“All I could do tonight, was control my own riding.”
With the current team of Monster Energy Kawasaki seemingly hiring consecutive “heirs to the throne” over the past few decades, it was only right that they land the number three of Eli Tomac just a few short years ago. From Carmichael, to Stewart, to that of Villopoto, the “gang in green” has now received another spectacular weapon to their already significant line of artillery. There’s no question as to just how much speed that of Eli Tomac possesses, and that can be addressed by anyone in the industry, regardless of status or position (just listen to James Stewart’s newest video series.) Banking off of the aforementioned, “Bubba” claims that Tomac was one of the few riders on the rise, that he considered a significant threat. And that within itself, is a comment of the highest regard. Anyhow, Tomac knew that all of the talk, hype, and banter in the world, couldn’t equate to a championship being placed in his lap. And although he was on the outside looking in for this particular round of Las Vegas, you knew that he would be a true contender for the win once all was said and done. After looking remarkably strong throughout practice, he would then join the likes of Cooper Webb for their respective heat race. It was here, that Tomac’s recent ways would rare their head yet again. The number three would find himself a bit buried in the field, doing all he could to catch Cooper Webb. The gap would then be shrinking quite a bit, with Tomac clearly displaying that he was the fastest on the track. Yet one mishap after another would happen, with one almost being disastrous; as he would clip the tripling combination leading into Monster Alley, nearly spinning around and coming to a stop! Though somehow, someway, the number three would march his way back to the front of the field, claiming the win once all was said and done. And as far as the main event goes, it was simply the “Eli Tomac Show”, where Tomac displayed a true monumental effort, never once being touched by the competition around him. Hoisting a ten(+) second lead, the number three of Eli would do all he could, in regards to championship control. Although too little, too late, Tomac knew that he’d proven just he was capable of, in the twenty laps prior of the main event.
“Overall it was a good year; but it started off rough.”
Although labeled a serious player for the 2019 championship, Marvin Musquin had a few hiccups throughout the series that would cost him big. Nothing of huge magnitude, but with riders like Webb, Roczen, and Tomac around, even the smallest of mistakes would create too much of a gap to overcome; in regards of a pure quest for the title. However, with Marvin Musquin being the positive, up-beat competitor that he is, he would still bring his best effort to the line each and every time. And it was much of the same for the round of Las Vegas, where many could understand if he decided to sulk in the shadows of teammate Cooper Webb’s title celebration. After a strong showing in practice, you could tell that Marvin enjoyed the hard-packed nature of the track; providing him with a significant rekindling of memories, to his native French soil. Being able to adjust with ample throttle control, had him feeling rather splendid heading to the heat race, where he would encounter the likes of Blake Baggett and Zach Osborne. The three would develop into a sparring match, all vying and contending for the lead at some point. He would do his best to land the “triple-out” combination from the sand section, heading into the following right handed corner with momentum. Working his way into second in the final moments, Musquin would cross the line just behind that of Zach Osborne, eager to begin the main event that would come shortly thereafter. Second off of the gate for the main event, you could tell there were few team orders, if any, between that of he and the other KTM riders. It was Cooper Webb behind him to begin, yet Musquin wouldn’t bat an eye at the thought of pulling over. He would continue to excel, all the while salivating at the thought of passing Eli Tomac. Letting the KTM 450 bark, he would square up turns when necessary, dodging the immense amount of potholes that were accumulating in the particular exits of these right and left-handed bends. Although the lead between he and Tomac had widened substantially, Musquin would fight hard to the finish. Crossing the line, albeit without his native heel-clicker, he would be cordial to that of Cooper Webb; leaving any hint of animosity to the way side, and respectfully acknowledging the feat his teammate had just accomplished. Placing second, he knew he’d left it all out on the track.
“The journey to this championship has been absolutely incredible.”
The memo for Cooper Webb coming into this round was simple; do what it takes, to secure the championship. Whether that was by the slim, marginal numeral of one; or surging over a gap of twenty, either way, all in his corner aspired for a championship to be garnered. Webb, being the outstanding competitor that he is, knew that he could rise to the occasion. And it’s been that way since his inception on the professional tour years ago; where he would embody every characteristic needed, to make sure the title would be hoisted at the end of the night. Feeling strong throughout practice, he and team made sure to keep a close eye on that of Tomac, knowing that he would be a definite contender for a race win. Placed in the same heat race, it was though Tomac and Webb were destined for battles all night, when lining up near each other. They would begin, with the two oppositions attracting and running a similar pace. Yet Tomac was on a mission, and would catch Webb substantially. Yet the remarkable ability of Webb to remain confident out front, would be showcased yet again; as Tomac behind would make a surplus of mistakes, nearly crashing out at one point. But it was as though Tomac couldn’t be stopped, running Webb back down in the final laps. The number three would be a giant mark of punctuation on the race as a whole, taking the win ahead of Webb in second. Getting off to a strong start for the main event, Webb would do exactly what was needed as the laps continued to trickle down. He stayed calm, cool, and collected, all the while remaining upright, despite the urge to chase down the number three for the race win. Just behind teammate Marvin Musquin, he could then feel a bit of pressure from Ken Roczen. But his true tenacity, would keep him ahead of the ninety-four, adding another feather in his cap so to speak. Crossing the line on the final lap, you could see that Webb had been overcome with joy. The title was his! Counted out on numerous occasions, many in the industry learned to never doubt the number two of Webb, after displaying a championship run like this. The boys at KTM couldn’t have been more proud of their prospect, grooming him for a step to the next level. Heading into the outdoor series, it’s most certainly Webb who looks to have the ball of momentum in his corner.
