View From the Floor: Wild Atlanta Night 3

The Triple Crown format has provided some of the most intense action in recent memory...and Atlanta definitely added to that legacy.

View From the Floor: Wild Atlanta Night

Checking out a new stadium is always cool. The new Mercedes-Benz Dome was pretty amazing, whether it was the F1 car hanging as a display on the main concourse, or the design of the roof (which we didn't see open, but due to the outside temps, that was probably a good thing). It may not rival Dallas for size, but it's another modern facility added to the series.

We have to give props to any of the riders who'll throw down style over a finish line jump or triple in the darkened stadium during pre-race ceremonies. Jason Anderson went for both.

Davi Millsaps took a lap in front of the fans before racing got started, and took his son, Dane, along with him. When we commented to him that it was cool to see him geared up this time (unlike San Diego, where he was in jeans, a team jacket, and a helmet), he said that one was a last-minute surprise. Thanks for the memories, Davi, it's been fun watching you throughout your career.

We'll admit it, while a portion of the riders may not be the biggest fans of the Triple Crown format, it makes for some seriously compelling action. Watching the strategy throughout the night, the struggle for consistency, and how it occasionally scrambles the results, make it an interesting change to the season. Despite the injuries he suffered at Arlington, Martin Davalos is definitely battling to stay in the action. He grabbed the holeshot in the first main, suffered a big crash or two, won one of the mains, and ended up tenth overall for the night in the 250s.

Dylan Ferrandis had a really brutal crash in the second main event, and is done for the Supercross season. The arm he broke had previously been plated, and it broke right at the end of one of the plates. He also bashed his chin, broke a few molars, and was headed back to France on Sunday for repairs and rehab. We can't imagine what a miserable flight that would be. It's an unfortunate end to what looked like a promising season. He'd finished second in the first main of the night, and was flying on the course.

Zach Osborne showed some serious flexibility when he crossed the finish line to win the first 250 main event.

Christian Craig always gets killer starts on the Honda 450, and despite having a very short time to get ready to replace Cole Seely after his crash in Tampa, he jumped out front of the first 450 main. The other point that's interesting here, is that Justin Brayton is nowhere in sight. He made some serious moves on the first lap, and was second as they crossed the stripe for the first time.

Justin Brayton had told us several times this season that he felt like he could still win races, and he proved in the first main, which was probably one of the most captivating races so far this season. After he took over the lead, he and Jason Anderson battled back and forth, with Justin fighting back each time.

Justin Hill had once again shown awesome speed on the 450 during practice, but a crash took him out of contention early on, and he never seemed to rebound during the night. He'll have one more chance on the 450, next weekend at Daytona.

We know who was on Christian Craig's mind this weekend. The butt patch was a cool reminder.

The corner after the finish line was perfect. It was the right amount of distance from inside to outside where riders could make an inside pass attempt...and still battle with the guys who railed the corner and carried more speed down the straight. This pack of four riders provided some of the best racing we've seen so far this season, riding both offensively and defensively at the same time.

Here's an example of where Marvin carved the inside, and forced Eli to check up...even though he was already going considerably faster. This section was like a chess game every lap.

Justin Brayton was rightfully pumped on scoring the win in the first main event. It was interesting to him talk after the night was over about having a bit of a &quot;Win hangover&quot; after that first main, and not being quite in the proper frame of mind the rest of the night. You can check out a video interview with him where he mentions it <a href=',16697/GuyB,64' target='_blank'>here</a>.

Yep, Tony Berluti and the rest of the Smartop MotoConcepts Racing crew were pumped on the win. It's been a while since we've seen an upset like this.

It looked like Ryan Dungey was getting some schooling on the media side from Jenny Taft this weekend.

Zach Osborne looking for his starting spot for the second main. The metal grids have made things simpler on the backside of the gate, and require less prep for the riders. Now it's all about the line to the first turn, and the ruts out in front of the gate.

As the gate dropped for the second 250 main, Martin Davalos, Austin Forkner, and Zach Osborne all got great starts.

