It may be the off-season for AMA racing, but Supercross is nearly in full swing. This weekend saw two major international Supercross races, including the fourth round of the Australasian SuperX Series as well as the final round of the European Supercross Championship in Genoa, Italy. We got some highlights from both as well as a sit-down with FMX star, Todd Potter.
words and photos by Claudio Cabrini
The 30th edition of the Genoa Supercross is all in the name of Kevin Windham. The Geico Honda rider is too strong and fast for his competitors and he won everything in the European Supercross race. The other Americans of the event were not so lucky; Jeremy McGrath was not lucky too and he lightly injured his shoulder in the heat and he did not race the finals. Justin Barcia was very fast but he crashed during the first final and was not able to race again. Windham, however, won both finals and also the “one vs one” race after battling against Justin Barcia. Right behind Windham in the overall standing are Frenchman Gautier Paulin and Alex Rouis. Antonio Cairoli, fourth overall, was back in Supercross after two years and has not been as good as he is in outdoor races. The bad weather over the last weeks in Italy, and the lack of Supercross tracks, has not helped him to be ready. His plans are to race some Supercrosses in the US, but he has a lot of work to do on his skills and to set up the bike better. Next week he will race in Bercy, Paris and then, in late December, he will move to California to continue his preparation. The Genoa Supercross was the last race of European Series and Frenchman Gregory Aranda was crowned champion.
Overall Results – Genoa
1. 14 WINDHAM Kevin USA SX1 Hon 450 4s Geico Powersports Honda 30 (15+15)
2. 21 PAULIN Gautier FRA SX1 Yam 450 4s Yamaha Monster 24 (12+12)
3. 29 ROUIS Alexandre FRA SX1 Hon 450 4s Brother MBTeam 19 (10+9)
4. 222 CAIROLI Antonio ITA SX1 KTM 350 4s Red Bull KTM Factory 15 (9+6)
5. 227 LESAGE Maxime FRA SX1 Kaw 450 4s Kawasaki 15 (7+8)
6. 20 ARANDA Gregory FRA SX1 Kaw 450 4s Rockstar Bud Racing Kawas 14 (4+10)
7. 48 MARTIN Christophe FRA SX1 Hon 450 4s 11 (8+3)
8. 941 PELLEGRINI Angelo ITA SX1 Suz 450 4s Rockstar MotoWorld 10 (6+4)
9. 911 TIXIER Jordi FRA SX1 KTM 250 4s JM Racing 10 (5+5)
10. 152 BALBI Jorge BRA SX1 Kaw 450 4s 2B Duracell 9 (2+7)
11. 36 BONINI Matteo ITA SX1 Suz 450 4s RockstarMotoWorld 5 (3+2)
12. 591 MANNEVY Cedric FRA SX1 Suz 450 4s MD Racing 2 (1+1)
13. 511 DAMI Stefano ITA SX1 Hon 450 4s Brother MBTeam 0 (0)
14. 17 BARCIA Justin USA SX1 Hon 450 4s Geico Powersports Honda 0 (0+0)
15. 2 MCGRATH Jeremy USA SX1 Hon 450 4s Honda Factory USA 0 (0)
SUPER X – Auckland, New Zealand
Americans Josh Hansen and PJ Larsen won their respective classes of the fourth round of the Australian Super X Series in Auckland, New Zealand.
Josh Hansen has won the fourth round of the Monster Energy Super X championship at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland, winning three of four races in the Quad Challenge final. The event had its fair share of thrills and spills with the great track providing a fast and technical start and many line options. Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Hansen, who went into the round leading the championship after three runner up finishes, was dominant all night with the fastest qualifying and three holeshots in the final. CDR Rockstar Yamaha's Jay Marmont was the only rider able to grab a race off him in the final moto. Hansen was first overall with three wins and one third, Marmont was second with two third places, one second and one first, and Rockstar Motul Suzuki's Jake Moss claimed third overall with three second places and one third.
Hansen extended his championship lead to put him 32 points ahead of Marmont and Jake Moss moves into third overall.
New Zealand supercross star Ben Townley had a very unlucky fall in his heat race and was forced to withdraw from the event with a suspected hip injury.
The Lites final once again kept the fans on the edge of their seat with America's PJ Larsen the eventual overall winner in the Triple Challenge. He rode himself in to two first places and one third. His team mate for JDR Motorex KTM, Ryan Marmont, finished second overall with one second and two fourths and Luke Styke third overall with one third and two, sixth places.
Matt Moss had a collision with Kawasaki Racing Team Cool Air Conditioning's Luke Arbon in the second moto and was unable to start his bike until the final lap to finish. He finished fourth overall. Larsen now moves into first place in the championship, nine points ahead of Moss. Marmont sits in third.
The series now heads south to Dunedin for the fifth round at Carisbrook stadium on Saturday November 20.
All riders spared a thought for young rider Harley Quinlan, who had a severe crash during training during the week, with all of them wishing him and his family well.
