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Last ride on Englishtown’s original track.

Clint Esposito

With the changes to Raceway Park upon us, this years opener was the last time anyone would ride the original track. I’m not one to get emotional about stuff like that, however I knew I would be disappointed if I missed it. Why you might ask? The first race I ever raced was at Englishtown. So it’s safe to say, it played a big role in starting off this whole crazy Moto related career there in 1993. 

 

The first Supercross I ever saw was Dallas 1989. Jeff Stanton and Jeff Ward battled back and forth the whole second half of the main. Stanton had finally worn Wardy down and was pulling a gap, when he threw it away. (literally he shot his bike off the track into a Toyota that was on display) After that I was hooked! Anyone that watched Moto back then, knows it was frustrating finding the races on TV to say the least. So over the next 3 years I never saw an outdoor national, not sure I knew they existed. When I finally got a race bike, a 1987 KX 80, I practiced and practiced with no real track to ride or any real idea of what I was getting into. 

 

On opening day in 1993, we pack up the van and head to the track. In practice it was deep and wet, which was completely new to me. I had never ridden over jumps like that in the time I practiced and to make it worse the Elevator is 2 corners in… If you have never been there the elevator is a 35ft tall man made step up table top. The actual jump face is 17 feet tall, then it flats off a little. From what I remember, I got stuck the first lap and had to go back down and around it. Meanwhile the regular 80 kids were flying over it and everything other jump at the track. What makes my first experience worse, my parents decided to take our VHS camcorder to document the occasion. What a horrible video that is to watch, jumping like 3 feet off everything, both feet down in the corners. It didn’t help that every time I rode that P.O.S. 80 something broke. You can blame that bike for me never owning another Kawasaki. 

 

Englishtown was never my best track, I loved it because it was rough and had big jumps. However, there was always a handful of really fast locals that you just couldn’t beat there. Well at least I couldn’t, and that was at every level. While I had much better results at other tracks there was always something about going to E-Town.

 

Every October was the Kawasaki Race of Champions, where over the years I got to see Jeff Emig and Ryno race. Ryno was on a 500 getting ready for the Des Nations. I got to watch, meet and even hangout a little with a Team Green rider that had just turned pro with the number 510. In his first national he led Doug Henry for most of the first moto, his name is Kevin Windham. In 1994, I was too tall to ride my 80 so I was on a 125. At the Race of Champions that year, I saw a young phenom I would have been racing if I was on an 80, but I was glad I got to watch him instead. You might have heard of him too, Rickey Carmichael. Holy shit was he fast, not only jumping things I couldn’t on my 125 but doing whips and Nac Nacs. I had never heard anyone keep an 80 wound that tight. Later in my career riding the A class at the Race of Champions, I would get lapped twice by the GOAT while inside the top ten. Last lap of the last moto of the day he went around me about 10 mph faster than I was going and jumped a triple in the back sand section I tried 3 times to make in practice.

 

In 2000, Englishtown held the first ever Amateur FMX contest. I not only competed in it, but I met a lot of guys I would go on to actually do FMX shows with and become good friends. 

 

Last week when I scrolled across the @NJMotocross post on Instagram saying tomorrow was the last race on E-Towns main track, I knew I couldn’t miss it. Keep in mind that was the day before the race at about 2:00 pm. I hadn’t ridden my bike sense November, about 5 months prior. I immediately text Chad Smith to see if he was going. He said yes and asked if I was, I told him I hadn’t ridden, but I really wanted to ride the last one. He told me to come it would be fun, I think I told him I was unsure but would let him know. His exact reply was “see you there” Pretty sure he knew I’d make it happen before I did. 

 

That afternoon (after Race Day Live of course) I aired up the tires, lubed the chain, and loaded my bike. Early Sunday morning, we got up and took the vary familiar trip to the track, it was pretty cold that morning (about 30). When I rolled up to the gate for practice I happily recognized a lot of faces and numbers. Little Jay Irwin, Joel Dengler, Richie Zupko, Jimmy Mcilvaine, Chad Smith, and of course Barry Carsten. Just like the old days, everyone was going fast, just for a shorter period of time, haha. Except for Barry, Chad and Jimmy who went fast all day. Chad was right, it was fun and I’m glad I went. I am a notoriously bad starter, and I never got a hole shot there until that day. Although I didn’t come out of the first corner with the lead it felt awesome to get to that corner first.

