Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Monster Energy Supercross Party in the Pits - Atlanta 2012

Monster Energy puts on a great Supercross race, but don't forget the party before the race.  The Party in the Pits that precedes every Supercross race should not be overlooked by any fan going to see the races.  All the major vendors have booths, and most come complete with booth babes.
Falken Tire booth 
Monster Energy Pool Party
Monster Energy Pool Party

Monster Energy Pool Party
Rockstar Booth
Thor Girl
Rockstar Booth

 It's not all about the booth babes though.  Anyone who rides a bike at all, even if its just on the weekend, will want to check out the machines the pros ride up close and personal.  The Pit Party is the place to check 'em out too.  Here are just a few of these awesome machines.
JGR Team bikes- James Stewart (7)
Davie Millsaps (18)

Geico Honda Team  bikes
Justin Barcia (1)
Blake Wharton (956) &
Malcolm Stewart's (37) bikes

Not only are the pro's bikes accessible, but also the pros themselves.  While it can be difficult to see some of the riders in the pits (especially the most popular), some others can be seen and even talked to.  No other sport that I can think of allows this kind of access to it's athletes.  It is a great way to spend the day and gets you ready for the race that night.

Ryan Dungey

Dungey's coach- Roger Decoster

Blake Baggett & Mitch Payton

Broc Tickle
So don't forget, fan or not, if your going to the race, don't skip the Party in the Pits!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2012 SX Round 8 - Barcia Continues Domination, Dungey Gets KTM's Second Win

The Monster Energy Supercross in Atlanta was crazy.  The first Lites Heat race set the tone for the night.  Barcia took the hole-shot, and was holding a comfortable lead when he dumped it up high on a berm.  Blake Wharton took the lead from Barcia, only to lay his bike down in a corner.  The next leader was Malcolm Stewart.  Stewart led about half a lap before casing a jump and going over the bars.  Blake Baggett then took the lead and held off a charging Barcia to take the win.  Barcia took second, and Stewart did not finish.

The second Lites Heat was not as wild but still held some drama.  Ken Roczen took the lead early and led a good portion of the race before he had trouble at the same spot M. Stewart did.  Roczen laid it down and Justin Bogle took the win.  It was the rookie Bogle's first Heat race win.

The first SX Heat race had James Stewart winning easy.  Stewart got the hole-shot and never looked back.  The second SX Heat race wasn't quite as straight forward.  Dungey took the lead out of the first corner.  Villopoto didn't get a good start, but fought to second before Dungey put his front tire over a berm and gave up the lead.  Dungey fought back to second but could never catch Villopoto as he took the win.

In the Lites LCQ, the drama started before the gate even dropped.  Malcolm Stewart lined up, but there was some problem with the bike and his race was over before it began.  Stewart lost it, and understandably so, when the gate dropped and all the other riders took off without him.  Stewart slammed his goggles to the ground and stormed of the track.  Canada takes the win in the LCQ with Vincent coming in second.

Kiniry wins the SX LCQ with Partridge taking the final qualifying spot.

The Lites main starts with Barcia getting the hole-shot and Roczen getting hung on the starting gate to start last.  Barcia led the whole race, Blake Baggett takes second, and Justin Bogle took third. Roczen passed 14 riders to take sixth and stay in the points race.  Barcia has the points lead now with 50, Darryn Durham is second down by 12, while Wharton and Roczen are down 14 and 15 respectively. 

The SX class started off much like the second of the SX heats.  Dungey gets a great start, only bettered by Cole Seely who got the hole-shot.  Villopoto didn't get a great start but battled to fifth by lap three and third behind Dungey by lap six.  Stewart also got a poor start and was in eighth by lap four and was making moves to get to the front.  

Dungey took the lead from Seely on lap eight.  Stewart steps into fourth on lap nine and starts to gain on Villopoto.  Villopoto took second on lap ten and Stewart followed around Seely on lap 11.  With seven laps remaining a rider fell on a triple jump.  Dungey and Villopoto were able to jump the triple because the caution lights had not been turned on yet, however Stewart was not able to jump and rolled over the triple.  This effectively took Stewart out of the chase for the top spot.  Dungey and Villopoto battled the last several laps, but Dungey was able to hold him off and take the win.  Stewart took third easily.  Seely, who stepped up from the Lites class for the Muscle Milk Honda team finished sixth.