With the finale of this series now upon us, you see numerous riders throughout the field focusing on that of the outdoor series. The minds of many have quickly thrown this championship into the disposal, leaving it as a true afterthought in the depths of their memory bank. Ken Roczen one of an opposite notion, would take this final round as a place of opportunity; one final place where he could display his true talents aboard a Supercross track, before the likes of the U.S. nationals were upon them. He would then pounce onto the track with an episode of seriousness like no other; leaving nothing else to give when landing off the finish line jump for the last time. Rolling out of the tunnel with an ease of the throttle, he would park the bike on the stand, and then walk into the semi to assess his performance. He would feel rather pleased when watching the tape; understanding that there were a few areas in which time could be made up. He would then implement his game plan that was created, knowing that a strong start must be key. Proceeding forward in a diligent manner, he would hold everyone on the line accountable, as he absolutely powered around this already slickening course. You could hear his bike bouncing off the rev limiter as it fought for traction, the rear wheel slashing back underneath him as he blitzed down the accompanying straightaway. Pushing forward throughout the course of flags, he would understand the task placed upon him; and he would rise to the occasion, claiming the fifth place ride. For the main event, he would truly wish to make a statement; a night cap per se, for the crowd and industry to remember. Getting a strong start off the grid to begin, he would quickly see the leaders of Tomac, Musquin, and Webb, assert themselves to an astonishing beginning. The track would really begin to decay, especially outside of the stadium; where the main line in the sweeper would become a bit too deep, and riders would force to hover near the outside at lucrative speeds. It would work, as he would carry into the fourth place spot, with Zach Osborne hot on his heels. Feeling the pressure of the Husqvarna rider, they would steadily creep to the back tire of Webb; who was as stingy as ever with the third place ride. Nearly within a half second for the races’ entirety, Roczen was just short of the podium when the final flag would fly; pleased with his performance, he knew the boys at Honda had his back, with the recent news of a contract extension.
Understanding the blueprint of this track and then seeing it while on the likes of press day, many in the field of competition understood the type of pure recklessness and disaster this circuit could bring. With a blending of both speed and immaculate portions of airtime, every bit of mind and body would be challenged to the highest extent. Getting his bike off of the stand, he and his mechanic would roll as a tandem to the confines of the stadium; making their way onto the starting line for practice. Revving the bike to the hilt prior to the signal from the referee, he would immediately get into the starting stance and mimic that of a gate drop. Unleashing the power in which his 450 would holster, he would feel confident in his ability to get off the line as he proceeded forward. Wrapping the numerous sectors of qualifying, he would believe that he fare well once all would conclude for the night; only if a little bit of luck and opportunity were thrown his way. Setting his bike up in an optimal manner, he would line up in what he thought was the best gate open; looking to the opponents around with a subtle glance. Immediately after, he would dive to the inside, getting as close as possible to the tuff-blocks that lined the boundaries of the track. Immediately he would gel with the track, making moves accordingly with ultra-slick outside to inside moves. Being as efficient as possible throughout the specified number laps, he would become engulfed in a quest of ascending position; rubbing plastic with the likes of Marvin Musquin and Blake Baggett. Never bowing down to an ounce of mental warfare, he would remained stone-faced, hardened, and callused to the thought of anyone trying to take what was rightfully his. Finishing first, he believed that he could carry out these efforts again for the main event. Well underway with fireworks all around, he would embody himself in the moment that was at hand; understanding what this would behold. Pushing the boundaries that his bike would allow, he could feel the rear wheel wanting to break in a few of these flat corners. The ruts weren’t of much accumulation, therefore a fine line of caressing the throttle and shifting through the gearbox would have to be walked. Doing so, would keep that of Cole Seely behind him, as he worked his way into fifth place. Placing here, he knew he’d left his full effort on the track for the finale.
