The last time Tampa, FL hosted a Supercross round Monster Energy was non-existent and Chad Reed had yet to burst from a gate drop in the United States. On Saturday, 19 years after the checkers flew in Tampa, Monster Energy Supercross holds Round 8 at Raymond James Stadium and Reed should break the record for most starts in Supercross history with 228.
Of course he has to make the Main which he has every round, so far, but that hardly guarantees anything this season. Reed sits in 14th place for the Championship standings and is one of only nine riders to score points in every round this year though he's not finished inside the Top 10. Marvin Musquin and Eli Tomac have rode into trouble, Ken Roczen is out and now Justin Barcia. All pre-season and early season contenders.
Jason Anderson rides the Red Plate for the fifth straight round thanks to consistent results, and inconsistent results from others
Nearing the halfway point of the schedule, just 22 points separate Cole Seely in second-place from eighth-place, the injured Roczen. Jason Anderson continues to build a solid lead - now 36 points - through attrition, staying upright, landing on the podium five times with three wins and never placing below fourth. Compare that to Tomac, who also has three wins but three rounds where he crashed out or remained sidelined. Roczen was just behind Anderson in second a few rounds ago until he crashed and broke his hand in San Diego giving the runner-up spot to Barcia who got crashed on last week resulting in a broken hand.
Seely better look out. He moved into second after Round 3 then rode a season-worst 12th place the following round. Fact is, no rider has held on to second-place in the standings this year for consecutive weeks with Anderson the only one to improve on that position. That trend could easily continue after Tampa. With Musquin back in form after the Round 2 Heat crash - just five points back in fourth - and Blake Baggett on a three round podium streak putting him in third-place four points behind Seely, it certainly bodes well for someone else to ride shotgun to Anderson after this weekend.
No history to speak of for any riders in Tampa as the track presents the first over under bridge of the season with multiple sand areas. But to sum up what to expect or not to expect don't expect Roczen, Barcia or James Stewart to line-up so that leaves two of the Top 10 guys out. Josh Grant was Top 10 after Round 6 but he's out too after breaking his leg during qualifying in Arlington. Dean Wilson finally cracked the Top 10 the last two weeks after a Round 1 crash gave him an uphill battle to start the season.
Justin Brayton enters Tampa in seventh-place but only eight points from third
Tomac? Well, last time he won, he won again, then rode poorly, so since he's coming off a win in Arlington, he should easily move a spot or two up from the his current 10th-place position. Someone in his camp must fool with his pre-race music playlist alternating between MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" and Lit's "My Own Worst Enemy." Or perhaps "Head Games" by Foreigner got stuck on repeat. Check out his stat line for the season: DNF-DNS-1-1-13-DNF-1.
The door stays wide open for veteran Justin Brayton, Weston Peick and Broc Tickle, fifth, seventh and ninth, respectively, to finish well, grab some points and make this season even more interesting.
Zach Osborne began the defense of his Championship in winning fashion
The 250SX East class crashed the highlight reel party last week with a head-on collision and a rather spectacular first turn wreck with bodies flying that claimed multiple riders including contenders Jeremy Martin, Jordon Smith and Martin Davalos. Martin and Smith re-grouped to finish fifth and sixth, respectively, and even tangled later when Smith clashed with Martin in a turn knocking them both off the bikes. Martin was none too happy about that. But Davalos, who qualified first and won his Heat race by more than six seconds over defending champion Zach Osborne, didn't finish the race.
The head-on collision occurred during the Heat race when Anthony Rodriguez bumped Jon Ames off the track into opposing traffic and Ames collided with Chaz Braden. Ames suffered a broken leg while Braden escaped with a bruised knee.
RJ Hampshire led 13 laps last week but got passed by Zach Osborne then hit the dirt
Osborne went on to win taking 13 laps to get around RJ Hampshire who later endured a minor digger in the dirt but recovered to finish fourth. Colt Nichols, who broke his arm in December and wasn't even sure about lining up last week, took second while James Decotis finished third for his first career podium.
Our Podium Picks for Tampa:
- Eli Tomac
- Marvin Musquin
- Jason Anderson
250SX East Class
- Jeremy Martin
- Zach Osborne
- Colt Nichols
Check out the track map for Round 8:
Practice for Tampa starts at 12 p.m. (EST) with the Main at 7 p.m. (EST) on Saturday at Raymond James Stadium. Buy tickets online or at the box office. Hot and humid weather expected with highs in the mid to upper 80s.
2018 Supercross Season Standings
- Jason Anderson (160)
- Cole Seely (124)
- Blake Baggett (120)
- Marvin Musquin (119)
- Weston Peick (114)
- Justin Barcia (113)
- Justin Brayton (112)
- Ken Roczen (102)
- Broc Tickle (96)
- Eli Tomac (90)
250SX East Class
- Zach Osborne (26)
- Colt Nichols (23)
- James Decotis (21)
- RJ Hampshire (19)
- Jeremy Martin (18)
- Jordon Smith (17)
- Austin Forkner (16)
- Sean Cantrell (15)
- Luke Renzland (14)
- John Short (13)
Written By: AndrewT