Villopoto continues to lead the points race with 180.  Dungey trails by ten, and Stewart trails by 44.  The series goes to St. Louis next week where the drama is bound to continue.

Don't forget that the race is live on SPEED next week at 8:30 PM ET!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The 2012 Atlanta SX Track Layout

Watch "2012 Atlanta Animated Monster Energy Supercross Track Map" on YouTube

Looks great!!!  Can't wait to get this thing started.  It's really a shame that Reed is out, but the show must go on!

I'm predicting either Barcia or Baggett to take the Lites, even though I think M. Stewart or Roczen stand a pretty good chance.

As far as the big bikes go, Villopoto probably wins again.  Dungey and J. Stewart have a chance, but it's hard to bet against Villopoto. 

We'll just have to wait til Saturday night to find out.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chad Reed Out for Remainder of 2012 SX Season

The 2012 SX season has claimed yet another victim. This past Saturday at the race in Dallas, Chad Reed took a devastating crash after nosing a jump and endo-ing face first into the dirt.  At the time of the crash, it was obvious that Reed was hurt.  No one knew how bad though.

We now know the extent of Reed's injuries and they are extensive.   He suffered two broken ribs, a broken tibia and fibula, broken T6 vertebrae, and a torn ACL. The press release stated that the doctors were waiting for the swelling in the knee to go down before doing surgery.

Reed is planning on being back for the Outdoors, but nothing is for sure at this point as there will be a long healing process and many more test before the Outdoor season starts.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monster Energy SX - Round 7 - Barcia and Villopoto Maintain Championship Form

The Monster Energy SX East Lites series began Saturday night in Dallas, while the Supercross Class series continued its romp through the 2012 season.

The Lites took to the track first for qualifying with Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia taking wins in their heats.  Hackley won the LCQ.

In the main event, Barcia took the lead with seven laps to go after fighting with teammate Justin Bogle for second and then Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Darryn Durham for first.  Barcia would not relent and won with Darryn Durham taking second over the third place Ken Roczen.

Bogle ended up taking fourteenth after being taken out by Malcolm Stewart.  Whether or not M. Stewart meant to crash Bogle or not, I'm not sure, but it looked like a clean pass lane was there.  Bogle sure seemed to think that M. Stewart crashed him on purpose, lost his temper and slapped M. Stewart in the back of the helmet.  Anyone who's ever worn or handled a helmet knows how good of an idea that was, and Bogle found out as he grabbed his hand in what could only be pain.

As for the big bikes Ryan Villopoto and James Stewart won their Qualifying heats, while Kiniry took the win in the SX LCQ.  Once the main event began, Villopoto and Chad Reed got out front quick.  James Stewart and Ryan Dungey were mid pack at seventh and tenth respectively.  Reed was pushing Villopoto from the start and looked as though he could make a move for the lead at any time.  Unfortunately for Reed (and everyone else) though, Reed nosed a jump on lap eight or nine and was carried off the track.  Villopoto went on to the win, never being threatened again.

While J. Stewart managed to keep his bike on two wheels this week, he was not without his problems.  Coming out of a corner, J. Stewart's teammate Millsaps spun out in front of him.  With nowhere to go J. Stewart locked the brakes and bumped into the back of Millsaps bike.  Stewart then stalled out trying to get going again and had issues cranking the bike.  Once he was running again, he was in nineteenth place.  This incident seemed to take the fire out of J. Stewart's belly for part of the race, but he still managed an impressive run to improve his position to sixth by the end of the race.

Dungey waited about half a race again before making a charge to the front.  Once he decided to get aggressive though, Dungey made his way to a second place finish.  Even though Dungey never threatened to take the lead, he is staying close to Villopoto in the points race.

