By Jody Weisel
Is this Throwback Thursday? Did we dig up an old podium photo with Chad Reed on the top step? Nope, this is Saturday night. As an added plus, Chad is now officially the World Vet Supercross Champion.
(1) DEJA VU CHAD: Although it was a surprise that Chad Reed won and it came about because of a series of odd circumstances, this isn’t the first time that Chad has confounded the public. He was written off when he couldn’t get a ride a couple years ago and ended up having Pro Circuit build him private Honda’s. He formed his own team, reinvented himself as the “Good Chad” and did well enough to move his team into the Honda road race shop the next year. Then, the relationship with Honda soured as had his relationships with Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha. So, for 2014, he was written off again and ended up having Pro Circuit build him Kawasaki’s. No matter how you cut it, a Chad Reed victory is a good story, sparks more interest in the 2014 season, adds dimension to Chad’s personal story line and delays what we all think is coming—a Villopoto rout. Bob’s your uncle!
The boot that can also be used as a front brake. Photo: Spencer Rathkamp
(2) NICE GUYS FINISH FIFTH: Ryan Villopoto pussyfooted around with James Stewart and paid the price for trying to be Mr. Nice Guy. He would have laid out Dungey, Reed, Brayton or Peick—but he let Bubba live twice and it cost him the win. Ryan’s first dive bomb move was perfect, but he turned away to give Stewart more room than necessary and failed to make the pass. His second dive bomb was a little more aggressive, but he ended up have a Gaerne front brake applied to his front wheel. Not only did Ryan go down, but he got roughed up all night long. A word to the wise—dominant riders can’t afford to be pushed around—especially not by Brayton, Stewart and Dungey on the same night. If they are, they show weakness and their competitors will jump on it.
RYAN VILLOPOTO VERSUS STEWIE’S BOOT & RYAN DUNGEY CATCHES HIM NAPPING AT THE FINISH LINE
(3) BRAYTON BREAKS THE ICE: Last week Justin Brayton came to life, led most of the main event and when he got passed by Villopoto he didn’t lay down and die like most riders. He fought back. Like a little old lady being mugged in the subway, Brayton took out his umbrella and proved that Villopoto wasn’t the John Dillinger he was made out to be. Justin didn’t pass Villopoto back in Phoenix, but he scared him. This week, when Villopoto passed Justin in the heat race, Justin kicked it up a gear, broke out his little old lady vigilante umbrella and soundly trounced Villopoto around the head—which means that Justin passed him back and pulled away. Great heat race ride by Brayton and one that every other top contender saw as a sign of hope...not to mention motivation.
Ryan Dungey channeled his inner "bad self" at Anaheim II. It didn't help him when he was alone, but he made a lot of new friends when he was in the pack.
(4) THE NEW RYAN DUNGEY: The old gun shy Ryan Dungey suddenly became trigger-happy at Anaheim II. Perhaps responding to the rap that he is too nice, too conservative and too bashful about pulling the trigger when the time is right—Ryan Dungey channeled his inner Tyler Evans and one-punched his way through the night. He single-handedly cleaned out the RCH team in his heat and love tapped Ryan Villopoto in the final turn of the final lap of the 450 main. One thing for sure—Ryan isn’t very good at pulling the trigger, but he will learn, and when he does we just might have a spree killer on our hands.
(5) GOGGLE-GATE IS OVER: Chad Reed has been wearing an unadorned black goggle strap for the first two races of the year. Yes, they were Fox goggles, but Fox wasn’t paying him for goggles. No one was paying him for goggles—thus Chad wasn’t going to give a goggle company a free lunch. This week, Oakley signed him up and got on the victory podium. Easy money for Oakley.
Ken Roczen is going to win lots of Supercross races in the future. He has speed, talent and, from the difference between his KTM450SXF in the whoops and Dungey's KTM in the whoops, setup skills. He didn't win at A2, but he could have. Photo: KTM
(6) LOTS OF POTENTIAL WINNERS: Ryan Dungey had the Anaheim II win in the bag, until he fell down. Ryan Villopoto had the Anaheim II win in the bag until he played nice with Bubba and got brake-check by Bubba’s left foot. James Stewart had the win in the bag until he started sucking wind with six laps to go. Ken Roczen was near the front, made lots of impressive thrusts forward, but always broke his rhythm to lose what he had gained with brilliant riding. In the end, Chad won because he was the last man standing.
HOW RYAN DUNGEY THREW A WIN AWAY
(7) PIERRE KARSMAKERS: Everybody who was anybody was impressed to hear that 1974 Yamaha Super Series of Motocross Champion Pierre Karsmakers was the first "Monster Energy Supercross Champion.” We can probably credit Pierre’s victory to Sherman and Mr. Peabody for taking the Way-Back Machine back in time so that Pierre could hold up a Monster can 40 years ago. Next thing we know, Lipton will be claiming it was their tea that was thrown in Boston Harbor during the 1773 Boston Team Party. Come on Monster, you are better than that.
