Things got a little intense the other day, race fans.
I was poised on my bike at the back of the pack when the flag dropped. Immediately, the competition left me in the dust. As I approached a pileup in the first turn, I was almost neck-and-neck with professional dirt bike rider Chase Sexton, but was blocked by a privateer out for blood. By the last lap, I was ready to throw in the towel, but soldiered on before the cheering crowd to finish the race.
Prior to my heat race, I witnessed Jeremy Martin, who happens to be third in points in the AMA Pro Motocross series, and RJ Hampshire in photo finishes, so I knew the competition would be fierce – but, man, it may take me a while to come back from this race.
Oh, by the way, the race took place on tricycles. Check out my sweet setup in my profile picture, though my pink ski helmet wasn’t doing me any favors.
So, how did a trike race involving three pro riders and a bunch of AMSOIL employees come to be?
A while back, some coworkers and I were on a phone call with the team owners of the Factory Connection/GEICO Honda professional Supercross and Motocross team that we sponsor. They mentioned how, in their early years of owning a race team, they had brought legendary rider Mike LaRocco to our facilities to tour the AMSOIL plant, meet our employees and see firsthand where the synthetic lubricants he used in his race bike were made. They spoke of how much that visit really resonated with LaRocco and bridged the gap between racer and sponsor.
Echoing that sentiment, we decided to invite the current team to take a little detour from their travels to the AMA Pro Motocross event in Millville, Minn., this weekend, July 22, to visit our facilities.
Team riders RJ Hampshire, Jeremy Martin and Chase Sexton were accompanied by their trainer DJ MacFarlane and team owner Jeff Majkrzak on their visit. We shared the legacy of our founder, Al Amatuzio and our dedication to racing. We also shared info about our distribution method and the oil itself. They then received a personalized tour from co-president Alan Amatuzio. They also received a lesson in the dyno from Powersports Technical Product Manager Len Groom on the reformulation of 10W-40 Synthetic Dirt Bike Oil. Our co-presidents were discussing with them Mike LaRocco’s visit and Jeremy Martin inquired what we have done to improve the dirt bike oil since then. Extensive testing on a Honda dirt bike has enabled us to produce the best possible product. Having AMSOIL in your bike every gate drop is one thing, but knowing exactly how it preforms is another.
It wasn’t all education, however. We then challenged them to the aforementioned trike races. My fellow co-workers and I pulled out all the stops to compete with pros who grab holeshots against the best riders on the planet and fly though whoops for a living. It wasn’t pretty.
Of course, there was candid conversation as well, such as temperatures in the north versus the south (Martin hails from Minnesota, while neither Sexton nor Hampshire have experienced our frigid winters up here), whether or not one should be afraid of gators (“Gators won’t mess with ya,” said Hampshire), arm pump, golf and Chase Sexton’s burning desire to ride a snowmobile.
Then it was back to the office. The team heads to Martin’s (literally) home track for the Spring Creek National this Saturday in Millville, Minn. Martin sits just 14 points behind his brother Alex Martin in points to hold down third place.
Once I recover from this defeat, I will be attempting to improve my trike skills. Look for the new and improved me at Hay Days, the unofficial kickoff to snowmobile season.
Until then, we’ll see you at the races!