As 2011 Supercross heads for the quarter mark of the season, are we already starting to see the list of contenders and pretenders sort themselves out? At minimum, we have seen good racing, bad racing, and even some ugly racing.
Last week’s race in Dodger Stadium was one of the most exciting races I have seen in quite a while. As someone who grew up in the shadows of the Oakland Coliseum, I have to say it is a bit depressing to me that the show stops there, now that I am gone! Nevertheless, it is shaping up be another exciting weekend for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series!
Here are a few things I think you should look for Saturday night in Oakland:
1. Exciting Passes in Both Classes
There are a couple of really interesting areas of the track that could make for some great excitement. The most interesting is the area going through the finish line underpass. Coming out of the off camber turn and through the underpass, the fast line appears to be to tuck it in to the inside of the next turn where there is a small jump. The jump can be used to essentially double-double into the sand section. Look a little more closely and you will see that staying inside the off camber turn and running around the outside of the left-hand turn will allow a rider to carry a bunch of momentum and double-single into the sand section. We may even see some guys coming around the outside and tripling into the sand. Either way, it looks like there will a lot of action through that section.
2. A Season Defining Crash?
Supercross involves crashing. Everyone does it. Some more than others. I have no factual basis to say that there will be a season defining crash for anyone, nor do I see anything inherently dangerous on the track. The bridge-underpass is interesting, but not any more dangerous than the sport itself. I just have this gut feeling that someone is going to eat it Saturday – and hard. If it does happen, maybe not season-ending, but certainly championship-ending in nature.
The Supercross class has four guys running at the top so far, three races in. Could one of them make a mistake trying to hang it out? And Supercross Lites was clearly a two man show – until last week. Troy LeeÃ¢Â€Â™s Cole Seely is sure to have gained a ton of confidence coming off of his first win. Rockstar SuzukiÃ¢Â€Â™s Martin Davalos is sure to be pushing it. He wants more. Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen has been hard-charging and aggressive, and top that off with what appears to be a developing rivalry with Kyle Cunningham. And maybe some more green to green bar banging with Hansen and Canada?
3. Little Separation – Again
The difference in lap times between Villopoto, Stewart, Dungey and Canard has been very slim. Never more so than at last week’s inaugural Supercross at Dodger Stadium. It was easily the most exciting Supercross class race of the season. Do not expect Oakland to be any different. If Villopoto and Stewart are the two out front battling again, I expect that Canard or Dungey will find a way to take advantage if one or both makes a mistake, especially after letting the opportunity slip past them last week.
4. More Interesting Podium Interviews
I loved Josh Hansen’s comment about the “basic” track and everyone going the same speed. I totally disagree with the statement, but I loved the fact that he made it! Would we have heard anything like that last season? Only if his sponsor was “Basic” energy drink! Fans have wanted to see the personality of the riders come out for a long time and here it is – in full color. By the way, Josh – I can 100% guarantee you that the track at Dodger Stadium was anything but basic from my point of view, and I doubt very seriously that I would have been going the same speed as you or any of the other 39 riders who qualified for the heats. But keep the comments coming!
5. Green, Green, Green
After an off-week for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team, they will return to Supercross Lites dominance again. Hansen, Tickle, Rattray for Win-Place-Show, please. I’m not an odds-maker, but allow me: Hansen 2-1. Tickle 4.5-1. Rattray 7-1. Davalos 10-1. Seely 15-1. Anyone else 100 – 1.
These odds are for entertainment purposes only and should not be used to bet with your friends. Save your money and buy a ticket to the race. Even if Marmont won at 100-1 odds you would still lose by not being there to watch it happen.
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Box Office, phone (800) 745-3000