OPEN top ten results – Round 4
1. Josh HANSEN – Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki: 25,25,25,20 TOTAL: 95
2. Jay MARMONT – CDR Rockstar Yamaha: 20, 22, 20, 25 TOTAL: 87
3. Jake MOSS – Team Rockstar Motul Suzuki: 22,20,22,22 TOTAL 86
4. Tye SIMMONDS – JDR Motorex KTM: 18,18,16,15 TOTAL 67
5. Daniel McCOY – Coastal KTM Motorex Team: 13,15,12,16 TOTAL 56
6. Cody COOPER – Rockstar Motul Suzuki: 15,16,8,13 TOTAL 52
7. Todd WATERS – Cougar Bourbon Thor Honda: 11,14,7,18 TOTAL 50
8. Mike ALESSI – JDR Motorex KTM: 16,12,15,5 TOTAL 48
9. Daniel REARDON – Cougar Bourbon Honda Thor Racing: 14,6,18,8 TOTAL 46
10. Mason PHILLIPS – Fly Team Green Kawasaki: 10,13,14,7 TOTAL 44
OPEN top ten results – Top ten championship standings
1. Josh HANSEN – Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki: 225
2. Jay MARMONT – CDR Rockstar Yamaha: 193
3. Jake MOSS – Team Rockstar Motul Suzuki: 152
4. Tye SIMMONDS – JDR Motorex KTM: 149
5. Daniel REARDON – Cougar Bourbon Honda Thor Racing: 138
6. Todd WATERS – Cougar Bourbon Thor Honda: 128
7. Daniel McCOY – Coastal KTM Motorex Team:127
8. Justin BRAYTON – Muscle Milk / Toyota JGRMX: 121
9. Lewis WOODS – Top Gear KTM: 66
10. Mike ALESSI – JDR Motorex KTM: 107
LITES top ten results – Round 4
1. P J LARSEN – JDR Motorex KTM: 25,20,25 TOTAL 70
2. Ryan MARMONT – JDR Motorex KTM: 18,22,18 TOTAL 58
3. Luke STYKE – GTYR Rockstar Yamaha: 15,15,20 TOTAL 50
4. Matt MOSS – Rockstar Motul Suzuki: 22,0,22 TOTAL 44
5. Ford DALE – Serco Yamaha: 16,25,0 TOTAL 41
6. Cody MACKIE – Kawasaki Racing Team Cool Air Conditioning: 9,14,15 TOTAL 38
7. Nicholas SUTHERLAND – 12,10,12 TOTAL 34
8. Steven CLARKE – Raceline Pirelli Suzuki:20,7,5 TOTAL 32
9. Robbie MARSHALL – Yamaha: 3,12,14 TOTAL 29
10. Josh CACHIA – Coastal KTM MX Rad: 13,16,0 TOTAL:29
LITES – Top ten championship standings
1. P J LARSEN – JDR Motorex KTM: 210
2. Matt MOSS – Team Rockstar Motul Suzuki: 201
3. Ryan MARMONT – JDR Motorex KTM: 176
4. Cody MACKIE – Kawasaki Racing Team Cool Air Conditioning:136
5. Lawson BOPPING – Team Rockstar Motul Suzuki: 130
6. Steven CLARKE – Raceline Pirelli Suzuki: 111
7. Josh CACHIA – Coastal KTM MX Rad: 110
8. Ford DALE – Serco Yamaha: 105
9. Luke STYKE – GTYR Rockstar Yamaha:103
10. Robbie MARSHALL – Yamaha: 102
CATCHING UP WITH TODD POTTER
The world of freestyle motocross has its fair share of characters and celebrities. For every fresh faced kid next-door Lance Coury, you have the tattooed bad boy Ronnie Faisst. Caught someone in between the two is Todd Potter, the quiet yet powerful long time Metal Mulisha member. Since turning pro at age 17, Potter has spent the last decade or so hustling his way to the foreground of the scene with his unmistakable whips and flip-trick combinations. After years of X Games competition resulting in numerous medals, namely three consecutive gold medals in Best Whip, Potter has recently been shown repeatedly on Fuel TV after a stint as antagonist on Bubba's World. We caught up with Potter just before an exhibition for speaker giant Kicker in Las Vegas and discussed the fame, fan perception, and the future of the sport itself.
Now that 2010 is basically wrapped up, how do you feel your year went?
I think it went well for us. X Games is pretty much our biggest thing when it comes down to it and it's the biggest thing I look out for. I think my Freestyle run sucked ass this time and I wish I could have done better than I did. But I did three other events; Best Whip, Best Trick, and Step Up. Best Trick is getting to be really gnarly these days, so I stuck with an "Old Faithful" trick. Step Up went much better than I thought it would, since I didn't practice much before the contest, which makes me want to go back next year. Best Whip was a weird thing, because everyone I talked to or anything I read on the Internet said "This guy is going to win", or "Such and such will take it". So to the get gold medal again is a big accomplishment and it sets up 2011, because I want to do better.
Since wrapping up the week in LA, have you done much else since then?
