By Michael Antonovich, Donn Maeda and Jordan Powell
In the days preceding the third round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series, heavy rain in the forecast had riders, mechanics, and fans expecting the worst. The weather report showed a 100% chance of rain, but thankfully on Saturday morning, the rain tapered off by 9:00 a.m. When the Dirt Wurx crew removed the plastic tarps and unveiled the track, the racing surface was perfect, save for a wet spot or two that was easily fixed. But you already know that, right? Here’s all the stuff that you couldn’t see on the television broadcast. Enjoy!
Preparations for Los Angeles Supercross started to take place days before Saturday. Each section of the track is perfectly manicured by the Dirt Wurx crew, and the end result looks like something straight out of a video game.
Thursday served as media day for the third round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, but as you can see, the track was still way under construction.
Southern California was pounded with rain all Friday night and leading into Saturday morning. The Dirt Wurx crew was way ahead of the game, and they had the track completed and covered before the rain even hit. Even though there was lots of water in between lanes, the track was completely dry when the tarp was removed.
Because of the rain, the whole track walk and practice schedule was pushed back a few hours. Here, the riders meeting was held at its normal time, but not in its normal location.
Heading into the third round, there was a two way tie in the Supercross class between Ryan Villopoto and Ryan Dungey, and both riders ran the red backgrounds.
Since the 2012 season has started, Ryan Dungey has been checking off the lists of "firsts" for KTM. In Anaheim, he took his Red Bull KTM 450SX-F to the team's first podium in the Supercross class by placing third. In Phoenix, Dungey grabbed the holeshot in the 20-lap main and never looked back as he flew into first place. With that, he tied himself up with Ryan Villopoto, and he showed up to L.A. with some shiny red backgrounds.
Home-made rider support shirts rule! Check out these loyal Trey Canard fans!
Everyone loves Trey...
Unless you've been hiding under a rock all weekend, you know by now that Trey Canard was seriously injured in a crash at the start of the Supercross main. Canard suffered fractures to his T10 and T12 vertebrae and will undergo surgery to stabilize them this Thursday. Thankfully, Trey is suffering no loss of feeling or movement. We will post more updates as they become available.
Angry Bikes? Check your cell phone app store for the cool new game, which is associated with the Supercross.com Honda team.
Supercross.com Honda team co-owner Jeremy McGrath remains as popular as ever with fans, and his autograph line at Los Angeles rivalled those of the top current racers. MC is always a pleasure to catch up with, and you can find our conversation in this week's Pit Pass video, which drops on Thursday.
Andrew Short's Supercross.com Honda is a full-factory machine that the team leases from the factory. Short says that although he only spent one brief season away, that this year's bike is leaps and bounds better than the factory Honda he last raced in 2010.
Short complained that the FMF Megabomb header pipe was burning through his Fly Racing pants, so Lil' D had this custom carbon fiber heat shield made for the number 29 bike.
Another look at Short's race bike. Beautiful…
Fox and Shift Racing always have the coolest butt patches for their riders. This was Josh Hansen's this weekend at the Los Angeles SX.
Malcolm McCassy shows off the special Los Angeles SX T-shirt that Young and Reckless made for team rider Jake Weimer.
Back view of Weimer's Dodger-esque Y&R tee.
Here's a close look at Chad Reed's quiver of new Fox Racing V4 helmets. The new lid appears to be of the highest quality of construction. We can't wait to get our hands on one.
Reed's Fox Racing Instinct boots are custom made to match his Shift Racing gear. To the best of our knowledge, black/white, white/black, and white/red versions will be available in the Instinct's first production run.
A notoriously heavy sweater, Chad Reed requires special prep on his Fox Racing goggles.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Tyla Rattray had control of the Western Regional Supercross Lites points lead coming in to Los Angeles, but after finishing fourth behind winner Eli Tomac, Dean Wilson and MX2 GP contender Zach Osborne in the main, relenquished the red plate to Tomac.
Last week, we showed you a photo of Ryan Villopoto's new Alpinestars Bionic Neck Brace. Here's a better look at the brace, which features a different shape and full cabron fiber construction.
Gavin Faith was recruited by the Geico Honda team to fill in for the injured Wil Hahn for the next few rounds of Western Regional Supercross Lites. Faith earned a ticket to the main event in the LCQ, in what was his first-ever American Supercross. After crashing in the first turn with Cole Seely, Faith finished 18th in the main.
Gnarliest bench racing story we heard this weekend? Honda's Racing Director Gary Martini suffered a broken femur in December while mountain biking in the Altadena foothills. Instead of using his cell phone to call for help, or enlisting the aid of other cyclists, Martini managed to pedal—one legged—several miles back to his truck with his broken leg dangling behind him. After loading his bicycle into his truck, he crawled to the cab, dragged himself in, and drove himself to the hospital. Tough guy, right?