Flying into Las Vegas, Cole Seely aspired to have a night of celebration, and a night on the town so to speak. Enjoying the lights and lavishness of fabulous Las Vegas, with friends and team at his side, was something that he sincerely looked forward to in the last couple of weeks. But first, in order to commemorate what he had accomplished throughout the summarization of the 2019 season, he would need to display one final casting of his true abilities, here in Sam Boyd Stadium. Looking at the track with a bit of marvel and curiosity upon track walk, he knew that there would be numerous amounts of combinations and speed traps throughout the rhythm lanes; as this track would couple a serious amount of pace, with jumps that were larger than life. Truly a display of the utmost technicality, he would embark on a journey that few others would abide to. Coming into the mechanics area paddock on multiple occasions, he would talk to his head member of crew, discussing what needed to be changed after a brief portion of testing the waters. Stiffening up both front and rear suspension, allowed him to attack these stone-like whoops; letting the chassis truly take a beating while he blitzed the moguls in between third and fourth gears. Knowing that he had a few special lines up his sleeve, he would feel confident as he walked to the line for the heat race, that he could put his full efforts into a course like this. The field would then take off for the aforementioned, the pack swarming like a group of predators on a bit of prey. Lingering around the third place mark, he knew he could ascend if he could just nail these rhythm sections. Therefore, at times, you could see him rail the adjacent turns, clicking into gear and seat-hopping his way into the stratosphere. It would pay off, as the final flag would wave, and he would take third. For the main event, the track would begin to glisten under the lights; and he knew he must truly be on his toes in order to succeed. The clutch would immediately be feathered, both off the line and throughout the green flag succession. With his elbows high and his throttle hand strong, he would truly put every ounce of focus imaginable into the track beneath him. The knobbies of his rear tire would begin to lose their-razor like edge, but his ability to sway the chassis side to side would allow the bike to still hook up. Doing this, all the while fending off Blake Baggett, would push him into a solid sixth overall.
Although the series has been predominantly on the East Coast for the last couple of months, all signs on the tour have led to Sin City. It’s here, where the finale of the series would reside, and the riders would walk away from the championship once and for all. Blake Baggett looked to maintain his edge, and captivate the tone he had set early on in the year yet again. He knew, no matter how tired or distraught he felt on the bike, that he could muster the energy to create a formidable outing for his last showing on the bike for 2019. He would walk into practice eager to portray his efforts to the crowd within the arena, as the seats would already begin to fill up. Taking a lap or two to pan the layout in which he was on, it was around the third circuit where he simply began to let loose. Tripling and quadrupling as many combinations as possible, he would absolutely leap into the right-handed sand corner with reckless abandon. Shifting his weight to the rear end of the motorcycle, the right foot would come about, hovering just above the ground; as he absolutely unleashed hell on the right grip of the handlebar. Proceeding to pop-up over the single-tabletop finish line combo, he would look to his mechanic for a relaying of times. Satisfied with what he saw on the pit board, he could walk away from qualifying knowing that he’d given it his all. The heat race again would be a broadcasting of spectacular proportions; where he rally early on as things were getting a bit hairy. As a sea of yellow flags would fly around the course, he would simply throw “caution to the wind” and power forward throughout the dust storm swirling around him. Dodging pieces of small rock being thrown towards his chest, he would veer off of the main line ever so slightly, just enough to save the likes of his body from being battered and bruised. With Marvin Musquin in front of him for a large portion of the moto, he would follow him to the finish line, taking third. The main event would be a concoction of twenty-two riders wanting to leave a lasting impression on the state of Nevada, as egos and hoards of testosterone would flare. It was as though every rider on the line had a bit of an edge to their riding style, going “all in” per se as they leaped throughout the boundaries of the stadium. Holding strong, he would bundle together consecutive strong circuits; enough to hold off Tyler Bowers, taking seventh overall.
Rolling the dice one last time within the parameters of Las Vegas, Tyler Bowers understood that this track would be that of a gamble. With a layout truly being one of a kind, coupled with soil that was as rigid as they come, he knew that he would have to be on high alert throughout the course of action aboard the motorcycle. Toying with tire pressure prior to his inception on the track for practice, he and team decided to lessen the PSI of the tread; to allow the rubber to sink in a bit and truly grab the soil beneath. It would make for optimal “flicking” when sending the bike soaring across these jump faces; as the entire chassis would slide as a harmonious unit. Staying rather loose as the action began to heat up, he would remain calm when the track would begin to deteriorate. Walking to the line for the heat race, he would slowly but surely lock his holeshot device into place, with his mechanic by his side. After a brief listing of the memo, the two would fist-bump one another and he would click the bike into gear. Bursting off the line shortly thereafter, it would be an all out sprint to the first turn; where he would do everything in his power not to become bottled in. Pin-balling off of the other riders in the field, he made sure to keep his elbows and stature as wide as they could come; in order to create a barricade of defense so to speak. Leaving nothing to spare, he would absolutely cover the opposition behind with a barrage of sand. Residue lingering throughout the air behind him, he would do nothing but focus on the array of flags that were continuing to fly in front of him. From green to white, so on and so forth, the checkered flag would be the last to fly. As the referee would wave it furiously, he would end the round in sixth. The main event would be underway next, and sparks would immediately begin to fly as footpegs would scrape into one another. With grips nearly touching for the entire realm of the first few laps, he would do his best to keep the breathing under control. His heart would nearly beat out of his chest, and the panting beneath the shell of his helmet would begin to thicken; yet he would still twist the grip, never letting the likes of Justin Hill around. Keeping his nose to the grindstone, the conclusion of the twenty minutes would now be at his doorstep; he would survive, taking a remarkable eighth place overall.
