January 11, 2009

The MESS in Phoenix: it's all good now

(photo and race report by Guy B/Vital MX)

From what I can tell from various media reports (and after watching the AMA's live lap timer with one eye), it appears that last night's 450 supercross main was a barnburner, even though San Manuel/Yamaha's James Stewart led every lap, because Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki's Chad Reed kept him honest by staying close the entire time. You can see the whole thing on SPEED tonight, should you so desire.

So James got his first supercross win on his new ride, and worked his way into the top ten points standings. Chad improved from last week's third place finish, and the surprising Josh Grant put his Spike Energy/Joe Gibbs Racing Yamaha on the box for third. Grant continues to lead the championship points race, but now has only three points over the defending champion Reed. Meanwhile, James is 18 points behind Grant and 15 points back of Reed and has his work cut out for him if he really wants to win the title. Basically, Stewart will have to "run the table", win every round and hope for misfortune to hobble his rivals. Not exactly in the driver's seat, is he?

What's interesting about the GuyB photo above is how Stewart and Reed are giving each other the thumbs up for a great race. I'm sure they had a blast, because close racing is fun, yet at the same time, part of me cannot help but think about the business of this sport. I know these guys are acutely aware of their roles in the enterprise of supercross... they did what was expected of them, and no one could ask for more. They put on the "show" that everyone wanted to see, and I suspect that as this season unfolds, we'll see more of this formation flying.

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