Kyle Chisholm (450SX): In comparison to his results from a couple of years ago, a thirteenth may seem lackluster for Kyle Chisholm. However, there is more to this finish than meets the eye – the results do not always tell the full story. Chisholm has had to overcome a lot in the last year to get to this point. In fact, he spent most of 2013 on the sidelines with multiple injuries sustained in St Louis. Of course, it is very hard for a guy to return following injuries of this magnitude, so it was always going to take time.
It was even more difficult for Kyle, as he was struggling to find a ride for the 2014 Monster Energy Supercross season. So, whilst he was trying to rebuild his body and speed, he was making calls and trying to sort out some kind of deal for the fast approaching season. Originally, it looked like Kyle was going to have to go the privateer route. But, his phone finally rang just days before the season opener, as the Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha team needed a replacement rider for the injured Ben Lamay.
Although it must have been a relief for Chisholm to finally find a ride for the supercross season, it left him with very little time for him to prepare aboard his new machine. With just one day aboard the bike, it was not surprising that he failed to qualify at Anaheim 1. But, he was back on-track one week later, as he finished sixteenth in the main event at the second round. Since then, he has blown a bit hot and cold, as he only made it into four main events. But, like I said, he is still rebuilding and getting back up to speed; he is clearly getting more comfortable each week.
Of course, he had his best finish this past weekend, as he ended up with a thirteenth, which is impressive in this field. If you look at the riders in front of him, the only rider that you would expect him to beat is Ivan Tedesco. The top twelve in the 450SX class in Arlington all had direct support from the manufacturer. Honestly, I expect to see Kyle Chisholm continue to progress in the coming weeks, and he should be in the top ten soon enough; he is certainly good enough.
Gavin Faith (250SX): Surprisingly, Gavin Faith was ignored in the weeks leading up to the first round of the 250SX East series. Undoubtedly, part of the reason for this is that he is a privateer, so he is not in the spotlight like some of the guys on the top teams are. But, this should not matter, as Gavin is a top rider capable of success in the series; his ride in Arlington further supported this.
In the past, Faith has had some great results both at home and abroad, as he won the Terex Australian Supercross title in the Pro Lites class not too long ago. In 2013, he finished second as the defending champion, so you would presume that this would have convinced a top team to take a chance on him. But, although it didn’t turn out that way, he does have some great people behind him in the form of the TiLube Storm Lake Honda team.
Anyway, onto his race! After starting fifth, Gavin was in third on lap six, and he looked good to finish there. In my opinion, he may have dropped to fourth at worst, as [Martin] Davalos was charging. But, aside from that, he certainly looked good to finish up front, as he seemed comfortable with the pace. Of course, this is not surprising; he won a heat race in Arlington last year, after all!
Unfortunately, disaster struck on the eighth lap of the fifteen lap main event, as Gavin crashed out of third place. Although the end result (a twentieth) was not what he would have expected going in, there are a lot of positives that he can extract from the race, as he certainly seems to be capable of podium finishes. In fact, I would not be surprised to see him up there in Atlanta.
Words: Lewis Phillips
Image: James Lissimore