Mud, mud, mud. Wow, Seattle was ever muddy. In talking to the riders, apparently it wasn’t the muddiest supercross for a lot of them, but nonetheless, the conditions were awful. I was shocked at how bad it seemed in the practice sessions, but the rain continued, and somehow it was even worse for the opening heat races. At some point in the night it seemed the soil reached its saturation level though, and improved somewhat for the mains (despite the continual rain). The track also rutted up a lot too… it was soft, slippery, sticky, rutty, you name it… this track truly was horrendous.
Feld brought in some new dirt for Seattle this year, which might have been a big mistake. In previous years, the dirt had a sand base. Sure it was always soft and got rutted, but it could definitely handle the rain (think of past years where it rained all week, but somehow Dirt Wurx prepped it well enough so that conditions weren’t too bad). This year for the first time they used a clay-based soil; interesting decision by Feld considering there’s at least a 100% chance of rain in Seattle. No matter the talent of the Dirt Wurx crew, this track was not getting saved, and it’s largely because of the soil in my opinion!
Despite the conditions, the racing in the 450 class was the best we’ve seen in weeks. St. Louis and Indy were blowouts for the leaders, but surprisingly, Seattle’s lead battle was much closer. Huge props to Anderson for letting loose and giving ’er out there. Mud races are always nerve-wracking for championship points, and on a night where Anderson could have (perhaps should have?) played it safe, he went all out. I’m not using that term lightly either, Anderson was a beast out there. He was squirrelly and crashing, but he somehow managed to keep it on two wheels enough to pressure Tomac the entire race, and that’s saying something! We all know Tomac excels in these conditions, so to see Anderson step it up and almost beat Tomac fair and square was really impressive.
In the 250s, Aaron Plessinger deserves a standing ovation. Much like Anderson, he had a lot to lose when it comes to championship points, but he rode superbly. No one was even close to Plessinger (hear Cianciarulo joke in the post-race press conference about how far ahead Plessinger was). I honestly think Plessinger prefers mud races; he says it reminds him of his old GNCC days. To top it all off, Plessinger’s post-race celebration was the best yet: he belly flopped into a puddle!! Honestly, that was so cool to see; he brought a smile to every single spectator.
Plessinger’s main competition for the championship entering the night was Joey Savatgy. To no surprise, Savatgy does as he always does, and crashed out of 2nd place. He ended up outside the top 10, and with that slipped back in points. I thought Savagty was over his always crashing days: at the beginning of the season, he seemed more confident, smooth, and okay with 2nd place finishes. However, glimpses of his old self were still present in Glendale and San Diego, where crashes earlier in the day set him back for the main event; at least he was still finishing the mains consistently though! Finally, he has truly unraveled at the last 2 rounds in Indianapolis and Seattle; old Savatgy is back.
With all that said, let’s end this on a positive note by mentioning one more impressive ride. Chad Reed’s heroic effort to push his bike past the finish line was inspiring. Reed is no doubt in the later stages of his career, but the passion he still exudes is amazing to see. He was running top 5 until the last lap, and still finished the race with a season best 7th. It’s not the same Chad Reed that we’ve seen in past years, but it’s no doubt great to still have him out on the track.
That’s if from me for now. As I’m typing this, I’m in the air on my way to Minneapolis for the next round of the series, so stay tuned next week for more thoughts! And as always, feel free to share your own thoughts by commenting below or emailing us. Thanks for reading!