Last weekend Supercross visited California for one last time and I was there to cover it in Santa Clara. As the season winds down the points leads of Ryan Dungey and Cooper Webb tend to make racing less interesting, although that doesn’t mean there weren’t surprises in Santa Clara. Both Justin Barcia and James Stewart returned from injury, while Josh Hansen and Josh Grant were added to the roster. As expected, Ryan Dungey exhibited technical perfection once again and the guys behind him couldn’t help but notice. Ken Roczen and Chad Reed mentioned Dungey’s perfect riding in their post-race interviews by Supercross live. While the outcome was predictable, the race was still interesting in both classes.
I have shot many Supercross events in my time, but I have never had the pleasure of shooting from the floor. Since John Basher is now our East Coast editor and Daryl Ecklund was taking a sick day, I was pretty stoked to finally get my hands on MXA’s official Supercross photo vest. Although in a rookie fashion I forgot to turn it in at the end of the night. No big deal, although they held my credit card in exchange for the vest. The rabbit chase began. The end of the chase led me to a photographer workroom. I didn’t know such thing existed only having ever worked out of the distant press box, but was relieved I didn’t have to go home without my credit card. I don’t think gas stations would give me 10 gallons for a yellow vest.
You would think with the Super Bowl being at Levi’s stadium this year that it would be a hot spot on the Supercross circuit. Nope. The place looked empty. It is possible that the paltry attendance in Santa Clara may result in Feld going back to Seattle next year. Just throwing it out there, but wouldn’t Portland be a happy medium if Santa Clara gets nixed.
THE OTHER INDOOR RACE
There was a scheduling conflict last Saturday as both Arenacross and Supercross had events in California. While I went up to Silicon valley to cover Supercross, Travis Fant stayed behind to watch the indoor battle known as Arenacross. Travis had unwittingly signed up to cover Arenacross after hiking into some poison oak earlier in the week—making the 6-hour trip north to Santa Clara too uncomfortable. As a sport, Arenacross has not been as popular as Supercross, but the last two years have shown great promise. While not household names yet, riders like Austin Forkner and Gavin Faith are still recognizable by fans for their Amateur prowess (Forkner) or even Australian adventures (Faith). On Thursday, before leaving for Sanaa Clara, I went out to Ontario to check the track for press day and it definitely had the potential for some good action. The start was quite unique as it was outside the stadium and seemed to go almost immediately into a right hand corner. Arenacross tracks are much smaller and there aren’t as many spots to pass as Supercross.
Press day came in two parts. First we spoke to the riders, collected interviews and took a look at the track. They even went out to run a few laps for us. Once we were done at Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, California, we moved over to Pole Position Raceway to race go-karts with Ricky Carmichael. I am no stranger to indoor go-karting having spent a small handful of cash at the local MB2 raceway in Sylmar. My chops were no match for any of the Pros as I was more than a few seconds slower that the top guys. My best time hung around 30 seconds(I looked at my lap card again) while Ricky Carmichael, Kyle Regal, Jacob Hayes and a few others hit around the 28 second mark. It was a pretty fun experience. Pictures below.
Supercross 450: Ryan Dungey.
Supercross 250: Cooper Webb.
450 Grand Prix: No race this weekend. Season will pick up in Neuquen Patagonia, Argentina.
250 Grand Prix: No race this weekend. Season will pick up in Neuquen Patagonia, Argentina.
Arenacross: Chris Blose.
Arenacross Lites: Stone Edler.
Wuustwezel International 450: Max Nagl.
Wuustwezel International 250: Pauls Jonass.
Australian National 450: Matt Moss.
Australian National 250: Caleb Ward.
MXA CLASSIC AD | JANUARY 1993
AMATEUR SHOT OF THE WEEK
Motocross riders are often formed in desert towns with nothing better to do than ride. This is the case for Grant Wall who hails from Lodi, California. Grant raced his first AMA-sanctioned race back in 2012 where he was able to clinch second on a modified 85cc. Four years later Grant has multiple wins under his belt. Grant has a bright future.
HOW IT WAS DONE IN THE GOOD OL’ DAYS
Since I haven’t gone to my go-to photo store down in Los Angeles to pick up a bunch of slide film, I leave you with another Speed Graphic shot from LACR. This is old film and old camera technology in a modern day. Notice how lopsided the photo is? The film holder was not loaded straight into the back of the camera resulting in this canted photograph. Also visible are these swooping horizontal lines. These are scratches on the negative from dirt getting inside the holder when loading the film.
Photographer: Kyoshi Becker
Camera: Speed Graphic