By Jody Weisel
All three age groups are represented on the podium, with teenager Roczen (left), old man Reed (center) and middle aged Ryan Villopoto.
(1) LOW TURNOUT: Only 47 riders tried to qualify for both classes at A3. Which means that only 7 riders were rejected from the night program. Hopefully, when the series heads East, more riders will show up because as it stands right now the Supercross series runs the chance of not being able to fill the gates. Perhaps with 22 riders in the Main events, the AMA should move 44 riders into the night program in both classes?that would serve two purposes: (1) If more riders had a chance of making the night show more riders might show up to try to qualify?as it was, we recognized the names of “Intermediate” riders in timed qualifying. (2) With 44 riders in each class, there would be enough riders for 22 riders in each heat race?and then they wouldn’t have to block off gates in the heats and block off even more gates in the semis.
(2) THE ESTROGEN ARMY: With Jeff Emig, Ralph Sheehen and Kevin Windham in the booth, they were joined by Dianna Dahlgren, Jenny Taft and Danielle Trotta on the field. Danielle Trotta’s Supercross debut only lasted about 30 seconds and she was never seen again…reportedly not feeling well.
A ROVING FORMER RACER AT GROUND LEVEL COULD POINT OUT THINGS OF INTEREST AND NOT WASTE OUR TIME WITH STUPID COMMENTS
Perhaps, they should put two men in the booth, plus one man and one woman on the field. A roving former racer at ground level could point out things of interest and not waste our time with stupid comments?like when Jenny Taft said that it was 39 degrees in Anaheim. She missed by about 15 degrees, but at least she didn’t report snow flurries. Davi Millsaps added some insight when he hung around to be interviewed on the field (he might have been recruited to fill-in for the ill Trotta).
(3) MALCOLM MAKES A FRIEND: Collision are inevitable in Supercross, but its never nice when the points leader is taken out by a teammate of the rider he is dueling with for the title. So, when Malcolm Stewart and Jason Anderson found themselves in a heap, while Stewart’s Troy Lee Design’s teammate Cole Seely was running away in first place, it had serious Championship implications. It’s easy to point the finger at Stewart because his angle of attack on Anderson was less than ideal?however, under the unwritten rules of the road, all bets were off when Anderson pushed Stewart high a couple corners earlier. In the end, Dean Wilson took the win after Seely fell down, but it had its conspiracy advocates.
THE COOLEST PART WAS WHEN JEFF EMIG SAID THAT ALESSI MOST LIKELY ACCELERATED WHEN HIS HAND CAME OFF THE THROTTLE. IF THAT’S TRUE, WE HAVE ALL BEEN DOING IT WRONG FOR YEARS.
Ryan Dungey got tired of waiting for James Stewart and gave him a love tap. Photo: KTM
(4) RYAN DUNGEY: Ryan Dungey crashed in the whoops and ripped the clutch lever completely off his bike. His night was over?however, just before his whoop-tastic get-off, he cleaned James Stewart’s clock with an aggressive block pass. Because it was Ryan “Mr. Nice Guy” Dungey making the move it was suddenly suspected of being “Bad Dungey”?but Stewart was not going forward and Dungey was. People would have complained if he had hung back.
Stewie also got rammed in his heat race by an out of control Mike Alessi. Alessi’s hand slipped off the throttle heading into a banked turn and he rammed into Stewie’s bike. Stewart was fine and kept going, but Mike went over the bars. The coolest part was when Jeff Emig said that Alessi most likely accelerated when his hand came off the throttle. If that’s true, we have all been doing it wrong for years.
(5) CRY-GATE: No one ever saw Rocket Rex Staten cry, but suddenly Oprah would be proud to have a professional motocross racer on her show. Ever since Mike Alessi opened the floodgates, crying is suddenly en vogue. Dean Wilson opening shed tears on the podium, but in a sweet, not embarrassing, way. With seven 250 Supercross wins to his credit, you’d think Deano would be the man of steel on the podium. And to think, Deane didn’t cry last week when his engine quit just a couple turns from the checkered flag. That’s when most riders would be emotional.
The other time to be emotional is when you are trying to say that the track is terrible, but are limited to using the word “slick.” Every rider said the track was “slick” or “slippery” or “slick and slippery,” not to mention “slippery and slick,” in every interview. Why dance around it? The riders are playing second fiddle to the Monster trucks that race in Anaheim on alternate weekends. The promoters pack the dirt down so the trucks won’t break through and that results in a concrete base for the motorcycles. They could rip it and water it, but that’s not how they do it. The riders are afraid to hurt the promoter’s feelings?thus they won’t say what they really think?so “slick” is code for horrible and “slippery” means second-class citizens.
KENNY’S KTM WENT THROUGH THE WHOOPS ON A RAIL, WHILE HIS TEAMMATE RYAN DUNGEY’S KTM WENT THROUGH THE WHOOPS WITH RYAN CLUTCHING A ST. CHRISTOPHER MEDAL.
Ken Roczen’s KTM 450SXF looked brilliant in the whoops?which made Ryan Dungey’s KTM look worse. Photo: KTM
(6) THE WHOOP MONSTERS: Three riders owned the whoops at A3. Justin Brayton’s Yamaha was a thing of wonder in the whoops, but Justin just didn’t have the good stuff at Anaheim III. Justin was sixth?not bad, but he needed another long whoop section to make a dent. Chad Reed was great in the whoops. His Kawasaki made Ryan Villopoto’s KX450F look like a bongo board?but that could just be the difference in their leg lengths. Ken Roczen’s whoop performance was stellar. Strangely, Kenny’s KTM went through the whoops on a rail, while his teammate Ryan Dungey’s KTM went through the whoops with Ryan clutching a St. Christopher medal. Finally, the whoops bit Dungey. Roczen could have won, but Chad Reed used the exact same line in the one whoop section that was long enough to make a difference.
