The racing will feature more than 120 of the best motocross riders on the planet. But, seeing as only 40 of those riders can line up at one time in the final three motos to decide who takes away the Chamberlain Trophy, a rigorous elimination process is required.

The Monster Energy-sponsored event begins its whittling procedure with qualification races on the Saturday (Sunday morning, NZ time).

By Andy McGechan


A Really Big Prize Winner!


Vet Motocross Des Nations

Hucklebridge and Church spearhead Great Britain's challenge

Wiltshire-based cousins Mark Hucklebridge and Tom Church have been chosen to represent Great Britain in the Veterans Motocross Des Nations International team event at Farleigh Castle, near Trowbridge, over the weekend.

Rob Herring and Mark Eastwood are also in the squad. All four were contesting top line events until last year and are expected to shine.

However, they face a strong challenge from the French side consisting of Jean Michel Bayle, Yves Demaria, Fred Bolley and Jackie Vimond and Americans Doug Dubach, Jon Dowd, Guy Cooper and Jeff Stanton. Belgium too look strong and field Werner De Witt and Johan Boonen among their four-man squad.

No fewer than 15 teams will contest the event over two races each day of six laps.

There is a massive entry of over 500 contesting no fewer than nine classes in the twin shock and evolution events.