Monday Kickstart – Oakland SX 2012

We are four races into the 2012 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series and a clear frontrunner has yet to be revealed. With the exception of Trey Canard, who is back on the mend, each of the hype-mongers featured at the Anaheim I press conference now have wins. Ryan Villopoto easily won A1, Ryan Dungey made history giving KTM their first 450 Supercross win at Phoenix, Chad Reed put on a clinic in Los Angeles, and this weekend James Stewart emerged from the shadows with an exceptional ride in Oakland. Heading into Anaheim II, Reed and Dungey now share the points leading (both will run red plates at Angel Stadium), and Villopoto is just two points behind.
Even better, the racing itself has been exciting, and Oakland served up a big helping of bar-to-bar action. With exceptional weather, a track with continued line changes, and 46,000 fans packed into Stadium, the stage was set for a fantastic night of racing.

According to Feld Motorsports, 46,017 walked through the gates of Stadium on Saturday night to witness the best go at it.

Dirt Wurx definitely showed off its expertise in track building this weekend. What looked like a dusty, dry surface during the day, actually secured plenty of moisture underneath as well as set itself up to absorb the moisture that would inevitably invade the stadium when the sun set. Even in the sunlight, ruts developed and the riders noted that although it seemed hard-packed, it was actually quite soft. In short, the tire guys at Dunlop and Pirelli had their work cut out for them all day.

Josh Hansen is carrying the torch for the Dodge/Hart and Huntington team, as 50 percent of the H&H squad is on the disabled list. Ivan Tedesco is out with a broken finger, and Josh Hill with lower leg break. But team owner Carey Hart has to be pleased with Lil Hanny's performance; Hansen has three 10th-place finishes and a seventh.

A stoic James Stewart walked the track Saturday morning looking focused and poised. With very un-Bubba performances the first three races, Stewart had to feel a sense of urgency coming into Oakland. And although great starts still eluded the star, Stewart kept mid-race mistakes to a minimum and secured his first win of the season.

J Star KTM's Malcolm Stewart was on hand to support his big brother in Oakland. We don't know about you, but we are pretty excited to see Mookie line up at the first East Coast Lites round at Dallas. He is looking really comfortable on the orange bike, and having JS7 as a riding buddy can't hurt.

Jake Weimer is loving his Young & Reckless beanies these days. The Idaho native logged eighth in the main event in Oakland, and now sits fifth in points behind the four race winners of 2012.

Falken tire chicks promoting quality rubber.

Marvin Musquin is finding his rhythm. If he gets a good start, he will be tough to beat. Movin' Marv sliced and diced through the pack in the main event to secure another podium. He sits fourth in points, and he would be even higher in the standing had he not suffered a rough Los Angeles race.

Ryan Marmont of the J-Star JDR KTM team shows off one of the upcoming colorways to be offered on the Bell Moto-9.

100% is creeping into view as of late. Justin Brayton is the new goggle brand's poster boy, but a handful of racers are also looking through their lens.

Insert caption here.

The UFC is promoting their brand in the pits at some Supercross races as of late with a display trailer featuring championship belts, promo wear, and other fight-oriented history.

Outside of the booth, meatheads had the opportunity to show off their brawn in front of onlookers and future ex-girlfriends with a punching bag that measured power...

Jason Anderson rode so well at Oakland; unfortunately it did not yield the results he deserved. After finding himself in the LCQ, Anderson dominated, then crashed, then still won. He then showed up to the main, picked off riders, fought his way up to second, only to get parked by Musquin, then fall yet again in the same place he did in the LCQ. If he can get a good start and keep it on two wheels, there is a podium in his near future.

Cole Seely is starting to experience some fandemonium. He now has three career wins to his name, including Anaheim I this season. He took a heat race win in Stadium, but a crash on the second lap in the main, forced him to battle with Dean Wilson (who also crashed) as they made their way through the pack.Marvin Musquin and Zach Osborne battled for quite some time in the Lites main event. The Alpinestars and UFO gear had us double-taking and wondering if we'd somehow traveled to a parallel Euro SX universe.

We wonder if she DJs weddings and Bar Mitzvahs as well.

GoPro headquarters makes its home in Northern California so it was no surprise that GoPro-backed Troy Lee racers Cole Seely and Travis Baker had custom-painted GoPro lids with camera mounts integrated into the paint scheme.

Another look at the GoPro helmets.

Easy, trigger.

Someone give Zach Osborne a ride in the States. He is absolutely killing it while on hiatus from the FIM MX2 World Championship. He has two back-to-pack podium finishes, and has finished inside the top ten at every round thus far.

Kevin Windham is quietly sitting in sixth place overall after four rounds. He's finished inside the top ten each week, and considering he is no youngster these days, we continue to be impressed by his performances. K-Dub is boss of all bosses.

The GoPro Bomb Squad descended (literally) into Stadium as the first heat race of the night lined up. A surprise to everyone in the facility, including many GoPro staffers, the skydivers definitely helped jumpstart the night.

Billy Laninovich scored a heat race holeshot aboard his privateer machine and went on to finish third. It would seem the whip artist still has the speed.

What would that look like?

It was an emotional week for the entire JGR team. They lost beloved mechanic Mark 'Tex' Adams earlier in the week. He was victim to an accident while trying to help a stranded motorist. James Stewart dedicated his win to Mark, so we can imagine his victory was bittersweet. Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Tex.

Get out the orange pump-action, it's time for some Big Buck Hunter.

They lamented that there was no bathroom mirror for a "proper" Instagram photo.

It's always inspiring to to see the support the racers have for one another. It may be every man for himself on the track, but they are a family after the checkers fly.

Nick Wey is the newest recruit for Arnette, who have re-infiltrated moto. The goggles look amazing; we can only wonder how much time this has added to NYK's pre-race pickup kit modeling sessions in front of the mirror.

Ryan Dungey retains the red background as points leader heading into Anaheim II, but he will have to share it with Chad Reed. The two are tied in the points chase after four rounds, and Ryan Villopoto is just two points behind them. It's heating up already.

After his easy win in Oakland, Geico Honda's Eli Tomac has a 15-point lead over Dean Wilson at the halfway point of the West Coast Lites title. Wilson will need a few big mistakes from Eli to make up the gap.

See you next week...