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Behind The Board #4 - The Race & Much More

1/31/2002

Recapped By: Carl Hein

 
 

Our weekend in Phoenix went pretty well.It started with a good week of practice for Nick at the Yamaha track, well, at least he told me he was riding well as I did not go out with him at all.I was busy doing important mechanic stuff (drinking mochas, getting the box van fixed, playing ATV fury, etc.). The bike was immaculately prepared as usual except for the front fender.You see I used a 1 race fender and it had some scratches on it and was a little beat up. Nick let me know that his stuff had to look good and the fender had to go, I explained that as lowly privateers we didnít get new plastic every week like the big factory stars and I had to make sure our parts lasted. I won this argument, which brings my argument-winning total to one.

 

After driving to Phoenix on Thursday and arriving at the hotel with my buddy Ross we didnít do much.†† We just went for dinner with the Plano guys and then went to bed. Friday morning I got up, washed the box van and picked up some groceries and then went to the stadium where I was surprised that the AMA let us, (Moto XXX) park in the "main pits" with the rest of the semis and high rollers.†† Usually at Phoenix all the scummy privateers have to park in the parking lot next to the "main pits".†† In privateer land we refer to this section as the projects.Sometimes late at night there are fires and looting going on in the projects.

 

Practice went well on Friday, as Nick was by far one of the fastest guys on the flat part where the whoops would be, ya he was hauling ass down there!!††† Hereís my problem with Friday practice. We (the scummy privateers) have to drive all day to get to the race, sometimes driving 2 days which as far as I know isnít the best way to train for professional racing. Once we get there, if the van hasnít broken, or some crazy trucker hasnít killed and raped us (in that order), we get a whole 24 minutes of practice!Meanwhile the factory stars get to practice all week on a groomed and watered SX track, they can ride as much as they want so therefore should be better suited adapting to a SX track.†† One would think the AMA would let the privateers have more time on the track because after all we donít really get to ride one all that much...yeah right, try 40 minutes for the big dogs...hmmmm 40 min vs. 24 min?Wonder why the privateers always get carted off on Friday...I just canít figure it out. Sometimes for a real special treat the AMA sends out the water trucks just before privateer practice, "hey guys, lets soak the face of this triple so that you cant do it without scaring yourself to death, but donít worry when the wonder boys of the sport come out, it'll be perfect!Oh and while you are at it, call for some more ambulances, Billy-bob from Kansas just wadded up"

 

Anyway, off of my soapbox for now and onto the race.Saturday went well for us and NYK was riding well and aggressive and was clearing all the jumps and doing all the sections as good as anyone. He felt pretty good and only made a couple of comments about the beat down fender. The heat race saw Nick grab his best start of the season and he came around the mechanics area in 2nd place.He was riding real good but having trouble holding off Nate Ramsey on his tractor (CR450F), eventually Ramsey got around him and he was in 3rd.†† Then a cobra struck.In the turn after the gigantic quad Nick went high and the cobra came in on the inside and passed him, which was fine but I wondered why the cobra had to go as high as he did in making the pass. Because when he made the pass, he hit him a bit and Nick went into the tuff boxes before the triple, thereby ensuring for the 3rd week in a row Nick Wey and the tuff boxes became buddies as he was rolling around in them again.

 

We made it through in the semi and onto the main event we went. Nick rode really well, overcoming a bad start to finish 11th.He started 16th or so and passed a lot of guys and never got passed himself so it was a good ride.I was happy, he was happy, although hard to tell what he was happier about, his ride or the fact that the fender was so trashed that there was no way I could run it again this week. Later that night I shared my happiness with others at the Korupt party and soon after all the patrons at "les girls".Well thatís about it for my race report, I really didnít talk about the race much, watch it on ESPN if you want to get that kind of details.

 

Ok, you have a question about Nick, the bike, places to go, rules or anything Iíll be happy to answer.Whatever you have on your mind fire an e-mail off to VRM and you just might have a column written about it.I thank everyone for reading ďBEHIND THE BOARDĒ and stop by the Moto XXX van at a race and say hi.Until next weekÖÖ

 

Steve Matthes

 

 

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