Fasthouse Races Hangtown | The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
The opening round of the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships took place at Hangtown just outside of Sacramento, California, this past weekend, and the Fasthouse crew had an amazing time. Last year, Sean Collier competed in the 450 Class aboard a mostly stock KTM 450SX-F, where he turned in solid top-15 performances. This year, Fasthouse pulled together support and with some help from Thousand Oaks Powersports, Gasper Racing, FMF, C4MX, 805 Beer, Troy Lee Designs, Gaerne, Dunlop, Stance Socks, Red Bull, and Von Zipper Sean had a fire-breathing KX450F to pilot. But unlike most of the racers on the line, he had to work his regular 9-5 job all week leading up to the event. “I showed up maybe around 2:00 on Friday, so I didn’t really have much time to relax and get ready,” Sean said. “I don’t think that had too much to do with where I ended up result-wise, though. It was a super, super gnarly track. I mean, it caught me off guard (laughs).”
Throughout the day, Sean posted competitive times, qualifying him in 22nd going into the motos where he went 21-20 for 22nd overall. “On the starting line, before the gate dropped, I looked down at my heart rate monitor and my heart rate was already at 147. That’s insane,” Sean said. “I was a little extra nervous about the track. I know a lot of people were expecting me to do better, but I’m wise with this whole thing, and I think I finished right where I was supposed to finish. It was great though. I got to ride a super gnarly track, and I’m proud I was able to finish two relatively strong motos.”
Gnarly wouldn’t even begin to describe the track conditions. After heavy rain fell on the track, and surrounding areas, on Thursday, the racing surface was thoroughly drenched, and by the time practice began on Saturday, it still hadn’t fully dried out. The moisture softened the soil, giving way to bike swallowing ruts by the time the main motos rolled around. “I would say it was the most challenging year so far, besides in 2006 when it was a mud race,” Sean said. “There were so many ruts everywhere and they were really deep. They normally do a little more prep, but it seemed like they pretty much left the track as is. It just got—it was so gnarly, I couldn’t believe it.” At the end of the second moto, Sean looked completely spent. “It took a lot out of me physically just to keep the bike upright and not make too many mistakes in a single lap. I was just straight exhausted after the second moto. I couldn’t believe how tired I was.”
Sean may have been depleted after the final moto, but GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac was clearly ready for more. On the track, Sean got a front row seat to Tomac putting on one of the most dominating performances anyone has witnessed in years. “It was pretty baffling watching Tomac, because he was just riding as if there were no bumps or ruts,” Sean said. “It was amazing to see. I only got to see him for a couple of corners, but when he was in front of me, I did learn some lines. He was using bumps and turning them into jumps. He had a really good flow going—it was impressive.”
As is the case at most races, the Fasthouse pits in Hangtown were a constant rotating door of visitors looking to relax, bench race, and cool down between motos. This coming weekend at Glen Helen in San Bernardino, Fasthouse and Sean will again be posted in the pits, looking to battle it out with the best in the world and have a good time in the process. “Glen Helen will be exciting, and from what I hear, the weather will be working into my favor,” Sean said. “I thought it was going to be 100-plus degrees out there. But from what I’m hearing, it will be a pretty cool weekend. We’re just going to finish as strong as we can and have a good time.” See you at the races!
Words and Photos by Brendan Lutes