Monday Kickstart – San Francisco

It’s Monday, and there’s an entire week before we get another fix of Supercross. Next Saturday we go back to Anaheim for the third and final round in Orange County, CA, but before we start speculating about what’s in store in six days, let’s recap San Francisco.

For the first time in who knows how long, the weather in S.F. cooperated, and the fans definitely welcomed it. Just shy of 40,000 fans piled into AT&T Park by the bay to witness some Supercross. All day long, the pits were absolutely overflowing with people. Once autograph signing started, it was nearly impossible to navigate through the pits.

The started off like any other, although as practice wound down, we noticed Jason Lawrence never made it out. It wasn’t until quite late in the day that the official word from his camp made itself public. Crown Management released an announcement that said Lawrence was “nailed with a bout of food poisoning, hospitalized, and [would] miss the miss the S.F. Lites round.”

Other reports, including an unconfirmed rumor posted by MXA, said there was an altercation amongst J-Law, Josh Hansen, and Steve Boniface just after the race. We are sure the message boards are spewing out all you can handle with this, but we will see if we can learn a little more as the day goes along.

Walking around the pits, we always try to keep our eye out for cool stuff, especially when it comes to the actual bikes. Race after race, however, it gets increasingly difficult to spot new things. This week, though, we did manage to spot a pretty trick feature on the KTMs. As shown below on Ryan Sipes’ MDK/KTM 250SX-F, the has been an addition to the rear shock. It has an added reverse top-out spring. just above the main spring.

The top-out spring is designed to absorb some of the impact from top-out. It can be adjusted, and the individual springs are removable. Initial word is that it is great in the whoops and for seat-bouncing. Swap talked to Martin Davalos and he said it was quite noticeable and a huge improvement. No word on how long this will be solely a factory race feature.

As for actual racing, a big surprise came from Tim Ferry when he failed to make the main event. We don’t remember the last time we saw a main without Red Dog (other than when he was injured), of course). In the LCQ, suffered from first-turn pile-up woes and it was over before it had started. Ferry’s teammate, however, enjoyed better results. Ryan Villopoto scored his second podium in a row, and it is apparent that he is becoming not only more comfortable on his 450, but can go faster late in the race. The transition from a 15-lap moto on a 250 to a 20-lap moto on a 450 can be daunting, but RV2 seems to be taking the graduation well. Villopoto is currently sitting fourth overall in points, just seven behind third-place Josh Grant.

MORE ON PAGE TWO (including more photos)

Most eyes have been transfixed on the battle for first in the premier class between Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Chad Reed and San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart. Heck, if you have seen the comments on our site at all recently, it is apparent people are paying attention. With three straight wins coming into S.F., Stewart has the obvious momentum. Reed, however, seems to be nearly as fast, but just cannot manage to buy a start. Well, Reed did get a better start in AT&T Park than in previous weeks, but by the time he made his way around his teammate Mike Alessi, James had already checked out. But, since Stewart’s DNF at A1 hit his points score so hard, Reed is still in the overall lead, though it has diminished to just six points.

The West Coast Lites class has become the series to watch, not surprisingly. Pro Circuit’s Jake Weimer is giving Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey a run for his money, and with J-Dub’s win inside AT&T Park, he is only four points back from Dungey. That is not to say Dungey is not on his game as well. Though he did not win, and he actually took a dirt sample, Dungey showed obvious signs of his progression. He appeared calm and relaxed on the track as he chased down Weimer in the main. Unlike seasons past, Dungey did not look as though he was trying to win it in the first three laps. Instead, he stalked Weimer, and waited to make his move (the track didn’t allow many opportunities to pass). Unfortunately, Dungey’s pass attempt failed; he caught his front wheel and was sent to the ground. Also, Geico Powersports Honda’s Trey Canard made it back out onto the track this weekend, and he has clearly shaken off the concussion. He rode a solid main event and came away with podium.

Don’t forget to check out Ten Questions with James Stewart, if you haven’t already, and be sure to scroll through practice and race photos from San Francisco, too.

MORE ON PAGE THREE (including more photos)

Our buddy Dan Guetter was on hand at San Francisco Supercross and he passed on some photos for the site. Check 'em out.

Now, we leave it up to you. What do you guys have to say about all this. Be sure to comment (but please keep it somewhat clean).