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Behind The Board #8 - Fist-A-Cuffs First Hand

2/26/2002

Recapped By: Carl Hein

 
 
Ahhhhhhhhhh……

Ahhhhhhhhhh……..Atlanta, such a wonderful city, so high-class, so clean that, like Disney World, makes me never want to leave. Yeah right! I have been to this race 7 or 8 years now dating back to the Fulton-county days and I always look forward to leaving.

 

Before everybody (all 3 of you) emails me with hate letters, I want to stress that I’m sure some places in the Atlanta are very nice with kind and supportive people. However I have never been to any of those places. I have stayed in hotels right downtown within walking distance of the Georgia Dome and I have also stayed out by the airport and I have always had bad experiences. I think that the city must have devoted its sanitation budget to the court costs of Jane and Ted’s divorce because I always notice the streets loaded with garbage. It, along with New Orleans are the dirtiest cities in America for sure.  Have you ever tried to order some fast food or ask directions some time in Atlanta?   There is no doubt that the people in these low-paying jobs don’t really enjoy their work but do they have to take it out on me? I just want the right order and could you help me with the directions to a grocery store.  Is that too much to ask?

 

I left my safe house in Chicago on Wednesday with Larry Ward’s mechanic, Doug Stone.  We drove all thru the night and arrived in Atlanta Thursday morning. After trying to get directions to a truck wash we gave up and headed to our hotel. After getting there we chilled for a bit and then Doug finished his work on Ward-o’s bike and I headed off to find a grocery store. After unsuccessfully trying to get directions to one, (shocker!!) I stumbled across a Kroger and picked up everything we needed.

 

We had broken our 11th place jinx in Minneapolis the week before with a 12th!! That’s not progress, so we tried to make some changes for the coming week. A couple of different things went into the motor to produce more hit. Nick’s thinking and mine is that his starts would benefit from more low-end grunt. His riding has been good; after all is said and done his best lap time is often 7th or 8th best out of all the guys.   The fact is you can’t be getting crappy starts with this level of competition in EA Sports Supercross. It’s hard to make up the time you lose off of the start you can ask any rider about this.

 

Friday practice came and the track was typical Atlanta, rutty and soft. Nick came in after practice and remarked about how his bike felt kind of slow.  I think its due to the dirt being so spongy, that or the rag I left in the intake (joke – ha ha). Again, like at Minnesota, there was a rhythm section that normally would take 3 jumps for the normal rider.   Well, RC and Windham were doing it in 2 leaps. It was amazing to see and during the Saturday practice I saw Kevin motion to Alley his mechanic about something in this section. He took off and leaped one time and then went for the next jump and my view was blocked by a jump, but next thing you know there was yellow flags everywhere. It seems that he clipped a jump and tumbled over the next one, breaking his femur. That really sucks, but in a way might be a blessing for Kevin with the miserable season he’s having.  Getting some time off might be the best thing for him even though I’m sure its not the way he planned it but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

 

Saturday went ok for team Wey, he was fairly happy with his bike and his time was 9th best, which was pretty good also.     Saturday was going ok until the boxing match where the race turned great!  Nick had a bad start in the heat race.  RC got the jump and kind of moved over on him during the start but Nick rode well to get a 5th place. Then came the 2nd heat race when the fireworks began!  Vuillemin and Roncada were dicing back and forth and the Cobra put a pretty aggressive pass on his county man. It was aggressive enough to make Ronron endo over some tuff boxes and land off the track. I thought the pass was a little dirty but not too bad. Anyway Nick and I were watching the race in the tunnel and that is where the cobra pulled off to wait for his mechanic (read on for a first hand account)..

 

Round One - Cobra innocently sitting there waiting for his wrench, rammed violently from behind by Ronron causing cobra to lose balance. WINNER- Ronron

 

Round Two - Cobra regaining his balance, throws down his factory Yamaha, prompting Nick to run over and try to steal it.  He walks over to Roncada and gets in his face, giving him a slap in the side.   WINNER-The Cobra

 

Round Three - The Cobra now raining down blows onto Roncada’s helmet seems to me at this point that hitting the helmet wasn’t the smartest thing; maybe a choke would’ve been more appropriate.  WINNER-The Cobra

 

Round Four - Ronron tries to fight back with a jab to the chin, but it’s all over as Cobra continues his windmills on the M2R. Soon the mechanics and others break it up and Nick is forced to give back the dented up factory Yamaha. WINNER-The Cobra

 

This made Nick’s night and mine.  We were less then 10 feet away from the brawl. I have never seen Wey so excited; he was laughing and yelling, “That was great!!”  (You just never see this in Supercross).

 

Onto the semi we went where Nick got a horrible start!  The guy next to him out jumped him and he spun on the plastic and I think he beat the mechanics to the mechanics area but that’s about it. Again Nick rode well, and ended up 3rd in the heat race He was literally 2nd from last after the first lap. This was getting old. He rode good in the semi and now was just focusing on the main and getting a good jump. The main didn’t go so well.   Nick came back from the parade lap and told me it felt like his clutch was slipping. It didn’t make any sense to me being as how I put a new one in for the last practice on Friday and all day Saturday. I think the dirt bogging down the motor made him use the clutch more and might’ve worn it out, I haven’t looked at it yet but it’s on the agenda.

 

His start wasn’t so good again as Nick was about 17th coming around the first turn but he put his head down, made some quick, good passes and was 9th and closing around lap 15. That’s when RC came up and lapped him and once you get lapped it throws your timing off and that allowed Lusk to get by for the 9th spot. He tried to regroup but it was to late. You would think Lusk would’ve been tired from pulling Fonseca off of his bike when he was trying to get on it on lap two, but “Hulk “Lusk must have felt pretty good, as he rode from the back and put in a good ride.

So we ended up 10th, which was all right considering the start and considering the finishes lately. I really wish I would’ve checked the clutch before the main but based on the previous 7 rounds, it’s always been in good shape. I have learned now to check it on these types of tracks. I know this sounds like a broken record but I really feel that Nick is due for a breakout ride here pretty soon. I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever worked for a rider who is getting less results for the amount of work he is putting into it. It is bound to turn around for us; I can feel it.(quoting Beck).  I have no idea if I will write something for the off-week, I might, its just there will be no racing to talk about, just sort of a what-I-did-on-my-off-week thing. You guys don’t really want to hear bout the booze-filled nights do you?   Again if you have any questions, shoot VRM an email at vrm@vrmweb.net and they will forward them to me. When I run out of ideas I will post the best ones, kind of what Pingree does when his writer goes on vacation.

     

 

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