Smith and Renner – Smokin’ in Daytona

Over the weekend Ryan Smith and Ricky Renner took on the challenge of attempting to qualify for Daytona SX. On their two strokes. Renner on a YZ 125 and Ryan Smith on a borrowed, bone stock YZ 250.

How did they do? Renner managed to qualify for the night show in 22nd place. Out of 60+ 250f’s that showed up. During his heat race he was holding down 8th place, until a mechanical problem took him out. I have heard people saying “That’s what he get’s for riding a 2 Stroke”. How about this.. Roughly 25 bikes DNS or DNF, guess what 24 of them were.. Here’s the best one I’ve heard.. “He was running an Athena 144 kit, he had an unfair advantage” Haha ok. Still being over 100cc’s down is completely unfair, what was I thinking? Whatever he was running between the cases, he rode it like a beast and he gets huge props from us for that. Fun Fact: His qualifing time was faster than  18+ of the 450’s that made it to the night show. Yes.. 450’s.

Ricky Renner


Ryan Smith, a local from here in Virginia loaded up and headed to Florida as well. He was on a borrowed, stock YZ 250.

Smith finished qualifying in 38th. Conditions for the heat race were poor, finishing in 15th place. Lining up for the LCQ conditions didn’t look good. Downed riders from the heat and poor track conditions allowed him to finish in 10th, with no goggles, gloves and a missing clutch lever.

Ryan Smith

Hopefully this will open some eyes as to what is really required in Pro MX/SX. You don’t need a $50k four stroke, when a $5,000 YZ works just fine. Just add skill.

*Update – TSM is pleased to support Ricky Renner for New Orleans SX! Donations can be made below. Help us Help him!


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19 thoughts on “Smith and Renner – Smokin’ in Daytona

  1. Great job guys!

    All the credit in the world for doing what you did, nothing gets done by standing still, but sheer determination, dedication makes the day, and I know you had to have smile on your face knowing others were hearing the sounds of a WFO 2 stroke!

  2. Here’s my take on The whole thing.

    First off, I am so proud of these guys, they did an unbelievable job, with all of the “built-in” disadvantages put in place for any and all smokers. I hope they make more attempts to race some smokers at this level. BTW, anyone who makes the comment about running a 144 kit is unfair ( I heard it as well ) has the IQ of a bottle cap.

    Secondly, the 3 morons in the booth who said that the 2 strokes were inferior in the rain and mud must have had their brains sucked out, did they really forget that just a few years ago, ALL of the bikes were 2 strokes and gee…. they weren’t inferior then. Just like they aren’t in any GNCC series or Erzberg, etc. etc.

    But the real topper of the night was when the ( as mentioned ) morons made the stupid, asinine comments about the smoker being inferior while they spewed brand “h’s” talking points, was only reinforced when immediately after this, one of American honda’s rep’s told the audience how proud they were to be the largest sponsor of Daytona. Really? A company that hates 2 strokes, is the largest sponsor of that race ( and most of the series’ ) and has announcers with subsequent anti-2 stroke rhetoric, proving what a fantastic give-away as to whom is behind the plight of the 2 stroke. Co-incidental? I think not.

    I used to respect Mr. Carmichael but he, like everybody else, is out for the money, not for what’s right. His contract with U.S. Suzuki paid him ( i’ve read ) over 50% more per year for racing and pimping the 4 stroke and this still seems to warrant ( and extend? ) his efforts. I mean heck…. he can’t really speak the truth now, can he? He would come across as unintelligent and double minded.

    The 2 guys who raced the 2 strokes and the money/efforts/people behind them to put these smokers in Daytona need to be commended, applauded and encouraged to try again. They are modern day heroes, rebels and independent thinkers. Something we used to take for granted as common place is now regarded with esteem and reverence. Good job guys, keep it up, PLEASE!!!!!

  3. Most of us on this great site recently witnessed the Stewart brothers put down the power & speed of the 2-stroke MX bikes via youtube but I would just like to say that was’nt it James Stewart that recorded his fastest lap time on a Kawasaki KX-250 2-stroke???

  4. Charles and or anyone, anybody have any information on whether either guy might try a repeat in their efforts to put a smoker in any other AMA nationals this season?

