The East series came down to the final round in Detroit in 2007!
When it was time for the Detroit Supercross last year, the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Championship was headed towards its East Region conclusion. A three-way battle between Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki teammate Ben Townley and Darcy Lange were battling with Yamaha of Troy’s Ryan Morais for the championship. Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey may have been the fastest man in the class—he would win Detroit—but too many crashes in the middle of the series proved costly.
A year later, the same may hold true for Dungey, though he’s out West now. And the other three East Region frontrunners have had HUGE reversals of fortune. Last year’s champ Townley now rides for Honda Red Bull Racing, but only on crutches so far as an ankle injury claimed his entire SX season. Ryan Morais is still with Yamaha of Troy but the darkhorse of last year has simply not been on the pace this season. And the Canadian Lange was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, a form of lymphoma cancer, and is out indefinitely.
In fact, not a single rider who scored an East Region podium last year has been on the podium in the East Region in ’08. Dungey and Tommy Hahn went to the West, Mike Alessi moved up to a 450, and Orlando winner Branden Jesseman and two-time podium finisher Matt Goerke have yet to earn trophies this season.
The Progressive Direct holeshot award is still the same!
And then there’s the series itself where you can say “What a difference a year makes” and really mean it. Defending champ James Stewart was out after two rounds, Ricky Carmichael really meant it when he said he was retiring, the AMA and FIM series have been combined, and Amp’d Mobile is history, replaced by Monster Energy as the series title. And the last round of the East is in St. Louis, not Detroit!
What other big changes have we missed since last year? Email us your take (and if it’s something big we didn’t think of, we might send you a Racer X T-shirt!) at: Online@racerxill.com.