Now that December is upon us, there really is not much racing left to look forward to. Of course, most of the professional riders will not return to the starting gate until next year, and the weather will probably stop you from getting out on your own bike until 2014. So, with that in mind, we have decided to capitalise on the free time, and look back at what has transpired in the last eleven months. On every Tuesday for the rest of the year, we will be putting the spotlight on some of the more memorable moments from this year.
Davi Millsaps’ Anaheim Victory:
We are really going back in time with this one! It seems like ages ago now that Davi Millsaps came out and shocked the world at Anaheim 1 with a surprise victory. There is always a lot of hype going into the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series. However, no one was talking about Davi, which was understandable. After all, he had not really done much prior to that race. But, his performance at the season opener clearly sparked a fire inside of him, as he has been a different rider since then. Interestingly, this moment has directly influenced how we look at Davi, and also the amount of attention he will receive heading into the 2014 season opener in just over a month. But unfortunately, reports suggest that he may not be healthy in time to start the 2014 AMA Supercross series at Anaheim 1, as he has injured his right knee.
Close Calls and Crashes:
Each year, there are always a handful of crashes that will go down in the record books. Just look at Chad Reed and his Millville fall in 2011; that resulted in the jump being named after him! Interestingly, there were a few of these this year. However, the most notable two falls came early on in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series. Both Martin Davalos (Phoenix) and Zach Bell (Arlington) found themselves crashing so hard that their fall overshadowed the results in the post-race bench racing.
Specifically, the harsh crash that Zach Bell encountered sticks out in my mind. Interestingly, this also sparked some debate worldwide about the medical procedures that riders have to undertake in this sport, and also how effective the all-new 6D helmet is. Simply, the crash was huge. It will probably be referred to for many years to come. Martin Davalos’ was also a very close call – both could have had disastrous consequences.
Ryan Dungey Rebounds:
At the third visit to Angel Stadium in the 2013 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series, Ryan Dungey made a bit of history, as he became the first rider to win the 450SX main event after qualifying in the final transfer position (second) in the last chance qualifier. Although a lot of riders have won the LCQ and then gone on to win the main event, no one has done what the American did on that night. Dungey was in the last chance qualifier, because he had an issue in the heat race with his air shock. Back at A1, the air shock alone caused ripples in the pits, as it is thought to be a revolutionary piece of machinery.
AMA Supercross Champions Crowned:
Of course, it is always memorable when some champions are crowned. However, when the three Monster Energy AMA Supercross champions were crowned, it was a special occasion for all of them. You see, only three other riders have won three successive supercross titles, so when Ryan Villopoto clinched his third 450SX championship in Salt Lake City, he joined an illustrious group, and secured his place in history. Both Ken Roczen (West) and Wil Hahn (East) won the first Monster Energy AMA Supercross titles of their careers, hence why it was such a special season for them, too. So, each of these moments are noteworthy in the history of the sport.
Beneath the Lights:
The 2013 FIM Motocross World Championship season opener was memorable, undoubtedly. However, for some, it is for all the wrong reasons. Whether you believe it is positive for the sport or not, the Qatari GP was something very unique. Admittedly, there were some issues with the event, which is to be expected – it was the first MXGP round beneath the lights. So, it was never going to be perfect. But, when the travelling circus that is the FIM Motocross World Championships returns to begin the 2014 campaign in eighty-seven days, you can be sure that it will be much improved.
So, there you have it, the first couple of memorable moments from this year. We will have another five for you soon, so make sure you return to MX Vice regularly!
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image courtesy of Suzuki Racing