Four weeks down, four different riders, four different colors. The 2012 AMA Monster Energy Supercross Series is proving to be one of the most relentless seasons to date.
As expected former champions Ryan Villopotto, Ryan Dungey, James Stewart and Chad Reed have found a way to grind through the competition and make it to the top of the podium, while other fan favorites Nick Wey, Josh Grant and Broc Tickle have found making a main event a difficult task in it self. With the Supercross class becoming more competitive than ever, one mistake could cost the race and/or championship.
History has been made within the first four weeks of the 2012 season. Ryan Villopoto has now won back-to-back A1’s and Ryan Dungey took home Austrian brand KTM their first American Supercross win. Though these accomplishments bring ultimate highs for these racers in the first few weeks, there have also been potential championship killing incidents.
They say you win your championships on your worse of days and at Dodger stadium on January 21, Villopotto had a potentially horrible day. Making a minor mistake that would send him off the track and into a dance with a tuff block, Villopoto found himself second-to-last and far from the pack. Villopoto would fight through 13 riders, ending up just feet away from a podium position.
One week later Villopoto earned poll position in Oakland, and coming up off an impressive performance in Los Angeles, most would say the Washington native was the favorite to win. The night of January 28, Supercross fans were reminded that you could never bet on this sport.
A clean start for the series favorites would set the stage for one of the closest races of the series. Within the first five laps of the race Reed, Villopoto and Stewart were set for battle. Halfway through the race, Stewart would make a move for the lead on Reed and would walk away, while Reed and Villopoto would battle hard for second.
Holding onto second is just what the two time Supercross champion, Chad Reed, needed to take the points lead as the series heads back to Anaheim. Consistent starts and rides have always been the Australians key to his success. Though never the fastest in practice, Reed seems to be on another level during the race. Does Reed have what it takes to maintain the points lead and make a run to the top of the podium at A2? Or will Stewart, Dungey or Villopoto be the first to get their second win of the season?
2012 AMA Monster Energy Supercross Points Standings
1. Ryan Dungey 85pts. KTM
Chad Reed 85pts. Hon
2. Ryan Villopoto 83pts. Kaw
3. James Stewart 73pts. Yam
4. Jake Weimer 61pts. Kaw
5. Kevin Windham 58pts. Hon
6. Andrew Short 52pts. Hon
7. Josh Hansen 47pts. Kaw
8. Brett Metcalfe 45pts. Suz
9. Davi Millsaps 42pts. Yam
10. Mike Alessi 38pts. Suz
11. Justin Brayton 37pts. Hon
12. Kyle Chisholm 34pts. Kaw
13. Broc Tickle 30pts. Kaw
14. Ivan Tedesco 21pts. Kaw
15. Nick Wey 16pts. Kaw
16. Trey Canard 14pts. Hon
17. Weston Peick 10pts. Kaw
18. Kyle Partridge 10pts. Kaw
19. Chris Blose 9pts. Kaw
With the holiday season in full swing there are many things that pop into mind: over eating, insane holiday shoppers and drought of motocross excitement soon coming to a close.
The end of the year means that deals are, for the most part, all said and done. Kyle Chisholm has found a home with Josh Grant on the Kawasaki’s under the Jeff Ward Racing tent. Jeff Alessi has also been reunited with his brother on a Motoconcepts Suzuki and is said to be very comfortable aboard the new yellow machine. Though good news for some riders, other talented racers have had trouble scoring a ride.
After a mediocre season, Tommy Hahn has now found himself riding a privateer Honda for the 2012 season. Though a huge step back for the rider, he feels he is on the right equipment for 2012 and taking matters in is own hands is something he needs to do.
The last few months of the year will also have riders training harder then ever, scrambling to gain every ounce of speed possible before the big day in early January. Videos have been dropped showing off the talent and intense speed of James Stewart, Dean Wilson and most recently Blake Baggett.
The off-season is coming to a close. Fans will soon not have to rely on the rumors of who is where, for testing, training and video updates are in full swing. Though these three-and-a-half months seem like an eternity to moto fans, we are now finally beyond the halfway point and on to the home stretch for the debut of another exciting year of motocross.
Unless you spent your day under a rock, you have already caught word that James Stewart signed with JGR. Yes, I know I am a little late for this to be breaking news, but hey I just made this site a few minutes ago.
For some, this might be a surprise. Why would James Stewart go to JGR, a team without a championship under their belt and very few wins, when he could have been riding for a one of the most dominant teams of the decade? Well for some of the “not so nerdy” motocross fans out there, I have put together a few things you might want to consider since you probably think he just signed for the money.
Though the results do not show it, JGR is an AMAZING team. In my opinion they are the closest to a factory team without being an actual “factory team.” With only a few years under their belt, JGR is known for creating some of the most impressive in-house suspension and motors in the industry. They are known for completely transforming a bike into a custom race machine. Stewart said when he first visited the facility 3 months ago, he could not believe that that was the same YZ450F that he race on Sam Manuel Yamaha. The quick advancements in their bikes is partially thanks to JGR’s amazing facility.
Located in North Carolina, JGR decided to not follow the moto-industry trend and stick with their NASCAR roots. The private facility has an outdoor, supercross, full race shop and is rumored to be building an indoor supercross track for the winter months. This is ideal for testing and training year round and is away from the hectic California lifestyle, which Stewart said is a big plus for him.Having a full in-house test facility is a huge plus, but would take the team no where without proper leadership and knowledge.
With years of factory mechanic experience under his belt, team manager Jeremy Albrecht knows exactly what it takes to run a championship winning team. Remember the dominant duo of J-Bone and Bubba on team Kawasaki? Now Albrecht and Stewart are back together under the same tent and ready to win more championships.
Most people might think that money runs Stewart’s life and he only signed with JGR for the green paper reason. But with the onsite testing and training facility in a secluded area, and their ever advancing technology, why wouldn’t Stewart want to sign wit JGR? The question now is, can Stewart truly be competitive on a non-proven team?