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JANUARY 12, 2012
ANAHEIM 1 RACE REPORT
As you can see from the photo above, Bryce raced in the night show at Anaheim 1 last Saturday (and got a little TV time; that's him in the red gear). There were a record 72 racers trying to qualify for the Lites night show with only the 40 fastest qualifiers making it in; Bryce made the cut.
There are a total of 8 separate races at each event. 2 Lites heat races, followed by 2 Supercross class heat races. Each heat race has 20 riders in it; the top 9 positions go directly to the main event. Next are the Lites and Supercross classes LCQ (Last Chance Qualifier) for those who didn't finish in the top 9 positions in the heat races with only the top 2 riders going to the Main. Finally, with the top 20 rider each, the Lites Main Event and the Supercross Main events finish the evening program.
Bryce got poor starts in both his heat race and the LCQ and didn't make it into the Main event despite showing flashes of speed. He's been working hard this week on his starts and promises to ride with more aggression this Saturday in Phoenix.
JANUARY 6, 2012 PRE-SEASON UPDATE
LET'S GET RACING!
Supercross starts Sat, Jan 7th at Anaheim Stadium. Bryce will be racing the 250 or "Lites" class for the West Coat series. Most races will be televised live, but for a complete racing and TV schedule, see the Supercross series web-site: www.supercrossonline.com
NEW TEAM NAME: Pro-Tec/Truth MX/Yamaha Racing
Wanted to thank Jeff Ray and Truth Soul Armor for stepping up to help Bryce again this year. We created the "Pro-Tec/Truth MX/Yamaha Racing" team as the formal name for Bryce's team. Here is a press release from an online mx site with the announcement: HERE«
PRACTICES AND TRAINING
Lots of hard work pre-season to get ready for Supercross. New YZ 250F had engine and suspension work done, followed by testing. Bryce says the bike is awesome; special thanks to Pro-Tec and Enzo for their help.
NOVEMBER 2011 OFFSEASON UPDATE
"Hey Everyone, it's Bryce here. Just wanted to thank everybody for all of the support both last year and this year. Supercross training is going well…lucky to have Dave Pingree helping me out on the track. Stoked to have my friend Omar Ochoa as my new mechanic this year. Looks like I'll be a privateer to start the year but I have faith and believe that we'll do well against the big teams. I'm training hard both on and off the track and can't wait to race! Thanks again for your support! Now here's my dad with the rest of the newsletter."
GOT TO HAVE A PLAN….
They call it the "offseason". Others refer to it as the "Silly Season." It's that period of time from the end of the outdoor season in early September until the start of Supercross in early January. Bryce developed his racing plan shortly after the end of the season. The plan consists of 3 important ingredients:
• Good training, both on and off the track
• Good bikes and equipment
• Good people to support the effort with positive attitudes
Everything seems to be coming along and falling together. As a privateer (a racer not on a team: think Kevin Costner in "Tin Cup") it's obviously tough to compete with the factory riders. But as Bill Murray say's in Caddyshack (what's with all of the golf movie references?) "It's a Cinderella story" that we believe can come true with hard work, good people, and confidence.
ANOTHER YEAR OF MAKE-A-WISH SURFING LESSONS
Here's a story of this year's event:
"Second year pro Bryce Vallee took some time from his off season training to give surfing lessons to some Make-a-Wish kids last weekend in Encinitas, California. The annual event began 7 years ago when Bryce's local Rotary Club joined with the local chapter of The Make-a-Wish Foundation to give free surfing lessons to kids suffering from cancer and other serious conditions. Bryce, who has been surfing since age 5, volunteered that first year, and every year since. This year, Bryce was teamed with 14 year old Allison. "Despite her condition, Allison charged all morning! She began getting up on the waves on her knees, but, after a few waves, was standing and surfing all the way to the beach!" Bryce reports. "I feel very blessed to be able to help these kids and their families."