When looking at the blueprint for the Las Vegas Supercross, many in the industry knew that this track would be a series of speed and technicality meshed together, yet again. A design like no other, it’s one of the few tracks in history to actually go outside of the stadium and then travel back in, for the crowd to see. A relic amongst commonality, it’s in the same category as the likes of the Rose Bowl Supercross of the 1980’s, or the extinct Silverdome round in Pontiac, Michigan. Justin Hill knew that he had to savor it, as races and events of this magnitude don’t come around very often. He would take the “bull by the horns” so to speak, and unleash everything within his being on this track, leaving nothing left to spare. Practice was a pure replication of his sprinting antics to be, as each lap was a mere replicated, yet faster, episode of the previous. Scrubbing, wheeltapping, and grabbing more momentum whenever possible, he would do whatever he could to establish a better time on the leaderboard. Slowly escalating, he would summit at a well-off position; feeling a bit reassured as he escorted his bike to the line for the heat race. Getting himself mentally prepared, he would immediately bang through the gearbox as he took off down the start straight. Shuffling through the field, he had to fight the struggle to remain in complacency; knowing that riders like Austin Politelli were behind him. Keeping his eye on his mechanic every lap, he would be given a beacon of relay with the pitboard; indicating just how well he was faring through the field. This was a mere sprint, so he knew he had more left to give once he landed off the finish line jump. The main event would then quickly roll around, and he felt he could truly let it loose, one final time. Battling with Tyler Bowers, the two would be jousting with their handlebars, seeing who was willing to go that extra mile with the throttle. Keeping his fingers on the clutch at all times, he would feather the lever when necessary, as the wheel tire had to be in check. If too much were given once the track was seriously blue-grooved, he could be face first into this mere concrete path beneath him. Ninth overall at the stripe, he would conclude the series with a single digit finish.
Coming into Las Vegas, Justin Bogle hoped to leave it all on the line. Besides, it had been a long season thus far and the series up to this point had taken its toll. Battered and bruised, he wanted to portray a full effort when the gate would final fall here in “Sin City”, leaving the fans and industry alike with a substantial lasting impression. Letting the bike ease into the pocket of power throughout the early portions of practice, there was no question as to how much efficiency he had when rolling the throttle on. Keeping the inside leg hovering throughout the course of these respective flat track turns, he would try and account for every millisecond possible; in order to garner a noteworthy qualifying circuit. Letting the jersey’s tail fly into the western winds, he would find a bit of relief as he soared over the single of Monster Alley, exiting the premises of the stadium with aggressive intent. Coming off the track and rolling back into the semi area, he would have a brief bit of chatter with his team; as they assembled a bit of discussion about which tire to choose. Settling with an intermediate course of traction, they wanted something that would grab on the slick surfaces of the hard pack, yet dig into the trenches of the sand; hopefully, this specific tread of rubber would pay off. He would come out of the gate barreling like no one else’s business; he wanted to wreak havoc on every opposition around him. Keeping those around him in check, he would barrel into the sand section headfirst, with a throttle full of fury and the majority of his weight on the back seat. Blitzing the consecutive whoop sections next, he could feel the pace of Ken Roczen creeping upon him; yet he wouldn’t let it rattle him. He would do enough to sustain the gap, finishing fourth. The main event was an absolute spectacle with every rider in the field doing their best to put on a performance of astounding proportions. Keeping his nose to the grindstone, he would dodge every flying pellet in order to keep the position he currently resided in. The flags would continue to change colors, green, to the halfway point, and now the white. It was a sign of all that he had worked for, the final waving of the series; tenth at the line, he could walk away knowing that he’d truly emptied the tank.
“I asked my mechanic to let me know where AC was; when the positions started to fall, I thought it was impossible.”
