The winter charges on and we come through yet another very active weekend of racing closing out the second week of February. We should be used to it by now, but the excitement of watching the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship put on a show at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego and the AMSOIL AMA Arenacross Championship at its stop at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, over the short time we are free from work keeps us far too interested to be calm and content, much less bored. So, let’s take a look at some highlights from the teams of which MotoSport.com is a part and see how everyone fared:
Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki:
Finally, the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship series made it south of the Los Angeles area and brought their closely-watched race series to Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. Though Ryan Sipes once again had to sit out due to injury, his very talented teammates, veteran rider Davi Millsaps and hot-shot rider Jason Anderson, were present and did their very best to make the event one to remember for fans of the Rockstar Energy Suzuki Racing team. It will not be forgotten…until the next round.
The hyperbole thrown at Davi Millsaps this season could almost fill an autobiography about the Rockstar Energy Suzuki rider as he has been burning up every track he has touched so far this season. As series leader, he continues to ride with the Red Plate, and to make life hard for the other racers in the series. This was also the 100th consecutive start for the veteran, and he celebrated this fact (though he could probably care less) in fine style. In Qualifying Practice, Millsaps set the pace early, though he finished it in an overall 4th behind the usual suspects – Ryan Villopoto, James Stewart and Justin Barcia. Of course, this slotted him in a good position in his Heat 1 event. Though Millsaps led five of eight laps, Stewart and he dueled hard for the win, going back and forth throughout, but Stewart managed to take and hold the lead until the flag dropped, landing Millsaps in 2nd. He still had a great slot for the Main Event, however, and he took full advantage. Starting out in third, Millsaps took off quick, grabbed the holeshot, and remained fast and consistent all the way through the event. All 20 laps were led by Millsaps and his Rockstar Energy Suzuki, and it seemed like he was never really threatened as he took yet another victory and the all-important 25 points that come with it. Still atop the leader board after six rounds of Supercross racing, Millsaps has 132 points, up a sizeable 19 on second place, and will take the Red Plate with him to the next round. What a season so far!
Six weeks into the season and Davi still has the Red Plate. If you haven't been picking him to win, it's time to start.
Jason Anderson, competing for the Rockstar Energy Suzuki in the Supercross Lites West class, was to have his own great weekend in San Diego. Since landing a podium at the Oakland round, Anderson has been hungry for another. Qualifying Practice was flat for him as he seemed to already be running with a good bike setup and a focused mind. In the end, Anderson had the 7th fastest time and ended up in Heat 2. In that race, he had a very tough time fighting for position, running at full tilt through all six laps and then finishing in 2nd and, obviously, making the Main. It was here where Anderson was to shine. When the gate dropped on the Main Event, Anderson nabbed the holeshot and after Turn 1 was running in first. He rode an incredible race, being strong and consistent, and officially led for four laps. When lap 20 came to an end and the checkered flag dropped, Anderson took the podium he so desired and came in 3rd! This was enough for 20 points, and his overall position has moved up one to fourth where he holds 88 points and is a tiny 7 away from being third. Check out the following Helmet Cam of Jason during the Main Event. Flying!
For the second race in 2013, the Rockstar Energy Suzuki Team had riders take podiums in both classes, Supercross and Supercross Lites, making for yet another historic weekend for the team. Next weekend will see the whole operation take a trip to Texas for the Cowboys Stadium round in Arlington. The East Lites series will be in action, so Jason Anderson will not be racing, but current Monster Energy AMA Supercross leader Davi Millsaps will be looking to repeat his feat for a loud and adoring crowd. Will he do it? Well, you have to tune in February 16th to find out…anything can happen!
MotoSport.com/Aussie Dave Racing:
For the sixth round of competition, the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series stopped at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, and continued to bring fans to the edges of their seats. The MotoSport.com/Aussie Dave Racing team was ready for another day in the indoor dirt.
