This week Monster Energy AMA Supercross heads back to Texas to hit up NRG Stadium in Houston. Round Fourteen will welcome back the 250SX West Class, alongside the elite riders that fill the premier 450SX class.
The venue in Houston will surely bring back fond memories for the number forty-one of Trey Canard, who claimed his first ever 450SX class victory at this stadium back in 2011. The Oklahoma state native returned back to the circuit from injury last weekend in St. Louis, taking home a fifth place finish on his Muscle Milk backed Honda.
Canard has always displayed the speed and ability to be a title contender every year, but unfortunately severe injuries have eaten up the majority of his professional career. In 2009, Canard won the 250SX Lites East Championship in his rookie season and the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Lites Championship in 2010. Amidst these two championships and other successes, Trey has battled the sport to come out swinging with a long list of not only potentially career ending injuries, but potentially fatal, as well.
In 2012 the young athlete underwent back, wrist and collarbone surgery after a crash at a Supercross race in Los Angeles, California. The previous motocross season also handed Canard multiple femur injuries, which kept him sidelined for the majority of the season. While preparing for the 2014 Supecross season, the twenty-three year old experienced another broken arm, which was said to sideline his season until Round Eleven in Detroit. Unfortunately the injury kept him on the mend for another two weeks, when he made his 2014 debut in St. Louis, last weekend.
Although many would assume early retirement for the young Trey Canard, the speech from any racer would be the same. “Racing is the only thing I’ve ever known”. A few broken legs, a couple reconstructed arms, a collarbone plate, half a dozen concussions and a broken back would never take precedent over the dedication and pure joy that a lifetime spent riding builds in a racer. And so, after a fifth place finish last week in St. Louis and fond memories of his maiden victory at Houston on the horizon, Canard heads to Round Fourteen with the confidence to perform.
Unfortunately for fellow Honda rider, Wil Hahn, his time on the sideline has just begun with the gnarly crash he suffered last weekend in St. Louis. The Asterisk medical crew confirmed that Hahn had suffered a broken arm and will be out for the remainder of the 2014 supercross season.
Hahn joins former 250SX East class points leader, Adam Cianciarulo on the bench, alongside 2014 title contender Chad Reed and long-time sideliner Davi Milsaps.
After suffering a broken collarbone, scapula and T1 vertebrae in San Diego, Chad Reed headed to Dallas in an attempt to race despite his injuries. Although, Reed was unable to line up for the main event, his ability to persevere through the injuries is quite paramount to anything any athlete has displayed in history. Reed will be sitting out the remainder of the season and has hired Dean Wilson to fill his place in the Eastern rounds.
After claiming back-to-back second place championship finishes in 2012 and 2013, Davi Milsaps has disappointingly also had to sit out the majority of the 2014 Supercross Series on the mend from a knee injury he suffered back in October. The number eighteen rider underwent surgery a few months prior to the knee injury to reconstruct his broken foot. Although Davi has been back in the saddle for a few weeks now he announced last weekend that he will not be attending Houston, as previously stated. Hopefully we will see Davi back for the following week at Seattle to mix it up in the top five.
Seventeen-year-old Adam Cianciarulo headed into the 2014 AMA Supercross Series as the kid to watch after the success of his amateur career. With the expectations of race fans and the entire industry on his shoulders, the young athlete rose to the occasion and presented himself with respect and athletic excellence in his debut season as a professional athlete. When he was faced the unfortunate fate of injury at Round Twelve in Toronto, Cianciarulo’s character was put to the test, once again.
After dislocating his shoulder in practice he still managed to qualify and line up for the main event. Although the act would appear brave and courageous to the public eye, this determination and perseverance amongst supercross and motocross athletes truly isn’t all that rare. Many of the sport’s athletes have and will head to the start line to line up amongst the best of the best with broken bones and torn ligaments, only to finish strong despite the inabilities of their injuries. To be considered “tough as nails” amongst this entirely insane field of athletes is a completely different story all together.
In the main event at Toronto, Adam Cianaciarulo, the seventeen year old rookie managed to put his name amongst these legendary heroes like Chad Reed, who have displayed the rare ability to persevere despite all odds. With a freshly adjusted shoulder, Adam Cianciarulo left the start gate but managed to pop his shoulder back out of place during the main event. Instead of quitting, as many would expect, Canadian race fans witnessed the youngster have his shoulder popped back into place by the trackside medical crew and he remount to complete the remaining ten laps of the race. Unfortunately his shoulder was too weak to complete even one full lap and Cianciarulo had to call it quits to avoid further injury. He announced that he would be having reconstructive surgery on the shoulder to ensure the future health of his shoulder. Cianciarulo will sit out the remainder of the season on the mend and allow Davalos and Bogle to battle it out for the East championship.
In a season that looked to be promising for the young athlete, he has been handed the fate of injury, similar to many before him. It is the mental strength that is built in these challenges and tribulations that remain the common ground for all motocross and supercross racers. And it is this required mental strength that allows the sport to be so mentally and physically demanding in the times of challenge that may have surfaced with no relevance to one’s ability to prepare for success. It is the nature of the sport that regardless of how well you prepare for success, come race day, there are no guarantees.
Heading to Houston Stewart will be looking for his fourth win in a row, while Dungey and Roczen look to capture the first ever KTM win in the premier class at NRG stadium. Ryan Villopoto still maintains the points lead over Dungey, who stands only one point above Stewart. The stakes continue to rise as we near the end of the championship with only three rounds left until Vegas.