(Above photo shot by Scott Lukaitis/NJ Motocross)
Welcome to Woz Up! I’m live right from vendor row at Raceway Park for the 36th running of the Kawasaki Race Of Champions in Englishtown, New Jersey. It’s an event I’m deeply connected with as the first race I ever watched in person was the 1998 KROC event. This event plus the Unadilla pro national are usually the races where I get that much needed home feeling at the race that I don’t usually get at other races. I almost raced this event back in 2004 but a severe head injury at Raceway Park’s practice track the week before the event ended my chances on racing that event and still since that day, I haven’t been behind a starting gate with a pair of wheels. Hopefully one day that’ll happen!
Anyways, I’m here at Raceway Park as the amateurs and pros get their last minute practice prep in before racing kicks off tomorrow at the KROC. A heavy amount of riders showed up with a full practice just for the A class, which can mean there will definitely be qualifiers for Sunday’s program. Lots of top Northeast A class riders such as Joey Peters, Frank Lettieri, Broc Schmelyun, Luke Renzland, Seth Rarick, and a whole bunch of new riders coming from the B class. Josh Osby looked very good in the B practices and looks to be the favorite for the Ironman Classic on Sunday with no one really being close from what I seen. Kawasaki Team Green’s Austin Forkner and Farren/PR2 Racing/Suzuki’s Brandon Hartranft were smoking fast on the minis and them both could be the showdown to look forward to in the Mini Cycle Shootout on Sunday. Local hotshoe Devin Kusmider looks to close out his 65cc career at the Kessler Cup race on Sunday, which should be one of his last rides on a 65. He looked plenty fast on his home track today.
Note: This is just Friday practice. We may see some new names appear Sunday morning but with the 40% chance of rain still looming for Sunday, who knows who we’ll see on top of the box Sunday.
Kawasaki has told me that even with the muddy conditions expected for Sunday, they still want to have Jake Weimer and Darryn Durham do their laps on the track at intermission. Kawasaki also has their main semi here along with their small transporter offering full support to not just Kawasaki riders but also, to other riders in need of tech tips and adjustments.
The track started off wet and moist due to the morning dew but as soon as the bikes hit the track, it was dust control from there on out. The new, technical sand sections are proving to be the dividing factor for everyone. The back section received a whole litter of low and high bumps and rollers as the front section has some got potential for big air thanks to the track’s famed Staircase leap, the larger Psycho Double, and treacherous flagpole strait that starts with a wall and ends up braking bumps into a even whoop section to finish out the lap.
For more images of the track, I took a walk around the track before anyone got a chance to take a look at it early this morning. CLICK HERE to check out the pics.
A helmet cam video and a photo gallery from today’s practice session will be online tonight at MXPTV. So, stay tuned!
For more updates from KROC throughout the weekend, make sure you follow MXPTV on Twitter as I tweet from the track all weekend.
Yesterday, I posted a couple of Throwback features after digging through the archives quite a bit from past KROC events. I took a look back to the past 5 years of the Kawasaki Race Of Champions with the highlight videos I put together during that time. CLICK HERE to check them out!
Last year’s KROC highlights video – 15,000+ views and counting!
Also, the 2013 AMA pro numbers were released yesterday with some top riders earning career numbers such as Blake Baggett (#4) and Justin Barcia, who is back to #51 for the first time since early 2009 as he winded down his amateur racing career. I put together 2 dozen images of the true #51 in action from a few events in 2005 and 2006. CLICK HERE to check them out!
Taking a look at the past week, it’s been pretty relaxing since taking the much needed weekend off last weekend. It was great to just be a bum and enjoy some solid R&R at home with the family. I could have went to Blue Diamond, Snake Creek, or Broome-Tioga for the NY States. But I decided a day away from the track is what I need after the insane summer I had. When I got to catching up on video work this week, the feeling of rushing to get videos done wasn’t there and I was able to consistently get through the videos I needed to put together with ease. I’m just about caught up but that’ll quickly end after this weekend of course and maybe right through into December.
As for the Motocross Of Nations last weekend, we got beat. Simple as that. I read a lot of people’s reactions on the web and it’s like we lost World War III or something. The Lommel track was nothing like any American has ever rode and the large group of GP riders from the area took over the whole weekend. Italy’s Antonio Cairoli and the Netherlands’ Jeffrey Heirlings simply were 100% dialed all weekend long with their speed, lines, and consistency. I mean, when was the last time you saw Dungey, Barcia, and Baggett get lapped straight up? I watched the live feed from MX Life and I know TV doesn’t do justice but when I see America’s best having trouble on that track, you know it was a different ball game from there on out.
Justin Barcia’s day on Saturday at Lommel didn’t go the way he would have liked.
But more importantly, big props to Germany for grabbing their first Chamberlain cup at the MXoN! Roczen, Nagl, and Schiffer worked great together and we able to be the dominant U.S. team. But to come out 3rd on a truly foreign track like that, the U.S. shouldn’t be down on their performance. You know every member of Team USA put in 110% effort over there and that’s all we could do. Hey, it gives us just that much more motivation for next year this time!
Here’s some cool content from the past week at MXPTV:
I have recently got together with Hookit as they are stepping up my Rider Profile package providing extra promotion of their Hookit profile and a better foot in the door for potential sponsors, which doesn’t happen easy these days. In my first rider video for Hookit, I highlighted Texas native Vann Martin’s summer from Loretta Lynn’s to his first 4 pro national rounds of his career. Check out the video below and if you want to get signed up, shoot me an email at email@example.com for fees and more info on what the package includes.
Maryland’s Xander Brion had a great showing at Loretta’s back in August. Check out his rider video below:
Matt Rice killed it once again with amazing imagery from the New York State Championships at Broome-Tioga near Binghamton, NY. CLICK HERE to check them out!
Dominican Republic import Franklin Nogueras had a great week at Loretta’s. Check out his rider video released this week of the 2012 St. Martin/MX Day Open Class Champion:
Larry Wooster sent in some cool images and words from the Fall-stricken Cohocton MX track in western NY. CLICK HERE to check them out!
My latest video for Alli Sports features Jimmy Albertson getting My 5′d at Spring Creek:
My brother, Tyler Wozney, took out my helmet cam for a few laps at Snake Creek MX in southern Delaware last weekend. Check out the highlights of the newly expanded layout as well as some cool 125cc sounds at the end!
Here’s some random Throwbacks from the 2005 version of the KROC:
Here’s MXPTV film schedule for the next 4 weeks:
- October 13-14 – Club MX Open House
- October 20-21 – Blue Diamond/MAMA Final Round
- October 27-28 – Budds Creek/Maryland States OR Hog Heaven Pro Shootout
- November 2-4 – Ryan Patterson Fall Classic – Blue Diamond
Good luck to all racers at the KROC this weekend! Weather looks good tomorrow but Sunday is looking a lil’ dark, gloomy, and wet. Here we go!