Tuesday Race Update - 5 February 2013
As we enter the second month of 2013, both of the major indoor off-road series were again hosting events half a nation away from each other. The Monster Energy AMA Supercross show returned for the third time to Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, and the AMSOIL AMA Arenacross Championship stopped for the second time in the South region at Cedar Park Center in the Lone Star State. As all fans know, two series in action means a whole lot of racing! The big names riding with the MotoSport.com logos all had time on track, so have a look at the results:
Team Rockstar Motosport Suzuki:
Another stop in the town Disney built, Anaheim, brought the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship to Angel Stadium for the third time in five weekends and yet another good ride for the Rockstar Motosport Suzuki team. Davi Millsaps is riding with the Red Plate as current points leader and 250 West rider Jason Anderson had the added energy of a podium finish at the most recent stop in Oakland to keep him going. Once again the impact of the crash during the previous visit to Anaheim is felt by Ryan Sipes as he did not line up here. His absence was palpable, but Millsaps and Anderson did their teammate proud and collected valuable points towards their championships.
The results Davi Millsaps has had over the last four rounds serve as a definition of consistency for the sport of AMA Supercross, and they also happen to be the good points earning finishes every racer desires, thus the reason he is in first place at this point. In Qualifying Practice, Millsaps lapped in the 52 second range, but even that was not enough to put him at the top as recently on fire rider James Stewart went around in 51.725 seconds in his second session. Heat 1 turned into something even more intense when Millsaps had to fight it out with Honda rider Justin Barcia throughout but, with his usual skills on display, Millsaps maintained the lead to the finish and landed in first place.
The Main Event was next for him and there he lined up at the first gate with Yamaha mounted rider Justin Brayton next door. It was that neighbor who snagged the holeshot, but the race was about the man-of-the-night who had bad luck in his Heat and had to rally to be seeded from the LCQ, Ryan Dungey. Though Dungey would seem to have run away with it at the front, it was a dogfight for much of the race for the top four slots. Millsaps nearly took the lead from Dungey at one point in the race, but riders Barcia and Stewart both rode a good race and kept Millsaps on his game. By the end of 20 laps, after an exciting and exasperating duel of top athletes, Rockstar Energy Racing's Davi Millsaps was in second place. This was good for another 22 championship points for the Californian, which gives him a total of 107 so far, and a solid stand leading the points chase. Davi Millsaps will ride with the Red Plate once more at the next round. Don't expect that to go to his head, though, Millsaps always works hard.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki rider Jason Anderson is enjoying a very good start to his 2013 AMA Supercross Lites West series. At Oakland he picked up his first podium, and he was ill when he did it, so a now healed Anderson came with some momentum behind him. Qualifying Practice was another upward rise for Anderson which took him to third overall and he landed a good gate for his Heat race. Much of Heat 2 had him riding with KTM rider Josh Cachia and Suzuki mounted Max Anstie, and it only become more interesting when he was just about to take second and then went down after getting tagged by another rider. After re-mounting, Anderson turned in the fastest lap of any rider in the Heat and parlayed that into a second trip to the third slot for this night. The aggressive performance in the Heat led directly to the Main Event.
When the gates dropped on the race, Anderson again demonstrated that his starts are solid when he got away very strong and held with the lead group heading into turn 1. It was right about there where he was hit from behind causing him to drop back several positions and thus forcing him to deal with more traffic. Only moments later Anderson was run off the track! More positions lost for the rider, so Anderson had no choice but to turn back to what he did in his Heat race. Relying on what must be a deep well of mental strength, Anderson pulled himself up through the stacked field, passing several other riders along the way and he jumped across the finish line in 5th place. Though not a podium, it probably felt much like one after the series of setbacks faced in the Main, and the resulting lap times are again impressive. At the next round, Anderson will be looking for a better result to hold him over for the few weeks while the Lites West series takes a break and the premier class moves east for a few stops. Anderson's finish at Anaheim 3 gives him another 16 points and keeps him in fifth overall.
Next week, the Rockstar Energy Suzuki Racing team will join the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship at its next round down the California coast in San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium. Davi Millsaps has given fans every reason to believe he is serious about winning every time he lines up to race, and his rock steady performances speak for themselves. Jason Anderson has had some of what most like to call "that's racing" events, but he remains strong and is giving race fans his own reliable performances. When February 9th draws to a close we will once again turn our eyes to the big, bright lights to watch Millsaps and Anderson put everything they have on the dirt for the singular purpose of winning, and we will all enjoy every minute of it.
MotoSport.com/Aussie Dave Racing:
The enormous show that is the AMA Supercross Championship traveling circus set up the tents in Angel Stadium once more for the third trip to Anaheim, so you know where the MotoSport.com/Aussie Dave Racing team was pitching their camp.
In the Supercross Lites West class, MotoSport.com/ADR rider Ricky Dietrich held his spot in the middle of the pack throughout qualifying and kept up the pace to land himself a slot in Heat 2. The Heat ran smoothly for him, with no serious hang-ups or crashes nearby, and Dietrich only narrowly missed landing in a transfer slot by finishing in 10th. This led to a run in the LCQ, which turned out to be a bit more eventful with Dietrich running into trouble near the end of the third lap. Being the LCQ, only the top two slots go on to the Lites Main, and Dietrich finished in 20th. The sport of racing is fickle, and some days turn out good and some do not. Ricky Dietrich will be back in it next weekend and don't expect him to be any less determined or any less ready to race for championship points.
