By Billy Rainford
Well, to say I don’t feel any older would be a lie. How can we already be through another Monster Energy AMA Supercross season?! How did 17 rounds go by in the blink of an eye? Is it just me or is time careening out of control into the future? Oh well, at least we had a new 450 champ this year.
With the domination of Ryan Villopoto and then Ryan Dungey, it seemed like the ‘Age of Ryan’s’ was up on us, and then they were both gone. RV won 4 and RD won 3. That’s 7 years, folks, 7 Ryan-filled years.
Both Ryans left on their own terms. Villopoto basically got sick of the grind and no longer enjoyed the sport. Dungey got the fear of getting injured and left with enough money in the bank to enjoy the rest of his life. We don’t have to worry what either of them is doing for money these days. They’re both fine, to say the very least.
Was there another Ryan on the horizon to fill this void? No, but there was a Jason. Jason Anderson just won his first 450 Supercross title in a year that was anything but normal.
With all the injuries that took top riders out, Jason managed to stay consistent and injury-free. With a big lead heading into the final two rounds, he suffered a hiccup in Salt Lake City to keep everyone interested in what could possibly happen in Las Vegas, and we thank him for that. Thanks, Jason.
Congratulations on your title, and thank you also to Marvin Musquin and Eli Tomac for proving that there is still some life left in the sport at the top level. It had been a while since we’d had that kind of tension on the podium and the track, so we thank them for that. Thanks, guys.
I’m not really sure what I think about the 250 East/West Showdown. Has the gleam been tarnished a wee bit with the addition of the other ‘Showdowns’ on the schedule? And would it kill them to make East and West run some different number plate backgrounds or something? I’m a diehard and even I found myself trying to remember who was from what side of the series.
In the past, it’s always been a great topic of conversation about who was faster, the East guys or the West. It may just be me, but I didn’t get that sense this season. Both top guys from each side were just out there trying to not lose their titles instead of proving who was the fastest. It wasn’t as exciting as I would have liked it.
However, the race at the very front of the pack was pretty good. Adam Cianciarulo showed everyone why they go to the races by making some great passes and pushing hard for the win, and we thank him for that. Thanks, Adam.
Unfortunately, Adam also announced that he will be going in for ACL surgery this week to repair a knee that he’s been nursing since Indy…2017! Adam will miss the 2018 Motocross season, and the rest of the field thanks him for that. Thanks again, Adam.
And congratulations to Zach Osborne for repeating as champion and Aaron Plessinger for taking his first 250 West title. Neither of you guys won the ‘Showdown,’ but those #1 plates will be what matters down the road.
So, now we head to The Great Outdoors. The place where OG moto fans get most of their joy. There’s just something about it that gets people fired up. No, it won’t get the TV ratings of Supercross, but that’s not what most spectators are worried about.
Motocross is the battered older brother of Supercross. You know, the big brother who comes home late at night after getting in a drunken barroom brawl and sneaks past your parents to make it safely to his room before doing it all over again the following weekend. It’s a battle and he loves it!
Anyway, I can’t wait for the Hangtown, but here’s a look at the final standings from the 2018 Supercross season:
2018 RACE SCHEDULE
|May 19||Hangtown Motocross Classic||Sacramento, CA|
|May 26||Glen Helen National||San Bernardino, CA|
|June 2||Thunder Valley National||Lakewood, CO|
|June 16||High Point National||Mt. Morris, PA|
|June 23||Tennessee National||Blountville, TN|
|June 30||Southwick National||Southwick, MA|
|July 7||RedBud National||Buchanan, MI|
|July 21||Spring Creek National||Millville, MN|
|July 28||Washougal National||Washougal, WA|
|August 11||Unadilla National||New Berlin, NY|
|August 18||Budds Creek National||Mechanicsville, MD|
|August 25||Ironman National||Crawfordsville, IN|
Amsoil Arenacross Final Round – Jacob Hayes Wins While Chris Blose Crashes Out
It came down to the wire in the Amsoil Arenacross series this past weekend, too. Chris Blose had an unfortunate crash early in the day and was out, leaving the title ready for the taking by Jacob Hayes.
It really sucks that Chris’s season came to an end this way, but congratulations to Jacob on winning the title. Here’s a summary of the final round in Las Vegas in a series Press Release:
The big question now is whether or not we’ve just seen the last of the Arenacross Series altogether. We’ll wait for an official statement on the future before we say anything more on this.