We are pretty sure who Ryan Villopoto rooted for at the Superbowl.
(7) WESTON PEICK: Fifth. That is solace for the privateer rider whose bike has been less than reliable this season. Even with a fifth, Weston isn’t in the top ten in points. Bikes have been blowing up more this season than in recent memory?as Kyle Chisholm’s smoke bomb proved at A3.
(8) MAN OVERBOARD: This week the sport got Eli Tomac back, but he got a flat tire in the main event. However, it lost Zach Osborne to what could be a broken collarbone. Below is a list of all the injured riders currently out of the series?this is a big reason why only 47 riders are showing up to fill 40 spots.
Trey Canard……………Broken arm
Davi Millsaps…………..Knee injury
Joey Savatgy…………..Broken wrist,collapsed lung
Justin Bogle…………….Broken vertebra
Austin Howell………….Broken thumb, collapsed lung
Marvin Musquin……….Knee injury (ACL)
Casey Hinson………….Broken hand, facial fractures
Blake Baggett………….Broken foot
Broc Schmelyun………Broken legs
Ben Lamay……………..Dislocated wrist, broken jaw
Austin Politelli………….Broken femur
Dillon Huddleston……..Broken thumb
Shane Sewell…………..Broken foot
Brett Hottel………………Broken femur
Zach Bell…………………Broken collarbone
Cody Gilmore…………..Broken collarbone
Les Smith………………..Dislocated ribs
Kevin Weisbruch………Crushed trachea
Ronnie Ray………………Broken leg
Josh Hill…………………..Broken collarbone
Zach Osborne………….Broken collarbone
(9) THE GENIUS: The Troy Lee Designs team equipped all of their bikes with Dean Dickinson’s R&D Genius throttle bodies. Previously used by the Geico Honda team on their 250 bikes, the Genius throttle body eliminates the butterfly valve of the typical Keihin throttle body with a custom-made rotating barrel that improves fuel velocity and is a noticeable improvement in low-to-mid performance. How do we know? We’ve seen it, tested it, dynoed it and raced with it. It works. For more info go to www.r1dean.com
(10) PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE: In a sport as volatile as Supercross anything can happen, but several big names riders have dug themselves big holes. Big holes! Riders who have already fallen one full race behind in the points chase include Ryan Dungey, Justin Barcia and Andrew Short. Even worse, Wil Hahn, Jake Weimer, Ivan Tedesco, Broc Tickle and Josh Grant are two races (more than 50 points) behind. Only Villopoto, Reed, Roczen, Brayton and Stewart are still on the same race.
Who would have thought that after five races that Ken Roczen would be the leader of the KTM team. Photo: KTM
ANAHEIM 3 SUPERCROSS RESULTS: 450 CLASS
1. Chad Reed (Kaw)
2. Ken Roczen (KTM)
3. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
4. Justin Barcia (Hon)
5. Weston Peick (Suz)
6. Justin Brayton (Yam)
7. James Stewart (Suz)
8. Jake Weimer (Kaw)
9. Andrew Short (KTM)
10. Ivan Tedesco (KTM)
Other notables: 11. Broc Tickle; 12. Wil Hahn; 17. Josh Grant; 20 Ryan Dungey; 21. Eli Tomac.
ANAHEIM 3 SUPERCROSS RESULTS: 250 WEST
1. Dean Wilson (Kaw)
2. Cole Seely (Hon)
3. Cooper Webb (Yam)
4. Justin Hill (Kaw) (Hon)
5. Jason Anderson (KTM)
6. Malcolm Stewart (Hon)
7. Jake Canada (Hon)
8. Shane McElrath (Hon)
9. Jessy Nelson (Hon)
10. Dakota Tedder (Kaw)
Other notables: 11. Dean Ferris; 12. Scott Champion; 13. Topher Ingalls; 15. Valentin Teillet.
CURRENT AMA 450 POINTS
(After 5 of 17 rounds)
1. Ryan Villopoto………104
2. Chad Reed…………..102
3. Ken Roczen………….97
4. Justin Brayton……….86
5. James Stewart………80
6. Ryan Dungey………..76
7. Justin Barcia…………74
8. Andrew Short………..61
9. Wil Hahn………………52
10. Jake Weimer……….50
Other notables: 11. Ivan Tedesco (38); 12. Weston Peick (37); 13. Broc Tickle (36; )14. Josh Grant (31); 17. Mike Alessi (25).
Cole Seely (21) is tied on points for the 250 West title, but Anderson gets to run the red plate next week in San Diego. Photo: TLD
CURRENT 250 WEST POINTS
(After 5 of 9 rounds)
1. Jason Anderson……109
2. Cole Seely……………109
3. Dean Wilson…………97
4. Cooper Webb………..85
5. Justin Hill………………82
6. Zach Osborne……….69
7. Malcolm Stewart…….69
8. Jessy Nelson…………61
9. Shane McElrath……..55
10. Dean Ferris………….52
Other notables: 11. Dakota Tedder (40); 14. Scott Champion (33); 16. Valentin Teillet (23); 17. Darry Durham (21); 20. Austin Politelli (11).