Steve McQueen's 'star' shines as brightly as ever these days, and the man is still relevant some 30 years after he left us. You will see his image on the pages of glossy lifestyle magazines promoting sunglasses, wristwatches, jackets and motorcars. Steve's fan base is global and we know this from experience: when great McQueen property is offered, the telephones light up from Japan to Australia, from Britain to the United States.
Tags: Motocross, MXDN, Pit Beirer, Rob kinsey art, Supercross, Team USA, Teutschenthal, Youthstream
In September 2013 I travelled over to the annual Motocross des Nations, this year held at the Talkasel circuit in Teutschenthal,Germany. It was a very long drive from Europoort, Rotterdam to Teutschenthal situated nr Leipzig in what was the old East Germany. I finally arrived around 5pm was able to pick up my passes and get the motorhome parked up in the living area. Main reason for the trip was to deliver a painting commissioned by Youthstream and to be able to present it to Pit Beirer, head of KTM Motorsports racing division. The presentation wasn’t until Saturday night so I was able to check out the paddock and watch the practice and qualifying races. More on the presentation later but here’s the action from Moto 1,the MX1 and MX2 classes
Latvia were well pleased to win the B final and get into the main event.
Team KTM pit and Ryan Dungey’s bike and helmet.
What they were all racing for, the Peter Chamberlain MXDN trophy.
Opening ceremonies and riders for moto 1
Monster girls with 15 sec board.
First corner, Aussie MX2 rider Dean Ferris with the holeshot.
Fans take advantage of every viewing spot!
Ken Roczen scubs in-front of his adoring flag waving fans.
The battle between Roczen and Tomac was this close all race.
Antonio Cairoli held a commanding lead in moto 1.
Cairoli lights the candles to win the first moto.
Tags: Alan Bott, Eric geboers, georges Jobe, Hawkstone Park, Jobe funeral, Joel Robert, Motocross, Retinne, Rob kinsey art, Stefan Everts
A packed church in Retinne, Belgium gathered to honour 5 time World Champion Georges Jobe, who passed away on 19th December, finally succumbing to Leukemia after a brave fight!
Waiting to welcome Georges coffin into Church were a Guard of Honour of many of his friends, former team mates and GP rivals with well over 25 FIM World Motocross Championships amongst them. The glory days of the 1980′s 500cc World Championships represented by Eric Geboers, Dave Thorpe, Andre Malherbe stood proudly alongside legends Joel Robert, Stefan Everts, Michaelle Rinaldi with many more former GP riders such as Johan Boonen, Raymond Boven, Jean Paul Mingels etc., together with modern day World Champion Davide Phillipaerts and many GP riders, all united to see Georges and pay their respects.
The service was relayed to the crowds outside via speakers, with emotional tributes from daughter Maite and son Vic alongside many moving eulogies from family and friends. The Priest gave such an emotive eulogy for Georges in French, spoken with such passion of his spirit as a competitor, his steeyl determination and as a loving father and coach to many young riders such as Arnaud Tonus.
TV’s played a fitting tribute to a true champion, one of the legends of the Belgian Motocross dynasty that dominated tracks around the world for decades and sponteneous applause broke out spreading outside.
After the service, Georges coffin was met by a rousing cacofony of noise from a line up of bikes from young to old, as the congregation paid it’s last respects.
Word’s cannot express my pride at being able to bring Georges some comfort and hope in his darkest hours enduring chemo, through my painting of photographer Nick Haskell’s iconic image of Jobe jumping over friend Andre Malherbe at Hawkstone Park 500c GP in 1984. Englishman Alan Bott commissioned the artwork and then decided to give it to Georges, in honour of a fantastic career and a true champion. Georges even took the painting into his hospital room to show the doctors and nurses his finest hour and give him courage to fight on. Drinking ice cold Juliper Beer at his home, we chatted for over 3 hours, bench racing famous victories, his rival’s and toasted a great champion, it was an honour to call a friend!
