After 17 rounds, the 2012 Supercross season is in the books. The whirlwind tour of the US and Canada went by in a flash, and came to a close this past weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. Check out everything from the finale in this massive edition of Kickstart.
Quite a few teams and companies got into the Vegas spirit with LV inspired graphics or gear, like the MotoConcepts bikes shown here. You'll see the trend repeated throughout this edition of Kickstart, but there appeared to be fewer special kits than years past.
The majority of the rumors and news in the pits lately has revolved around the JGR camp, and for good reason. With Davi Millsaps' strong finishes, Gavin Faith's addition to the team for the Nationals, and the questionable status of James Stewart, the team has been under a microscope. Just hours after Millsaps claimed second place in the overall season standings, the team announced that they and James Stewart had parted ways.
After competing aboard a borrowed 450 in Salt Lake City, Austin Politelli dropped back down to his small bore bike for the final East Coast main event of the season, where he finished 14th. His plans for the coming Nationals are still up in the air.
Matt Lemoine's HRT Kawasaki was another bike that was done up in LV fashion. The gold, black, and green is a nice color combination.
Monster Energy wheeled out a collection of "M" branded vehicles in LV, including this custom street bike.
A seat like that makes it clear this isn't a cross-country touring bike.
Brett Metcalfe has picked up GT Bicycles has a personal sponsor. Metty used a GT road bike set up on rollers to warm up for the night show, but we wonder if he can whip a 20" BMX bike like McGrath did in the company's 90's ads.
Vegas has become the race many teams debut new gear, including summer collections. Shift's Kyle Regal and Tyler Bowers ran the 2013 vented line on Saturday, with the camo print being a throwback to the brand's previous designs.
Dr. G has earned a premium spot on the H&H lids with his role as team doctor.
The Monster Energy Kawasaki team wheeled out special black and chrome bikes for the Vegas finale. The team painted the rear fenders with chrome paint and then laid vinyl over to protect the finish. Villopoto's will sit idle until October's Monster Cup.
The frames and swingarms on both RV and Jake Weimer's bikes were powdercoated with a matte black finish.
The team then placed personalized chrome vinyl decals on the spars of the aluminum frame near the head tubes.
Thor designed this gear for Villopoto to wear before his injury, which listed each round of the 17 stop tour.
A second look at the Thor gear.
Villopoto's mechanic, Mike Williamson, worked with apdesigns for this chrome/matte lid. It is a shame that all of RV's pieces were display only, as it was clear his sponsors and team put considerable effort into his gear and bike.
Jake Weimer had a new helmet as well, which had metalflake blended into the paint.
Apdesigns used the famous "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign as inspiration for the back of the Thor helmet.
JW's Atlas brace featured a similar graphic, as well as a roulette wheel around the neck brace.
Fly Racing has always embraced the Vegas spirit, such as Andrew Short's US Open gear in 2008 or the metallic lame (pronounced "la-may") fabric that their riders wore in 2003, but they kept it simple this year with iron on dice.
Nico Izzi continued his streak of blazing fast practice times this weekend and was at the top of the board until the final lap of the practice session, when he was knocked to third by Brayton and Millsaps. He would finish sixth in the main event.
With his riders sweeping the Lites championships, it came as no surprise when Mike LaRocco was named "Team Manager of the Year" at Sunday night's banquet. LaRocco has played a role in the team's bike development this season by riding the test bikes himself.
Ricky Carmichael can be credited for bringing Aldon Baker into the sport, and the two have remained friends after ending their working relationship.
After being a DC Shoes athlete for years, it's a little odd to see Carmichael in Nike kicks.
Josh Grant's father, Mike, is still a fixture around the track on Saturdays. We chatted with Mike between practice sessions, and his active but hands off approach to Josh's racing shows the strength of their relationship.
Before the racers exited the stadium floor, they had the option to hit the inside hip jump or rail the outside sweeper. Though many riders were landing at the base of the jump from the previous single, it was still the preferred line of the night.
After his practice crash in Salt Lake, Cole Seely was forced to remain at the hospital until Thursday. Seely's return date to racing is questionable, as he suffered liver and kidney damage in the accident.
Ken Roczen is one of many racers that opt for under jersey protection. This upper body kit is made by German brand Ortema, who have supported Joel Smets and Pit Beier in the past.
Fox Racing had a set of Instinct boots made to match Roczen's Fox colorway.
Roczen was another rider with vented gear to battle the heat. Though the day was warm, the mid 80's weather is nothing compared to what awaits us on the East Coast in July and August.
It was reported early last week that the Ohlins USA/Langston Motorsports/KTM semi had been stolen from the team's race shop. While no further word has been released, the team rented a white K&W rig to bring the trailer to Las Vegas.
Martin Davalos has been on a roll recently, as the Rockstar Suzuki racer finished on the podium in Salt Lake City and in the East/West Shootout, along with a fourth place in the West Coast Vegas main event.
Justin Bogle's buttpatch in Vegas was pretty rad and among the more creative we have seen lately.
Nick Wey ran the newest colors from MSR in Vegas, and the orange and green stood out on in a sea of matching bikes and gear.
After breaking his lower leg early in the season at San Diego, Justin Brayton continued to race and finished near the front of the pack in every main event. Brayton was awarded the "Rock Hard Ride Hard" award for his valiant efforts, along with fourth place in the overall point standings.
