Five Takeaways From 2020 Tampa Supercross
A mix of highlights, lowlights, or just random observations
this is some of what we saw, or what we thought we saw at this past weekend's Supercross race.
New Team Who this?
While most people don't like change, with this first race on the east coast 250 series Shane McElrath has proven that changing over to a Yamaha YZ250F doesn't bother him. After riding with the Troy Lee Designs KTM 250 team for many years and competing in the west coast series for the past three years with this one race he's he's shown that the new Star Racing Yamaha Team, Thor gear sponsor and tackling the east coast series is all a good fit for him. He was dominant in his debut performance with the new team, running first in qualifying and then getting a great start and leading the entire 250 Main.
McElrath's days with the TLD/KTM team were pretty good. He finished in the top ten overall multiple times and finished with a 2nd place in 2018 and third place finish for 2017. However, that 250 championship is still eluding him, maybe this could be the change he's needed to secure a title?
Martin Picks up Where he Left Off
Saturday night had to have been a special night for Jeremy Martin as he had finally made it back to the Supercross start gate after being out for 1-1/2 years due to a near career-ending injury when he broke his back during the 2018 Pro Motocross season. You wouldn't have known the GEICO Honda Factory Connection rider had suffered such a severe injury or had been away from competing for so long based on the night he put in. With a 3rd place finish he picked up right were he left off the last time he was racing Supercross, securing podiums. I suspect we'll see quite a few more from him.
Hoping For the Best For Brian Moreau
Saturday's free practice session turned tragic for French rider Brian Moreau. Competing in his very first professional Supercross race in the U.S., Moreau crashed and was taken to a local Tampa hospital where it was determined he suffered a fractured vertebra in his neck. He was immediately taken into surgery and is currently in stable condition waiting on further information from the doctors. We all realize that this is a tough sport and injuries and accidents happen all the time but it all becomes too scary when things like this happen. The entire moto community is wishing nothing but the very best for the young rider.
Broc Knocks the Cobwebs off
Along with Jeremy Martin, Broc Tickle returned to the SX series
after a long two-year hiatus. Where Martin's was injury related,
Broc's was due to a suspension for violating the FIM's prohibited
substance list. Tickle claimed his innocence and fought best he
could to try and clear his name during the suspension, but
ultimately he had to ride out the punishment. He let his riding do
the talking on Saturday night though with an 8th in qualifying and
a 12th place overall finish. It's not a bad way to start his
comeback, especially since it was just announced he had singed with
JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Racing Team the week before. There's still plenty of season left for Broc to get more accustomed to the RM-Z450. The fans will be going nuts if he starts pulling podiums.
450 Red Plate Change of Hands
There is no reason why ken Roczen shouldn't still have the red plate hanging from the front of his Honda CRF 450R--well almost no reason, Eli Tomac knows how to finish a race. For the most part, on paper, Roczen should have the red plate, he's gotten better starts with a 4.5 average versus Tomac's 8.2. Roczen's gotten more holeshots: 4 against Tomac's 0. And lastly, Roczen has led more laps than Tomac, 43 versus 41 respectively. But then when you look at the average finish and wins columns you see where Tomac strengths lie; being consistent and charging till the end.
At both A2 and Oakland Roczen had the early lead but in the second half of both those races Tomac was able to get past and take away the win. Oakland was even more frustrating because Roczen was passed by Webb in the very last seconds of the race (once again), and ended up with 3rd. At least on Saturday night Roczen was able to maintain a steady pace behind Webb towards the front of the pack for the majority of the race and then was able to get around Malcolm Stewart towards the end to ensure the final podium spot.
While we are talking about giving up leads, Cianciarulo is right there with Roczen his stats look great on paper and he is third overall in laps led with 37. He just needs to be able to hold it together the entire race. He had great battle with his Kawasaki teammate Tomac mid way through the race and after Tomac got by Cianciarulo could have finished in 2nd but he had a mishap in the whoops that cost him a lot of time and dropped him way back. If Cianciarulo can just hold it all together the entire race great things will come.