It seems, pretty much everyday, we are talking some kind of smack on our text thread of friends. Probably more so the first couple days after a race. Just like everything, we all have opinions on what happened or shoulda happened. So I decided to recruit some of those big mouth friends for MXD360’s weekly article, Four A**holes & the Casual Fan. Everyone has a lifetime of racing dirt bikes, watching dirt bikes and talking shit about dirt bikes. That is everyone but Tez, the casual fan. Don’t get me wrong, he loves the sport like all of us. He has just never actually raced. Altho, that won’t stop him when it comes to having an opinion. Let the questions begin. 

 

1) How big of a hazard is Friese?

NDel : Just a good ol' boy

Never meanin no harm

Everything is fine

Till he jumps into your line

And nearly breaks your arm

Unpopular opinion - reputations, and dare I say, stereotypes are earned and not baselessly given out.  They are rooted in reality.  If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, wears a silly hat, with no pants and is named Donald, it's probably a friggin duck.  Ask anyone's opinion on Vince Friese and you'll likely get a the shared consensus that although fast, he's a magnet for idiocy and THE Duke of Hazzard. 

I will say that it WAS a racing incident though.  Most things that innocently and organically occur on the track during a race, is a racing incident.  Want to know what an example of what wasn't a racing incident was?  Mike Alessi crashing with Ivan Tedesco at the last round of  the 2005 Outdoor series, pulling his own bike's handlebars into the front wheel of Ivan's Kawasaki, which he was standing on while throwing a tantrum.  That didn't strike me as having much to do with racing.

Checkz :  On a scale of 1-51, probably a 40. I mean he did smash into the #9 while going for the #94’s front wheel in the first turn followed by a whiskey throttled t-bone after the triple on the #94.  For the grand finale he jumped onto the back of the #40 before crying about other riders having a history of being a problem on the track... Oh, you asked about Friese and not Barcia?  My bad. 

Tez the Casual Fan :  Friese....we must first ask ourselves; Who is Vince Friese? A 26 year old rider who is enjoying his life long passion...wait, scratch that. If you’re getting lapped then get the f*<k out of the way!! Take your passion to the local track where it can be appreciated and maybe even get you on the opposite side of this situation! End rant....

JR51 : In the ridiculousness of 2021, there’s only one way to answer this. And it’s in power rankings style. Supercross hazards, top ten style!

10) Riding across icy stadium parking lots

9) Prolonged exposure of the ears to Ralph’s replacement(s) in the Booth

8) 250 East LCQ final laps

7) Medical staff running across the track on lap 1

6) Bonus laps in timed practice 

5) High speed sand corners

4) Austin Forkner

3) Tuff Blocks on Landings

2) COVID-19

1) Vince Friese

Denny : Vinny is a documented dipshit with a very long history list of doing dumb things. After last Saturday night in Indy, lets run that incident up to #1. Lets just refer to Freezy as a whirling dervish and call it a day.

 

2) Can Kenny start spending his 2021 Supercross Championship bonus yet? And what would you buy first?

NDel : I used to love playing NBA Jam at the bowling alley.  It was a fast paced, cartoonish style game of full court 2 on 2.  In the game, if your player made three consecutive shots, the announcer would scream, "HE'S ON FIRE!!" while your player became anointed to with super powers that would grant super human speed, automatically sink full court hail mary's and enable him to dunk from half court, while doing a 720, 20 feet in the air.

  Although I've yet to hear The GOAT scream, "HE'S ON FIRE!!" in the general direction of Kroc, I feel Ken may be one proverbial "shot" away from reaching the "on fire" status and simply leaving a silhouette of him and his bike down the center and through every obstacle on the track, competition included, if he isn't there already.  Momentum and confidence builds exponentially in racing. 

It is the root of the saying, you're only as good as your last race.  Well, Kroc's last 3 races do not bode well for his competition and we are seeing the momentum and confidence manifests with each passing main event win.  

I would buy an NSX.  I watched Pulp Fiction again the other night and watched the Wolf speed off in his NSX after he did his cleanup job for Mr. Wallace and his boys.  And that is a cool car.  And that's what I would buy.  You asked.

Checkz : No way!  Ken Roczen looks dialed in, but momentum can shift super quickly and Kenny has shown he has issues the second half of seasons his entire 450 career. He’s the favorite, but it’s far from over. 

I’m buying a vacation out of the frozen tundra to go ride a shiny new Storm Lake Honda 450 around palm trees with bikini clad umbrella girls packing my gate. 

Tez the Casual Fan : Kenny is definitely enjoying some of the best racing of his career. He looks confident, controlled, and wicked fast! (Especially on the 180 turns that require everyone to ride a rutted rail) as far as spending his 2021 bonus...not a chance! Season is long and lots of races to finish. I’m not gonna say anything to jinx this amazing season for das deutscher, I hope he finishes strong and battles for the title! First Buy: Pancakes for everyone!  [Editor's Note, Tez sometimes refers to himself as Prince in private]

JR51 :  Don’t do this. You know I picked Kenny in the preseason to win this title. You know I’m probably the biggest 94 fan in our text thread. You know how many times I’ve picked the 94 to win over the years and jinxed it. I’m not going to do it. Next question. If I brought home a massive Supercross title bonus, I’d buy a huge fricken trailer smoker, a couple thousand bucks of meat and we’d have a party. And watch Dirtbikes. On a Tuesday. Yeah, that’s the shit I like. 

