Tedesco and McGrath are the leaders in the chase of the Big Three
everyone, and welcome to the Rev-Up! We’re already three races deep
into the 2006 Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series, and so far, so great.
Round 4 is marching toward the beautiful San Francisco Bay as you read
this, and this event is one of my personal favorites. The Bay Area is a
magnificent buffet of American landmarks, culture, and history. Between
the Golden Gate Bridge, the Piers, the old Presidio base and Alcatraz
prison, the place gives off a very noticeable vibe of nostalgia. It’s
also the home of Metallica, hence the handle for this week’s column.
I have seen a lot of places in the world, but none holds as many
profound memories for me as this special area in Northern California.
Between seeing a 15-year-old Travis Pastrana launch off Pier 32 at the
X Games in 1999, making out with a girl on a boat under the Bay Bridge
in 2002, and seeing Ricky Carmichael battle with Chad Reed last year,
I’m torn as to which one I hold dearest!
What happened to the "lucky" orange gear?
but this isn’t about me. This is about you and your feelings of
excitement and anticipation for more madness. Hey, I’ve got your back.
The boys are heading up the coast this weekend for Round 4. So far,
it’s been nothing short of astonishing action. Are you all ready to do
this? I certainly am!
Last weekend was a special race. It was the 20th anniversary of Bailey
vs. Johnson, and so many things mirrored that epic moment in U.S.
supercross—the track included. Last week’s track was old-school. We had
fast straightaways, sweeping turns, and obstacles that Bailey himself
could have jumped on his 1986 CR250R. But we also had one of the best
races for the lead we’ve seen in years. I think the track was a genius
effort in creating the more four-stroke-friendly courses of the future.
This isn’t BMX, and this isn’t freestyle motocross. In my opinion, we
do not need “courses” for better action; we need “racetracks.” Spice up
last week’s track just a little bit more and I think the Dirt Wurx crew
will have it dialed. Moving right along, let’s get to the racing action
that leads us to the Bay.
Chad's 2-2-2 means he's ready to be dealt a 3 ... or an ace!
Houston, we have a problem!
“Competition to mission control … mission control, come in.”
“Competition, we have you, what’s going on out there?”
“There’s a bright yellow comet bearing down on us and we can’t shake it!”
“Competition, we have that comet on radar … it’s gaining strength and
magnitude. If you do not gain velocity it may overcome you. Increase
velocity immediately! We’ve seen this comet before … if you fail to
pick it up, it may be too late!”
Ricky Carmichael may not be a comet, but he sure as hell is a house on
fire, ladies and gentlemen! Do you remember last year when RC was the
underdog? Chad Reed was the defending champion and had him covered on
SX speed. San Francisco was the race that really saw the momentum
switch back to the GOAT when he came from behind to pass #22—in the
whoops, of all places. As we head back to SF, Ricky appears to have
gained the upper hand already, as the exact same race took place, only
this time it was with James Stewart at Anaheim. With two wins in a row,
mother momentum is riding strong behind his RM-Z450. The boys had
better put him in check quick, or else Armageddon is in their immediate
James, like Ricky, is going to want to win in front of the Fox boys
did two things last weekend that really caught my eye. For starters, he
gained ground on James Stewart. He reeled him in and was close enough
to capitalize on James’ eventual mistake. But the kicker is, I’ve never
seen anybody gain ground on Stewart on a supercross track. He also won
wearing something other than orange! That’s right, not his familiar
lucky color like a lot of people thought he would wear after he won in
Phoenix; he won wearing blue gear. He never wins wearing blue! So he
has squashed just about all of the urban legends. At this point, I
think he could win after running over a black cat in the pits, breaking
a mirror in his Team Hauler, and opening up an umbrella inside his
But boy oh boy, do we have a treat waiting for us. James Stewart will
be on a mission this Saturday night! Hey, he is doing it right. He has
led the most laps, finished on the steps all three times, and is two
small mishaps from possibly being undefeated. And with rain in the
forecast for the next three days, I am predicting we will have a soft,
rutted track waiting for us. Remember Seattle last year? JBS can lay
wood in the ruts, folks.
This is the time of year that is very important for James’ title hopes.
He just has to keep placing on the podium and riding smart. His amazing
talent and determination will get him to the promised land of
supercross if he keeps it calm long enough to rebuild the confidence he
carried into Canada. But now, with the race right up the road from RC
and James’ shared clothing sponsor, Morgan Hill-based Fox Racing, I
think Stewart will really be focused on winning this race. Even with
Ricky taking those two wins in a row, I feel its going to be all eyes
on #7 this time around.
Ride the lightning - right into the bay!
about the rest—including Chad Reed? Oh, they’re there and they’re
ready. Bad Billy pointed out in his always-insightful Bench Racing Ammo
this week that “The Thunder” has tallied up a quiet score of 2-2-2 in
the series so far. Consistency spells championships; anger spells
speed! I have made mention of Reed’s fury in the previous three weeks,
so I will not cease to do so now. The man’s persona heading into this
weekend has to rival that of a stubbed-toed Jack Nicholson! He’s
furious. He’s hungry. And #22 will be going all bare-knuckles on us, I
Ah, but as I touched on above, rain is in the forecast. The Cobra could
be ready to strike! Ivan Tedesco is gaining speed, and Jeremy McGrath
just keeps us believing. And Mike LaRocco is still lurking out there
I’ll be there in the flesh this weekend to watch it all go down. I
cannot wait to walk on the Embarcadero. I can already smell the salt
air drifting in off the cold Bay waters. I can close my eyes and see
the glow of Pac-Bell Stadium shimmering in the moonlight of the
surrounding sea. The race forecasters were a year off on their
prediction of the Perfect Storm. What we felt last year was mere
shockwaves of the eye of the real Perfect Storm, which seems to have
actually arrived in 2006. The storm is here, and it is not for the
timid. Run and take shelter … or ride the lightning out across the bay
like good old #199! Round 4 is here, guys! Let it roll!