MX Race Report – Quadcross Northwest

Posted by Q75 admin on Wednesday Apr 30, 2014 Under 2014, News, Other Racing

Last weekend was the opening round of Quadcross Northwest at my “home track” of Horn Rapids in Richland, Washington. I’ve never been much of a motocross guy and practiced it more out of necessity to race WORCS. When I switched to desert racing, I pretty much said good riddance to that whole flying through the air thing. I never felt particularly good at MX, and was much happier flying through the dust and desert at high speeds! A couple years ago, at the inaugural year of Quadcross Northwest, I took it up again for most of the local season while still racing in Mexico. In part to support the new series, which was a great thing for Northwest quad racers, and also in part to support a fellow racer who I believed had a great chance at winning the series. I raced the Pro class, but on an old bike. With 20s. And desert suspension. We’ll say it was fun, but it sure wasn’t pretty!

And as you might know, I took all of 2013 off from riding and racing, got married, started the baby manufacturing process (Baby Brown is due in early June!), and spent a lot of time on my mountain bike riding with my wife. My first time back on a quad for training was February, just a week before my first race back (see that report here). The first round of Quadcross was cancelled in March due to weather conditions, and fast forward to April, here we are at the opener for the MX season. There I was, still on a desert bike (my MX bike is still getting some extra attention), still on desert suspension, not ridden much at all in the last few years, nor ridden any MX in several years. BUT, I at least had some MX tires this time around, so I wasn’t completely going in like a goon. I have to give a big thanks to Ed Teixeira at Teixeira Tech also. I called him to talk about some parts for my MX bike, and he was also able to help me turn my desert setup into something more MX friendly. Ed is super knowledgeable about all things suspension and I have loved riding with his parts since I started using them years ago. The Teixeira components work great for desert, XC, MX – you name it.


Weather: Partially cloudy, slight wind, warm. Perfect racing weather.
Track Conditions: Track is a sandy mix, so it started out ok, but gets exponentially rougher. No grooming until the day is over. Perfect conditions for me.
Rider Condition: A little apprehensive because of being out of practice, but looking forward to racing. Wife gives pep talk – “Don’t be a sissy.”

I missed the first practice, but went out for my second. It felt strange to be back out on an MX track for sure! I got a feel for some of the jumps and took it carefully across all of them, rolling the doubles. I had a very “fish out of water” feeling the first few laps. My shock was not dialed in completely and my gearing was definitely not right, so back to the trailer for some adjustments. I signed up for ProAm and Vet A. I thought ProAm would give me a good baseline for where I would be at and I don’t mind that my entry gets paid back to the fast up and coming kids. As a bonus, ProAm was the biggest gate, which is a lot more fun for racing. I signed up for Vet A also to give me a second class to race and race with some friends. The Vet classes have a combined gate, so again a lot of fun to race.

The first ProAm moto I went out still feeling like I was out of place. I got the suspension working better, but gearing was still off, and I essentially used the 15 minute moto as a practice session to get a feel for the track. I got a mid-pack start out of 17 riders and it felt like pinball going around the first two corners. I got a little fired up – I love racing! – until a few corners in when things got a little crazy. I pulled over and let everyone by. I needed to make it to the finish in one piece as I had 3 more motos for the day and some of the other riders seemed to think this was a one and done get wild moto. As I flexed my MX muscles I picked up some speed and by the end of the moto had made up a few positions and was feeling a lot more confident. It’s like riding a bicycle, right? You never forget? I finished 13th for the moto.

Close racing in all the Vet motos between Josh Fain and me!

Next up was my first Vet moto of the day. I would line up on the far right of the gate. The first turn is an S-turn followed by a couple of tabletops. Luckily, the ProAm class had blown through it and created 2 lines instead of just one. I got a great start for this moto, going second into the first turn behind Dan DeHut. I managed to get around Dan just before the big Pro Taper table top with my friend Josh Fain taking getting into second behind me just after the big table. This is where the fun started. Josh pushed me the next several laps. He was hot on my heels the whole race. I think my natural state is to be competitive, and I thrive in that environment. MX or not, I was just having a blast racing. Josh crept up on me and in the rhythm section with a couple laps to go and he made a  pass on me which I returned the favor a couple of corners later, he made another and made it stick for the moto 1 win. We both agreed it was a great race and we should probably do another moto later in the day.

The second ProAm moto looked to go about as well as the first for me. Well, actually I was thinking I would do much better after getting some confidence back I didn’t have a great start and then Josh and our other friend Bryan Martin ended up in a 3 quad pileup with me, resulting in Bryan’s ejection from his CanAm and mine and Josh’s quads stuck together. I made sure Bryan was ok and helped him flip his quad over, Josh and I got unstuck and then I took off to see if I could make up some ground. I used this moto as another 15 minute practice session and just enjoyed myself. I ended up gaining a few positions by the end of the moto and finished 11th.

The second Vet moto put a little pressure on me. I love to compete and I love racing quads. It sucks to lose and I needed to get the win this moto to take the overall. Would I be bummed if I didn’t win? Not really, because I was just happy to be out there and feeling good on the bike. Did I want to win? Absolutely. Winning is great! I didn’t get as good of a start this time. Into the first corner I was about the 5th quad in, but more importantly Josh was in front on me. I would have to stick on him and get by the other riders quickly because if I didn’t, Josh would get a gap I probably couldn’t close! We both made our way around the riders into 1st and 2nd. Then I made the pass for first. Then Josh got it back! Then I overtook him again! Josh pushed hard but I managed to stave him off for the moto win and the overall. It was a great race and a battle! Josh and I agreed that we should try to race again Sunday since we were having so much fun. I surprised myself a little bit with that win and was looking forward to Sunday’s event.


