James Stewart did exactly what he needed to do last week, and he did so
in convincing fashion. We have all suffered beside James and Kawasaki
this year in one way or another and the simple fact is that our sport
missed him and what he brings to the track. I will risk using only one
more weather related reference to the upcoming season and then switch
back to basic sports metaphors in the near future. With the storm surge
felt throughout the sport and James’ transformation on schedule, it
could be argued that he is the Eye of the Storm coming into Anaheim.
James also has a new look in his eye, and it could be argued that he
has the Eye of the Tiger coming into Anaheim as well. Wow! The Eye of
the Storm, with the Eye of the Tiger could really make for a long
season for his competitors. Of course, I am just taking a shot at the
seemingly worthless pre-Anaheim hype that builds this time every year.
James is back on track and has been both impressive and humble thus
far. He knows better than to discount RC, Reed, K-dub and the rest of
the men lined up next to him. RC is a champion and a warrior and will
come to A1 ready for battle. Reed is one of the most competitive riders
I’ve ever known, and he will find the speed and be battling up front
soon enough. Let’s take a lesson from James this time and let the
riding do the talking. We can bench race after it's over.
Billy Lanninninovich had a tough start to the West coast series last
year, but finished up strongly. He looks to have picked up right where
he left off in SX with some strong rides in Canada that had him on the
podium in both rounds. We will catch up with young William after he
finishes up with testing today.
Ryan Villopoto is one of Mitch Payton’s newest guns for 06. He suffered
a small setback with a small collarbone crack, but he is plated and
already planning to jump back on the track ASAP. During his off time,
Ryan has been working on his tan, but even California doesn’t have
tanning beds strong enough to pierce through his ivory shield. Ryan
will let everyone know how is progressing, and maybe what coast he will
David Bailey told me a few weeks ago that Ryan Sipes would be turning
heads this year, and the ICON was right. Sipes had some impressive
speed in Vancouver and seems to be ready for his sophomore year aboard
his WBR ride for 06. With Bailey and newly added super trainer Todd
Jacobs on his team, look for Ryan to battling for podiums this year.
Another Pro-Circuit casualty of the tough preseason training was Troy
Adams. Troy had a bad crash that resulted in a broken femur, but the
Floridian transplant is already doing some road bike work just a few
weeks after surgery. Troy is one of the nicest riders you will find in
the pits, and a class act. We will give him a group hug tonight, and
wish him well during recovery. He will be back on that Pro-Circuit
Monster Energy KX250F in no time.
Jason Weigandt is a thread that is deeply woven within our sport. He
handles the web casting and press conference duties for the SX races,
but he was somehow last to post a Vancouver race recap. With the age of
the internet and instant information, Jason will now predict what the
racers will say in the press conference, and be first to post from now
on. Information is power! So who’s your daddy now? We will also get
Weege’s comments on the recent investigation by the WV Sports and
Gaming Commission into the complaint that he allegedly cheated Alphado
out of a Mini Supermoto Championship this year. In all fairness, we
will have Mr.Alphado on to hear his side when he is cleared by his
lawyers to comment.
Steve Flanders from Moto X Dream will be on tonight to break down the
prize divisions and announce the new title sponsor. Bill’s Pipe’s /
Rockstar Energy team has stepped up and will be giving away Mike
Brown’s race bike at the end of the season. If you have never played
this fantasy SX/MX game, now is the time to try. Great weekly prizes
and a cool way to show your knowledge or lack thereof about the sport.
We have some epic battles throughout the year, and you can still sign
up before Anaheim 1 to take part in the action. Check out
www.motoxdream.com for details.