After seven rounds of Supercross, Villopoto leads the Championship points race with 158 points.  Trailing is Dungey by 13, Reed by 30, and J. Stewart by 42.  Villopoto may have to have a Tomac moment to lose the championship, but this is SX and anything can happen.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Monster Energy SX, 2012 Round 6 - Villopoto & Wilson Win

Dean Wilson came into San Diego 22 points down in the points race to Eli Tomac.  What a difference a week makes!  Tomac was riding well, even though he did not win his qualifying heat.  He was coming through the pack in the main after a mediocre start.  After making it to third (I think) he fell victim to the whoop section, flipping over the handlebars and having the back tire of the bike flip into his back.  Tomac could not continue the race after the accident.

Tomac's misfortune opened the door for Wilson, who was more than happy to walk right through it.  Riding like his old self once again, Wilson had already won his qualifying heat and managed to get to the lead in the first lap.  He never gave the lead up and took the checkers and the points lead.  Wilson now sits in first with 116 points, Tomac is two back and Cole Seely is trailing by fifteen.

While its not a big lead for Wilson, it is a big turn-around.  The West Lites now have several weeks off while the East Lites take to the track, and Wilson has to feel good about his chances at the championship after San Diego.

As for the big bikes, Ryan Villopoto took his third win of the year after being pushed most of the main event by Chad Reed.  Reed even made the pass for the lead with two laps to go but could not hold off the charging Villopoto as he retook the lead.

Brett Metcalfe took the hole-shot and led to start the race.  It took Villopoto and Reed about four laps to establish themselves as one and two, leaving Metcalfe in third.  James Stewart then took third and though it seemed he would make a charge, he lost it in the whoop section on lap seven.  Stewart was pinned under the bike and could not get up on his own.  After ripping a part of his pants off though, he was back on the bike and managed to finish fifteenth after losing almost a whole lap.

Ryan Dungey made it back to the podium after a two week absence with a third place finish to stay in the championship race.  Villopoto extended his lead with the win and now has 133 points.  Chad Reed is six back, and Dungey is ten back.  Stewart is trailing by 32 points, and there may be no way for him to get back into the race for the championship.  Even if Stewart wins a lot of races, several people would have to falter badly to allow Stewart to pass them.  Villopoto, Reed, and Dungey are all too consistent for that to happen.

It is true that anything can happen though.  Maybe anything can happen next week in Dallas, Texas.  We'll just have to wait and see.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Anaheim 2 - Supercross Round Five Recap - Villopoto Takes Win & Points Lead

The fifth race of the 2012 Monster Energy Supercross season gives us our first repeat winner of the year and a new points leader as well.  Ryan Villopoto was finally able to get some good starts and he took full advantage of them, riding flawlessly to his second win of the year.

Ryan Villopoto has ridden well all season long, but that has only translated into one win, until now.  Villopoto came into the night only trailing the point leaders (Reed & Dungey) by two points, but that all changed with the win at Anaheim.  Villopoto's first win of the season was also at Anaheim.  It seems like Villopoto really likes racing in Anaheim.

James Stewart managed to take second in the main, moving up from fifth.  Stewart's second place finish may have been the most impressive result of the night considering the hard crash he took in the first qualifying heat.  Stewart, while leading, lost it in a rhythm section and fell hard into the tough blocks on the side of the track.  Stewart did not immediately get up or even seem to move, but move he did.  He managed to make it to the LCQ with new handlebars and a few other parts.  Stewart had the lead from the start of the LCQ and won easily to make it to the main event.  He said after the main that he felt like he had broken a rib and was happy with the results of the night.

Chad Reed took the final spot on the podium as he continues to ride consistently.  Reed passed Villopoto for the lead shortly after the start, only to give the lead back to Villopoto later that lap.  Reed maintained the second spot, until lap eight, when Stewart, who had been pushing Reed since lap one finally made the pass.  Reed held the third spot without issue for the remainder of the race.

Ryan Dungey, battled from sixth to fourth, but he waited until about the halfway point of the race before making any moves at all.  By that time, the leaders were not catch-able.  He was sitting in sixth behind Stewart at the start, but while Stewart charged through the pack and was third by the end of the first lap, Dungey hung back and didn't make a move until around lap ten.  If he would have made his move with Stewart at the beginning of the race, perhaps he would have grabbed a another podium for the KTM team.

