Mud races bring out the most pure elements of our trade. We don’t put on bike covers and the fans don’t retreat back to the parking lot. (Editor’s note: Well, unless you’re Matthes) There are no lame down-time interviews or old broadcast re-runs. The fans stand up in their ponchos, the mechanics put on mud tires and rubber boots, and the riders harden up and go race.
I can almost see the looks on the faces of the Daytona Motorsports Group as the gate dropped for that first Lites heat race. Had to be big smiles with both eye brows raised high! And hell, that isn’t even real outdoor motocross. I’m very excited for what the future holds. How much will the sport change? A lot? Not much? Whatever changes occur, the right people are coming in to place that will make sure the changes are for the better.
Meanwhile, the 2008 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship rolls on, and the title hunt in the premiere class has new life. As we turn our attention to the return to the Minneapolis Metrodome, we have a cool event on our hands. (Insert Chris Cornell lyric here) We haven’t raced there since 2004 and my have things changed since then. Let’s go ahead and get it Revved Up for Minnesota.
Torco Racing Fuels Honda rider Trey Canard has won three in a row and holds a 24-point lead over MDK/KTM’s Ryan Sipes, and a 31-point advantage over defending champion, Ryan Villopoto…. Um, did I just write that? I couldn’t believe how hard Trey was charging in the mud last weekend. There is still beer dripping from my ceiling from when I leapt off the couch after he hucked the finish line double. What a mad man!
Now we’ll take it back indoors and have another shot at a dry race. The track seems to be fairly mundane, but does have a tricky section right before the finish line. This is the exact replica of the jump on/jump off switch back that we saw at St. Louis last year. It makes for a lot of block passes and last-ditch banzai efforts.
We should see a great show from these boys. Canard, RV2, and Josh Grant are primed for a three-man showdown.
The point lead is back to 23 points, which means less than a race, and if the Red Riders want a shot at the title they have to apply the heat right now. They’ve been able to beat Chad Reed on consecutive occasions once already and right now is the time to attack. But, I’d venture to guess that “two-two” is going to be bringing the heat up in Minnesota. I can’t imagine riding through that watery hell like he did last weekend and come up three turns short! Ah, but in my eyes, he got bit by the karma bug. Number three on the Motocross Ten Commandments reads “Thou shalt not cut the track.” Okay, maybe cutting is a stiff word for a crazy race like this, but the AMA saw enough of it to give him a little slap on the Thor gloves. It was a bummer all around. He was the fastest and gutted it out the whole race, but hey, doctor, I think things ended square with the moto gods.
The planets are aligned for an incredible run down the stretch for the title. Kevin is riding confidently, and the opportunity is there for Honda Red Bull Racing’s Davi Millsaps to put some space between himself and the point leader. And lest you forget, the last time the boys played in the Metrodome, it was Windham who claimed victory.
It’s been an amazing year so far and now it’s time to tighten things up a bit, raise the stakes, and get championships on the brain. The sport is seeing some major changes, but the elements that make it great remain steadfast. Who’s going to be the man this time?