It took a few rounds but we finally got that high pressure, battle intensive 450 main we’ve been anticipating the whole off-season.
Words by: Kevin Husted
Photos by James Lissimore (Tickle helmet pic by Jessica)
If you were any rider in front of RV at Dodger stadium, it must have been unnerving and frustrating. Kind of like a dream where no matter how hard you try to run, you move like your stuck in ankle deep mud, mean while RV is stalking and gaining and devouring. James went down in a corner while being pressured by RV, Dungey narrowly escaped a crash as RV motored by after the start straight. The Poulsbo Firecracker’s motivation is tangible and it’s making these guys nervous.
Ryan Villopoto looked both determined and patient clicking off laps in the main. The way he rode, I honestly would have been surprised if he hadn’t won and that is a pretty shocking thought when James Stewart is not only in the race but at the front of the pack. RV had to work his way forward from a mid-pack start and by lap 5 he was on the same straight as the leaders. Dude was on fire.
I wonder if James looks forward to the day he gets back on a more traditional bike which doesn’t display some of the unique traits that YZ450F does? For the second time in three races James pushed the front end and went down, maybe its just the dirt, maybe it really was the RV pressure but in the past, James crashed spectacularly as a result from dialing it up, not from fundamental cornering errors. At least the front end corner wash crashes allows him to mount up quickly and battle his way to the front again instead of injuries and DNF’s.
Just as Dungey eluded to in his podcast from thursday, he’s not worried about his 5th place in Phoenix, its a long series yada yada yada. The Dungenator showed marked improvement, still didn’t look as comfortable as he did at A1 last season but a podium is a podium Remember, this guy’s a sponge, walking away from each race with a checklist of improvements, rarely taking a step backward.
How about that digger Ice Trey took!? It at least looked gnarlier than the same type of crash that sent Reed to the hospital in ’08 in Detroit. Remember that, when Reed had to obtain discharge papers in order to race because Windham’s team presented the rule book?
Somehow Trey regrouped for the LCQ, did a first lap first jump crowd salute fist pump and topped the LCQ off with another air wheelie. If you don’t pull for Trey Canard he must have kicked your ass in amateurs… alot.
In the main Trey once again was solid, pressuring Dungey, making a few mistakes and ending up 4th. That Trey, a real “regouper” y’know. Red Dog’s plan for maximum track time before the main event is a solid 2 out of 3. Come on, Trey, put her in the LCQ in Oakland again mmkay?
Unfortunately, Chad Reed, found himself next to dead last kicking his forks straight before he reached the second corner. Chad’s night was spent working his way through traffic. Im amazed at Reed’s resolve and attitude after a less than optimal 3 races. He’s still optimistic and sounds to be enjoying himself. Glad to hear it. Must have something to do with knowing that whatever changes need to be made aren’t denied after a passed buck and five excuses. Team ownership has at least one perk.
A Glance at the Field
5. Justin Brayton- Same ol Same ol… Solid ride, no fanfare, no TV time. Maybe Justin should die his hair pink or get a neck tat? Nah, then people would just be like, “who’s the weirdo on the number 10 Yamaha?”
6. Windham- Grizzly was just glad to see that Ryan Clark wasn’t in the main this week.
8. Metty- Awesome hole-shot, got a small taste of leading, file it away in the memory banks and make the next time last a bit longer. Progress.
9. Short- I’ll just say it, it’s more bike than rider. While I do believe a 450 is too much indoors, I also believe a 350 is too little for the premiere class… especially when everyone else is on 450’s. Carburetion may have been the better choice.
10. Chisholm- Another solid top 10 but I think the Chizz is capable of 7th consistently. All it takes is the first one right?
11. Wey- Never saw him but 11th is a solid ride for Nick.
12. Stroupe- His first main event of the season and pulls off a 12th. Thats step one and with the skills Stroupe-a-loop has, you can expect quick progress.
13. Millsaps- Sub. Par.
14. Blose- Who would have expected Blose to be the top H&H rider 3 races in?
15. Simmonds- Is he on a 350?
16. Regal- So much promise, yet to be displayed.
17. Alessi- Back in the main event.
18. Thomas- Also, back in the main event.
19. Tedesco- Ivan is finding the short end of the stick all too often so far in 2011. His A1 hole-shot was his season highlight thus far. The nightmare needs to end soon for IT.
20. Hahn- Definitely the worst luck of the field thus far. So much talent, so much bad luck. That ratio needs to reciprocate fast.
SX Lites Class
What’s up with the shit TV time Cole Seely got winning his first SX ever?! Yes the race was in LA and Hansen’s flowing locks, tattoos and The Hill’s notoriety would certainly mean big ratings, right? Im all for showing the race action but come on, I saw more of Cole Seely working in the background of Hanny shots than anywhere else.
Seely is quietly only 7pts out of leading this title. Believe it.
Tomac looked tight but kept it together to pull down a nice 2nd place finish. Progress.
Maury scratched and clawed his way to third, closer to where he should be but honestly, Im expecting a Mo-win this season so lets do this.
Broc had an off night. Just didn’t look like he could make up time needed to move forward once he got into third. When he did make a move, he was too nice about it and a certain second place moving forward turned into 4th place. The important thing is he made a point on Hanny so there was some damage control.
–As a side note, this week one of Broc’s biggest fans, a great little guy from Michigan named Alex Duve passed away due to cancer. Godspeed Alex. Eff Cancer.
Hanny definitely showed more fight than last year when the slightest bit of adversity would leave him shell shocked and ego bruised putting around the track. Good for him.
It looked to me like Jake Canada was trying to clear himself from Hanny’s line but ultimately pushed Hanny way wide, resulting in a first class punting by Hanny. Great example of why you should always race forward, not behind you.
Roczen made huge steps this weekend. He seemed to find that razor edge between his standard aggression and SX flow. I expect next weekend to either be podium or DNF depending on whether he improves the race craft or dials up the aggression.
When all is said and done the inaugural Dodger stadium race could very well be on the short list of the best Supercross races ever. I’ve watched it five times already and it’s only monday morning. Bring on Oakland and hopefully another barn burner.