View From The Floor: Where's That New Season Shine? 1

We're only two races in, and...well, we’ve already thoroughly worn the new-season shine off of this Supercross campaign. But that doesn't mean there's not a whole bunch to talk about...

View From The Floor: Where's That New Season Shine?

We're only two races in, and...well, we’ve already thoroughly worn the new-season shine off of this Supercross campaign.

During practice, it was obvious that while Eli Tomac had ridden in California before heading to Texas, the shoulder he injured at A1 didn't have the strength to go on a heavily rutted track like Houston.

Dean Wilson had also crashed heavily at A1, and he tested the function of his shoulder during Thursday’s press day action. Like Eli, he opted out of giving it a go on Saturday night in favor of more healing and rehab. Talking with him on Saturday morning, I’m still not sure which pained him more. The shoulder, or how his season has started with back-to-back missed races.

Here's hoping that Marvin's (and Eli's and Dean's) shoulder injuries aren't too serious, or keep them off the track for too long.

The big surprise, though, was Marvin Musquin’s heat race crash in the whoops. It was quickly apparent that he’d injured his shoulder, and as the time ticked down to line up for the LCQ, it was equally apparent that he wasn’t going to make it back in time to line up, even as some of the KTM crew waited in the staging area behind the gate.

So now what? We’re just going to have to see what each rider’s doctor says this week, and what kind of miracles their physical therapy staff can work. Can Eli come back from two races down? That’d be nearly impossible. But if he gets on a win streak like last year’s, and depending on the fate of others in the series, it's not completely out of the question. But if he misses more? Stick a fork in his season.

Justin Barcia scored the 450 main event holeshot on Saturday night, and with a pair of podiums so far, plus him being in the top three, it sure seems unlikely that Yamaha would cut him loose at the end of his guaranteed six-race deal.

But misfortune for some leads to opportunity for others. For the second race in a row, Justin Barcia led for a portion of the main, and grabbed another podium. That’s despite swapping out and going down hard in practice. Ken Roczen also led after getting by Justin, and he grabbed his first podium of his comeback tour. Check off one more step on his way back to a win.

Ken Roczen.

Jason Anderson was the man of the moment in Houston, coming from behind to score the 450 main event win. He'll also be the guy everyone's shooting for now, as he'll be sporting the red plates next week at A2.

Jason Anderson.

In the meantime, we’ll need to recalibrate our visions of who this year’s stars might be. There's still a lot of talent on the track. Cole Seely has just missed out on podiums. Blake Baggett was much-improved this week, and we're still waiting to see Broc Tickle kick it up a notch. As for Weston Peick and Justin Brayton, they had a killer battle for a top-five spot.

How about some post-race audio with Brayton? Hit the start button below.

An 11th-place finish for Malcolm Stewart was more than respectable for not having lined up behind a gate since the end of last year's Supercross season.

Then there's Malcolm Stewart’s return, aboard a Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing? He looked good on the track, and particularly good through the whoops...at least before they broke down. Besides, it was just damn good to see him in action. It's currently a two-race deal, and the current plan is to have his own bike set to go for Phoenix. You can listen into our post-race chat with him by clicking the start button below.

During the first few laps of the 250 main, you'd have thought it was going to be a Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki 1-2...with either your early leader, Joey Savatgy, grabbing the win, or at least Adam Cianciarulo, as they were both running well.

Chase Sexton passed Christian Craig, Shane McElrath, and Adam Cianciarulo in the last few laps to grab his first-ever Supercross podium.

Chase Sexton.

Adam Cianciarulo (left), and Joey Savatgy.

The shot below should give you some idea of the ruts the riders were dealing with in the whoops. It was quite a major difference from the first round at Anaheim.

Aaron Plessinger handled the 250 class, carving through the field after a mid-pack start.

Odd thing of the night? Watching Billy Hartle pack dirt on top of the metal grid for Aaron Plessinger before the start of the 250 main.

Sorry if we're giving away anything here, Aaron. Officials were also warning riders before the drop of the gate that they had to line up on the center of their pad, rather than off to either side. Some riders had been lining up on the springier sides of the pads.

Adam Cianciarulo had a fair amount of trouble with the corner after the finish line. He looped it out once (which seemed really odd), and a lap or so after that, Mitchell Oldenburg pulled a block pass on him that left him on the ground again.

Whoops. You've got to be careful about unleashing all that PC power at once.

Mitchell Oldenburg had gone down in the first turn on the start, and worked all the way back to sixth spot.

Speaking of Mitchell, hold on tight there, cowboy... (This was during the heat race, while he was battling Shane McElrath, and he rode it out. When things get that sideways, you don't often see it end well, like it did here.)

See the guy in the helmet and goggles? It was actually a full set of gear. That's making a statement.


1 comment
  • MiguelT.

    1/15/2018 1:07 PM

    awesome column! please continue

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