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I have put my body through some rough times: injury to flat out debauchery. I checked an item off my bucket list over the past 5 days after visiting Las Vegas. I’m not a big gambler, nor enjoy shows really so this trip was all about being a tourist and mixing in the Monster Energy Cup. From last Thursday at noon when we landed to get in our front door last night at Midnight, Amy and I would agree we took 5 years off our lives. Whether it be the endless cocktails, the lack of sleep, the constant laughter, or the final night on Freemont street, there was no breaks or time to catch your breath. It was go-go and honestly one of the best trips I have ever been on. The funny part was the Supercross race which most would think was going to be the best part ranks near the bottom of moments on this trip. It was fun, but it had nothing on the Dueling Pianos, Charlies Vegas, Ceasars Palace, the Bellagio, Carnival, the MGM pool, the Monorail, Freemont St, and visiting the site of the biggest massacre in the history of the US. Wall to wall crazy is how my Vegas story goes!
So, above I shared the Monster Energy Cup wasn’t very exciting. I hadn’t been to a LIVE Supercross in nearly three years so I was anticipating something more. The list of racers was good but it felt like something was missing. The track was super easy and way, way too fast for the obstacles, these guys were doing. It was extremely hard for the best riders in the world to time things right when going 70 MPH. This is why Tim Gasjer crashed super hard. Bogle got taken out after he and another rider crossed in the air and Tomac slid out doing about 50 MPH and got slapped into the ground. This all happened before the end of Main 1, so three big names were done before it even started. The idea of the joker lane didn’t work this year. The reason it was so cool in years passed in my eyes because there was actually a strategy to it. With it being 6 seconds faster this year all the best guys or guys at the front took it on lap 1. The feeling of “he hasn’t taken it yet” was gone after lap one so the race became just another race with no real options to catch other riders. The experience is still a great one but the race itself never really developed. Marvin Musquin took the One Million Dollar prize as easy as or easier than the very first and only other time it happened which was year one the race was born. All in all, I would give my first MEC experience a C+. It’s still unreal listening to how good those bikes sound.
The big positive about the event was my little buddy Ben Kongmany racing in the KTM Junior Supercross class. He rode great but didn’t get the start he needed or I think the podium was achievable. The kids only get three laps and the nerves mounted with the size of the track so I don’t think these kids get rolling and become chasers but rather they’re just out riding and enjoying the experience. Ben got to see some amazing sights and sounds being a part of this just like many before him from Canada. They get treated like gold giving mom, dad, and little racer a glimpse into the future if they “make it.”
So the news/rumor has broken about CMRC being sold. I dropped the news first on Twitter on Tuesday of last week. Of course, I’m all for this and played a big role in the beginning of it all 2 years ago. I saw many industry folks on the weekend at MEC and they couldn’t believe Jetwerx actually paid for the CMRC and national pro package. I feel the exact same but Just Thompson was put in a position where this is how it had to happen. Now that it is finally done the work can begin on making the three Pro series under the Jetwerx banner work for the teams, privateers, and future racer. The grassroots racing will not change much in the sense each region will have their spot to be part of the building blocks for the pro series. After the press release over a month, it got very quiet and this is because of the nature of this deal. So many things from the past have been in question for so long that now with a fresh start from every angle the industry wanted to address the issues prior to just flipping the switch and going racing with Jetwerx: annoying yes, but part of the process. There are going to many questions wanted to be asked and demanding answer’s in the coming weeks. My race group AMO/MMRS have already gone national joining with Future West so the legwork has begun. Now it’s hoping and trying to work with others so we can all become one and ensure great grassroots options and opportunity for our young stars to help fill the gates at the Pro level. The only reason this is different then what happened 25 years ago is that opinions, social media, and everyone thinking they have the answer’s but don’t be fooled. This is exactly what went down in 1991 but just way more open now do to the way we all do things. The last item that was asked of me to answer a lot in Vegas whenever I saw a Canadian was, “Does Jetwerx just keep CMRC name?” In my opinion, I say no, but in some ways, it makes sense because only the insiders know the real scoop. The regular families on the weekend that just wish to race have no clue. I can’t think that the connection now with FIM/CMA will want to work with the name CMRC though that could be the ultimate factor in the decision. No matter what this news is big and good for Canadian moto from every 4-year-old racer to the 60 plus racer right across the country. With this adventure beginning, it gives new light for this sport to become great again in Canada. It was once with CMA, it was even better with CMRC and now, I feel we’ll reach another high with Jetwerx gripping the handlebars!