PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: DEFENDING CHAMP RYAN VILLOPOTO
Ryan Villopoto is back with Monster Energy Kawasaki after signing a long-term deal with the team in the offseason.
MINI-VIEW: JUSTIN BARCIA
MXA: What are your thoughts on the video, and what do you think of the outcome?
Justin: I thought it was really cool how the video was released on the new year. It’s definitely a good way to enter 2013, and for everyone to see what I’ve been doing in the offseason. The video shows that I still have my style going on, even on the 450. I thought that was really cool.
Our video guy, Travis Fant, used a helicopter to capture quite a bit of the footage. After speaking to Dean Wilson for last year’s New Year video, he mentioned how turbulent the air was from the helicopter, which scared him a bit while he was jumping. Did you feel the same effects?
I wouldn’t say that riding with a helicopter swooping around me was the most fun thing that I’ve ever done in my life [laughter]. The cool part about it was being able to get in the helicopter first and fly around a bit. Riding around while the helicopter was moving through was tough. It was hard to whip, because the wind was almost push me into a double whip. The wind would move me in the opposite direction. I managed to figure it out, and it was a cool experience riding in that type of situation.
You’re heavy into flying. What are your thoughts about being in a helicopter, as opposed to being in a plane?
The helicopter is even cooler! If I had the time to go in a helicopter and learn how to fly then it would be something that I for sure would like to do. Maybe it’s something that I can pursue in the future.
With only a few days until Anaheim 1, what’s on your agenda for the rest of the week?
I have to break in my race bike. There’s press day on Thursday, and aside from that I’m going to lay low and stay calm, cool and collected. That’s all there is to it, really.
Everyone always gets so hyped up about the opener, but really it’s just one race in a 17-round series. Are you nervous about this weekend?
So far I haven’t gotten nervous about it. I’m feeling really good. Today was my last day of riding back home in Florida. I feel great on the bike, and I have my motos down. I’m looking forward to Anaheim, and also the new year. I’m excited to be racing against a bunch of new people and also to be on a new bike.
This is such a typical question to ask, but I feel obligated to ask it since you’re new to the 450 class. What are your expectations for Anaheim 1?
It’s a tough question to answer. I know that I have been putting in hard work, and I don’t think there’s any reason why I shouldn’t go out there and battle with the best guys. Who knows who the best guys are going to be. Obviously we all have an idea, but I’m going to go out there and do the best that I can. Whatever happens, happens. I want to be in the championship hunt all year, which will take me being out front and on the podium every weekend.
The 450 class is stacked with talent this year, but you’re not the type of guy to get phased by your competition. I can speak for a lot of people when I say that it’s going to be exciting watching you rub elbows with the established 450 racers.
I’m really excited to race against new guys. I was able to race a few of them at the Monster Energy Cup in October, and that was good for me. It’s cool to race new people, because I’m so used to racing the same guys for so long. Now I get to move up and show what I’m capable of in the 450 class.
Good luck this weekend, Justin, and thanks for taking the time to take part in “The Rise” video.
Thanks, John. See you this weekend.
JUSTIN BARCIA - “THE RISE” VIDEO
CONGRATULATIONS TO JP$ AND EDDIE RAY!
That's one happy and very fast racer!
Six-time women’s motocross champion Jessica Patterson and her longtime boyfriend Eddie Ray have been together since two-strokes ruled the scene. Through the years they have been through thick and thin. Over the course of their relationship they have won, lost, battled injuries, picked up two pretty awesome dogs (here’s a shout out to Diesel and Rae Rae), and driven more miles across the country than any sane couple would do. Now they’re beginning another chapter of their lives together. On New Year’s Eddie asked Jessica for her hand in marriage. As you can tell by the photo, she said yes. Congrats to two great people!
GOPRO VIDEO: JAMES STEWART AND RYAN VILLOPOTO PRESENT - SUPERCROSS NEW YEAR 2013
OPENING ROUND WINNER MYSTERY DECIPHERED...SORT OF
Can RV go back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back?