Walton TransCan ANQ at Motopark
My summer is about to get incredibly busy, with the start of another season of Canadian Pro Motocross. Before I head west, I wanted to get to an Amateur National Qualifier (ANQ) for the Walton TransCan, so I headed up through Central Ontario to the track that I’ve been going to since the early 1980’s, Motopark.
I actually still get a weird feeling as I make the left turn off the gravel road and into the gates of the place. I won’t even tell you how long it’s been since I actually pulled in to race competitively, but I can still get a sense of the nerves that I used to ‘back in the day.’
The anxiousness subsides quickly these days, but it’s kind of nice getting that felling for a few moments even though I’m only there to walk around and take photos.
The forecast was brutal all week and even had me flip flopping on whether I was even going to make the trip at all! However, once I decided to go, I was pleasantly surprised that I had to squint all the way north in the morning sun. Someone should say something to the supposed ‘meteorologists’ at Apple! That forecast was way off!
I always enjoy the Sunday morning radio on the drive north to Chatsworth from London. I’ve got a few little shortcuts that allow me to miss some of the busier little towns…and Tim Horton’s drive-throughs. I set the cruise control at just under 20kph over the posted speed limit and let the different radio stations along the way take me there in just over 2 hours.
I have all kinds of memories along the way from my racing years long passed. One that always stands out is when I was heading to the Junior Nationals in…1985? My dad wasn’t feeling well and decided to head into emergency at University Hospital here in London, just to be sure nothing was serious.
It turns out his body was basically pumping pure gelatinous sugar through his veins and his levels were that which should have had him dead or in a coma. Of course, he still asked if he could go to Motopark for the weekend and maybe come see them again on Monday. They told him there would be no Monday ever again if that was the choice he made.
Well, dad, good luck, and we’ll see you when we get back from the races!
So, my good friend Jeff May hopped in the driver’s seat and we headed north with my mom for the races. I’m trying to remember where I was going with this one…
Oh ya. I was relaxing in the back seat getting ready for my big Junior race and Jeff was driving away up front in our car pulling the trailer. Suddenly, Jeff swerves us off the road and into the gravel…and then into oncoming traffic…and then into the gravel again. “What the hell are you doing up there!?”
It turns out Jeff didn’t want to hit a small bird, so he decided to put everyone in the car at risk instead. I sat up and told him to just hit the bird next time, and off we went.
Anyway, we made it to the races and I had one of my crappiest weekends of racing ever on a borrowed bike, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t why I started this story, so I won’t go into any race details. Suffice it to say, with problem after problem, I didn’t even qualify for the motos. That still stings a little to type.
I’ll post a bunch of photos from Sunday at Motopark once we make the drive up to Lake Simcoe to see my parents later this morning, so I won’t say too much now.
Now, where was I?
As I pulled up to the gate this time, I was really happy to see that there were even car parked on the gravel road outside the gate! I’m not even sire when the last time I saw that was. It’s a great sign for Amateur Motocross in Ontario. Numbers were strong and there appears to be re-energized interest in making it to the Walton TransCan again.
All I’ll do here is mention a few riders who really impressed me Sunday. There are more, of course, but I’ll get to them when I post the Photo Report later.
My “Impressed Me” list:
Full results can be found HERE.
The bottom line is that there was a good number of entries at Motopark and the weather was perfect. We got a few sprinkles late in the day, but it wasn’t even enough for me to worry about swamping my camera.
Amateur racing appears to be alive and well. I’m looking forward to seeing what amateur racing has to offer in other parts of the country. Sundays after the Rockstar Triple Crown Motocross Nationals should give me a better idea of who has the speed to compete with what I saw yesterday. It’s not going to be easy because some of these top kids are absolutely flying!
I also shot some video that I’ll get to once I get to my parents’ place and dispense with the initial pleasantries and can bury my head back in my laptop. LOL
Oh, and I’d like to wish Scott Tokley a speedy recovery. I didn’t see the crash and had no idea he’d done so much damage to his leg, but if you’ve got a strong stomach, go check out his traditional motocrosser-after-surgery photos on his Facebook page. Ouch! Motocross, she’s a fickle beast.
I’m off to the eastern shore of Lake Simcoe now for a couple days visiting my parents before this summer gets so busy I won’t have another chance until it’s over. Have a great week, everyone. I hope the weather forecast in your area lets you get out and ride as much as you want.
By the way, I’ve still got this XL full carbon 2017 Scott Addict Disc for sale. If you’re interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The bike is in London, ON but will be with me on the drive west, if that helps.