Monday, February 8, 2016

The Others...Glendale.

The grass was rolled out and the dirt was trucked in to create stop number 5 in the Monster Energy Supercross Series. 

The grass is on rollers and pushed out to soak in the Arizona sun.
Phoenix, Arizona has been a staple on the series schedule for many years but 2016 would move the venue to the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Contrary to the name of the stadium, it actually plays host to the NFL's Cardinals. A unique stadium located on the 101. A domed stadium with a retractable roof and a natural grass that can be rolled outside for watering, natural sunlight and events like supercross. This stadium is huge inside and out, allowing a start straight the length of the field and an outdoor section.

This track was long and fast. Lap times were over a minute and the whoops were a challenge. Many riders struggled with the whoops and would spend the practice sessions going around the section if any other riders were in them. Some of the nights big crashes came trying to commit to the technical spot.

The 250 class became a very special night as Geico Honda rider Christian Craig earned his first ever main event win and joined an elite group that includes his dad, Mike Craig. Yamaha's Cooper Webb would give Craig fits early but would cause his own mistakes by trying to slam his was to the lead. Webb would manage 2nd overall and is now tied with eventual 3rd place finisher, Pro Circuit rider Joey Savatgy for the 250 west championship.

The premier class gave us a new winner for the first time in the last 3 weeks and the first win for a Japanese manufacturer this season. Ken Roczen looked calm and confident on his RCH Suzuki with Team owners Ricky Carmichael and Carey Hart cheering him on. Hart's wife, Pink was on hand and has been known to bring Roczen good luck. RedBull KTM's Ryan Dungey got a terrible start by his standards and would close a huge gap as he'd work his way to second by the checkered flag. Dungey has finished no worse than 2nd on the season. Kawasaki's newest how, Eli Tomac took longer than most expected but put his number 3 on the podium in Phoenix and looks to be coming in to his own as the season moves forward.

Privateers! It was a good night in Phoenix for some privateers who'd make the mains in classes stacked with factory supported riders. The pit size allowed for the riders to spread out and be easily accessible. The fans flocked to small teams like K1 Speed and Spider Energy, they lined up to get autographs from guys like Michael "The Detective" Akaydin.

Michael Akaydin signs some autographs.
I continue to be impressed by the 778 Yamaha of Lawson Bopping. The Australian has been steadily improving week after week and sits 21st in the 450 championship. 

With a few privateers making the mains in Phoenix, we will look to spotlight them later this week.

And now...The Others

5. 902 Killian Auberson
6. 188 Dillan Epstein
7. 138 Blake Lilly
8.v275 Johnny Jelderda
9. 715 Kele Russell
10. 820 Dalton Oxborrow
11. 383 Casey Brennan
12. 424 Tyler Custer
13. 621 Russell Wageman
14. 259 Zack Gurley
15. 460 Jake Mohnike
16. 252 Kevin Weisbruch
17. 321 Bradley Lionnet
18. 772 Thomas Do
19. 289 Mitchell Harrison
20. 733 Steven Mages
21. 39 Jordan Smith
22. 388 Brandan Leith

5. 447 Deven Raper
6. 722 Adam Enticknap
7. 247 Teddy Parks
8. 801 Jeff Alessi
9. 918 Michael Akaydin 
10. 509 Alex Nagy
11. 713 Chad Cook
12. 192 Beni Williams
13. 543 Johnnie Buller
14. 571 Shawn Yarbrough
15. 517 Jared Hicks
16. 422 Philipp Klakow
17. 745 Adrian Roman
18. 914 Brice Klippel
19. 291 Kyle White
20. 120 Todd Bannister
21. 619 Mark Weishaar
22. 329 Chad Gores

Phoenix was a good spot to #cheerprivateer and now the series will move on to San Diego, California for round 6. 

-Kyle Pesci

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