Monday Kickstart:
Toronto Supercross

The first round of the 2007 Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP Series took place this weekend in Toronto, Ontario, and if you haven’t heard about the race yet, it was an absolute barnburner! With the copious amount of injuries, collisions, drama, and good old-fashioned, bar-banging action that took place in Canada, it’s safe to say that the ’07 season is going to be an epic one. Of course, TWMX was there to get the inside scoop on all of the action, so without further ado, let’s get right into Monday Kickstart…

The weekend’s drama began just a few laps into the first Supercross-class practice session of the day, when James Stewart and Ivan Tedesco came together off of a small, uphill staircase of a whoop section (called a dragonback) with a sharp left turn immediately following. While Tedesco rolled through the section, Stewart grabbed a handful and jumped his way through and off of the dragonback. What happened next is where the controversy begins: Whether or not James took Ivan out or accidentally bumped into him is for the FIM to decide, but the result for #9 was an apparent broken left hand after Stewart’s KX450F came down hard, landing directly on Tedesco’s handlebars and subsequently sending IT sliding across the concrete floor of the stadium. (After being attended to by the Asterisk medical team, Tedesco walked straight over to the side of the track to express his frustrations by giving James a one-finger salute as he rode by).

TWMX asked Ivan to describe the incident in his own words: “I think it was around the second lap in practice, and it was Ricky, Reed, myself and Bubba all in a line, in that order, said Tedesco. “We went over this staircase thing, and I went in like I normally do, and next thing I know James lands right on my hand. His frame literally landed right on my bars. I guess he was riding a little over his head or something, I don’t know what he was doing. It sucks, though, because I got the worst end of it. I’ll go home and see what’s wrong with it, and I’ll be back at the races as soon as I can. Since they don’t have the Asterisk Mobile Medical Unit here at the Canadian rounds there is no way to X-ray it here at the track, so I won’t know exactly what is wrong with it until I fly back home to get it looked at by my doctor. I’m just really bummed for me and the team, we have all been working so hard for this upcoming season. Just how bummed was Ivan? Bummed enough to file a grievance with the FIM for James’ on-track conduct.

And the grievances didn’t stop there; James had another protest filed against him at the end of the night, this time by Travis Preston for a separate incident that occurred near the end of the main event. While Stewart was in a heated battle with eventual race winner Chad Reed, he had an off-track excursion that sent him careening off of the finish line jump and into the side of the track following it. Stewart feverishly attempted to rejoin the race with Reed, but unfortunately for all involved, he jumped back on just in time for Travis Preston (whom he and Reed had just lapped) to smack right into the side of him on the landing of the finish line double. Nobody thought much of it, as both riders rejoined the race. James held on for third place, but when the checkered flag waved he rolled over the finish line, ditched his bike, and fell over on the infield in excruciating pain. During the incident, apparently Preston’s bike hit Stewart in the leg, and although James sucked up the pain and held on to the finish to collect the valuable third-place points, his leg was far from okay. And that’s when things got really interesting.

While Stewart laid on the ground in agony, a very pissed off Travis Preston tew his bike down and went to confront James about the incident. Preston grabbed a hold of Stewart’s helmet and said a few choice words to him before being pulled away by CMA race officials, and then went on to file a separate grievance regarding James’ “dangerous riding.

As for the condition of Stewart’s lower leg, no announcements have yet been made, though we expect to hear something shortly. One thing we do know, however, is that James was unable to walk off the track by himself, and we also spotted Stewart in the hotel lobby Sunday morning sitting in a wheelchair. Keep checking back to TransWorldMX.com for updates on James as soon as we receive them.

And what about Ricky? He too had an incident involving Tuff Blocks: RC hit one while sliding around the flat, speedway-style first turn early in the main event, sending Carmichael down and scrambling to remount. What was incredible, though, was Carmichael’s spirited charge through the pack; he came from nearly dead last to second in the 20-lap main event in his last-ever race in the Rogers Centre stadium. By the end, Ricky was less than seven seconds behind race winner Chad Reed.

Speaking of Chad Reed, this weekend was Reedy’s debut race aboard his new San Manuel Casino/Unbound Energy/Nike/Yamaha-supported YZ450F, and judging by the results, he was quite happy with his new setup. “I felt good on the bike, and I just came here to be consistent and to be in the battle, said Reed at the post-race press conference. “I got a good start, and was just watching the pitboard. I was trying some different things, and once James passed me, I just tried to come back at him and not let him go. [BRACKET “Toronto”] turned out to be a good start, and we’re ahead of schedule, but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves either, because everyone knows it’s a long championship. I’m excited for the win tonight, so we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing and be strong for Anaheim.