Yeah, I hit some other events like ASA and the Salt Lake City stop of the Dew Tour. I felt like I could remember my runs better and I didn't Dead Sailor as much, so I think that will help coming into next year. Other than that, I've just been riding in the hills since it's been raining and we burned through ten gallons of gas in just a few days. I've built some new jumps like this eighty-two foot step down, a super kicker that's like the hip Laninovich and all those guys used to hit at Castillo's, and we've reworked my motocross track because I want to do Speed and Style next year. I've been doing more motos than I ever have, so I'll be spending time at tracks like Pala getting some corner speed.
Best Whip is a fan voted contest, one that always brings criticism due to camera angles for the people at home. It has to be a good feeling to know that the people at home can tell you are throwing the bike around, even if the footage is lacking.
Yeah, but the people in the stadium are voting, too. I hear lots of bitching about it, that it is only a popularity contest. But if it truly was decided on that, someone like Jeremy Stenberg, Ricky Carmichael, or James Stewart would have won. When I did a few stops of the Nuclear Cowboyz tour, Twitch got the loudest cheers, so I don't play into the popularity thing too much. I am just really looking forward to going back and defending next year.
A few years back, Jeremy McGrath and Ricky both said that Step Up was getting to the point that it was like falling out of a five story building. As a first year competitor, do you see it doing well for what it is or do you see their point of view?
I think Carmichael said that because he went pretty gnarly at the Moto X Championships and crashed and did the same at the X Games in LA. But he went the highest, and to go that high he had to twist the throttle, but that makes you want to loop out. I think they are adjusting the landing, so I see that it is here to stay. It can go on to be the most watched event of the week, because people can see a clear winner.
In an interview at this time last year, Mike Mason was vocal about the direction of the sport and how he felt that the Nuclear Cowboyz was the future of the sport. Where do you see the sport in the next five to ten years? Will it be more of a synchronized show or still be contest orientated?
I don't that freestyle is dead by any means like some have said. I think that the tour was cool, but I don't like how it never showcased any one rider at a given point and it was more like it just said our names at the end. I had some friends and family at one show, and they told me that they never could really tell who anyone was. Who knows if that is better for the sport, but it is cool that they tried something new, and looks like it will continue next year. I won't be attending next year, though; I'm going to spend more time training and learning new things so it doesn't become stale. I don't think it is dead at all, but it does need more things like the Crusty guys did, going out to the hills and finding huge jumps again. I think it's cool when guys go big for no reason, just because they just enjoy it. I'd like to see more photos, not just off of ramps, and the progression of the tricks slowing down a bit so guys stop going to the hospital.
The growth of the Metal Mulisha brand is surprising to some, seeing the logo on shirts, jeans, and even notebooks. Are you getting recognized more places because your name is attached to it?
Yeah, every once in a while someone recognizes us. It's cool to know that riding a dirt bike can do that for someone, but I don't want to feed into that too much. I just like riding dirt bikes and that doesn't make me special, so it's kind of weird when someone tries to make you seem like you're not a normal person because of it. Bubba's World and being at X Games four years straight has helped and it's cool to see that people are following what we have done.
What do you think Bubba's World will do for the sport? Like other things in the racing community, it has its share of acclaim and backlash. For instance, when it first debuted it was on multiple channels, but came off as very much scripted.
I think the three episodes that I was on were entertaining (laughs). I think it's cool because it shows James' personal life, which many don't know about, and that it puts dirt bikes it the spot light even more. It seemed kind of bad for Bubba, too, because it had people saying "Oh, you're not racing anymore", which is kind of stupid. When I was first talked to about it, it seemed like they forgot everything he's done and all that he has earned. I think the fans can see that he is a great racer and shouldn't worry about his personal life. But it made me think I'd like to get a show and do some fun things like going to places like Baja with Cameron Steele and Harley trips with friends, but not have it seem so scripted.
Your time on the show was a huge boost of public attention, but do you think that the fans have an accurate idea of who Todd Potter truly is?
No, not at all. I've been told I have a dry sense of humor, which some take as being cocky. The people who come up to me the first time and don't know me or what I'm about might hear me say something that where I try to be funny, but they don't get it the way I meant it. I think the show actually made look even more that way, but everybody shows off for TV. They say, "Hey, we are going to do this scene", and you don't act entirely normal. Like you said, it is partially scripted, so they have a basic idea of what will happen. They don't tell us what to say, but they already have the day planned. They say what we are going to do and we go film it, but obviously when the camera is on I'm going to try to push James' buttons. I actually got a lot of hate mail of Facebook and Twitter, comments like "You're a bitch, pussy, and so on", but they don't even know what was really going on. We were cool with each other when the cameras were off, and he invited me down to ride. But they have to have that kind of thing for the show, and if I do it they will run it, solely because it makes it more interesting. So they can hate all they want, it's just the sick world we live in these days (laughs).
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I will still be riding, doing shows and the X Games among other things that I have planned. The next five years will be really great, as long as I stay healthy and keep on loving to ride.