It is that time of year that every motocross fan adores, as the new year is upon us, and with that, a new season is about to begin. In my opinion, Anaheim 1 might be the second biggest race on the motocross calendar, behind the Motocross des Nations. So, what has happened in the week before one of the biggest races of the year? Well, to catch up on all of the news from the world of motocross, just read on.
Injuries, Injuries, Injuries:
Obviously, it is always heartbreaking for a rider when they succumb to injury. But, I presume that it was even more disappointing for Ben Lamay, as he crashed just days before A1, which is a goal he was working towards for multiple months. Unfortunately, the injury is a big blow for him – he is going to be on the sidelines for a long time. Ben dislocated his wrist, broke his upper jaw, broke his eye socket and knocked himself out. I would have predicted that Lamay was going to step it up in supercross this year and garner some good results, as he had some solid showings last year. Get well soon, Ben!
This is also a huge blow to the Rock River Yamaha team that Lamay is riding for, as they have recently picked up a great new title sponsor in the form of CycleTrader.com. So, obviously, it is quite disappointing for them to lose their star rider. Alex Martin is going to be beneath the Rock River tent when the 250SX east series begins, and it has now been announced that Kyle Chisholm will fill in for Ben on a Yamaha 450f – more on that below.
Signed, Sealed and Delivered:
Cole Thompson is a great, young talent that has never really had a shot on great equipment in the USA. In my mind, there is no doubt that Thompson belongs in America, rather than in his native Canada, where he raced last summer. Well, he has been given a chance as a fill-in for Joey Savatgy on the Rockstar Energy Racing KTM squad. Intriguingly, Cole will be riding a 350 in the stacked 450SX field on the west coast before dropping down to a 250 on the east coast. I do not know where he will finish in the premier division; presumably he will want to make it into main event each week. When the 250SX East series begins, Thompson could be a top five threat consistently.
The Star Racing Yamaha team really stepped it up last year, as they turned into a real threat. I am certain that they will win some main events on both coasts this year with Cooper Webb (West) and Jeremy Martin (East). Anyway, the squad (formerly MyPlash Star Racing Yamaha) has acquired a new title sponsor in the form of Yamalube.
Kyle Chisholm has had a busy week, as he has signed two deals for this year. Firstly, Kyle will be riding for the Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha team during the seventeen round Monster Energy AMA Supercross series. When Ben Lamay sustained multiple injuries a few days ago, the team was obviously in need of a replacement rider; Chisholm is a perfect fit for them! In May, when the supercross season has concluded, he will head north to race for the Rockstar Energy Yamaha team in Canada, alongside Bobby Kiniry.
Intriguingly, 6d Helmets announced this week that they have established a relationship with ten-time world champion Stefan Everts, and his son Liam. Stefan will become a representative of the 6D brand in Europe. In a recent interview with Racer X Magazine, Stefan discussed his purpose for his recent trip to the US and went on to say “I also stopped by 6D helmets because I accepted a position to be an ambassador for them in Europe. I strongly believe in the product that they’ve made. I think it’s the next step and the next level in the safety of helmets.”
Dean Ferris Photos Released:
In recent weeks, photos of Dean Ferris aboard his new Red Bull KTM were in high demand. However, they were nowhere to be seen. When the team photo-shoot gallery was released, there were photos of all the riders except for Dean. But when the clock struck midnight on New Years Eve, and influx of photos filtered through. It turns out that Ferris’ current gear contract did not run out until the thirty-first of December. So, he could not be seen in his new colours and Thor kit until that time!
How Can You Watch Anaheim 1?
Okay, we all want to watch the first round of the Monster Energy Supercross series, right? It has been a question that everyone has asked us about recently, so we decided to put all the details on this here. SupercrossLIVE will be showing coverage of the timed practice sessions at each round. Specifically, the Anaheim 1 stream will start at 10:00pm UK time on Saturday I believe, and 2:00pm local time. Unfortunately, the night show from Anaheim 1 is not going to be live on TV in the UK.
However, it will be live on Fox Sports 1 in America. So presumably, there will be a live stream of this on JustinTV (or a site similar to this). If we find one (they are not going to pop up until we are closer to the event) we will put it out on our various social media accounts. Of course the races will be posted on YouTube the new morning, so if you do not want to wait up for a dodgy stream that is your alternative.
Monster Energy AMA Supercross, Round One: Anaheim
So, Anaheim 1 is upon us, finally. We have pulled the race apart in every way imaginable so far this week; so if you are looking for a more detailed preview, check out the links below. I am of the opinion that Ryan Villopoto is going to be hard to beat this year. So obviously, he is my pick to the 450SX main event at A1. However, a lot of crazy stuff can go on at the first round – just look at what happened last year for an example of that! If Ryan slips up, I think that James Stewart is going to be the man ready to capitalise. Stewart is fast enough, we all know that; he seems to be entering the season with a positive frame of mind as well, which will only help him.
Obviously, a whole host of guys are going to be chasing them. Ryan Dungey, Eli Tomac, Justin Barcia, Ken Roczen and Chad Reed (to name a few) are all going to be right there – the series is wide open! I am sure that you now want a more detailed preview, right? Well, part one of our full 450SX preview can be found here, and then the second part is right here.
What about the 250SX West class? I think most people are agreed that Dean Wilson is going in as the favourite for the title. However, I predict that Cole Seely will win A1. Cole has done it before, so what is to say he will not do it again? On the night that he won round one, back in 2011, Wilson really struggled with first round nerves. I can definitely see history repeating itself. Both Zach Osborne and Jason Anderson will be right there on Saturday too. The 250SX West class will be very interesting to watch. But, who is going to fill the starting gate over on the west coast? Well, read our preview and you will find out!
Amsoil Arenacross, Round 1: Worcester
The 2014 Amsoil Arenacross series will also start this weekend. However, the opening round of the title fight will undoubtedly get lost in the hype of Anaheim 1. Reigning champion Tyler Bowers is the undoubted favourite for the title – he has proven to be tough to beat in recent years. In fact, in the last four years, Tyler has collected forty-four wins, placing him fourth on the all-time win list! Zach Ames, Kelly Smith, and Willy Browning are some of the contenders for Bowers’ title, but they have a tough task on their hands. The series begins tonight, as the event will be running in Worcester on Friday, and Saturday, with two fifteen lap main events on each night.
Words: Lewis Phillips
Image: KTM Images/Simon Cudby