With the sport of motorcycle racing in general, there’s an element of surprise and “unknown” that few other genres of athleticism can match. It’s here, where one mistake or miscalculation can cost a rider disposition, and race-altering consequences. Unlike in many stick and ball sports, there is a chance that a rider can simply go from first to last, or vice versa, in a matter of moments. Enter Dylan Ferrandis, a competitor who fought through the sludge of a lackluster beginning-season run, to be on the cusp of the title when entering the Las Vegas round. He knew that Cianciarulo was a veteran of the class; someone who accumulated mass amounts of championships throughout the amateur ranks, and knew how to capture a title when the pressure was on. Therefore, he believed his best opportunity to capture the win, was to secure the race victory, letting the chips fall where they may. Coming through the pack in the heat race, the short-sprint of a qualification round wouldn’t be to the liking of the French rider. And he would be forced, to adapt to the pack around him. Weaseling his way inside and outside of this treacherous track, he would begin to work his way forward in a calculated manner. He would work his way into the fourth place ride around the halfway point, knowing that he was simply running out of time. Just behind that of Adam Cianciarulo when both bikes crossed the stripe, he knew he would have to make his way in front of the Kawasaki, to have any shot at the championship later that evening. Blasting out of the gate for the main event, he would do what was asked of him, getting out to an early lead. He could now, only lay down flawless laps, and hope that Cianciarulo would make a mistake. One lap, two laps, three laps, etc. he would hang onto the lead, yet Cianciarulo could be seen out of his peripheral vision. The championship, as of the halfway point, was looking dim; as Cianciarulo had moved into third place, swaying the numerical tally in the favor of the Kawasaki rider. All seemed to remain the same, until Ferrandis didn’t catch the team-green machine in his view anymore. Where did he go? Was he reeling him in that fast? Surely not. And Ferrandis would begin to ponder, only to see that Cianciarulo was down! His mind would become frantic, with thoughts overflowing all lobes of his brain as he crossed the checkered flag. He’d done it! The dismay of the ninety-two, would position Ferrandis into not only the lead for the race, but for the championship! The title was back in the hands of the boys at Yamaha, something for all of France to marvel over!
“I felt good all day, but I had to find a strong line through the whoops.”
Although yearning for the outdoors to start, and particularly that of the “sandy” rounds, Hampshire knew he had a little more left in the tank, to display under the lights of Supercross. Enjoying this track upon walking it prior to press day, he felt as though it were speedy enough to showcase his hard-charging antics, and it also possessed a fair amount of sand prior to the finish line. Pleasing, to the mind of the number thirty-one, Hampshire would absolutely skyrocket to the top of the leaderboard for practice. Leaving nothing left to spare, in regards to questioning his efforts or abilities. The Honda pilot truly looked as though he could contend for the lead, from the moment the first flag was sent flying. Ready then to begin the heat race, he would line up within his sleek looking Shift uniform, and set a pace that few could match early on. Hampshire would walk through the first lap of competition unscathed, blitzing the whoops with a bit of recklessness, but hoisting the strength to keep the chassis in line. Skying over the mid-field “SX” triple, he could feel the number thirty-six of Michael Mosiman getting closer. It was then, Adam Cianciarulo, adding his name into the mix; as the three would truly duke it out for the race win. But Hampshire, as persistent and steady as they come, would ride off into the sunset, possessing a checkered within his grasp. Second off the line to begin the main event, he would quickly be overtaken by that of his teammate, Cameron McAdoo. Reminiscing on days at the practice track, the two would begin to pace each other, all the while another Honda of Chase Sexton would be added to the mix. In a trio of sorts, the musketeers would do whatever was necessary to catch that of Dylan Ferrandis; yet it was to no avail, and the second place position would be all that he could lunge for. Gaining on McAdoo in the closing moments, he would really make up a bit of time through Monster Alley, where his speed and flawless shifting of the machine would propel him past the number forty-four. And as the checkered flag would come about, Hampshire would cement his way into second, for the conclusion of the 2019 AMA Supercross Series.
