THE AFTERMATH | SALT LAKE CITY SUPERCROSS ROUND 12
THE AFTERMATH | 2020 SALT LAKE CITY SUPERCROSS ROUND 12
Photos and Story by Daryl Ecklund
We have to give it up to FELD and the Dirt Wurx crew for listening to the riders and media about the positives and negative of the first Salt Lake City round and really putting forth their best effort to take that criticism and turn it into a positive. One of the biggest negatives from last Sunday’s race was the track. It was dry, slick, dusty, and was breaking apart by the end of the day of racing. The riders hated it, but of course, dealt with it. However, no one could foretell how the dirt was going to shape up throughout the night. FELD and the Dirt Wurx crew took what they learned and applied it to last night’s race.
The track was superb in comparison to last Sunday’s conditions. With the race being at night it sure did help, but they were working on the track every chance they got to make it better and safer for the riders. Instead of Shane McElrath lapping up to fifth like he did last Sunday on the technical track he made it up to 12th yesterday, probably due to the improved racing conditions, and the cooler weather for the riders.
The night of racing as a whole was good. Great battles with some breakout rides for riders like Malcolm Stewart who won his first heat race (unfortunately he went down in the first corner of the main event placing 7th still) and Zach Osborne who looked like he was going to win last night but got passed by Cooper Webb with seven laps to go in the 27 lap 450 main event.
In the 250 class Colt Nichols on the Star Racing Yamaha team looked exceptionally well throughout the night placing second in the 250 East Coast main event. The real warrior in the 250 race was Chase Sexton. He went down on the second lap of the main event and charged his way up to 4th place! He was not happy after the race. He laid his head on his handlebars and didn’t want to talk to anyone. Why? Well, he lost valuable points on the 250 East Coast championship. Shane McElrath is not tied with Chase for the points lead with two rounds left. McElrath has been riding flawlessly by getting good starts and having great speed.
Chase Sexton was more than disappointed in himself. He had a good start but washed his front wheel out (video below) putting him to the back of the pack. He can’t get mad at how he charged back to 4th though. He is now tied in points with McElrath.
THE WEIRDNESS AT SUPERCROSS HASN’T WENT AWAY, YET
(1) Racing twice a week. I don’t think that a Supercross has ever been held on a weekday, let alone on a Wednesday night. It was weird, to say the least. But racing two days a week throws everyone off a bit. It is nice in some regard to get the rounds out of the way, but for riders and their team, everything is doubled up on them. The riders don’t really have time to practice during the week and the team has less time to get everything ready again.
(2) Social Distancing. Everyone has got used to the mandatory wearing of face masks already, but it is tough to remember the mandatory six feet distance rule. The media were getting warnings that they were too close together on more than one occasion.
(3) No fans. I already mentioned the strangeness of having no fans last week, but it didn’t get any more normal this time around, especially since it was a night race. You can hear things you wouldn’t normally get to hear. You can hear the riders yelling at each other on the track and the chatter of the riders and team before a race. There is almost an ongoing awkward silence inside the stadium. Eli Tomac even said he say to remind himself that this race means something as it seems like a practice day with no fans in attendance.
After Adam Ciancairrulo’s crash last weekend (which you can see here) he wasn’t sure if he was going to racing yesterday. Well, he tried. He rode qualifying but said his lower back just wasn’t strong enough. For more information on Adam’s condition click here.
During Chase Marquier’s 250 heat race he doubled the triple and launched off the side of the track from the triple landing to make sure he didn’t get landed on. He landed off the track wide open skating across the plywood.
During the main event, there was a triple onto a tabletop that only a handful of riders were doing. It was a much faster line, but it was very difficult to pull off. Here Barcia seat bounces to get over it.