The Bercy Supercross manages to attract a handful of top American riders each year, which is what makes the event so successful; we rarely see those guys in a European stadium. The 2013 edition of the event will be no different, thankfully, as a whole host of top riders from around the world will be gracing the start line over the three days.
Although Ken Roczen has pulled out of the Bercy Supercross, the promoters acted quickly, as they have signed up Wil Hahn and Cooper Webb to replace him. Justin Barcia, Andrew Short, and Trey Canard will be joining their countrymen in a bid to steal the “King of Bercy” crown. I believe that this is probably the greatest American lineup that the event has had for a few years, which is an exciting prospect going into the weekend.
I was honestly surprised to see that Justin Barcia was going to return to the Palais Omnisport this year, as the last time he was there (2011) he had to be escorted out of the stadium after living up to his ‘Bam-Bam’ nickname. However, he is clearly returning to prove the naysayers wrong, and reclaim the “King of Bercy” crown that he won in 2010. Justin is on-form, evidently, as he won the Genova Supercross this past weekend. So, Barcia has some momentum on his side, and he has past experience racing at international races like Bercy, hence why he is the undoubted favourite going into the weekend.
However, I believe that Trey Canard is a bit of an underdog. Why? Well, reports suggest that Trey has been going really fast down at his base in Oklahoma, in recent weeks. It seems that he is now rejuvenated, after getting married recently. Although Justin won Genova, Trey tied with him on points in the overall results. So, he was just as fast as his teammate, clearly, hence why it really would not be too surprising to see him win the Bercy Supercross this weekend. I would bet that Trey will win at least one main event, on one of the three nights – he is definitely fast enough!
Like Trey, Andrew Short is flying under the radar a little bit, also. Honestly, most seem to have forgotten that Short has won the “King of Bercy” twice (2004 and 2005). So, he has past experience at the event – he clearly thrives in the tunnels of the Palais Omnisport. I do not think that Andrew has the raw speed to challenge either Trey or Justin. But, consistency certainly plays a part over the three nights, which could certainly help the BTO Sports KTM rider out in the overall classification. In comparison, Justin and Trey have been known to crash more frequently; so that is certainly a factor that is worth keeping an eye on.
Although I would like to put Wil Hahn down as a contender for the victory, he struggled in his first outing at the Bercy Supercross last year. Of course, now that he has one year under his belt, he may be stronger this weekend. But, I do not think that he is on the same level as the other three guys already mentioned. In my opinion, Cooper Webb is in a similar situation to Wil. Webb will be very fast, and battling for podiums each night; he will probably not be in a position to fight for wins.
Gautier Paulin is the top European on the pre-entry list. Obviously, he can be a contender in supercross, as he has past experience racing in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series. I do not think that he will be battling for wins, but it will be interesting to see where his speed is in comparison to guys like Barcia and Canard. Of course, there are a handful of fast European Supercross riders that elect to spend most of their time racing in stadiums around the world; Cedric Soubeyras, Fabien Iziord, Gregory Aranda and Cyrille Coulon will all be fast, undoubtedly.
Interestingly, the promoters have implemented a ‘Joker Lane’ into the track design this year; the feature has obviously been a huge hit at the Monster Energy Cup in recent years. Bercy is a much smaller stadium. So, I am not entirely sure where the unique lane will hit in, and how complex it will be. However, it will undoubtedly add something to the racing, just like the tunnels and huge whoops that are present at the Bercy Supercross each year.
Unfortunately, it looks like it is going to be tough to watch the action live this weekend. It looks like MX-Life are not showing the action, like they have done in the past. But, Motors TV will have delayed coverage throughout the weekend. So, at least we will be able to watch the action at some point.
Motors TV Coverage:
Day 1: (Delayed) 4:20pm, Saturday 9th November
Day 2: (Delayed) 8:15am, Sunday 10th November
Day 3: (LIVE) 2:00pm, Sunday 10th November
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image courtesy of KTM Images/Simon Cudby