Watching from the end of the whoop section, there were a lot of nervous bikes out there. The preferred line was the big rut down the middle, but if your line varied left-to-right at all through it, it was sort of self-centering.

Jordon Smith is starting to show some of the speed that we expected from him this season. A 3-4-6 score was good for third overall here.

This was the moment that had the stadium buzzing (and fans watching on TV got to see on tape delay. Austin Forkner and Zach Osborne were running 1-2, and tangled heading into one of the corners. Austin did come across to the left, and Zach went down. Austin finished second in this one, and Zach quickly remounted for third.

RJ Hampshire has been just outside of a podium spot in all three 250 West events so far, finishing fourth overall each time. We'd expect we'll see him on the podium sooner, rather than later.

Martin Davalos grabbed the win in the second 250 main.

Zach came in bloody and plenty heated after the second main, but had cooled considerably by the time we got a chance to talk to him after the main event. He didn't much want to talk about it, without having a chance to look at video.

Despite a spate of injuries over the last few weeks, there's still a lot of talent on the gate, and some great racing. Broc Tickle, Weston Peick, and Blake Baggett were among the guys who went down hard this week. We're hoping all three will be back next weekend.

Chad Reed was the raciest that we've seen him yet this year with a tenth overall, and finishes inside the top ten in two of the three main events. He was trying some new rear suspension this weekend, opting for a WP shock to go with the KYB forks.

Blake Baggett finished third and fourth in the first two main events.

Cooper Webb was closing quickly on Jason Anderson before the finish of the second main, but ran out of laps.

Here's what it looked like as Jason Anderson and Cooper Webb crossed the finish line. Pretty darn close.

The lineup for the third main was interesting, with the two Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki riders lined up on either side of Zach Osborne...who didn't get the best start.

Jeremy Martin grabbed the holeshot in this one, and went wire-to-wire for the win.

The rhythm section along one of the sidelines was big for the 250s, who had to make some big launches. Colt Nichols demonstrates. He was second in the final frame.

Anthony Rodriguez crashed in the final main and spent the rest of the race watching from the sidelines.

Ollie Stone was frantically trying to get Austin Forkner's attention late in the third main to keep him up to date on where he was in the overall. A last-lap pass by Austin over RJ Hampshire locked up the overall win.

It doesn't show up as an overall win, but the win in the third main was a big step up for Jeremy Martin, who is currently seventh in the 250 East standings.

Both Dan Betley and Jeremy Martin were pretty stoked on the win.

Bring on the final main of the night...

It's interesting to see where people chose to line up on the gate. The inside's not as preferred as something a little further out that sets up a better carve into the first turn.

Christian Craig led the first four laps of the final main event...until Marvin Musquin came calling in this corner. Marvin's looking much more like his normal self.

Blake Baggett showed some amazing whoop speed in Atlanta, but one of those, &quot;It's not the speed, it's the sudden stop&quot; type crashes ended his night in the third main. Despite the DNF, he finished in seventh overall.

Eli Tomac and Jason Anderson were battling side-by-side through the whoops, with Eli getting the edge this time around. A second in the final main was his best effort of the night.

Weston Peick hit the deck hard a couple few times in Atlanta, including a mid-air ejection over a triple. With a nod to Larry Huffman, Weston's tougher than a two-dollar steak.

The third 450 main went to Marvin Musquin.

A 2-1-4 night got it done for Jason Anderson, and his points lead is now 42 points.

The top three riders may look familiar, but the ways that each of them got to the podium were different. All three were consistent, though, and had finishes between first and fifth in the three mains. That should be the target for anyone looking for a podium in the final Triple Crown of the season, in Minneapolis.

Bobby Hewitt (right) is enjoying having both points leaders under the Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna tent.

Jason Anderson's mechanic, Chris Loredo, got to hang onto some champagne (and not have to wear it all) after the night was finished.

Cooper Webb getting his debrief with Jim Perry and Keith McCarty after the third main. Cooper matched his best finish so far this season (sixth overall), but a crash in the first main, followed by a second and third in the final two mains, showed that it could have been a much better night for him.

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