PRO TAPER PRESENTS MXA’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY JOHN BASHER
Rider: Justin Bogle
Location: Houston (Reliant Stadium)
Date: March 31, 2012
Photographer: John Basher
Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark III
Lens: 300mm f/2.8 IS
Focal length: 300mm
Exposure: 1/800 sec.
MXA VIDEO: A LOOK AT CHRISTIAN CRAIG’S GEICO HONDA CRF250
We know that it can go through the whoops
TRENDING UP, DOWN OR STAYING FLAT
Which 450 class racers are trending upward, falling back, or remaining relatively flat through five rounds?
Dungey is the big man on campus. He has a 21-point lead and hasn’t finished worse than second this season. The season is still young, so he could slip or have an off-weekend. Phoenix was his worst race and he still finished second. Dungey came all of the way from eighth and was running lap times that were only matched by Ken Roczen in the late stages of the main. Ryan is not trending upward because he really can’t finish any better.
Well, well! Roczen is beginning to find his form. Kenny has finished 5th, 6th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st. The million or so starts that he’s been practicing during the week are paying off. Roczen might be the only rider on the gate that Dungey can’t catch. Let’s hope that Kenny and Dungey start at the front this weekend in San Diego. That will be a telling sign of how the rest of the season will go for these two title challengers.
It’s hard when a rider wins the opening round and misses the podium in the next four races. Anderson is better than his result show. He hasn’t finished outside the top five and has bounced back in recent races. Poor starts are holding him back. Jason’s best attribute is that he doesn’t appear fazed by anyone. Anderson is always ready for battle.
Reedy scored back-to-back second place finishes at San Diego and Anaheim 2. Since then he has looked a step off the leaders. There wasn’t any way that anyone was going to catch Ken Roczen last weekend. Having said that, Chad couldn’t contain a streaking Ryan Dungey or the ever-aggressive Jason Anderson. Reed will win a main event this season, that much seems obvious, but can he raise his results to the point of consistently finishing on the podium? Let’s hope so.
Tomac got a good start at Phoenix and finished third. He’s starting to put the pieces together evidenced by his upswing in results. Tomac, along with Ken Roczen, appear to be Ryan Dungey’s biggest threats for the title. That’s a bold proclamation given how Eli is currently 31 points behind Dungey. The proof comes from the fact that Tomac continues to improve each race. Then again, has the damage already been done?
Seely should be sniffing the podium every weekend, given that he scored third at Anaheim 1 and the following weekend in San Diego. Since then he has suffered from poor starts and bad luck. Cole is currently sixth in the standings, but that’s not a good indication of how well the HRC Honda rider has been looking on the track. A stalled engine in Phoenix dropped him from third to ninth. He spent the rest of the race working his way up to eighth.
It took time, but Musquin is starting to show what he’s capable of in the 450 class. Marvin wasn’t expected to set the world on fire as a 450 rookie, especially after he came into the season with limited time on the bike. However, his hard work is beginning to show. Marvin finished third in Oakland and was oh-so-close to a hard-fought sixth at Phoenix. He cut inside Chad Reed after the whoops on the 11th lap, but the wily Reed got him back a few laps later. Musquin was also passed by Justin Brayton at the same time. Marvin ended the night in ninth.
Millsaps has been up and down in the scores, but right now his stock is rising slightly. Davi has finished 8th, 12th, 7th, 12th, and 5th. He earned his best result of the season in Phoenix by getting a great start and making up lost ground in the whoops and the double dragon’s back (by the way, did you hear Ralph Shaheen losing his mind every time Millsaps cleared the second dragon’s back?). Davi looks more comfortable at every race on the air-suspended KTM.
The BTO Sports KTM rider is ever so slightly trending upward. This season Brayton has finished 10th, 10th, 8th, 9th and 7th. At Phoenix he started in seventh. The good news was that he got by Mike Alessi and Cole Seely during the race. The bad news? Justin was passed by Ryan Dungey and Jason Anderson. Brayton has the speed to run higher than seventh. He’s getting there.
