The subject of this edition of American Idiot is ‘choking’. With the top five 450cc supercross racers only separated by 20 points with three races left, what we’re all waiting for – and what they’re waiting for – is to see who will blink first.
Because someone has to. It’s implausible that all five of them can make it to Las Vegas with a realistic shot at the title – although it would be epic. But let’s look through what we know of the guys in the title chase and see which of them it might be, starting from fifth and moving forward…
Trey had some tough times in recent years with lack of belief in himself but I don’t think that’s a problem anymore. He knows he’s fast enough and he goes through the pack like nobody’s business. He held tough in the championship chase outdoors last year and don’t forget the rookie season he had when he laid wood to Ryan Villopoto to win the 2008 Lites East title at the finale.
Then again, in the front group he’s the only rookie…
Stewart has been crashing far too much and we haven’t seen many examples like this in his career where there are not many races left and he has a lot of ground to make up. The only time he has really had a lot of pressure at a finale that I can think of came in 2006 when he, Ricky Carmichael and Chad Reed all went into the finale separated by just a few points. Stewart had to win to have a chance at the title and he did. He raced 20 laps with RC just a tick behind him and Reed was just a tick behind RC! They all rode superb races that night and the race was pretty much decided on the start. None of them choked.
Stewart’s been here before and he held up.
That brings us to Speedy Reedy. As I just pointed out, he’s held up with pressure before. If anything, he gets a little more feisty when the pressure is on but that may or may not be a good thing. It could cause mistakes. But one thing’s for sure, Reed won’t buckle because he can’t handle the pressure. If he were to buckle it would be due to trying too hard, not folding. He’s eight points out with three rounds left so he holds his own destiny in his hands at this point.
This guy has won everything he’s entered for the past few years and people didn’t think he’d even be close to the title this year. Yet here we are with three rounds left and he’s five points back! He has been solid and on the podium all year long with few exceptions. If something happens to take him out of this chase it will be someone else’s fault. He will keep putting it on the box but that may not be enough to take down the other Ryan.
When has RV folded, ever? The dude is confidence personified. From dominating MXdN events on a 250F to all of the other titles he’s won, it seems he has to be hurt to lose. Even the aforementioned 2008 Lites East finale he came up and took the lead and he was planning on checking out – it’s just that Canard had other plans. With a five-point lead going into his hometown race it seems like Villopoto may be the least likely to choke of anybody. The question is can the guys in fourth and fifth win races and can the guys in second and third beat Villopoto from here to Vegas?