The 2011 Monster Energy Supercross Series came to a close Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, and thousands of fans in attendance got to witness what went down in Sin City. Here’s what you probably didn’t get to see, though…
At the final round of the 2011 Monster Energy Supercross season no one could have predicted what was about to unfold throughout the night. The tight championship battles led to increased excitement, and also a sold out Sam Boyd Stadium.
As the riders exit the stadium, they go around a long flat left handed turn that eventually comes back into the stadium, which is know as "Monster Alley." The high-speed straight goes straight into a single jump that riders air out. While it can seem pretty sketchy to watch the riders go wide open down the straight and to the jump, crashes are pretty uncommon off of it.
High winds and high heat made it hard for the Dirt Wurx crew to keep water on the track. As the wind picked up, and as the riders hit the track, it quickly turned into a dust bowl early on in the day. When it came down to the night show, the winds eventually died off a little, and it made for some great racing.
In the outdoor series, Fox tattoos are a common appearance throughout the pits. However, it's not often that we see an Alpinestars tattoo…
Every weekend Hart and Huntington have some sort of Dodge parked outside of their rig, since Dodge sponsors them, but this Dodge Challenger caught our eye.
Since Vegas is the final round in the Monster Energy Supercross Series, most teams go all out and put some custom stuff on their bikes that they normally didn't do all year long. For RV and Weimer's bike, their bikes had these pretty trick striped One graphics.
For the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki bikes, they went with the green Pro Circuit sticker on all of their pipes.
Troy Lee Designs has some of the coolest videos out there which allow fans to see what goes on behind the scenes of the TLD/Lucas Oil/Honda team.
Sticking with their green theme, Hart and Huntington/Dodge/Kawasaki went with green graphics, instead of the black ones they been running for the majority of the year.
PJ Larsen has been out since Dallas Supercross when he broke he schapoid in his heat race, but he said that he should start riding again on Tuesday. Depending on how he feels, he might be lining up at Hangtown.
Miss Supercross, Dianna Dahlgren, and Miss Arenacross, Lindsey Scheltema.
We did say crashes are pretty uncommon off of the ski jump headed out of Monster Alley, but they do happen. DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing/Yamaha's Gannon Audette launched off the side of the single and headed straight for the stands. No one knew where he was, at first, because he slid under the banners at the bottom of the stands. After a few minutes, the Asterisk Medical Crew pulled him out, and he appeared to be in better shape than people thought as he walked away. However, his injuries were enough to keep him from racing that night.
Green might be Chris Blose's lucky color because he had his best finish of the season at Sam Boyd Stadium with a fourth place finish…
Team Two Two Motorsport's Chad Reed switched things up in Vegas by going with some red graphics and a black frame and swingarm. We're definitely a fan of the look.
For being only his second race back, Jake Weimer turned a lot of heads at the final round with his second place finish in his heat race, as well as his sixth place finish in the main.
Lance Vincent: Eighth in the Dave Coombs Sr. Memorial East Vs. West Shootout, seventh in the East Coast Lites main, and eighth in the Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Championship. Pretty impressive considering this is his first year. However, he doesn't have a deal lined up for the outdoors, and he will most likely be running his own program.
Traditional to Sam Boyd Stadium, all 20 riders line up outside of the stadium for the start. Once the gates drop, it's wide open all the way down Monster Alley and into the sold out stadium.
RV2 Supercross fans…
GoPro cams were out in the pits on Saturday filming for their final video of the series, and they came up with this idea… Ryan Sipes wore a helmet with a GoPro mounted to it, and then had to put on a temporary tattoo on the DNA Shred Stix promo girl.
We've never seen this GoPro mount before…
A Cairoli pickup kit
Opening ceremonies at the last round had three things that all of the other 16 rounds didn't. 1. Drop-ins onto the track from the stands…
2. Even bigger transfers…
3. Fighter jets flying over the stadium.
With only two wins in all of the East Coast races, Geico Honda's Justin Barcia did what he had to do to secure the title, and he did it with a broken wrist. It was a first for Justin, and he went on to say on the podium, "When I crashed and broke my wrist, I knew that I was going to have to just ride through it if I wanted to get the job done. It hurt a lot at times, but right now, I can barely remember the pain."
