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Rev-Up: San Francisco

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Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev Up. It wasn't a matter of when; it was only a matter of time. I remember reading Motocross Action covers with headlines like, "Young Lions tackle the old guard" and "Youth Gone Wild!" Towards the end of the '80s, legends like Johnny O'Mara, Jeff Ward, and Ricky Johnson were being overtaken by fresh talent like Mike LaRocco, Damon Bradshaw, and Jeff Stanton. That trio shared a lot with O'Shack, Wardy, and Too Hip in their style and demeanor. "The Rock," "The Beast," and "Stanton," were just a little bit hungrier, faster, and younger. It wasn't until the arrival of Jeremy McGrath that we saw a whole new level of confidence and power.

  • SX rolls into San Francisco this weekend.
Like Michael Jordan in the NBA, nobody in the motocross world had ever seen an athlete like McGrath. He was catching backside, and staying low. After no fewer than seventy-two wins did that man finally hand over his title belt. And if that complete freak of nature they would later call The GOAT didn't come along, MC may have hit the century mark. When would we ever see somebody go as fast as Carmichael? James Stewart showed up and even his alien-like skill couldn't defeat that red-haired maniac. And the history book reads, nobody ever took RC's title belt. He walked away with both fingers in the air, undisputed.

But, he didn't come close to MC's 72 wins. Nobody ever will.

I was beginning to scratch my head a little about the next generation. For the past twenty years, Loretta Lynn's was producing riders that not only "made it," they became supercross champions. How long was it going to take riders like Josh Hill, Ryan Villopoto, and Ryan Dungey to climb to the top of the mountain? I've watched Hill race since he was on 60s and he's always had the right stuff, save for the past two embarrassing seasons. Many moons ago, I was at the San Francisco Supercross drinking beer and watching with my boys when Rod Salcedo walked up and introduced this kid to me as Josh Hill. Josh wore big smiles and was polite as can be. I just told him that I knew who he was and told him he'd be out there with those guys soon enough.

Josh can complete the cycle this Saturday night. Sure, he won in 2008, but he needs to get another one to prove he's here to stay.

Wait, wait, wait... "James is riding injured, or his pace would have been way faster." Oh yeah, where was that pace at A1? If it weren't for impossible nerves, Dungey would have had him handled. James is riding injured right now, but even if he wasn't, I think the new world order has arrived. Chad Reed knows it, too. Dungey and Hill's pace is furious. They're young and hungry like a wolf.

I'm still picking Stewart to win. He's simply too tough to beat in these circumstances.

  • Josh Hill always had the right stuff.
Speaking of circumstances, let's take a look at this weekend at The Bay. The area has been getting drilled with rain of biblical proportions for the past two weeks. What do you do when you build a track with mud? Well, you do the best you can. We saw a miracle last weekend at A2, but I wouldn't count on it this time around. The track is going to be very soft at best. Looks like the rain should stay away, but the damage is done. Prepare for the first nasty one this Saturday night. Soft Supercross tracks are gnarly. Ruts, holes, and muck can send a rider in any direction at any time. Especially on those evil 450 beasts.

It could be another weekend for some big, big events.

The world has seen a lot of weird things in the past few months. One such oddity that struck me was the disappearance of the 1,700 seals from SF's Pier 39. Just before Thanksgiving, they just up and vanished. After calling the pier their home for twenty years, they bailed out. Animals have a sixth sense and perhaps they know something wicked this way comes. I cooked up a theory the other night and I think they heard the sound and the fury of the only NorCal based supercross coming their way. They feared their little seal ears would explode when they hear the loudest fans in the country go bananas when they hit the lights. Maybe not. They probably felt the San Andreas twitch and want to get out of the hell out of the way before that giant gold bridge thing starts shooting wires in every direction for twenty miles.

Or, perhaps, it was simply time for them to move on.

Round four is upon us. Can Dungey keep his Cinderella story awake, or will he crack the glass slipper? Can James Stewart keep his title hopes alive? Can Josh Hill put together his masterpiece? Maybe it's time for RV Park to show up and blow up? Is it time for Jake Weimer to let someone else win in the 250 class? My good friends, there is so much reason to get the shoulders back for some Supercross!

Thanks for reading, see you next week.
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