First of all, huge props to Davi Millsaps on an incredible win. I know Dave has won races before, but I don’t think anyone accept maybe JT$ thought he might pull one off against that stacked field. A1 is certainly known for crazy finishes but this one has to rank up there with Grant’s 09 win as the most surprising ever.
After a career of underachieving, could it be that Big Treat has finally found the magic combination to challenge for the title? I’m not sure I am ready to go that far, but either way it was an incredible race and a huge accomplishment for a guy who had seen his share of adversity in the last few years. Here’s hoping he can keep it going.
Is there a better guy on the track than Trey Canard? The kid from Oklahoma is humble, kind and not afraid to let his faith be known. He is also must be one of the most mentally tough guys on the track to come back from what the world has thrown at him over the last two years. Two back-to-back broken femurs and a broken back, who comes back from that? Well apparently, Trey Canard does my friends. He was half a lap from taking home the the second most amazing career comeback win of the night. Six months ago some people were wondering if Honda would even bring him back, but Big Red stuck with the kid and he delivered big time last night. I have to admit I was not sure if he could really put all that pain behind him and find the pace so fast, but the kid showed the strong steel he is made of and silenced all the doubters last night. Bonus points for not tucking his ears in a retarded flat-biller on the podium and making me what to knock it off his head.
Ok, first off, I will admit I am a big Ryan Dungey fan. The dude is a machine on the track and I would never bet against him if we were racing 40 lap mains, but last night I think he really missed a opportunity. With RV struggling so badly and JS7 wounded, you just HAVE to go win that main event. It is like 2008 when K-Dub could not pull off the win when Reedy faltered, and was never able to make up the gap. You have to take advantage when those opportunities are there if you want to be champion.
Now on the flip side, you could say that Dungey did what Dungey does, and did not ride over his head and took what the night gave him. Third is certainly not bad, but if he is going to outlast a sure to get better Reed and RV, he need to take it and not wait for it to come to him. Stanton certainly won titles that way, but RV is not Bradshaw and I don’t seer him having another night like A1 this season. JS7 spotted Reed a race in ’09 and he still got the title with raw speed. If Dungey wants to avoid that in ’13 he needs to put the spurs to that horse now, rather than later.
In fourth, we have Chad Reed exactly where I thought he would be. I would love to have seen Speedy Reedy come out and smoke the field, but I did not think it was going to happen. I think if Reed is going to make a run, it will start around round 3 and build from there. Reed is a slow burn and once he finds his grove he will be a threat for the win. In all honesty, I would love to see CR22 make another run at the title here, but who knows at this point? He is coming off several big injuries, is a year older and has a ton of competition. After what he has done in his career, nothing would surprise me at this point, but I think after last night he would have to still be considered a long shot for the title.
In fifth, we have Jake Weimer, who rode a solid race to round out the top five. At no point was he in the battle for the lead, but with this crazy field he had to feel pretty good with a fifth to get things started. Mentally he probably sees himself ahead of a guy like Millsaps, so that might hurt, but overall I think he can’t be too disappointed. He was the top Kawasaki in the field and salvaged the night a bit for his team. Overall, it was a good race and something to build on for the big #12.
A few other random thoughts on the night.
Bam Bam looked VERY fast on that Factory Honda and I do think he will steal a win or two before the season is over. He was actually scaring me a bit at times, as he scrubbed so hard that he clipped the landings and looked to be about a millisecond from eating shit. In any case, it was an impressive showing for a kid with one of the brightest futures in the sport.
Josh Hill seems to have pissed off a Gypsy at some point because the poor kid appears to be cursed. After squandering his many early opportunities partying and playing with J-law and the Cheech and Chong crowd, he really seems to want to put his career back together now. Unfortunately, the moto gods appear to still be pissed, because the kid can’t seem to catch a break. Heres hoping he can catch a little luck and get himself back out there soon.
Shorty took a solid sixth (about where I expected) and looked good doing it. The team turmoil nonsense seems to have continued over for 2013 but it did not stop the Baby-faced Assassin from snagging a win last year so maybe its good for him. Bonus points for his sweet looking CRF450R which reminded me of a 80′ works Honda. Badass!
Josh Hansen appeared to have checked his brain at the door last night and certainly did himself no favors looking like an immature dick on the track. Block passes are cool, intentional, pointless take outs are not. Josh has talent , but until he stops acting like a 16 year old on the track and off he will never turn the corner..
RV had one of those nights last night for sure. It was like watching Stewart implode at Dallas in ’02, as the harder he tried the bigger he fell. Hopefully he was not injured, and can bounce back next week. In many ways he picked a good year to have a bad night as I have a feeling we will have a lot of winners mixing up the points every week. Plus his main competitors did not grab the bull by the horns either, so he got off easy. He also dodged a bullet (like ATL last year) by not getting docked any further for riding around a third of the track to reenter. It was a crappy night all around and best forgotten by the reigning champ.
What to think of JS7? First of all, I doubt may people are going to be ponying up to buy his Reed replica Seven gear (did anyone at TLD even look at the photos of Reed’s shift stuff? The two look separated at birth). Secondly, it appears the Yamaha was not the problem either, as the best handling bike on the track washes out the front end and dinged Stewarts knee. There is no doubt if he is healthy he is a threat for the win, but I’m afraid his title days are over at this point. I could be wrong, and I hope I am, but it is hard to argue with the facts at this point.
Last point- I can’t wait for next week!