“The weekend went great,” said Dustin Nelson. I talked to him this morning about a story that we’re planning in a future issue of Dirt Wheels, and he was clearly excited about his QuadCross race at Speed World near Phoenix Saturday night. “I was worried because I had hurt my shoulder last week at the WORCS race. I hit a tree and it was still sore. But I won both motos.”
Dustin has been brawling with French Moto Works rider Jeremie Warnia from the start of the year. “I went into the last race three points behind Warnia, and I came out with the points lead. Justin Noss was second this weekend, and that helped. I think Warnia just made some mistakes. I got both starts and he was right behind me, but then Justin got by in both motos.” The Speed World race was supposed to be an evening race, but with the days getting longer, it was more of a sunset race.
“It was kind of difficult,” Dustin said. “The first moto took place right as the sun was going down, so we were hitting these four-gear jumps, going right into the sun. The second moto was a lot easier, because it was dark.”
Dustin was on his way to my studio for a photo shoot with is YFZ450. Then he goes up to Zaca Station to ride for Yamaha’s 2010 brochure photography. He’s a real insider at Yamaha, which is part of the story that will appear in Dirt Wheels. From the very start of the YFZ450R project, he’s been intimately involved. They actually used his race quad as the prototype for the R.
Most of the parts on his current race machine are GYTR aftermarket parts, but the pipe is actually manufactured by DRD. In fact it was Mark Tilley, Michael Young and the rest of the crew at DRD that told me the inside story of how the R came about. They all felt that Yamaha should make a full-race version of the YFZ, and much to their surprise, Yamaha agreed. Anyway, it will make good reading. I’ll post some of the studio photos this week–looking a pro-level race machinery is always interesting.
Speed World also produced another really excited rider. Justin Jones (son to four-time National MX champion Gary Jones) won the Intermediate class on Dirt Wheels’ Suzuki R450. Justin seems to be a natural. He’s only raced a quad four times now, and he’s riding at an expert level. His brother Greg has potential, too, but he has a reputation as a crasher. In fact, he crashed the same Dirt Wheels Suzuki at Milestone last week and broke his shoulder. The Suzuki looked like a disaster afterward. I didn’t think there was anyway it would be race-ready by the weekend. Gary straightened out the stock steer stem, replaced the bars, put on new graphics and it was ready to go. The Suzuki has been used as a test bed for a number of products that have appeared in Dirt Wheels. It has a Yoshimura pipe and PIM ignition box, Pro Armor nerf bars, a Precision Steering Stabilizer, Douglas wheels, ITP tires and Fox Shox. With that mild level of modification it’s great in the amateur ranks, but it will need more muscle when Justin turns expert. The PIM ignition has a little more power locked up; it allows you to alter the ignition curve and fuel mixture for several different engine builds. We haven’t yet done a review in print because Yoshimura is working a a newer, more advanced version and we haven’t received it yet. Look for that in the December issue of Dirt Wheels.