We haven’t had a Monster Energy AMA Supercross in Denver since 1996, when the awards ceremony was held on a flatbed trailer after the race. The series has come a long way since those days and hopefully the weather allows for a triumphant return to Colorado.
DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS
The track this week looks to be a good one. The start is my favorite style. Long, wide, and sweeping to the left around a full lane before finally heading back the opposite direction. There is a long rhythm section on the first straightaway which will surely cause a few conversations, but I have never really subscribed to that theory. There has to be something after the start, and I would prefer a rhythm over a triple any day. I think this section will be a roll, 3-3-2 but if riders can find a way to double into the section, that could change up the options. If that’s possible (I have my doubts), riders could go 2-3-3-1 and stay lower than the aforementioned 1-3-3-2. It will really all depend on how big the first jump is built (where the holeshot chalk is).
A right-hand bowl berm (look for a net here) sets riders up for a stadium-length rhythm section. The fast line here will be to triple out of the turn, then jump from tabletop to tabletop (similar to the two sections in Nashville). Ideally, riders will land on the downside of the far tabletop but it will be difficult if possible. That would then set up a triple up and single out. If they can’t make the downside, they will land on the tabletop and step-off. They could then double-single to the inside or triple into the corner. Often, riders will choose to double-single here which sounds slower but they can single across the inside of the corner, keeping control of the optimal line. Tripling pushes riders wide and anything gained is usually given back by the wider turn. The absolute optimal line is to triple to the inside and carry that momentum into the next triple but that is very difficult to execute.
There is a small roller before the standard supercross triple which might make life difficult for the 250 class. As with all of these triples on the ends of the stadium (width wise), riders will drift toward the outside of the takeoff and attempt to scrub height and speed, positioning themselves on the outside of the landing. They will then sweep across the inside of the next 90-degree right corner, doubling out of the line. These 90’s don’t allow passing but sections like this don’t seem to be changing any time soon.
After the double, riders will triple and then hit the second standard supercross triple. Upon landing, riders will accelerate into a right-hand bowl berm and then set up for the only whoops section. With snow mid-week, these whoops should break down during the day and night. I look for them to be jumpable by main event time, if not earlier. The goal would be to downside the last whoop (or blitz) and then accelerate for a triple into the corner. If riders don’t get the exit of the whoops dialed in, tripling will be very difficult. Little details like this can result in big time savings, especially on the 250’s.
Another bowl berm fires riders backwards down the start straight and into a flat right-hand corner. These flat corners after a straightaway and before the finish line are notorious for block passing and hard contact. It’s nearly impossible to block someone who has ill intentions for a corner like this. There is a simple double before the finish line jump and the start of lap two.
The track is pretty straight forward but I don’t have any real complaints. The rhythm sections can be put together a few different ways which is always a plus. I think passing will be tough but there a few 180’s to open up the block passing opportunities. Having the whoops right out of a turn should create a chance as well, with the riders willing to fully commit can get a run up and past a slower rider.
Questions I Need Answered
Can Monster Energy Factory Yamaha find a way to break the bad luck trend?
Does the championship tighten or widen for AC92 and Dylan Ferrandis?
Which Eli Tomac shows up in Colorado?
Does Cooper Webb let anyone back into this title?
Can Ken Roczen find a way to win?
How bad is Joey Savatgy’s shoulder injury?
Tomac won his fourth main event of the season after a tough qualifying afternoon and an LCQ visit.
Roczen’s result might not look spectacular on paper but he was fantastic all day and night in Nashville.
Martin Davalos won his first race of the season and honestly, it was the first time he rode like himself all season.
Chase Sexton cut the points deficit to three after a second-place comeback ride.
Blake Baggett’s runner up finish found him passing points leader Webb.
Austin Forkner’s knee injury is the big question as we head down the stretch.
Marvin Musquin has been riding far too well to be losing valuable points each week.
Josh Grant needs some sort of turnaround soon. It has been brutally tough on that team lately.
Savatgy crashed while in second, injuring his shoulder, and putting Denver in doubt.
Justin Hill pulled out of the main event with a back injury that may or may not have him racing/singing this weekend.
Tomac wins again, bringing the points lead down to under 15 points.
Steve Matthes utters “I hate the stupid Broncos” 341 times on Saturday.
Jason Weigandt snaps on several random fans after being asked about the inclement weather.
Justin Hill races in a homemade back brace.
I channel my inner Michael Antonovich, wearing a scarf throughout the weekend. I do, however, manage to avoid using excessive hashtags.
I have motorsports overload between Denver SX, Austin MotoGP, and Shanghai F1. Thankfully MXGP is off this weekend, otherwise I might have some sort of medical issue.