Detroit, Michigan, welcomes round 10 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross. After the warmth and outdoor experience that Daytona provided last weekend, Detroit is a complete 180. It’s all about that dome life. There isn’t a Fan Fest in the pits at Detroit, meaning that fans will stay inside the building for the better part of 10 hours on Saturday. While it’s a bummer to not have all of the cool activation areas Fan Fest brings, I always found that these indoor-only events create a lot more bench racing and fun conversation. This series brings a little bit of everything. Anaheim weather pushing 100 degrees, Arlington’s freezing rain, Minneapolis and its sub-Arctic temps, and the Rocky Mountain spring thaw we will see in May when we hit Denver and Salt Lake City. Detroit is another rendition and a storied stop of the series.
Dirty Little Secrets
Detroit’s start straight cuts the track in half. The traditional 180 left leads into a few stutter bumps and a 3-5-3 (feet tall) triple into a tight 180. Exiting the 180, riders will step on-step off and into a standard supercross triple.
A quick 180 back down the visiting team’s sideline of Ford Field sets up a long rhythm section. There are two basic options in this rhythm but they are decided by the first set of jumps. Most riders will double out of the corner, then go 3-3-2 into the next corner. This is the more basic of the options. The tougher but faster choice would be to triple out of the corner, then go 3-3-1 or even a possible 3-3-4. The way the next corner is set up leads me to believe that the 3-3-3-1 is the most likely scenario for the elite 450 riders.
A long inside/outside bowl corner fires riders back down the start straight and into a right hand 180 (the start instead bends to the left). A small double helps riders build speed into the only whoops section on this Detroit layout. The whoops at this round are typically difficult but if winter weather brings softer dirt, the entire section could deteriorate into ruts a la Minneapolis.
A netted 180 sends riders down the Detroit Lions’ sideline and into the longest rhythm of the course. The beginning of this rhythm section is pretty straight forward but it gets interesting towards the end. Riders will be asked to go 3-3 out of the berm but the next tabletop take-off begs for a big leap. A quad is most likely but if someone got frisky, maybe they could go for a huge five here. That would set them up to single to the inside of the next corner. I’m not sure if it’s even possible but any factory 450 rider looking at the track map will wonder. One other alternative would be to go 3-2, step over the next tabletop, then triple up to the landing of the would-be five, and then single into the corner. I struggle to think that would be quick enough to work as a race line but perhaps that big leap would send riders high enough to slow the sector time. Watch for this rhythm section to be a big focus/key of the day.
A short but steep finish line is up next and then a 90 left sends riders back onto the first turn and lap two.
Eli. Tomac. The man is on one right now.
Cooper Webb’s 2-3-2 finishes since we left California are a serious reversal from a very difficult start to the season.
Malcolm Stewart’s results may not reflect how good he is riding, but that usually evens out over time. This is the best version of him that we have ever seen.
Jett Lawrence silenced many critics after a chaotic Arlington. His style is calm and measured. His pace is simply better than most. That’s a very powerful combination for an 18 year old.
Stilez Robertson backed up his 2021 Daytona runner up finish with a 2022 rendition. His starts are ridiculously good right now.
Kyle Chisholm is getting a dream shot at a Monster Energy/Star Yamaha Racing YZ250F starting this weekend in Detroit.
Ken Roczen is stepping away from the series with unspecified health issues. After such a brilliant start at A1, we’ve now seen the toughest succession of races he has ever faced. It’s been tough to watch and had to be much tougher to live through for Kenny.
RJ Hampshire is fast enough to be on the podium every single week. His inability to stay off the ground is and has been the #1 obstacle to success.
Jason Anderson lost a whole gaggle of points at Daytona after yet another run-in with Mookie. If he does indeed lose this championship, it will be because of his decision making, not his riding. This year has seen Anderson rise to the highest level of riding in his career.
Shane McElrath inadvertently inserted himself into the battle for the win. Even worse, he decimated his practice partner and KTM stablemate Cooper Webb’s chances at the win. It was an L all the way around for Shane.
Mike Alessi continues his Benjamin Button type career reversion, eyeing an 85cc 12-15 title in 2024.
Steve Matthes, after absolutely hammering Daytona’s faults throughout last weekend, finds comfort and luxury in the sunny Detroit metro.
In an already hot silly season market, Roczen’s pause on the 2022 season pushes the fight for a potential 450 Honda factory opening to a fever pitch. One unnamed agent is rumored to officially change his name to “Lucas American Honda Mirtl” if Hunter Lawrence is moved up to the prized 450 spot.