Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev Up. I want to flashback to the column for round six in San Diego:
"The road to the Supercross championship is long and hard as cross-country travel soon becomes a veritable 21st rider to compete against. But not yet. Beautiful San Diego, California is on the board and serves as the end of Act 1. While some characters have thrived in the opening rounds and others are aching for a change of pace, there is one particular player that is set on kill..."
The Indianapolis SX marks the end of the East Coast swing, the conclusion of Act 2 and the complexion of the season has changed tenfold. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto pressed the reset button at Dallas and the crashes, sub-top 10 finishes and troubles seem like a distant memory. Meanwhile, going back to San Diego again, Davi Millsaps won that race. It was the end of an opening charge that has recently stalled. To his credit, he once held a 22-point lead and owns two main event wins. While he has struggled in the past two races and lost the point lead, I think the most amazing statistic and accolade is that he races his Rockstar Energy Racing machine into round 10 only two points behind the two-time defending champion. It has been a good run for Davi, and he can still win this championship.
For the first time since A1, Millsaps will be without the red plate.
Simon Cudby photo
Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey has also been strong during what I call the second segment of the tour. The former champion has earned more points in the past four events than every rider except Villopoto. There is a lot of time left, but he has to put that particular Kawasaki behind him before he can gain anymore ground. The way the other Ryan is riding, this is a daunting task, but Dungey’s pedigree is speed and consistency. All of the top guys are pushing so hard that mistakes are inevitable and I feel Dungey is the most prepared to capitalize by making the fewest. Dungey isn't looking for podiums though, he knows he needs to win again.
Historically speaking, the Indy SX has some pertaining to TwoTwo Motorsport’s Chad Reed. In 2004, an Indiana born all-time great by the name of Mike “The Rock” LaRocco raced a Honda to the last supercross victory of his career. The podium that night was LaRocco, Kevin Windham and Chad Reed. Even the most partisan Reed fans have to respect the years and toll they have taken on one of the greatest SX icons in history. Fans cheer for athletes with heart, and the Australian remains steadfast in that category. Nobody wants to win worse than Reed coming into Indy and he is still set on kill.
Meanwhile, the 250SX East Region has been on fire with three winners in four gate drops. GEICO Honda’s Wil Hahn has met his full potential as a racer and is a threat to win every main event. In 2013, Hahn has won twice, been on the podium four times and has a grip on the red plate. I would be careful counting Monster Energy/Pro Circuit’s Dean Wilson out just yet, though. He should bounce back this weekend, and we should all look forward to seeing what that Daytona victory will do for Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin. The Frenchman had been lurking before banging the holeshot of a lifetime and smoking everyone. He’s been there all year. Rockstar Energy Racing’s Blake Wharton hasn’t been as strong as expected but could also surprise with a great start and become more relevant in the title chase.
Wil Hahn looks to extend his lead in Indy.
Simon Cudby photo
And with that, the show goes on. We’ll see a different rider than Millsaps wear the red plate for the first time since Anaheim1. I strain to imagine what we’ll be thinking about five weeks from now. Ryan Villopoto has the momentum heading into Indianapolis, but as this story has proven we never know what words lay on the next page. It is writing itself as the rounds click off and we’ve been the lucky ones watching it unfold. Indiana and her bordering states are a thriving hub in our sport and we’ll see another gargantuan Hoosier crowd. After Indy begins Act 3 where we'll travel to Toronto, Houston, Minneapolis, Seattle and Salt Lake City all the way to conclusion at Las Vegas. It has been a joy to be a supercross fan in 2013 and as we near another round of Monster Energy Supercross live on Speed, the energy is fresh as ever. Is Villopoto going to begin a streak? Can Millsaps rebound? Or is it time to shake things up even further?
Thanks for reading, see you next week.