Countdown To Geneva
Photos: Chris Kimball
As the 28th Annual Geneva Supercross fueled by Monster Energy prepares to get underway at the PalExpo Arena in Geneva, Switzerland, teams and riders from around the world began to arrive at the stadium yesterday, while track crews worked around the clock putting the final touches on this year’s course.
Although the current King of Geneva, JGR’s Justin Brayton, has won the historic European Supercross the last three years in a row, 2013’s impressive lineup will seek to put an end to Brayton’s reign, as Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin, GEICO Honda’s Wil Hahn, and TLD/MAV TV/Lucas Oil/Honda’s Malcolm Stewart all made the trip in hopes to take home this year’s title.
“I think you always feel pressure at any race,” Justin Brayton explained at the press conference. “But I’ve been here the past few years and won it three years in a row, so I think I’ve definitely got the target on my back. It’s just fun to be over here, though. I really enjoy this race, and it’s one of my favorite races of the year. There’s a little bit of pressure, but it’s good pressure.”
First-time Geneva Supercross contender Malcolm Stewart was also hand to talk about his introduction to European racing. “It feels good to be over here,” he said. “It’s my first time here so it’s definitely something new to me. I hear from what Justin [Brayton] was telling me that the crowd really gets into it, and it’s one of the biggest races as far as track size in Europe goes, so I’m just really looking forward to the race.”
Wil Hahn, who competed in France and Italy over the last few weeks, will also be attempting to bring home the Swiss crown this weekend. “It’s my first time here in Geneva as well,” Will told the press. “I was able to do Bercy and Genoa as well this year, and I’m excited to keep doing these races. It’s always good to come over here to see the fans and the different cultures, and just experience the whole deal. Justin [Brayton] has had nothing but good things to say about this race, and I’ve been looking forward to it the whole time.”
Also making his Geneva debut on his Pro Circuit Kawasaki 450 is four-time Arenacross Champion and 2013 Las Vegas 250 Supercross winner Tyler Bowers.
One of the big headlines of the day was the opportunity of a lifetime for French nationalist Sulivan Jaulin, who received an”early Christmas present” when he got a phone call asking if he wanted the chance to ride Darryn Durham’s Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki KX250F. Durham, who was slated to race the event, had to call off the trip to Switzerland after suffering a concussion in a practice crash. It was going to be the first time in over 10 years that Mitch Payton had sent one of his Pro Circuit riders to race in a European Supercross, but Swiss fans will still be able to see the factory bike in action after Jaulin accepted the offer. Jaulin is a two-time SX2 Supercross of Chemnitz race winner in Germany.
Another race exclusive to Geneva will be the return of the Women's Supercross class, and it will be the fourth year that the women have been included in the event. Australia's Meghan Rutledge, the defending Queen of Geneva and the current Women's Australian SX Champion, will compete with current two-time World Champion Kiara Fontanesi of Italy, X Games Gold Medalist Vicki Golden of the USA, French Champion Justin Charroux, seven-time US Motocross Champion Jessica Patterson, and X Games finalist Jackie Ives from the USA.
The FMX exhibition will be the icing on the cake with riders like current X-Fighters Champion Thomas Pages, former Swiss X Fighter Champion Mat Rebeaud, along with Andre Villa, Drake McElroy, and many more.
The two-night race will broadcast in the US on MAV TV in early 2014.
For full details about the race visit www.supercross-geneve.com.