 

The heavy equipment was ready to ready to go for Monday morning when they would start moving the dirt to the other side of the property and building the new track. I’m sure the new track will be good with some upgrades and big events. Englishtown isn’t going away its just changing and I know more riders will have there first races there and maybe get lapped by the greatest of their generation, maybe twice.

Doonies 3

Clint Esposito

The series Doonies just dropped number 3. I suggest you check it out, that is if you like watching people go big in the dunes and Monster Energy models!

XGames weekend

Clint Esposito

X Games weekend

June 2nd - 5th 2016

 

What a great weekend if you are into Moto. First the Third round of the Outdoor nationals at Thunder Valley in Colorado. It looks like the Ken Roczen train is full steam ahead! Winning both motos Ken has put his stamp on the series so far. There are two guys that have a shot to derail it though. Ryan Dungey of course, who is never that far off the top step of the box. This makes Dungey the benefactor of any miss step that may happen, and as we know anything can happen out doors. Next is Eli Tomac, having dealt with double shoulder surgery shortly after this round last year. Add to that I switch in bikes and teams, Eli didn’t get to train or test very much leading into this year. To compete at that level the riders have to be super comfortable, being tentative in any one part of the track leads to lost time. I look for Dungey to stay consistent all season and for Tomac to make progress all year and be up front competing for wins by seasons end.

 

The 250 class is no less exciting, there are a handful of riders capable of winning the series and at the very least some races. I look for Joey Savatgy, the Martin Brothers, Cooper Web, Austin Forkner and Aaron Plessinger to compete for Moto wins and possibly the championship.

 

Finally Xgames, the last year in Austin, TX did not disappoint either. Despite on and off rain storms and wind all of the events happened for MotoX. I was on hand and in the pits for sundays events, best whip, Quarterpipe and Best Trick. Other than the tricks being super gnarly the biggest thing that stands out in my mind is Jackson “Jacko” Strong. In Quarterpipe Jacko went for a double open loop. He executed the trick perfect however the impact of the 45ft drop to the bottom of the landing was too much to hold on to. The impact andrebound of the landing blew his hands and feet right off the bike. It didn't look good for his XGames, he was moving slow and looked beat up.  Jacko was then checked out by EMT and airlifted to the hospital. After seeing the ER Doctor he was cleared.

So what did Jacko do, asked the Hospital to Airlift him back to the venue so he could compete in best trick.. At first he was laughed at, now I’m not sure exactly what happened but for some reason they had to return to the venue anyway so the gave Jacko a lift. His disappointed crew got a call saying don’t bother coming to the hospital I’m on my way back. Jacko then hopped out of the helicopter and gets dressed for best trick. Where he lands a front flip off of a standard freestyle ramp and wins Gold in Best Trick!! Epic! Congrats to all of the competitors who took home some hard wear!

 Clinton Moore shows off his XGames Hardwear

Clinton Moore shows off his XGames Hardwear

 Jacko's well deserved Best Trick Gold chilling on his hotel bed.

Jacko's well deserved Best Trick Gold chilling on his hotel bed.

Mad Mike Jones Profile on Blue Torch TV

Clint Esposito

Mad Mike Profile. I'm not sure anyone has made a living riding motorcycles for longer and in so many ways. Mike was a supercross contender, multi time arenacross winner and one of the original freestyle motocross riders! 

Mike was the first big named rider I met and got to ride a show with. He was as entertaining in person as he was in videos. Despite popular opinion he had tone of bar tricks.

 

 

 

Throw back video of the week, Blue Torch TV, Cameron Steele and the "Groms"

Clint Esposito

Cameron Steele was an intricate part of building the FMX scene. Not only did he help produce and host most of the FMX segments you saw on tv. He also gave a handful of kids a shot at making it big. In this segment you will see some familiar faces as youngsters.

 

Injuries part 2

Clint Esposito

You and your Doctor have discussed, you are going to need surgery. First make sure you trust the Doctor you are using. I can not stress that enough, find a good doctor. Doctors are Human mechanics and just like any other kind of mechanic there are good ones and bad ones. 

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Throw back: Blue Torch TV, 2002 Moto Survival Tour

Clint Esposito

Blue Torch TV,  2002 Moto Survival Tour presented by Etnies. In 2002 Etnies and Blue Torch TV teamed up to hold  possibly the coolest FMX contest to date.