Never in the history of Supercross has the season started with three races in seven days. With all this action there’s been a lot to unpack and digest. Here are five things we learned in Texas…
- The field is deep. Like really deep. Deeper than John Holmes in Ginger Lynn. We say it every year, but this time we actually mean it. With 14 past champions taking to the line in the 450 class the level of talent on display is just mind blowing. Qualifying times have been incredibly close, with less than a second often separating the top 13 or 14 guys – which is pretty much unheard of in Supercross.
This is why we’ve seen three winners in three races and why we’ve had eight different men on the podium so far. Roczen is the only guy to make the trip to the box more than once.
The fact that the field is so deep also means that it is incredibly difficult to make up time and recover from mistakes. Even if a rider does avoid mistakes, a bad start alone could simply mean disaster.
That’s why we are seeing guys on the podium in one race and the same dudes struggling to crack the top ten in the next. The days of Tomac blitzing through the pack after a mediocre start are long gone…
- Jett Lawrence has what it takes to win. The hype surrounding Jett Lawrence coming into the season was crazy. We knew he was talented, but up until this week we didn’t actually know whether he had what it takes to win. He does. But it’s not going to be easy.
With Austin Forkner and RJ Hampshire out with injuries it appears as though it’s going to be a three man battle for the East Coast 250 title. Lawrence will be duelling with the older, more experienced Star Yama duo of Christian Craig and Colt Nichols.
With the exit of Hampshire and Forkner these top three guys are now so much faster than the rest of the field. Meaning that it will be difficult for any of them to really capitalise on the mistakes of one another. These three guys should be able to recover from bad starts or crashes quickly and effectively. It’s certainly going to be a fun championship to watch unfold…
- Don’t count out the champs. After round one we were left wondering where the hell the champs were. Tomac, Cooper Webb and Jason Anderson all struggled on night one. But Tomac and Webb have since bounced back to grab race wins and proven that we should never count them out. Anderson has yet to display the form that took him to the 2018 crown, but as we’ve just learned, never count out a champ.
- Barcia has been reborn. He grabbed a commanding race win at round one, and although he has not returned to the podium since Justin Barcia still looks formidable onboard his new GasGas machine.
Barcia was in damage control mode at round two after losing use of his gear pedal, but he looked strong again at round three. Just a couple of small mistakes marred his evening and prevented him from continuing his perfect run of heat race victories. We will be seeing Barcia on the top step again before too long, I am sure of it.
- Three gate drops within a week makes for intense racing. As we’ve said, in the history of Supercross we’ve never seen the season kick off with three races on the bounce like this. The unprecedented state of the world at the moment forced promoters Feld Entertaiment to switch things up for 2021 and so far the action has been incredible.
It’s difficult to remember a season that’s started off as dramatically as this one. The racing so far has been awesome and the story lines have been enthralling. If Houston has taught us anything, it’s that three races in a week makes for superb dirt bike action. Let’s hope this intensity continues.