Bryce Vallee has participated with the Make-A-Wish foundation for the past 7 years. He also donates his time with Kids At Risk and with his church, Panic Rev. Bryce will begin his 2nd pro season as a privateer. He plans on racing the West Coast Lites Supercross series, and then jumping up to the 450 class for the outdoors. He would like to thank all those who help him race: Wireless Works, Law Office of Jeff Larrimore, Wave Dancer, Bettencourt State Farm Agency, Yamaha, North County Yamaha, Pro-Tec, DrD, Applied Racing, Pro Taper, MSR, Truth Soul Armor, DT 1 Filters, Mantis United, ICON Sports Performance, Custom Decal, Panic Rev, Gaerne Boots, Torco Oil, 3GR.com, ValleeLaw.com, Enzo Racing, Leatt Brace, Bridgestone Tires and Braaap Energy.
Special thanks to David Pingree (Ping) for on-track training this season; mechanic, Omar Ochoa; friends and family, and everyone who helps and supports Bryce.
Visit Bryce at his website www.brycevalleemx.com ;at facebook Bryce Vallee; twitter @brycevalleemx; or e-mail email@example.com; Telephone 760 484-3669 or Mike Vallee at firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone 858 755-6477."
INTRODUCING PING AND OMAR
We're excited to have Ping and Omar aboard, helping Bryce this year. Ping, (David Pingree) for those who don't know of him, was a top professional motocross racer and the former team manager of the Troy Lee team. He is also an accomplished writer and humorist; I think of him as the Will Rogers of motocross journalism. He contributes weekly to motocross websites such as www.racerxonline.com. Bryce and Ping share strong Christian values and became friends. Ping is now providing Bryce with on-track training several days per week.
That's Ping on the left: he recently became a licensed paramedic and firefighter
Bryce's longtime friend, Omar Ochoa, is now his mechanic. Omar goes to school at night studying international business and is fluent in Japanese as well as Spanish. Omar is a great young man and we're really happy to have him helping out this year.
IN THE NEWS
First, here's a new video of a day of training for supercross shot at the LaPalglia facility in Temecula (that's Ping in the big hat):
Photos from a different day at Milestone: http://motocross.transworld.net/1000117592/news/wednesday-practice-milestone-gallery-november-9th-2011/?pid=83302
September 22, 2011BRYCE VALLEE SX/MX SEASON FINAL WRAP-UP
PALA NATIONAL: LAST RACE OF THE OUTDOOR SEASON
The 12th and final stop of the outdoor AMA Nationals came to Pala Raceway two Saturdays ago. The track is fast, rutted and difficult. Bryce worked his way up to 20th position in the first moto after starting in 26th place. The second moto looked a little better until Bryce cross-rutted the face of a jump and went down. He re-injured his elbow and couldn't finish (he's healed now). He was listed in 32nd place and finished 26th overall for the race. Here's a link to the box score;
Pictures From Pala National
OUTDOOR SEASON POINTS
After starting the outdoor season with Truth MX and racing the 1st event in Sacramento on the 250F Kawasaki, the team was unable to continue. Mike Baker, the owner of Pro-Tec, got Bryce's Yamaha 450F from last year ready to race and also generously loaned him a practice bike as well. Bryce ended up racing only 3 rounds of the 12 round championship in the 450 class but ended up tied for 42nd place in the points battle out of 109 pro riders who competed this year.
QUITE A LEARNING CURVE!
Overall, Bryce's first season as a pro motocross racer had its highs and lows. He learned a lot, and most importantly, he learned what it means to try and become a professional racer. It takes hard work, persistence, and having good people willing to help and sponsor your efforts.
The season began late last year when Bryce was asked to join the newly formed Truth MX supercross team with fellow rider Ben Evans. The Truth guys were great, Luke Evans, Dan McGranahan, Jeff Ray, Mike Battista and everyone else did a great job with a new team. Unfortunately, Bryce broke the navicular or scaphoid bone in his wrist during pre-season training. The original doctor missed the diagnosis and thought it was just a sprain. Bryce tried racing in the Phoenix, L.A, and Oakland supercross races, and actually qualified for the evening program in all 3 events but didn't make it to any of the mains, complaining of wrist pain and lack of grip strength.
After Oakland, it was apparent the injury was more than a sprain; a correct diagnosis was made by Dr. Gelb and surgery followed quickly. Bryce was out for the rest of the supercross season. Truth MX tried to carry over to the outdoor series and took Bryce and Ben to Hangtown. Despite much effort, the team had to shut things down after that first race of the season.
