After five rounds of Monster Energy Supercross the cream is definitely rising to the top. It’s hard to remember back to the first round, when many were questioning if Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen had lost their place as contenders. Both riders struggled with bike setup and looked out of sorts, but here we are at round five and between them they have won all four races since being questioned.
(Roczen and Tomac are giving us the battle we thought we would have been seeing the last 4 years)
Defending champion Cooper Webb had to be feeling the pressure as these two were starting to creep away from the pack. Before Oakland Webb was in as close to a must win as a rider could be after only four rounds, while he didn’t win, he did enough to stay in the fight. Don’t mistake the performance by Webb though, he needs to win and soon if he wants to stay in this. If he can’t start finishing in front of Roczen, Tomac and Jason Anderson it could be too little too late. You only have to look at Tomac’s last three years, it’s not easy to make up points late in the season. Webb has himself in a situation where one bad night could take him out of contention.
(Webb is still alive in the championship, but better get a win soon)
In Oakland Tomac responded perfectly to Roczen’s dominant win the week prior, he did exactly what he needed to do, on the other hand Roczen left doubt. Last season the EBV virus was activated in his system and he suffered late in races. Before the season opener at Anaheim he told us he had the virus under control, which meant it would lie dormant in his system like most people. The virus might be dormant but he and his riding partner Adam Cianciarulo have both faded at the end of races, is it their training program? Maybe they aren’t pushing each other enough during practice sessions? I am not saying this is the problem, but it’s something to watch moving forward.
At this point in the season championship talk is only aimed at Tomac, Roczen and Webb, but with a win or two in the coming rounds Anderson, Cianciarulo and Barcia would become part of the conversation. After San Diego 35% of the season will be completed and while Ricky Carmichael says the season starts at Daytona, I say it starts as the series goes East. Eight of the last ten champions have held the point lead as the series moves across the country.
(Adam Cianciaurlo is showing speed, but looking like a rookie late in races)
While this weekend’s race pays the same points as all the other rounds, be aware of the rider leading the series as the racing concludes. That rider has an 80% chance of ending the series as the champion.