The main for the East Coast race started with Barcia leading the 19 other riders for the first couple laps until he slid out in a corner. From there, Ryan Sipes took control for the remainder of the race until the last lap when Blake Baggett caught and passed him. It was Baggett's second win of the season, his other being in Daytona, and he capped off the season in fourth in points.
The West Coast kept the stadium on their feet from start to finish. When Eli Tomac and Broc Tickle didn't get the starts they needed, both riders had to fight through the pack to get up front, and that's what they did. For all 15 laps, both riders moved up through the pack, but eventually Tickle got around Eli, and he secured the championship.
On the podium, Red Bull KTM's Ken Roczen took the top spot. While a lot of eyes were on the battle that was pursuing on way behind him, he silently took his first win. It was also a first podium finish for Kyle Cunningham.
Your new West Coast champion, Broc Tickle…
The young KTM rider closed off the season with a win in the West Coast Lites class, and the whole family was ecstatic. Roczen now has to go back home to finish the World GP, but he plans to come back next year to race the series again.
Charles Dao from Icon Sports Performance has been the guy that has helped Tickle rise to the top through his intense workouts. In the end, it paid off for Broc. And when Broc broke his collarbone during the break in the West Coast series, Eddie Casillas from the Asterisk Medical Crew rehabbed him back into racing shape.
It was a tough break for Stewart. After getting into the lead, he crashed hard going through Vegas' huge whoops and injured his foot in the process, which forced him to DNF.
To all the moms out there, Happy Mothers Day!
At the first round of the season at Anaheim I, Bret Michaels announced that a winner would be chosen at the final round for the Rock Hard, Ride Hard Award. To win, Michaels had to choose the rider that overcame the most adversity, and the winner went to Chad Reed.
In addition to the money of the Rock Hard, Ride Hard Award, Reed also got this acoustic guitar from Michaels with the message, "To Chad Reed and Family, much respect my friend to rocking the world!!! You deserve the finest ever. Rock Hard… Ride Hard… Award!"
As the race pursued in the Supercross class, you could see the frustration in Trey Canard's eye as he watched the race from the sidelines. Even though he didn't get to finish off the season due to a fractured femur, he finished fifth in points, and he was also awarded Sunday night at the award ceremony with Rookie Of The Year.
Pickup kit #2
Once the East-West Shootout started, it was new East Coast Champion Justin Barcia who came into the stadium with blazing speed as he got the holeshot. From there, though, he crashed three times and finished 16th.
Tickle was unable to get up front, too, and he finished 10th in the Shootout.
2011 was definitely Cole Seely's breakout Supercross year. Two first place finishes, and second place finish in the East-West Shootout can now be added to resume.
The winner of the East-West Shootout went to Ryan Sipes. After barely losing the East Coast Lites main, he had something to prove when he lined up against 19 of the fastest riders from both coasts.
One guy that quickly adapted to the Vegas hard pack was Kevin Windham. When he set the fastest lap time of the day during the 450 qualifying session, it was apparent that he was a guy to watch in the night show. Once the gates dropped in the main, he quickly took over the lead, and he led the 20-lap main for a couple of laps until Stewart made the pass. It wasn't over from there as he kept on the rear wheel of James, but both of their nights quickly ended when the Yamaha rider crashed in the whoops, and Windham hit his bike. Like Stewart, Kevin also did not finish the race due to an injured spleen.
Vegas is definitely a good track for Ryan Dungey, and he showed it Saturday as he pressured Chad Reed for the lead for a few laps.
In the end, Reed held him off, and the two congratulated each other after the race.
It was a huge night for Volcom when RV secured the title in the 450 class, and the entire staff was out to celebrate the win with him…
For a team that was formed at the last minute possible, Chad Reed and Two Two Motorsports rose to the occasion when the finished off the season in second place, and as a championship contender.
When the series came to a close, though, Villopoto was the one that took home the win in the premiere class. After his catastrophic crash last year, Ryan said that he doubted at times why he does what he does, but he's thankful that Monster Energy Kawasaki saw something in him, and that they helped him come out with a championship after three years in the 450 class.