By John Basher
Night one of the Geneva Supercross is in the books, and what an evening it was! More than simply a few hours full of Supercross racing, the Geneva event also packs in freestyle motocross, pompom dancing girls, girls that spit hot fire, and even a guy on a Bobcat that was doing wheelies and other tricks. The opening ceremonies took up half an hour! It was quite a sight to see, and the fans immersed themselves in the energy, which equated to one heck of a night!
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Justin Brayton rode on rails all night long. Aside from a minor off-track excursion, caused by a rock getting stuck in his rear brake caliper, Justin rode a flawless evening. He had no equal, and after today’s practice it looks more of the same from the quiet Iowa native. Casual fans might not know that Brayton has amassed a remarkable offseason, with wins in Australia and now Switzerland. Already brimming with confidence, Brayton looks to be coming in hot to Anaheim 1. What impressed me the most about Justin’s riding is that he is attacking the track with ferocity. Brayton was good this year in the AMA Supercross series, but expect to see a new JB in 2011.
Brayton’s teammate, Davi Millsaps, was slated to race this weekend, but as mentioned in the Geneva practice report from Friday, he is dealing with a painful pinched nerve. Millsaps lined up for his heat race, but was forced to pull into the pits and call it a night. After electing to skip practice this afternoon, his team began disassembling his race bike for the flight home. Davi is kaput for tonight. Fellow American Kyle Chisholm is also sidelined, thanks to a pinched nerve in his neck. Kyle lost feeling in his arm several times last night, causing his hand to fly off the bars. That’s not such a good thing in Supercross.
I don’t exactly know who Cedric Soubeyras is, other than a Frenchman that placed well in Bercy. What I do know is that he’s a legitimate threat in European Supercross. He seems like a cool kid that is fearless. What warms my heart is that Soubeyras is competing on a KTM 250 two-stroke. Hearing the rat-tat-tat sound of a two-banger whirling around the track is music to my ears. Cedric placed second last night and has a shot at taking the crown this evening, but his speed isn’t quite on par with Justin Brayton.
Gregory Aranda, another fast Frenchman, rounded out the podium. It’s blatantly obvious that the French know how to ride Supercross. History has proven this statement true, and Aranda and Soubeyras are backing it up. Other quick French riders are Angelo Pellegrini, Cyrille Coulon, and Alexandre Rouis.
What surprised me the most about the Geneva Supercross wasn’t the racing, the freestyle tricks or even the pom-pom girls, but instead how maniacal the European fans are. I came to the realization that American Supercross fans are absolutely pathetic when it comes to celebrating. The noise inside the Geneva stadium was deafening and the energy was contagious. For five minutes hordes of spectators joined in doing the wave. Amidst a sea of hands and flying paper from torn up programs were jovial faces that showed appreciation for the event. When was the last time such enthusiasm was on display at a U.S. Supercross?
I can only expect that tonight’s event will be more spectacular than last night. Why? It’s Saturday night in Geneva, and a king will be crowned!
1. Justin Brayton…USA
2. Cedric Soubeyras…France
3. Gregory Aranda…France
4. Fabien Izoird…France
5. Arnaud Tonus…Switzerland
6. Angelo Pellegrini…France
7. Cyrile Coulon…France
8. Davide Degli Esposti…Italy
9. Alexandre Rouis…France
10. Christophe Martin…France
11. Vince Friese…USA
12. Cedric Mannevy…France
13. Mike Brown…USA
14. Loic Rombaut…France
15. Khounsith Vongsana…France
16. Josse Sallefranque…France
17. Thomas Ramette…France
18. Kyle Chisholm…USA
The Geneva Supercross is more of a spectacle than a show. The event was sold out last night, and every fan is passionate about the racing.
Unbeknownst to me, the Geneva Supercross is famous for their pom-pom dancers. The ladies were in synchronization most of the time, and they came out periodically to dance around the track.
The Geneva promoter brought up Ronnie Lechien, Guy Cooper and David Vuillemin to pay homage to the previous Geneva Supercross winners. As for the guy on the left in this picture? I can’t say who he is, since I haven’t brushed up on my French since high school and I couldn’t understand the announcer. My bad.
From left – Justin Brayton, Davi Millsaps, Mike Brown, Kyle Chisholm, Gregory Aranda, Cedric Soubeyras and Arnaud Tonus get recognized during the opening ceremonies.
Another Geneva Supercross tradition, the Cat stunt driver was impressive.
It’s been a rough trip for Davi Millsaps. The new JGR recruit couldn’t finish out the night due to a pinched nerve in his back. He says that he will be ready by Anaheim 1. For a full interview with Millsaps, make sure to check out the upcoming Mid-Week Report on Wednesday. He has some very interesting things to say.
Mike Brown isn’t a stranger to the Geneva Supercross, but yesterday marked the first time that he rode a KTM 350SXF. He struggled with settings, but made his way into the main.
Cedric Soubeyras is a top dog in European Supercross. The two-stroke rider has great style and isn’t afraid to mix it up with Justin Brayton and other Americans.
Not to jinx JGR’s Justin Brayton, but he’s proven here in Geneva that he deserves to win both nights. He won his heat races and the main last night. Can he do it again? I think so.
France’s Gregory Aranda is a fun rider to watch. He seems very calculated around the track?a trait that many French riders have.
Moto Concepts’ Vince Friese fell in the main event, but he still fared well. Friese ended up 11th.
Freestyle rider Mat Rebeaud lives an hour from Geneva. The signs don’t lie, because the hometown faithful love Rebeaud.
18 riders qualified for the main event. The start straight is short and has a minor single halfway through. Fabien Izoird (871 on a Suzuki) nailed the holeshot.
David Vuillemin is the new team manager at Moto Concepts. He isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, that’s for sure. When it was learned that Kyle Chisholm wasn’t racing on Saturday DV helped tear down Kyle’s bike.
Mike Brown contemplates.
The podium had all of the makings of a movie? stars, glitz, fire breathing women, and confetti.
MXA wants to wish you holiday “Hello” from Switzerland. Yes, even snowmen can wear orange helmets.