Daytona Supercross is all wrapped up and that means we are 4 rounds into the 9 round Championship for the East Coast. Last week I would have been confident that this battle would come down to Savatgy and Osborne, but after Cianciarulo’s showing at Daytona he is now very much in this championship. 9 points separate the top 3 guys, here are my top 5 rankings heading into Indianapolis.
Zach Osborne (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna)
Osborne lost some crucial points last weekend to the Pro Circuit duo. Before Daytona I would have guessed on Osborne running away with things, but now all of a sudden, only 9 points separate the top 3 riders! I think I forgot that even though Osborne has been around for a while, this is his first time leading the points and wining races. He has never been in this type of position before and it was relevant at Daytona. He crashed in the sand section, but it was the afterwards that made it abundantly clear that he’s not accustomed to having the added championship pressure. He started charging hard immediately and made quite a few mistakes and almost crashed a few times. It was that panic that made me realize that this championship is far from over and sure enough he finished 5th place and now only has a 6-point lead. Nonetheless going into Indianapolis he is still my guy to beat for the title and the race win.
Adam Cianciarulo (Pro Circuit/Monster Energy Kawasaki)
He’s back! It was definitely nice to see Cianciarulo get back to the top step of the podium after so many years full of injuries. Whether this propels him to the next step of winning multiple championships or he stays relatively the same and won’t reach that next level, I don’t know. However, I think this will be great for his confidence and I do think for at least this championship he will win more races and will be in the points race right down to Vegas. Cianciarulo is still very young at age 20 and has a long career still ahead of him to try and get back to that super stardom that he once had entering the 250 class. This will be interesting to watch over the next few years, but for now I have him as Osborne’s biggest competition.
Joey Savatgy (Pro Circuit/Monster Energy Kawasaki)
I am not overly impressed with Savatgy’s riding so far this year and to tell you the truth I don’t really know why. He just seems a little flat and not as good as I thought he would be. This might seem like crazy talk because he has won a race and only sits 6 back of the lead, but didn’t we all have Savatgy pegged to be the man each and every week? If you look at all the 4 rounds so far he hasn’t been the guy once! Osborne had him covered in the first 3 rounds and Cianciarulo had him covered at Daytona. Maybe I am nitpicking a tiny bit because he was right there at Daytona and he did win a race like I said and he is only 6 points back of first. Yeah I guess nothing is wrong, but for whatever reason I am not convinced. At Indianapolis still look for him to be up front battling out with those guys.
Jordon Smith (TLD/Red Bull KTM)
I feel like Smith’s career could go either way at this point. He has shown us that if he can get the start he can run up front and be in positions to win races. That is half this sport, just being up front in good positions and eventually you’ll get that elusive win. It seems like he has also limited some of those big mistakes that he often made in the past. The past two races he did not get that start and he finished 7th and 4th. Like I said if he keeps racing up front then I do believe he will get that win eventually or at least get another good factory ride for next year. But, I am also worried that if he doesn’t make that next step (get a win) soon then he may be dropped off team’s radars with so many young talented riders coming up. Let’s watch to see if Smith can make that step in the remaining 5 rounds.
Dylan Ferrandis (Star Racing Yamaha)
Ferrandis has only raced 4 races of Supercross, but he has already opened up a lot of people’s eyes to his skill. At Daytona he captured his first ever podium and rode great near the end to hold off the challenges from Smith and Osborne. I am sure the tight track helped with that, but it was a great ride regardless. Not only have people noticed Ferrandis’s pure skill on the bike, but it also seems like he is getting a lot of heat for his aggressive riding. Now I will agree that he rides fairly aggressive, but hey he is going for it in the mains and trying to get his best possible result that he can get. I like that he isn’t afraid to mix it up with these guys, but if he keeps riding like that he wont be making any friends any time soon and thus making his weekend that much harder. He is riding well right now and I think he will be a constant top 5 guy with some podium rides from here on out.
Christian Craig (Geico Honda): A bad season got even worse with a 14th at Daytona. Can Craig bounce back and start battling up front again?
Lorenzo Locurio (Cycle Trader/Rock River Yamaha): After getting his career best 6th place and running in 3rd for half the race can this rookie from Venezuela back it up?
Photo from Transworld MX