Is the opening round of Supercross a precursor of who will win the title? In nine of the past 21 seasons, the first race winner eventually went on to win the Supercross championship. In the past ten years the first race winner has won the 450 title five times (Ryan Villopoto twice, Chad Reed twice and James Stewart once). Villopoto is going for his third consecutive opening race win.
So what’s the answer? The opening round of the Supercross series is a good indication of who is a title threat, but there are also a few outliers (Josh Grant in 2009, his only Supercross win to date, and also Ezra Lusk in 1999, Sebastien Tortelli in 1998 and Greg Albertyn in 1997). It’s interesting to note that five-time Supercross champ Ricky Carmichael never won the opening round. The closest he got was at the 2005 mudder when he was the only rider to jump the triple in the main event, but slid out in a rhythm section and had to ride backwards on the track.
Take a look at the list below to see the opening round winner compared to the eventual champion.
Year - Opening Round Winner - Supercross Champion
2012 - Ryan Villopoto - Ryan Villopoto
2011 - Ryan Villopoto - Ryan Villopoto
2010 - James Stewart - Ryan Dungey
2009 - Josh Grant - James Stewart
2008 - Chad Reed - Chad Reed
2007 - James Stewart - James Stewart
2006 - James Stewart - Ricky Carmichael
2005 - Kevin Windham - Ricky Carmichael
2004 - Chad Reed - Chad Reed
2003 - Chad Reed - Ricky Carmichael
2002 - David Vuillemin - Ricky Carmichael
2001 - Jeremy McGrath - Ricky Carmichael
2000 - Jeremy McGrath - Jeremy McGrath
1999 - Ezra Lusk - Jeremy McGrath
1998* - Sebastien Tortelli - Jeremy McGrath
1997* - Greg Albertyn - Jeff Emig
1996* - Jeremy McGrath - Jeremy McGrath
1995* - Jeremy McGrath - Jeremy McGrath
1994* - Jeremy McGrath - Jeremy McGrath
1993* - Mike LaRocco - Jeremy McGrath
1992* - Mike LaRocco - Jeff Stanton
* Opening round not held at Anaheim Stadium
BOLD denotes the champion also winning the first round
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: RYAN DUNGEY
KTM again built Ryan Dungey a special 450SXF. The Factory Edition will be available to the public in the U.S. (555 units) and in Europe (150 units).
VIDEO: VOLCOM’S “WHITE NOISE” WITH RYAN VILLOPOTO
MOTOREX USA ANNOUNCES 2013 RACE TEAMS
MOTOREX USA would like to announce its factory backed teams for the 2013 Supercross and Motocross season. MOTOREX works directly with these teams and riders to help develop the best oils and lubricants worldwide. As a result, these same high performance products are available to all riders. The following MOTOREX teams and riders will be the ones to watch for in 2013.
JDR JSTAR KTM
BTO Sports KTM
Munn Racing KTM
250 WEST LINEUP
Although this list isn’t concrete, here are some educated guesses as to who will more than likely be racing 250 West.
Eli Tomac will be sporting the number one plate on the West coast. Look for him to race select 450 races on the East coast.
Eli Tomac - West
Ken Roczen - West
Cole Seely - West
Christian Craig - West
Ryan Sipes - West
Zach Osborne - West
Jason Anderson - West
Kyle Cunningham - West
Malcolm Stewart - West
One of the newest signees to the Monster Pro Circuit team is Martin Davalos. Reports have surfaced that Davalos is flying around the track and extremely comfortable on the Mitch Payton bike.
Martin Davalos - West
Tyla Rattray - West
Blake Baggett - West
Josh Cachia - West
Jessy Nelson - West
Travis Baker - West
Killy Rusk - West
PJ Larsen - West
Michael Leib - West
Dillon Epstein - West
Chris Plouffe - West
Preston Mull - West
Jake Anstett - West
Dustin Hoffman - West
Broc Shoemaker - West
Dakota Tedder - West
Jake Canada - West
Derek Anderson - West
VIDEO: BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE RED BULL KTM PHOTO SHOOT
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: 450 CLASS HOPEFULS
Justin Brayton is back on familiar turf as part of Joe Gibbs Racing.
