Tuesday Race Update - 29 January 2013
The fourth weekend of 2013 was again a full one for race fans. The Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship ran the show up the California coast to the Overstock.com Coliseum in Oakland, California, while the AMSOIL Arenacross Championship took the spectacle to the BOK Center located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. All this racing included numerous riders carrying the MotoSport.com banner representing teams in both series. Here are some of the more important highlights, direct from the track:
Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki:
The trip to the Oakland round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship for the Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki team was to have the feel of a much later Northern California winter, but brought results more befitting of a fine summer day. The team had momentum even if AMA Supercross Lites rider Ryan Sipes had to sit this round out due to injuries incurred in Anaheim last weekend. Premier class rider Davi Millsaps and Sipes' fellow Lites West competitor Jason Anderson enjoyed a good trip to the city on the other side of the Bay, and both came away with a good share of points from the weekend's SX events.
Davi Millsaps started the night at a veteran-level pace and managed to improve on his times all throughout practice and finally emerged as sixth fastest in Qualifying. He only got better when it came time for his Heat race; right from the drop of the gate, Millsaps led the entire group, gapping the field by more than 3 seconds at one point, and took overall victory over fellow competitor, and MX, SX and FIM MX1 Champion, Ryan Dungey, while improving his speed. In the Main Event, Millsaps started well and fought hard against Dungey, but once Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto got away at the front, after grabbing the holeshot, he gapped everyone and led until the finish taking victory with a 10 second advantage. Millsaps was right there behind him, even lapping a few backmarkers, and proceeding to secure himself and his Suzuki a spot on the second step of the podium. With the Oakland finish, Millsaps took away 22 points to give him a total of 85 which keeps him in first overall, six points ahead of Trey Canard in second, and allows Millsaps the continued use of the Red Plate as premier class leader. Solid, consistent, and getting quicker can all be used to briefly sum up the performance of Millsaps so far in 2013, but others might say that it's the spirit of a Champion that keeps him riding so well.
Rider Jason Anderson has some history at Oakland, and symptoms of a cold certainly added to the question of whether he could get past his experience a year ago when he was knocked out of a potentially podium-garnering finish by a crash late in the race. Starting out on his Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki in Qualifying Practice holding a consistent second-fastest time throughout was an indicator of what was to come this night. At the end of Qualifying, Anderson's quickest time was less than 0.2 seconds slower than leader KTM-mounted Ken Roczen. His Heat race was not so simple, though, as he managed to get tangled in a first turn mishap which landed him at the back. Fighting with the will of a highly competitive man wishing to overcome a bad memory, Anderson set the fastest lap time of the event while dicing his way from last place to finish third overall in Heat 1. It was foreshadowing for the Main. Anderson lined up in the sixth slot for the race, and managed to work his way into fourth at the start, and it was all go from there. While the first and second place riders went at it in the lead, Anderson was running with Kawasaki rider Martin Davalos and trying to secure third. When the checkered flag dropped, Anderson brought home third place, 20 points, and some well-earned momentum going into the next round. It seems that the past is not a predictor for everything; Anderson now sits in fifth place overall in the AMA Supercross Lites standings, thus moving up several spots and only 6 points back from fourth.
This is the first time that the Rockstar Energy Suzuki Racing team has managed a 250/450SX double podium in its history. With the steady and consistently improving performances of riders Davi Millsaps and Jason Anderson - not to mention the injured Ryan Sipes, once he returns - the team is having a banner year in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship so far. The team has many reasons to be optimistic looking forward to the next round back at Anaheim for the third visit to Angel Stadium, and their fans do too. Tune into the festivities on February 2nd!
MotoSport.com/Aussie Dave Racing:
With SX landing in Oakland, the MotoSport.com/Aussie Dave Racing team was destined to tear up the soil the O.co Coliseum, and that is exactly what we witnessed.
Washington state native Ricky Dietrich, running in Supercross Lites West, qualified for Heat 1 again after once more being among the top half in practice, even leading his group in their second outing. In Heat 1, Dietrich managed to improve on his qualifying times but could only bring home his KX250F in 16th overall, thus missing the transfer slots and placing him in the LCQ. The short four lap format is quick, and it was not long enough for Dietrich to advance - he had to sit out the Main. He remains on an upward trajectory, though, and we will surely see more from Dietrich as the season continues.
