By Matt Wellumson
Saint Louis, within the “Show me” State of Missouri sure gave us a lot to remember for the 2013 Supercross series. This year it hosted some of the most intense racing many of us have ever seen within this sport, along with a bit of controversy. With the addition of two race restarts, the night went a little longer than some events this year, but that wasn’t a problem for those in attendance at this mid-season Supercross race.
I can’t remember a time I was more interested in the Lites class, at any single event. I personally live in Minnesota, which had over 8 entries in this highly competitive class, along with some great Canadian riders also battling to make the night show. Those elements put together with my first ever attempt to post Tweets for MXP Magazine, made it both a busy night, and one of my favourites in memory.
Below are some of the images I captured with my two SLR cameras, an iPhone, and my new little GoPro Hero 3. Hopefully I can help bring into view some of the less known happenings from this Supercross event!
While some find the riders meeting important, these young fans spent the time practicing their balance for their own future races in life.
Not long after the completion of the AM track walk, Kevin Windham suits up and begins testing for his trademark transfer jump for the opening ceremonies. Like any test, not all of his planned transfers work out as expected. He had to scrap Plan #1 due to traction issues not giving him enough distance. After a quick on track meeting, Windham later went for this line, which utilized the finish landing.
Just like Amateur level racing, these Pro riders get some no-pressure practice laps on the track before things get too serious. These sessions start not long after the riders meeting, beginning with Lites Class riders.
I had the opportunity to talk to many competitors during this event, including that of Nicky Beatty. I have to say, you couldn’t find a nicer kid within this sport, if you were determined to try. Even though we had never talked before, he and his family made me feel as if I had known them for many years.
A view from the Press Box shows Nick Beatty throwing a whip off one of the larger triples. Nicky started off his day a bit rocky due to some loose triple clamp bolts, and pulled off early for the first practice session. While he had both great form and obvious determination, Nicky was in a class of incredibly tough competition and wasn’t fortunate enough to make it into the night show. I have no doubt that we will see him on primetime this Supercross season, as there wasn’t much time separating him from qualifying.
Munn Racing KTM’s Zack Williams was one of the many Minnesota riders I was excited to see out on the track. Winner of the 2012 Loretta Lynn’s 450A class championship, this is Zack’s first year racing Supercross. Zack qualified for the heat races during the Saint Louis stop, but unfortunately not the main. Hopefully he keeps his spirits up and pushes for the next round in Daytona. Like Beatty, I know he has it in him to make the main!
Jon Pauk must know when he is a wanted man. Despite all attempts to find him for a quick chat or quote for Twitter, I always just missed him, lost him while rounding a corner, or simply had poor timing when I actually did locate him. Unfortunately Jon was just one position outside qualifying for the night show by being two tenths of a second off the time he needed.
If you see this dude walking through the stands or down on the track, give him a huge shootout. Responsible for most of the Feld Motorsport Videos inside the stadium and some of the Supercross ads, Luke Parmeter’s videos definitely add to making part of the Supercross Stadium Experience second to none.
Lance Vincent #87 got the holeshot in his heat race. The restart that happened after it was red flagged 2 laps in. Seen here, he started down the same path for the main but was edged out by Hahn by the first turn.
Performances by Cole Thompson continue to both improve and provide more proof that quick riders don’t have to call places like California or Florida home. Cole had qualifying lap times that rivaled the top riders all morning, along with an overall consistency that is all too important for riders that do make the main event. I didn’t get a chance to talk to Thompson during this round but it sure did look like he was having a fun night.
This was an image we saw much too often during this round of Supercross. Among the crashes that happened during this round, also came two restarts; one for a Lites Heat race and the other during the 450 Main.
Matt Goerke powering through the sand section at St. Louis. As many of you likely know, Goerke was involved in a huge crash that involved both himself and Kyle Chisholm, which caused the race to be red-flagged. When talking to Matt after the race, he stated that the group was extremely tight going into that section, and that there was little room to avoid contact with anyone due to veering speeds of many of these riders. Overall, Matt came out with only minor scrapes and appeared to be genuinely concerned for the wellbeing of Chisholm when asked.
Andrew Short has had a strange season to be sure. He essentially has gone from being a privateer, running a stock Honda 450, into being a team backed by KTM. The brand change may have thrown a light curve ball into his game as he hasn’t been able to finish within the top 9 since the switch. Hopefully this trend changes as he gets more comfortable with his new bike during the Daytona round.
This is what a staggered restart looks like, two frames after the go signal. While I do like seeing these, I sure hope this is the last one we have for a long time. Having a crash with injuries is too great a cost in order to see one of these restarts.
After the first ever 450 staggered start, the intensity was turned up way past 11pm for the remainder of the evening. With past and reigning champions all within the top 6, there was a lot of back and forth occurring within key podium positions for the remainder of the race. James Stewart did enjoy the lead for the beginning of this, with lots of churn occurring behind him until Villopoto began to challenge him for the lead.
After Ryan Villopoto’s controversial pass on Stewart during a Red cross flag. Stewart had a much larger battle on his hands than he likely hoped for. Justin Barcia was riding good, and was now putting pressure on the former Supercross Champ for 2nd.
Not long after passing Stewart for 2nd, Justin Barcia crossed ruts and ended up going wide into the Tough Blocks, all while staying on the track. Personally, I am glad he did stay on, as you can see in this slightly blurry picture, had he came off you likely wouldn’t be reading this very photo report. Barcia was headed directly for me at the time! Barcia would end up losing three positions and dropping outside of the reach for a podium position this round.
Controversy or not, I believe that Ryan Villopoto would have eventually moved around James at some point in the race. Ryan was riding with the motivation of the championship pushing him hard. He took every opportunity he could to make passes and gain the edge on anyone that got in his way. I have to both commend and respect that type of determination in anyone.
Well I hope you enjoyed this round of Supercross and continue to keep an eye on Motocross Performance’s homepage, and Twitter for future Supercross coverage going further into 2013. With Toronto coming up fast, I hope this report serves as a small appetizer to what will likely be an equally intense night of racing during that stop!