By Jody Weisel
Ryan Dungey (5) got the holeshot, but didn't lead for very long and James Stewart (7) pounced on lap one.
(1) A DOG'S LIFE: The big story going into Dallas was whether Chad Reed could ride or not. Given his account of the injuries he sustained in San Diego during his last lap crash in the whoops, you didn't need a Medical degree from John Hopkins to realize that he didn't have a chance at racing. But, Chad showed up, suited up and eventually loaded up. He tried, but it wasn't possible. Chad said, “Well, we tried. The shoulder either popped out or the coracoid process pulled off, which is what we were concerned about.” After two laps of timed practice Chad left the track and went to the hospital to have his shoulder looked at. Let's hope he didn't make it worse and have to miss the rest of the series (or season). The saddest part about Chad's injury, for the fans not necessarily for Chad, is that he was the glue holding the season together. He was the human interest story—boys find dog, boy loses dog, boy gets dog back again (except replace "dog" with "fame").
NO ONE SEEMS TO REMEMBER THAT RICKY CARMICHAEL WENT 6-13 IN HIS FIRST AMA PRO RACE...AND HE TURNED OUT OKAY.
(2) ADAM'S REDEMPTION: Heavy is the mantle of the "Next Big Thing." After Adam's issues in the 2013 AMA 250 Nationals—where he didn't win every race he entered by 30 seconds or more—the fans started to badmouth his talent. They should have cut the kid some slack and given him a chance. No one seems to remember that Ricky Carmichael went 6-13 in his first AMA Pro race...and he turned out okay. Then suddenly at Dallas, Adam Cianciarulo is the crowd favorite. The naysayers of 2013 faded into the woodwork and reappeared as cheerleaders. There is no doubt that the struggles that Adam had during the 2013 AMA 250 Nationals will prove to be good for him in the long run. They showed him that the Pro ranks aren't going to be easy, that motocross stardom can go away much faster than it is earned, that the fans are fair weather friends, that you are only as good as your last race and that who you are as a person means more than who you are on the scoreboard. So, after winning the 250 East in Dallas, Adam Cianciarulo is back where everyone expected him be—but lets hope he remembers where he was last year.
ADAM CIANCIARULO ON HIS 250 EAST WIN
DO YOU REMEMBER 2006? THAT IS WHEN BARRY BONDS HITS HIS 715TH QUESTIONABLE HOME RUN, SADDAM HUSSEIN WAS CONVICTED OF CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY AND MARTIN DAVALOS RACED HIS FIRST 250 SUPERCROSS.
(3) NINE YEARS AN ALSO-RAN: Do you remember 2006? That is when Western Union ended its telegram service, a record breaking snow storm dumped 26.9 inches of snow in New York City, Barry Bonds hits his 715th questionable home run, Saddam Hussein was convicted of Crimes Against Humanity and Martin Davalos raced his first 250 Supercross. In the ensuing 9 years, Martin Davalos has stood on the podium 8 times in the 250 Supercross class, but never on the top step. You could say that this is his make-it or break-it year. At Dallas Martin Davalos was the man to beat. He was fastest in practice, won his heat and took off like the Ecuadorian version of a scalded cat in the main event. What happened? What seems to always happen to Martin Davalos—he fell down all by himself. But as a collective community, let’s give Martin a pass on his Dallas crash, actually he crashed twice in the same spot in the 250 main, because he got up and finished third—which was his 8th podium of all-time. If he can stop the dropsies, Martin can win the 250 East.
IT’S NO SECRET THAT WHEN A RIDER TRAVELS ALL THE WAY TO DALLAS AND GETS SENT HOME AFTER THE DAY PROGRAM, HE ISN’T GOING TO DRIVE TO ATLANTA THE NEXT WEEK
(4) STOP THE BLEEDING: After weeks of barely getting enough riders to even waste time with winnowing the pack down to 40 riders, the Supercross promoters finally found a bumper crop of 250 East hopefuls. How many? 73. That is 26 more than last week in San Diego and they were all decent, as only 11 of the 73 couldn’t stay within 10 seconds of the leader in lap times. But the good news stopped at the 250 class. Only 46 riders showed up to attempt the 450 class (and that is counting Chad Reed). It is a shame to send 6 riders home, actually only 5 riders because Chad wanted to go home after practice, when you need them so badly that you should be catering lunch for them during qualifying. It’s no secret that when a rider travels all the way to Dallas to race and gets sent home after the daytime part of the program, he isn’t going to drive to Atlanta the next week.
