450 Words: Seattle

450 Words Seattle

April 19, 2011 12:05pm

Monster Energy Supercross finally gets a break. With fifteen-straight weekends of racing in the rearview mirror, the riders and teams have just completed the longest grind of the season. Another off-weekend, at least for those not competing in the USGP at Glen Helen, is coming in three weeks, and the summer’s Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship features a few built-in rest stops along the way. Fifteen-straight weeks in the most grueling sport imaginable is a major accomplishment, and a break should be welcome.

Reed sits six points back of RV with two rounds to go.
Photo: Garth Milan

And in most years, Easter break is welcome. But this season is different in so many ways. With four riders separated by just nine points in the Supercross class points battle, it will be awfully hard to relax during the off weekend (and the Lites West riders aren’t in a much better position, since there are just nine points separating the top three in that division, as well).

Then there’s the dubious honor of having to go testing for the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. Testing is always tedious and rarely fun, but at least switching into outdoor mode can serve as a welcome break from a supercross tour gone wrong. But this year, four riders can claim this is an indoor season gone right, and with the championship within reach, it’s going to be pretty difficult to put any sort of focus on motocross. Throw in Trey Canard’s plight from last week—a broken femur while testing for motocross—and the fear factor joins the focus factor. Do you really want to go outdoor testing if you’re Villopoto, Dungey, Reed or Stewart right now?

Dungey sits seven points back of RV with two to go.
Photo: Garth Milan

Really, do you even want a weekend off at all? With just two races left and each of the four remaining contenders seemingly healthy, this off weekend only provides time for pressure to build and other chores (motocross) to mount. And when you’re deep inside the title fight of your life, how much of a break can an off-weekend really provide? Sure, the riders can skip the trip to the airport this weekend, but you know they’ll still want to keep training and riding for supercross to make absolutely certain they bring their best to Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.

In any other year, week sixteen would provide a welcome break. But right now, it’s just an interruption. Take a break? Maybe next year.