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