This is what the Anaheim 2 Supercross track looked like eight hours after the checkered flag flew. It's getting ready for a Monster Jam truck event this coming Saturday. Photo: Dave Prater.
(8) RETRO IS BETTRO: Is it just us or are the retro tracks design twice as good as the current crop of tracks? The A2 track was creative, racey and technical. If 2001 was good, imagine how good 1991 would be. Sadly, the promoters can’t find retro dirt. Because of the Monster Truck events that take place when the Supercross races aren’t being held, the base dirt is rolled out rock hard (so the trucks won’t cut through it). In the end, most of the dirt at tracks with Monster Truck events piggybacking on the dirt are hard and slippery. It didn’t help that SoCal’s temps were in the 80s and very windy leading up to A2—but they have invented this new thing called water. Perhaps the Supercross track builders could investigate it.
(9) THE WEST ONLY STRATEGY: Troy Lee Designs puts its whole team in the 250 West. Because of the three Anaheims, plus Phoenix, San Diego and Oakland, this cuts his team's travel expense way down. Roger DeCoster tried to do this same strategy a couple years ago with Roczen and Musquin (until an injury forced Roczen to go to go the 250 East). Putting all his eggs in the 250 West basket means that Troy Lee is banking on the increased exposure of the early part of the season, the proximity to the west coast sponsors, increased magazine coverage for the Anaheim races and the fact that by race six, people won’t care about the 250 East. It worked for him at A2. After Jason Anderson was docked two places for jumping on the no-jump flag, Troy had Cole Seely on the top step of the podium, Malcolm Stewart on the third step, Shane McElrath in sixth and Jessy Nelson in tenth. Plus, Seely has the red plate for Oakland.
After two weeks of embarrassment, Cole Seely gets to reset the clock and start over with a one point lead.
(10) RETRIBUTION FOR COLE: No one likes to get passed on the last lap. No one likes to get passed on the last lap twice in two weeks. So, to avoid further chatter on the interweb, Cole Seely set a decent pace at the front and waited to see who would come and get him...and that someone could only be Jason Anderson. But, Jason couldn’t get there. In what wasn’t a repeat performance—Seely finally beat Anderson and took over the red plate by 1 point (although without the AMA penalty, Anderson would still be leading).
HOW COLE SEELY FAILED TO GET CAUGHT FROM BEHIND...BREAKING HIS STRING
ANAHEIM II RESULTS: 450 CLASS
1. Chad Reed (Kaw)
2. James Stewart (Suz)
3. Ken Roczen (KTM)
4. Justin Brayton (Yam)
5. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
6. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
7. Weston Peick (Suz)
8. Josh Hill (Suz)
9. Andrew Short (KTM)
10. Jake Weimer (Kaw)
Other notables: 11. Justin Barcia; 12. Wil Hahn; 13. Ivan Tedesco; 14. Josh Grant; 18. Mike Alessi; 19. Matt Moss; 22. Jimmy Albertson.
REVISED ANAHEIM II RESULTS: 250 WEST CLASS
1. Cole Seely (Hon)
3. Cooper Webb (Yam)
3. Malcolm Stewart (Hon)
4. Jason Anderson (KTM) penalized two spots
5. Justin Hill (Kaw)
6. Shane McElrath (Hon)
7. Dean Wilson (Kaw)
8. Zach Osborne (Hon)
9. Michael Leib (Hon)
10. Jessy Nelson
Other notables: 11. Dean Ferris; 12. Dakota Tedder; 14. Chris Plouffe; 15. Valentin Teillet; 19. Scott Champion; 20. Austin Burns.
CURRENT AMA 450 POINTS
(After 3 of 17 rounds)
1. Ken Roczen............60
2. Ryan Villopoto........59
3. Chad Reed.............57
4. Ryan Dungey..........57
5. Justin Brayton.........55
6. James Stewart........44
7. Justin Barcia...........42
8. Andrew Short..........38
9. Wil Hahn.................30
10. Broc Tickle............26
Other notables: 11. Jake Weimer (25); 12. Josh Grant (21); 13. Weston Peick (20) 14. Matt Moss (20); 15. Ivan Tedesco (18); 16. Josh Hill (16) 17. Mike Alessi (16).
CURRENT 250 WEST POINTS
(After 3 of 8 rounds)
1. Cole Seely...............69
2. Jason Anderson......68
3. Zach Osborne.........53
4. Cooper Webb..........51
5. Dean Wilson............50
6. Malcolm Stewart......47
7. Justin Hill.................44
8. Jessy Nelson...........35
9. Dean Ferris..............31
10. Shane McElrath.....29
Other notables: 12. Darryn Durham (21); 13. Dakota Tedder (21); 15. Scott Champion (14); 17. Austin Politelli (11); 19. Valentin Teillet (10).