Racer X Notebook: L.A.

Racer X Notebook: L.A.

January 24, 2012 2:20pm
  • It will soon be forgotten that the L.A. Supercross was supposed to be a mudder. Rain was in the forecast for Friday night and Saturday, so the track was left dry and covered under a tarp. Rain did come on Friday, but when the tarp was pulled at 1 p.m. on Saturday, the next storm never came. Thus, the expected mudder never happened. However, there was some mud left between the lanes of the track, from tarp runoff. This led to one problem: the side of the track was too muddy for Kevin Windham to do his famous transfer during opening ceremonies.


  • What was the track like? Lites winner Eli Tomac explains: “It was hard and then I think the moisture started coming up as the night went on because obviously it’s wet underneath. So it actually got slicker and a little hard pack and slimy. Some of the bowl turns were like blue groove and kind of wet and sketchy. You could push certain spots, but you had to be tiptoeing out there.”


  • Injuries started to rear their ugly head at this one. First, as you have already heard, Trey Canard and Ryan Morais came together on the first lap of the SX main, and both went down hard. Morais has now had his broken jaw wired shut, and both were found to have fractures -- Canard in his back and Morais in his neck. We’ll keep giving you updates as we get them. Get well soon, boys. Please.

Tedesco broke his finger in L.A. and could be headed for surgery this week.
Photo: Simon Cudby

  • Elsewhere, Ivan Tedesco broke a finger in a crash with Josh Grant, and we hear he may be headed for surgery this week. Grant banged up his shoulder, but we hear he may be okay. A few other riders were banged up, like Chris Blose in the LCQ. We’ll have updates on everyone in Friday’s Injury Report. Stay tuned.


  • After learning quite a bit at the first two races, a lot of riders showed up in L.A. sporting revised setups, and it worked for several of them. Yoshimura Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe, for example, was much more comfortable on his bike and it showed en route to a solid fifth in the main. JGR Toyota Yamaha’s Davi Millsaps was much better, too, and took sixth.


  • After not making the main event last weekend, Broc Tickle rebounded with a solid eighth in the Supercross main event on his Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki.


  • Supercross.com Honda’s Andrew Short grabbed a hard-earned 14th place finish. He went down off the start in the main and was nearly a half of a lap behind by the time he got going.

Shorty finished 14th after a first turn crash.
Photo: Simon Cudby

  • Heartbreak of the weekend? Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Brayton. Brayton was out front and leading the LCQ and on his way to the main event when he crashed in the whoops. He fought hard to try to come back, but ran out of time. Brayton, who finished fourth at the Anaheim 1 opener, had to watch the main event from the stands.


  • California’s Michael Leib is back in the U.S. after a failed go at the GP’s last year on a Husqvarna. L.A. was his best race to date, as he took a solid seventh in the main event.


  • Matt Moss put together a solid result on his J-Star JDR KTM, taking eighth in the Lites main. Moss finished 11th at the opener and missed the main last week.


  • After spending time racing in Europe this past off-season Weston Peick made his return last week in Phoenix. Peick would miss the main there, but would rebound to make his first main of the year in L.A. finishing the night 15th.

Matt Moss put in his best result of the year in L.A., finishing eighth in the Lites main.
Photo: Simon Cudby

  • Jeremy McGrath was on hand working with his new Supercross.com team, which he runs along with Larry Brooks. McGrath explained that he runs a lot of the behind-the-scenes elements of the team, including sponsorship work, while Brooks runs the day-to-day operations. “Otherwise I’ll end up being a coach, and I don’t want to be a coach,” says McGrath. MC will attend the California races and also plans on hitting select East races. And the team is racing AMA Pro Motocross this summer as well. “I definitely plan on hitting a few outdoors,” says McGrath. “Do they still have amateur day at some of those? I might have to put a bike in the truck!”


  • Jeff Ward is also experiencing team ownership for the first time, and he and his crew are quick to point out the team’s long-term goals—they’re not looking for wins now, but do plan on building for the future. According to Ward, Josh Grant was barely able to turn 20 laps on his injured knee before the season began, so they’re being patient with JG. Kyle Chisholm says he’s still getting used to a Kawasaki again after three seasons on Yamahas. “This bike is very stable, but I have to get used to it,” he says. “The team has been great, no one is putting any pressure on us.”


  • It was yet another disappointing night for the Star Valli Motorsports 
squad. Gareth Swanepoel failed to make the main, Ryan Morais was seriously 
injured, Austin Stroupe wasn’t cleared to race after ringing his bell in 
Phoenix, and Ryan Sipes went down on the first lap of the main and took 
twelfth place. The team’s best result came from Nico Izzi, who earned an 
eleventh place in the Lites main.