Ok, the Triple Crown format…what did you think? What did you like, not like and how would you change it up if at all?
Before the race and with the experience we’ve had with the 3-main format at the Monster Cup, I was a little skeptical. I’ve watched the Monster Cup every year and it doesn’t excite me more than that. But first, I think it’s positive to change it up a bit, break habits of the riders and try new things to improve our sport. Supercross should be bigger and watched by many more eye balls than it is today.
In the most unbiased way, our sport is spectacular, exciting and a bit predictable at times but there’s always action somewhere in a race. It doesn’t seem right that girl softball games are watched by more people than SX. I really think the key is to make a TV program more appealing with a higher tempo. More on that later. A2 was very good and the format worked in my opinion. When Tomac wins with a 5-1-2, Seely 2nd with a 1-2-7 and Anderson 3rd with a 7-3-1, obviously stuff happened because at least 1 score of the top 3 wasn’t as good as they would’ve hoped. It would been boring if a rider would’ve won the 3 motos. It almost felt like the second 450 race was the right length. First one was too short and last one a bit too long. Nothing really happened in the last 5 minutes of the last race. I’m sure we can debate on making it better and everyone might have something different they want to see. My vision is more thinking outside the box. How can we make the sport bigger? Not necessarily, what’s best for the series. Those 2 points might even go hand in hand though. I would fix the TV program on TV. It drags way too much. I am a fan and I would watch 6 mains per class with a 30 minute break in between because I like it and don’t mind going to bed at 2am. But we need to make it better for people who aren’t super fans. SX has to be more accessible to the masses and offer more entertainment, high tempo, more drama and way less commercials and not so interesting features during the show.
I like Josh Grant but I really don’t want to see him bring his son to the dentist during a race on TV for example. We need to show the same amount of races but during a TV program that’s at least a hour shorter. Here’s what I’ll do. I would start the TV show a hour later. I’d tape delay the heat races & LCQs and show them all in a row. My format is between the regular one and the Triple Crown. More on the why in the second question. I’d do a 2 main format around 12-15minute per main. With the tape delay, You can show all the heats in a row and catch up with live for the end of the night of racing. That way you can gain time and not have to watch the same commercial 12 times during the race. If we have a shorter more condensed TV program where breaks are as long as full time outs in ball sports, we might be able to have something more appealing. By starting the show on TV later and taping the first part of the night, I’m sure we can do that pretty easily.
It’s a new era in SX, five different winners in six main events ran. How much would we see this if we ran all seventeen races with this format?
It’s mainly due to the shorter mains which will help the guys who start go to have less time to be caught by the favorites who blew their starts. If the top guys start in front it wouldn’t change much. If they start mid pack, the second and third tier riders with a good start will be able to get better results. I wouldn’t do a 3-main format all season long. Here’s why. You will lose so many privateers who are usually over the top 25 and the guys over the 30th place in timed practices would end up not showing up to the races any more because it’s really hard to make the night show with that format. Look, even Reedy had to go to the LCQ in the afternoon.
I don’t think having 22 guys per class in the night show is good. You can get away with keeping 40 guys per class, do heats & LCQs but race 2 shorter mains and show all of that on a high tempo dramatic shorter TV program. Points per main or to the overall, I don’t have the answer to that yet. We’d have to do a simulation to see what’s make more sense. In my opinion, it’s something to look into.
The track was…not good. Do you think they did this for the amateur day racing or ?
Track was very generic, round and unchallenging which isn’t a bad thing if you want to have lot of riders riding the same pace and have closer racing. The more technical tracks are, the more we would see the most skilled and prepared riders in front. Do a technical track with huge whoops and 450 friendly difficult rhythm sections and you might end up with different results in A2.
Ok, Eli Tomac…wow. Even the Kawasaki guys were surprised by how ready he was. What did you see? He’s 47 points down…he can’t win the title right?
Supercross needs their best riders healthy the most possible. I was glad everyone lined up at A2. In SX, we never really know how bad riders are hurting, how long they’re gonna be out and the degree of their injuries. In ball and stick sports, we always know the exact injuries and how long they’re going to be out for. Only happens in MX/SX. We know how much Lebron and Tom Brady are making but if we ask a rider how much is his main event bonus or his salary, no-one would say. It will be good for us fans to know what’s really wrong with the riders from the teams just as much as we get from ball and stick sports franchises. Why is that like that in SX/MX. Why is it so secret?
