Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev Up. If there is a city on the supercross tour that is deserving of a barnburner, San Francisco is it. Ravaged by inclement weather for most of its existence, the SFSX will finally be graced with sunny, 65-degree weather. And unlike the past couple weeks, it looks like we have a pretty good track design. This one even has a “hoop” section! But, I digress. The Nor-Cal faithful have always showed up, rain or shine, to watch the annual Battle of the Bay inside AT&T Park. The Nor-Cal fans are an interesting group. The have the similar style and coolness of the So-Cal group, but in my opinion, it has always seemed like those in the Bay Area carry the last few droplets of the "high water mark" that once swept across the area.
There was once an incredible wave of positive energy in San Francisco that began to crown during the Great Depression. During those tough times, not a single bank in the district went under. Instead, one of the most incredible construction ventures began during the mid 1930s in the construction of the Oakland Bay and Golden Gate Bridges. A couple of decades later came the great cultural and musical boom that ultimately built the wave into a towering tsunami that peaked in 1969. It was aptly coined, "The Summer of Love." Shortly after, the wave finally broke and the Land of Milk and Honey began a low tilt toward the .com, red tape, and Starbucks land of today. Ah, but there remains a clan of folks nestled in the Bay Area that continue to view the world with the right set of eyes. From the Gold Rush, to dismantling the painful walls of culture, San Francisco is the land of opportunity. Who is going to make the most out of their opportunity this weekend? Only nine points separate James Stewart and Chad Reed with only two rounds left before the series heads east. The GOAT always said, "Let me leave California with the points lead, and I'll put 'em in the hurt locker back home." It's still early, but the race for the heavy gold is well under way. Let's go ahead and get the shoulders back and get Revved Up for 'frisco baby!
I had a feeling that Ryan Dungey was going to be a man among boys with this group in 2009, and he hasn't disappointed. My second hunch also found fruition in the form of Jake Weimer winning races and challenging for the title. That said, the two things I didn't expect to see was Trey Canard and Jason Lawrence all but out of the championship hunt. Those two have suffered different kinds of trouble, but it is trouble all the same. While the Pro Circuit duo of Weimer and Ryan Morais can still smell blood, J-law needs to rally right now, and hope Dungey stumbles. For that matter, I'm a Dungey fan, but he has a couple more races before he can shake the "rider may bail" sign off his back. Watch for "Ice Trey" to serve as a spoiler in the next couple weeks. I wouldn't call it a sophomore jinx quite yet. That kid's tough. Dark horses? Sure, San Francisco has seen some surprise winners. Remember Billy Laninovich's only career win? Maybe it's time for Brayton to shine. My pick? Local nor-cal brother, Ryan Morais. I used to hang with his family and ride with him all around Nor-cal. They're a great bunch. You'll hear some serious screams for Flyin' Ryan when the Voice of God announces #116.
I can only smile as I look at the points standings in this group. As we approach round five, the magic number is nine, as in nine points between James and Chad. That's not what I'm smiling at, though. That magic number also pertains to JGR's #33. Josh Grant opened it up with a big win and has been in the top five each race since. He has been speaking quietly and carrying a heavy stick. Grant is currently leading Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto, and I'd imagine their bonus checks are one or more zeroes apart. Tell ya what, though, I had a feeling RV Park was ready to bite and damned if he didn't go out and lead laps last weekend and put her on the steps. Kevin Windham led two weeks ago, and as we begin to crack the knuckles for San Francisco, I smell a battle brewing. Where there is smoke there is fire and we could see AT&T burn hotter than 1906 this Saturday night.
It's going to be a beautiful day at the supercross races, ladies and gentlemen. The vista of the Bay Bridge tucked in behind the brick stadium is awe-inspiring. You can smell the salty sea air, and see Alcatraz looming though the evening fog. I can close my eyes and see the sea of people making the trek from the parking lot and pits, across that gnarly black drawbridge to the stadium. I can see several thousand hooded sweatshirts with flat-bill "nor-cal" hats peering out of the raised hood. Round five is here. The great gold rush of 2009 is up to full song and flying!