A podium finish to many is something of a pipe dream. Something that many riders, as children, aspire to do, but view as an idea of actuality. Cameron McAdoo meanwhile would look up to his predecessors and heroes, knowing that one day he could be at that level. He could achieve what others thought was a facade. He knew there would be many around him, and even in his corner, telling him that his dream was a true falsification; and that something of that tier, wouldn’t be attainable. Yet he stuck to the task, working diligently day after day. Achieving one goal after another, would work well in his favor; leading him to the present day moment of Las Vegas, Nevada, for the finale of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross tour. Feeling strong throughout practice, he would take a moment at the conclusion of the qualification matter to take it all in; basking in the likes of numerous attendees watching him. It was a sense of gratification; something that he yearned to hold onto forever. Breathing in deep through the diaphragm while on the line for the heat race, he knew he would have to seize the moment, in order transfer smoothly into the main event. Therefore his reaction off of the gate would be immense, dashing and scurrying to the first turn shortly thereafter. Fourth place on the opening lap, he knew he could bank off the likes of teammate R.J. Hampshire, in order to track just how fast he was going. Battling with the likes of Colt Nichols and Dylan Ferrandis, he would be just behind the fender of the Yamaha’s once all was said and done. Sixth place, in this replicated main event of a heat race, he would look forward to the final shootout to come. It was as though McAdoo was riding his best when the stakes were highest, crossing the line in third on the opening lap. Pushing forward, he would actually make the move on teammate R.J. Hampshire; letting everyone within the Geico awning know, that he wasn’t backing down from the spotlight of Las Vegas. He would ride sensational, casting a ballot of effort for the ages. Battling with Hampshire once again through and through, the number thirty-one would make his way around with a few short laps to go. Third at the stripe, McAdoo truly waited until the stakes were highest, to display his best abilities for the season.
Although many come to Las Vegas for an act of leisure and pure vacation type atmosphere, riders like Chase Sexton realize what this event signifies. It’s a place of summarization, a “bright light at the end of the tunnel”, if you will. A place where he can truly put the icing on the cake, and walk away from this particular series, knowing he’d given it his all. This marathon of a championship, had now come into the home stretch; he could see the finish line banner in the distance, eagerly awaiting a chance to dive across the stripe at the end of the night. But first, he would have to get through practice; and all of the competition that came along with this particular round. He would absolutely obliterate this course to start, laying the power to the ground and setting a remarkable pace. Even mechanics of opposing teams would notice, as even the most naked of eyes were able to spot just how fast he was soaring around this particular raceway. Filled with lucrative combinations, and braking points that were unforeseen, would rally him to an applaud worthy position on the leaderboard. And he would carry these ways into the heat races, where he would bow down to absolutely no one. Turning on a dime, weaving in and out of ruts when necessary, would discontinue the process of anyone trying to truly mimic him. And that’s exactly what he wanted, steadily inching away from those within the circle of proximity. The white flag would come about, and he understood if he could hold on for just one more lap, that the exceptional first place ride would be his. The place would be his for the taking, and the main event would loom large in the immediate future. Keeping a pace for the ages to begin, he would be in a train of sorts with numerous other factory riders. Splitting lines and hooking as many inside ruts as possible, he would keep his efforts fully focused on securing another position. No matter the racing surface, whether the marble outside, the slickness of the middle stadium, or the sands before the finish line, his throttle would absolutely be rung wide open. Spraying exhaust fumes on the pack behind him, would act as a mere defense mechanism and deterrent to the surrounding crowd; enough for him to sprint away from Alex Martin. Hurling forward across the line one final time, fourth place overall would then be secured, but more importantly the championship would be stamped in his honor for good! He’d done enough to secure the title over Justin Cooper, earning a title that he hoped, would be the first of many to come.
For numerous years of the past, the city of Las Vegas has been an absolute staple throughout the realm of American motocross and Supercross. The U.S. Open, which was once held as the “true bounty” of professional purses and cash payouts, would hold its reign at the notorious MGM Grand. In present day matters, the racing format has transitioned into the likes of Sam Boyd Stadium for good; where both the finale of the Monster Energy Supercross Series, and the Monster Energy Cup, take place. Alex Martin is as keen as they come, and aware of his surroundings, understanding that a strong finish here, would bolster his popularity in all realms. Therefore, when rolling to the start straightaway for practice, you could truly sense that he was going to go “all out” in the laps to come. Keeping the throttle pinned as he blitzed outside of the arena, you could see a subtle scrub ensue over the single/ant-hill jump, that was to follow. He was doing everything necessary in order to lower his time, including showcasing a manual maneuver when necessary. Keeping the front end light, he would fare well once all was said and done; clasping his hands together in excitement, prior to his embarking for the heat race. Beginning the event, the field was two and three wide, with many riders choosing to opt out of the lead role; not he, as he would dash and lunge with all of his power, in order to get to the front. Feeling strong, he would linger around the ninth position; a place he knew he could stick with, but would always hope to further himself. A crash would then ensue, where Martin’s rear wheel would be spinning across tuff-blocks, in the whoop section. Remounting as quickly as he could, the true combatant in him would rally forward in the coming laps. The white flag would then be followed by the checkered, and he would reside ninth. Piecing together a strong performance in the main event would be tough; but he knew he had the desire deep down to conquer the task at hand. Beginning to flock further and further up these respective bowl turns, he would turn heads with this ability to rip these corners to shreds. Doing his best to pace Chase Sexton in front of him, he would hunt the aforementioned like significant piece of prey; giving him a beacon of reconnaissance and something to gauge his pace off of. His mechanic would then join in, telling him “just a few laps to go”, relaying his time on the pitboard. It would be enough, as he would round that final right-handed corner with immense desire; landing with a fifth place overall.
