Racer X Notebook: Seattle

Racer X Notebook: Seattle

April 24, 2012 3:55pm

By Chase Stallo and Jason Weigandt

  • By taking second place in Seattle, Ken Roczen recorded the KTM 350's best supercross performance to date. Ironically enough, the person that prevented the 350 from taking its first ever win was Andrew Short, who rode the 350 last year with mixed results. Roczen said he only rode the 350 for two days before Seattle, but he will be back on it for Salt Lake City this weekend. He’ll go back to the 250 for the Lites East finale and East/West Shootout in Las Vegas.
  • Yoshimura Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe barely even got started in Seattle. On the first lap of the main event, he came together with Kyle Regal and smashed his head pipe, and that was the end of Metty’s night.
  • By now you know that 2012 SX Champion Ryan Villopoto’s season is over due to a torn ACL suffered in the first lap of the Seattle main event. He’s out for Monster Energy Supercross and also for the 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.

Metty had a rough night in Seattle.
Garth Milan photo

  • Josh Grant’s bid for a second straight podium ended almost instantly, when the DNA/JWR rider crashed on lap one and had to retire from the race with a busted throttle.
  • Congrats to rookie Preston Tilford, privateers Beau Hudson and Erik Meusling, and Monster Energy Team Tedder’s Myles Tedder who all qualified for their first West Region Lites main of the year in Seattle. Hudson claimed the best finish of the group with a 16th, followed by Meusling (18th), Tilford (19th) and Tedder (20th).
  • Team MotoConcepts had a homecoming of sorts in Seattle, as Team Owner Mike Genova brought 200 employees from his other business, Spokane, Washington, based Leisure Concepts, to the race. The MotoConcepts pits were packed. They also had something to cheer for when team rider Mike Alessi nailed the fastest lap time in the second 450 practice session. Unfortunately, Mike crashed right after logging that lap, and was never quite able to find that pace again in his heat or the main event.
  • With his ninth place finish in Seattle, Lucas Oil Troy Less Designs Travis Baker joined Eli Tomac and Dean Wilson as the only three riders to have six top-tens in seven races. The California native has been Mr. Steady in 2012.
  • GEICO Honda’s Wil Hahn made his return to the West Region Lites class in Seattle and promptly secured his best finish of the season. After fracturing his hip at the Honda test track after Anaheim 1, Hahn missed a significant portion of the season before returning in Toronto to fill-in for the injured Trey Canard aboard Muscle Milk Honda. After a three-week stint in the Supercross class Hahn rode to a solid fifth in his first Lites races in over three months.

Josh Grant never got it going in Seattle as a lap one crash took him out of the race.
Garth Milan photo

  • Many times the two-month layoff for the West Region Lites class can prove beneficial to riders. It certainly did for privateer Scott Champion. After an up-and-down 2012 campaign Champion came from the LCQ to secure his best finish of the season, an 11th.
  • Rockstar Star/Valli Yamaha’s Weston Peick has continued to make the quick adjustment from the Kawasaki to the Yamaha. His ninth in Seattle marked his third consecutive top-ten, and fourth in the last five races.
  • Another rider catching fire late in the season is Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle. The transition to the Supercross was hard on Tickle early in the season, but he has responded with six consecutive top-ten’s beginning in Daytona. Yes, we know the field is injury depleted, but Broc is riding well.
  • Sidelined since L.A. with a shoulder injury Motosport.com/TiLube/Foremost Insurance Kawasaki’s Chris Blose made his comeback in Seattle. Blose was solid in his return, finishing 14th in the Emerald City.
  • Blose now has two teammates, as Nick Wey is still on board, and Justin Sipes, Blose’s replacement, is still on board. Team manager Allan Brown says the team doesn’t really have the space for three riders (they don’t have a semi) but they went for it anyway, and will keep all three on board through Las Vegas. Wey and Sipes took 10th and 13th.

Bowers made his Supercross class and Hart and Huntington debut in Seattle.
Garth Milan photo

  • With the East Region Lites class closing its doors until the season finale in Vegas two-time Arenacross Champion Tyler Bowers seized an opportunity that was available earlier in the year—a ride with Hart and Huntington. Bowers made his Supercross class debut in Seattle, finishing the night 16th after a crash.
  • After parting ways with Slaton Racing during the break, Nick Paluzzi returned in Seattle aboard a 450—Paluzzi began the year in the West Region Lites class. Paluzzi just missed out on the main in his Supercross class maiden voyage, finishing 10th in his heat and 4th in the LCQ.