The Dallas dirt looked like it belong in a construction site—not on a motocross track. This is Grand National stuff.
IF LOCAL VET RIDERS HAD TO RACE ON DIRT AS DRY AND SLIPPERY AS DALLAS THEY WOULD SEND OFF ANGRY MISSIVES TO THEIR LOCAL FLAME BOARD ABOUT HOW BAD THE DIRT WAS AND HOW WE SHOULD FORGIVE JASON LAWRENCE BECAUSE HE’S ONLY A KID—ALBEIT A 26-YEAR OLD KID.
(5) IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DIRT: One thing that the AMA National outdoor promoters know is that motocross racing is “all about the dirt.” If you have great dirt, you are more than 80% there to having a great track. A great track with crummy dirt isn’t a great track. And Dallas wasn’t a great track by any stretch of the imagination and it had the worst dirt of the year. If local Vet riders had to race on dirt as dry and slippery as Dallas they would cry Alessi-style tears and send off angry missives to their local flame board (where they would mention how bad the dirt was and how we should forgive Jason Lawrence because he’s only a kid—albeit a 26-year old kid). The AMA National promoters are passionate about their tracks and their dirt, the Supercross promoters should learn from them.
(6) THE RECORD BOOK: James Stewart’s easy win in Dallas either points to a potential career as a dirt tracker or that he is on a roll that will be hard for Ryan Villopoto to stop. Stewart’s win also marked his 47th career Supercross win in the premier class. That puts Bubba third on the all-time list and only one win behind Ricky Carmichael’s 48. It has taken Stewie ten years to amass 47 wins (his first win was at Anaheim 1 in 2005 on a Kawasaki). James is 25 wins behind Jeremy McGrath’s 72 wins, and if he sticks to what he told Fox Sports about retiring after the 2015 season, he only has 27 chances left to get 25 wins.
Ryan Villopoto (1) and Ken Roczen (94) are running first and second in 450 Supercross points, but guess who is looking over their shoulders.
IT’S OBVIOUS THAT DALLAS WASN’T FAR ENOUGH EAST FOR VILLOPOTO BECAUSE THE DALLAS TRACK LOOKED LIKE A CONSTRUCTION SITE.
(7) GO EAST YOUNG MAN: All throughout the West Coast swing, Ryan Villopoto said that he didn’t like the dirt at Anaheim, San Diego, Oakland and Phoenix. He couldn’t wait to go East. It’s obvious that Dallas wasn’t far enough East for Villopoto because the Dallas track looked like a construction site. In fact, James Stewart said half-jokingly that his mechanics “should put some road racing tires on this thing.” Ryan Villopoto struggled to fourth in Dallas, but even fourth wasn’t a sure thing for most of the race. Villopoto lost 7 points to Stewart, who moved up to third in the points standings (14 points behind Villopoto). Ken Roczen is second (12 points behind Ryan Villopoto). The departure of Chad Reed from the results means that there is one less front runner to help make large points swings possible and only Roczen, Stewart, Dungey and Brayton are still within one moto’s worth of points out of the lead. Villopoto better find the kind of dirt he likes soon because next weekend is the halfway point of the stadium events—which doesn’t include Daytona.
JAMES STEWART ON HIS 450 WIN
MUCH LIKE A DRUNK DRIVER WHO REGRETS HIS ACTIONS AFTER HE KILLS A FAMILY OF FOUR, A RIDER WHO WHIPS HIS BIKE INTO THE FACE OF HIS COMPETITION OVER A JUMP IS A PUBLIC MENACE.
(8) DON’T DRIVE ANGRY: Much like a drunk driver who regrets his actions after he kills a family of four, a rider who whips his bike into the face of his competition over a jump is a public menace. There is no doubt that Justin Barcia whipped his Honda into Ken Roczen because he was angry about the racing in the two previous corners. And there is no doubt that Barcia knew what he had done was wrong because in his post-race interviews he backpedalled by saying that he had whipped his bike over the finish line jump like that on every lap—which everyone in the stadium knew was a lie. As for Ken Roczen, he said in the quote of the night, “I don’t know what’s the matter with Barcia. He almost killed both of us over the triple. He’s not the brightest light in the room.” The brightest light phrase must be the German version of “He’s not the brightest bulb in the box,” but could be easily traded for “The light's on but no one's home” or “He only has one oar in the water.” Had the two riders clicked off each other—Barcia would have gone down also. The whole incident detracted from Justin Barcia’s first podium of the season—as everyone is talking about his thoughtless action instead.
