News 2 Oct 2010

Jay Marmont MXoN Diary #4

Jay Marmont checks in with his first MXoN experience direct from the United States.

Hey again…

What a weekend! We arrived into Denver, Colorado, on Wednesday of last week, where we stayed in Golden – which is a small town within the mountains about 20 minutes from Denver city and only 10 minutes from the Thunder Valley Motocross Park.

It seemed that Golden is home to some typical ‘greenies’ who when asked us why we were in town, didn’t seem to like our response – motorbikes! The locals were nice enough though and you could see why they wanted to preserve such unique land.

I was hoping to get a ride in on the day we arrived but the CDR Rockstar Yamaha guys who were out with me had to build my bike and help the crew set up the Valli Motorsports area at the track. Instead of riding, I hit the grocery store to stock up on energy food for the weekend.

I headed out to the track that afternoon, where teams and sponsors were busy putting together their work areas in preparation for the show down.

The race track looked immaculate, as I walked around it with my mechanic Jason the jumps were intimidating but made me eager to want to get out there and take ’em on. Thunder Valley is situated on the slope of a mountain, so viewing the whole race was possible from many positions all around it.

I was asked what other riders were set up at the VMS Yamaha truck, which I said “I’m the only rider”. Here’s me thinking I’m special enough to be the only one guy under the VMS tent, but I turned up to see five other Yamahas on stands!! At least I wasn’t the only one flying the flag for Yamaha! There were the riders from Venezuela, one from Portugal and Japanese rider Akira Narita.

On Thursday we went out to the track and I watched the boys work on my bike for a while in hope of being able to take it for a ride that afternoon. Unfortunately that didn’t happen so I left the track just after lunch time and finished the day off with a run around town.

We struggled a bit at the start with our breathing but got into a rhythm eventually. It’s hard enough tackling the hills let alone the high altitude of 6000ft above sea level, that deprives the lungs and muscles of much needed oxygen. It was good preparation for the weekend – if only I could prepare my bikes engine for these energy zapping conditions!

On Friday I headed out to the track in the morning so Gary, Brett, Dean and I could sit in on a press conference with the media who asked us questions on how our chances were for competing in the MXoN.

After that I had a photo shoot with the Alpinestars crew, who took some shots of me in their 2010/2011 casual gear plus me holding the Tech 10 boot. They also gave me my cool looking Australian designed tech 10 boot, which looked the part.

As I got back to the truck, Beaker from Fox had brought my custom made fox gear over. There were five sets of freshly designed Australian race gear as well as seven sets of green and gold Oakley goggles. I had everything I needed to look the part. My sponsors definitely looked after me with my Aussie riding gear, so I have to say a big thanks to Mick Sinclair for making this all possible!

I went for another run in the arvo, and Dean came along too. I noticed I was coping better then the day before which was good to know that I was adjusting to the elevation.

The Saturday was practice and three grouped qualifying races. This previous day of riding suited my forearms and I better as we all know in motocross my first race is very rarely my strongest due to arm pump. As expected, my arms gave me grief and so I knew that I had finished a few places short of where I needed to be.

My nights sleep before a race is always a restless one and this one was no different. I woke up a little drowsy but by the time we reached the track to see the impressive setup and all of the hardcore fans my spirits had risen.

This would had to have been the coolest event I have ever been to. The Red Bull industry section situated on top of the mountain in view of the whole track, was by far the most impressive. The Alpinestars hospitality put up an awesome feed and even though it felt more like team USA’s area they welcomed us Aussies in like family.

I have always had a good working relationship with the team at Astars and a few of the guys that looked after me had become good mates of mine during my time racing in America so it was great to hang out and catch up.

It was definitely battle of the branding as usual with some clever marketing strategies in place, however, where the focus was and what it was all about was each country battling it out for a top three place on the podium as well as all of the fans rooting for their nation.

As you can imagine, America took the cake for being the most patriotic! The atmosphere was fun and the fans were as passionate as ever.

In my 20-minute warm-up practice I felt a lot more looser and relaxed on the bike, I was only three seconds off the pace which gave me good confidence going into my races.

