Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev Up—a day late but just in
time for supercross. You know, its times like these that make me
reflect on my favorite quote from Ferris Bueller. It reads, “Like
moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and take a look around once in a
while, you could miss it.” Can we really be on the cusp of
another supercross season opener? It seems such a short time ago
that we were watching Ivan and Mikey-boy roll around in the Glen Helen
sand. And if you listen hard enough, you can still hear the echo
of air horns and chainsaws from the Motocross of Nations in
France. And I bet when the janitor at the MGM Grand Garden Arena
took to the floors of the arena this morning, he could still smell the
premix (from the mini class, at least).
Be that as it may, the calendar on my watch reads
December 1st. As you read this, a track is built in Toronto! The
press conference is already finished! And there will be 17 more
tracks just like it on this year’s thrill-bill (18 if you count the new
and vastly improved Daytona event). Practice is soon to start! Waiting
in the wings are the best supercross riders on the planet. The
warning shots have been firing for a couple of weeks. We’ve seen
flashes of supercross bikes on Speed Channel commercials, The Motocross
Files history documentaries on the same channel, and interviews in USA
Today featuring Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart. For all of
you supercross fanatics, have no fear; flying time is here! Here
comes the Rev Up!
There is so much to write about as we enter this all-important season for our sport. There is more global awareness than ever before. A TV deal is in place and we will have next-day coverage of just about all of the SX races. All of these things have been manifested from a simple source. This energy we feel is the result of an unbalanced equation. This equation has been desperately trying to balance itself out for the past 2 years. The question is simple, “Who is the best Supercross rider on the planet?” The variables have been, for the most part, narrowed down to three possibilities. As the clash of combat draws near, let’s go back to the basics. Let’s take a closer look at these three possibilities—all three of whom are in Canada right now—and break down their individual art of racing.
Turns out he wasn’t washed up. Turns out he
came into last year with more speed and determination that he had ever
shown and won the AMA Supercross title with one round remaining (and
the world title with maybe a month remaining). There is nothing
more for RC to prove; no more records to break or doubters to
quiet. He is the GOAT. But put yourself in his shoes.
After all of those years of training, and winning, and giving it 100%,
how hard would you work for one last effort? You are only as good
as your last ride, right? Okay, not really. But Ricky wants you
to remember him as the best there ever was. He is the best there
ever was. And if he wins his 5th SX title in 2006, he can take
the next step towards being the best there ever will be. Jeremy is,
was, and will always be the King of Supercross, but RC’s broader attack
and much larger trophy case makes him the best all-around.
-Revenge is a dish best served up cold
Bubba will be out for revenge, folks. After riding through what
had to be the biggest pressure cooker of all-time, James Stewart is
probably the happiest rider in the world to see the end of 2005.
Since Stewart was 7 years old, he has been a champion. In fact,
he hadn’t so much as been challenged since then.
To say a lot has changes for James for the 2006
season is a gigantic understatement. He will be riding a new
bike, he has moved home to Florida, and he will be riding without the #
259 for the first time in his professional career.* James appears
to be making some big moves to change his aura. He needed
to. It was too much too fast for the Floridian, and 2005 did a
painful job of slowing things down. James may not be alone in the
“I have something to prove category” category (see Chapter 2 above).
And in my opinion, he has everything to prove. There are no more
excuses and no more room for error. Is James the chosen
one? A lot of that will be answered this weekend. I have a
feeling we are going to see something very, very frightful. Bubba
riding supercross on a 450? Look out.
The time has come. Hark, the air horns in the distance. Feel the thunder roll. There are more top pilots than the three I mentioned above that will jump to the front line this weekend, and their story will be told in volume 2 next Thursday. Until then, listen to the races on www.supercross.cc.com, watch the races come Sunday afternoon on Speed Channel, and don’t forget to check back later for DC’s take on it all in Racerhead.
Thanks for reading, see you next week.