By Billy Rainford
Before we get into what I have to say about Round 5 of the 2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series at Ford Field in Detroit, let’s have a look at a couple other things first.
2024 GTAMX – R17 Springfield PRO – 2/2/2024
2024 GTAMX – R18 Springfield PRO – 2/3/2024
Canadian CREO KTM rider #22 Tyler Gibbs finished 7th overall in the pro class at the GT Arena Motocross series. Tyler will now get ready to race the rest of the 250 East Supercross series with the team. Here’s Tyler’s latest Instagram post:
Daniel Elmore announces his racing plans for 2024:
2024 Detroit Supercross
OK, let’s have a look at the race from Saturday at Ford Field in Detroit. It was great to have Matt Huggett from Two Twenty Six Media along with me for this one. It was his first time down on the actual floor shooting a Supercross race, so it was pretty cool.
He did a few Road Trip stories from the 2023 AMA Pro Motocross series last summer, so when he said he was available to help for Detroit, I quickly contacted Feld to see if we could get him on the the track to help. Big thank you to Sean Brennan and Joe Webber for helping us out, not just with Matt this week, but also with getting Jessica Longname from Tree Three Media on the floor for the first 4 western rounds.
I normally drive back and forth on Friday and again on Saturday for this round, but this year, I decided to grab a hotel just outside the city to save myself the drive. I stayed at the Allen Park Motor Lodge across the I-75 from Lincoln Park and have to say it was just fine. For just $100 Canadian, it did everything I needed it to. It was clean, cheap, and the dude behind the desk when I checked in was super friendly.
I love reading the reviews online before I book a hotel. I don’t understand how people who book this place, clearly based on price, can complain that it didn’t meet some of their expectations. Um, hello, if you wanted to spend $400 you would have stayed somewhere nicer, but you didn’t, so don’t complain!
Remember a few years ago when guys showed up at a race all decked out in their Triumph stuff and we all just sort of shook our heads, wondering what was going on? Well, the time has come and the British motorcycle brand is here and giving a full effort at our 2-wheel discipline.
Everywhere you looked there was a legend of our sport wearing the black and yellow. They aren’t half-assing this, that’s for sure.
Unfortunately, both of their 250 riders, #33 Jalek Swoll and #751 Evan Ferry, were caught up in that first turn pile-up in the Main and we didn’t really get to see their true potential. Swoll got going quickly and ended up making his way up to 6th while Ferry took a really hard hit into the wall and wasn’t able to get going after hitting his head.
When I walked into the stadium on Friday for Press Day, I looked at the first turn and said to myself that the first turn could go pretty bad if it went bad at all because riders would be trying to carry a lot of speed through there. First turns are always sketchy, no matter how you build them.
I found myself scrolling comments on one of our posts this morning. If you want to get people’s attention, post a photo of #38 Haiden Deegan and then sit back and watch the sparks fly! He seems to be our most polarizing rider right now.
He was one of the many riders down in that pile-up and headed out on the track with badly bent handlebars. I was impressed that he didn’t pull off and continued to do as many of the sections at pace as he could, finishing 16th in the end.
As I headed to the podium after the flag, I happened to walk up on him pulled over talking with his guys and snapped a photo showing his bars. My caption was, “Impressive ride for #38 @dangerboydeegan to tough out a 16th in the 250 Main in Detroit.” It didn’t garner a ton of replies on IG but it certainly did on Facebook.
Positive or negative, people really seem to have an opinion on the young Star Racing rider. If you’ve got time, head over and do some scrolling for yourself by clicking HERE.
Most of us on the track shooting photos and video did so without the knowledge of something else that was going on in front of our eyes. Poor #63 Cameron McAdoo was dealing with more than bent handlebars! Yikes. The first turn crash ended up ripping his pants in the the worst place possible. Let’s just say he did the entire race, finishing 15th, with his bits fully exposed and taking a beating.
Here’s the shot Matt got (censored, of course):
As we all sat in the photo den after the races, a chorus of pained chuckles started passing through the room. I was sitting at a lower table sort of by myself out of the way, but couldn’t help but be curious about what was going on.
The chuckles turned to uproarious laughter as Mike Emery scrolled through his photos and realized what he’d captured in very high definition.
Word spread, and next thing you know, riders and people who were at the post-race press conference started filing in to see what everyone was talking about. Max Anstie even came in to see what all the hype was about!
