RJ SAYS: Hidden Supercross Treasures
This 2010 Supercross season has gone exactly as no one expected. Everyone figured it was going to be a battle between the same two supercross ‘titans’ as last season – James Stewart and Chad Reed. Last year after 17 races they were the top two, with James the champion by four points over Chad.
To everyone’s surprise, even their own, both are currently not racing – injured. They are watching what is essentially a 450 Supercross ‘rookie’ have a phenomenal year so far (Ryan Dungey).
A hidden treasure is not Ryan Dungey doing so well. I felt, as many others did, that he would have a great year. Based on the following: he’s done well & won on a 450 before this season, all the confidence he had coming into this season from winning two championships in 2009 (the 250 West Lites Supercross, and the 250 AMA Outdoor Motocross) and his tremendous riding on a 450 for Team USA at the recent Motocross des Nations in Italy in October.
The hidden treasures are watching other riders that now have hope and are making podium finishes. With the top two riders out, many riders are racing with a different mindset – that they can make the podium. In the past, some of them seem defeated before the gate even dropped. Now you can see some with a different attitude, different riding style, and since they believe they have a shot at the podium, they are actually riding highly motivated, fast, and smooth.
Two people come to mind that have lifted their game, and they feel like they belong on the podium: Josh Hill and Davi Millsaps. It is my opinion that they’ve stepped up their game because the top two riders (James Stewart and Chad Reed) are not racing. They both have the talent, they both have the speed, and they both have the desire to be on the box every week.
But, as in every sport, at the very top level, it really becomes very much a mental game.
If you think you can’t – you can’t. You never will either. But if you truly think you can, then you have a much better chance of getting it done.
Ryan Villopoto. I think he started the season smooth, but not with his normal, aggressive style. Now, as the season is progressing, you are starting to see Ryan ride much more aggressively, and with much more confidence. His past results show what he can do – and he seems to be back to his normal self.
Ryan Dungey. I can’t say enough good about Ryan. He’s doing it all, and leading the 2010 AMA Supercross series after 4 rounds. It’s a long season, and a lot is still going to happen, but his season so far has been great for Ryan. I am going to say he’s lucky in one aspect : ) How the heck he survived that landing without a motorcycle during the main event of San Francisco I’ll never know – I thought he was going to be split in two literally!
In the 250 West Lites class, it’s nice to see Jake Weimer riding with such confidence. I’ve felt he’s always had the talent, and some people under-rated him, but with a little push & a raising of confidence we can see how strong he is right now.
James Stewart and Chad Reed. I admire both of these riders. I think right now maybe they are a little bit too sensitive of each other. When you are the best – you should expect a lot of bumping, rubbing, banging, and action. You should expect to have to battle every race. You should expect contact. Because there is only room for one Alpha Male at the top. Not two.