Reed went on to speak of his new team, along with the significant changes that he has made for 2007. “There are so many things that I have changed, from the ground up. I started with myself; I’m not sitting here saying that my new race team is night-and-day better than my old team. My bike is still a Y.M.U.S. bike, so not a whole lot has changed there. I started with me. I needed to change, to have fun in my life and be a good person. That’s where we started, and built a race team that has the same motto and the same beliefs that I do, said Reed.

Another big change for Chad is his new mechanic, Paul DeLaurier. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the name, Paul is no stranger to the pro paddocks; he has wrenched for several notable riders, including Mike LaRocco, and more recently Mike Alessi, whom he parted ways with for the opportunity to work with Reed. Overall, it appears that all of the changes Reed has made are definitely for the better, as he looked to be a completely different person both out on the track as well as afterwards on the podium and at the press conference.

While on the subject of mechanics, Travis Preston has reunited with his former spanner, Shaun Ulikowski, who will spin the wrenches for Mr. T throughout the ’07 Supercross series.

With Toronto being the first race of the 2007 season, lots of riders were trying out new equipment, new bikes and new teams in Canada. Kawasaki’s freshest factory rider Tim Ferry was one such person. Ferry seemed to be getting along quite well with his new ride, finishing fourth place in the main event.

Sure the non-points-paying SX Lites class was a bit short on talent this weekend in Toronto, but the few factory-backed U.S. riders that did show put on a great display of riding. The newest members of the Red Bull/KTM squad, Martin Davalos and Zach Osborne, both showed up to do battle and wound up occupying two-thirds of the podium when it was all said and done. TWMX caught up with Lites-class winner Davalos just moments before he holeshot and won the main to get the scoop on his new team situation…

TWMX: Martin, how are things going with your KTM?
DAVALOS: Man, the new team is great! The guys are a really good bunch to be with, and the bikes are awesome, which of course really helps out a lot. I’m here in Canada this weekend just to get some race experience on the new bike, and just to get on the race program again to get ready for the West Coast.

TWMX: Is this your first time racing in Canada?
DAVALOS: Yes, it is. I actually needed to apply for a visa to get here, because I’m from Ecuador. I had to go to California, go to L.A. to get the visa, and luckily now I’m here. I’m pumped about this race; I’m just going to go out there and do my job, hopefully have some fun, and do a good job.

TWMX: Obviously, the bike is a big change for you. What are some of the most significant challenges you have had to overcome?
DAVALOS: Yeah, it was kind of hard to get used to, you know? The bike is just a different kind of bike than I had previously ridden, but I got used to it quickly. The KTMs are just so fast, so that’s a big advantage. The suspension is good, and overall I really like it.

TWMX: You had a phenomenal year in Supercross last year. Given your extra experience, along with being on a new team, what are your goals for 2007?
DAVALOS: Well, I want to be up there, for sure. Some more podiums for me would be great, but most importantly be up there consistently battling at the front of the pack. I’m happy, I’m on a better bike, and I feel much more ready than I did last year.

TWMX: You lost your good buddy and training partner Davi, due to his broken femur. How has that affected you?
DAVALOS: Yeah, how about that? I was actually in California training when I got a call from my friend saying that Davi broke his femur. At first, I didn’t believe it because I had just talked to his mom on the phone and she didn’t mention it, but I came to find out that it was true. It’s a bummer for him, but he is getting better every day. He’s not going to be 100% in the beginning, but I think he will be out there putting some good laps in soon, and at least getting some points.

As luck would have it, we bumped into Davi Millsaps just a few minutes after talking to Davalos about him. Millsaps was walking around pretty well on only one crutch, getting an eye on his competition. “The healing process is going really good. I’ve been doing therapy nearly every day, and it’s coming back great. I’ve just been in the gym, trying to get the muscles back into shape so that I can get back on the bike sooner. I’m hoping to be riding by Christmas, and the goal is to make it by Anaheim 1. I’m going to keep that goal to motivate me to get back faster, but we’ll see what happens. At this point, my knee hurts worse than my leg, but I’m going to start walking around wearing a knee brace soon, so hopefully that helps some. My bike’s already pretty much dialed; it felt really good before my crash, so now I just need to get back on it and ride! said Millsaps.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the Lites class was the relatively unknown Broc Tickle, who piloted his Star Racing Yamaha to second in the main. Despite having to make his way past quite a few fast riders on his way to the front, Tickle was still just four-and-a-half seconds behind race winner Davalos at the finish. How new is Tickle to Supercross success? So new thaders that did show put on a great display of riding. The newest members of the Red Bull/KTM squad, Martin Davalos and Zach Osborne, both showed up to do battle and wound up occupying two-thirds of the podium when it was all said and done. TWMX caught up with Lites-class winner Davalos just moments before he holeshot and won the main to get the scoop on his new team situation…

