Motown! Round eight of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship heads to Detroit, Michigan. After a year off, we are back to Ford Field. Even with the parking challenges and cold weather, Detroit is still a great addition to the championship. Once inside the stadium, I am not sure what more anyone could ask for. It’s warm, the amenities are first rate, the dirt is usually tacky, and the racing somehow finds a way to always be drama filled.
Dirty Little Secrets
After a very “easy” Arlington track, Detroit ramps up the activity. There are several rhythm sections with many options within. Where last week’s course was easy to piece together, Detroit will take some thinking and analyzing.
The start cuts across the side of the stadium and barrels into a flat 90-degree turn. If you’ve read this article with regularity, you’ll know that I hate this start setup. The riders are still bunched together with the short start and are then asked to turn on the face of a jump with no berm and concrete waiting on the outside of that. The inside guys push outwards into the outside guys, the outside guys end up off the track or on the ground. Worse, many times this includes air-time because everyone is turning on the face of a jump (Oakland). Hopefully everyone makes it through unscathed but I dislike this type of start.
The first rhythm section will have a couple of triples in there somewhere. The big variable will be how they build the first single out of the first turn (chalk covered). If that single gives riders enough lift to triple from, they will go 3-3-2 to the inside. If it’s low and flat, they will maybe go 2-3-3 or even 2-3-2-1 to the inside.
A flat 90 left sends riders into an interesting rhythm section against the far wall. Without a berm on the outside of the turn, I think riders will be forced to stay inside in this turn. They could then either double and then jump from tabletop to tabletop and step-off. The other option would be to roll the first single, then jump-on jump-on and step-off. Both of those will probably be used but one will emerge as the faster option.
Another 90 left leads to a basic double triple on the outside line. I have no idea why the inside line has a single added but if they build it, no one will use it. I am just going to assume that gets removed at some point before the racing happens.
A 180 left fires into the whoop section and Detroit whoops are usually ever changing. With winter in full effect, I expect these whoops to break down significantly throughout the day and night. By main event time, I think the whoops will be best executed by jumping. Cooper Webb and Marvin Musquin have been the best at this jumping technique so far so watch for them to lead the way. If Ken Roczen and Blake Baggett stick to their preferred blitzing, it could be the difference if one method prevails.
A right-hand bowl berm leads to a double-double and then the finish line jump. Upon landing, riders will race across the start into a fast left-hand 180 and then accelerate hard back across the start again and into a rhythm section. There looks to be two different lane options here, one side doubling in and the other side tripling in. There is potential for someone to go big here, maybe pulling out a quad. Watch this section to see what becomes possible.
A right-hand bowl berm leads to a Minneapolis type jump where riders will wheelie and then double across a gap. There is a dragon’s back jump over a single and then riders will scream across the start once again and into a bowl berm left. Exiting the berm, riders will seat bounce triple and onto the start for lap two.
With all of these straightaways into bowl berms, look for big block pass opportunities and aggressive riding. The bowl berm exiting the whoops will be another spot to watch as whoops always give riders a chance to set up a pass. Hopefully some of these rhythm sections present options. Last week’s track didn’t really have any variation in rhythm choice from first to last place. This layout looks like it could take more analysis and bravado to master.
Questions I Want Answered
Has Webb taken charge of this season?
What was Eli Tomac doing out there?
Can Austin Forkner stay perfect?
What adventures await Tyler Bowers in Detroit?
Which rider will completely ruin my PulpMX fantasy team?
Will the Triple Crown change what we have seen in the results column as of late?
Roczen hasn’t won yet but he is riding incredibly well. He is right in this title fight.
Forkner has not lost any sort of race in 2019 yet.
Justin Cooper has been quiet but very good, too.
Tomac had a puzzling main event and lost a bunch of points to the lead group.
Jordon Smith crashed in the main event and might have a wrist injury.
CBD products had a tough week in the moto world.
Thomas Covington didn’t make the Arlington main event as he continues to learn the supercross game.
Forkner stays perfect.
Zach Osborne scores a boatload of PulpMX fantasy points and scorns his most loyal fans who picked him in Arlington.
The choice of whether to use lime or not is mentioned 569 times on Saturday.
There are several crashes in the first turn with eight races throughout the day and night.
Steve Matthes says “tonight is huge for Tomac” approximately 1,138 times during opening ceremonies.
Tomac puts a “shoulder shrug” emoji on the back of his pants after a puzzling Arlington race.