TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VEGAS SUPERCROSS

May 4, 2014
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By Jody Weisel

ryan2014plate

All that really matters.

 

 (1) THE YAWN PATROL: Without a doubt the 2014 Las Vegas Supercross was a bore-fest from beginning to end. Oh, there was the occasional crash to keep people awake (thank Malcolm Stewart—for the umpteenth time), but if you managed to stay awake during the overly long, uninteresting and deadly dull Vegas Supercross you should bottle whatever you’ve got and go into business against No-Doz.

MALCOLM STEWART’S LAS VEGAS CRASH: HOME-MADE VIDEO

IF I WANT THE RECIPE FOR MOJITA CHICKEN, I’M NOT GOING TO CALL MIKE LAROCCO—WHY WOULD I CALL EMERIL FOR SUPERCROSS ADVICE?

(2) GUY WHO? We appreciate that the world is full of famous people and that any time you can link someone famous to your business venture, you might gain traction in the marketplace. But, Guy Fieri? Fact is we didn’t know who he was, but our wives did. He’s a cook. Perhaps the culturally hip nomenclature is chef. The connection? Guy Fieri owns a KTM. If I want the recipe for Mojita Chicken, I’m not going to call Mike Larocco—why would I call Emeril for Supercross advice? Let’s pray that Feld doesn’t find out that Charlie Manson owned a BSA or we are going to be burdened with the weirdest guest host in motocross history.

JAMESMECHANICAL

James Stewart had a mechanical issue that cost him 24 points and second in the points standings.

 

(3) CHAD’S HAIR: Or was that Guy Fieri’s hair. Oh well, at least Chad got rid on that awful earring he used to wear. We think he loaned it to Harrison Ford. Chad, please don’t try to stay hip by adopting fashion trends that look out of place on your 32-year-old body. Just be Chad Reed—that’s good enough. Spiky hair is for public relations guys, rock band lawyers and guy’s clinging to lost youth. Remember when Jeremy McGrath dyed his hair blue—he’d probably pay a pretty penny to get those photos out of circulation now.

THE 2014 LAS VEGAS SUPERCROSS SAW A NEW RECORD SET THAT WILL PROBABLY STAND THE TEST OF TIME.

(4) A SUPERCROSS RECORD: The 2014 Las Vegas Supercross saw a new record set that will probably stand the test of time. Cody Gilmore became the first rider in Supercross history to ever hit a tree. Jeremy McGrath never did that! James Stewart never did that! Ryan Villopoto never did that!

KENNYVEGAS

Kenny is the high-priced catch of the day.

 

(5) RIGHT-HAND FIRST TURN: When I designed the Glen Helen National track back in the 1990s, the starting line was already set in concrete. Thus, I inherited a right-hand first turn. I didn’t want a right-hand first turn because they are dangerous—as Cody Gilmore illustrated so well. To solve my problem, I tried chicanes, gimmicky entrances and other ways to lessen the problem of riders barreling into a high-speed corner without brakes—then I remember when I road raced at Talladega. No matter how shallow the banking at Talladega Motor Speedway looks on TV, it is twice as steep. A light bulb went off when I realized that I could eliminate the need for brakes in Glen Helen’s right-hand turn by making the banking 45-degrees steep and 180s degrees around. The result is one of the fairest, widest and safest first turns in the sport—even though it is the fastest. I tell you this little tale to get the point across that I would never purposely build a right-hand first turn into a track design. Now, someone explain to me why Las Vegas had a right-hand first turn (and trees on the outside of the turn).

LET’S NOT BERATE HIM FOR HIS CHOICE—IT’S THE SAME ONE THAT STEFAN EVERTS, ANTONIO CAIROLI AND JEFFREY HERLINGS HAVE MADE.

(6) TYLER BOWERS: You have to give Tyler Bowers credit. Last year he showed up in Las Vegas as a Pro Circuit fill-in rider and won the 250 class. This year he showed up as a fill-in rider for Chad Reed in the 450 class and …well, let’s just say that he didn’t set the world on fire. No matter, Tyler Bowers is a big Fish in a Little Pond kind of guy. He makes good money in the Arenacross series and has no intention of throwing a good thing away to be a Small Fish in a Big Pond. Let’s not berate him for his choice—it’s the same one that Stefan Everts, Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings have made.

(7) SAFE AT HOME: Justin Bogle crashed off the track and into a pile of Tuf Blocks. He got up, squared himself towards the crowd and did an umpire’s “safe” hand signal. It was a cool moment and a nice gesture to let the crowd know that he was okay.

2014 Honda Racing - Houston

Justin Barcia has Honda’s hand-picked man from the time he was a minicycle racer—he’s breaking the ties that bind in 2015.