MotoSport.com/ADR rider in the Supercross Lites West class, Ricky Dietrich, had a difficult weekend. During practice, he kept up with riders he normally finds himself with, but the track was not kind to him this day. At the end of Qualifying Practice, though, Dietrich pulled together a good run in his third-to-last lap and qualified for his Heat with less than four tenths of a second in hand. When Heat 2 started, Dietrich was lined up in 19th position. Most of the event had him dicing it up with fellow Kawasaki rider Dakota Tedder, who lined up next to Dietrich, and when the flag dropped at the finish, Dietrich found himself in the same place he started, 19th. This put him into the LCQ, where only the two fastest advance to the Main, but Dietrich could not make the start. No points this weekend for Dietrich, and the series goes East for the next round which means there is time to practice and get ready for the Supercross return to the West in April.
Ricky has a few weeks off before the next West round which he'll use to work on making improvements to his program.
Fellow Supercross Lites West competitor Kade Mosig had a better weekend than his teammate. Entering the San Diego round, Mosig has now taken points in two consecutive weekends. In his Qualifying Practice, evidence of his continual move towards the front was demonstrated once more. There he improved in every run – shaving almost 1.5 seconds from his lap times over the duration - and kept his Kawasaki at mid-pack for much of his time on the track. At the conclusion, Mosig secured his Heat position and was very close to the top third of the fastest riders. In Heat 1, with all riders working for that top 9 slot which would allow them a trip to the Main, Mosig took of quickly and jumped into the middle of it. A small incident in that first lap dropped him back some, but it did not deter him, and his fourth lap was epic and his fastest of the night. It was not enough to propel him into the coveted transfer slots, though, and he ended just one spot back in 10th. This pushed Mosig into the LCQ, where he lined up at the first gate. Four laps later and it all changed again with Mosig taking an 8th place finish at the checkered flag. With no trip to the Main, no points were earned, and Mosig sits in an overall 25th place now, dropping two positions, only 1 point back from 22nd.
It was not the best weekend for the MotoSport.com/ADR team, though they continue to make progress with the team and its goals. Kade Mosig and Ricky Dietrich are dedicated and hard working riders who have the drive to compete at each and every round, the skills to ride with the best on the planet, and a team behind them with the same focus and determination. Going into the next round at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the Lites West riders will get the chance to rest for a few rounds, but teammate Gareth Swanepoel finally has his chance to ride in the East Lites. Looking forward to it? We are too!
MotoSport.com/JBR/Spinechillers Racing Arenacross Team:
AMSOIL AMA Arenacross Championship teams took a trip across the country to Wilkes Barre in Pennsylvania for a round in the Mohegan Sun Arena. The MotoSport.com/JBR/Spinechillers race team pulled into this event with a full contingent of riders all ready to race and earn points. With this round, we also saw the return of SuperMini riders Zach Easter and Caleb Rhoads.
The Motosport.com/JBR/Spinechillers team is doing great this season!
Captain Nathan Skaggs, and the most experienced member of the MotoSport.com/JBR/Spinechillers racing team, hit the ground running in Wilkes Barre. On the first day of action, he cruised into Qualifying and easily landed a slot in the Main Event. Lining up with riders he is very familiar with, Skaggs fought a difficult race in Main 1 and ended up placing 7th. He turned up the heat in Main 2, though, and pushed hard to the front and came away with a 2nd and yet another trip to the podium. Overall, Skaggs placed 3rd and took away 25 championship points. Saturday witnessed a repeat as far as Qualifying, though the results Skaggs grabbed were a little below Friday’s. In Main 1, with defending Champion Tyler Bowers running away with the event, Skaggs rounded the final corner and took the checkered flag in 5th. Main 2 was not as good for him, and he rounded out his weekend with an 8th place, thus taking 8th overall and a precious 21 points. This result locked him in 5th overall, and now that the Race to the Championship is on - which will comprise the remainder of the season so to decide the Champion and only includes the top ten points earners to this point in the season - it gave him 3 points towards winning the AMSOIL AMA Arenacross Championship…and adds even more to look forward to in the final four rounds!
Skaggs studying the track during practice before the racing action begins.
