February 24, 2010

A Tale of Two Ryans, a Supercross Saga Starts

Look at the MESS! The Monster Energy Supercross Series is tied up for the second straight week but with three different riders, something that I can't recall ever happening in the 450cc class.

Two weeks ago in Andyheim, Ryan Villopoto (above, the epitome of cool) took the win to put him within 3 points of the two co-leaders, Ryan Dungey (below, intensely focused) and Josh Hill.

Last Saturday in Motor City (the Hoosier version, not the Detroit one), Ryan V scored another win over Ryan D to grab his share of the championship points lead, after Hill (below, in thoughtful repose) failed to make the podium for the first time in 5 races.

Now the two Ryans are tied going into Hotlanta this Saturday night, and the Man in Blue sits 10 points in arrears. Hill is due; will it happen this weekend?

These great portraits of Supercross are from GuyB's Vital MX Pit Bits from Indianapolis.

February 23, 2010

Indy Jones: Woulda, Coulda and Did It Again

Honda Red Bull's Davi Millsaps (18) nipped Geico Powersports Honda's Kevin Windham (14) for the holeshot in the 450 main in Indy, and led for a bit, but for whatever reason could not keep the veteran rider behind him for long. Lurking in the back of this GuyB snap is Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto (2), who would pass both Honda riders and go on to convincingly win his third supercross on the year.

Look at that crowd! Yeah, the East loves supercross!

Indy Jones: Christophe Crushes

Well, the MESS moved Eastward this weekend, landing at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and kicking off the Eastern region of the 250cc class. And defending East region champ Christophe Pourcel dominated the proceedings with his smooth-as-butter style. If anyone has a chance to go undefeated in supercross this year, Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Pourcel is the one. GuyB snaps the shot.

February 16, 2010

It's good to be The King: riding with Jeremy McGrath

Monster Energy Video Blog - McGrath Ride Day

Transworld Motocross drops another big 'un, a really cool video by Dirt Shark, filmed at Jeremy McGrath's king-size ranch. Nice.

February 15, 2010

Anaheim 3: Mayhem before the AM

Yep, weak headline I admit, but the race itself was outstanding! Unfortunately, my man with the hot cam, GuyB, decided to spend time all the way in Indianapolis for the Dealer Show, so I got nothing... that is, no fantastic Vital MX photos for the final round in California. Oh well...

But I did go to the race, and let me tell ya, it was indeed off the hook, despite what you may have seen on CBS.

I was able to catch the top 450 riders in their final qualifying session, and I was quite surprised to see Jason Lawrence aggressively jump to the head of the line on the first lap and set the first fast lap. Seeing ol' #338 on the leader pylon was both amazing and confusing... but it didn't take long before the customary leaders displaced him. And in a sign of things to come, Ryan Villopoto finished the session with the top time as the only rider to get around the tricky circuit in under a minute.

Which leads to the track layout itself. Walking into the stadium, the over/under bridge was the first thing to get my attention. Riders landing from the third base triple had to deal with a short landing area into a tight, 90-degree left under the bridge, which then led to the rhymthm section that contained the "wall." During practice I was waiting for some daredevil to launch over the wall into the next double, but no one dared. Survival instincts run high among supercross racers.

But those instincts weren't enough to save everyone, hence the "Mayhem" in the headline. I saw more riders carried off the track on stretchers than I can remember, so much so that at times it seemed as if the announcers were doing their best to avert everyone's attention away from the carnage. But there were plenty of exchanged worried glances and comments circulating among the crowd. In the second 250 heat, Jake Weimer and Trey Canard were locked in a death struggle for the lead when Max Anstie went down very hard, fracturing his hip. Anstie was down on the track for so long, the officials ended up redflagging the 8-lap heat race and re-starting it. And in the first 450 heat, WORCS star Bobby Bonds went OTB into the face of a triple, breaking his collarbone. And these are just two of the injuries I've seen reported so far. I don't know if the track is to blame or what, and I'm grateful that no one was more seriously injured or worse.