Trey Canard is healthy and will be on the gate at A1.
Josh Grant is looking to recreate that fateful night at Anaheim in 2009.
Davi Millsaps is on a new team (Rockstar Energy Racing) but back on familiar equipment (Suzuki).
Jake Weimer is entering his third season in the 450 class.
Kevin Windham is entering his 99th season in the 450 class. Yes, that's a typo, but K-Dub has been racing since dinosaurs roamed the earth.
2013 AMSOIL ARENACROSS SEASON KICKS OFF ON FRIDAY
Opening Round Will Feature Historic Live Coverage on SPEED
The 2013 AMSOIL Arenacross season is just four days away and after months of preparation, the fastest arenacross riders on the planet will commence 10 rounds of competition in what is sure to be a landmark season for the championship.
The first stop of the New Year will feature AMSOIL Arenacross’ first visit to Worcester, Mass., and the DCU Center since the 2004 season. Two nights of action on Friday, January 4, and Saturday, January 5, will set the tone, providing a glimpse as to who the early favorite might be for the title. As if the return of this action-packed sport to the New England area wasn’t exciting enough, the opening round will also be showcased live on SPEED for the first time on Saturday night, beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.
With back-to-back titles under his belt, defending AMSOIL Arenacross Champion Tyler Bowers will be the rider to beat in Worcester and throughout the 2013 season. In just three seasons of competition, the Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis rider has established himself as one of the most dominant figures in the sport, already placing himself fourth on the all-time wins list with an impressive 33 victories; an average of 11 per season.
Despite his past success, Bowers’ closest rivals will not be intimidated as they head into the 2013 season. The most prominent challenger to Bowers’ throne will be veteran Jeff Gibson, the 2009 AMSOIL Arenacross Champion. This season Gibson makes the move to the established Team Faith/FLY Racing/Pilot Travel Centers KTM squad following four seasons at TUF Racing. As a former champion, Gibson knows what it takes to win and he went head-to-head with Bowers throughout the 2012 season as the duo battled down to the wire for the championship and ultimately established the most prominent rivalry in AMSOIL Arenacross. With a new team and new bike under him, it will be exciting to see what Gibson can accomplish in his quest to unseat Bowers from his throne.
Several other riders will also be expected to stake their claim for the AMSOIL Arenacross title, most notably the teammates of Bowers and Gibson. For 2013, Bowers will welcome a pair of new teammates under the Babbitt’s tent – longtime friend Zach Ames and intriguing rookie Tyler Villopoto, while Gibson will line up alongside fellow veteran Kelly Smith at Team Faith.
Ames is no stranger to winning and has progressed every season since turning pro. While Villopoto is a relative unknown in the U.S., his older brother Ryan is arguably one of the most dominant global figures in the world of motocross.
As for Smith, he has long been one of the stalwarts of AMSOIL Arenacross and is always one of the biggest threats to win on any given night. However, he has yet to capture that elusive championship, but has come close on several occasions. With another veteran rider to push him at Team Faith, Smith could finally achieve that dream.
In addition to this group of riders, the field will always need to keep an eye out for the Motosport.com/JBR/Spinechillers Racing KTM squad. This season, the lineup will consist of familiar faces Nathan Skaggs, Willy Browning, and Steven Mages. This trio of young riders is always exciting to watch and each will play the role of sleeper in the 2013 championship.
While the biggest names in AMSOIL Arenacross do battle in the premier Arenacross Class of competition, the rising stars of the sport will also be on display each week in the Arenacross Lites Class, which will be crown an Eastern and Western Regional Champion during the 2013 season. Worcester marks the first round of the Eastern Regional Championship, which has produced some of AMSOIL Arenacross’ most memorable races in recent years.
The season opening round of AMSOIL Arenacross from the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass., kicks off on Friday night, January 4, beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. The Monster Energy Track Party will commence at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 5, with the second night of professional action beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Live timing and scoring from each round of the AMSOIL Arenacross season returns for the 2013 season! To follow the intense racing action live, log onto www.Arenacross.com.
Suzuki Motorcycle tests