Unfortunately last week brought another injury to our sport and this time it was Cole Seely. It was a pretty brutal crash and resulted in a pelvis injury that should see him out for an extended period of time. Stay positive fans, we still had great racing last weekend at Tampa. The series now moves north to Atlanta for the second Triple Crown race. Here are my full rankings heading into the weekend.
- Jason Anderson
Anderson once again has increased his point’s lead despite not winning the race. He did however finish a respectable 3rd place and that makes for his 6th podium of the year. With a 39-point lead over Musquin, a 65-point lead over Tomac and only 9 rounds left Anderson pretty much just has to not get an injury. At this point even if Anderson DNF’s a race and Musquin wins, he will still hold a 14-point lead. Yeah this championship is pretty much over unfortunately. A lot of people will use this as an excuse to make some sort of playoff or chase format. I fundamentally disagree with that with every ounce of my body, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t change anything. A playoff format is pretty much the worst idea in my opinion so here is a few that will definitely work better. How about simply making Vegas count for double points? That would make a win worth 6 over second or 10 over third. Might not fix all the problems, but would make the last race way more relevant while not screwing up the beginning races! Another idea would be to simply erase your worst result in the season. Please just don’t use Anderson’s deserved big lead as an excuse for a chase format.
- Eli Tomac
Tomac once again keeps up the impressive win or crash mentality. Could you imagine if he could have just scored decent top fives in Oakland and San Diego? He would be right in the thick of another comeback run. Now that would have been awesome, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. I just hope that Tomac is able to enjoy racing out there knowing that he once again ruined his hopes for a Supercross Championship. So many of these top riders get so caught up in training and trying to be the very best that they forget to simply have fun out there. Well for know Tomac will be happy as long as he is winning and it seems that he may be winning a lot of these final rounds. This week is the Triple Crown and Tomac will have the experience of winning the last one so my bet is on him to take it home again.
- Marvin Musquin
Marvin was really good last weekend in Tampa and honestly I think I actually have seen some big improvements in the whoops! He certainly isn’t the fastest still, but he seems to be holding his own out there. Let’s see if this improvement results in some wins soon. I think the Triple Crown suits his style of consistency so expect Musquin to be up there fighting for the win with Tomac and Anderson this weekend.
- Justin Hill
Wow, just wow… If I’m going to be honest I was quite shocked to see just how good Hill was on the 450. I knew he was going to be good, but I didn’t think he was going to be passing Tomac and Musquin good! He just looked so, so comfortable on the big bike. I think it is safe to say that JGR have found the real deal with Justin Hill. I mean did you guys see just how easy he was doing the Quad-Quad! That jump section was simply incredible and I’m truly hoping he has another chance this weekend to pull of some big combos like that cause it’s a pleasure to watch. In the end he finished 6th place after crashing trying to pass into the lead. In my mind he was going to win that race, I know we will never truly know if Tomac would have caught him late, but Hill looked to definitely have the edge on that track. I look for Hill to be right up there battling with the big boys this weekend and maybe even look for him to pull off a win in one of the shorter races.
- Cooper Webb
Okay it is settled; Webb is finally starting to look like his old dominate self. This now makes for three weekends in a row that he looks feisty and ready to battle for podiums and maybe even wins?? I’m not quite sure that he is ready to battle for wins yet. You could noticeably see that when he got out front early in that race he seemed a little off and uncomfortable, but he settled down and stuck fairly close with Anderson for a good portion of the race. I made a bold prediction before the year that Webb was going to win his first race in the first few rounds and well you could say that I was a little off… However I will make another quite a bit tamer prediction that Webb gets his first podium of the year in these next 2 or three rounds.
- Blake Baggett
A 9th place is certainly not what Baggett had in mind, especially since he was one of only two riders that did that quad-quad that was noticeably faster. His whole night was pretty gnarly as he went flying into the new Steve Matthes Nets doing that very quad-quad. He still remarkably qualified for the main through the heat and then got a bad start and was in 13th before he crashed again (I don’t know how this time) and had to grind his way from 22nd to 9th place. Time to move on and rebound for round 9 in Atlanta.
- Dean Wilson
Wilson was definitely better last Saturday all day as he even qualified 6th fastest which is something that we haven’t seen much this year since his return. In the main he rode from a 9th place start to a 7th finish. A decent result for a guy that has improved his result every single weekend since getting back from that shoulder injury. Can Wilson make it 7 weekends in a row and get a 6th overall finish this weekend? This will be an interesting story to follow on Saturday night. I personally would put Wilson 7th or 8th, but these things tend to work themselves out so expect a 6th in Atlanta.
- Broc Tickle
As many of us joke, Tickle is often that one rider that you never notice until you look at his good result for the night. This year this may be the most Tickle like rides we have ever seen! He now has two top fives in the last three races, but nobody seems to notice. I put some of this blame on the camera guys. I have been watching a lot of these races live on TV and I think the commentators and camera guys don’t even know who Tickle is. We thought that maybe this new ride would put more focus on Tickle’s riding, but once again he is just Broc Tickle surprising everyone with his top fives.
- Weston Peick
I should probably have Peick higher up on my rankings as he rode great last weekend and would have finished 5th if not for a crash that pushed him outside the top 10. However, even though he is riding very well this season he is trending in the wrong direction. He had three straight 5th place rides to start the year and now with all these injuries he should be at least remaining constant or improving. Instead he has gone 12-7-7-12 in the last four. Certainly he can still get top fives, but as of now I see him finishing further back, whether that is because crashes or simply the other riders out riding him.
- Justin Brayton
Only two riders have scored a top 10 every race this season. Jason Anderson, the point’s leader, and Justin Brayton. Yes, his last two races have been 10th so he is barely hanging onto that stat, but because of his results he sits 4th in the overall points! With Roczen and Seely injured it seemed likely for Brayton to get the call up to Factory Honda, but it seems that is not going to happen. Brayton will remain with Smartops/Bullfrog Spas Honda. Lets see if Brayton can improve his result this weekend with the Triple Crown race that he did so well at last time