ChapMoto Race Recap Week 12: What Went Down In Detroit
a new series in which we will look back at the past weekend's
Supercross race and give you our thoughts and perspectives on what
we saw. We've posed several questions based on the evening's events
to a motley crew of Chaparral Motorsports staff (and one outsider)
and provided you with their answers and insights.
A little background on the respondents in this series:
Dave Damron (DD): Chaparral Motorsports founder. Racer, team owner, manufacturer, retailer. Dave has seen it all and done it all on two wheels.
Travis Snyder (TS): Chaparral Motorsports Offroad Products and Apparel Manager. Travis is one of our in-house moto racers. A Honda guy, Travis is either at one of the local tracks or prepping his bike for his next event.
Mike Medina (MM): Chaparral Motorsports Technical Advisor/Communications Specialist. When Mike's not at the office he's in the pits spinning wrenches for the Enticknap brothers, #722 Adam (The Seven Deuce Deuce) and #723 Tyler.
Eric Ellis (EE): Chaparral Motorsports Marketing/Social Media. Eric is just a Harley guy who likes to watch Supercross.
The Outsider (TO): N/A. The outsider is not a Chaparral employee but he is an industry veteran with a good perspective on the inside.
Being that Chaparral Motorsport is part of the Monster Energy| Yamalube| Yamaha Financial Services| Yamaha Factory Racing team with two-time Supercross Champion Chad Reed and two-time 250SX West Region Champion Cooper Webb (making his debut in the 450 class this season) we focused a few questions on the their performance. Also, we had the opportunity to toss Reed and Webb a few questions in between their busy schedules so you could get some perspective on the races directly from the riders.
Let's start off with the questions we sent to Reed and Webb first:
How did you feel on Saturday night? Would you say you're back to 100%, or are you still dealing with some pain/discomfort?
CW: I felt good. My shoulder is fine. It's just a matter of putting myself in a better position at the beginning of the race.
After having to sit out a couple rounds, what's the thing you feel you have to work on the most?
CW: My starts and general intensity. After sitting out a few rounds, you forget how intense the race pace is. I just need to get back into the swing of things, and we'll be fine.
A couple of riders commented about how slick the track was. What did you think of the conditions and the design?
CR: For sure, it was slick, but traction is our strong point, so I didn't notice it so much. Other than the sand corner, I liked the track, particularly, the section going up into the stands.
What are your overall thoughts on your night in Detroit?
CR: I felt like it would be another weekend where I was a podium guy, but I ended up on the ground and with a DNF. I felt solid and excited for the 20 minutes plus one-lap main, and I got a great start, but unfortunately, I got rear-ended.
What we Saw
Who had the best night?
[caption id="attachment_62650" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo: GuyB, Vital MX[/caption]
DD: Eli Tomac making the points lead smaller and Jordon Smith getting his first Win.
TS: Jordon Smith for sure, taking his first ever Supercross main event win! Not only was it his first SX win, but he did it in a fashion that hasn't been done since 2003. Fourteen years ago, Ivan Tedesco was the last rider to win the LCQ and the Main event on the same night.
MM: The best night award has to go to Jordan Smith #44 of the Troy Lee Designs KTM team. He was top 5 in qualifying, won his LCQ and won the 250 main event. Too bad DC was not doing the Defy Convention LCQ bonus for any rider that can win his LCQ and win the main event in the same night for 10,000 big ones this year. He rode a solid main event.
EE: Jordon Smith. He had a tough go in his heat race making his way all the way to fourth with a direct transfer to the main before going down after him and Kyle Cummingham got together. He ended up all the way towards the back at the 15th position, meaning he had to go through the LCQ. After regrouping he cleared the LCQ leading the entire race and then after a great three-way battle between Smith, Dylan Ferrandis, and Joey Savatgy, Smith was able to power his KTM 250 SX-F past Savatgy for his first win. It was such an exciting race and for Smith to win via the LCQ was icing on the cake...oh not to mention that win also bumped Smith up from 4th to 2nd in the overall 250 East point standing.
TO: Tomac and Savatgy. Both coming one step closer for a Kawasaki sweep in Supercross along with Hill in the west.
Who had the toughest night?
DD: Zach Osborne, losing the red plate.
TS: I don't even know where to start. This is a toss up between Zach Osborne, Alex Martin, Vince Freise, Cooper Webb, Christian Craig, Chad Reed and/or Ryan Dungey. Who all had a tough night. I'm trying to put myself in their shoes as if I was in the same situation they were in, is much, neither one of those riders are sitting pretty after Detroit.
MM: The toughest night is a tie for me between the #26 Alex Martin or the #16 of "Wacko" Osborne of the Rockstar Husqvarna team. Alex Martin was injured during timed qualifying when he was punted of the track by Christian Craig. Wacko suffered a busted front brake rotor in the first turn of his main event which put him down a couple of laps while the team was changing the wheel out. He placed 18th and lost the red plate.
EE: Toughest night goes to Zach Osborne. He went into the night as the 250 East Coast series leader and was nine points up on 2nd place Savatgy. Not only was Osborne part of that big pileup at the start but he had to pull off the track and run to his mechanic for a new front wheel and it then the points just ticked by. He ended up in 18th place and while he only lost two spots in the standings he's now 10 points behind the leader, Savatgy.
