Another year, another champion

For the American motorsport lovers, the new calendaristic year starts with the Supercross World Championship.

WHAT HAPPENED IN 2017?

As we remember, Kenny Roczen was starting the season with 2 categorical wins in Anaheim and San Diego, but the return to Angel Stadium brought him a heavy crash which ended his 2017 and threatened his career.

Ryan Dungey profited by this thing and won the third round after 2 2nd places. It seemed that his road to the title will be easy. It wasn’t like: Eli Tomac won 9 races, but the lack of consistency brought him the runner-up spot at the end.

Both Tomac and Marvin Musquin won their first races in Supercross, the last one being the fourth frenchmen to do so. 4 was also the number of winners last year: Jason Anderson gained his only victory in the Las Vegas finale, while Dungey claimed 4th place, enough to become a 4-time Supercross World Champion.

WHAT’S NEW FOR 2018?

Speaking of Ryan, the “Minnesota Arrow” announced in May 2017 that he’ll end his racing career shortly after winning his 3rd crown in a row for KTM. Broc Tickle will be, at least for now, Musquin’s lieutenant.

Another rider to follow from the austrian manufacturer is Blake Baggett, the last year’s big surprise in AMA, who will stay with Rocky Mountain team, but with official support.

The main contender is however: Eli Tomac, the last year’s runner-up and 450 MX Champion. Eli has renewed his contract with Kawasaki and his teammate will be the same: Josh Grant.

Everybody’s asking: “How will Roczen do?”. The HRC rider will return to action on the track where he won at the first visit and ended his entire year 2 weeks later. He suffered 11 surgeries at the brutal-injured arm, but just as brutal he trained to get back to his well-known pace. Cole Seely will complete the Honda Factory duo.

Another man to follow from Honda is Jeremy Martin, who will ride only for the first few rounds at the 450 category, after it was initially announced that he’ll make a full season with GEICO Honda. In his only race from 2017, Jeremy gained a fantastic 2nd place in Daytona, Tomac been the only one who beat him.

The only former Supercross World Champion on the grid is Chad Reed. After ending his contract with Yamaha, he’ll start the new season as the only rider for his own team: CR22, riding a private Husqvarna. His seat at the japanese team will be taken by Justin Barcia and he’ll be Cooper Webb’s partner, another rider to watch.

Speaking of Husqvarna, Dean Wilson will make a full season with the factory team, after impressive results. He’ll make a duo to follow with Jason Anderson.

After RCH closed the gates last year, Autotrader Yoshimura will be the new Suzuki factory-backed team. Weston Pecik and Justin Bogle will be their riders. However, Justin will miss the first rounds due to an injury.

Beside the riders, there will also be some changes in the calendar: Detroit, Toronto and East Rutherford will take a break and they’ll be replaced by Houston, Tampa and Foxborough. The Atlanta round will be held in the Mercedes-Benz Arena, after the demolition of the Dome.

The full schedule is below:

January 6: Angel Stadium, Anaheim
January 13: NRG Stadium, Houston
January 20: Angel Stadium, Anaheim
January 27: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
February 3: Oakland Alameda Coliseum, Oakland, Calif.
February 10: Petco Park, San Diego
February 17: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
February 24: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa
March 3: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
March 10: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach
March 17: The Dome at America’s Center, St. Louis
March 24: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
April 7: CenturyLink Field, Seattle
April 14: US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
April 21: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
April 28: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City
May 5: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas.

Is it gonna be Tomac’s moment? Will Musquin come with a reply? What can we expect from Roczen or Reed? We might get some answers in less than 2 days.

 

Photo – Transworld Motocross

Wheelies 30 – 24. Blake Baggett (New Entry)

Nobody expected to see a satellite KTM going so well in 2018. With a huge potential already well known, Blake Baggett exploded in 2017. Without any doubts, in the outdoors he was probably the best rider in the AMA Nationals.

Unfortunately for him, Baggett narrowly missed the 450 Outdoor championship, though he won races and he held the red plate for a while during the season. More than that, after Dungey’s retirement, he was considered to be a good replacement for the newly retired Supercross champion.

In the end, he decided to stay with his team, Team Rocky Mountain ATV KTM. In 2018, this decision can be two sided. If the bike performs well, Baggett will have a huge chance in both Supercross and AMA Nationals series.

If not, he will find a way to show his huge talent. After all, the good ol’ #4 deserves another shot for glory. Ricky Carmichael knows this better than anyone else, doesn’t he?

 

Photo – Blake Bagget – Facebook

SX Atlanta: Ryan Dungey, victorie categorică în fața rivalilor

Ryan Dungey s-a impus în etapa a 8-a a campionatului mondial de Supercross.

Georgia Dome din Atlanta a avut onoarea să găzduiască ultima întrecere din istorie, faimoasa arenă urmând să fie demolată în această vară.

Înaintea etapei din Atlanta, Ryan Dungey venea cu un avans considerabil în campionat, dar forma nu era de partea campionului de KTM.

Hotărât să-și pună amprenta asupra întrecerii din Atlanta, cel supranumit The Diesel a dominat categoric seriile de calificare și părea să fie principalul favorit la victoria din Main Event.

Zis și făcut. Main Event-ul clasei 450 a fost fără istoric. Ryan Dungey a pornit ca din pușcă, a obținut holeshot-ul și s-a distanțat tur după tur.

În mod surprinzător, Blake Baggett era liderul plutonului urmăritor, format de asemenea din Cole Seely, Jason Anderson, Marvin Musquin, Chad Reed și Eli Tomac, ultimul recuperând poziție după poziție pe parcursul cursei.

În cele din urmă, Ryan Dungey și-a conservat energia în ultimele minute și ecartul său față de Eli Tomac, aflat acum pe locul al doilea, a scăzut considerabil, dar fără a putea pune presiune prea mare asupra sa în mod vizibil.

Campionul mondial en titre a învins și a obținut cea de-a 33-a victorie din carieră la clasa 450. Eli Tomac s-a văzut nevoit să se recunoască învins, în timp ce surpriza zilei a venit din partea lui Blake Baggett, cel care a ocupat ultima treaptă a podiumului.

În clasamentul general la piloți, Ryan Dungey are acum 174 de puncte. El este secondat de coechipierul său de la KTM, Marvin Musquin, cel care are un total de 149 de puncte. Podiumul este completat de Eli Tomac, cu 147 de puncte.

Următoarea etapă a campionatului mondial de Supercross va avea loc pe 4 martie, Rogers Centre din Toronto urmând să fie gazda celei de-a noua runde din 2017.

 

credit foto: supercrosslive.com