Headed East – Arlington Supercross 2013

After traveling up and down the West Coast for six weeks, the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series made its way East to Arlington, Texas, for the seventh round. Not only that, the seventh stop on the circuit marked the first round for the East Coast 250 riders. With plenty of drama and excitement to go around, we present you with another Monday Kickstart, presented by One Industries.

Words by Jordan Powell
Photos by Jordan Powell and Jeff Kardas

Arlington, Texas, not only marked the seventh round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series, but it also marked the first round of the East Coast 250 series. Early in the morning, the dirt inside the Dallas Cowboys Stadium appeared to be moist and tacky, but as the day unfolded, it turned into a dry, hard-packed, and slippery track, which had many riders complaining. Nevertheless, the racing action kept the crown on their feet all night long.

Tire warmers are a common sighting in the Moto GP circuit, but the same can't be said about motocross. However, with temperatures hanging around the 40-degree mark early in morning, Mike Williamson (Ryan Villopoto's mechanic) was seen heating up the tires to match the temperature of the closed stadium. This way, the air pressure wouldn't fluctuate once inside. As the day progressed, the temperatures climbed, and the need for tire warmers were no longer needed.

After Saturday night's race, Zach Bell is probably the most talked about rider, but it's not because he won. After grabbing the holeshot in his heat race, it looked like the Geico Honda rider was going to easily cruise to the checkers, but with one lap to go, disaster struck. In an attempt to scrub the face of a triple, Bell's foot was caught up with his footpeg, and was ejected off of his bike. The crowd stood in silence as the young rider laid face down in the hard-packed, Texas dirt, forcing the red flag to come out. Moments later, cheers erupted as Bell stood up on his own, and walked away with nothing more than a few bruises and cuts. Miraculously, Bell said that he wasn't knocked out after falling nearly three-stories. There have been plenty of speculations about the new 6D helmet the Geico Honda riders are wearing--some good, some bad--but after that incident, you can't argue with the safety of it.

Once Bell walked away from the track, a staggered start was once again put into play.

Ryan Fedorow has been a close friend and trainer to Wil Hahn for a few years now, and was recently asked to help the rest of the East Coast riders. "On and off the track, I'm making sure the guys are warming up properly, eating properly, and most importantly, I'm making sure they're training properly," said Ryan.

James Stewart wanted to wish NBA’s Michael Jordan a happy 50th birthday last weekend by running MJ’s original Carolina blue colorway.

After spending the first few weeks on a privateer Suzuki, and then filling in for the RCH Racing crew for a night, Kyle Partridge was picked up by Rocky Mountain ATV-MC. Under this deal, Partridge will be riding a new 2013 Honda CRF450R, and they will carry him through the rest of the season. "I was stoked that this all came together, and I'm absolutely loving the bike," mentioned Kyle.

Hunted.

The privateer life isn't always the easy life. Once the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series left the west coast, Mitch Alcorn (pictured here) and Austin Howell loaded up their van with three bikes, parts, and plenty of food to get them to Oklahoma, where they would spend the rest of their week. When we asked Alcorn how the road trip was going, he said, "It's actually been pretty fun. Whe rode an amazing track in Oklahoma, and the dirt was like red clay!" Austin Howell will miss Atlanta due to a gash on his hand from Saturday night's race, but Alcorn will keep the road trip moving along.

It seems with each week Yoshimura Suzuki's James Stewart has been steadily improving on his results, largely to the fact that he's been staying off the ground. As a result, he's able to test more during the week, instead of spending the week recovering from his wounds. The day started off strong for James in Arlington, Texas, as he posted the fastest qualifying time in the first timed session.

In that same timed qualifying session, though, Stewart lost control of his factory machine, and was ejected off his bike. That incident cut his practice session short, but he was back at it for the next qualifying session.

After claiming the win over Ryan Villopoto in their heat race, Stewart was looking strong headed into the main. Sadly, his clutch gave out on the line, and ended his night prematurely.

Ever wonder how riders make those tight 180-degree corners after triples, or technical rhythms? Well, here's your answer: a massive front rotor. We spotted this one mounted to Stewart's Yoshimura Suzuki.

Dr. Steve Navarro is a major component to the success of Blake Wharton, Josh Grant, Eli Tomac, Justin Barcia, and many more with his chiropractic skills. Injuries are fairly common in Supercross, and he has to be able to respond quickly to the needs of his riders so that they can stay strong out on the track.

It was all smiles for JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha's Justin Brayton in Arlington, Texas.

Jeremy Martin made his professional Supercross debut in Arlington, Texas, over the weekend on his MYPLASH/Star Racing/Yamaha. Everything had started to go well for the young rookie as he qualified third going into the night show, just behind Dean Wilson and Marvin Musquin. Unfortunately, a first turn pileup in his heat race sent him to the back of the pack, and was sent to the LCQ with a 12th place finish. From there, a fourth place finish kept him from seeing the main event.

