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There’s something to be said about the innocence that once was before TXT message, social feeds, and cell phones. It’s almost mind-blowing to think there was a time like this. I’ve had a cell phone since the mid 90’s. The cell phone itself has come a long way basically allowing you to do literally anything with it today. Last week, I went 36hrs cell phone free. It was the most liberating feeling I’ve had in a really long time. It was funny because Amy actually got more upset I didn’t care about not having one then I did. I loved the fact I didn’t have contact with anyone but those closest to me, nor did I have a care about what was going on outside of my house. I, sadly, am now back with a new phone and back to the standard in today’s world of the minute to minute updates about the nothingness in others lives. For that brief time last week I was a human again, just a simple man with no agenda, no plan. It was like the best pill ever and I think I’ll pop another soon enough!
Each year at the beginning of January Supercross fans make their picks, cast their votes, and share their opinions on the outcome of the most watched side of our sport every year. Anaheim 1 is always the most hyped and rightfully so as 99% of the field is ready and all have a shot. Fans are chomping at the bit to see their rider on the track in hopes they can carry their bench racer arguments to a championship. Well, in 2017 the Supercross season for 2 of the three championships will go down as the best I have ever seen. I mean what a rollercoaster of a season. It had everything a fan needed to stay drunk on Supercross alcohol for the four months it takes place in. It came out of the gate with crazy Roczen hype. Then the hyped snapped and in stepped the casual and consistent Dungey. Then he chilled too much and Eli started drinking the Monster Energy and dominating erasing a 30 point lead to only throw that away the week prior to the final round. Then, to make these even more amazing he managed the front of the Las Vegas main allowing 6 riders to all get together in hopes of something happening to his rival Dungey. It was the smartest and most impressed I have seen out of Eli Tomac. I mean, we’re so used to his blazing speed, and dominant wins that for him to step back and play chess a little was awesome. It nearly worked out for him, but in the end, Dungey took his 4th title and joins the very short but extremely elite list with McGrath, Carmichael, and Villopoto with racers winning 4 or more titles. Of course, online the opinions have been flying about Dungey and how he won, how Eli may or may not have been dirty in Vegas, the off track/on track with Dungey after halfway. I’ll just settle this all right now: nothing was done wrong by any racer on the track during any lap of every race that night. If you are one of the people thinking otherwise you could not be more wrong, or you are the silliest fan reaching out cause your guy came up short or you wanted to see Dungey lose. Your personal reasons are overshadowing the reality of it all. The sensitivity via the social world and its Supercross fans is matching that of a sore bummed baby. I suppose it’s entertaining but damn folks, don’t lose sleep over this stuff. Congrats to Ryan Dungey for outlasting the faster rider. But again, what this shows is that our sport (because of so much self-reliance on the racer) can have an outcome that leaves us wanting more.
Now, the 250 class coming in was the one that most wanted to watch or were more excited to watch I would say. With only one point between 3 riders, who all were looking to be a champion for the first time, and an extreme outside shot from a 4th, the stage was set up beautifully. How the main ended up finishing is something not one person in this world could have guessed. It’s like none of the title contenders wanted the tile. Zach Osborne goes down unfortunate in the first turn. At this point, you think he’s out. Then Joey Savatgy runs second and crashes on lap one losing like 7 spots. Jordan Smith now I the driver’s seat jumps off the track making a big save losing minimal time. But, then his wheels come right off at the worst possible time coming back into the stadium 4th gear pinned. That crash was ugly, so now he’s totally out. All the while this is happening Adam Ciancarulo leads and is pulling away and only two points out of the title. Savatgy totally is shitting the bed at this point and actually is going backward. Like where was the fight in this kid? Doesn’t he train at the GOAT Farm? I’m betting Mitch Payton was losing his mind in one breath about the embarrassing effort from Savatgy but then cheering in the other for AC. Then, all of a sudden we start to see the #16 ride of Osborne catching #17 at a rapid pace. Could this kid really catch a rider that was 20 seconds ahead of him with 10 minutes to go in the race? It was becoming something very believable and then on the very last lap he closed in 4 seconds and parked Savatgy in the final turn giving us fans the most dramatic finish ever. It was the craziest race I’ve ever seen and I’ve watched 30 years of this stuff. Now, we take a break before the GREAT OUTDOORS begins. This storyline for 2017 will be told over and over again because you can’t make this stuff up.
It only 27 days till the gate drops at Kamloops for the opening round of the Rockstar Energy Drink National Series in Canada. I’m still a huge fan of this no matter what side of the fence I’m on and once the gate drops the racing will take over from the rumors of the series. I mean, the perception will be nothing different from the outside looking in but change is evident. I could go deeper into this but at this point, who cares right? After the amazing Supercross season are we not all excited for similar outdoor battles and championship fights down to the wire? In the US the battle will no doubt be unreal in the Lites class with the amount of talent in the class as well no returning champion so someone new will be crowned (Unless JMart can grab the 3rd title). In the 450 my money is on Tomac. I don’t see anyone even sniffing his rear wheel for this title.
Move over to Canada, and the stage is set pretty decent for a summer worth of War. Once again this year, the 450 class is much deeper than the 350 in my eyes. With champions Goerke, and Facciotti leading my “who you got” votes and then add in Pourcel, Benoit, TDags, Clason, Alessi, Tremblay, Chisholm, Bles, Meston, Robinson, plus I’m sure I’m missing a couple more. It’s cool to see the 450 class so deep over the last couple years. I remember it used to be just an attendance award for top 10 but now, not the case. As It sits right now I have Facciotti (big surprise) winning this thing this year. He flat out was not great last year and he has something to prove in my eyes. I’ve got Benoit, Goerke, Facciotti, TDags and Chisholm battle for this title. I don’t think Pourcel lasts the summer. I also think Alessi will be quiet this year.
Slash over the 250 class and although I’m sure the racing will be good, the field is half as deep as the 450. Returning champion Cole Thompson has to be the front runner with such a dominating 2016. The only thing that will take this away from Cole is Cole himself as he can get rattled at times if a rider gets over aggressive or is able to play the mind games. Dylan Wright making the switch to Honda was big news and upset the old family he left. Business is business and life goes on. Dylan will no doubt be Cole’s toughest competition, but I don’t see him taking this title. Something inside me says he’ll win 2-3 overalls but have two motos where the wheels come off and that will take his title hopes away. I do like that Jacob Hayes is back to have another shot after only making it 100 yards last year. He has some serious outdoor skill but I don’t see him winning an overall and being rather quiet all summer. Shawn Maffenbeier has made the switch back to Yamaha after a runner-up on the KTM last year. He’ll be much of the same in my eyes. Fight for wins, have all heart rides, keep his fans in hopes, but he’ll be a podium guy again. I don’t know much about Josh Osby so I’ll just say he’ll be on the gate. My last and most hopeful title threat is Jess Pettis. After winning the AX title he should be confident in winning now, as well throw in his skills he showed at the AX Tour races and we’ve got a fighter. I think the only thing he lacks is experience on the big scene. He’ll claim a couple overalls this year. In the next week or so Myself, Newf and Matthes will do our yearly preview podcast discussing all we know about the series, about the riders, and who we think takes it all. Look for that soon.
Ok, my fingers are sore. Hope you enjoyed the FLOOD