Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev-Up. Wow, what a series! This will be one of those years people remember for a long time. I can't recall a supercross season that produced so many surprises, pitfalls, and drama. There were three #1 plates to vie for at the onset of the new season, and it wasn't too far of a stretch to say that Ryan Dungey, Jake Weimer, and Christophe Pourcel would own them back in January. But wow, did we see a lot of crazy things take place between A1 and the Las Vegas finale. Who would have thought Chad Reed would get injured early and fail to win a single main event for the first time in his career? Who would have imagined that James Stewart would only make it to round three? It was a tough road to hoe for title contenders Reed, Stewart, Grant, and Villopoto, as they were collectively struck down by injuries. Even our new champion, RD5, barely escaped the clutches of the injured-reserve list. How he didn't break when he abandoned ship at San Francisco is beyond me. You can sum up the 2010 Supercross Championship with one word: attrition.
Summer is here and it's time to take it outdoors and open up a whole new can of worms. Before we get Revved Up for the 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, let's take a look back at the three championships and how they shook out in 2010.
WESTJake Weimer and Josh Hansen rolled into Anaheim looking tough to beat, with Weimer narrowly losing the 2009 title and Hansen earning the X Games gold medal. The only man I saw getting in their way was 2008 East Champion Trey Canard. It's kind of weird to think that it's already been two full seasons since Trey sent Villopoto into the metal structure at St. Louis on his way to his championship. Canard never really got rolling in his two years out West, but the work he did moonlighting in the Supercross class was good enough for a factory Honda ride—something Jake Weimer has yet to nail down.
Biggest Surprise: Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Honda duo Wil Hahn and Cole Seeley. Hahn put it on the steps almost every round, and he arrived in Salt Lake City with a mathematical chance at the title. He posted the quickest practice times, grabbed holeshots, and had David Pingree puffing his chest out. Cole Seeley isn't a household name, but his speed and results will have the scouts looking hard at him for 2011. Congratulations!
Biggest Disappointment: GEICO Honda's Trey Canard and Blake Wharton. Both riders had better experience and equipment than the Troy Lee boys but didn't do as well. It's hard to say they were big disappointments; they simply didn't have anything for the Monster boys, and I hoped they would show more. They'll be back outdoors, though.
Biggest Moment: The West showing some muscle at the Dave Coombs Sr. East-West Shootout. Race of the year so far!
A lot of folks were looking for Christophe Pourcel to ride off with an easy championship, but the much-hyped Justin Barcia and the almost-forgotten Austin Stroupe made things rough on #377/1. This series whispered of Tim Ferry’s winless championship series of 1997. Austin Stroupe was putting up second-place finishes every week while Pourcel and Barcia traded green and red plastic. Barcia couldn't keep it on two wheels, then Stroupe fell out at Houston and Christophe earned east coast title #2.
Biggest Surprise: James Decotis! I remember the first time Ralph Sheheen yelled his name with an uncertain tone. I raised an eyebrow myself and was impressed with the kid's speed and aggression. Hopefully, someone picks that kid up and put him on some better bikes for 2011.
Biggest Disappointment: Nico Izzi. What happened there? I really thought he had something for these guys this year, but he never got it together.
Biggest Moment: The block-pass/ram-fest at Atlanta. The house was on fire!
I kind of looked at the series as a changing of the guard. It's hard to say that the two Ryans have taken the supercross crown away from James Stewart, although with James failing to make it to the halfway point in two of the last three seasons, it's difficult to call him the current "King." Things got off to a fairly predictable start with preseason favorite Stewart earning a close victory over rookie Ryan Dungey, then it all went to hell. In one block-pass, Reedy and Bubba were gone. A feeding frenzy followed with Josh Hill, Davi Millsaps, and the Ryans all going gangbusters for the points lead. As the series reached the halfway point, it had boiled down to RV Park and Dungey. RV stacked it up at Atlanta and put himself in a hole but started winning and set himself on a course to decide the title in Vegas. It wasn't to be, as the always-wacky St. Louis SX bit him bad. Villopoto will now have to wait ’til 2011 for another shot.
Dungey weathered the storm, but his title defense will be the toughest in … history? Not only will Stewart and Reed be back to salvage their careers, but some major heat is coming with them. Next year will see Trey Canard, Jake Weimer, and Christophe Pourcel step up to the big-boy division, and all three will podium, perhaps more. Throw in Josh Grant, Kevin Windham, Josh Hill, Davi Millsaps, and about ten other riders with solid podium potential, and, well, something wicked this way comes.Kevin Windham ride as well as he did in 2010. But I was surprised to see him ride some of the best supercross of his entire career at 32 years of age. My man was straight crushing it.
Biggest Disappointment: Team Red Bull Honda. Andrew Short and Davi Millsaps had moments of brilliance, but I could only shake my head as I watched Kyle Cunningham ride past them at Vegas. What happened to the most winning and feared team in supercross history? Perhaps Canard can bring back the magic, or maybe Weimer or a certain Frenchman will help him? Ah, the silly season….
Biggest Moment: The blatant takeout Villopoto put on Dungey in St. Louis. It wasn't in the air over a triple or on a third-gear straightaway; it was a simple clean-job in a hairpin corner. The title was coming down to the wire and, well, that's racing, folks. RV wanted it bad, and I think almost everyone would do the same in that situation, I know I would have.
While it was a bummer to see so many guys fall out with injuries, the supercross circus arrived at each venue with an air of uncertainty and put on a show each time out. Hundreds of thousand stomped their feet and shook their fists in the stadiums cheering on their rider, and millions jumped up and down in their living room watching on television. These are tough times we're living in, but supercross continues to thrive.
Look at what 2011 has to offer! I'm already thinking about Anaheim all over again.
Next week: Hangtown. My oh my, who's ready for some outdoor action?
Thanks for reading, see you next week.