McThoughts | Atlanta Supercross | 250 Class
By Jeff McConkey
Round 2 of the East Coast 250 went off in the Georgia Dome. Usually, the red Georgia clay ruts up quite a bit more, but I think due to the Arenacross race Friday night, the dirt was packed down like a West Coast track. The whoops were big and ended up forcing the 250 guys to jump through instead of the more common skimming.
Before the night show even started, we lost rookie Chase Sexton (in his SX debut) to a femur injury. Poor Chase just returned after breaking both wrists, testing. Christian Craig was also forced to sit out due to a concussion. I won’t bag on anyone missing action due to a head injury. As much as I’d love to see him out there, he made the smart choice.
This left the racing up to Zach Osborne and a pair of Red Bull TLD KTM riders. Red plate holder, Joey Savatgy, was good, but he couldn’t make up the time after a not-so-great start. Here is a look at the results and my thoughts:
1st Zach Osborne: Congrats on your first win, Zach. I usually bag on guys for staying in the class too long, but in Zach’s defence, he had the balls to go over and race the GP’s in Europe, and do very well. He’s with arguably the best trainer, and he should be hard to beat as long as he can limit his mistakes.
2nd Alex Martin: Alex bounced back from a horrible first round. He had some issues while passing his teammate, but in all honesty, it was just a racing incident. I’m sure he’ll take some flak, but he rode great and as much as it is a team sport, he has to worry about himself.
3rd Colt Nichols: This guy wasn’t even sure if he was going to be able to line up for the East. He broke his femur back in November, rode well last week, and even better this week. He rode great Saturday night and will be a podium threat for the remainder.
4th Joey Savatgy: Joey lost his red plate and now trails by 2 points. No need to worry, I still think he’s the strong favourite. With a start, I don’t think anybody can run 15 minutes plus 1 as consistently good as him. He will win this title.
5th Jordon Smith: Smith looks like a different rider this year. His starts have been great and he hasn’t been as out of control like other years. He had a few scary passes through the whoops, but he was able to settle down and keep charging. Bummer about the run in with teammate, Martin. If it were anybody else on the track, it would have just been a “racing incident.” With it being a teammate, I’m sure there were many words in the semi after the main.
6th Luke Renzland: Like I stated last week, Luke has improved a lot, but has been very under the radar. Two great rides in back to back weekends and it’s time that this guy gets some love.
7th Adam Cianciarulo: Adam was on the gas and moving forward at a good pace until he was forced off the track due to another rider’s error. He will land on the podium soon, but a few decent top 10 rides under his belt first won’t hurt after being out of SX for so long.
8th Fredrik Noren: This guy is a Factory level guy outdoors on a 450 in America, but his indoor skills in the past have been lacking. He has worked hard and improved a lot and isn’t scary to watch ride SX anymore. Hard work pays off.
9th Kyle Peters: It’s a shame that Kyle can’t finish the season with the JGR Suzuki team, but he leaves to race in Austrailia. I think with more time on the bike and a start he could be right around the top 5. He’s been a pleasant surprise.
10th R.J. Hampshire: R.J. had an up and down main event. Right now, he’s the lone Geico rider, so he needs to be much better moving forward.
Biggest Stud: My stud is Colt Nichols. To be back riding, let alone riding this well, this soon after a femur, well, that’s just huge! Zach Osborne gets honourable mention for a near perfect ride for his 1st career win.
Biggest Dud: I’m bummed to see Christian Craig go down hurt. This guy has all of the talent in the world, but he just hasn’t shown it yet in ’17. I was hoping by hiring DV, he would finally have all of the tools.
Biggest Surprise: It was nice to see our buddy Josh Cartwright lead a lap during the heats. Josh is battling a stomach issue, so let’s hope he is feeling better for Toronto.
Cole Thompson Watch: Cole qualified 5th out of his heat with a nice ride. He had some issues in the main and finished 16th. He will bounce back for his hometown race this weekend in Toronto.
MC’s “G’d Up from the Feet Up” Award: I think the Geico Honda riders looked really fresh with the red and yellow Alias gear, white tech 10’s and matte black 6D helmets.
See you guys next week in the Six!