Injuries, Injuries, Injuries:
Prior to the start of the 2014 season, most of us presumed that Zach Osborne would be a strong contender for the 250SX title. However, it had not worked out that way before Anaheim 3 – Zach struggled to get out of the gate with Cole Seely and Jason Anderson. But, he has been a consistent podium threat. Unfortunately, his year took a turn for the worse this past weekend, as he fell in practice and sustained two small fractures in his clavicle. Reports suggest that it was not a bad fall; he simply washed out in a corner.
However, the result remains the same; Zach Osborne will miss the 250SX West round this weekend, and have to spend some time off of the bike in order to allow the injury time to heal. The Geico Honda team hopes that he will back on-track in Houston.
When the JGR Yamaha squad signed Phil Nicoletti as a substitute, a lot of people were quite intrigued. It seemed like a peculiar deal – something like this had not been done in our sport before. Anyway, it now looks like the risk was worth taking, as Phil will jump in this weekend, as a replacement for the injured Josh Grant. Josh has been riding injured since Phoenix. But, he has only just realised that it is not paying off, so he is going to head to the sidelines and wait until he is one-hundred-percent healthy.
So, Phil will be competing in the 450SX class for the foreseeable future. Originally, he was scheduled to race in Atlanta, so he should be ready to go! It will be interesting to see if sitting on the sidelines has hindered him or not; history has taught us that there is no substitute for racing, after all.
Surprisingly, Josh Hill is set to make his return this weekend, just two weeks after he broke his collarbone; he has already spent some time on his RCH Suzuki mid-week. Whether the decision to return so early is a good one or not remains to be seen, but he is obviously eager to get out on-track. Who can blame him? Josh has spent a lot of time on the sidelines over the years, too. It is somewhat surprising though, when you consider that his team are not required to have both riders on-track, so you have to think it came down to his decision. Hopefully he will be able to build some momentum following San Diego, and claim the results that we know he is capable of.
Monster Energy Supercross, Round Six – San Diego:
Following an action-packed event at the previous round, all eyes will be on Qualcomm Stadium, in San Diego, this weekend, as the popular stop will host the sixth round of the 2014 Monster Energy Supercross series. Ryan Villopoto currently leads the 450SX class by a measly two points from Chad Reed. However, that could change this weekend, as Chad has enjoyed a lot of success in San Diego in the past, and a lot of people are predicting that the trend will continue this weekend. Both James Stewart and Ryan Dungey will be hoping for better results, as they both struggled at Anaheim 3 (for different reasons). Ken Roczen is going to be one to watch – I feel like everyone is choosing to overlook how great he is riding!
Interestingly, there is going to be a lot at stake for the three 250SX West title contenders this weekend, as they will be battling for momentum before the long break. Honestly, Dean Wilson, Cole Seely or Jason Anderson could win the main event on Saturday; I believe that they are all very close in speed at the moment. Of course, it is most important for Dean to collect twenty-five points, as he still has to make up some points.
Amsoil Arenacross, Round Six – Sacramento:
The 2014 Amsoil Arenacross series will head to the west coast for the first time this weekend, as the riders and teams will travel to Sacramento for round six. Zach Ames has built on his points lead, following some success at the previous round; he now has a six-point lead over his teammate, Tyler Bowers. Somehow, Bowers is still going strong, despite his fractured tibia – the reigning champion could easily steal the series lead this weekend.
Garmin Arenacross, Round Five – Newcastle:
The 2014 Garmin Arenacross series will roll into Newcastle this weekend, for the fifth round of the fast-paced series. Following the previous round, the results have been turned on their head a little bit; the gap between the top two has been chopped in half. Fabien Izoird still has a six-point lead over Daniel McCoy, but the Frenchman showed some cracks in his armor for the first time in Liverpool. Cyrille Coulon has been quietly consistent, and now sits third in the standings, ahead of Loic Rombaut and Steven Clarke. Make sure you keep an eye on Elliott Banks Browne this weekend, too; he will have a lot of momentum on his side.
Words: Lewis Phillips
Image: James Lissimore