Yeah, yeah I get it. You want to talk about Marvin Musquin, Cooper Webb, Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen. Maybe Austin Forkner and Adam Cianciarulo? These guys are all stars of the sports and we all exhaust thousands of words on paper and talking into a microphone about these guys. They deserve it, as they are the best riders in the world in supercross.
When you dig beneath the surface of the stars of the sport there are a couple of cool stories going on behind the scenes. A couple of crusty veterans of the sport are having some pretty good seasons and showing the kids and established factory racers what's up.
First up in the 450s, it's Kawasaki's Tyler Bowers. Tyler currently sits fifteenth in the points, not that far back of Justin Hill (a full factory rider making a bunch more money than Bowers). In fact, he is the first rider in the points who doesn't have a factory team behind him. He's also more than twenty points ahead of the next privateer in the points, which would be Kyle Chisholm. Bowers does get some pretty good parts from Showa and Kawasaki, as he tests for both companies, but his set-up at the races is a full privateer. He's missed two races at that, one because he was racing in Germany and another because he was disqualified for a very aggressive pass on Yamaha's Justin Barcia. Ehhh, it happens right?
Bowers has been a consistent guy in the mains each week and right at the tail end of the big money factory riders. He's a journeyman racer chasing the money to make a living. Although it's been an up-and-down season for him at times – a mid-season sickness didn't help – he's had some good rides here and there with his season-best result in Seattle a couple of weeks ago.
I like riders who don't take no for an answer and don't pout when things don't go their way. Bowers, with the help of his sponsor Trigger Racing, finds a way to get to the races, put in a good performance despite obstacles like finding somewhere to rest, something good to eat etc. Bowers is grinding away out there and doesn't get talked about a lot, but he's been good every Saturday night balling out on a budget.
Another guy who has been eye opening is Chris Blose on the Gas Monkey Husqvarna team. Blose has raced arenacross the last few years but, with that series folding, came back to supercross. Blose at one time was a good top-ten guy in 450s and coming back to supercross, his skills haven't gotten rusty. He's been very fast in 250SX West this season and getting better as the series winds down. He's veteran savvy in the whoops (Bowers is also very good in those things) shows through and there's no quit in him.
At the last 250SX West round in Houston he led the first main until Dylan Ferrandis took him down with an aggressive pass. He's outshined his expectations in the 250SX series and isn't letting his age or the kids resumes get in the way of making things happen.
Then, like Bowers, Blose is creating opportunities for himself in that on the 250SX East series, he's been jumping on the FC 450 with some help from his current team and new sponsors to make cash in that series. When he's raced the bigger 450F, he has done pretty well. He's a main-event guy and gets close to being the top non-factory guy except that's taken by Bowers most weekends. Blose is showing that an old dog can still do his old tricks and, even though we haven't seen him in supercross for a while, the skills are still there.
Tyler Bowers and Chris Blose: They are not going to be the next big signing by anyone and neither guy will have the factory teams opening their chequebooks, but both guys will continue to give those bigger named riders fits in any class they line-up for. No complaining about their lot in life, both racers make it happen. After all, what choice do they have?
Words: Steve Matthes | Lead Image: ConwayMX