The goal of any event is to bring people together… right? Well I think the Roland Sands crew was building an ark when they assembled this bunch. A bunch of cops, a bunch of hooligans, a couple of kids, some cowboys, a few Indians, one fire boat captain, tons of San Fransisco locals, ex-flat track racers, street drifters, energy drink hospitality hosts, stunt riders, and of course a handful of legendary bands. I’ve never been to an event with such a wide variety of attendees, let alone one where everyone fused so well.
Let’s talk about the Hooligans. These f#ckers burned through tires like free beer at a NASCAR race. The boys over at the Dunlop booth must have been grinning ear to ear, seeing the demand for rear tires spike right before their eyes. Jimmy skid marks aka 'Jimmy banged-up' aka @jimmyburnouts was swayng'n his bagger’s ass around like a greased-up stripper, doing a big wheel mating dance like no one had ever seen before. He must moonlight as an Uber driver to pay for all the tires he destroys.
Robbie Maddison, probably the most well-known hooligan on the track, brought the whole family out. It was super rad seeing his little guys tear up the Dunlop STACYC electric bike course. They have so much bike skill already, I’m a little nervous to see how they push the limits on two wheels when they get older. Robbie can ride anything, so it was fun to watch him destroy some tires and win his heat race.
The Hooligan racing was fast as f#ck for how small of a track it was. Normally these guys would stay in first gear on a track this small, but with the added traction from the asphalt, most the dudes were running 2nd. I watched Brad Spencer smoke his tire around every inch of the track. Braking hard, chattering into the corner and ripping it wide open out. Literally smoke was curling off the tires the entire time. With the gritty old industrial asphalt surface combined with balls-to-the-wall riding, it made sense that even the hardest compound tires were destroyed by the end of the day. The track was fast and I don’t think anyone wanted to find out what crashing on 50-year-old asphalt felt like. There weren’t many passes in the main and not a single crash, cluing us in that despite the ferocious riding, the boys were weary of going down on such an unforgiving surface. Luckily all the riders left the track unscathed, unless you count Baber parking Dibrino into the barriers after the race and bruising his hand on Dibrino’s helmet, but he didn’t get the crash trophy so I don’t think it counted.
Busch crossed the holeshot line a few inches before Bradley Spencer Jr, then it was Dibrino, Nick Leonetti, Mikey Virus and everyone else. Busch led the whole race until Dibrino snuck under him in turn 1 on one of the final laps and Mikey made some passes to snag the last podium spot. Everyone else finished safely, like I said no falls in this one proving the asphalt oval a success.
Nick Leonetti won the dash for cash and the $1000 check to go with it, and I couldn’t think of anyone I would rather party with after a win like that than good ol' Nicky. Big Al must have had those bikes dialed because he and Cardo were ripping all day.
Post-race drama has become a bit of a mainstay in the Hooligan circles lately. Passion is something that comes hand-in-hand with racing and putting your hearts and bodies on the line always raises the stakes. This race was no different. Confusion over starting positions and an inconsistent starting procedure for the main had some people fired up. In hindsight, I think we should be proud of the passion the hooligans have for this series, after all it wouldn’t be called racing if they didn’t care enough to get upset. But tension could only last so long once the Vandals started playing and the true nature of the event took over. Julian from Deus distracted everyone with his new puppy for long enough for us to sneak off to watch Dave Quackenbush get weird.
The awards ceremony was held on stage while the Eagles of Death Metal got set up. What other race podium can say that? Tyler Ohara received his brand-new Kawasaki z125 for beating all the cops in the gymkhana race and I’m not sure what was more fun to watch, the roadies carry it up the 17 stairs or jimmy burnouts almost convincing them into riding it down.
I heard the reason flies got their name is because that’s what they do most of the time, well @tallboyytee should change his name to Rides because that’s all dude does. From as soon as his truck parked till they kick him off the lot the boy doesn’t stop. From the gymkhana course to the stunt shows and hooligan racing, when he wasn’t doing an event he was ripping in the staging area next to the water. Dude has this greasy loose style and so much control it’s hard to look away and he never stops so you can watch him all day.
A Hooligans vs cops race? “F#ck me what is Roland thinking?” is what immediately came to mind, but it worked and it worked well. It was as if Noah had tossed the lions and the zebras into one big cage together on the Ark and came back a few hours later to find the zebras and lions were drinking beers together. I’ve never seen anything like it. After only a few hours together, the cops had shown the hooligans a thing or two about a thing or two when it comes to handling a motorcycle. They tore up the gymkhana track so effortlessly that it caused most of the hooligans to underestimate the difficulty of the course, blowing through cones and resulting in a ton of DQ’s. The cops didn’t escape the gymkhana course unscathed either and watching those guys wrestle an 800+lb motorcycle up off the ground was amusement for all. I think the biggest surprise from the ol' black and whites came when they entered the oval lions den… the flat track arena. Take my bra Johnny law if they weren’t growling and clawing each other up like a bunch of jungle cats. A bar bang’n, peg scrape’n, good ol' flat track free-for-all ensued and they even gave the fans a signature smoke show they could write home about. Truth be told, the cops were more hooligan than some of the hooligans on the circuit and they had the balls to prove it. Future generations are going to be writing handbooks on police civilian relationships and chapter 7-8 will be a play by play of what they did Saturday afternoon at the Moto Bay Classic. I have never seen so many people cheering for 5-0 in my life.
Tyler Ohara won the Kawasaki z125 oh his Super Moto after beating the cops at their own race, but hey a Super Moto Vs. an 800 lb. fully loaded cop bike, you do the math. It ended up being only a .08 gap! Then he went ahead and beat everyone in the supermoto class after jumping the start, getting moved to the back of the line, and then charging through the field to earn a well-deserved 1st place finish.
In a world of over-hyped events and underwhelming bull shit, the Moto Bay Classic lived up to the hype and kept the crowd entertained from 11 to 9. It was a full-bore carnival of octane fueled madness put on by a dedicated crew form Roland Sands Design, the PD, and Rever. Let’s hope it makes a comeback in 2019, I can’t wait to see what happens next year.