Wow! That, my friends, is why we love the sport that is supercross. Let’s just all take this opportunity to re-compose ourselves and pick those jaws up from the floor. The 2014 edition of Anaheim 2 will go down in the history books as one of the wildest 450 main events in recent memory, it certainly left this reporter with the proverbial dropped jaw and the distinct lack of speech [That’s not easy – Ed].
It has been said before (and it’ll probably be said again many more times hereafter) that ‘this field is the best ever’, ‘the deepest pack of talent in history’, ‘and anyone can win!’ Many times before (and probably many times hereafter) these statements have not necessarily been true. There usually tends to be one or two (maybe even three) riders that are just that much better than the rest of the competition. But in 2014 I truly feel that those statements are most certainly applicable.
Let’s just look at the facts shall we – after A2 we’re three rounds into the season and over those three races we’ve had three different race winners. I guess when the top six go around the first turn and across the white line – that include names such as Dungey, Stewart, Villopoto, Roczen and Reed (and Wey) as we saw in Anaheim on Saturday night – then we’re bound to be in for one hell of a ride… And that’s just what we got!
As mentioned previously the front runners early on in this race were a who’s who in current supercross superstars. Also with guys such as Brayton and Barcia not far behind, we knew we were in for one heck of a race. However, they made us wait for it. There was a tantalising build up, a few laps of not a lot of action as the riders settled into the race. That wait soon became a fleeting memory as these champions decided to crank up the action to a previously unimaginable level.
There is almost too much action to talk about in a short little post-race report like this… Ken Roczen showing no fear, chasing down and passing – aggressively I might add – the three-time champion.
Seriously, when was the last you saw RV get man handled like that? Scrap that, when was the last time you saw RV actually get passed straight up?
Dungey going down, being plagued with the Holeshot curse (2 out of 3 holeshot winners so far this season have eaten dirt whilst commanding the lead) or even RV seeing red, passing back Ken Roczen (but not pulling away) and shooting very aggressively after James Stewart in the lead eventually resulting in RV also taking a dirt sample. RV seemed panicked, almost impatient, like he needs to be out front to ride comfortably.
All of the above could garner an entire report single-handedly. And that doesn’t even include the two riders – including former points leader Jason Anderson – being penalised due to AMA Supercross Rulebook violations in the 250SX main event. However, for now, I am going to focus on one thing and one thing only…
The resurgence of former champion Chad Reed. On Saturday night Reed proved that he has still got a bit of fight left in him. And just at the right time, after his 9th place performance in Phoenix many, including myself, thought that his podium ride at the opening round was maybe a mere fluke.
However, my doubts were vanquished at A2. Reedy earned himself a good, but not great start. Flying across the finish line in sixth position on the first lap of 20. Reedy was riding good, moving past Nick Wey into fifth position. From there Reedy, like the wise old veteran that he is, was able to keep close and watch the race unfold in front of him.
Manoeuvring the downed bodies and bikes of Dungey and Villopoto, Reedy found himself in third place, hot on the heels of Ken Roczen and James Stewart. It was at this time, about three quarters into the race that Reedy went from riding good, to riding great. After a couple of attempts he managed to make a pass stick on Roczen – a kid almost half his age!
It was supposed to be retro night at A2. They had the old school track layout and the old school bike decals, that Muscle Milk factory Honda was sexy enough to put any Monster girl to shame. Talking about old school, with four laps to go Reedy had gotten around Roczen; he had his sights firmly set on his old rival, James Stewart.
Now that’s what we’re talking about, that’s the kind of old school stuff I want to see! JS7 vs CR22. Within one and a half laps Reedy was able to diminish the advantage Bubba had over him into non-existence, make the pass – an easy one at that – literally as soon as that lead had been decimated he immediately pulled away from the man that he had struggled to handle throughout his career. When, if ever, have we seen Chad Reed absolutely dominate not only James Stewart but the entire field like that?
The final two laps passed and Reedy took an emphatic win whilst simultaneously breaking the internet. I don’t think I have ever seen such an outpouring of congratulations to a single rider over a singular win like this before, everyone in the business was pumped to see the #22 back on top. Chad Reed was able to do a few things on Saturday night; 1. Silence his critics – no one is gonna be doubting the #22 from here on out. 2. Sign up for that title hunt – Justin Brayton did it last week, Reedy did it this week. This list of legitimate title contenders is getting longer and longer. 3. And finally he was able to gain himself a brand new catchphrase… #StillaBadass. Enough said!
Whose turn is it next? Is it James’ turn to show that he’s serious? Or maybe it is time for Aggro Dunge (as I now like to call RD5 after his aggressive showing – He took out RV on the final turn) to prove himself in 2014? Only time will tell… All we know for now is that the 2014 season is yet to disappoint.
Congrats to Chad Reed. Bring on Oakland!