Weimer was recruited by RCH Suzuki after Broc Tickle got injured. It was a smart move by RCH Suzuki, as Jake was finishing inside the top ten aboard a privateer Kawasaki. Weimer’s first ride on the Suzuki was at Oakland. He tied his best result of the season–8th. Not bad for a guy who hopped on the new bike just days before the race. At Phoenix Jake crashed in practice and couldn’t find comfort through the massive set of whoops. He ended up 14th. Weimer is a good start away from a top five finish, but his results through the early stages of Supercross reveal that he’s consistently a top-ten rider.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: AUSTIN FORKNER
“It wasn’t until I won two classes at Loretta’s in 2010 that I said to myself, ‘Okay, this is probably what I’m going to do for a living.’ I was picked up by Team Green and things moved quickly. Before that I was just racing for fun. When I was really young I had the goal of racing professionally, but I didn’t think about it very much. Once I got a Team Green ride, they expected me to do well. They were giving me free bikes and paying me, so I had to do them proud.”
Click here to read the interview.
TRAVIS SEWELL’S ARENACROSS POST-RACE INTERVIEW
PIT TRIP: PHOENIX SUPERCROSS
There’s only so much one can see between afternoon practice, meeting your favorite riders, getting your forehead signed and getting to your seat for the night program. The struggle is real. We typically sprint from the stadium to the pits and back several times over the course of race day in order to capture all that encompasses Supercross. It’s nice sharing some of the images our hard-working staff are able to capture from sun-up to well beyond sun-down. Our resident video guy, Travis Fant, and our newest recruit at MXA, Kyoshi Mckizzie, were on hand in Phoenix, Arizona, for round five of the Supercross series. Below are the people and products that caught their attention.
JARRYD MCNEIL: EVOLUTION OF TWO WHEELS
BY THE NUMBERS: CHRISTIAN CRAIG
Geico Honda’s Christian Craig collected his first 250 Supercross win at Glendale. It was a historical night for a kid who had been chewed up and spit out of professional racing. Last year Craig was doing construction for his father-in-law in Minnesota. Now 12 months later, Christian held strong to become the 101st winner of a 125/250 Supercross main event. Dreams do come true.
Take a look at Christian Craig’s professional racing career by the numbers:
16…The number of 250 Supercross races Craig has competed in.
9.8…Craig’s average finish in those 16 races.
5.6…Craig’s average finish this season.
2.3…His average finish the past three races.
87…The number of points Craig has earned this season (through five rounds).
87…The number of points Craig earned during his 250 West campaign in 2013 (eight races).
11…The current points gap between Cooper Webb and Christian Craig.
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: HINSON BILLETPROOF YAMAHA YZ450F IGNITION COVER
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To buy your 2014-2016 Yamaha YZ450F Hinson Clutch Components Billetproof ignition cover click here: Buy Now!
HERE IS THE NEWS
The field should be deeper this weekend with the return of several big-name riders. Others will be hampered by injuries, but will still give it a go at San Diego.
Zach Osborne: Osborne crashed in the beginning of the 250 main in Phoenix and got landed on. He was clutching his arm while being carted off. Things looked grim for the Rockstar Husqvarna rider. After the race Zach stated that he was okay and should be ready to race in San Diego. Osborne later posted on Instagram, “I’m banged up and bruised, but not broken and I live to fight another day. I ain’t gonna stop til I get that W. Thanks for everyone who stands behind me.”
Justin Bogle: The Geico Honda rider broke his foot and has been out of action since San Diego 1. Team manager, Mike LaRocco, confirmed that Bogle will be back on the gate this weekend. Bogle finished 13th in his 450 Supercross debut and finished 22nd at San Diego 1. He went down on lap 13 of the 450 main in San Diego.
