Bringing in the New Season
By: Racer 450 Staff
Last year’s controversial champion John Natalie has made a few changes this year. He’s now running Elka Suspension over last year’s Fox Float Evol, which is a swap with Team Suzuki who ran Elka last year but Fox this year. Gone are his long time use of Gibson a-arms, replaced with Roll Design; which was also used by Team Suzuki two seasons back. In the pipe department, it’s now HMF. This new found setup has left John out of the winner’s circle so far but don’t worry, we’re expecting him back sooner than later. John will continue to be sponsored by Quad Tech, American Honda, Maxxis and Bling Star.
Team Suzuki is all new this year except for the man power, Jeremiah Jones and team leader Doug Gust remain team riders although they will be sporting new Quad Racer R450s this season. They will stay with Walsh RC and maintain their Yoshimura engines. Harold Goodman will not be returning, guess he dropped to many interviews and not enough results. The new Quad Racers will also be sporting products from Quad Tech this year, the first company to build carbon fiber Quad Racer parts. Wayne Hinson will continue to manage the team and we here Suzuki’s main man, slash AMA main man, slash Suzuki main man Rod Lopusnak is back. God luck this year guys.
One of our staff favorites, Keith Little has new found speed aboard a Honda this season. Keith rides for Lonestar Racing and is also sponsored by Quad Tech and Maxxis. Good luck Keith. Another favorite, Tim Farr and the sport’s most recognized mechanic, Mark Baldwin (Baldwin Motorsports) are sporting new rigs and Motosport.com sponsorship. Tim will be sporting WB pipes again this year and is back on the world’s most famous suspension “PEP”.
MX Midwest has signed on as our official parts supplier for 2006. They will be sponsoring Cale Downen (#727 / Pro-Am Production / Pro-Am Unlimited) this season. MX Midwest has also completed our 2005 project 450R which will appear in the magazine this month. We would like to thank Elka, Laeger’s, ITP, HiPer, American Honda, Quad Tech, CP Pistons, UpDog and everyone else who played a part in the creation.
The ATVA wisely put Pro Am classes on a set time and further extended last year’s sound rule. Quiet is better if your just watching. Aside from that everything else has continued the downward spiral. As you probably already know there are 14 races instead of 12 like the bikes have that riders now get to spend $2.50 a gallon driving to and from, great thinking in an oil spike guys. You can also thank the ATVA for the biggest choke this sport has seen in years, The ATV Promoters Group (ATVGP). Maybe you’ve seen their Khaki vests running around the Nationals. Believe it or not they have actually past rules, or at least wrote them on posted notes; that limits the amount of press that can be track side. Guess you won’t be seeing more and more race coverage will you. By the way, guess who didn’t make the list? You bet your ass it was us!