Hey everyone! So this is the last breakdown column from Monster Energy Supercross. What started out as something cool and different turned into a weekly column. And I'm very happy to be part of it.
But first I want to start with some big news: James Stewart. If you didn't know he went to Suzuki and I'm sure everyone is sick and tired of reading another Stewart article but this touches on something different.
First off, there have been a lot of journalists talking about what they think "might" happen with James and the Nationals. Now I'm not a journalist by any means, but, I, Matt Walker, have raced against James Stewart, as well as Ryan Villopoto, Chad Reed, Ryan Dungey and all the big names. So I feel like I can give a different analysis on the situation. Now here is my opinion: James Stewart will be your newly crowned National Motocross 450 Champion! They might as well go ahead and mail him the plate! Here’s why:
Like I mentioned before, I've raced all these top guys and I can say for certain that all the top riders are great in their own way. But no one has all the "goods" like James. And he knows it. Of course he does. Look, he beat me like I stole something from him, and he was on a 125 and I was on a 250F! He did Reed the same way in ‘02. Point is, when James is happy, James is fast, and when he is fast no one can beat him. I mean I love RV to death, but he’s out, and with a healthy/happy Bubba out there, things could get serious.
Garth Milan photo
A lot of people think he will crash hard this summer, but when I raced him, the guy never crashed! Why not? Because he was happy! Even getting out powered by 250Fs, he was happy. And the dude went 24-0 a few years ago. That should speak volumes about how consistent he can be. For whatever reason he wasn't happy on the Yamaha. I personally like the YZ450. And have no issues riding it. But I'm not James Stewart and neither is anyone else and at the end of the day he had to do what's right for him.
I keep hearing about the money, and how he gave up a bunch from JGR to go racing for Suzuki. Listen, as fans, you have to understand that these guys are all WINNERS. They want to go out winning. James Stewart won’t go out without winning again. That's what he wants to be remembered as. And if a few million is what he decides he needs to do to start back winning, then I respect him more than ever and so should you!
Now let’s get to this week’s Breakdown!
This part of the track in Vegas that were breaking down is the hip jump after the finish line that leads the riders outside of the stadium. Let's start off with the new West Region Lites Champion Eli Tomac. What I want to show are the different angles and body English the riders put on their bikes to help stay low.
As you can see in typical Eli fashion, he does the most common scrub. He puts the majority of his body weight on the outside peg while he takes the inside leg off the peg. A lot of riders do it this way so their toe doesn't get caught on the lip of the jump causing them to get ripped off the bike.
Simon Cudby photos
Now Broc "Dill" Tickle emulates the common scrub as we saw above except his scrub is a little more advanced. Yes, like Tomac, his body weight is clearly all to one side. If it weren’t, the bike would wash out coming up the face. Look how pointy his elbow is—that’s good. It allows him to push down on the bars making the bike stay low. Now look at his leg. He's using more “ummph” with his scrub than Tomac, and you can tell because that leg kick tells the story. While the bike is in the air he does this kick. He puts pressure on his outside knee to help. Notice how high up his right leg is up on the seat. This scrub has intensity written all over it!
Here is Ryan Sipes. Hip jumps are designed to scrub. And when you scrub, depending on where and when, you need to have intensity. This picture doesn’t scream intensity. It says nothing, really. I like to cut my bars as I’m going off the lip, and then when I’m coming down. As I’m coming down I bring them back straight so the bike will be straight. This rider is clearly late cutting the bars. See how high the bike is from the lip? See how straight the bike is? That's how I know. Look how centered he is on the bike. All of his weight isn't to one side like Tomac and Tickle.
I want to show Barcia for the last photo. Words can't say how pleased I am with this kid. He has manned up and matured into a great rider. Okay, minus that one incident this year! But nonetheless he will be in the mix next year on the 450. And even though this photo doesn't show it, he can scrub like nobody else. The kid has skills!
That's it for the Breakdown. Thank you guys for reading each week. The Nationals are going to be awesome for The Breakdown, and I think it will be a good treat for you readers. But I want to point out that you need to be very careful scrubbing. It's a gnarly trick and I only like giving you guys pointers on it cause I actually ride and I have done it. If I didn't, I wouldn't feel comfortable teaching something that advanced.
Thanks for reading!
If you have any questions you can email me at MattWalker122@me.com or hit me up on Twitter at @MattWalker122.