What Really Happened: End of the 2012 season
Out with 2012 and in with the end of 2012-2013
What Really Happened: Out with 2012 and in with the start of the 2013 season
Typos and photos: Scott Hoffman
OK, last weekend we sweated our asses off and watched the last round of the Lucas Oil MX Championship, the Red Bull Lake Elsinore National. When the silt settled at the end of the day, Katoom’s Ryan Dungey was still the 2012 Champion, he clinched it a few rounds ago, yet he did finish off the 450 season with another convincing win and now has his sights set on the MX of Nations for the great US of A.
The big WHAT IF was in the 250 class. Yea, it could have been a big upset if the series point holder coming in to Elsinore choked, crashed, his bike broke, or a piece of bark got lodged into his chain and locked his rear wheel up. And, or if, Justin “Bam Bam” Barcia punted Blake Baggett off the track and his teammate Eli Tomac did what he had been doing for the last few rounds, haul butt and win both motos. Yet at this point, unless you have been living under a rock, your cable went out and you lost internet connection since last Saturday, we all know the outcome. Baggett rode like a champion and took the overall, yet he did not win both motos and he did go down in the second moto for a brief sweat in addition to his normal sweat while racing.
Considering where the track was a few years ago, the crew did an amazing job to put on a national that is located ostensibly on a lake bottom sans standing water. Yes it was hot and humid, there were a few flies spectating at the event, and you could only watch a section at a time, but overall it was a good, solid event. MX Sports not only runs the series, they were also the promoter of the Elsinore National. For five days the track bled motocross starting with press day on Thursday, pit set up and parking on Friday, the National on Saturday, amateur racing on Sunday, and the Ricky Carmichael Academy on Monday.
Elsinore also marked the last ride on a particular brand for some or their last ride altogether. Longtime pro Jason Thomas retired from his pro career and Elsinore was his last AMA Pro National after decades on the circuit. It was also probably the last race for Davi Millsaps on a JGR Yamaha and Justin Brayton aboard a Factory Honda. Dean Wilson is likely heading over to the Jeff Ward Racing team, Barcia to Factory Honda, Millsaps to Rockstar Suzuki, Broc Tickle to possibly Hart and Huntington, Tyla Rattray likely to Chaparral Honda as Andrew Short’s teammate. In a sense the 2012 season is over and the 2013 season starts after the MX of Nations.
It was also announced over the weekend that Ryan Villopoto would stay on Kawasaki and probably finish out his career on green. There has been talk RV will only race two more years and he was looking for a two-year deal to do just that—and Kawasaki gave it to him. Yet we also heard a rumor that RV’s deal dug into the Kawasaki racing budget and will affect off-road racing support.
We will have to see if all of the new team dynamics will transpire as racers ramp up for the Monster Cup later this year and off-season money races overseas. Hart and Huntington is switching to Suzuki, Jeff Ward Racing is said to be getting more support from Kawasaki, and James Stewart’s official contract with Suzuki will go into effect later this year or January 1, 2013. And we hope next season Villopoto will be healthy, Chad Reed gets back up to speed, Trey Canard can jump back into form, and all of the 450 rookies such as Dean Wilson and Barcia can give the veterans a run for their money. And can privateer Mike Alessi keep himself on the box on a regular basis when the 2013 SX season comes around? Time will tell.
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