    With their near success(es) and the support they seem to be getting, I would hope it would be a forgone conclusion to try again.

  5. let’s see!! people complaint about renner riding a 144, was unfair, i wonder, were the 250f’s bone stock?! or do they have lot’s of head job and stuff like that!!

    what do they have to say about smith, riding no clutch lever on a full stock 250 2s!?

    when you’re a good rider, it’s not about the bike..

  6. I posted a note on YouTube where James Stewart rides a Yamaha 250 2 stroke. I rec’d an e-mail back from James Michael, a mx reporter. He tells me that he was talking to John Dowd and apparently Mr. Dowd put a nice tight 250 2 stroke engine in a 450f frame and was, in his words, “killing it at Southwick all year” and then Kawasaki got wind of it and basically “ORDERED him to stop racing the 2 stroke……” His and my comments can be read under that Youtube’s heading.

    I do not want to get off topic too much as this post about our 2 heroes deserve’s all the positive ink they can get but I do want to say that I sure hope the Dowd story is not even partially true. Not to question the merits of Mr. Michael’s word at all, but if Mr. Dowd is under contract with Kawasaki, then I can see their worry but, if he is not, how can he be ordered to do anything? It is just more proof ( apart from losing some more liberties ) that the big-4 so fear the masses knowing the truth about their wonder-child sugar daddy that they are now resorting to strong arming for tactics.

    This alone is worthy of a news story.

  7. It is crazy how much the BS AMA rule has blinded everyone. People say its unfair for a 144 2 stroke to compete against a 250 4 stroke….yeah your right it is unfair it should be 250 vs 250. A 4 stroke needs nearly double the displacement to be better than a 4 stroke. Can you imagine a 450 FI 2 stroke with 2012 engine and frame technology, it would absolutely dominate a 450 4 stroke, be lighter and easier to work on. Right now people compare a 250 2 stroke with ancient technology to a 4 stroke with nearly double the displacement and 2012 technology.

  8. What a great read, Ive just started riding bikes about 1.5years ago, When I went to buy my first bike I knew it had to be a two stroke, Reason are that I rode the 4 stroke 250’s and 450’s and was like, ummmm heavy, slow, costly, and etc etc etc the list goes on.

    A good mate of mine has just brought a 2 stroke and is selling his 4 stroke now, before he road a 4 stroke he road 2 strokes for years. Now he is having fun again back on a real bike and loving it.
    I really do thing the 2 strokes are on the way back slowly.

    What a real hero thou, riding a 144 2 stroke against all of those’s 4 strokes. Hopefully Yamaha take Ricky on board and start racing real bikes!!!

  9. @Roy, that would be cool however, what would happen is Yamaha would say in contract that you can ride the 2 stroke for XX amount but, we will double or triple that amount if you ride the 4 stroke. This is exactly what happened to Brett Metcalfe, he qualified on the little 125 ( and was subsequently thrust into near hero status, by the way ) and then Yamaha threw the dollars at him.

    What’s odd to me is the sheer determination some riders have to not go “old school” no matter what. I am referring to guys like Nick Wey and others, who were top 5-8 guys on smokers but, went to the dark side and now sometimes cannot even qualify for the main. Nick Wey was ( is ) much better on a 2 stroke as are many others. Sure they may lose a sponsor or two but, they would gain others and more importantly, they would gain huge followings of fans. ‘Tis an oddity.

  10. I honestly think a modern FI 250 2 stroke would be faster than a 450 on a supercross track. Obviously I would love to see equal displacement but if you look at the lap times half the 250f guys would qualify in the 450 main. I’m 6’1.5 235lbs and a 450 feels heavy to me on a track and puts me to sleep in the dunes and desert. A 60hp 2t at 200lbs would be one sick bike. The new Ktm 250sx pushes 51hp with a carb, pump gas and is super reliable. I’m sure with FI and some tweaking 60hp wouldn’t be a problem for a race bike. That would be one mean bike.

