The 2008 AMA Supercross Series got underway this past weekend after nearly three months of down time. Very uncharacteristic weather greeted the Southern California fans and riders, as the rains fell steady on the days leading up to the event. The track crew covered the race surface, but the rain was too much for the plastic to keep out entirely. When the plastic was removed prior to Saturday’s abbreviated practice, the track had been fairly saturated but looked to have some usable lines.
Our team lineup for the West region includes myself on 450cc and Bob Kiniry riding in the Lites (250F) division. Kyle Partridge, originally slated to ride West, was moved to the East division at the last minute when he suffered a slight hand injury preparing for this weekend’s event.
Timed qualification went very well for us, as Bob set the fastest lap time in his practice and I was fourth quickest in mine. This set us both up well, with good gate position for the start in the qualification heat race.
Lites Heat Two
Bob was in the second of two heat races with the top nine riders advancing. He veered right out of the gate but still looked to be in good position as he rounded the first turn. In the very first rhythm section the rider behind him jumped right into his rear end causing them both to crash. He was at a huge deficit by the time he was able to remount and clean the mud off his gloves. He set out to work, picking off several riders at a time as he charged through the field. In the end he fell one place short of qualification for the main event, crossing the finish line in tenth and having to go to the LCQ.
Supercross Heat One
I was in the first of two heat races with the top nine riders advancing to the main event. I had a great jump off the gate and rounded the first corner inside the top ten. I moved up to seventh, where I ran for several laps before being overtaken by Chad Reed. On
the final lap I was in eight and looking good the transfer. With
about ½ lap to go, I lost my front end in a very slick turn and hit the dirt, letting two riders by in the process. I remounted quickly and charged hard to get back into qualification position but fell about a bike-length short of getting by Nathan Ramsey. On to the LCQ.
Bob had a great start in the LCQ, which would be valuable since they only take four riders from it to the main event. He had a small bobble and let two riders by on the opening lap, but was looking quick and smooth by the third of four laps. Unfortunately, the rider in fourth was not content just to qualify for the main and tried a risky move taking both himself and Bob out of the race prematurely.
Bob was disappointed to return to the pits for the night.
I had a good position on the gate and a great jump, but I was only able to emerge from the first turn around sixth. I moved up to fifth on the first lap, then fourth a lap later. On the third lap I was setting up a pass to move into third when I had a bit of misfortune.
In the rhythm section leading up to my crash, I must have hit a bit of a muddy rut and the mud packed into my shift lever sticking it back. Fast forward to the next section and I went to shift from first to second gear on the face of a jump and just barely caught the lever with the inside of my boot. Instead of clicking to second, I shifted myself into neutral and subsequently went over the bars. I remounted outside the top ten and had to also stop to clean out my shift lever after having realized what had happened. When all was said and done I finished eleventh, far short of qualification. My night would also end early.
Summary: Not exactly the debut we were hoping for, but we are looking forward to Phoenix this coming weekend for some measure of redemption. Both Bob and I were riding well, just not putting ourselves in the best position and making some costly mistakes. The crew was working great and we are really looking forward to a very fun and successful season.
Team Solitaire/MB1 Kingdom Honda is a privately owned professional Supercross and Motocross race team based in Phoenix, AZ. Our 2008 marketing partners include: MB1 Suspension, Kingdom Clothing, American Honda, FLY Racing, Pro Honda Oils and Chemicals, DRD Exhaust, Vortex, Dragon Optical, Factory Effex, ASV, Dunlop, WPS, Sidi, Rockwell Watches, DUS, OGIO, Applied, QTM/Brembo, RK Chain, EXCEL Rims, Hoy-Fox Toyota, Boyesen, Hinson, Ready Filter, CoachSeiji.com, Cycra Plastic, Sano Systems, AIMMD, Pivot Works, Hot Cams, Hot Rods, Champion Tool Storage, Crank Works, CP Pistons, Cometic Gaskets, Ron Davis Racing Radiators, DC Auto Wraps, Leatt Brace, Dirt Pro, Group D and Western Power Sports