View From The Floor: Return To Tampa

It'd been nearly 20 years since the Supercross riders had lined up in Tampa. There were a few things that made it memorable in the return.

View From The Floor: Return To Tampa

The last few weeks have been brutal on the 450 competitors. Weimer, Barcia, Roczen, Grant, Ray, were among the guys hurt before Tampa, and there we added Cole Seely to the list. His pelvis and tailbone injuries have already resulted in a surgery, and there's no doubt he'll be out for a while. He was doing some livestreaming (see the phone on his helmet) before the start of the night's action. What's the solution for making things safer? That's the million dollar question. Everyone knows this is dangerous. The fact that this is inherently dangerous is usually the first thing that's mentioned at the start of every rider's meeting. You may not hear it from everyone, but in conversations around the pits some folks suggest that 450s are too powerful for the stadiums. Others will mention track design. Some say the every weekend schedule doesn't help. One thing you can rest assured on is that everyone (including the promoters) would love to find a way to keep the riders healthy.

 Get well soon, Cole.

Cameron McAdoo got the show off his start skills in his 250 heat race.

Colt Nichols was running up front at the start of his heat race, but he was ninth at the end of the night, compared to his podium finish in Arlington. Of course the mayhem on the start there scrambled the pack, so it was interesting to see how everyone fared this week. We definitey got a few more answers on where guys standing in the pecking order.

Zach Osborne was third this week, but the most consistent so far, and he'll hang onto the red plate for next week in Atlanta. His points lead? Five markers over Austin Forkner.

Mike Alessi was putting in some time with the TV crew this week. In talking with him before the races, he's happy to be watching SX, rather than participating. He's planning on two more years in the Canadian MX series.

The nets caught a big one Saturday night, as Blake Baggett got bucked as he launched into the second corner, and went over the top of the berm.

Robert McClain is not only a cornerback for the Tampa Bay Bucaneers, he's also a big moto fan, and he also rides when he can.

Justin Hill's heat race win should have been a warning about what was to come in the main. If you saw the race on TV or in person, you know he looked really good on the 450. Like <i>really</i> good.

When the night show started, Chad Reed had this butt patch on to mark the milestone of tying the record for most premier class starts. After he won the LCQ, he busted out another pair of pants with a check next to 228.

There was a little confusion after Cole Seely's crash, and the riders were lined up on the starting gate. Some riders and teams were going to reset their start devices, before they got lined up as a single-file restart.

We had a pair of French Supercross champs racing here. Cedric Soubeyras wrapped up the latest French title a while back, and also just clinched the Power Maxed Arenacross Tour title. Unfortunately, he didn't make the main here.

Yannis Irsuti (the French SX2 champ) also didn't qualify, but we've seen both he and Cedric overseas, and they're both plenty fast.

As we near the midway point of the season, Jason Anderson has the luxury of a 39-point lead over the pack, and doesn't have to go for some of the big risks that others do while trying to make up points.

Chad Reed celebrated his record-breaking main event qualification in the LCQ with a big nac-nac over the finish line jump. It was cool to see him break the record at home.

A crash in the whoops didn't help Jeremy Martin's weekend, and he finished in 12th. With both Ken Roczen and Cole Seely on the mend from injuries, it seems certain that Team Honda HRC will have to go to the GEICO Honda squad for replacements. Both Christian Craig and Jeremy Martin have experience with the team. And seeing either (or both) of them move to big bikes wouldn't surprise us. An empty factory rig isn't a good look.

Austin Forkner held up under pressure (and a pretty solid hit from Dylan Ferrandis on the last lap) on the way to his first Supercross win.

Austin also had a rather big moment when he went wide while passing the mechanic's area, and caught one of the Tuf-Blox with his peg. Fortunately he made the next double...though it wasn't exactly pretty.

We got a lot better look at what Dylan Ferrandis is capable of in Tampa, as opposed to 250 East opener in Arlington, where he got caught up in the first turn mayhem.

Another rider we haven't seen for a bit on the Supercross side...or on a 250...was Chris Blose.

Can someone give Jerry Robin just a bit of luck to go along with his riding skills?

Dylan Ferrandis threw himself a small party after the trophies were handed out.

The Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team was pumped for Austin's first Supercross win.

Justin Starling was pumped about putting his 250 Husky into the 450 main event.

Cooper Webb nailed the start and led for a bit in the main event. He's looking better all the time, and looks light years ahead of where he was last season.

If you got to hit that big red button, and set off the flame cannons every weekend, you'd laugh, too.

Once Eli Tomac got around Marvin Musquin, this race was pretty much done. When Eli's on, he's amazing to watch.

The skull on the front of the pirate ship above one end zone in the Raymond James Stadium looked straight out of the Pirates of the Caribbean. It did make for an interesting visual, though.

Cole Martinez is enjoying the switch from the 250 West to a 450 on the East races. He was 15th here.

Broc Tickle matched his best of the season with another fifth in Tampa. The area in front of the mechanic's area was really slick, and just about everyone was lighting up the rear tire through here as they accelerated across the start straight.

After the checkers, you could tell how bummed Justin Hill was at missing a shot at winning a 450 Supercross main the first time out. He learned a valuable (but expensive) lesson from Marvin Musquin, and will be back for a few more to give it a shot. We'd say his stock definitely went up after this one, though.

Malcolm Stewart finished ninth on the night, and afterwards it looked like he either had a gnarly charly horse, or was cramping up as he hobbled back towards the pits.

How much tape trainer's tape does it take to keep contenders like Marvin Musquin in the hunt? Sometimes a lot. He finished a strong second.

That's two in a row for Eli Tomac, and four wins on the season so far. But two races with only a single point, and the DNS in Houston are the difference so far. He's 65 points back of the championship leader, in seventh spot.

Between the podium and the press conference, there was time for a short debrief with Monster Energy Kawasaki team manager, and Eli Tomac.


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