Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Others...A One.

We are back at it! Monster Energy Supercross kicked off the 2018 championships in Anaheim, California inside Angel Stadium. With only one returning champion in the premier 450 class and a 250 field hungry to prove themselves, we are in for an exciting season.

What is “The Others” you ask? In supercross we will highlight 5-22 in the Last Chance Qualifiers for each the 250 and 450 classes. These guys made the night show at a Monster Energy Supercross, no easy feat. The guys who transferred to the main via a top 9 heat finish or by finishing top 4 in the LCQ will will fill the result sheets post race, but this is our twist and giving “The Others” The attention they deserve.

The day started with hype that Honda’s Ken Roczen would live up to as he’d return from what most considered a career ending injury to set the fastest qualifying time amongst the 450 class. In 250 qualifying it’d be the defending champion, Justin Hill throwing down the fastest lap in the closing moments.

After the Heats and LCQ it’d be Main Event time. When the gate dropped on the 250 class, Shane Mcelrath would jump out front on his Troy Lee Designs KTM and never look back. Star Yamaha backed Aaron Plessinger and the Pro Circuit Kawasaki of Adam Cianciarulo would round out the podium respectively. On this night we all came for the 450 class. So many questions and we’d quickly get the answers. Eli Tomac started out front but it wasn’t long until the Kawasaki was on the ground. Justin Barcia is filling in at Factory Yamaha and I’d say came in as a bit of an underdog. He’d temporarily find the lead before finishing third. Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson looked strong on his way to a second. The man on the move was RedBull KTM’s Marvin Musquin and he’d quickly work through the field after a poor start and when the checkers flew the number 25 would heel clicker to the first win of the season.

250 Top Privateer: 11 Kyle Chisholm. 
Kyle has made the switch back to a Yamaha and the 250 class for 2018 with the support of the 51 Fifty Energy Drink team. He’d go on to finish 10th in the Main Event.

450 Top Privateer: 69 Tyler Bowers. There has been some doubt about the multi time Amsoil Arenacross champion. Many have all but written off the Kawasaki rider. With the help of Triggr Racing Bowers showed up at A1 and with an LCQ win would transfer to the main, where he’d go on to finish the night 14th.

Rider: Justin Starling | Photo: Brandon Schlegel
Being round one, we always hear how stacked the class is going to be. On paper a privateer really shouldn’t stand a chance at a Main Event. Especially early in the season with more healthy riders and factory guys who’ve had the upper hand on testing. So we’ve got to give some honorable mentions to Ben Lamay (17th), Alex Ray (18th), Dakota Tedder (20th) and Adam Enticknap (21st) innthe 450 class. Hayden Mellross (13th), Justin Starling (16th), Ryan Breece (17th), Killian Auberson (18th), Jean Ramos (19th) and Brandan Leith (20th) in the 250 class. Way to go boys! 

And now...The Others

  1. 122 Chris Howell 
  2. 77 Ryan Surratt
  3. 149 Tallon Lafountaine
  4. 715 Kele Russell
  5. 805 Carlen Gardner
  6. 240 Bryce Stewart
  7. 138 Blake Lilly
  8. 448 Broc Shoemaker
  9. 321 Bradley Lionnet
  10. 117 Julio Zambrano
  11. 141 Robbie Wageman
  12. 150 Austin Walton
  13. 383 Casey Brennan
  14. 137 Martin Castelo
  15. 81 Chase Marquier
  16. 188 Gage Schehr
  17. 792 Bracken Hall
  18. 75 Noah McConahy 

  1. 981 Austin Politelli 
  2. 80 AJ Catanzaro 
  3. 723 Tyler Enticknap 
  4. 73 Brandon Scharer
  5. 447 Deven Raper 
  6. 645 Cheyenne Harmon 
  7. 211 Tevin Tapia
  8. 214 Vann Martin 
  9. 282 Bubba Pauli
  10. 918 Michael Akaydin 
  11. 181 Dustin Pipes
  12. 262 Connor Pearson
  13. 471 Logan Karnow 
  14. 60 Benny Bloss
  15. 48 Henry Miller
  16. 509 Alex Nagy
  17. 15 Dean Wilson
  18. 84 Scott Champion 

The series will head to Houston for Round 2 of the Monster Energy Supercross. With the jitters out of the way, who will make a statement?

-Kyle Pesci

This weeks “The Others” is sponsored by Bentley GFX. Check them out for industry leading custom graphics at affordable prices.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Ambition...Nick Fratz-Orr

Staring at your phone has become the norm in this technology filled life we live in. It's no different at the races. Social media is a key way for racers to give back to their sponsors and between qualifying sessions many racers turn to their phones to check lap times. Crunching numbers to see if you're in a position to qualify may ease the nerves between sessions or be the motivation to step it up if you want to make the main gate. However on multiple occasions this past season we spotted one rider crunching numbers of a different type.

When Nick Fratz-Orr returns from his qualifiers or motos he's quick to get to work, but not always on something moto related. The 24 year old from Oakland, Maryland decided to take on real estate and commits to providing the best for his clients no matter when or where. Now working in the Deep Creek Lake area of Maryland for the private company Railey Realty and learning from his fathers over 30 years of experience has given Nick the knowledge well past his few years in the business. 

