By Travis Delnicki
It is hard to fathom what is going on in the world. As more and more business’ shut down, there becomes less and less to do. Slowly but surely, I am starting to lose my sanity. I have beenwatching old Supercross races to push back the break down, but it is here. Just over a month ofno racing and no end in sight, it is sickening that we have been denied the chance to witness oneof the most anticipated endings to a supercross season in recent history. We have waited far too long to see Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac go mono-a-mono for a 450 SX title for it to be ripped from us like this. This is a list, in no order, of the things I miss most about the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross Championship.
1. Ralph Sheheen- What better place to start than the voice of Supercross himself. Never have I wanted to hear about the points as they run before the first lap is over so badly. Please, Ralph, tell me about the green Kawasaki or red Honda. Tell me about how Mosiman plays chess and posts fun facts on his social media. What I would give right now to hear, “The revs are up, and the gate is down!”.
2. When will the fans stop booing Ferrandis? - I would be lying if I said I didn’t get a kick out of the fans booing Dylan Ferrandis. Does he deserve the boos? No, in my opinion, the fans are being a little ridiculous. I don’t want to go down the road of debating that whole incident again. I just want to know when our stubborn ass American fans will forgive poor Dylan.
3. What’s going to happen to Christian Craig next? - I am guilty of being a Christian Craig skeptic. 2016 was a great resurgence for the “out of retirement” Geico Honda rider, but we have not seen much since. We have seen some impressive rides as a fill-in on the HRC Honda 450 but, let’s not forget, he is contracted to perform in the 250 class. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and say he has fell victim to some incredibly bad luck over the past few seasons. After being set free by the FIM from an extremely odd and delayed suspension due to a failed drug test in 2018, then being gifted a podium at A1 thanks to Forkner cutting the track, you may have believed Christian’s luck was finally changing. Unfortunately, you would have been wrong. He crashed out of a sure podium at St. Louis, #FerrandisGate at A2, and ultimately breaking his hand in a crash at Glendale. Christian was riding great this year but cannot catch a break. At least it makes for a more dramatic vlog.
4. Forkner’s Next Meltdown- I almost did not write about this, but it seems too inevitable. Austin Forkner would have had another meltdown this season, right? We saw it happen at both Anaheim’s this year. To his credit, he has shown new maturity since A2, but with the points gap small enough for there to be a hope, yet large enough to cause a bit of desperation, surely Austin would have wanted to take one last shot at Ferrandis.
5. AC is the FMOP(Fastest Man on the Planet)- On paper, Adam Cianciarulo’s fast qualifier streak ended at Dallas when his toes touched the back of his head on the face of a triple. Technically, he is still undefeated. The only other man to land the pole in seven straight races is James Stewart. AC was set to return in Seattle had we remained on schedule, and I wanted to see if he could keep the streak going. And see if he could ever translate that into a win, of course.
6. Who JGR’s next fill-in rider will be- Maybe it’s time for Coy Gibbs and J-bone to have an exorcism? To say JGR has had a terrible string of luck is putting it lightly. Broc Tickle was an amazing pick up for them, and it was heartbreaking to see him go down with a broken hand in his second race back. Charles Lafrancois got the call to fill in for the fill in’s fill in and failed to make the main in Daytona. This pandemic must be a blessing in disguise for JGR, and here’s to Joey Savatgy putting in some good rides when we get back racing.
7. Barcia Vs. Tomac- This had the potential to get very interesting. This rivalry goes back to the 250 days when both guys rode for Geico Honda, but it resurfaced in a big way in 2020. After a lot of bumping and bashing in San Diego, things reached a new level in Atlanta. Some R-rated words were exchanged after the main and word was Barcia told the Kawi guys he is going to “make sure Eli does not win this title.”
8. Fantasy Supercross- Call me crazy, but I miss playing Fantasy. It is like having two race days in one. There is nothing more stressful than your sanity being dependent on Marty Davalos was keeping it on two wheels, but my God, I would put him on my team every week if that’s what it took to get back to racing.
9. Justin Hill and Aaron Plessinger gaining momentum- Quietly, both guys were picking up momentum at a great time. Jr. has been on fire lately and has been close to the podium a couple times. He has six top-ten finishes in a row, with a season-best of fifth. AP has had a bit slower, but almost equal progression. He had 8-7-6 finishes in his last three races and was finally getting back to where he was before his heel injury prior year. There was a lot of negative talk towards both guys in the pre-season, and it is awesome to see them putting in results.
10. Did the Star Yamaha make Shane McElrath Better? – If I am Tyler Keefe, the McElrath to Star deal is going to sting for a long time. Say what you want, but the only explanation for this move is Shane left a place he believed he could not win for a place he thought he could win. After Tampa, things were looking bleak for TK, but since then, we have seen a similar trend of results for “Moody.” If this season is over, I have one eye raised in this situation. Shane has done everything he could in 250SX, other than win a title. You make a move like that; you need to back it up.
11. LCQ’s- I am going to lose it if I have to wait until January 2021 to watch a guy like Jason Clermont risk life and limb on his yellow Kawasaki. The LCQ in Supercross is a gift from God. My buddies and I love to watch Alex Ray see God multiple times in a 5- minute span, and it should be a felony to take that from us.
12. Kenny Vs. Eli- Kenny Roczen damn near sacrificed his arm to be in this position. It has taken Eli Tomac three straight years of mental break downs to be in this position. This must be devastating for these guys. There is no real way of telling which direction this title chase will go. Both guys seem to have an even amount of momentum, and neither has shown any signs of “throwing it away.” I will take Eli’s five wins over Ken’s three, but who knows? So many questions, so little answers.
13. “One Last Ride”- Ah, this one stings. It would be a damn shame for a true hero to go out like this. Chad Reed’s retirement tour has been less than stellar, but he had been picking up steam as of late. Chad has said that this whole pandemic thing may get him to race some races in 2021, which I am all for. However, I wanted to see him continue to build, get some solid results, and have a proper send-off. People are so quick to forget that just last year, this man stood on the podium, and there is no reason he could not bewell into the top ten by seasons end.
Okay, back to my hole. Thanks for reading and stay safe!