Monday Kickstart: Toronto SX 2012

Space constraints at the Rogers Center forces some of the teams to pit out of the tunnels beneath the stadium. While most of the factory teams elected to make the trek across the street and back to their rigs, most of the privateers and a few of the support teams took refuge inside

 

 

Outside, the limited parking area prevented the teams from setting up their normal awnings, as the trailers were packed in, only a few feet away from each other.

 

Instead of the usual canopies that run the length of the trailer, several teams set up beneath the rear trailer lift gate and used walls to protect them from the elements. It drizzled on and off throughout the afternoon.

 

What does it look inside the makeshift "caves?" This is inside the JDR KTM team shelter. Here, Rene' Zapata tries to look busy.

 

Toronto marked Wil Hahn's debut aboard Trey Canard's Muscle Milk Honda CRF450R. Canard's mechanic, Brent Presnell, came with the bike!

 

We chatted with Roger DeCoster for a few minutes before the action got underway in Toronto. RD reports that Ryan Dungey goes in for an evaluation on his recently repaired collarbone this week, and will make a decision about his return to racing. "I know that Ryan will want to return to racing as soon as possible," he said. "Ultimately, it will be up to him whether he returns to Supercross or turns his attention to outdoor testing." Reports we heard later in the day had the former champion returning at New Orleans, in pursuit of a top-three overall finish.

 

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Darryn Durham has been wearing an AllSport Dynamics wrist brace to protect the wrist he broke early in the year. "I can't even tell that I have it on any more," he said. "I love it."

 

"When the offer was presented to me, I jumped at the chance to fill in on Trey's bike," said Wil Hahn. "I've spent a lot of the time on the couch with injuries, and I was anxious to get back to action." Hahn did indicate that when the Western Regional Supercross Lites championship resumed in Seattle, he'll be back aboard his familiar Geico Honda CRF250R.

The Toronto track was littered with rocks, some as large as softballs. That said, many riders donned chest protectors and handguards. Obviously, Jiimmy Albertson was stoked on his Alpinestars under protector.

 

The FMF header on Kyle Chisholm's Jeff Ward Racing Kawasaki KX450F had an extra layer of titanium welded on for added roost protection.

 

Butler Brothers/BTOSports.com rider Jason Thomas was sporting an extra-aggressive haircut.

 

Toronto marked Josh Grant's second race after returning from a shoulder injury. "It feels great to be back at the races, doing my job," said Grant, who was visibly trimmer than he was earlier in the season.

 

Mike Williamson keeps Ryan Villopoto's Monster Energy Kawasaki in tip top shape, but in between, he is an Instagram master! Follow him @mikejwilliamson

 

Dana Wiggins installed these Acerbis handguards on Jake Weimer's Kawasaki KX450F, to protect his rider from the rocky Canadian soil.

 

Toronto marked Marvin Musquin's last race in the Supercross class aboard his Frank Latham-tuned KTM 350SX-F. "It's been a lot of fun to race in the Supercross class with all of those guys," he said. "I think that racing during the break will help me be more aggressive in Seattle when I get back on my 250."

 

According to Roger DeCoster, "Musquin has much more potential in Supercross than he is showing. Sometimes, he makes his passes with authority, but other times he does not. When he learns to be aggressive all of the time, he will really be a contender, even in the Supercross class."

Grant Langston looks right at home in his new role as Team Manager at the Ohlins/Langston Motorsports/KTM team. "It's been quite an adventure and a long journey getting here," he said. "But I think that for a brand-new team, things are running pretty smoothly." When we pressured him about whether or not he'd race a National this summer in order to keep his permanent number 8, GL hinted that he may show up at the new Lake Elsinore National.

 

The Ohlins/Langston Motorsports/KTM bikes are quite stunning, and are easy to pick out on the track, thanks to their florescent orange color scheme. This weekend, we caught up with Les Smith's mechanic Nick Burns for a look inside the number 46 bike for Behind Bars.

 

As do most of the top Supercross Lites teams, the Ohlins/Langston Motorsports/KTM squad relies on the Moto Tassinari Air 4orce intake.

 

Brett Metcalfe reports that he and the team continue to make progress, getting the factory Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 tuned to his liking.

 

The Monster Energy Kawasaki team of Ryan Villopoto and Jake Weimer are the only multi-rider factory team that's still intact thus far into 2012.

 

When the rain came in the afternoon, some of the teams covered up in a different fashion...

 

The JDR KTM team used these plastic screens to offer further protection from the rocky Toronto dirt.

 

Intermittent drizzle throughout the afternoon forced riders to seek refuge inside the team transporters. When Justin Barcia needed his weekly stretch-out massage from Dr. Steve Navarro, he had to wear a parka to stay warm in the chilly Toronto air. "There isn't room for the bench upstairs in the semi," said Navarro.