At the opening ceremony they had two low flying fighter jets zoom over the event which sent the crowed wild – only in America! Then they had two guys falling in on parachutes with some sort of jets on their feet. Nothing ceases to amaze me, when you’re at an event like this in the USA, you can expect anything!

As I was in the MX3 group of riders, I had to watch Brett in MX1 and Dean in MX2 race their first 30-minute plus two laps moto before it was my turn to line up on the grid. The boys rode awesome, especially Brett who got a third place to hand Australia great points.

The second moto of the day was me in MX3 and Dean in MX2. We expected this to be tougher for Dean as he was backing up after an already long and rough race, with only 40 minutes in between.

I got off to a good start and sat in seventh place for most of the race and was feeling comfortable. I was passed by Trey Canard with about 15 minutes to go. As the race wound down I didn’t give up, my sights were set on that seventh place position.

I latched on to the back of Trey and was pressuring him for a pass. I set him up with two laps to go. As I made the pass on a tight part of the track, Trey came over on me not expecting me to be going so fast and in the air. We hit and unfortunately I ended up on the ground with the wind knocked out of me and wasn’t able to complete the last lap.

I pulled in that lap and it gave me 18th as that’s where Ben Townley lapped up to. I rode back to the pits with my bike bent and my body batted. I was screaming on the inside, knowing that I had blown my chance at a great result for my first MXoN race.

Team Australia had a small but boisterous cheer squad over where Brett Metcalfe had his motorhome positioned at the edge of the track. Brett’s wife Sheena was responsible for getting some T-shirts made-up, which looked unreal and it was unusual to hear some American accents amongst the Metcalfes who were flying the Aussie flag!

It didn’t stop at the T-shirts either – they had Aussie flags, fog horns, tattoos, stickers, hats and much more in representation of our country. I had a few people stop and ask me why Australia have the colours green and gold when the colour of our flag is red, white and blue… it was a question that I was unable to answer! Anyone know why?

I only had 40 minutes until my next race was going to take off. While the guys were fixing my bike up I walked over to Metty’s motorhome to cover my sore spots with ice-packs and drop a couple of pain killers. I was still in a daze walking over to the grid but this was my last chance to get a good result for my team.

On the warm-up lap I knew it was going to be tough. I got off to a decent start running in sixth position. On the first lap past the pit board area I stalled it at the end of the straight, which is something I don’t ever recall doing in a race before.

I frantically kicked my bike about 10 times before it would kick over. This mistake put me back to 21st position. I began my hunt to work my way back through the pack one rider at a time. After overtaking half the field I was in a heated battle with a couple of British riders, one being Brad Anderson who was on my tail the whole race.

The Brits were cheering for Brad all around the race track because if he’d had got me they would’ve got third overall. Oh well too bad for that Brit, I got him back for beating me on my home soil!

I was able to get back to 10th and with Metty’s fourth place it gave the Australians sixth overall.

I felt very physically and mentally exhausted at the end of the day so I know I gave it everything I had in both my motos. My neck, shoulder, stomach and ribs were sore but every ache and pain was worth it.

I felt a little disappointed with the end result in knowing if I had stayed on the bike we could’ve been on that podium but as we know that’s racing and besides that I’m happy with how I rode.

After a quick wash at the hotel we headed back into the track where all the Nations came together for dinner and celebration drinks. The Parts Unlimited team put together a dinner for us Aussies and the European teams. It was an unreal meal and great to see some familiar fellow riders minus the goggles and helmets…

Soon enough the party shifted to Alpinestars, followed by the Red Bull tent and this was definitely where it was at! The DJ was pumping some good tunes and everybody was getting into it. The party shut down at about 1:00am… a nice way to finish off one of the biggest weekends of racing I have ever been apart of. I was very proud to be part of the Aussie team!

Since the MXoN we have stayed in California to start preparing for Super X, before we head home and start season 2010 at Newcastle in a few weeks time. Thanks to everybody for your support through the MXoN and we hope you enjoyed the diary!