Weather: Partially cloudy, very windy, warm except for wind. Great racing weather, except the gusts of wind.
Track Conditions: Rough, which is great for me. A little dry due to higher winds. Some jumps and corners deteriorating.
Rider Condition: A bit beat up from the day before, but overall feeling good. Wife gives pep talk – “Get the holeshot today.”

Who says I don’t listen to my wife?

I had a bit of late night on Saturday. During the second ProAm moto, Ruby Davis blew out his rear shock. Ruby is a cool guy and won the first ProAm moto. The Pros only compete on Sundays and while he was able to do qualifying on Saturday (he even got the fastest lap) if he didn’t get a fix he’d be out of the first race of the year. So, Ruby and I drove back to my shop an hour away to get him a rear MX shock and link I had while my wife took the truck and trailer to where we were staying with friends. It’s a good thing too, because Ruby went on to win the Pro class the next day. By the time I got back, we ate dinner, discussed the day with our friends and got into bed, it was about 11. I got up early on Sunday to do some warm-up and stretching, and then I serviced my quad and made some adjustments to my Rekluse clutch in preparation for more motos. I definitely felt like I did something the day before. I was a little sore…and when we arrived at the track the Quadcross Northwest guys were not going to make it easier for Josh and me. The Vet motos would be 3 races before the ProAm moto, so we essentially had to come off the Vet moto and go to staging for the ProAm moto.

Bryan Martin, myself, and Josh Fain in the middle of the ProAm start.

Ryno Power totally saved my butt here (And thanks to Bryan Martin for the extra Carbo Fuel!). If you haven’t tried it, you should definitely get some. Not only does the protein taste good (chocolate) but the Ryno Power works great for keeping you fueled and focused through intense sports. It works great for long endurance events and for short high intensity events like MX. I switched to Ryno Power about 3 years ago and it’s definitely an essential product for me. I use it while racing, while practicing, when I train, when I mountain bike, when I run, when I swim, for recovery… Essentially if I’m going to get a work out I take Ryno Power. I took my normal pre-race mix, but I needed a little boost between motos since these were close together. I drank some Carbo Fuel in water between motos to get that boost. Carbo Fuel dissolves completely and doesn’t taste like anything, it’s essentially just usable energy for your body to help you go for longer.

Vet moto one was my first race of the day. I lined up on the outside again and when the gate dropped I got a great start. In fact, I got the holeshot. I had great hook up (thank you Maxxis) and the adjustments to my clutch helped me get off the line quicker. Rekluse makes both auto (Core EXP) and manual (Core Manual) clutches, while both are great for MX I opted for the Core EXP for this event- it really helped me get the holeshot on a mildly built pre-runner! I actually told Rekluse after the weekend that if was seriously competing in the Pro class for a championship “I wouldn’t want to tell anyone about that clutch!” I had the lead for all but the end of the race. While Josh Fain didn’t get a good start, he made his way into 2nd quickly and we had another great battle. Unfortunately for me, Josh got around me again for that moto 1 win.

I made a quick pit stop at the trailer for some Ryno Power and a fresh set of goggles, then made my way down to staging for the ProAm moto. The ProAm moto went a lot like the previous day’s motos. I got a mid-pack start, but my confidence on the track was a lot better today. Knowing I was not going to be competing for a championship (I will be missing a couple rounds because of our new family addition) I opted to have some consistent laps and ride for fun, trying to stay out of the way of the guys who were needing points. I don’t want to mess up anyone’s points for the year. I ended up chasing another rider, Chris Ells, around the track and finished 11th. The track was getting rough in places. Corners, jump faces, and jump landings were getting pitted, jump lips deforming, and the wind was picking up. The rough stuff doesn’t bother me (thank you Fox, QuadTech, Spider Grips and Precision!)but getting pitched sideways off of a jump in gusty winds can be a bit treacherous. The afternoon motos could be interesting.

The second Vet moto again went a lot like the first. I got the holeshot, but another rider got around me in the second turn. He didn’t have the speed to get over the first table because of his pass though, so I was able to get by him on the landing of that jump. I took the lead and put my laps in. Josh Fain was in fourth, and making his way through riders during the first lap.  By the third lap he had made his way into second and was trying to close the gap I had made. I made a mistake coming up on a lapper, which slowed me down a bit and offer Josh the chance to inch a little closer. It was on the last lap though, and while Josh shaved some time off my lead, it wasn’t enough to get the win. I took the moto 2 win and the overall for that day and then turned around to line up for the ProAm moto again.

Chad runs the gate and offers knuckles of encouragement.

They called me for staging and I very half-heartedly pushed my kickstarter down. To my dismay, it fired and I lined up. I didn’t even kick that hard, but I guess I should know not to expect less from an LED motor (Thank you Arlan for the solid bike, even if it meant beating myself up for another 15 minutes). Honestly, the lack of riding and also the lack of training I had been able to do in the weeks prior to this race had seriously caught up to me by now. I was worn out!  But, I’m no quitter.

I had a great jump off the ProAm line when the gate dropped, but my prerunner isn’t really the high HP MX machine needed to get me to the first corner first in the ProAm class, so I got another mid-pack start. The wind was gusty, the track deteriorated, and I was tired. We were the last moto of the day and there was no grooming. When you exert yourself too far, mistakes are made and that can lead to crashing. I finished out the moto with caution in 12th and was fine with that.

Overall it was a successful weekend for me. Two moto and two overall wins, great racing with friends, great spectating of some of the other classes, and most of all it felt great to be back racing and riding my quad. Even though motocross is not my preferred discipline, I had a great time racing and I’m going to try to get out and do some more this year – might even catch me back at Horn Rapids for a practice day this year. When my MX bike finally gets completed, that is.


Thank you to all my sponsors and friends that keep me going! You can see a full album of photos from the weekend here.


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