Wow, what a night of racing, what a season of racing! After the awesome 2011, it was probably too much to ask for another barnburner of a year, but after five rounds, it sure looks like we are going to get one. I mean, this series has had everything so far. Huge comeback stories? Check. Rookie breakthrough? Check. Parity and uncertainty of each round’s winner? Check. Huge pileups and gnarly takeouts? Double Check! This people, is why Suoercross is the most exciting motor sport in the world. Here are some props and thoughts on last nights crazy night in Anaheim.
1st Place- The Dungenator
Ryan certainly pulled his fat out of the fire last night. It was pretty gnarly when his Brad Lackey Fox Air Shock decided to take the night off at the start of his heat race. It was a major set back for the #5, but it could have been a lot worse. If that thing had decided to give up the ghost on the first triple I don’t even want to think about the results. When Ryan got stuck in the back at the start of the LCQ, I really thought we were looking at another Jacksonville 2011. (Not to beat a dead horse here, but come on, we need to bring back the semis. One little problem in your heat and you are really rolling the dice in the LCQ big time. At the very least, they need to take the top 4 in the LCQ or make it a longer race so a bad start does not kill a guys chance at making the main-end of aside) Dungey’s ride in the LCQ was maybe the ride of the night and he really pulled it out there.
In the main, he just got out front and did what Dungey does. He may not be able to knife through the field like JS7 (of course he will not land on you either), but give him a start and he is solid as a rock. He withstood early pressure from Davi and just rode a steady race for the win. I have no Idea in this crazy year if this really means anything in the grand scheme of things. I don’t expect the Dunge to go on tear now, but he certainly made a major step forward in the standing and now sits in second behind the Comeback kid.
2nd place (But first in your hearts) -Davi Millsaps
Holly crap, in ten years of watching Davi Millsaps race motorcycles I have NEVER seen this guy. I have literally seen every race he has ever run (most multiple times) and I have never seen him look like this. Even when he won his 250F title for Honda he was not This Guy. This Guy, looked like JS7 circa 2007 early in the race. He was putting that RMZ anywhere he wanted it. Cutting down, scrubbing, tripling from the inside on a slippery-as-glass track. He was just bending that bike to his will and it was awesome to watch. He looked to be on a totally different track in the first few laps and I really though he was going to pull off another win. In the end, the Dungenator kicked it into terminator mode on him and pulled away, but it was still an awesome ride. He came back on Stewart and once again proved he is for real this year.
I said last night on Twitter that is may finally be time to start talking about Davi as a legitimate threat to pull this title off. As amazing as A1 was, I don’t think anyone (even Davi most likely) really though he was going to turn that race into a Supercross title. It was an incredible race , but there was no way he could hold it together for 17 rounds, right? Well friends and neighbors, it looks to me like we may indeed have a new Sheriff in town. Milsapps 2013 is for real, and and if can keep his head down, take what the night gives him and pounce when the opportunity presents itself, he may get to drop an 8 off that plate next year.
3rd Place- Justin Barcia
Last night was a great rebound for a guy who has been limiting his Bam Bam’s to his own body lately. I don’t think anyone has been shocked at Barcia’s early season success or his spectacular crashes. He has been crazy fast from the time he turned pro and I think he will be a SX champ in the future. He need to focus on mellowing out for a race or two and get himself up to 100%, then it will be on. I would bet on 2-3 more wins this year from the Wild Child of MX.
4th Place-The Fastest Man on the planet (in practice) James Stewart
It is pretty obvious from his practice times that James Stewart still knows how to ride a motorcycle VERY fast. It is also very obvious that he is not 100%. I think it is pretty fair to wager that he is not really training or doing much riding these days other than race day and it shows in his results. He is tentative once the gate drops and just seems to lack that Crazy Balls burst of speed he has had since turning pro in ’02. At this point, I think James is just trying to get through things without making it worse.Either he is waiting for the injury to get better or he is contractually obligated to perform in a certain number or races (call me cynical, but I imagine it is the latter), because what he is doing not does not really look like any Stewart we have seen before. He has never been the “lets limp along and see how this goes” kind of guy. If he can’t win, he usually goes home, so no matter what the reason, I commend him for giving it his best.
While it may have been best to just get it fixed after A1 so he could be ready for the outdoors, it is too late for that now. Either way, good luck to him and I hope he keeps getting better. Who knows, the way this crazy year is going he may still have a shot at the title.
Bonus points for the ridiculous Red Bull Pharaoh’s hat he had on after the race BTW.
Place- Chad Reed
As much as I am loving this season, this part is just killing me. I have to wonder if Chad ran over a black cat with the TwoTwo trailer on the way A1 or something because it is just not going right this year. I don’t know if it is the new bike or the Discount Tires he is running on his CRF, but something is just off with Team Skippy. At no point has he shown the speed he had last year and he still looks to be struggling somewhat with bike set up. It is now two weeks in a row that he has found himself down in the second turn and that is no recipe for success. He needs to get better starts and try to keep himself off the ground if he is going to get back in this championship chase. At least this year, things are so crazy that he still might have a shot if he gets it turned around fast-like next week fast. Maybe it is the red pants, just a thought….
6th Place- The Baby-Faced Assassin
What do you say about Shorty that has not already been said? The dude is absolutely killing it on a bike that you are I could buy at Rowdy Roddy’s Motorcycle emporium. The fact that he is even out there is impressive enough, but to be getting sixths and beating A LOT of heavy hitters on the bike he is riding is just incredible. The dude is one of the coolest guys in the pits and I think all of us are rooting for him to keep it going. A++++++++++++ for the Blond Bomber
7th Place- Trey Canard
I was really hoping last night would be Trey’s night. After a solid start to the season, it seemed like it was time for a win. He did get a solid start and it looked like early on he might be well positioned to make a run of it. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned and the #41 ended up way back early on. The seventh does not kill his title hopes by any means, but he did loose second in the title chase to Dungey. If Trey is going to turn an incredible comeback into a true Cinderella story, he needs to start keeping the CRF on two wheels. He has the speed, but even I can beat a guy laying on the track.
8th Place- The Champ
Many people forget it because of his many titles, but RV has aways been a guy who rides the razor’s edge. He is not quite up to the COW (Crash Or Win) status of JS7, but he has had his share crash-fests over the years. Usually he has been able to recover do to his blazing speed and fitness. This year, however, the speed and consistency of Millsaps (it is going to take a while to get used to writing that) is going to make it tough to make up all those lost points. I’m not sure if it is his strange rearward riding style, or his suspension setup (maybe he is running Reed’s cheesy Discount Tires), but it really seems he is having problems with loosing the front end. I’m sure RV will right the ship and go on a 5-race tear at some point, but by then it may be too late to derail the Millsaps Juggernaut.
9th Place- Broc Tickle
Best porn name in motocross, Broc Tickle or Dusty Pipes? Discuss…
10th Place- Justin Brayton
In tenth we have Jason Weigandt’s man-crush and the pride of Fort Dodge, Iowa, Justing Brayton. A top ten is a solid ride for Brayton and about where i would expect to find him if all the big guys are still in play. It would be nice if he could take advantage of one of these crazy pile-ups and steal a top three but the series is still early. For JGR, the highlight (and heart attack) of the night had to be the awesome dual between #10 and #33 in their heat race. It was a great showing for their team and a great race. If only Brayton could translate his Heat Race Hero status to the main he could be a contender. As it is, the Weigandt jumping out of a cake party will have to wait for another day.