After a fourth in New Orleans, it looked like Yoshimura Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe was about to mount a late season rally and fight for a podium or win against the injury-depleted field. Not quite. Metty went 20-20-18 in the last three races of the year after a variety of problems, including crashes and freak incidents like a crushed header pipe in Seattle. Bring on the outdoors for Metty!
We also found a meaningless stat that we’re bringing out anyway: Metty’s new Suzuki teammate James Stewart edged him by exactly one point for seventh in the final standings.
Nico Izzi has been lighting up the practice charts the last few weeks, but hasn’t delivered the results in the mains. Finally, it came together in Vegas with a career-best (in 450 SX) 6th.
Everything came together for Nico Izzi in Vegas. Simon Cudby photo
Only three riders made every main event in 2012: Davi Millsaps, Mike Alessi and Metcalfe. Kyle Chisholm made the first 16 but then skipped Vegas due to lingering wrist/arm issues.
Banner night for GEICO/Factory Connection Honda, with Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac winning everything in sight, and Wil Hahn delivering a solid third in the West main and sixth in the shootout. But it wasn’t a good night for Justin Bogle, who had to go through the LCQ just to get to the Shootout (he was 11th in the East main, which served as a heat race) and then took 13th in the race. Bring on the outdoors for @Captain 891!
Blake Baggett won last year’s East main in Vegas (although no one remembers that). This year he took third and then struggled to 12th in the Shootout. Bring on the outdoors for El Chupacabra!
Congrats to Michael Akaydin (16th) and John Pauk (18th) for qualifying for their first East Region main event of the season. Congratulations also go out to Ryan Smith (12th), Josh Greco (13th), Cole Martinez (14th) and Mitch Alcorn (16th) for making their first West Region main events of the year.
Scott Champion finished the season on a high note with consecutive top-ten's. Simon Cudby photo
CV4’s Scott Champion continued his late season surge in Las Vegas—capturing his second consecutive top-ten in the West Region finale with a 9th. Champion would have his troubles in the East-West Shootout finishing 20th.
The 5150 Energy Drink Lites team of rookies Chris Plouffe and Preston Tilford also continued their late season success in Vegas. Plouffe, who missed a majority of the first half of the season with shoulder problems, returned from the break and made back-to-back mains’ with a career-high 11th coming in Vegas. Tilford also came out of the break swinging, making three consecutive mains after the break. After a robust start to the season, the inaugural year for the 5150 Energy Drink ended on a high note.
Hunter Hewitt returned from injury to finish 7th at the East Region finale. Simon Cudby photo
After missing the last five rounds due to injury, Rockstar Energy Racing’s Hunter Hewitt finished a solid 7th in his return at Vegas. Hewitt would have his struggles in the East-West Shootout finishing 18th.
Star-Valli rookie Kyle Peteres ended his year on a high note, securing his first career top-ten in the East Region finale. It’s been a tough transition for the North Carolina native, but he’s hoping to carry this momentum with him into the first round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Hangtown.