Plans are underway for a Special Celebration of Georges life at the Hawkstone International on Feb. 10th, where MX1 & MX2 riders will compete in the final combined moto for the perpetual “Georges Jobe Memorial trophy”, one of Georges favourite GP trophies, to be donated and presented by his children. Organisers are hoping to re-create the original double jump again in tribute to a great champion.
Rob Kinsey www.robkinsey.com
Tags: acrylic on canvas, aviation, FIM, mini countryman, Monarch Air, Motocross of nations, motorcycle artist, motorcycle paintings, MX Sports, Red Bull, Red Bull World, Rob kinsey art, robkinsey.com, robkinseyart, Roger DeCoster, Salzburg, transportation, World Motocross championships, xmas tree decoration
Last weekend I travelled out to the KTM Factory in Mattighofen, Austria to present a painting, celebrating 12 FIM World Titles in 2012, to CEO Mr. Pierer at their annual Christmas party infront of over 1500 workers, management, dealers and sponsored riders!
Arriving in Munich my good luck continued as I was able to get a rental car upgrade to a new Mini Countryman, equipped with Sat Nav. and winter tyres, which came in useful as the temperature was -8c as I travelled the twisty 2 hour drive to Mattighofen in the dark, finally arriving at my Gasthous just after 10pm.
In the morning I checked in with Marlene Hoffman, PA to Pit Bierer who suggested I go visit the superb Xmas market in Salzburg, home to Mozart and the Sound of Music.
Salzburg really is a fascinating city, nestled beneath the imposing castle, surrounded by jagged alpine mountains. The market was busy selling Christmas decorations, trees and many stalls offering warm Gluwein, crepes etc.
The Catholic Church has some fantastic fresco’s in the dome, which had to be re-built after an allied bombing raid in 1944.
There were large queques for the Mozart Museum but just down the street was Red Bull World, the brand’s only retail store worldwide selling high end Red Bull clothing. It was a motorsport fans fantasy grotto with Vettel’s F1 car and Roczen’s championship winning KTM 250 SXF amongst the display’s. If you fancy any of the clothing, make sure you have deep pockets!
It was a short 25 mile drive back to Mattighofen to check out the KTM clothing retail store @ the factory. KTM factories dominate the town of Mantighofen’s industrial area
Further up the road lies their spares & despatch factory. (Photo taken on mobile phone)
KTM’s Factory Racing building is now situated approx 3 miles up the road in Munderfing, next to the new engine plant and nearby a massive White Power Suspension factory, also owned by KTM.
At KTM Factory Racing, from where all KTM’s motorsport’s worldwide activities are co-ordinated I met up with Marlene Hofmann, PA to Pit Bierer to unveil the painting which had safely made it unscathed. In reception there is a massive wall mural celebrating their titles up to 2011, guess they will have to update it shortly!
Chatting to Marlene & assistant Steffi I was offered the chance to have a quick tour of the facilities and view the 4 seperate workshops for Motocross, Road race, Rally and Enduro. I asked,”would it be okay to take photograph’s?” they said yes as long as I didn’t take pictures of disassembled bikes or any engines in pieces…………..gotta keep something’s secret!
First was the Road Race dept with Moto 3 World champion Sandro Cortese’s winning KTM displayed. First thing that strikes you is how small, compact the bike is, compared to a motocross bike.
Lined up against a wall were the Red Bull Rookie Cup bikes which were up for sale!
In the Motocross workshops Jeffrey Herlings KTM SX250F looked rather lost as many of the other team bikes had been out dyno testing new fuel mapping and quieter exhausts from Akropovic.
It was now time to head down to the main factory to set up the painting presentation, brief riders and staff on timings etc.
What was most impressive was a banner, at least 100 metres long with every title & rider named, going back to the first ever championships of Gernady Moisevv and Heinz Kinigadner. Guess they will have to add another 12 metres for their 2012 success’s!