While most would be happy with a sixth place finish after starting a 15-lap main in dead last, Red Bull KTM's Marvin Musquin was disappointed in himself, to say the least. "Considering what happened to me on the start, I should be happy, but it's a bummer. It was my first race, and I wanted to do well," said Musquin in his post-race interview.

Moments before Musquin hit the deck, and was forced to get back going in last.

Every weekend we check to see if Ryan Dungey is running the air shock on his 2013 KTM 450SX-F, but this weekend, it was just his normal shock.

Muscle Milk Honda's Justin Barcia has been having a season full of ups and downs. He definitely has the speed to win, as he did in Phoenix, but crashes have kept him from running up front every weekend. "This sport can feel like a rollercoaster ride sometimes, because one moment, everything is going as good as it could possibly be, and then the next moment, you're crashing straight into the ground. For me, I've had a lot of stupid crashes this season," commented Barcia.

Bam Bam likes to keeps things fun with messages like this on his crossbar pad.

Trey Canard is always a fan favorite, and in Arlington, Texas, these two ladies came to show support for their Oklahoma hero.

Fresh off a 2012 Terex Australian Supercross Lites title, Gavin Faith was picked up by Motoconcepts Racing for the 2013 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series. Though Faith is not a newcomer to Supercross--privateer in 2012, and filled in for Millsaps on the JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha team--he turned a lot of heads when he was engaged in a three way battle for first with Wil Hahn and Marvin Musquin. When the checkered flag came out, Faith came out victorious, and took his first heat race win. His success continued from there, and he finished the main in seventh.

Justin Hill proved that he's more than Josh Hill's little brother on Saturday night when he finished with an impressive fifth place. Admittedly he said that his expectations weren't high, but after he came out of his heat race with an eighth, he felt prepared going into the main event, and it showed. Not bad for his first race in the pro ranks...

JGR's Josh Grant tried to test his ankle and shoulder in the first practice session of the day, but decided to pull the plug on the day shortly after for the reason that the pain was still too much to bear.

It may be a nine-week break for Motoconcept Racing's Jake Canada, but he still showed up in Arlington to cheer on his teammates.

Scott Champion tossed around the idea of racing a 450 on the East Coast while on the nine-week break, but his plans fell through. Instead, he decided to come out to Texas to spend some time with his dad.

The KTM Junior SX Challenge was back in full swing in Arlington, Texas, and countless fans showed up to get autographs from the sports future stars.

There was also a special guest appearance from Kurt Caselli. "I've always wanted to help out with the KJSC program, and Christy [LaCurelle] got me involved with this weekend's program," said Caselli. "I think this is really good for our sport, and I was they had this when I was a kid!"

Matthew Leblanc took the top honors in the KTM Jr. SX Challenge, while Gavin Towers and Whispern Smith capped off the top three.

We're pretty envious of Ryan Dungey's Fox V4 Red Bull helmet...

Right before Anaheim I, Geico Honda's Justin Bogle suffered from a practice crash that broke his right wrist, and dislocated his left. Bogle is still on the mend, and announced last week on his Twitter account that it will be a few more weeks before he lines up behind the gate again.

The Rockstar Energy girls always brighten our day.

DJ Stephanie Loayza keeps the Party in the Pits going from opening to close every weekend.

How much Elmer's Glue and time was put into this?

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Darryn Durham was released to start riding a couple of weeks back after tearing his Achilles tendon back in October. Unfortunately, he's still not at 100-percent, but he's hoping to make a return to the East Coast series by the end of the season.

Even though Kevin Windham is no longer racing, he steals the opening ceremonies with his massive transfers.

Before the night show began, temperatures once again dropped, and the Monster Energy Kawasaki team brought out these propane heaters to keep Villopoto's bike warm.

It only seems fitting that Deebo rocks the Skullcandy Crushers. If you want to get your hands on a set, you'll have to wait a couple more months before they're released to the public.

Jimmy Decotis fans, rejoice! It's been quite some time since we've seen the New England native behind the gate due to injuries, but he was back full force in Arlington, and finished with an impressive eighth place. Decotis' mechanic Keith Clickstein (pictured here) was stoked to be back at the races, too!

Last weekend, the Geico Honda team added a little more flare to K-Dub's bike by mounting this front number plate that lit up.

The Dunlop Tire crew is by far one of the hardest working groups of guys at the races. From sun up to sun down, they are changing and mounting hundreds of tires for the riders.

Your 250 East Coast podium in Arlington, Texas. Dean Wilson dominated qualifying, his heat race, and the 15-lap main. He will now head into Atlanta with the points lead, and the red plates.

After spending his 2012 season on a Star-Valli Motorsports Yamaha, Kyle Peters was forced to start his own effort for 2013. It appears, though, that Peters is unaffected by privateer effort, and not only grabbed the holeshot, but completed the race with an impressive fourth place finish.

For Villopoto, the win inside the Dallas Cowboys Stadium marked his third of the season, and he now sits in third place, 24-points behind Millsaps.

See you next weekend in Atlanta!