Kade Mosig has been making progress at each round, with his performance in Oakland last week earning him a spot in the Supercross Lites West Main Event for the first time this year. His Qualifying Practice times steadily improved and kept him in the top 25 throughout the two outings. This landed Mosig in Heat 2 alongside his teammate. Mosig was to have a better run in the event, as he turned in impressive times en route to advancing into the Main with an 8th place showing. His gate for the big race put him in a line of Kawasaki KX250F bikes, but he didn't wait for them to get out of his way. The gates dropped and the 15-lap Main went off with its usual thunder and Mosig began fighting his way through the bunched up group in Turn 1. It was tight like that for the first few laps, but it opened up soon enough and Mosig started finding his rhythm. When the checkered fag dropped, Mosig secured the second fastest Kawasaki on the sheet with a 16th place finish. Moving up one position and gaining five points for his effort gives Mosig nine total points and 23rd overall in the standings - a five position jump!
With both Dietrich and Mosig showing consistency and measurable improvements, Anaheim 3 turned into a good trip for the duo. If Mosig keeps getting himself invited to the big show each night, there is every reason to believe his results will continue to get better. Next week the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship will visit the southern California city of San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium on February 9. Aussie Dave, Ricky Dietrich, Kade Mosig, and the brilliant crew which supports what they do will all be there to bring the MotoSport.com/Aussie Dave Racing team to life for another exciting ride in the dirt.
MotoSport.com/JBR/Spinechillers Racing Arenacross Team:
The AMSOIL AMA Arenacross Championship took proceedings to Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, Texas, for round five and it returned to the regular double-header format. The MotoSport.com/JBR/Spinechillers Racing crew made their way to the Lone Star State with momentum gained at their last stop and hungry for more results and more points. Once again the series is in the South Region, so star SuperMini riders Zach Easter and Caleb Rhoads, both competing in the North Region, were not racing this weekend.
Nathan Skaggs, MotoSport.com/JBR/Spinechillers Racing team captain, had two more chances to put points on the board and move himself forward in the championship race, and he took full advantage of both. Friday saw Skaggs qualify easily for the Main where he faced the usual top line of racers, and where he brought home an overall 4th by finishing 4th in Main 1 and 6th in Main 2. This earned him an additional 24 points. Saturday dawned with Skaggs pushing harder and making quicker circuits of the track. Qualifying for the Main seemed a given based on his performance, and a better result looked entirely possible.
When the gates dropped, Skaggs jumped ahead into the lead group and held on to finish 4th, much like the day previous. When Main 2 wrapped up, though, Skaggs had gained one more slot, finishing on the podium, and taking both 3rd in the race and 3rd overall for a total of 27 more points. Friday also allowed him to pick up an extra point when he was chosen for the Arenacross Head-to-Head event which he once again won, this time against series leader and defending champion Tyler Bowers. All totaled Skaggs sits in 6th position, one up over last week, with 174 points and only 10 points out of third place.
Event busybody Steven Mages took on both the Premier and Lites West classes on Friday and Saturday, in his usual fashion, and picked up more precious points for his work within each. Starting with his Lites racing, Mages managed to make both Mains due to good qualifying times. In Friday's running, he went into the race with a full head of steam and dueled all race long to cross the finish in second position, giving him a podium and 15 more points. Saturday was a little rougher and the competition came out strong from the start; by the end, Mages brought his KTM around in 7th and grabbed 10 points.
For his Lites results, Mages now has a total of 40 points in the Lites West title chase for an overall 3rd position, only 5 points out of first and giving the team an enviable start to the West Region season. Saddling up in the Arenacross Premier class on Friday, Mages managed to fight his way through traffic and score 9th place in Main 1 and 13th in Main 2. This placed him 11th overall and he took away a useful 12 points. Saturday's Main 1 was much better for Mages as he earned 7th place there, but Main 2 was more difficult and he rounded the last bend in 15th for an overall 11th position placement again and another 12 points. After making it through nearly every round of the Premier class so far, Mages has earned himself 99 total points and sits in 12th overall with a mere 20 points separating him from the top 10 riders.
Willy Browning made the both Main events in the AMSOIL Arenacross class, once again earning championship points on both days for the MotoSport.com/JBR/Spinechillers team. His Friday run was his most impressive of the weekend; in Main 1, Browning ran about mid-pack and came home in 7th. Main 2 was much better and had him challenging for a podium spot. He ended the race in 4th position which, when combined with his 7th in the first event, landed Browning and his KTM in 5th overall for the day and added 23 points to his standings. Saturday's races started to look similar to Friday when he finished Main 1 in 8th, and his Main 2 performance was even better with a 6th, but he did not place as high as the day before and ended the day in 7th overall with 20 points. After the Texas round wrapped up, Browning dropped two spots from the previous week, but he is holding steady in the top 10 in 7th with only 9 points keeping him from top 5.
Tanner Sisson, Arenacross Lites West rider for the MotoSport.com/JBR/Spinechillers team, had a mixed weekend in Texas. On Friday, he did not qualify for the Main event in his class, so he had to sit out. On Saturday, Sisson did far better and earned a trip to the Main. In the race he showed marked improvement over previous outings and did well against the more experienced riders on the track. His event ended with him in 9th position which added 8 points to his collection. Sisson now sits in 10th, one down from last week, with 15 points and a single point back from 9th overall.
Next week sees the AMSOIL AMA Arenacross series return to the East with a stop at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. It will be another full weekend with a double-header and more than enough to keep the MotoSport.com/JBR/Spinechillers Racing team occupied. With a full stable of riders competing, there will be little time for anything other than racing, but the team will fulfill its duties with the great composure to which we are all accustomed. Nathan Skaggs, Steven Mages, Willy Browning and Tanner Sisson will be ready, will you?