Preperations were well underway laying out the tables for the 1500 guests and setting up the stage.
The evening’s festivities would start with a champagne reception, guests would be seated, then CEO Mr Pierer would address the crowd, explain KTM’s success’s this year and discuss emerging worldwide markets. In 2012 they sold 127,000 bikes worldwide and are targeting to produce 200,000 bikes by 2017. Every detail is planned to perfection, market share, growth targets in market segment’s such as off-road, road and motocross plus the massive clothing and accessory market. Seeing the factory, the passion of the staff made me fully realise just how big a “world player” KTM have become in every segment! The talk was preceeded by the production director firing up their newest 1290cc road bike, the deep throaty roar was loudly applauded by everyone!
Watching the presentation with motocross legend Stefan Everts.
Following loyalty awards to long serving staff, the stage was handed over to Motorsport Director Pit Pierer and ambassador Heinz Kinigadner to interview each of the 12 World champions and present each rider with a memorial trophy from KTM. Sadly motocross champions Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings were absent, as was the injured Taddy Blazusiak, but a full compliment of Enduro riders, the very popular MX3 Champion & Austrian homeboy Matthius Walkner and Moto 3 World Road race champion Sandro Cortese more than made up for it!
Group photo with Stefan Everts, Pit Bierer, Mr Pierer, riders and Heinz Kinigadner at presentation.
Following press photo’s and TV interviews it was time to eat and what a spread was laid on. Free beer and wine was provided thoughout the night and a seperate bar for serious drinkers, Jagerbomb’s etc. Top tip, if you ever get invited to KTM’s Christmas party take a pocket full of flat steel M6 washers!. You had to pre-buy tokens for drinks and the partgoers soon exhausted the stash of tokens, so the bar staff improvised with washers as tokens! Spent the night chatting to legend Stefan Everts, drinking with the motorsport staff, Pit Bierer, Valentina Ragni, Robert Jonus, Fabio Fariolli and all the riders. Cyril Despres was “on the wagon”, sipping water and a few glasses of red wine with the 2013 Dakar soon to start. Sadly AMA Outdoor champion Ryan Dungey couldn’t make it with Anaheim SX also fast approaching. However there was the new KTM 450cc Dungey Replica centre stage, looking good in the new Blue/Orange livery that every motorsport dept will run next season.
Bearing in mind I had to get up at 6am to drive back to Munich to catch a 10am flight, I shared just a couple of beers, toasted KTM’s success which I’m sure will continue growing in 2013 and onwards.
Tags: acrylic paintings, Danny Magoo Chandler, Dirt Bike Show, Giuseppe Luongo, Motocross des Nations, Motocross of nations, motorcycle paintings, pro Circuit, Rob kinsey art, Roger DeCoster, Supercross, Team USA, Youthstream
Firstly, sincere apologies for delay in posting this third part of my MXDN blog, but the Dirt Bike Show and completing 2 commission’s had to take priority.
Back to race 2 the MX2/MX Open combined moto, here’s what happened to Barcia when he tried his “Bam Bam” move on big Ken DeDycker!
Credit to Justin Barcia, he did remount and chased hard to try and get back in contention. Meanwhile Dutch “Sandman” Jeffrey Herlings was running away with the race. His pace was such that he lapped Blake Baggett well before the finish of the moto. Check out this photo sequence of Herlings lapping Baggett and the distance he puts intoBaggett in just a few hundred yards!
More drama was to befall Team USA in the final laps when Justin Barcia’s front wheel, damaged in the DeDycker crash started to lock up. Barcia quickly dived into the pits and some quick work by the mechanics got him back on track. On the final lap his Honda 450cc bike also started smoking badly which was later traced to a lost oil filler cap splashing oil onto his hot exhaust!
The third and final MX1/MXOpen moto lined up with every person present wondering who would come out on top in the battle between Cairoli and Herlings? The gate dropped and the pack raced to the sweeping first corner with Cairoli grabbing the holeshot!
