Oh, how we love Atlanta! Known best for it's always-impressive crowd turnout and energy inside the stadium, the Georgia Dome has been a staple of the Monster Energy Supercross tour for 40 years. This year marked it's last appearance, and we'll find out later on this year when they release the 2018 schedule what location will replace it. As always the racing was nothing short of exciting, so grab your morning coffee and dive into Monday Kickstart!
– The tragic news of privateer racer Dylan Slusser's untimely passing spread quickly on Friday. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends. Dylan's legacy will live on forever through the countless people he's touched in his short time here. Rest easy, #558.
– Calling the weekend Atlanta Motofest, the creative promoters have managed to host the AMSOIL Arenacross Series inside the dome on an abbreviated track Friday night, follow it up with the main course of Supercross on Saturday night, and then wrap the weekend up with amateur racing on a tamed down version of the same Arenacross track they raced on Friday. That's "Motofest" name-worthy for sure.
– Speaking of Arenacross, Friday night's show was good times. Jayce Pennington won the AX Lights East Class, and Chris Blose won the 250AX class. The "Road to Supercross" was a rough one on upcoming rippers Mitchell Falk (Femur), Max Markolf (Collarbone), and Carson Mumford (Broken Arm.) Heal up quickly, dudes!
– Chad Reed's name always comes up when we show up to Georgia, and there's good reason. He's had some of the most epic battles inside this dome, and his most recent win was earned here back in 2015. This year he showed great speed, but an unfortunate crash took him out of podium contention early on in the main.
– Tough go for GEICO Honda rookie Chase Sexton, who just made his debut this weekend after returning from a wrist injury. A hard crash in the whoops in the final timed practice of the day left Sexton with a very unfortunate broken femur. Get well soon, Chase!
– Speaking of the GEICO squad, Christian Craig's heat race crash left him sidelined for the night, a hit to the head being the cause. He will be evaluated this week, and there is no word on the extent of the impact.
– The red Georgia clay brings out all the heart eyes emojis from most riders, who generally welcome the tackiness and feel of the soil. It always lends itself to great racing, but this year the sand section was the big topic of conversation. Riders voiced opinions on their dislike for the wall-to-sand section, and we'd be surprised if we see it on any other layout.
– Speaking of the track, it's becoming an unfortunate trend of them completely breaking down by the night's end. The added laps are putting a hurting on the track conditions, and you can bet Feld and Durt Wurx are working on a solution to the issue.
– The 250 main was wild at times with Troy Lee Designs/GoPro/Red Bull /KTM’s Jordon Smith and Alex Martin swapping positions in a solid battle. The final result of Smith going off-track was just a racing incident and both riders were totally fine with it.
-Fredrik Noren put in an impressive ride to eighth, and almost had seventh had Adam Cianciarulo not gotten by late in the race after charging back up from his mishap with Ferrandis midway through the main.
– Eli Tomac has consistently been the fastest guy on the track, this week being the only rider to post a lap time in the 51 second range. (51.926)
– Rundown of bike brands in the main events:
Suzuki – 6
KTM – 4
Honda – 4
Husqvarna – 3
Kawasaki – 3
Yamaha – 2
Yamaha – 8
Honda – 5
KTM – 4
Kawasaki – 3
Husqvarna – 1
Suzuki – 1