One of the coolest and least expected experiences of the year came from a phone call from a friend of Bryce's, Tim Weigand. Tim had raced extensively in Australia during his career and still gets offers to race down under. One of these calls was passed on to Bryce, and within a week, he was winging down to Western Australia to race in the famous Manjimup 15000 as a guest of promoter Willie Tompson. Without a doubt, this was a definite highlight of his first pro season. Willie, Mick and his family, and all the great folks couldn't have been nicer and more accommodating for this trip. The racing was fantastic; Bryce placed 3rd in the "Shoot-out" and 7th in the main event.
OUTDOOR SEASON IN 450 CLASS
Bryce raced in 3 of the last 5 rounds of the AMA Outdoor Nationals in the premier 450 class; Washougal, Southwick and Pala. His overall finishes were 23rd at Washougal, 22nd at Southwick and 26th at Pala. He got his season best moto finish of 16th at Southwick.
September 01, 2011
Bryce raced well in Massachusetts, got caught up in hurricane Irene, and has more airline horror stories to tell; here's the latest from the week in Southwick.
AIRLINES EVEN GIVE LAWYERS A GOOD NAME
After making 3.4 billion in extra baggage fees alone in 2010, you would think airlines would at least try to treat folks like human beings. No such luck. Here is a quote reflecting a common view shared by most:
"The public hates the airlines now. They are in a race to the bottom with a vicious cycle of higher fees," said George Hobica, founder of AirfareWatchdog.com.
So, naturally, when Bryce and his mechanic, Andy, arrived in San Diego Thursday morning for their flight to the Hartford/Springfield airport in Mass, via a stop in Chicago, they checked in and proceeded to their gate. Opps, the flight was delayed for 3 hours so they would miss their connecting flight in Chicago; next available flight? Not until Friday afternoon. So, they were re-routed later Thurs evening to Newark, had to rent a car one way, and drive up to Southwick, arriving about 5am on Friday morning. And this was before Irene was even a problem!
THE RACE: SOUTHWICK, MASS.
You must qualify for one of the top 40 spots each race, or you don't make the field. Qualifying starts about 8am on Saturday morning. Eighty-three riders showed up to try and qualify for the 40 spots at Southwick. Bryce worked hard over the last 2 weeks on 1 lap sprints to prepare for qualifying and it paid off. He qualified 22nd in his group and 30th overall, making the field. Here is the Southwick qualifying link: http://americanmotocrossresults.com/data/2011/10/450_qc_ovr.pdf
First lap pile-ups happen frequently and Southwick Moto 1 was no exception. Bryce got caught up in one, and passed the start/finish line on the 1st lap in 37th position out of 40 riders. But after that, he settled down and slowly began to move forward through the field. At the end of the race, he had worked his way up to 16th, his best finish so far in his rookie season as a pro.
Irene started to hit by the second moto; the rains poured down, the track became muddy, and the conditions got worse. Bryce went down in the mud, and while lying on the track, still holding on to his handlebars, another rider came over the hill and ran into the back of Bryce's elbow, ending his race in 33rd position. Bryce finished 22nd overall at Southwick and earned 5 points:
Here is a photo of Bryce #814 taken during the race:
SURVIVING HURRICANE IRENE
The Bryce and Andy, along with quite a few others, got stuck in Southwick. All flights were cancelled until Tuesday, when Bryce flew home with Mike Baker. Andy went over to Pittsburg to get the bike ready for the next race. So what do motocross teams do when stranded during a hurricane? Apparently, they all went over to the local bowling alley for some friendly competition; they said it didn't really hit them very hard in the Springfield, Mass area and just seemed like a normal rain storm.
PROBABLY NO STEEL CITY RACE FOR BRYCE THIS SATURDAY
After landing in San Diego, Bryce went straight to his orthopedist (not surprisingly, they have a close professional relationship, as do many motocross riders with their orthopedists; I guess it goes with the territory). Anyway, Dr. Gelb thought it would be better to not race with the elbow for a week and get ready for the Pala race the following Saturday. Pala, our home-court race, is the last race of the AMA outdoor season for 2011. Hope everyone can come out and enjoy watching the best motocross racers in the world, and support Bryce.