 

(8) HANGING CHADS: And we don’t mean Chad Reed. Lots of riders are making moves to get ready for next year. Even riders who have solid contracts can’t resist talking to new teams about switching. Most of it is conjecture—but Justin Barcia is leaving Honda. Reportedly Eli Tomac would like to go too, but he has a contract for 2015. Davi Millsaps hasn’t even raced his KTM yet, and is looking at replacing Jake Weimer at Kawasaki (or if that falls through riding for Chad Reed’s team). Dean Wilson has been connected to Team KTM because Ken Roczen is most likely going to RCH (for a really really big contract—plus a new 7-year Red Bull deal worth over a mil a year). The Rockstar KTM team has been pegged to become the Rockstar Husqvarna team, but a lot of that was contingent upon Davi Millsaps staying with the team. Pro Circuit probably won’t keep the six riders it has now—even though that wasn’t enough to make it through the 2014 season. Ryan Dungey, Ryan Villopoto, James Stewart and Trey Canard are staying put.

DUNGEYVEGAS

Ryan Dungey traverses Las Vegas dirt or snirt or whatever they call it.

 

LAS VEGAS DIRT IS THE NUCLEAR WASTE OF SUPERCROSS DIRT. IT IS TO SUPERCROSS DIRT WHAT LAKE ELSINORE DIRT IS TO MOTOCROSS DIRT.

(9) DIRT BIKES: If you want to know what the riders whined the most about in 2014, it was the dirt. Even from a fan perspective the dirt was trash. It was rock hard, slippery and less than stellar—and that was what the people watching thought of it. The riders were less thrilled. Las Vegas dirt is the nuclear waste of Supercross dirt. It is to Supercross dirt what Lake Elsinore dirt is to motocross dirt. When you water it, it has the consistency of snot. But if you don’t water it, it dries out into terra-cotta tile like in the lobby of the Bellagio hotel. Bad dirt doesn’t necessarily mean you will have a bad race, but it does mean you will have angry Supercross stars.

(10) CUE THE FAT LADY: Nice to know that you are appreciated—Feld and the AMA canceled the 2014 Supercross Awards Banquet.

LAS VEGAS SUPERCROSS RESULTS: 450 CLASS

1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
2. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
3. Ken Roczen (KTM)
4. Justin Barcia (Hon)
5. Trey Canard (Hon)
6. Josh Hill (Suz)
7. Josh Grant (Yam)
8. Jake Weimer (Kaw)
9. Chris Blose (Hon)
10. Andrew Short (KTM)

LAS VEGAS SUPERCROSS RESULTS: 250 WEST

1. Dean Wilson (Kaw)
2. Cooper Webb (Yam)
3. Justin Hill (Kaw)
4. Cole Seely (Hon)
5. Malcolm Stewart (Hon)
6. Jason Anderson (KTM)
7. Zach Osborne (Hon)
8. Shane McElrath (Yam)
9. Jessy Nelson (Hon)
10. Jake Canada (Hon)

LAS VEGAS SUPERCROSS RESULTS: 250 EAST

1. Jeremy Martin (Yam)
2. Justin Bogle (Hon)
3. Matt Biscelgia (Hon)
4. Kyle Cunningham (Hon)
5. Jimmy Decotis (Hon)
6. Mitchell Oldenburg (KTM)
7. Alex Martin (Yam)
8. Gannon Audette (Kaw)
9. Jackson Richardson (Hon)
10. Vince Friese (Hon)

LAS VEGAS EAST/WEST SHOOTOUT RESULTS

1. Justin Hill (Kaw)……………West
2. Dean Wilson (Kaw)…….…West
3. Jason Anderson (KTM).….West
4. Cooper Webb (Yam)………West
5. Jeremy Martin (Yam)……..East
6. Cole Seely (Hon)……….…..West
7. Jake Canada (Hon)…………West
8. Kyle Cunningham (Hon).…East
9. Shane McElrath (Yam)…….West
10. Jessy Nelson (Hon)………..West

FINAL AMA 450 SUPERCROSS POINTS STANDINGS

(After 17 of 17 rounds)
1. Ryan Villopoto……………368
2. Ryan Dungey……………..304
3. Ken Roczen……………….285
4. James Stewart……………272
5. Justin Barcia,…………….250
6. Andrew Short…………….218
7. Justin Brayton…………..196
8. Josh Hill……………………159
9. Broc Tickle………………..126
10. Mike Alessi………………123

FINAL AMA 250 EAST SUPERCROSS POINTS STANDINGS

(After 9 of 9 rounds)
1. Justin Bogle……………….188
2. Martin Davalos……………149
3. Vince Friese………………..131
4. Kyle Cunningham………..127
5. Adam Cianciarulo………..120
6. Blake Baggett………………120
7. Jimmy Decotis……………..106
8. Alex Martin…………………100
9. Matt Biscelgia………………98
10. Jeremy Martin……………96

FINAL AMA 250 WEST SUPERCROSS POINTS STANDINGS

(After 9 of 9 rounds)
1. Jason Anderson…………..193
2. Cole Seely…………………..188
3. Dean Wilson……………….163
4. Justin Hill…………………..159
5. Cooper Webb………………143
6. Malcolm Stewart…………137
7. Jessy Nelson………………..115
8. Zach Osborne………………114
9. Shane McElrath……………109
10. Jake Canada……………….83

 

 

Photos by Kawasaki, Honda and KTM

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