Today at Angel Stadium of Anaheim the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross series kicked off. The pre-season press conference started with Daniel Blair taking over hosting duties from Ralph Sheheen, who was noticeably absent. For the first three rounds NBC Sports is bringing in their top-rated play by play announcer Leigh Diffey, who does both Formula One and IndyCar. One can only assume NBC doesn’t think Ralph is fulfilling his duties to their satisfaction. Ralph will return at round 4 in Glendale, but one has to wonder if his time calling Supercross is coming to an end. Daniel was a little nervous but his hosting skills at the press conference were otherwise perfect. It would make sense to move him into Ralphs position as he is proficient at both play by play and as an analyst.
(new voice of Monster Energy Supercross? I think so!)
After the hosting bombshell dropped we got to the regular festivities. Usually the riders give bland answers literally eating up time without actually giving you any real information. Fortunately this is starting to change, Ken Roczen went into depth explaining his EBV virus that he was suffering from last year. Chad Reed was brought to tears as he announced his motorcycle racing career was coming to an end in 2020. Pl. Adam proved he is nothing short of a wizard at spinning answers and coming off without adding to the controversy (approximately 1:12 into the press conference).
(Adam Cianciarulo and Ken Roczen)
Then the riders took to the track while media watched every line and analyzed body language or any other clues that might tell us what will happen on race day. While they didn’t have transponders I was noticeably impressed by Ken Roczen with his speed and precision. On the other hand Zach Osborne who is suffering from an illness looked out of sorts and skipped the second session. All the usual suspects looked fast with the exception of Osborne. With this many riders showing similar speed, mistakes and good starts will determine the winner. Eli Tomac was out of rhythm and looked frustrated in between lightning fast sections. This is not out of the ordinary for Tomac as he has shown a knack for looking bewildering then like a rider who cannot be beat. I stopped by the Kawasaki truck after the session and they seemed concerned as they downloaded information from his motorcycle. The Kawasaki truck seemed much more high tension than the happy go lucky MCR team. Their team was loose and in good spirits as they are clearly looking forward to raceday.
(things at the Kawasaki truck felt tense)
The season is officially upon us and all the speculation ends as we get actual results. These athletes are some of the most talented and conditioned in all of sports and I am like a kid waiting for Christmas. I doubt I will sleep much tonight as I anticipate what might happen tomorrow, I LOVE THIS SPORT!!!!
(Malcom looked good!!)
(Webb looked bad until the very end of the second session, nothin new)
(Like fine wine Friese just gets better with age)
(Fast Freddy Noren looked surprisingly comfortable on the Supercross track)
(always stylish Justin Brayton)
(fantasy players might want to take a good look at Ryan Breece)
(is there concern in the Tomac pits?)
(had to be frustrating for Aaron Plessinger, as he was relegated to B practice)
(so great seeing Dean Wilson on track, he dislocated his hip at MEC)
(Justin Bogle joined Plessinger in the B practice)