10 Things to Watch: Detroit

10 Things To Watch Detroit

It’s Getting’ Chippy Out There

Banging bars is nothing new in supercross, but the level of aggression we saw in the 250SX Class last week, both in practice and the main event, was above average. Enough, in fact, that it became a topic of conversation during the post-race press conference. After acknowledging contact, Joey Savatgy said if that’s what it was coming down to he was “game,” while Jordon Smith said the tracks have been tough to pass on, which has “made for more aggressive racing.” Osborne wrapped it up by saying how hard passing can be, and when “there’s a small opening, you have to take it.” We’ll see just how aggressive the guys get when the gate drops in Detroit. –Aaron Hansel

Joint Status

Speaking of, in case you haven’t heard, Adam Cianciarulo and Osborne got into it during qualifying last week in Indianapolis, which you can see here. Cianciarulo wasn’t able to finish the session (although he did come back for the final qualifier), thanks to a hyperextended knee suffered in the incident. Afterward Cianciarulo told Racer X’s Chase Stallo that although it may limit his riding during the week, he believes he’ll be able to fight for a win in Detroit. We’ll find out if he’s right on Saturday night. –Hansel

Will AC's knee soreness set him back for Detroit?
Will AC's knee soreness set him back for Detroit? Rich Shepherd

The Mad Dash  

If you’ve been using the LCQ as a chance to sneak into the kitchen for a snack and a refreshing beverage, you’ve been missing out. Last week in Indianapolis, Cade Clason put a last-ditch move on AJ Catanzaro in the last turn. To put it mildly, both riders ended up on the ground (and also into the finishline structure), which allowed Adam Enticknap to make his fifth main event of the season. Of course, this kind of action isn’t new—it happens all the time in the LCQ! What are the odds we see more LCQ carnage in Detroit? –Hansel

The Squeeze

Ryan Dungey has the points lead, but you know he’s feeling the squeeze Eli Tomac is putting on him right now. Just four races ago Dungey had a 27-point lead on Tomac. He now has just 12, which means he’s dropped an average of 3.75 points per race to Tomac. It doesn’t take a mathematician to realize that with six races remaining, Dungey won’t retain his lead if the current trend continues. If the champ wants to reign another year, he’s got to figure out a way to stop the bleeding. –Hansel

Mr. Consistency

Need a solid bet for your fantasy picks? It doesn’t get any more reliable than Cole Seely, who has been incredibly consistent so far. In 11 races he’s finished in either fifth or sixth place eight times (he was second, third, and fourth in the other three races), which makes for an average finish of 4.73. Expect Seely to score another top five this weekend as he attempts to gain sole possession of third place (he and Marvin Musquin both have 185 points) in Detroit. –Hansel

The Rookie Returns

Just when Cooper Webb was beginning to breakout of his early-season slump, he injured his shoulder in Minneapolis and missed the next four rounds. MRIs showed no breaks, separations or dislocations in his shoulder, but the deep bruising he did incur, sidelined him for more than a month. After beginning the season well off the pace, and barley cracking the top 10, Webb was much improved over the last four rounds prior to his injury, garnering two top fives. What changed? Mainly just the mentality of it all, really. I think I’m gaining confidence and getting better and better,” Webb said after his first career podium in Oakland. “The bike is coming around, we’re doing some racing, and racing for me is the best way to push the bike and myself.” Prior to his injury, Webb proved to be a podium threat. How long before he returns to that form? –Chase Stallo

Canard Back

With no announcements leading up to Indianapolis, many were taken aback by the return of Red Bull KTM’s Trey Canard, who had been out since a qualifying crash in Toronto. A crash in his semi forced Canard to the LCQ, which he won, but set him up for a horrible gate pick. While it probably didn’t gain much attention on TV, Canard came from dead last to 14th in his first race back. In what has been a disappointing first year with KTM due to injuries, we’ll see if Canard can begin stringing some races together. –Stallo  

Anderson?

While Baker’s Factory partners Dungey and Musquin are getting attention for battling each other—with major championship points on the line—for podium spots, absent from the conversation is Jason Anderson, who also rides with them during the week and would seem every bit as capable of running their pace. Starts have absolutely, totally, jacked Anderson’s season, as he has just two podiums after recording seven last year (including two wins), and his average start position of 9.8 is even worse than Chad Reed, who has admitted week after week that he can’t get his starts dialed in. He was on the box in Daytona, but then lapped a week ago and finished 12th. What if Anderson finally pulls a holeshot this weekend? – Jason Weigandt

Quietly Consistent

While much of the attention has been focused on his teammate Blake Baggett, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-WPS-KTM’s Davi Millsaps has quietly had one of his best years. Through 11 rounds, Millsaps is averaging a 7.4 finish, sixth best in 450SX, and up from an 8.25 average finish through eight rounds last year (prior to his injury at Daytona). Millsaps is tied for fifth best with his teammate for average qualifying position; his 7.7 average start is fifth amongst the class; and he’s tied for fifth for most laps led at two—all while dealing with a wrist injury suffered in Atlanta. He also ranks tied for third with Eli Tomac with just one finish outside the top 10 this year. (Ryan Dungey and Cole Seely are the only riders to not have a finish outside the top 10.) We’ll see if Millsaps can keep the momentum going this weekend. –Stallo

*Note: We only included Ken Roczen for laps led due to his small sample size.

Millsaps has only finished outside of the top 10 once this year.
Millsaps has only finished outside of the top 10 once this year. Jeff Kardas

Improvements

While his main event result last week wasn’t much to write home about, in his heat race, we saw signs of just how good Malcolm Stewart can be as he ripped through the pack to capture fourth. In talking with our own Steve Matthes after the race, Stewart mentioned that it really helped to have a few guys come ride at the Stewart Compound last week. “I had a really good week, actually. I’ve been pounding out 20s and I feel pretty good during the week. There are little bitty things that are restricting me for sure. I think it was cool that I had Seven Duece-Duece [Adam Enticknap], [Dustin] Pipes, those guys came down last week, so that was actually really cool to get some people to actually come to the compound. It sucks riding by yourself, so that definitely helped my confidence.” In recent years, Malcolm rode daily with his brother, James. That may not be the case this year, and it’s interesting that Malcolm noted that his confidence improved after having a few training partners. We’ll see if it translates into this weekend. –Stallo