Marvin Musquin wins season opener at Anaheim

The inaugural round of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross World Championship took place in front of a sell out Angel Stadium at Anaheim. The race day started with a huge surprise.

Coming back a year long absence, Ken Roczen set the fastest lap in the practice session. The two heat races were very disputed. In the end, Jason Anderson and Justin Barcia won the two races. On the other hand, Dean Wilson had to retire from the whole event after a heavy crash and a shoulder injury.

The Main Event started pretty well for Eli Tomac. Firstly, he took the holeshot and then he managed to open up a confortable gap ahead of Justin Barcia and the others.

Unfortunately, his fairy tale season start was to be soon forgotten. In  a dramatic scenario, Eli Tomac lost the control of the bike and fell hard and injured his shoulder. As a consequence, he had to abandon the race.

Following Tomac’s misfortune, Justin Barcia was unexpectedly leading the Main Event. Sadly for him, his joy was short lived as he was passed by both Marvin Musquin and Jason Anderson.

After Musquin and Anderson made their move on Barcia, the race tempo slowed down. In the end, Musquin made his famous win move as he crossed the finish line first. Jason Anderson did well in the season and finished second, while Justin Barcia completed an unexpected podium for the Yamaha factory team.

Comeback kid, Ken Roczen, had an uneventful night and finished fourth ahead of the likes of Weiston Peick, Cole Seely, Jeremy Martin, Blake Baggett or Broc Tickle.

On the other hand, Chad Reed’s night was awful. With his new CR22 private team, he managed to finish only 15th. The 2004 and 2008 champion declared before the race that this was first serious outing with his new Husqvarna bike.

Given the fact that this was the first round of the season, the championship standings is the same as the Anaheim standings. Therefore, Marvin Musquin leads the championship with 26 points and is followed by Jason Anderson, 23 points, and Justin Barcia, with 20.

The next round will take place next Saturday at Houston.

 

Photo – Supercross

Ryan Villopoto signs for Yamaha

After an entire career spent with Kawasaki, Ryan Villopoto has decided to part his ways with the green team. In a press announcement made this morning at Anaheim, Villopoto was announced as the new member of the Yamaha team.

Aged 29, Ryan Villopoto, raced his entire pro career for Kawasaki. Alongside the green team, he won ten professional titles and three MXoN wins for USA. In 2015, he also participated in MXGP, where he won one round before announcing his retirement following an injury.

It is unknown yet whether Villopoto will make a full comeback with Yamaha. Most likely he will race in demonstrative events like he did in October with Kawasaki in the two stroke event at the Red Bull Straight Rhythm.

The new Supercross season will start tonight at Anaheim.

 

Photo – Pro Motocross

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

Justin Bogle to miss Anaheim 1

After a heavy crash suffered during a training session, Justin Bogle will have to miss the Supercross season opener at Anaheim. According to his team, Bogle will miss the first round and is not yet known when he will come back to racing.

In a brief interview prior to the season opener, Justin Bogle stated that he had a difficult off season, while he tried to soldier on with older injuries.

Justin Bogle has recently signed a deal with Autotrader/Yoshimura Suzuki after his old team, RCH Suzuki, ended their effort at the end of 2017.

Angel Stadium will open the 2018 Supercross season this Saturday.

 

Photo – promotocross.com

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

Marvin Musquin wins Supercross de Paris

In front of more than 20000 people, Marvin Musquin won the Supercross de Paris. After a tight battle, the frenchman defeated both Cole Seely and Dean Wilson to retain the King of Paris crown for another year.

Aged 27, Musquin won this year the Monster Energy Cup, Red Bull Straight Rhythm and now the Supercross de Paris. The KTM rider also finished third in the overall standings of the Supercross world championship and runner up in the US national championships in the 450 category.

Marvin Musquin will take a well deserved break until the first weekend of January, when the Supercross world championship will start at Anaheim.

 

Photo – Ray Archer/ KTM Media Library

Marvin Musquin wins the Red Bull Straight Rhythm

The fourth edition of the Red Bull Straight Rhythm took place last night at Fairplex Pomona. This year, the Straight Rhythm had three classes: Open Class, Lites and Two Strokes.

OPEN CLASS

Recent Monster Energy Cup winner, Marvin Musquin was the main favorite to win the Open Class event. Also, he was the defending champion. Last year, the frenchman had a tough battle with his now former team mate at Red Bull KTM, Ryan Dungey.

Musquin progressed quite easily to the final, where he faced an underdog, Josh Hansen, who won against Musquin’s team mate, Broc Tickle. The final went unidirectional and Musquin retained his Straight Rhythm after winning the first two races against Hansen.

In the third place final, Broc Tickle revenged after his semifinal elimination and won fairly easy against Kyle Chisholm.

LITES

The Lites class had a certain favorite, Ryan Sipes. Giving his form in the Practice session, Sipes was credited with the #1 seed. Unfortunately, he lost in the semis against Sean Cantrell.

Cantrell, a rookie at this event progressed to the final, where he faced Shane McElrath. After a hard fought battle, McElrath prevailed after winning the decisive race.

In the third place final, Shane McElrath won 2-0 against a fatigued Ryan Sipes.

TWO STROKES

Probably the most anticipated race of the day was the Two Strokes. Two former Supercross champions, Ryan Villopoto and Chad Reed announced their participation. Unfortunately, Chad Reed injured before the Practice session and he was immediately replaced by Tevin Tapia.

Villopoto progressed through the semifinals, but, after two bad races, he was eliminated by the eventual winner, Gared Steinke. In the other semifinal, Ronnie Mac produced another surprise and took out the other main favorite, Ryan Sipes.

Villopoto and Sipes battled for the third place. RV won the first race, but he outraced by Sipes in the next two. In the big final, Gared Steinke won fairly easy against Ronnie Mac.

