The following is a press release from MiniMoto SX…
Former MXGP World Champion, MX Nationals overall runner-up and all-around great guy, Sebastien Tortelli, will run one of the ground-breaking Zero Motorcycles at tomorrow’s Energy Crisiscross (ECX), part of the insurmountable action taking place at the 2010 GEICO AMA MiniMotoSX, presented by Monster Energy, at Vegas’ Orleans Arena.
“Having Tortelli and (Damon) Huffman on electric bikes in the same gate for the ECX main event is going to be unreal,” said Mike Karsting, VP of Events for Source Interlink Media. “MX historians will look back on this race as the first time two champions from the gas-powered era threw a leg over two of the industry’s top electric bikes, Zero and Quantya USA, and battled a field of four-strokes. This will truly be a historic event for motocross at the Orleans this Friday night.”
France’s Tortelli burst onto the MX scene here in the United States in 1998 with a seemingly out-of-nowhere performance in winning the supercross season opener on a rain-soaked track at the legendary LA Coliseum – the last time the AMA Supercross Series would run at the birthplace of the sport. The following summer Tortelli won the MXGP’s 250 class title, adding a World Championship trophy to his mantle. Then in 1999 he made the move to the United States for good in to begin what became a very successful racing career.As for electric bikes, unlike Huffman, Tortelli’s been aboard one before – back in 2007 when MMSX promoter Eric Peronnard first put the electric bikes on the track for a demo race at the Orleans. Tortelli isn’t quite sure what he placed in the race, figuring around 3rd, but admitted Peronnard had set the hook and piqued an interest with electric MX that remains with Tortelli today.
“Eric and I were talking recently and I told him I’d like to try it again – so here we are,” said Tortelli. “I haven’t ridden the new version, so that’s why I wanted to do this race. I’d never got a chance to ride one before (’07 MMSX) – or since. So the MiniMotoSX was the only place I’ve been able to try an electric bike.”More of a just-for-fun (as if there is such a thing with MX racers) race with some former greats, media and industry celebrities, the ’07 electric demo race gave MMSX riders and fans the first-ever taste of electric bike technology on a modern scaled-down supercross track here in the States. But now, with three years of technology built back into Zero’s bikes and batteries, Tortelli’s pumped on what the bikes now have to offer. “The last time I rode, and only heard the chain – it was amazing,” he said. “And I imagine, over time, the equipment on the bike’s improved and it will be even more fun.”No noise seems to be what sticks out most with MX riders that run the electric bikes for the first time. When asked if he’d make his own four-stroke noises inside his helmet when racing, Tortelli laughed and said “No, no. It (bike noise) is already in my mind, so we are all set there.”In terms of his expectations on where he’d like to place versus not only Huffman, but defending 16” class champion Scott Burnworth, Tortelli was his usual laid-back San Diegan self. “The whole thing is to get out there and have some fun, get a new experience … because you know everybody’s leaning toward more efficient and clean technology. So for me, getting to know it, getting the feel of it and see how these bikes are going is what I want to get out of it.”Well put, Seb. But you know, when that gate drops, the World Champ’s gonna show some teeth heading into that first turn of the inaugural Energy Crisiscross!
Note: You can still buy a ticket to witness MX history! A consistent sellout since its inception in 2004, GEICO MMSX fans and those in town for the finals of Monster Energy Supercross are urged to get their ticket in advance as seats for this historic event are filling up rapidly. For more information, including a view of the track map, link to www.minimotosx.comThe annual GEICO MiniMotoSX, presented by Monster Energy, is the largest indoor motorsports competition of its kind. With more than 600 registered riders in 2009 the event literally allows for mini bike enthusiasts to become part of the show. As one racer put it: “At GEICO MiniMotoSX you don’t just show up and watch racing in Vegas – you boot up and get on the track yourself to race in front of a packed house at the Orleans.” Featuring numerous classes at all age and ability levels, GEICO MiniMotoSX delivers an unforgettable day of racing action for both fans and racers alike, along with an affordable ‘Vegas experience’ given the hotel and ticket package at the Orleans Hotel and Arena. Registration for the event is open right now on www.minimotosx.com