The CMRC national championships went down smoothly in late August once again. Track conditions were almost perfect but for a bit of dryness resulting in the layer of dust that coated my sunburn in a disappointingly inept sunscreen substitute. Standing track-side for 3 days (friday - sunday) however makes you a bit senseless. Hearing is the first to go, then smell, and finally touch as you cant really distinguish the dirt from skin anymore... and on occasion if thats a praying mantis on your leg or just tall grass. I fucking hate praying mantises! So in retrospect i may have preferred the rain soaked 2005 championship weekend. At least the praying mantises were no where to be found, hopefully drowned. But unlike last year the sun was out in full force every day. Allowing me to shoot more photos than i thought possible. Usually resulting in a hurried trip back to the fly infested RV(...flies love rv's for some reason) to dump flash cards to a laptop. In total i shot about 1200 shots each day, only 800 on friday.
here are some selections.
Last seasons overall champ and canadian mx legend Jean Sebastian Roy (JSR). He had to give up the #1 plate to his younger teammate but he still finished 2nd overall. JSR is a synch to photograph cause hes so damn smooth and nails the same fast line through each corner of every lap.
just like this!
what JSR is thinking here is ,"i hope my black coat fucks with your auto exposure, sweet it totally is!"
BTW. that ginger looking chap behind him is teammate Blair Morgan.
JSR generally had great starts beating eventual weekend and overall champ #9 Dusty Klatt. However after a few laps Dusty had usually claimed the lead for good.
Speaking of the new Champ. Dusty Klatt, from BC somewhere would have made a great skiercross racer... i doubt thats what he's thinking, infact im certain he's thinking about how much tail he gets from being the only racer in canada sponsored by red bull. that, and how stinkin rich hes gonna be if he gets a full ride in the states next season.
Morgan telling Dusty that if he wants to win 4 golds at the x games all he has to do is pay off Sal.
a headcam mounted on JSR would have essentially seen this picture all race.
Morgan actually had to fight for 3rd. but if you were in 4th youd have seen this.
Klatt whipped it out over the natural double repeatedly to the crowds enjoyment.... that sounded slightly pornographic.
Klatt prepares to receive the booty and JSR wipes his hands of the season.
What am i supposed to do with this sword exactly.
can i have your goggles... oh and your 450 cc 4-stroke if your not gonna use it anymore?
in a bit of a surprise, literally 10 minutes after this photo was taken, Blackfoot racing announced it was ending its Canadian outdoor career. Perhaps to dominate the US someday? who knows, but those are some lofty goals for a privately owned canadian race team.
a shot from saturdays qualifiers. Klatt wore a different fresh jersey and pant combo for every race... and you thought skiing was fashion crazy. well sure its not the same but its still a giant fashion shoot for FOX.
new for 2007 is the FOX gothic jersey which featur... wait what the f am i talking about.
this photo looks like it could have been taken in greenland or the arctic... had the race been held there in -10c.... blair morgan would have won for sure.
I'll stop here. There were other race teams there other than blackfoot and the 3 racers mentioned above but im starting to get bored of this exercise. There were amateur riders... people sponsored by my brothers amateur race team. which i mentioned in a previous blog post. LOL like anyone reads this haha. There was also a 2nd pro division called MX2, which features younger riders on slightly slower bikes. While not a stock class or anything crazy like that, the competition can feel stock in many senses as the race teams are operating on slightly smaller budgets. MX2 had a couple of the best battles all weekend between the Eastern and Western #1 plates coming into the last race. However #15 plate KTM rider and last years Walton national champ but not season champ... Michael Willard from Ohio. Hes a great rider to watch and will likely move up to MX1 and the bigger bikes next season as the old MX1 guard retires. Next season should be very interesting and an all out battle with no clear favorites.
Kyle Chisholm on the #1E plate battles with Willards teammate, both trailing Willard early sunday morning while the sun was still behind cloud. This was about the closest i cam to being hit all weekend.... I didnt expect Kyle to try to pass on the inside of that corner, and could clearly here him screaming "MOVE" as i whipped the camera around not looking thru the viewfinder... at that speed theres no framing by eye. I believe he was yelling at the rider he was attempting to pass but the idea that he was yelling at me scared me enough to not shoot very much more from that exposed postion on the track. Even though i was behind a small banner and not technically on the track... i was likely close enough to the riders to make them feel uncomfortable. Lesson learned. However, that being said. This is my favorite shot of the weekend for sure. If only i had a faster canon at 8.5 fps. i feel like i could have gotten 1 more keeper out of the series.
the "scrub" as its known is a way of pre jumping a lip to get your bikes rear wheel back on the ground and delivering power asap. The fasted riders do this naturally in their sleep.
the natural double is a large hit... but even the kids on 80-120 cc bikes are doing it these days... takes some guts at that age.
Blackfoot racing had a rider in MX1, Jimmy Nelson who came in leading the western points race. He didnt have a very good weekend however. if 4th is bad lol.
Willard still liked to whip for the crowd too.
Was this a hole-shot??? no... he trailed 2 KTM's but lead willard surprisingly. Sometimes in race photography you gotta pick your horse. The KTMs may have lead the pack but i wanted the key battle.
As you can see, Chisholm on the Kawasaki was stuck in between 3 KTM's for most the weekend. KTM by the way had an all American team. In fact the majority of the MX2 competitors were young americans from the great lakes region... The US has too many fast racers for their own good.
"my name is Jimmy Nelson and i will finish 4th god damnit"
"my name is Michael Willard and im not even gonna get dirty... sweet"
see there were lots of other racers there.
"i hope my sponsor didnt see this."
i should say that Nelson actually did battle it out with Willard in the final heat but couldnt quite get past.
if you remember that picture where i said i came a little close to the action.... picture me standing behind this white banner.... not exactly a barrier that would stop a bike doin 40 kph.
they would cheer for me if i was canadian...
well holy shit talk about blog abuse. That was some long shit. Dont know if anyone who follows or enjoys motocross will read this, or if you have no idea and found it the slightest bit interesting thats wicked. Was a good exercise for myself though, trying to make sense of 3000 or so photos and quickly skim through about 600 selects which i put up online the week after the event. Photoshop actions along with Adobe Bridge was the secret to selecting and exporting from 3000 photos at one time. Its an enjoyable process, but ultimately on that many pro photogs pay an assistant to do for them.
wait i almost forgot.... i shot BW 125 and 400 iso kodak film as well. The film camera served as an extra lense carrying device mostly but i got some memorable shots with the film camera.
lovin it, the meager crowd and overcast sky adds the even lighting and contrast with the flying dirt. The Red honda sign is a nice neutral grey as a compliment to the dark ground.
amateurs wear bibs.
in-camera photoshop... or multiple exposure in other words.
one for the ages.
thanks for looking, and reading if you did.