Yeah! We’re going racing everyone! How cool is that? We’re gonna have approximately 24 races in 36 days, or something like that. Or it’s going to feel like that anyways.
Is it perfect? No, but we’re not in perfect times right now in case you haven’t noticed. Seven races in Salt Lake City with strict rules on social distancing and with no fans is…less than ideal. But the teams were insistent to Feld Motorsports that they wanted this series done before the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series starts, so Feld got it done. It’s a better situation for supercross, too, because delaying the season all the way to September or October means waiting for every other sort of sport and show to return, as well, which could make it very hard to find stadium and TV dates that work.
So now, after so much time off - we go racing. Seriously, I forget what the hell happened before the break outside of a terrific duel at Daytona between Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen. I’ve got so many questions about the series picking up and also about most of the industry being sequestered in SLC.
So before we start to talk about the actual, you know, racing, here’s a list of my biggest questions I have in regards to this return to racing.
- Really? No interaction between the media and the riders and teams?
Yes, it appears so. Feld has worked hard with the state of Utah to get back to racing and one of the conditions is trying to limit exposure for the athletes and teams with other people. Essentially a race team will be one “bubble” and allowed only to interact with each other. A team can be a 10-person group, but that group of 10 can’t interact with another group of 10. Stadium staff is a bubble, Feld staff, the TV crew, timing and scoring people, etc. They’re all in different groups. The media will be another “bubble.” Feld will try to work with us to get us quotes, virtual press conferences and other stuff. I’m good with all this but that leads me to my next question…
2. How am I gonna get my coffee?
Yeah, I’m serious. This is a big part of my day and it seems like I can’t do this anymore. Mitch Payton was on the PulpMX Show and mentioned setting up a table ten feet off his canopy where I can get filled up [Editor’s note: Mitch, please do this. I will be glad to come visit this table. –Weege]. A team manager that shall go nameless but whose name rhymes with “Schmil Shahn” said he would meet me out back of his truck and pass me a coffee. With both of us wearing masks of course. Stay tuned to see how this all works out.
3. But....but…but…won’t you be with riders in hotels, possibly going e-biking with them and maybe having them as guests on some podcast shows?
Yes, but much like we seem to ignore the hundreds of people packed close together waiting for a Costco to open but yet we can’t get a haircut, I think we’re gonna ignore this kind of stuff. I’m happy to have racing back and don’t want to rock the boat here, moving on…
4. This thing seriously favors Eli Tomac holding onto his 450SX points lead right?
Uhhh, yeah. He’s close to home, he’s used to training and riding at elevation, and the dirt is probably similar so, yes, he has to be rubbing his hands together like Gargamel concocting his latest plan to kidnap Papa Smurf.
5. So, just give it to Eli then?
Nah, although he’s been much better in 2020 with his consistency, I’m not 100 percent there that “Bad Eli” is gone just yet. Does he have the rawest speed of anyone in the series? Yeah for sure, but Ken Roczen is one of the most determined, mentally solid riders out there and he’ll have something to say about this championship. I’m not quite on the train that says Cooper Webb will rise up all of a sudden and start get into this title mix. Could Coop win a race? Of course he can, but to me this thing is a ET/KR battle to the end.
6. Does Adam Cianciarulo come back?
Oh yeah! Remember the rookie 450SX guy and his pure, raw, nasty speed that we saw until he got hurt in Dallas? Yeah, he’s back and he’ll be ready to go. Super spoiler AC9 coming right up!
7. What about the two 250SX title fights?
You know what? They’re both closer than I remember! If you had asked me last week about these championships, I’d have said that I seem to remember Dylan Ferrandis and Chase Sexton having solid holds on their points leads but upon further inspection of these things called “AMA points sheets,” I see that Dylan is only seven up on his teammate and best friend Justin Cooper and Sexton is up ten on Shane McElrath. I just thought both guys were the class of their coasts and had more of a lead than that. So, yeah we have a race in both coasts (made easier for the guys by the loss of one shootout) and although I do like Sexton and Ferrandis to hold onto said points leads, anything can still happen.
8. What about if you sponsored a rider with helmet stickers and that you may or may not have a financial interest in, and he was crushing podiums, third in the points and he decided to have ACL surgery because the early word was SX was going to be in the fall and now can’t race with SX coming early?
WE DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS AT ALL. THANK YOU AND HAVE A NICE DAY.
9. Can you leave Utah?
Nobody is allowed to leave Utah without getting retested for COVID-19 and the results take 48 hours to get, thereby making it pretty tough to make it the next race. Will there be some riders or team members that leave and try to sneak back in without anyone knowing? I say yes and I’ve got popcorn for the controversy if they get caught.
10. Who is this Bracken Hall guy?
He’s a former Privateer from Utah who’s pretty well off and at one point had his own semi-truck for racing. He’s also got, according to those who know, a full blown SX track at his property and word is that Monster Kawasaki have rented it from him for some riding/testing during the week. Bracken Hall is the real winner in all of this, folks!
11. Wait, the Sunday races are day races?
Yes they are and that is probably done for TV purposes. The Wednesday races will be at night and all the races will be on NBC Sports with some on the actual, real live NBC network. So, all you people yelling about refunds on your Gold Pass when SX was halted can shut up.
12. With SX coming back and none of the big four stick and ball sports back or started yet, will this expose SX to fresh eyeballs and therefore propel our sport to the mainstream?
LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL…in a word, no. Although I’m sure many people would love that, it ain’t gonna happen. “We” were on Jay Leno, ESPN, ABC, NBC and nothing has really happened. We are what we are bro and let’s all just love it and enjoy it yeah?
13. Something crazy is going to happen during all of this yeah?
One hundred percent YES. Not sure what we experience here whether it’s some polar vortex that comes in, a monsoon or maybe locusts but there will be some kind of nuttiness that’s involved during our stay. Also, if you think that just a whole bunch of young men (some of whom are rich) are just gonna be chilling in SLC and not get into some sort of trouble, you’re crazy. The vote on the PulpMX Show is that somehow Alex Ray does something to cause an international incident. We’re just not sure what though.
Hero image courtesy of Jeff Kardas.