As we saw last weekend, Supercross Lites West competitor Kade Mosig has been gaining speed every weekend, and his practice times in Oakland demonstrated that for all. Mosig was fast to start the day, and went faster as the clock ticked. His times led him into Heat 2 where he ran almost a full second better than his quickest qualifying lap and managed to ride his Kawasaki across the line in 9th, placing him in the Main Event. In Mosig's first trip to the Lites West big show in 2013, #948 turned in a rock solid race dicing it up with the fastest of the night, and completed the event in 17th position earning four championship points. Mosig now holds 28th place overall, thus giving the MotoSport.com/ADR team its first entry in the standings.
The weeks go by and the results keep getting better for the MotoSport.com/ADR team. In Oakland, they earned the first points of the season, thus starting a trend we hope to see continue. With the talented team standing behind riders Ricky Dietrich and Kade Mosig, confidence is very high. Look for them at the next round back in Anaheim for the third trip to Angel Stadium on February 2nd.
MotoSport.com/JBR/Spinechillers Racing Arenacross Team:
AMSOIL AMA Arenacross Championship round four at BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was a bit different from previous weekends in that it was not a double-header. Proceedings did not begin until Saturday for this stop, but that did not cause any issues for the MotoSport.com/JBR/Spinechillers Racing team, as everyone arrived ready to compete. Well, everyone riding in the South region, meaning that North region competitors Zach Easter and Caleb Rhoads did not take to the Tulsa track this night.
MotoSport.com/JBR/Spinechillers Racing team captain Nathan Skaggs, a perennial qualifier, once again awarded his KTM with a trip to the Arenacross two-staged Main Event. In the heat of battle among his fiercest competition, Skaggs was consistent and placed 8th in Main Event 1 and 6th in Main Event 2. Overall, this translated into a 7th overall and a take home of 20 points. Unfortunately, he dropped a slot in the overall points standings to 7th, though he is only 4 points away from taking over the 5th slot. Skaggs held fairly steady in his southern stop, realistically only losing a two-point step on his rivals. Consistency is very important in any series, and with six weekends of racing left in the 2013 season of Arenacross, it could well pay off big for Nathan Skaggs.
Steven Mages, seemingly always in motion, took on both the premier Arenacross class and the Arenacross Lites, where the team is finally in the West region and Mages can earn championship points. The BOK Center track was certainly good to Mages and he qualified well and made it to the night's Lites Main Event. Running against riders he would also face in the premier class, Mages rode his KTM across the finish line in second place, taking a well-earned trip to the podium. This gave him 15 points and, this being the first West Lites event of the year, second overall in the standings. Mages again qualified for the Arenacross Main Event and raced right alongside his teammates. Oddly enough, it seems they were fairly evenly matched in the overall as Mages landed right behind Willy Browning in the overall results after finishing 7th in Main 1 and 10th in Main 2. This gave him an additional 17 points for his Tulsa trip and held Mages at 13th overall, thus bringing him to within 4 points of 12th on the board.
MotoSport.com/JBR/Spinechillers Racing rider Willy Browning had yet another productive race day as he once again qualified for the AMA Arenacross Main Event. The track in Tulsa seems to have been a good one for KTM machinery, and Browning took full advantage of this. In the race, he ran at a highly consistent pace and spent time dicing with his teammates throughout Main Event 1, eventually finishing in 9th place. The second race was a bit better, and his teammates were a bit further apart, and Browning took one more step up the sheet and finished in 8th. This produced 17 points and has placed Browning tied for 5th place overall in the premier championship fight, with only 7 points separating him from 4th position.
Back in the Arenacross Lites class, Tanner Sisson again qualified for the Main Event on Saturday and he also finally earned some points for his performance now that the series has made it West. In his Main, Sisson improved markedly over his most recent ride around the track, and brought home his KTM in a respectable 10th position - a massive jump from last week. That was good enough for 7 points and that has him sitting 9th overall in the current standings.
The next round of the AMSOIL AMA Arenacross series will ride into Cedar Park, Texas, for the next round at Cedar Park Center between February 1st and 3rd. Steady performances, determined racing, and positive attitudes will continue to help the MotoSport.com/JBR/Spinechillers Racing team turn in these good results. Get ready fans, riders Nathan Skaggs, Steven Mages, Willy Browning and Tanner Sisson will be in action again in less than a week!