  11. I own both a 450 4 stroke and a 250 two stroke and the 250 two stroke is way way more fun to ride. Line choice, gear selection, noise, I love it. the 250 has plenty of power. Also, I can do things on it that I could never manage on the four stroke, any line etc. the two stroke skates around but its super fun. the four stroke does hookup and go but its way to heavy and loud. Plus, it sounds like Im pooping my pants the whole time Im riding. You know the sound is whats killing the sport, who complained about noise back in the 2t days? Or the cost of a top end. 4ts are also really hard to start, if you dont exicute the start procedure perfect when new and near impossible to start with time on them. the mags pretend you dont feel weight as much while riding but you do. every time I ride my 250 two stroke Im am super pumped on it. Light, nimle, snappy, exciting. Sure some people hate on you for ridding a 2t, but there uniformed morons.
    These two pros are awsome and deserve TV time. What the heck they didnt even give any mention of a 125. And they just dissed ont the 250 like it was an ancient turd. luckily, CR snuck in the fact that the factories made the factory riders switch to the four strok in 06 for supercross. RC agreed with him. Note that RC also left the sprt shotly after he was made to ride a 4t. Video of him on a 2t apeared shortly after his retirement on a “good ole 250 two stroke.” then CR went on to say how the factory 4t bikes are so much better now than in 06. really? A two stroke still has less engine breaking lighter weight and a snapier motor, and thats a stock two stroke, from era 2005. How could they not mention RR on a 125!!?? BS! To me its like a rider died during the race and they didnt mention it. I hope a privater makes the podium on a two stroke. How many pros have the guts to ride what they love when there being paid to ride a 4$t. I bet we will see a resurgance of two strokes at the pro level, amoung the non factory riders atleast. If I were pro and maintaing my own bike I would be on a two stroke. Competitive for a tenth the price.

  12. @nomo4hoax. Heck, just imagine what a 2012 or even 2011 KTM 250SX would have done! No slam on the YZ but KTM has been advancing their 250SX every year. I wonder why they didn’t race a KTM????

  13. @Kevin, think about it, they are trying to race a machine that weighs more than their 250 2 stroke, makes alot less horsepower and torque than the 2 stroke but yet, they will not attempt to race the 2 stroke over the 350f? It is beacuse they didn’t import enough 250 2 stroke motocrossers to qualify. Was it because of a lack of demand? Nope, it was because they have signed a contract not to race their 250 2 stroke, it was done under the guise of not meeting their sales criteria but it really has nothing to do with it.

    Here comes the ugly truth, KTM, on one hand is pro 2 stroke from an obligation side but, they are all-in with the AMA’s agenda that is being driven, pushed and controlled by honda to not compete with 2 strokes where competition is seen by the masses. Meaning at the local level and or the GNCC series, it is ok to run the smokers. These competitions are not viewed by many fans so they never get the truth about the skewed agenda that allows one company to decide for everyone and sadly, the agency that was put in place to “hear” the voice of the fans does not listen nor care. As long as the AMA ( formerly the American Motorcyclist Assoc. ) is receiving their payola, they could car less about what the fans want. Case in point, there have been many petitions to bring some fairness to racing and these petitions never make it to the voters. “Someone” makes sure they are not allowed a yes or no vote. The same agency that is supposed to help it’s members only cares about money, money, money. Your voice and mine amounts to nothing but a large pile of horse sh** and it is as simple as that.

    No petitions, protests or anything else will stem back the tide that honda has in motion and since they have the spineless media on their side as well the aforementioned AMA as well as the easily fooled masses, there is nothing that will stop the big red machine.

    The only option we have is not to try and change those mentioned above but, to start a new agency and race series. This series will be killed if it is run in parallel with the existing series, that’s why it needs to be done on “off” weekends until it is big enough to be seen by the easily manipulated masses and then, and only then, will we get a chance to show everyone how they have been fooled and duped. Once that happens, the once mighty 2 stroke will regain it’s position atop the podiums of the world.

    On that note, we at Revanche2strokes have contacted many, many companies to try to get them on board, the bad side is: the only respondents have been a “no” and that’s because they make products for 2 strokes and have much to gain but, they also sell 4 stroke products and they know the thinking of the masses and they do not want to risk their cash-cow. The good side is: we have not heard back from everyone yet ( including TSM ) and either way, we will not give up, give in or quit…..EVER!!!! We are pro 2 strokes now, always have been and always will be, we have pre-mix in our blood and nothing will change that.

  14. I don’t believe KTM paid the homologation fee to the AMA, so the SX is not legal to race in supercross.

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