August 22, 2011
The last 2 weeks in Bryce's motocross career resembled the stock market over the last 2 weeks: lots of ups and downs. Let's start with the ups and work our way down:
The 12th Annual Toyota Surfercross event took place last week in Southern California as some of the world's best dirt bike riders and big wave surfers hit the track at Starwest MX Park then traded them in for surfboards at San Onofre State Beach. On day one, each surfer picks a pro motocross racer's name out of a hat and they are then paired for the 2 day event. Big wave surfer Ian Walsh picked Bryce's name so they became a team for moto and surf. Here's the video:
Ian doesn't have a lot of experience riding dirt bikes so they finished 15th in the motocross team event (each guy rides a lap, then they transfer a wrist band to their teammate who does the next lap, etc for 10 laps). They bounced back the next day in the surfing portion at San Onofre and finished 1st for a 5th overall when combined with the moto results. Anyway, it was a really fun event and a chance to hang out with sponsors, other riders and pro surfers in a one-of-a-kind setting over 2 days.Here are Ian and Bryce after the surfing contest and after their 1st moto.
We all flew back to New York for the Unadilla National last Thursday. Bryce had never been there before so learning the track is tough. You get to walk around it on Friday, then Saturday morning is qualifying. Unfortunately, Bryce qualified 43rd out of 90 riders and they only take the top 40 for the race so he missed out by less than 3/10ths of a second. Important lesson learned: you can't race unless you first qualify. You only get a few laps over 2 short sessions to lay down a fast lap. They get 10 minutes in session 1 and 15 minutes in session 2; each lap takes a little over 2 minutes at full speed. The riders have electronic transponders on their bikes are timed and ranked by their fastest lap time. There are 40 riders or more on the track at the same time so other factors come into play as well, like spacing and passing. The track usually gets rougher for the 2nd session, therefore slower. So, Bryce learned the hard way he has to go out in the 1st ten minute session and go for it or risk not qualifying, even if you've never been on the track before. Bryce was bummed and felt like he let everyone down.
We left the next morning at 5:30 am for what we thought would be a quick flight home. It was also Bryce's 21st birthday. The nightmare that is air travel bit us in the ass. The plane's brakes locked up as we were about to take off from Philadelphia. After 3 hours on the tarmac, we were towed back to the gate where bedlam erupted. No other flights were available back to San Diego until the next afternoon, so we opted to fly to Phoenix, then Onterio, but once in Phoenix, Bryce and I were able to sneak on the last flight out of there to San Diego. 22 hours after we left NY, we arrived home. Kind of like Gilligan and the crew going for a short cruise!
Cool new helmet from Tagger Designs with friend and sponsor Ralph Bettencourt's company logo on it. Here is Bryce surprising Ralph with the finished product: visit Ralph's website at http://www.ralphbettencourt.com/
August 01, 2011
Pretty good weekend of local racing out here in So Cal for Bryce. Saturday races at the REM series at Glen Helen are well run and usually provide good competition in the pro classes. Last Saturday had several AMA racers among the field. Here is the article:
Bryce got a 5th place start in moto 1, passed his way to 1st, then opened about a 10 second gap until the finish. Same thing for moto 2 but with a 2nd place start. No REM races for this weekend so he'll do some extra training and practice for the following weekend at Unadilla for the Nationals.
Bryce would like to thank all of his sponsors; he wouldn't be able to pursue his dream without your help:
Kevin at Wireless Works (formerly San Diego Wireless); Ralph at Ralph Bettencourt State Farm Agency; John Vallee, MD at Goleta Family Medicine; Mike Baker at Pro-Tec; Jim and everyone at North County Yamaha; Doug and everyone at Doug Dubach Racing; John and Christi at Applied Racing; Charles Dao at Icon Sports Performance; Charles at Pro Taper; Jeff Ray at Truth Soul Armor; Paul and the guys at Mantis United; the Panic Rev crew; Donnie Luce at Yamaha for his guidance; Torco Oil; Valleelaw.com; the3Gr.com; Max and everyone at Fly Racing; Gary at Allsports Dynamics; RK Excel; Dunlop; DT1 Filters; Works Connection; Toyota of Escondido; Smith Goggles; Anyone else I (Mike the Dad) may have left off because of all those years of playing "Louie, Louie" in garage bands, (it causes brain damage after about a thousand times of performing the song, recent studies have shown); Andy his mechanic and his family and everyone else who helps out. Thanks!!!