Denny : Book it. Write it down in Sharpie. Its going to take a minor miracle or Friese as a lapper again to change the path Kenny is on to become the 21SX Champ. And the 5th different champion in 5 seasons.... Hold the phone! We have a minor hurricane weather advisory for Orlando tonight. Hell, anything is possible.

When we move to Idaho to build our commune, I'm going to buy a super RV like the one in Stripes.

 

3) If Forkner, RJ and Jett don't all get hurt and banged up, does Shimoda ever see the podium this season?

NDel : Heeeyy sexxxxy gurrrllfrann!  F ya Shimoda would see the podium!  He's only getting faster each week and is super consistent.  It is fair to say that Fork, RJ and Jett would have their share of issues with consistency, if they weren't already out of contention for being...inconsistent, and Sub-Zero would have been there to capitalize on it!  Joe Shimoda seems Japanese.  He always does.  I'm a fan.  [Editor's Note ; ND is of Asian decent, his mother is Korean, and is genuinely stoked to see Jo's success. True story.]

Checkz : Last I checked being on the line is part of the battle. If the three above rode within their limits, does Shimoda beat them?  If Shimoda rode over his head and risked crashing, does that put him in front of the three injured riders?

All I know is I’ve seen Shimoda on the podium and his bonus checks are real. While they are nursing injuries, he’s also improving and gaining experience. 

Tez the Casual Fan : Shimoda is a great young rider and will make waves in the 250 class. Rides conservative and consistent, but lacks the (this is for my boys in group) ‘raw’ speed to reach the podium if everyone stays healthy. He’ll get his shot over the next couple seasons to showcase his skills and prove me wrong. I look forward to watching!

JR51 : If three of the most injury prone 250 riders stay healthy. That’s such a long shot, what type of alternate reality are we talking about here? That’s like saying if oats could make milk. But for the sake of entertainment, I was going to initially say no. But you said not hurt, so that means putting all three on the track at the same time. Which means a higher likelihood of them crashing together. So yeah. Podiums for Jo Fo Sho!   

Denny : Jo is fast and is improving every time he throws a leg over the bike. However, many forget he may have placed 3rd last season in 250E, he was nearly a hundred points down to Sexton & McElrath. With a 5th being his best finish. I don't think he sees the podium this season if not for the injuries to Forkner, RJ, Mosiman & Jett. Then again, you gotta be in it to win it. He's just a pup & I'm happy Mitch was able to pick him up. 

 

4) Outside of having 6 rounds in 22 days, what's your highlight so far this 21SX season?

NDel : I'm gonna close this out with a continuation of my ultimate devotion to the Japanese Kawasaki Samurai that is Joe Shimoda making the pojium!  Hi-ya!! [See above.]

Checkz : The LCQ action every single week never fails to deliver. Now if only the TV crew could learn to focus on the (main event) life or death battle for the final transfer spot... 

Tez the Casual Fan : Easiest QUESTION on the list! MXD360’s first SX series and I’m thoroughly enjoying a season that’s been plagued with injuries, unexpected finishers, and of course a 450 leaderboard filled with amazing racers! On any given night there are 10 guys that can make the podium. The tracks have been fast, and we’ve seen great racing with fits of rage, panic, and smooth brilliance. And just for the record, the new power rankings came out today! If your group isn’t battling for a BLUE plate, then you’re doing something wrong!   [Editor's Note : On our text thread of 15, we not only play MXD & have a private league, but we continued our pen & paper PickEm game we've been playing on the thread for close to the past ten years, The old skool Blue & Gold plate goes to the person who's having the best combined season of MXD360 & PickEm. And currently, that is Tezuka. Now ya know.]

JR51 :  The red plate on that badass red 94. Seriously, the health concerns last year, taking the outdoor season off, becoming a dad. How many people had written off the last chapter of Kenny’s book, thinking the best was behind him? We all know many. Instead, the kid channeled his inner Chad Reed, even calling out the 22 before the first race. He dropped his ego, and the dude is as stubborn as ever. How many times will he be counted out before we just refrain from it, and then sit in disbelief when it’s suddenly over, ala Reedy? He believes he’s the alpha in the class, and he’s not out until he says he is. And dammit, he’s backing it up. 

Also, it was really cool to see Kenny’s friend, Justin Brayton, land on the box in Houston. 19 years ago, half my freakin lifetime, we watched on as Justin made his Arenacross debut in Des Moines. Hell I was still a racing AX then, and I haven’t been on a bike in 16 years! Yet the dude is still kicking it at the top levels of the sport. So gnarly.

Denny : Kenny going 3 for 3 in Indy was beyond impressive. He looks smoother than ever and his factory Honda is totally dialed in. The #94 has been the highlight for me so far this season. A close second would be everytime Jett is on the track. His season has been one big highlight reel.