Round four of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, from Oakland, CA, is in the books. The racing proved to be exciting in both classes once again, with James Stewart winning the Supercross class Main Event and Broc Tickle taking the top spot in Supercross Lites. Here are a few things I learned from last Saturday’s action in Oakland:
1. He Whose Front Tire Washes Out Will Not Win
The last three Supercross races have been decided by someone losing their front end and laying the bike over. In Phoenix, it was Ryan Villopoto who did it and allowed James Stewart to get the win. At Dodger Stadium, Stewart repaid the favor by doing the same thing. In Oakland, Villopoto again lost the front end allowing Stewart to get by him for the lead. The two riders have swapped wins thus far this season and, potentially could the rest of the season.
Even though Ryan Dungey and Trey Canard appear to be on their pace by looking at lap times, Villopoto and Stewart seem to take it up a notch in the Main Events. Both Stewart and Villopoto are out to prove something and, if they don’t in some way ruin each other’s season in the process, could be neck and neck all the way to Vegas.
2. Two-Two Motorsports is Making Progress
Chad Reed raced his way into second place when Ryan Dungey made a mistake on the final turn. Chad had himself in good position throughout the race and that is why he was able to take advantage of Dungey’s mistake. While Chad was expected to be one of the “Big Four”, Trey Canard supplanted him in the early rounds. Now it looks like there is going to be a “Big Five”. Two-Two Motorsports has more than likely been experiencing the growing pains any new team faces. Chad should find himself right in the mix from here on out.
3. Broc Tickle Can Get it Done
After letting teammate Josh Hansen pass him for the lead in the first two races and letting Ryan Morais get by him for the final podium spot in L.A., Broc Tickle kept it together in Oakland to get the victory. There is no doubt that he possesses an enormous amount of speed and talent. Perhaps his time has come to put everything together and be a consistent winner in the Supercross Lites class. The win in Oakland leaves him just one point behind Hansen in the season point standings.
4. Ryan Morais and Eli Tomac are the “Real Deal”
Eli Tomac had a great ride Saturday by finishing third and has been impressive in his rookie supercross season. He is currently fourth in points, just 19 behind series points leader Josh Hansen. After back-to-back third place finishes, Morais slipped back to a sixth place finish Saturday. He still remains in third place in the series standings, but only one point ahead of Tomac. Both have shown a tremendous amount of ability this season and should be forces to reckon with for more seasons to come.
5. Supercross Reaches Into the American Mainstream
There should be no big surprise here. Supercross is filled with hype and the short, compact tracks make for a lot of excitement. Attending a Supercross event will take a 4 hour chunk out of your day at minimum. More if you’d like.
Motocross is an all day event and caters more to fans of the sport. Supercross events are attended by some people almost randomly. They will go check it out just because it is in town. While most of those people will walk away having enjoyed another night of entertainment, there will be some who walk away forever moved by what they have seen. AMA Supercross attendance for 2010 averaged over 46,000 fans per event, over a 17 race series. Nearly 250,000 more tuned in to Speed’s TV coverage. Over 1 million viewers watched the CBS coverage. A good portion of those fans had no idea what a Supercross was until they arrived that night. This is what fuels growth for our awesome sport and I am glad to see it!