TO: Dungey and Osborne- seeing the Championship slowly slipping away.
What do you think about the Craig/Martin incident?
DD: It was a qualifying incident that didn't need to happen. Unfortunate for Martin.
TS: Uncalled for. I understand these racers are really passionate in what they do and are really focused when out on the track. When one racer is in front of another and only a block pass away, you get very frustrated constantly eating roost and taking BB's to the chest and arms. Leave the retaliation at home and beat them during racing when it counts. Alex Martin cannot race the next round in St. Louis due to injuries which happened during a PRACTICE incident. SX is challenging enough while trying not to get hurt.
MM: I think the move Craig made was not called for at all and I think he got off lightly considering A-Mart suffered injuries that would not let him ride that evening and now may be out for St Louis this weekend. Granted, A-Mart was rolling some previous sections in the main line on his cool down lap when Craig was trying to put a heater in, but a pretty ugly incident for sure. What I could not understand was why A-Mart went from the slow inside line of the rhythm to take the fast line of the next turn which did disrupted Craig's heater.
EE: Obviously it sucked for Martin, and I'm glad that he was able to walk off under his own power, (apparently he wont be racing this coming Saturday however) but it didn't look like Craig did it on purpose and he apologized immediately after. I'm not sure about the penalty and fine though, I guess it was because it occurred in practice? Would he have gotten penalized/fined if it was during the main?
TO: Pretty ugly crash. Hopefully Martin is OK.
What was the pass of the night?
DD: Jordon Smith passing Savatgy right after the finish to regain the lead.
TS: Joey Savatgy passing Zach Osborne in points to take the red plate. Zacho fell back 10 points allowing Jo.Smith to slide into second within the points standings. Three rounds to go for the East coast series and the top three are 10 points apart, this is going to be a close one!
MM: I liked the exchanges between TLD's Jordan Smith and Pro Circuits Joey Savatgy in the main event battling for the 2nd spot at the time. Jordan just had that drive and determination to return the favor to Savatgy every time he was passed. Jordan was not shaken by the big bad PC green machine.
Tomac railing the outside line in the sand
section to pass Musquin! That pass was so smooth and fast, it was
TO: The 250 main was crazy with all of the passing back and forth with Savatgy ,Smith, Cianciarulo and Ferrandis. one of the Best races this year!
How about Alessi landing on Friese?
DD: Tweedledee and Tweedledum
TS: I'm surprised that hasn't happened more than once. They do practice together right? Or is it just starts they practice? They should work on jumping next to each other. Maybe the whole team should switch to drag racing...
MM: This was a racing incident that could have been way worse. Alessi had a straight line over the triple jump and Vince Friese crossed lines while in the air and some how rode away with just a tire mark on his back. I feel it was Friese's bad which is why there was no hard feelings at the end of the night between the teammates.
EE: Again glad it didn't end with someone getting seriously injured and they were both actually able to continue on. I think many people might see it as a bit of karma for both riders. It did make for a great highlight and will probably live in SX infamy. It must have been a bit awkward in the Honda Smartop MotoConcepts pit after that. Friese should get Alessi's signature tattooed next to the tire track on his back. Friese needs to start capitalizing on his protective gear sponsors, because no matter if its hands from Peick or Anderson or a tire from Alessi, that guy can take a beating and just keep motoring.
TO: They are both lucky that they stayed on two wheels and didn't get injured.
How did Cooper look in his return after the shoulder injury?
DD: Not as strong as he was. The press said, "It's wasn't serious", but after five weeks off, I think it was serious.
TS: No bueno. Which leads me to believe it was a lot worse than reported. Bring out the motocross bike, cuz the Supercross season is over for Factory Yamaha Financial Yamaha Monster Yamaha Chaparral Yamaha Racing Team <--- (Did I say that right?) Because I haven't heard Ralph or Jeff mention the team name once this year! I should stop talking.
MM: Coop did ok for being out a few rounds. He just needs to shake some of the ring rust off and hopefully get back in the groove of racing. I hope the shoulder holds up for Outdoors which is where his focus should be leaning towards at this point of his season.
EE: He looked good, could have had a better start, it looked like he got hung up or something because he a a hair or two behind and it looked like his rear end jumped up a bit. I just hope it's not going to take him too long to get back to where he was mentally before he got hurt. Glad to see him back though for sure. It's be great if Cooper can get in there and mix it up with Dungey and Tomac, it would make their points chase all the more interesting.
TO: Cooper looked fast. Hopefully he can use the remaining rounds to get ready for the outdoor nationals.
Reed had a tough time in the main, what do you think was going on there?
DD: I don't know. I thought having Cooper back would help spark some fire into the team.
TS: This SX season in general is putting a toll on the 35 year old.
MM: I think this is a season Reedy would like to forget. I have not seen this many mistakes happen with Reed during one season. After having a good heat race, Reed crashed off the start in the first turn trying to run over some tuff blocks on the inside in the 450 main event. He was getting pinched off and decided not to let off, which would have been the better and safer decision.
EE: Just one of those nights I guess. He was on the inside on the gate lineup, next to Dungey, and they were banging bars at the start then Reed got pinched into the tough block and it went down from there (literally). It was weird to see him go over the edge of that turn later in the race. I'm not even sure what happened there that caused him to run into the tough block? Next week!!!
TO: Whisky Throttle 2