 

Going into the night show, Red Bull KTM's Ken Roczen was skeptical on how he was going to perform because he had been battling with the flu all the way up to Saturday. Doing everything he could to push through the sickness, he capped off the night with a second place finish.
Monster Energy/Pro Cicuit/Kawasaki's Darryn Durham has been showing some amazing speed all season long on his new team. Up until last weekend in Toronto, he had been trailing season point's leader Justin Barcia, but his crash this weekend allowed Blake Wharton to sneak into the number two spot.
Due to Canadian laws for strict length requirements for big rigs, both Monster Energy Kawasaki and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki had to rent these shorter cabs to get their trailers into Toronto.
Along with the initial morning sound checks that each bike has to pass before it is ridden on the track, random sound checks are performed once the racing has started to make sure there hasn't been any foul play.
While Justin Barcia slowly started to pull away from the rest of the pack during the Lites main, Darryn Durham, Blake Wharton, and Alex Martin kept the crowd excited during the first few laps as they all battled for third. Unfortunately, Durham washed out in the corner before the whoops, which allowed the two riders to advance.
Justin Bogle always pulls out some big tricks during practice, as you can see here with his extended nac nac. Although it may look like he's just having fun out on the track, he does get down to business and he laid down the fastest lap during the Lites qualifying session.
Muscle Milk Honda's Justin Brayton grabbed the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award at the beginning of the 20-lap main before losing the top spot to Ryan Villopoto after a lap and a half. However, Brayton kept Villopoto in his sights for the duration of the race and took a second place finish.
Toronto marked Kyle Regal's second race aboard his new Dodge Motorsports/Hart & Huntington/Bel-Ray/Kawasaki race machine, but it was a tough go from him. A couple crashes in the main put him in the back of the pack before he eventually pulled off the track for a DNF.

It was a night filled with ups and downs for Malcolm Stewart. The JDR KTM rider was a regular on the Monster tower during the qualifying sessions, and he even qualified second during his heat race...
However, a first turn crash in the main event kept him from running up front. In the end, the young rider finished the 15-lap main in 13th.
Every week GoPro drops some amazing edits from each round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series by mixing it up with some unique angles.
Along with the starting gate mounted GoPro, they also had some rigs that they mounted to the bottom of a few photographer's cameras.
With seven wins under his belt, and with Ryan Dungey and James Stewart out, Villopoto could wrap up the 2012 Supercross season next week in Houston, Texas. Currently, RV2 is 102 points ahead of Davi Millsaps, who sits in fourth.
If you haven't already checked it out, be sure to watch the latest Muscle Milk Fast Laps Fitness Tips featuring Wil Hahn.
To allow easy accessibility to his Leatt chest protector, Wharton's jersey undergoes a Flashdance modification.
To keep his name visible on his jersey, custom graphics were put onto Jake Weimer's Atlas neck brace that matched his jersey.

Kevin Windham is proving that age is just a number. At 33-years young, Windam is lining up on the gate with riders that were still walking around in diapers by the time he turned pro, and he's still running up front with them. During the first timed qualifying of the night, Ryan Villopoto looked as if he had locked down the fastest time, but on the very last lap, ole' K-Dub jumped all the way up top.
The champagne bottles weren't poppin' on the podium in Toronto, but after enough begging, this fan's wish was delivered when Windham sprayed him in the face with some bubbly.
Canada eh?
JGR Yamaha's Davi Millsaps has been turning in some solid results every weekend during Supercross, and in Toronto he marked in a heat race win as well as a fourth place main event finish to his resume.
Matt Schneider is just chillin' everywhere these days.
During the second Lites heat race, Justin Bogle and Angelo Pelligrini came together mid-air, which resulted in a horrifying crash. After the dust cleared from all the carnage, both riders managed to walk away, but their bikes were mangled.
Every rider in the open ceremonies got some sort of applause as they entered the track, but when Geico Honda's Kevin Windham was announced, the stadium erupted with cheers.
MCR's Jake Canada has been a top 10 rider since the season began, and with each race his results have been improving. Last weekend in Toronto he put in his best finish yet with a fourth place finish in the East Coast Lites main.

Rocks plagued the soil inside the Rodgers Centre. Ryan Villopoto did his part by removing some of the rocks after the opening ceremonies, but as you can see, there were hundreds all around him. During the main, one of the guys from Dunlop Tires was pegged square in-between his eyes 18 rows up in the industry seating section.
Last week's crash in Indy left Windham banged up and sore, so he elected to not do his signature night show transfer.
Wheelies are a standard during the show, but Yoshimura Suzuki's took it to the next level by doing a nac nac wheelie. #raiseitup
With a lot of the 450 riders out due to injuries, the door has been opened for many riders to be in the open ceremonies, one of which was BTO Sports' Matt Goerke.
Guns N' Roses' Slash opened up the eleventh round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series by making his guitar sing the Canadian National Anthem.
AP Designs paints all the helmets for Ryan Villopoto and Jake Weimer, and this RV2 helmet caught our eye. The flat finish is nothing like the usual gloss paint jobs that are a regular on the track.
Justin Bogle has swag.
It was a tough night for PJ Larsen as a hard crash during practice left him immobile on the track. The practice was red flagged so the Asterisk Medial Crew could attend to him, and while no official word has been released, it sounds like a foot and knee injury for the KTM rider.

2012 Arenacross champ Tyler Bowers has been mixing it up with some of the top East Coast Lites riders for the last few races, and he put down the fifth fastest lap time of the night in Toronto with a 49.064.
Darryn Durham isn't the only rider running the All-Sport Dynamic Wrist Brace. After his wrist injury last year in Atlanta, Justin Barcia's brace helped him get through the Supercross season to take home his first SX title. Now, the Geico Honda rider runs one of both wrists just as a safety precaution.
Per the rules that were laid out during the rider's meeting, mechanics had to warm their bikes outside of the stadium. So, anyone that was pitted inside the hallways of the Rogers Centre had to wheel their bikes outside to get them all warmed up.
Rain showers were off and on throughout the day and to keep the grips dry when wheeling the bike into the stadium, Rockstar Suzuki's Brent Myron got creative by taking some hefty Zip-Lock bags and wrapping them around Blake Wharton's grips.