Weston Peick is either 4 for 7 or 3 for 7—either way its not what he wanted.
(9) ONE POINT NIGHT: For Weston Peick it is either feast or famine. Dallas was the third race out of seven where he only manage to score only a single point. This time it wasn’t a bike failure, but an unlucky crash into Phil Nicoletti that cleaned them both out. For Weston it was a bitter blow as he had finished third in his heat race behind Stewart and Barcia and was coming off of two fifth place finishes at Anaheim III and San Diego. Weston is now 12th in 450 points.
ONE COMBINED 250 SUPERCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP MAKES SENSE—WHICH IS WHY IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.
(10) SWEEPING THE BOARDS: There is an ongoing argument about whether the 250 West is harder than the 250 East and there is no way to tell—because the East/West Challenge in Las Vegas is more of an afterthought than a meaningful race. The only way to way to tell would be to get rid of the East/West divisions and put Anderson, Seely, Wilson, Osborne and Webb up against Cianciarulo, Baggett, Davalos, Wharton, Cunningham and Martin in the same series on a weekly basis. One combined 250 Supercross Championship makes sense—which is why it will never happen.
DALLAS SUPERCROSS RESULTS: 450 CLASS
1. James Stewart (Suz)
2. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
3. Justin Barcia (Hon)
4. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
5. Justin Brayton (Yam)
6. Ken Roczen (KTM)
7. Broc Tickle (Suz)
8. Wil Hahn (Hon)
9. Josh Hill (Suz)
10. Andrew Short (KTM)
Other notables: 11. Eli Tomac; 12. Ivan Tedesco; 14. Nick Wey; 15. Matt Goerke; 16. Justin Sipes; 19. Mike Alessi; 20.Weston Peick.
DALLAS SUPERCROSS RESULTS: 250 WEST
1. Adam Cianciarulo (Kaw)
2. Blake Baggett (Kaw)
3. Martin Davalos (Kaw)
4. Vince Friese (Hon)
5. Justin Bogle (Hon)
6. Cole Thompson (KTM)
7. Blake Wharton (Hon)
8. Kyle Cunningham (Hon)
9. Alex Martin (Yam)
10. Mitchell Oldenburg (KTM)
Other notables: 11. Kyle Peters; 12. Levi Killbarger; 13. A.J. Cantazaro; 15. Jimmy Decotis; 17. Jackson Richardson; 20. Gavin Faith.
CURRENT AMA 450 SUPERCROSS POINTS STANDINGS
(After 7 of 17 rounds)
1. Ryan Villopoto.........144
2. Ken Roczen.............132
4. James Stewart.........130
5. Ryan Dungey...........116
5. Justin Brayton..........114
6. Chad Reed...............111
7. Justin Barcia............109
8. Andrew Short............83
9. Wil Hahn....................65
10. Broc Tickle...............63
Other notables: 11. Jake Weimer (55); 11. Ivan Tedesco (55); 12. Weston Peick (54); 13. Jake Weimer (50); 17. Mike Alessi (34); 21. Eli Tomac (25).
CURRENT AMA 250 EAST SUPERCROSS POINTS STANDINGS
(After 1 of 9 rounds)
1. Adam Cianciarulo........25
2. Blake Baggett..............22
3. Martin Davalos............20
4. Vince Friese................18
5. Justin Bogle.................16
6. Cole Thompson...........15
7. Blake Wharton.............14
8. Kyle Cunningham........13
9. Alex Martin..................12
10. Mitchell Oldenburg....11
Other notables: 11. Kyle Peters (10) 12. Levi Killbarger (9); 13. A.J. Cantazaro (8); 15. Jimmy Decoti (6); 17. Jaclson Richardson (4); 20. Gavin Faith (1).
CURRENT AMA 250 WEST SUPERCROSS POINTS STANDINGS
(After 6 of 9 rounds)
1. Jason Anderson.......131
2. Cole Seely................127
3. Justin Hill..................107
4. Dean Wilson.............98
5. Cooper Webb...........92
6. Malcolm Stewart.......89
7. Jessy Nelson............76
8. Shane McElrath........71
9. Zach Osborne...........69
10. Dean Ferris.............63
Other notables: 12. Dakota Tedder (50); 13. Jake Canada (46); 15. Valentin Teillet (28); 17. Darry Durham (21); 20. Austin Politelli (11).
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