There are certain riders who shine brightest when the platforms are of the highest magnitude. Those that relish when all eyes are upon them. Embodying the tasks and the pressures that come with it, they continue to rise to the occasion even when there backs are against the wall. Colt Nichols is one of those riders, a gentleman who’s prepared mind, body, and spirit to overcome adversity; and cast historic performances when everyone’s view is focused specifically on him. It would be much of the same, for this particular round of Las Vegas; where the stands would be packed, television cameras would be of multiplying manner, and twenty-two of the fastest riders would be displaying their talents throughout one specific arena. He looked to make a statement early on in practice, where many riders were displaying a cutthroat mentality. Never one to shy away from a blatant battle of aggression, he wouldn’t necessarily be afraid to run a wheel or two in, even in circumstances like these. Glancing over toward numerous opponents, just the way he was holding his head, with a stiff and upright posture, signified that he was there for an act of war. He wanted to enlighten everyone on the line, proving to them that he was going to fight tooth and nail for the position he craved. The heat race would be a dog fight of testosterone and aggression; with wheels being nearly shoved into the side of his sub frame. Keeping his vision focused forward, there would be no instances of him glancing toward the crowd around. It was strictly a matter of focusing forward, as he would nearly barrel the front wheel into the sand corner. Hopping over the finish line double, he would nearly land in the attack stance, to save a bit of time; pulling away from the likes of Cameron McAdoo. It would then be a hot pursuit to the checkered flag, where he would take sixth. He would do his best on the following gate drop, sticking his front wheel to the furthest inside point of turn number one. Leaping through the rhythm sections adjacent to the far stands, he would bring the front end up to the highest point in the air; kissing the front end and sitting it down just past the summit of propulsion. Landing smoothly throughout the following transitions, would provide an ample gap needed to keep the lead over Michael Mosiman. Sixth at the line, his result for the final round would be noteworthy.
With bikes nowadays adjusting to all aspects of the altitude and climate control, there’s no need for jetting specifications like that of two-strokes in years past. However, the tuning of chips and EFI configurations is as prominent as ever; and the guys at team Husqvarna worked diligently to figure it out for Michael Mosiman. Tirelessly through the days and nights leading up to the event, the crew would stay up to the wee hours of the morning; making habitual adjustments as needed such as cleaning, oil, filter and such. However, upon viewing the weather conditions and variables of the soil surfaces, gearing ratios and throttle responses would be changed. And it was something that Mosiman was pleased with. A sly smirk would be held when under the shell of his helmet throughout the first couple of laps, as he knew this machine would be an absolute rocket-ship. But the feeling of positive emotion would quickly be adjourned, as a business-like attitude would then overtake he and locomotive. Drilling lap after lap upon this treacherous raceway, he felt the need to unleash all of his emotion through a whipping of the chassis; letting the frame simply hover into that of “outer space.” Landing with the throttle on, he was wasting absolutely no time in the chase of obtaining milliseconds. Pushing fear to the wayside, he would be beyond eager to get behind the gate for the heat race. A six minute showcase of charisma and will to win would be tackled during the aforementioned; as he was doing his absolute best to hold everyone off behind him. Hitting the “SX” triple with a bit of flare, he would take a subtle glance over his shoulder, just to see who was making all of the commotion; it was that of Cianciarulo. And he knew he couldn’t let any type of momentum build for the previously mentioned, as a heap of steam could only wreak havoc on his own will to succeed. He would withstand the pressure, keeping his efforts to the checkered flag. Finishing second, he was ready to go for the main event. The field would then dash into the first corner, and the sound of roar would echo outside of the stadium as the group of twenty-two sprinted to the outside. Railing the sweeper on the outside of the course, he would keep the arm perpendicular to the ground beneath him; ducking his head while the throttle twisted. Cutting an inch or two to the inside, he would quickly slam the door on Justin Cooper; something that would continue for the entirety of the main event. Nestled into seventh he would reside here when the clock struck zero.
