Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev-Up! The spirit of competition
is firing on all eight cylinders like I have never seen it. I am
writing to you all on the heels of some of the most intense college
bowl games of all time. It’s been exactly 10 minutes since I saw Vince
Young scramble into the end zone to put a nail in the coffin on the
NCAA College Football National Championship for the Texas University
Longhorns. With that incredible sensation of adrenaline hot in my veins
I immediately ran to the computer to write this week’s column.
is in the air, folks. I think all of the bad noise of 2005 has given
athletes of all sports and distinction a little more pep in their step,
a little more grit in their teeth, and a whole lot more fire in their
hearts. And for us, of the supercross beloved, we have our Holy Grail
awaiting us in two days: Anaheim is here. I guarantee you this is going
to be a race and a season to remember! Let’s go over some of the
variables that make this year’s Anaheim one of the most anxiously
awaited supercross races ever, and get Revved Up for the greatest show
Realistically, there are going to be two major conflicts in the premier
class, the first of which is the battle of the baddest. And there are
three warriors in this battle. Ricky Carmichael, Chad Reed, and James
Stewart are going to dance in the six-sided ring of fire. First,
though, I am going to go out on a limb and say this will be the last
Anaheim 1 for the immortal Ricky Carmichael. Ricky has won everything
in our sport save for one very precious race: the coveted supercross
season opener. The man will be on a mission this Saturday night. He has
been quoted recently saying, “This year is for me.” Ricky knows the
chess match of a 16-race season; be that as it may, they’d better
reinforce the throttle housing on his RM-Z450 for this one. He is going
to try to twist it off Saturday night, I promise you.
Chad Reed will also bring it this weekend. I’ll chalk up his uninspired
rides in the Great White North to his off-season surgeries and time
away from the fire of competition. Chad is one of those riders who
picks up speed when he is angry. And coming into Anaheim on the heels
of the drubbing he received in Canada, he has to be straight-up pissed
off. Look for Reed and his factory YZ450F to get nasty this weekend.
Will the podium look like this in Anaheim?
then there’s James Stewart, who rode with ice in his veins instead of
fire in his eyes at the Canadian rounds. It will require the same
demeanor to continue his journey to the top of the mountain. There is
going to be some bar-banging, and even more head games laying ahead for
the 20-year-old phenomenon. He has the speed, he has the equipment, and
he has the desire. This is James’ time. And it’s time for him to
capture it. Man, oh man, is he riding fast! His KX450 appears to be an
impeccable machine, and in the capable hands of Stewart, this may be a
combination that is impossible to beat. The only thing I see slowing it
down are the decisions the commander makes throughout the weekend.
However, we saw a “New Beginning” in Canada. And if James rides smart,
this could very well be the beginning of the end for anyone not wearing
The second, and I believe most fierce, conflict will be the battle
behind the “Big Three.” I call them “The Big 12.” Check out these
names: Ivan Tedesco, Jeremy McGrath, David Vuillemin, Heath Voss,
Michael Byrne, Nick Wey, Mike LaRocco, Ernesto Fonseca, Travis Preston,
Ryan Clark, Tyler Evans, and Mike Brown. This will be the eye of the
storm for 20 laps at Anaheim. There is podium and top-five potential
for all of these guys, and they will put forth a spectacular display,
all for our viewing pleasure.
Will experience pay off for Andrew Short in the Lites division in 2006?
“lite” to write about here, folks! The action and drama that awaits us
in this class is about heavy as it gets! Holy crap, guys, this is going
to be good, and we’re still not quite sure who all is riding where in
these two series! We do know we have the heavy hitters (and previous
main-event winners) of Andrew Short, Grant Langston, and Nathan Ramsey.
Ah, but bringing the heat in a big way will be the notorious Alessi
brothers (no matter which one shows up) and fellow first-timers Ryan
Villopoto and the Jason Lawrence Show. There is more rivalry and drama
in these three entities than words can explain.
How about U.S. Open winner Brett Metcalfe or Billy Laninovich for some
more spice? Not enough? How about a taste of Danny Smith, Ryan Sipes,
Andrew McFarlane, Chris Gosselaar, and Ryan Mills to ease your appetite
for destruction? I can go on: Eric Sorby, Darcy Lange, and Paul
Carpenter all have podium potential! You’d better be able to multitask
when watching this main event, as there will be block-passes, takeouts,
and mind-blowing action from first to 22nd in the upcoming 15-lap march
Are you anxious? Can you feel the anticipation? Did the Speed Channel
episodes of Lackey, Smith, DeCoster, RJ, and Hannah give you the same
nostalgic feeling in the pit of your guts as it did me? How about the
powerful preseason preview that Troy Adamitis put together for CCE on
CBS? Did it fuel your supercross fire?
Hell’s bells, I hope so! I’m pumped beyond recognition! Who is going to
whip it the furthest on the parade lap? Who is going to bang the first
holeshot of the season? What if it’s McGrath? There is a monster that
is gaining strength and growing razor-sharp fangs. This monster has the
combined DNA of Hannah, Ricky Johnson, Jeremy McGrath, Mike Goodwin,
Mickey Thompson, Clear Channel, and 60,000 rabid fans all configured to
form a growing beast named American Supercross. It’s coming. Don’t be
anxious, be ready. Listen online, watch TV Sunday, or just hop on a
plane and fly out there if you can!