But where was Herlings!……………………… as the dust cleared from corner one, he was seen picking up his KTM 350cc after a clash with ironically his team mate DeReuver! Taking the time to straighten his controls, Herlings then began and epic chase through the whole pack to catch up to the runnaway leader Antonio Cairoli.
Dungey then nearly tangled with his fish tailing team mate Barcia and ended up off track through the infield advertising hordings!
Dungey straightened up his bike but had to rejoin the track by going through the pit area.
Out front Cairoli was stretching his lead each lap, but seemed to be pacing himself, knowing of the closing Herlings.
Herlings was cutting through the field like a hot knife through butter, carving past national champions like they were novices as he relentlessly closed on the leader Cairoli. As soon as Herlings got within striking distance, looking for a way past, Cairoli dropped the hammer and pulled out a comfortable margin to the flag.
Other riders were not so fortunate, as the deeply rutted Lommel sand took down many others.
As many eyes were on the Cairoli/Herlings strugle, Team Germany’s Max Nagel and Marcus Shiffer were quietly grabbing leaderboard positions to put Team Germany in an unassailble lead and they would get their hand’s on the Chamberlain Trophy for the first time in 65 years!
The German fans began climbing any vantage point they could, including one fan atop of the Diamondvision large TV screen, to see their team of Roczen, Nagel and Schiffer score a famous victory.
As soon as the moto finished, the fans swarmed on mass towards the podium, chain saws, air horns etc in full flow! . On the podium the Monster girls posed for the crowd as the dignitories, inc the Crown Prince of Belgium assembled.
Team Germany, managed by Max Nagel’s father Hubert, soaked up the moment as they sprayed the champagne.
By contrast, many of Team USA, mechanics, friends, family etc seemed genuinely shocked at finishing third, still on the podium but not the top step Team USA usually occupy.
Ken Roczen jumped down from the podium to share his bubbly with his rabid fans.
When back on the podium he was joined by one of his fans wearing nothing but a small orange KTM thong!
Back in the pits mechanics began cleaning up the bikes, as many riders licked their wounds.
In the massive KTM pits, spirits are high as their riders Cairoli and Herlings swept all three moto’s. Roger DeCoster and Stefan Everts reflect on the event.
Following the Youthstream Awards the previous evening I was able to share a few moments with a busy Roger deCoster as we discussed the painting of him with team USA and arranged for Youthstream to airfreight it back to California.
Back in the Press Centre the winners interviews were in full flow, Team USA gracious in defeat as Team Germany spoke of how proud they would be to try and defend the Chamberlain Cup in Teutschenthal in Sept 2013.
The after parties at the circuit were winding down when we eventually got over to the Monster rig, so everyone headed into town to join Antonio Cairoli’s party at the Tuin Cafe in the market square. Red Bull had their mobile DJ and army wagon pumping out tunes outside under the inflatable Red Bull arch. Inside Tony and Jill were hosting a meal for family & friends which became a drinking contest as everyone had to down whatever glass was infront of them!
I’ll leave it to my nephew Joel Ibbotson to close this blogpost with this thank you card upon returning home.
A great article from 1971 unearthed from the Sports Illustrated archives-- Steve McQueen discussing desert bike riding with Bud Ekins & Malcolm Smith, Racing in the 12 Hours of Sebring with Pete Revson, The Great Escape, his son Chad, and much more.
McQueen even recalls exactly when he was bitten by the off-road bug-- "Well, I was riding along Sepulveda with Dennis Hopper when we saw these guys bopping and bumping through the weeds near there, off the road.
Tags: acrylic on canvas, Giuseppe Luongo, Justin barcia, Motocross, Motocross des Nations, Motocross of nations, motorcycle artist, motorcycle paintings, pro Circuit, Rob kinsey art, robkinsey.com, Roger DeCoster, Supercross, Team USA, Youthstream
Qualifying and Racing
Come Saturday afternoon and the action starts to get serious with 3 seperate qualifying races for MX1, MX2 and MX Open to decide the 20 nations who will contest the 66th edition of the MXDN.