I was a bit surprised Eli won the race like everyone else. He all know he has the potential to do that. He just has to do it. As of the championship, it’s way too soon to talk about it. He was closer last year when he had frontbreakgate in Dallas last year. Tomac is in the same situation than last year. This time he knows what he has to do because he’s done it in 2017. His goal is the same as last year, take race per race and try to win them all. Talking about the championship and Tomac today is reaching a bit… He’s 5 points from being 2 races down! That would be the comeback of the century and as impressive a Trey Canard’s 2010 250 Outdoor National title where he was over 2 motos down at one point in the series.
Marvin Musquin couldn’t take the pain/weakness in the third main event. What’s the next step for him you think?
Here again, we have no idea how bad his injury is so it’s difficult to speculate on Marvin. He looked good in practice. His times were great and right with Tomac’s and Anderson’s. It was promising for the shorter races at night. From what I learned the last couple days from the grapevine, his injury might be worse than Eli’s. Tomac talked about a muscle bruise which you can describe it as a big Charley Horse. As of Marvin, I’ve heard his shoulder might pop out and did in the last moto Saturday night. It doesn’t sound very good though. Shoulders that pop usually still pop out from time to time and it’s necessary to get surgery. If it’s the case, it’s better to get fixed than dragging this kind of injury since he’s already far back in the standing…
Anderson your title pick through three races?
El Hombre has an edge right now. He’s the best guys of the top 3 in the standings right now and knows he can beat them anyway… Roczen is 14 points back and he will improve still. I’m sure Kenny will get better and not start like a grandma at every rounds. It was a very special race for Roczen with what happened in ’17 and I’ll doubt he’ll get an 11th and 12th like he did in the first 2 motos of the Triple Crown. Today, I’ll pick Anderson but we’ll have to witness a few more races to have a better idea on the rider in the best position to win the title. I might pick Roczen if he wins the next 3-4 races… But, I really like Jason. He’s the most exciting to watch and always gives his best no matter where he is in the pack. Jason needs to realize an opportunity like this one will maybe never happen again for him though. That has to be in this mind and will become an extra bit of motivation and will when he’s on the track.
You think the fact he got hurt at Anaheim 2 last year has anything to do with Roczen’s sub-par riding? Mentally, you’ve been there- yeah or no?
With everything he went thru since his ’17 A2 crash, it had to be in his head more than anything else I’m sure. Kenny almost died last year. When the crash happened, I remember saying he had to be dead landing head first in a jump like that. I’m glad he’s back but he feels a bit rusty especially in traffic. I think I talked about that last week too. He’s very cautious these days and it’s due of a lack of competition. The only way to practice being around 21 guys is to race. Roczen will figure it out and should be better anytime. I wasn’t really affected by this stuff usually and didn’t really have any superstitions. I thought it was cool of Kenny to race with the yellow (which is actually better looking than anything he’s worn in 2018). He can put that race behind him and focus about moving forward. When you have the technique Ken has, anything is possible with the right attitude and proper training.
Were you surprised Adam Cianciarulo was cleared to race after that bad practice crash?
That was a hard hit and I’m not sure how he got to race knowing the doctors usually play very safe with those. I remember Christian last year in Atlanta in the heat race, he rang his bell but remembered everything and where he was ut they wouldn’t let him ride the LCQ… I’m sure the doctors felt like he was fine. They never take chances/risk with that type of injury. Maybe the crash just looked way worse that it was.
Joey Savatgy was the best guy through all three mains last night. What did you see?
Savatgy is an enigma for me for some reason and I can’t explain why. I never feel like he’s riding well or fast but he’s always up there on the podium. I thought he didn’t ride well in Houston but got second. Same thing in A2 and he went 1-2-1. I didn’t think his corner speed was good. To me, he looks super stiff and uncomfortable with his elbows up & levers down but he’s always up there and lap times are good. It’s official, I can’t talk about Joey. He’s doing great, he’s tied for the lead in the standing and I say he doesn’t look good. I’m obviously 100% wrong about him and my eyes/brain can’t process what he shows me the right way for some reason. I would have to dissect his rides more thoroughly to figure out what I’m missing. Because, I am…