Like many teams, Muscle Milk Honda uses the Moto Tassinari Air4orce instake on its race bikes. Trey Canard is said to prefer the longer of the interchangeable inner tubes, as it provides more aggressive low-end power.
The Hammerhead brake pedal on Davi Millsaps' JGR Yamaha features a custom design that pretects the master cylinder from damage, should the tip of the pedal be jammed upwards in a crash. On a sidenote, Millsaps' footpegs are the scariest we've seen yet!
First seen as a KTM accessory, this rubber-mounted handlebar clamp helps take the sting out of impacts on the JGR Yamahas.
Aftermarket hydraulic clutches are all the rage in 2012. Star/Valli/Rockstar/Yamaha's Austin Stroupe runs a Magura system on his Yamaha YZ450F.
The Magura hydraulic slave unit attaches to the standard clutch actuation arm.
Davi Millsaps' JGR Yamaha is outfitted with a hydraulic clutch system manufactuered by SDi. When we asked why James Stewart's bike didn't have the same set-up, Stewart's mechanic Patrick Barker told us that Stewart barely uses his clutch out on the track, and has no need for a fade-free hydraulic system.
Here's a look at the rest of the SDi hydraulic clutch. We asked SDi's Dan Workey when the system would be available for sale, and he reported that he hopes to have systems for Yamaha, Kawasaki and Honda bikes available by March.
In addition to the foam pieces in between the skid plate and frame, seveal teams glued foam to their radiator guard louvers to keep mud from sticking. This is James Stewart's JGR Yamaha. The black foam underneath the fender and on the skidplate is produced by N-Style, and comes with an adhesive backing.
Check out these full-coverage carbon fiber fork guard that were mounted on Brett Metcalfe's Yoshimura Suzuki to protect the expensive works Showa components from mud and rock damage. The team will also use them at the Unadilla MX National, where rocks are a major factor.
The Yoshimura Suzuki team built a bike up for Ricky Carmichael to ride at the Fox Racing Instinct boot and V4 helmet press launch at Zaca Station MX in Central California, this Tuesday, Plenty of fans got excited over the idea that RC might compete at Los Angeles, but alas, the bike was simply for display at Dodger Stadium.
Pulp MX's Steve Matthes was seen touring his brother Jason around in the Los Angeles pits. Jason was blown away by not only the fans that bombard Matthes during the Pit Party, but by the high level of respect his brother now commands in the paddock...
After the first practice, track officials had to put a pole up to keep riders from cutting across the track off an inside hip jump leading to the finish.
We mentioned earlier that Trey Canard and Ryan Morais were involved in a huge crash during the first lap of the 450 main event. Ryan's wife Hannah has been keeping everyone updated on Twitter, and her latest update said, "Ryan just got his mouth wired shut temporarily. Permanent should go in Monday if everything is healing right. His C1, C2, C6-7, and T1 are fractured, but the neurosurgeon said that the cord is fine and should heal in six weeks with a c-collar on. He has broken ribs and small punctured lung." Get well soon Mo!
Red Bull KTM's Ken Roczen made it out to LA to watch the race and cheer on his teammates, and as you can see, his cast is now off of his wrist. He said that it's feeling fine now, and he can move it around with no problems.
Frenchman Marvin Musquin always has fans supporting him in America. "ALLEZ (Go) MARV #38,"
Martin Davalos knows how to Dougie...
Reason number #54 why Kevin Windham is a badass.
Adam Cianciarulo has upped his #pickupkit game!
The "Monster Mutt" dog was walking around to help promote next weekend's Feld Motorsports Monster Truck jam.
Feld is also getting a head start on promoting the Monster Energy Cup. Last year's winner Ryan Villopoto banked off of the race by winning all three motos and earning a million dollars. Will anyone be able to do it again? We'll see come October 20th, 2012. For more info, go to www.MonsterEnergyCup.com
Freegun Underwear is a great alternative for riding than those worn out boxers you've been wearing. Keep things in place, and check out Freegun-Underwear.com
"You don't have to go fast to hall-ass."
After having a successful amateur career, Austin Politelli has made the jump into the pro ranks. He plans on racing the East Coast Lites series, but said that he's still trying to get things worked out. Whatever the case may be, the 2012 SX2 King of Dortmund winner is looking forward to 2012.
More "Hall-Ass" girls
Pirelli Tires once again set up shop inside the JGR compound in Los Angeles to make sure that Davi Millsaps and James Stewart have the right tire setup for the changing track conditions.
Gratuitous Monster girls photo...