TWMX: Martin, how are things going with your KTM?
DAVALOS: Man, the new team is great! The guys are a really good bunch to be with, and the bikes are awesome, which of course really helps out a lot. I’m here in Canada this weekend just to get some race experience on the new bike, and just to get on the race program again to get ready for the West Coast.

TWMX: Is this your first time racing in Canada?
DAVALOS: Yes, it is. I actually needed to apply for a visa to get here, because I’m from Ecuador. I had to go to California, go to L.A. to get the visa, and luckily now I’m here. I’m pumped about this race; I’m just going to go out there and do my job, hopefully have some fun, and do a good job.

TWMX: Obviously, the bike is a big change for you. What are some of the most significant challenges you have had to overcome?
DAVALOS: Yeah, it was kind of hard to get used to, you know? The bike is just a different kind of bike than I had previously ridden, but I got used to it quickly. The KTMs are just so fast, so that’s a big advantage. The suspension is good, and overall I really like it.

TWMX: You had a phenomenal year in Supercross last year. Given your extra experience, along with being on a new team, what are your goals for 2007?
DAVALOS: Well, I want to be up there, for sure. Some more podiums for me would be great, but most importantly be up there consistently battling at the front of the pack. I’m happy, I’m on a better bike, and I feel much more ready than I did last year.

TWMX: You lost your good buddy and training partner Davi, due to his broken femur. How has that affected you?
DAVALOS: Yeah, how about that? I was actually in California training when I got a call from my friend saying that Davi broke his femur. At first, I didn’t believe it because I had just talked to his mom on the phone and she didn’t mention it, but I came to find out that it was true. It’s a bummer for him, but he is getting better every day. He’s not going to be 100% in the beginning, but I think he will be out there putting some good laps in soon, and at least getting some points.

As luck would have it, we bumped into Davi Millsaps just a few minutes after talking to Davalos about him. Millsaps was walking around pretty well on only one crutch, getting an eye on his competition. “The healing process is going really good. I’ve been doing therapy nearly every day, and it’s coming back great. I’ve just been in the gym, trying to get the muscles back into shape so that I can get back on the bike sooner. I’m hoping to be riding by Christmas, and the goal is to make it by Anaheim 1. I’m going to keep that goal to motivate me to get back faster, but we’ll see what happens. At this point, my knee hurts worse than my leg, but I’m going to start walking around wearing a knee brace soon, so hopefully that helps some. My bike’s already pretty much dialed; it felt really good before my crash, so now I just need to get back on it and ride! said Millsaps.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the Lites class was the relatively unknown Broc Tickle, who piloted his Star Racing Yamaha to second in the main. Despite having to make his way past quite a few fast riders on his way to the front, Tickle was still just four-and-a-half seconds behind race winner Davalos at the finish. How new is Tickle to Supercross success? So new that he never made his way to the post-race press conference, we’re assuming because he didn’t know he was supposed to.

Speaking of the press conference, the Spell-check program obviously had some trouble with Martin’s last name … DAVALOS!

Another hot Lites rider making his presence felt in Canada was third-place finisher Zach Osborne, who put the cold he was fighting out of his mind long enough to button up a podium at his first-ever Supercross race … Well, his first-ever Supercross race as a licensed AMA professional, that is. You see, Osborne actually competed in (and won) the 1998 round of the Atlanta Supercross in the KTM Jr. Supercross Challenge aboard a 50cc KTM, versus the 250cc KTM four-stroker he now pilots.

As we reported earlier in the week on TransWorldMX.com, there were some changes made to the SX program for 2007, including the elimination of semi-qualifiers. Instead, there are two heats and a last chance qualifier, just like the Lites class. The only difference is that the SX division’s LCQ only transfers two riders instead of four. However, any rider ranked in the top-10 in current point standings that fail to qualify will be allowed a provisional start spot in the main. Each rider may take advantage of this rule only twice per season. Also, daytime qualifiers have been done away with. Riders now qualify for the night show through the two timed practice sessions, where the top-40 times are given the opportunity to qualify for the main event.