Photo: Diffysmooth

Traveling with his dad to races often transitions the moto van to a mobile office. So with the number 265 in the back, phone calls and emails make the drives seem a little shorter. "On the way to Southwick we were each at 26 or 28 calls in the first 3 hours." It makes for crazy days but is a true statement to the ambition that Nick brings to moto and real estate alike. 

It started in 2000 with a Honda XR50. Chasing his older brother Derek through the years would prove to benefit them both. Although they don't have the opportunity to ride together often as Derek works as a nurse, they enjoy the last minute chances to still chase each other on the track. Derek has loaned Nick bikes to keep him on the track and from time to time will show up to race a national as well. 

Busy at work he was forced to use his self motivation, a strong point for Nick. Although he used to train at GPF (Georgia Practice Facility) in Cairo, GA he has decided to stay home. Closer to family and clients. With a few tracks within a few hours, along with a track and gym at home he's able to make the best of everything. "I'm only 24 once so I don't want to look back and wish I could have done more." "You don't have to have the semis or huge motorhomes, that stuff doesn't make you faster. What makes you faster is the hard work, asking questions and learning."

Photo: Diffysmooth

He's influenced by watching the top athletes of our sport achieve their goals. He's been to the point of wanting to sell it all and quit. Injury after injury had him applying for college and the stress of money between rounds has you hoping to qualify and just break even. But one common thing with Nick and almost every privateer we talk to is that satisfaction when you do qualify. Sitting on the gate as one of the 40 fastest racers in the world. It all goes away. "I can tell you that when I make the main, sometimes I just forget about it all and go out there and enjoy it." The hard work is worth it and Nick Fratz-Orr is a true meaning of getting out of something what you put in. 

The most important to Nick is his parents. Mom prepping the food to get him through the weekend and Dad as a traveling partner and mechanic. His brother who has been a life long supporter. He also has a list of great sponsors behind him. Railey Realty, Barnes Bros Motorcycles and Off Road, Factory Connection, Renegade Fuels, FMF Racing, Luke Himler and Max Steffens at Fly Racing, Aria Helmets, Scott USA, Hinson Clutch Components, Mika Metals, Works Connection, 180 Decals, Dubya, Motorex USA, Gaerne Boot Co., Bill Mayle who is almost always around to help out and a long list of family and friends who have been there to show support. "No gesture is ever overlooked."

So as the Monster Energy Supercross season starts up don't forget about Nick Fratz-Orr who will be back home in Maryland making deals in the real estate world and working hard to be one of the guys you're hanging over the fence cheering for when the weather breaks and we head back to the great outdoors. 

#cheerprivateer for 265

-Kyle Pesci

This article is brought to you by Dedicated Ride Co. The #cheerprivateer about as hard as anyone! Click the link below and check out "The Others" tees along with their full line.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Comfort Zone...Jarett Pesci's switch to Race Tech.

As you walk through the pits between qualifying sessions of a professional motocross or supercross event you'll witness teams in a melee to better their rider. Making the slightest changes to the motorcycle can better suit a track condition or even the mental aspect of the rider on that specific day. It just may be the difference between qualifying, scoring a point, cracking the top 10 or even get you that W on the day.

Anyone who has ever seen Jarett Pesci on a motorcycle would probably use the same word to describe his style...smooth. At the professional level of motocross, riders are looking for seconds on the track to separate them from the competition. Just fractions will be the difference between lining up behind the gate or going home early. For Jarett, he is a man of very few changes. Not one of those riders who is very picky when it comes to setup.

After riding a KTM while in the 65cc and 85cc ranks, he'd spend nearly 8 years on their big bikes. Then Pesci made a switch. He'd go blue in 2016 and almost instantly look comfortable on the Yamaha. There was just something missing though. From the outside looking in, you could see it. The bike was fast and capable, it just was off a little bit.

Just before heading south to begin training for the 2017 season, Jarett would go for one more big change. The bike just needed to handle a little different and he felt like he'd find his comfort zone. Jarett called on Chris from Race Tech for ideas, answers and willing to do what it took to push the Yamaha just a little bit further.

Boxed up and sent west was a set of forks and a shock. No demands, just the basics. Rider skill level, height and weight. What was returned just a short time later was re sprung, Gold Valved, and some Race Tech secrets that handled right out of the box. From day one back on the bike, Jarett felt he was better than were he left off. The stop watch agreed. Being able to trust the bike allowed him to push just that little bit more. 

Race Tech support. A phone call away or trackside service centers. Race Tech has specifically trained and approved suspension service techs throughout the country and at all major events. For Jarett it was as easy a phone call to Wyatt at the Race Tech headquarters for any advice on track conditions and handling. From the loam of RedBud, the hard deep ruts at Ironman or the non stop sand whoops at Gopher Dunes in Canada. The bike just worked!

What were the previous problems? The bike would just tuck and low side out of know where. In chop it seemed like there was no correct setting for the rebound of the shock. At nearly 6'2" Jarett stated "no matter how much I stand up, the bike will smack me in the ass." Race Tech fixed these things.

We recommend Race Tech for all your suspension needs or wants. A key factor in Jarett's switch to Yamaha was the spring fork. Race Tech offers spring fork conversions for air fork bikes if that's the feel you're looking for. The next time you feel slightly out of your comfort zone, try Race Tech. They support the sport, they care about their customers of all skill levels and they #cheerprivateer

-Kyle Pesci

Race Tech offers more than just suspension. Click the banner below to see what they can do for you!