AP Designs typically paints all of the Monster athlete helmets, but before the riders can wear their slick custom painted lid in a race, sticker placement is crucial for sponsors. Right before practice, Monster Energy Kawasaki's Jake Weimer had to get his helmet stickered up.
Gratuitous Falken Tire girls...
We're only four short weeks away from the start of the East Coast Lites series in Dalls, Texas, and Star/Valli/Rockstar/Yamaha's Kyle Peters is ready to be back behind the gate. He will also be teamed up with Kyle Cunningham in the East Coast.
Gratuitous Rockstar girls photo...
The Dunlop Tire guys are hard at work from seven in the morning, all the way till the Supercross Lites main event. So, how fast can you change a tire? We talked with one of the guys over at Dunlop, and he said that his record is a little over a minute.
Early Saturday morning, a lot of the race machines didn't have any mud preparations done to them. The reason, mechanics weren't sure what the track was going to look like once the tarp was removed. Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda's Eric Gass didn't want to take any chances on Travis Baker's bike, and he had some foam ready, just in case.
Keeping the motocross athletes fed isn't an easy task, but everyone on the team helps out to make sure no one is left hungry. Some of the teams grill up and cook a wide variety of food, and others will order a long list of food. Geico Honda kept the crew fueled with Subway Sandwiches.
BTOsports.com's Andy Dalton had a full production crew filming him early Saturday morning for an MMI Top Tech video.
Check out the iPad clapperboard being used!
The opening ceremonies at the Monster Energy AMA Supercross races are filled with lasers, fireworks, and giant flames!
It was a rough night for Muscle Milk Honda's Justin Brayton. After finishing outside of the top nine in his heat race, he was forced into the LCQ. Things were off to a good start as he led the first couple of laps, but a crash in the whoops sent him off of his bike. By the time he got back going, it was too late for JB10, and he wasn't able to qualify for the main event.
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda's Cole Seely won his first Supercross Lites race last year inside the Dodger's Stadium, but things didn't go so well for him this year in LA. It appeared that he was off to a good start when he was one of the frontrunners going into the first turn, but he was pushed out wide and off the track. The end result had him lying on top of his bike, and his pipe burning his backside.
Red Bull KTM's Marvin Musquin was off to a good start in his main event, but a crash on lap 13 caused him to leave LA with a DNF. Musquin initially thought that he broke some rips and his sternum, but after some x-rays, he found out that he is all good to go.
Martin Davalos had been having a rough couple of rounds, but he was able to turn it around in LA with a heat race win, and a holeshot.
Zach Osborne's finishes have been steadily improving in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross West Coast Lites series, and Saturday night he fought his way up to third place inside the Dodger's Stadium. Unfortunately, Osborne's last Supercross race in the US is in Oakland, and he'll be returning overseas to finish up his last year racing the Grand Prix.
Eli Tomac's mechanic Brian Kranz was presented with the MMI Top Tech Award at the end of the Supercross Lites race. The Motorcycle Mechanics Institute has helped these technicians get some recognition for their hard work with these awards, and they announced earlier this season that they are back on board as the official technical institute for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series.
Eli Tomac has consistently proved that he has been the fastest rider out on the track, but starts have kept him from running up front. ET was able to get things off to a good start in Los Angeles, and he took home his first win of the season. Futhermore, he is now the points leader in the West Coast series.
As soon as the 450 main was underway, Trey Canard and Ryan Morais were involved in a horrific accident, and the race was immediately red flagged.
After the restart, Supercross.com Honda's Andrew Short was ejected off his bike right going down the start straight, but he remounted and finished the race in 14th.
The crowd erupted when Ryan Villopoto was seen pushing his bike off of a tuff block only a few turns into the first lap of the 20-lap main.
After finishing his heat race with a fourth place finish, Dodge/Hart and Huntington/Sycuan Indian Casino/Kawasaki's Ivan Tedesco was off to a good start when he was within the top three heading into the first turn, but shortly after he was seen walking off the track holding his hand.
Every weekend Dunlop displays what tire was used for the previous weekend's race. Most of the time a lot of the riders use a special prototype tire, but as you can see, both Dean Wilson and Tyla Rattray were using the off the shelf MX71F fronts.
It was a great night for TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Racing's Chad Reed when he worked his way up to the front of the pack in the 20-lap main, and he never looked back. On the podium, Reed said that he had been having a lot of issues with the front end washing out on him, so he went back to the front tire that he was running last year, and it worked out.
James Stewart made his way onto the podium for the first time this season, but he wasn't too happy while he was up there. While running in second in the main, he crashed while navigating through a rhythm section, and lost a position to Ryan Dungey.
John Kuzo of 100% gave us a glimpse of the newest goggle to enter the already competitive market. Though we only placed the frame to our bare face, we can say that they will be dialed when they hit the market next month.