Las Vegas marked the final Lites race of Ryan Sipes' career and the Star/Valli/Rockstar/Yamaha racer will compete the outdoor season aboard a 450. Sipes' last year as a 250 rider included a race win in Seattle and a seventh in the Lites Shootout.
If you couldn't duck under a team awning, finding shade was a challenge.
Kyle Chisholm has competed with a nagging injury after tweaking his wrist a few weeks back while working out, but the pain was too much to race in Las Vegas. Chisholm plans to rest over the next few weeks to allow it to mend as much as possible before the new race series.
Lance Coury's FMX Kawasaki was on display in one of H&H's sparse pit stalls.
After being a fill-in racer for Hart and Huntington in the past three rounds, Tyler Bowers season has come to an end, as the Arenacross champion has no concrete plans to race over the summer.
Though nothing is for sure, 2012 may have been Jason Thomas' final full SX season. Thomas currently plans to race limited rounds next year, but is still unsure of how many.
The final Supercross round of the season was an eventful day for the MotoConcepts team. Mike Alessi qualified for the main event, making him one of the few riders that was in each of the 17 races, and pulled yet another main event holeshot while Jake Canada finished eighth in the Lites East main. But Vince Friese was forced to withdraw after a practice crash and Canada finished out of the top ten in the Lites Shootout.
On Friday, Scott debuted their special edition gear for the weekend: their 350 line with Rockstar Energy model Jessica Harbors sublimated into the fabric. Only 12 sets of the gear were created for the Star/Valli riders.
The pit area was dotted with these banners of the sport's top stars.
After losing both Lites Supercross titles, as well as the Shootout, the mood around the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rig was somber, to say the least.
Blake Baggett launched a line of t-shirts earlier in the season, like this one worn by his father. Check blakebaggett.com for more info.
With riders from both coasts on hand, the helmet table at PC was a bit cramped.
After wrapping up this year's Nuclear Cowboyz tour, which included stops in Mexico City, Ronnie Faisst made his way to Vegas to catch the final race of the year.
Along with the Interceptor chest protector, One Industries will soon offer a soft roost guard that is worn underneath a rider's jersey. The brand is also branching into the bicycle market with products focused on road and mountain biking.
Like we mentioned last week, Justin Brayton has run an assortment of helmets this season, both stock and custom painted. Here is a glimpse at what the Team Honda Muscle Milk rider had to choose from in Vegas, and be on the lookout for more painted lids this summer.
Alias had this poster on display at the GEICO Powersports rig to celebrate Barcia and Tomac's titles.
Many racers, including Eli Tomac, ran tinted lenses during the day to help their vision in the Nevada sun, but switched to standard clear when the sun went down.
Billy Laninovich will race for the TLD/Lucas Oil/Honda team for the first five races of the season aboard Christian Craig's open 450. Look for an interview with "Lano" later this week.
Tomac's family and friend's had these shirts printed to celebrate the new West Coast Lites champion. The Pro Taper crew also brought cases of shirts to celebrate their two Lites champions.
Many questioned why Tomac was not running his recently earned number one plate throughout the day. Apparently a new rule was issued that kept him from running it until the E/W shootout, but this did not discourage Tomac or the vibe in the GEICO compound.
The team also had this cake, which included a rhythm section, to celebrate their season.
Jessica Patterson's Rockstar Suzuki was displayed in Las Vegas in the team's pit area. The WMA season will kick off in less than two weeks at Hangtown.
After an eventful Supercross season, we cannot wait to see what the Lites class will bring to the Nationals. This is by far the most stacked field of recent memory.
With PJ Larsen on the sidelines with a torn ACL, the JDR KTM team is one of many looking at possible replacement racers. Larsen was slated to compete in the 450 class this summer.
Alpinestars wrapped Justin Barcia's Tech 10's with a special Vegas graphics kit. The lone red buckle is also a nice touch. Hey, Holly...
Barcia also had these custom painted All Sport Dynamics braces for the round.
Team Honda Muscle Milk team manager Eric Kehoe used Justin Barcia's East Coast main event podium speech as the platform to announce Barcia's signing to the factory team in 2013. Barcia has been Honda's prodigy for years, including the poster child for the launch of the CRF 150R.
Even though he is injured, the quickly healing Villopoto was featured in the night's opening ceremonies with a new video. He walked off the stage to his awaiting bike and did a slow lap around the perimeter of the track.
Chad Reed, Trey Canard, and Kevin Windham were perched atop the stadium locker room as part of the live TV broadcast.
There is always one. Open a fresh tab on your browser and listen to "I Got An Ape Drape" by The Vandals.
Vanilla Ice's 1991 masterpiece "Cool As Ice" is an office favorite.
Hopefully this page helps hold you over while the race season takes a break.
Dianna and Lindsey
Alias debuted new colors and styles in the Shootout and in the 450 main event. The gear still has all sublimated logos, but is drastically different than what we have seen this season.
Former training partners Justin Barcia and Martin Davalos went at it during the opening laps of the shootout, with Davalos denying Barcia's attempts to overtake the spot. Davalos would later lose the position after mistiming a rhythm section.
The entire GEICO Powersports Honda team crowded onto the podium to celebrate their most successful season yet.
Mike Tomlin and Brian Kranz had more the enough reasons to celebrate in Vegas after their seasons as mechanics to the two champions.
The 2013 Supercross schedule once again kicks off in Anaheim,CA, on January 5th. The 2013 tour is much the same, with the exception of Minneapolis replacing New Orleans.