Both main events featured unexpected twists. In the 250 class, past East Region Champion Trey Canard quickly chased down early leader Wil Hahn and tried to get away, but 4-time winner Jake Weimer was closing fast... and then he went down and stalled his bike. (ELECTRIC START!) By the time it fired up, Weimer was dead last. For a few laps, it looked like Trey Canard was going to score a full whopping 25 points on Weimer, but that's not what happened.

Instead, Jake reached down deep and went to work to minimize the damage to his 26-point cushion in the championship standing. Jake fought his way up to 8th position, while Canard crushed the rest of the field for his second win on the year. Weimer still holds 14 sizable points over TC with only two rounds to go, but Canard takes the momentum into the West Region hiatus.

In the 450 class, Ryan Villopoto got his first holeshot of the year and ran the table by leading every lap and even setting fast lap of the night. But Josh Hill, Kevin Windham, and to some extent, Davi Millsaps and Ryan Dungey all made RV work for it. Hill especially, as it always seemed that Josh had the speed to catch Villo, if only he didn't have to worry about riding defense against the constant attacks from first Millsaps then Kdub. Thos three had a great game of cat and mouse going, even though their positions didn't really change that much. Dungey seemed early on content to just let those guys slip up so he could slip by, but when that didn't happen, Ryan started making moves. First he pulled a nice pass inside Davi and then he started pressuring Kevin. And then Dungey spun out in the same turn where he passed Millsaps earlier. Of course, this let the Honda-mounted Millsaps by and Ryan had to pass him AGAIN, this time just stuffing last week's main event winner in a bowl.

As the laps wore on, things just got more intense. It wasn't until lap 16 or 17 that Kdub seemed to settle into third and Hill seemed to be happy with second. Somehow, Ryan Dungey accepted finishing off the podium for the third straight week; he had nothing for Windham after the slideout. And I have no idea WTF happened to the Davi that beat everyone just a week ago. But I'm starting to suspect that tricky track, I guess it brought out the best in the top bike-handlers.

February 12, 2010

Riding With Turbo Trey | Transworld Motocross

Swapmoto at Transworld Motocross is transforming motocross coverage this year by filling the internet with great mx video. He shows a particularly deft touch with this one, using music only when absolutely necessary!

Riding With Turbo Trey | Transworld Motocross

February 07, 2010

San Diego Chargers, Pt. 2: The Three Amigos

Here are the top three finishers in the 450 class in San Diego, sharing some post-race good vibes. From left to right, Honda Red Bull's Davi Millsaps, San Manuel Yamaha's Josh Hill, and Valli Motorsports' Ivan Tedesco. It was a great race for all of them: Millsaps gave Honda it's first supercross win in, like, forever; Hill pulled to only 4 points behind Dungey in the points standings, and this is Tedesco's first podium in, like (wait for it... ) yes, forever. GuyB gets the love.

Good job, guys!

San Diego Chargers, Pt. 1: Wey to Go!

Here's the shot of the night, courtesy Vital MX's GuyB: Nick Wey, "filling in" for Chad Reed on the Monster Energy Kawasaki, gets his first supercross holeshot in, like, forever, while the points leader and two-time race winner Ryan Dungey goes down in the slippery San Diego first turn.

February 03, 2010

Ryan Dungey's unbelievable San Francisco crash

Oh man. I am so glad Ryan didn't get badly injured in this spectacularly scary get-off. Whoa. The guy must be made of rubber, because he literally bounced back up, sprinted to his bike and got going again before Villopoto and Hill could pass him.

Frisco: Dice a Roni

The San Francisco Treat! The City by the Bay hosted the fastest supercross racers in the known galaxy last Saturday and these two dudes put on a particularly entertaining show. Old Northwest rivals Josh Hill (75) and Ryan Villopoto duked it out cowboy style, electrifying the crowd in the process. Another fine photo by GuyB.

PS - For those I may have offended by referring to San Francisco as "Frisco," I apologize for being too SoCal oblivious to know better!

Frisco: Return of the Jedi?

Geico Powersports Honda's Trey Canard opened a can on the 250cc class in San Francisco, halting Monster Energy/Pro Circuit racer Jake Weimer's winning streak at three. That green blur in the distance? That be Jake.

Way to step up, TC. GuyB gets the angle.

Frisco Frisky

Yeah, she's working it well. GuyB's a hero.