I held off as long as I could and then had to go look at the first turn photo and walked away before the more graphic shots were zoomed in on. Let me just say that Cameron gets the “Ride through anything” award for this and every other round that is ever raced…ever.
Cameron is owning it on his Instagram page:
I bet they’re still sitting in the den scrolling and laughing!
When the dust settled on this one, the podium was #64 Austin Forkner, #37 Max Anstie, and #59 Daxton Bennick.
Forkner led every lap and it’s great to see him get a win, even if it was under some strange circumstances. Anstie looked very solid, like he’ll be there every week. And Bennick came from outside the top 10 to take a very impressive 3rd i his first Pro SX.
We interviewed #69 Coty Schock in the media scrum outside the photo den after the race and he said he could feel a rider brush the back of his bike in the first turn but didn’t know the full extent of the chaos. All he knew was that he was up near the front and headed for maybe his best-ever SX Main finish.
He crossed the line in 4th place and was pumped. His mechanic didn’t even tell him what place he was in, so he just kept pushing to the flag.
#39 Pierce Brown was the top qualifier but had to come from way back in turn 1 to make it up to 5th. And #65 Henry Miller looked good all afternoon and took a nice 7th ahead of #83 Guillem Farres. #75 Marshal Weltin had troubles early in the day and came through the LCQ to take a personal best 9th. Rounding out the top 10 was #48 Chance Hymas who looked to have podium speed early. Unfortunately, his race didn’t go well and he fell from 2nd place (12 laps!) to 10th at the flag. Keep an eye on him, for sure.
So, the western swing in the 450 class has been rather strange: Round 1 was normal, rounds 2 and 3 were mud races, and round 4 was a Triple Crown. And what would we have when things got back to normal, was the question we all wanted answered.
Well, #18 Jett Lawrence won the “normal” race at A1 and then took the win this week in Detroit in “normal” conditions.
Jett was fastest in qualifying, won his heat, and then led every lap of the Main. I’m not handing him the title, but that was a solid day of racing for the young Australian and the other riders definitely took notice.
#1 Chase Sexton was 2nd ahead of #94 Ken Roczen, #2 Cooper Webb, #21 Jason Anderson, and former points leader #7 Aaron Plessinger.
Sexton takes over the red plate, just 1 point ahead of Lawrence, and 2 ahead of Plessinger. Webb sits 6 points back lurking in 4th.
I think the main question Round 5 asked was “What happened to #3 Eli Tomac???“
On a rutted out and tricky track, you’d expect that to be where the former champion and living legend would thrive, but he went backwards…hard.
He was in 3rd place for 6 laps and then seemed to “Fade like a cheap shirt” (Larry Huffman reference). He crossed the line back in 10th. I haven’t seen or heard an interview with Eli since the end of the race, so I don’t know anything more than what you all watched on TV.
From the outside looking in, it looked like a simple case of him not being up to race fitness since coming back from his achilles injury, but I don’t know. People were texting me saying he looked like he didn’t even want to be out there!
It would make sense that he’s not where he should be yet, that’s a hell of an injury to rush yourself back to race pace with.
He’s dropped to 6th in points (-16), so let’s see what he’s got in the dry conditions of Glendale, AZ this coming week.
We’ve got a lot to sort through this week, so be sure to check in often to see what it is we’re discussing.
After watching the news and seeing what our friends out in the maritimes are dealing with, snow-wise, but we’ll have temperatures up around 10C this week and there’s a chance Derek Schuster and the gang over at Gopher Dunes are going to open up for a few days (possibly Thursday to Saturday on the Main and Pee Wee tracks)! Be sure to check their website before you make the drive. See you there!
Have a great week, everyone. I’ll leave it here:
I had this photo (and a few others) sent to me by a many people Saturday afternoon. Haha. They had to leave the tunnel door open to let bikes in and out and to try and keep the air as clean as possible and that meant there was a huge, cold wind blowing in from the entrance to the stadium.
I was going to walk up the tunnel to the photo den but realized I wouldn’t have time before more racing started, so I stood just around the corner in a place out of the wind. When I decided to come out and go back to the track, I saw Will Christien doing a TV spot on NBC Sports LIVE and had a split second decision to make: do I act all stupid and try to get out of the way or do I just stay cool and keep walking?
I decided the most “professional” thing to do would be to just keep walking, so that’s what I did. What a goon!