Jordan Smith: Smith entered Phoenix with an aggravated shoulder. It didn’t help when he went over the bars in the whoops during his heat race. Things didn’t look good for Smith, as he didn’t return for the rest of the evening. However, he will be racing at San Diego this weekend according to Mike LaRocco.
Blake Baggett: Factory Suzuki’s duo of James Stewart (concussion) and Blake Baggett (shoulder) missed the Phoenix Supercross this past weekend. I spoke with Baggett last Friday about his heat race crash at Oakland, which left him with deep bruising in the shoulder he recently had surgery on. Blake was relatively pleased with his performance up until the crash, stating that he only had five days of Supercross riding under his belt before lining up at Oakland. Expect Baggett to race San Diego this weekend.
Trey Canard: The HRC Honda team took part in Thursday’s press day before Phoenix. It was advantageous for Trey Canard, who is still trying to recover from the effects of a tattered hand. Canard rode press day, but determined that his hand wasn’t strong enough to race. Trey could race this weekend, but there’s no reason to rush. He’s currently 14th in points, nearly 100 points behind Ryan Dungey. With the title is well out of reach, Canard should focus on winning races. That won’t happen if he’s incapable of holding onto the bike.
THAT MOMENT YOU WISH 53,000 FANS WEREN’T WATCHING
NON-MOTO: TOO UNREAL NOT TO WATCH
This is old footage, but it’s a great account of Felix Baumgartner’s historic feat
HAWKSTONE INTERNATIONAL MOTOCROSS WARM-UP RACE
The first big overseas warm-up race took place at the historic Hawkestone motocross venue in Great Britain this past weekend. Many of the Grand Prix stars showed up to test their mettle, including Clement Desalle, Shaun Simpson, Jeffrey Herlings, Thomas Covington, Ben Townley, Kevin Strijbos and Max Anstie. The loose surface, combined with typically damp conditions, resulted in great disparity between the haves and have-nots of European motocross. Shaun Simpson, the home country hero and surprise overall GP winner in 2015, went 3-1 in moto scores at Hawkstone to take the overall from factory Kawasaki’s newest addition, Clement Desalle. Factory Suzuki’s Ben Townley (yes, the one and only Ben Townley) finished third after going 6-2 on the day.
In the 250 class it was a runaway for KTM’s ace, Jeffrey Herlings. The flying Dutchman is logging another season in the 250 class, much to the dismay of general opinion. It was no surprise that Herlings swept both motos, or even that he bested everyone in the combined 250/450 Super Final. Jeffrey’s fastest lap time in the Super Final was 1-1/2 seconds faster than runner-up, Shaun Simpson. Let it be known that Ben Townley logged the fastest time in the Super Final, but he finished 22nd after encountering difficulty.
Hawkstone uncovered several truths leading into the GP series (which kicks off in Qatar on February 27th). First, Shaun Simpson looks fresh and confident. Second, Jeffrey Herlings will likely only lose the 250 World title by his own doing (how many times have we heard that before?). And finally, Hawkstone was a reminder for the GP stars that they won’t actually get to see good soil until the GP series makes its way back to Europe after flyaway races in Qatar and Thailand.
450 Class Results:
1. Shaun Simpson
2. Clement Desalle
3. Ben Townley
4. Brad Anderson
5. Kevin Strijbos
6. Kevin Wouts
7. Marc DeReuver
8. Jake Millward
9. Ashley Wilde
10. James Hutchinson
250 Class Results:
1. Jeffrey Herlings
2. Davy Pootjes
3. Max Anstie
4. Ben Watson
5. Jeremy Seewer
6. Adam Sterry
7. Bas Vaessen
8. Liam Knight
9. Benoit Paturel
10. Roy Van-Heugten
11. Thomas Covington
Superfinal (Combined 250/450) Results:
1. Jeffrey Herlings
2. Shaun Simpson
3. Kevin Strijbos
4. Clement Desalle
5. Ben Watson
6. Bas Vaessen
7. Benoit Paturel
8. Jeremy Seewer
9. Adam Sterry
10. Marc DeReuver