The initial fear of rain threw the plans of many in to disarray, as this altered schedule shows.
The fear of rain brought out many tricks and parts that rarely see the light of day. These Acerbis pivot guards were installed on the Hart and Huntington bikes.
Tim Ferry as become a mentor to Trey Canard, and while he does not attend each round, it's nice to see the retired racer around the paddock.
Scott Motorsports John Knowles stayed busy throughout the day, prepping goggles for both dry and wet conditions.
Mechanics go to great lengths to prevent the build up of mud in ever crack of a race bike, as the foam placement on Jason Thomas' bike shows.
In just a few short years, the development of holeshot devices have come far from the "secret ring" Yamaha placed around their forks, as this dual setting shows.
Not only do you have the chance to see the latest in Alpinestars technology in the pits, but you have the chance to win new gear as well. Just come up with a creative boot graphic and the winning designer will receive a free pair of boots, complete with their custom color scheme.
Malcolm MaCassy is one of the busy dudes in the pits. Not only is he the racer support manager for the Young and Reckless clothing line, but also the man behind Ethika, the underwear on many of the sports top racers.
The unusual amount of down time allowed racers to hover between race teams to chat with friends, something that is unable to happen on typical race days.
As a sponsor to Jeff Ward Racing, the guys at Scion of Escondido have had the chance to display their cars at both SoCal Supercross rounds. While the sponsor may not be the most relatable to someone on the opposite side of the country, the dealership's involvement in the sport does not go unnoticed.
Troy Lee Honda's Christian Craig showed up still groggy from surgery on Saturday morning to spectate. "I only have these two fingers, but that's all I need!," claimed CC.
Unlike the full carbon wrap that adorned Metcalfe's Suzuki, Ryan Morais' fork legs have just enough protection for the transponder.
At first it seemed that Dean Wilson's Specialized bike color combo of black and green was sheer coincidence, but after a second look it was revealed to be a special Ricky Carmichael edition bike.
The morning's cool temperatures made it difficult place decals on the bikes, which had many breaking out the portable torches.
Is she actually Dj-ing? We don't know. Do we care if she isn't? Not at all.
In full baseball spirit, the folks at Bel Ray hired a plane to circle the parking lot for the duration of the day.
Though he has been heckled each week by the boo birds in the stands, James Stewart's autograph line is easily the longest in the pits.
Brett Metcalfe has been visibly frustrated each week, as the Aussie's results have not meet the preseason expectations. After a fifth place finish in LA, Metty hopes to carry the momentum in to Oakland.
After spending the winter in Europe as he contested for the German SX title, former Factory Yamaha rider Matt Georke was on the line at the third round.
Both Nick Wey and Josh Grant were delegated to the 450 "B" practice session after failing to qualify for last week's main event in Phoenix. Both finished at the top of the board in the less hectic timed session.
While at the Corona Sports Group party, we filmed an interview with Kevin Windham that will be posted later in the week. Windham was lighthearted and sincere as he shared his plan for the future in the eight minute clip.
The LAPD motorcycle unit was part of the night's opening ceremonies.
We'd like to think that fear of rain kept many from coming out, but the expanses left by the open seats made for unique photos.
MX legend Bob Hannah was on hand to show support for close friend Eddie Cole's newest company, Matrix Concepts, and mentioned how deep rooted Supercross racing is in LA due to the first ever SX race being held at the nearby LA Coliseum.
Windham's throttle control through the 90 degree turn allowed him to snake past many riders on the inside line.
While K-Dub took the low side, Villopoto railed the outside berm each lap.
JWR's Josh Grant had an eventful night. After making the main from his heat, he landed on Ivan Tedesco (who's hand injury was previously shown) and appeared to be injured himself before he hopped back aboard his Kawi and finished the race.
Before his season ending injury, Trey Canard was on a rampage and battled with Ryan Dungey for the duration of his heat race.
The partnership between James Stewart and GoPro have allowed the masses to view the races from the number seven's perspective.
Mike Alessi and the other Motoconcepts riders should debut the new line of JT Gear that is set for the 2013 release within the next few weeks.
In the first Lites heat race of the night, the battle between Max Anstie and Ryan Sipes was nothing less than intense. After numerous bar to bar laps, Sipes took the lead and eventually win while Anstie was parked by Dean Wilson for the second spot.
To congratulate Red Bull KTM for their monumental victory at Phoenix, Feld presented the team with this framed collage.
Though the racing surface had remained dry, the spaces between each lane were swampy and treacherous.
The amount of jeers thrown Stewart's way is perplexing. Once the darling to every fan, the crowd's reception has been vicious each time his name has been called. The tactless act has no place in the sport.
See you next weekend in Oakland!