By Jeff McConkey
Round 3 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross went off Saturday night with lots of bangs. And by bangs, I mean bar banging. The racing had already been hot leading into Round 3, but you can bet that it is going to get a lot hotter as the series progresses. The track this week was a little more technical and traction was hard to find. Throttle control was a must, and the slippery Angel Stadium bit a few riders.
The big news of the night was Discount Tires’ Chad Reed getting the black flag after intentional contact with Trey Canard. This all came about after Canard rushed a pass and landed on the rear of Reed. Both riders got up and were rejoining the action when Reed rubbed Canard. The rub itself was VERY minor, but unfortunately for Trey, he wasn’t paying attention and was pulling a tearoff, resulting in Trey hitting a tuff block and going down. After the race Trey called Reed a “cry baby.” Newsflash Trey, you landed on him. As a rider who has previously been landed on and severely hurt, you have got to know some of his frustration.
The worst part of this whole situation is that early in the 250 main event Josh Hansen cleaned out Shane McElrath, big time. It was 100 times dirtier and more aggressive than the reed/Canard incident, and looked to be retaliation from their contact from A1 which left ‘Hanny’ on the ground. Anyway, let’s see the results and my thoughts:
1st Cooper Webb: WOW! What a ride. So full of confidence. I don’t think anyone is going to stop the Cooper train.
2nd Tyler Bowers: Oh so close for Bowers. I don’t think anyone but Webb thought Webb would catch him. He sits only 4 points back and is the only real threat to Cooper in my eyes. This guy knows how to fight for and win championships.
3rd Justin Hill: Hill looked solid, but I wasn’t pumped on how he rode when Webb was on him. It looked like it slowed him down trying to jack-up Webb.
4th Zach Osborne: Zach went backwards. It has got to be his thumb. Even though he is only 10 points out of the lead, I still think he should fix the thumb and be ready for outdoors.
5th Malcolm Stewart: Malcolm was out there but I didn’t notice him at all. Not a bad ride, but not a great ride either. He needs podiums if he hopes to climb out of the hole that he dug in round one.
6th Jesse Nelson: Jesse threw away what looked to be an easy win. He must now kiss goodbye his points lead and the red plate. I really don’t see him getting it back this season. That crash, in my eyes, ended his title hopes.
7th Josh Hansen: Hanny had an OK finish. He’s been out of racing for too long to be a title threat. I’d rather see him fighting for top 10’s in the 450 class.
8th Alex Martin: ‘A-Mart’ had another good night. I see a top 5 real soon.
9th Tommy Hahn: Another solid ride for Hahn in his comeback. He moved forward all race long and is getting respectable finishes.
10th Shane McElrath: After winning a heat race, it looked like a possible podium night, but ‘Lil Hanny’ ended that when he straight-up parked Shane into the mechanics area barrier.
Biggest Stud: Cooper Webb. I don’t know if anyone can stop him.
Biggest Dud: Pro Circuit’s Chris Alldredge is my dud. This has got to be the worst start to any PC rookie that I can think of.
Biggest Surprise: I really thought Justin Hill would be the fastest after the preseason races. But, it may be true that he rides a 450 better?
Canadian Connection: Former Canadian Champ Austin Politelli finished 14th.
1st Ken Roczen: Kenny made it look easy. He is also making his decision to leave factory KTM to join RCH look very good. It looks like it is his title to lose.
2nd Ryan Dungey: I’m really liking the way Ryan is riding this year. If anything happens to Roczen, it will be Dungey’s title.
3rd Eli Tomac: Another good ride for Eli. He has clawed himself back to within 26 points of the lead. (For the record, his gear and the polka dots looked awful.)
4th Justin Barcia: About time we see Justin near the front. He still needs to do better.
5th Broc Tickle: I never expected this ride. Tickle and his comeback from injury are for real!
6th Cole Seely: Good finish for Seely. I see this as a season high for Cole.
7th Jason Anderson: I believe this would have been a podium if he didn’t clip a downed Andrew Short. This kid will win one this season.
8th Dean Wilson: Not a great ride, but it is a hell of a lot better than the first 2 rounds. He will continue to get better.
9th Davi Millsaps: Davi didn’t look real good; he went backwards hard. I really believe all of his time sitting out “hurt” has really hurt Davi this season. I, personally, would have rode that KTM.
10th Blake Baggett: Great finish for ‘BB.’ He just needs to get through SX in one piece.
Biggest Stud: I am not a Tickle guy, but he has been a huge stud this season.
Biggest Dud: Davi Millsaps. He had a podium position and went backwards and almost out of the top 10.
Biggest Surprise: The black flag! I think it was a bad call.
See you in Oakland…