Steven Mages again took on his usual two classes, both the premier Arenacross and the Lites series, and continued to impress us with his work ethic and dedication. Since the Arenacross series returned East, Mages could earn no points for his championship in that class. Qualifying Practice was good for him on Friday, and he made the Main. There, with his trip mostly for getting time in the saddle, he finished in 16th position and brought up the rear. Saturday did not see him compete in the Lites race. When things turned to the premier class, though, Mages’ luck would change somewhat. On Friday, he qualified for the Main Arenacross events, and so took them on with admirable courage and landed a 5th in Main 1 and a 5th in Main 2. With those results, Mages landed 6th overall and brought in 24 points. On Friday, Mages was selected to ride in the new Head-to-Head Bracket; here he turned in an impressive performance making it all the way to the final head-to-head battle with current champion Tyler Bowers, but he lost the extra point to him. The following day also witnessed Mages advance to the Main in the Arenacross class. Main 1 was not what we are used to seeing from Mages with him finishing in 16th. But, in Main 2, he was back on form and he pushed that KTM of his around in 6th, securing an overall 11th place and lapping up 12 points. This was enough to give Mages 12th overall in the Arenacross Championship, the same as last week, with 135 points. However, with the new Race to the Championship format, he is not in the top ten and so will not be able to compete for the 2013 crown. Mages was so close he could taste it…
Steven made it all the way to the final head to head bracket and was just edged out by Bowers.
Willy Browning had a very good weekend in Pennsylvania, and he again did well enough in Qualifying Practice to land himself in both Main Events. Running mid-pack for both Main 1 and Main 2, Browning finished in 9th and 7th, respectively. Those finishes garnered a 9th overall for Friday and 18 points. Saturday came around and Browning was once again going to see action in the Mains, so he lined up ready to race. Main 1 was a repeat on Friday’s Main 2 result with him taking 7th, but his best was to come. Main 2 was a far better experience for Browning. Bowers may have dominated this day’s proceedings, but our man had a little something to show too, and he did just that by taking 3rd and a much desired podium. Overall, he took away 4th and the 24 points that came with it, and this was enough to put him just under his teammate Skaggs in the Race to the Championship in 7th with two precious points towards the crown. Not a bad trip.
Tanner Sisson, also competing in the Arenacross Lites West class and so not earning points in Pennsylvania, enjoyed a slightly better Lites event than fellow rider Browning. Sisson did take Qualifying Practice well for his event and advanced into the night’s Main Event. With no points on the line, he lined up alongside familiar faces and went into the event looking for improvement. Unfortunately, it was a difficult competition with many East riders desperately looking to pad their points totals and fighting very hard for each extra bit. Sisson captured 14th in that race, but it had no effect on his overall standings in his class and so there was no movement.
In the SuperMini category, Zach Easter was finally in the race again, and he was no worse for the break time. He qualified and ran in both Main Events. In his Friday race, Easter took on a talented roster of up-and-comers and still landed on the podium in 2nd, bringing him 15 points. On day two, Easter struggled some, and could only finish in 12th for 5 points. This total, though lifted him in his two class divisions; in the East, he site in third overall with 71 points, a mere 11 back of second, and in the North, he hold the same spot, but it only one point out of second.
SuperMini rider Caleb Rhoads continues to impress as well, and it was nice to see him back on track. Like his teammate, Rhoads ended up in both Main Events. In his Main appearance on Friday, he finished in 5th and added 12 points to his total. The following day turned out a little better for Rhoads, and his Saturday saw him finish in 4th, narrowly missing a podium spot, and giving him an additional 13 points. In the overall, Rhoads holds fourth in the East with 69 points and only two back from third, and he stands in a most respectable second place in the North with only 12 points separating him from first.
Click the picture for a full photo gallery from the action in Wilkes-Barre.
The next AMSOIL AMA Arenacross event will take place back in the West at Verizon Arena in Little Rock, Arkansas, and it will only host one night of professional racing. Always looking for improvement and continuing to work harder and faster, the MotoSport.com/JBR/Spinechillers team is sure to put on a show no one should miss. When the team arrives, expect the talented riders composing it to be ready to compete with the best riders the series has ever seen and to come away with more points. We hope you to see you there!