Tyler Evans officially became the first rider in history to use the rule when he failed to make the main event in both the heat race as well as the LCQ. Evans finished the main in 18th place aboard his Rockstar/Bloodshot Suzuki.

The racetrack in Toronto featured a very strange mix of dirt conditions. The course appeared fairly hard-packed at first, but quickly developed monster-sizes ruts after a few practice sessions. The ruts were so bad on Friday that both Ivan Tedesco and new Rockstar/WBR/Suzuki rider Troy Adams hit the ground hard after digging their pegs into the ruts off the face of one of the triple jumps. The Dirt Wurx crew worked overtime during the night program to make sure things never got too dangerous for the riders. “It was a tough track to ride tonight. We had all conditions: It was slick, soft, hard-packed, with ruts. It was really difficult, said main event winner Reed of the Toronto course.

If you’re one of the fans who tune into SPEED Channel for your weekly dose of Supercross action, you’re going to notice a change this year. Replacing Denny Stephenson for color commentary will be former SX champ Jeff Emig, who should provide some special insight to the SXGP series. Congrats on the new gig, Fro!

Of course, weather in Toronto this weekend was extremely cold, making the trip there a tough one. Many a rider was delayed, and some also had problems getting their baggage. One such rider was BBMX’s Jason Thomas, who was forced to customize his own jersey, complete with a Sharpie-written last name and a set of number plate stickers. Luckily, Jason’s Fly Racing gear made it to the track just before the night show.

that he never made his way to the post-race press conference, we’re assuming because he didn’t know he was supposed to.

Speaking of the press conference, the Spell-check program obviously had some trouble with Martin’s last name … DAVALOS!

Another hot Lites rider making his presence felt in Canada was third-place finisher Zach Osborne, who put the cold he was fighting out of his mind long enough to buttton up a podium at his first-ever Supercross race … Well, his first-ever Supercross race as a licensed AMA professional, that is. You see, Osborne actually competed in (and won) the 1998 round of the Atlanta Supercross in the KTM Jr. Supercross Challenge aboard a 50cc KTM, versus the 250cc KTM four-stroker he now pilots.

As we reported earlier in the week on TransWorldMX.com, there were some changes made to the SX program for 2007, including the elimination of semi-qualifiers. Instead, there are two heats and a last chance qualifier, just like the Lites class. The only difference is that the SX division’s LCQ only transfers two riders instead of four. However, any rider ranked in the top-10 in current point standings that fail to qualify will be allowed a provisional start spot in the main. Each rider may take advantage of this rule only twice per season. Also, daytime qualifiers have been done away with. Riders now qualify for the night show through the two timed practice sessions, where the top-40 times are given the opportunity to qualify for the main event.

Tyler Evans officially became the first rider in history to use the rule when he failed to make the main event in both the heat race as well as the LCQ. Evans finished the main in 18th place aboard his Rockstar/Bloodshot Suzuki.

The racetrack in Toronto featured a very strange mix of dirt conditions. The course appeared fairly hard-packed at first, but quickly developed monster-sizes ruts after a few practice sessions. The ruts were so bad on Friday that both Ivan Tedesco and new Rockstar/WBR/Suzuki rider Troy Adams hit the ground hard after digging their pegs into the ruts off the face of one of the triple jumps. The Dirt Wurx crew worked overtime during the night program to make sure things never got too dangerous for the riders. “It was a tough track to ride tonight. We had all conditions: It was slick, soft, hard-packed, with ruts. It was really difficult, said main event winner Reed of the Toronto course.

If you’re one of the fans who tune into SPEED Channel for your weekly dose of Supercross action, you’re going to notice a change this year. Replacing Denny Stephenson for color commentary will be former SX champ Jeff Emig, who should provide some special insight to the SXGP series. Congrats on the new gig, Fro!

Of course, weather in Toronto this weekend was extremely cold, making the trip there a tough one. Many a rider was delayed, and some also had problems getting their baggage. One such rider was BBMX’s Jason Thomas, who was forced to customize his own jersey, complete with a Sharpie-written last name and a set of number plate stickers. Luckily, Jason’s Fly Racing gear made it to the track just before the night show.