MX1 local boy Antonio Cairoli, who has a house in Lommel, bases himself with lovely girlfriend Jill in Belgium during the season, disappears off to an easy victory. Dungey places well to set team USA up for a good gate pick.
MX2 former World Champion Ken Roczen, back in Europe after campaigning in America, show’s why he has won the MX2 class at the MXDN for the past two years with another easy victory.
The Open class sees pre race favourite Jeffery Herlings racing for Netherlands, hit the gate and start dead last. Within 1 lap he is up to 4th and soon races to the front to score a confident victory. Behind him drama unfolds as Team USA’s Justin Barcia blows a soft berm on his Honda 450cc,ending up entangled in the banners and green netting right in front of Team USA’s Chuck Sun, who shouts to other spectators not to touch the bike, but after 30 + seconds of Barcia struggling to untangle his bike, Chuck moves a trackside stake to clear the green fencing near Barcia’s rear wheel and this in viewed as outside assistance by the FIM and Barcia was disqualified from the results.
Chuck Sun was horrified to hear of this afterwards, and stated at no time did he touch the rider or bike and it was safety issue as bike and rider were strewn across the racing line! I just guess it was an unweilding official looking to make his mark on the race. Fortunately the exploits of Dungey and Baggett meant Team USA had qualified for the main event, so Barcia’s DNF could be discarded!
In the post race press conference, Chuck was swooped upon by all the leading journalists looking for his angle on the Barcia story, Team USA vs Europe conspiracy threads etc!
After the qualifiers Team Germany were first to the gate, followed by Belgium and Italy, Netherlands, France, Gt Britain, USA, Estonia, Russia and Australia.
Saturday evening was taken up with the Youthstream Awards in the massive VIP tent.
Chuck was invited onto MX Live TV show, hosted in the massive Monster Energy rig to give his views on Lommel and Team USA’s expectations.
You could feel the drama & tension in the air as the riders prepped their gates for the first MX1/MX2 des nations moto.
When the gate dropped Antonio Cairoli grabbed the holeshot and proceeded to give a sand riding clinic to all the other nations, as he won with ease!
Ryan Dungey had gated well, but was struggling to stay on the pace of the leaders, as was Blake Baggett who was mired midpack and was eventually lapped by Cairoli in the dying stages! Why did the Americans look like “fish out of water?” Watching the sand riding techniques of guys like Herlings, Cairoli and Roczen they appear a lot looser on their bikes, not sticking to exact lines each lap, just flowing with the bike wherever it takes them. Every lap around Lommel the deep sand changes, continually moving,. In comparison, Dungey , Baggett and Barcia were noticibly stiffer, especially in their suspension settings. They would slam the moving berms whilst Herlings and co just kissed off them! Baggett in particular was revving his bike a lot more than say Roczen which just digs down deeper, rather than riding a gear higher and staying on top of the shifting surface. The speed that Herlings and Cairoli were circulating, they were probably jumping 15-20% more of the track, missing deep holes etc. Credit to the young Americans, Lommel is open all year round as a practice venue, so the locals have hours in the sand logged, plus when Team USA hired it a week before for a private session, the track style and bumps layout would be a lot different come race time!
The second MX2/MXOpen moto was dominated by World Champion Jeffrey Herlings who was absolutely on fire from holeshot to flag.
Justin Barcia had gated well in third place but was soon passed by Belgium’s Ken Dedycker. Coming along the pit box straight and Barcia tried to use his Bam Bam style passing on big Ken, only this time Barcia ended up on the deck as Ken nonchalantly glanced back.
To be continued in Part 3
Barcia, what happened next, Moto 3 the Cairoli/Herlings sandman showdown, podium celebrations and antics and the afterparties!
To be published on Monday Oct 22nd!