Understanding that this was the platform of a final Supercross showing, Justin Cooper hoped to leaving a lasting impression on the industry as the series headed to the outdoor circuit here in the next few weeks. He knew that team owners and managers alike would remember this performance; something that could be of negotiation swaying and contractual obligation, when meeting at the table for the likes of next year. Nevertheless, he knew he would have to live in the moment; never becoming overwhelmed by what was at stake, with a race of this magnitude. So to begin practice, he was extremely stoic; a solemn demeanor not only held before the engines were fired, but as he vaulted around this respective raceway time after time. No matter how fast or how high he was soaring, he would remain unblemished on his quest to the top of the leaderboard. It was an all out assault on the competition around, disregarding whoever was on the track around him. Never one to be dirty or blatant in his moves, he would simply race the course with a period of aggression; understanding that if he could portray the likes of a serious combatant now, that a premonition of fear would linger over the rest of the pack for the nights entirety. He would carry on with his antics as the gate would fall for the heat race, hoping to assert himself as an alpha warrior throughout the midst of these other feverish racers. Keeping the 250f absolutely pinned to the hilt, he would reign terror on those around him; providing a bit of a dust storm with that of his rear tire, blocking the vision of everyone around him. Keeping the throttle twisted, he would up and over the finish line double on the white flag lap, feeling the pressure of John Short as he rounded the corner. Never one to waver, he would feel he could hang on, finishing sixth. The main would be a swarming of feverish competitors, as everyone was truly vying for their chance at a lucrative finish. Keeping the opponents in front of him honest, he couldn’t help but feel the aura of Martin Davalos behind. It was a true testament of will and power, as he wasn’t going to be shaken by anyone in the proximity of his goal. Hitting the whoops in a precise manner was key, as these were substantial grounds of both gaining and losing time. All in all, the white flag of surrender would come about, and he would be sitting strong in eighth place; where he would reside.
Upon seeing this track for the respective walk and press day, Martin Davalos could simply envision what was to come later on, during the course of Saturday evening. A slickening surface would continue to shin, with a bit of glistening dew beginning to cover the raceway in a tarp like manner. The crowd, joining into the surplus of variables that were already cast upon the field, would continue to roar. All as he crossed the finish line in an exceptional manner, understanding that he left it all out there for the industry to see. Fast forwarding to the present, Davalos would wheelie down the start straight for the opening portion of qualifying; showing that he was overcome with relaxation and joyous efforts while under the watchful eye of sponsors and managers alike. He would then avert to strictly business matters, laying down numerous speedy circuits within the borders of this respective session. One lap after the next, would be a portrayal of just how hard he was willing to go to obtain the goal of a top ten finish. He would disregard the circumstance, track layout, and competition around, always focused on racing to the best of his abilities, no matter what. The heat race would be underway during the latter part of the afternoon, the sky beginning to set in the distance. Shadows and rays of sun would try and deter his focus from moving forward, yet no distraction would interrupt his steadiness of attacking the task at hand. Putting it all on the line for everyone to see, he would be in the midst of a duel with Kyle Peters. Neck and neck, the two would conjoin into a heated battle to the finish; and he would be granted the second position. For the main event, all bets were on; as he truly believed he could inch his way into the top ten, no matter who was on the gate beside him. Powering through the sand section in the early going, he would find a steady line on the outside of the corner, gaining tid-bits of time each and every lap as the race would edge along. Hitting the whoops on the outside, he would do his best to stay on top of them, although the moguls would start to cup substantially. Keeping his focus on the track in front, he would continue to push the brink of his ability as the race came to a close. Ninth once all was said and done, he could walk away knowing a single digit was accumulated.
Looking at the itinerary of the events to come, everyone within the confines of the 250 class knew just how hard this event would be. A true “250” race in all regards; this event wasn’t broken up into particular coasts. It was an event where the most talented would simply line up behind the gate, vying with all intentions of saying they were the absolute best in this respective division. Garrett Marchbanks welcomed the surrounding competition with open arms, feeling a bit of excitement when putting his efforts forward against opponents like these. Going out for practice, he would be sure to watch in on the series leaders; keen on even the smallest of details, when looking to piece together a final qualification time. He would wait until the latter end of the round to uncork a time for the ages; sending the chassis hurling into the airs above the stadium. Some twenty feet off the ground, he would feel rather certain about his efforts portrayed; eager to begin the racing festivities to follow. Lined up with familiar company and those upon his coast, he would barrel into the opening sections for the likes of his heat race. Hovering around the tenth place spot, he knew there was absolutely no time to waste with the race being so short. A mere six minutes plus one lap, would call for all efforts of sprinting to be displayed. He would do so, keeping that of Chris Blose behind him, and leaving the sound of the distinct 250f engine into the rearview. Being ushered by the presence of his mechanic relaying and encouraging him with positive messages upon the pit board, he would walk away across the final finish line double, with a seventh place finish. The main event would be a place where he could unleash his inner rage, despite dealing with the midst of traffic all around him. No usage of turn signals or horn honking, the only thing that would help him vault his way forward would be that of pure aggression; swerving and jumping into respective lines when necessary. Keeping everything accompanied with the green light, in was an “all systems go” matter, when the flags would continue to change colors. Looking to keep matters in front of Brandon Hartranft, he would do whatever was necessary to secure the tenth place ride.