So after five rounds of Monster Energy Supercross racing, Villopoto holds the points lead with 108 points.  Chad Reed falls to second, trailing only by three points.  Dungey falls to third, now down five points.  Stewart remains in fourth, now trailing by 13 points.

The Supercross class points race continues to be tight.  It does seem however that Villopoto may have put the rest of the field on notice.  If Villopoto can keep it clean, he may be unstoppable.  A large part of the races so far this year for Villopoto has been anything but clean though.  With that said, he is the defending champion, and looks to be taking his championship form back.

The next week at San Diego should be very interesting.  Can Villopoto keep his racing clean.  Can Reed or Dungey take the points lead back.  Can Stewart start to tighten the race up.  It will be live on SPEED channel Saturday night, so tune into all the racing LIVE!

Anaheim 2 - Round Five Lites Recap, Tomac Wins Third in a Row

Round five of the Monster Energy Supercross season is in the books.  Could the Lites points race be over already.  That could well be the case unless someone can step up and fast. 

Eli Tomac and Dean Wilson won their qualifying heats in the Lites division and it looked like they were set to battle it out in the main.  When the gate dropped, it was Tomac with the hole-shot, but he quickly gave up first to Cole Seely.  Wilson did not get a good start and emerged from the pack at about fifth and was never able to threaten the leaders.  Wilson would finish in fourth making this the second week in a row that the Pro Circuit team did not have a rider on the podium.

It was in lap three that Tomac took the lead.  Seely spun out and laid his bike down in a turn allowing Tomac and Marvin Musquin to pass.  Seely was able to take second from Musquin but was never able to retake the lead from Tomac.  Tomac now has 113 points with the win.  Wilson, though still in second, falls further behind now trailing by 22 points.  Musquin is now in third trailing by 29.

Over the past three weeks, Tomac has been on fire.  He has to be on an incredible high right now and probably feels almost unstoppable.  He has certainly looked unstoppable the past few weeks.  While anything can happen, Tomac is definitely in the drivers seat.  If he can remain consistent, he may prove to be uncatchable (in terms of the points race at least).

The series goes to San Diego next, where everyone will be trying to chip away at Tomac's point lead.  Until then, Tomac enjoys the spoils of yet another win.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Chase for the Monster Energy SX Championship Rages On Tonight

Tonight, the Monster Energy SX racers take the track in Anaheim for the second time this season.  With four races in the books and four different winners of those races, things look to tighten up even more tonight.

Chad Reed and Ryan Dungey will both sport the red number plate of the points leader do to the fact that they are tied for the points lead.  Ryan Villopoto is just two points back and looking to overtake the points lead from Reed and Dungey, while James Stewart is now just ten points back after his win last week in Oakland.  The question for tonight is, will one of these guys get their second win of the year and establish themselves as the championship favorite, or will someone else step up and throw their name into the championship conversation.

The track in Anaheim is said to have two whoop sections and two sand sections.  This could make for some interesting racing as we have not seen a track set up like this this year.  Their should be lots of opportunities for mistakes in the extra whoops and sand.  It may not be the fastest rider who wins tonight, but the rider with the least mistakes.

Unfortunately, the race will not be on tonight.  CBS will have coverage of the 450s on Sunday at 12:00 PM ET and SPEED will have coverage at 1:00 PM ET.  So don't miss the race!  If you're not going to be in Anaheim, catch the action on TV tomorrow.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tyla Rattray Out the Remainder of 2012 SX Season

Tyla Rattray took a bad crash in round 4 (Oakland) of the SX season.  While it definitely looked bad when he nosed that jump in his heat race, I doubt anyone thought that it would be this bad at the time.  It was even announced on TV that Rattray had a minor concussion but had gone to the hospital for further evaluation.

Turns out that the further evaluation showed that Rattray had a major concussion and a fractured C7 vertebrae.  His press release indicated that he would recuperate the next several weeks and then the team would make a further announcement.

Hopefully Rattray can make it back to the track in time to be ready for the Outdoors this year.