 

Photo – Simon Cudby/KTM Media Factory

Broc Tickle signs with Red Bull KTM

The biggest news of the day came from Red Bull KTM. After being rumored to replace Ryan Dungey at KTM, Broc Tickle has finally a signed a contract for 2018 with the Austrian team.

Tickle, aged 27, raced this season for Ricky Carmichael’s RCH Suzuki Team, but after the team announced the retirement, Tickle was left without a ride for the upcoming season.

Broc Tickle finished 11th in the Supercross standings and 15th in the Pro Motocross 450 standings. The former Suzuki rider won the 250 SX West title in 2011 and moved up in 2012 when he raced alongside Ryan Villopoto at Monster Energy Kawasaki. In 2013, he moved to the RCH Suzuki Team where he stayed until the end of this season when the team disbanded.

Brock Tickle’s team mate at Red Bull KTM will be Marvin Musquin.

 

photo – ktm.com/Broc Tickle – Instagram

SX Las Vegas – Eli Tomac

Eli Tomac este locul secund în campionatul mondial de Supercross și este singurul care îl poate opri pe Ryan Dungey din drumul către titlul mondial.

Dacă cineva i-ar fi spus lui Eli Tomac pe 21 ianuarie că va avea o șansă reală la titlul mondial din Supercross înaintea ultimei etape, probabil că răspunsul pilotului de la Kawasaki ar fi fost Ești nebun? .

După dezastruosul debut de sezon, a urmat și primul său succes din 2017, cu prilejul rundei de la Phoenix. Tot efortul său părea să fie sortit eșecului după Arlington. 29 de puncte de recuperat și un Ryan Dungey aproape implacabil în constanța sa binecunoscută.

Ce a urmat după Arlington a fost una dintre cele mai frumoase curse de recuperare din istorie. Nouă podiumuri consecutive, printre care șase victorii, i-au adus plăcuța roșie lui Tomac cu o etapă înainte de final.

Din nefericire, eroarea din etapa trecută coroborată cu depășirea mai mult sau mai puțin morală a lui Dungey asupra lui Musquin, fac ca acum, șansele pilotului Kawasaki să fie mici, dacă nu chiar aproape imposibile. De ce?

Foarte simplu. Ryan Dungey nu a mai ieșit din top five din 2014, de pe vremea când juca rolul de etern secondant al lui Ryan Villopoto. Totuși, Supercross-ul, ruda mai sălbatică și mai incitantă a motocross-ului, este o disciplină imprevizibilă. Până la urmă și Ken Roczen părea desprins în campion mondial după cele două victorii consecutive din debutul stagiunii.

Pentru fanii imparțiali ai mondialului de Supercross, Tomac a stârnit multe pasiuni cu stilul foarte agresiv. Uneori, a comis erori a la Villopoto, iar excesul de zel al lui Tomac l-ar putea costa titlul mondial în cele din urmă. Cu toate acestea, dacă urmărim un pattern mai mult sau mai puțin logic, în 1997 și 2007, un pilot Kawasaki a câștigat titlul din Supercross.

Va reuși Eli Tomac să continue această tradiție deschisă de Jeff Emig și James Stewart Jr.? Răspunsul îl vom afla în această noapte. Până la urmă, ceea ce se întâmplă în Las Vegas trebuie să rămână în Las Vegas, nu-i așa?

 

credit foto: Supercross Live

SX Las Vegas – Ryan Dungey

Ryan Dungey este liderul campionatului mondial de Supercross înaintea ultimei etape din Las Vegas.

Aflat până în 2014 mai des în umbra tizului său, Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey a explodat în ultimele trei sezoane. Titlurile din 2015 și 2016 au completat titlul obținut la debutul la categoria mare din 2010.

În 2017, Ryan Dungey a fost mult mai conservator decât în anii anteriori. De altfel, cel supranumit The Diesel a marcat până în etapa a 16-a doar trei victorii față de cele nouă de anul trecut. Cu toate acestea, constanța binecunoscută l-a adus în postura de a încheia toate cursele în top patru.

În debutul sezonului, Dungey s-a aflat în umbra lui Ken Roczen. Copilul teribil din Mattstedt s-a impus de o manieră a la Jeremy McGrath în vremurile bune. După era Villopoto, se prefigura o nouă eră în care Dungey urma să se afle în umbra altui pilot.

Norocul i-a surâs o dată cu Anaheim II. Accidentarea înfiorătoare a lui Ken Roczen i-a deschis multe căi spre un titlu facil. Totodată, la Anaheim II, Ryan Dungey s-a impus în premieră în 2017.

Ceea ce la un moment dat se părea că va fi un alt titlu facil pentru Dungey s-a dovedit a fi un scenariu total diferit față de cel așteptat. Eli Tomac a început să facă senzație și cu nouă victorii în următoarele 11 etape, pilotul Kawasaki recupera tot ecartul care îl despărțea de Ryan Dungey.

Cu toate că Dungey a pierdut plăcuța roșie la East Rutherford, The Diesel și-a folosit experiența pentru a recupera înapoi fotoliul de lider și pornește ca principal favorit înaintea Main Eventului de la Las Vegas.

Dacă Ryan Dungey își va adjudeca cel de-al patrulea titlu mondial, el va deveni doar al patrulea pilot din istorie care atinge această cotă. Înaintea sa, doar Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael și Ryan Villopoto au mai reușit să atingă această bornă.

Eternul său duel cu un pilot Kawasaki a continuat și după ce tizul său a plecat din USA. Deși Eli Tomac este un pilot talentat, el nu este Ryan Villopoto. Ar fi fost frumos să avem și acum un Ryan versus Ryan, nu-i așa?

 

credit foto: Simon Cudby/KTM Media Library