The Phoenix round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series went a long ways towards separating the legit contenders from the wannabes in this year’s title chase. For sure, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto and San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart have established themselves as the ones to beat and all other challengers must set their sights on these two riders, assuming no one suffers an injury. Team Honda’s Trey Canard has also shown that he’s a solid challenger in the championship, while defending champ Ryan Dungey will need to pick up the pace on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki after a disastrous round in Arizona. Chad Reed has an outside shot, as well, on his TwoTwo Motorsports Honda, although, he is starting the year in the hole.As always, there was more to this race than what you saw on television, so here are a few behind-the-scenes photos to get you up to speed.
Aldon Baker (Back to camera) switched from being James Stewart’s trainer to helping Ryan Villopoto in 2011. Villopoto came into the Anaheim 1 open an amazing 25 lbs. lighter than the weight he rode at last year. The move seems to be a good one, at least for RV2.
How cool would it be to have John Tomac as your dad?
Carey Hart in the house. Carey will be at a lot of races this year, hyping his team, Hart & Huntington Motorsports, and his big new sponsor, Dodge.
Ever wonder how they get all that smoke to go up during the opening ceremonies? It’s the Smoke-Up-The-Room 2000.
Immediately after the race (after the podium, but before the print and web media could get to him), Big James took Bubba off to the side and “debriefed” him on the race. The two appeared to talk about every obstacle on the track, and what James could do to improve.
It’s all ball bearings these days… A Honda tech changes the mapping on Josh Grant’s bike after practice. There was a lot of “mapping” goin’ on in Phoenix; the Chase Field track was a very difficult one for the teams to figure out.
Data Acquisition? The guy on the left is from the Italian firm, GET Data. The San Manuel Yamahas were running a new device that acquires data from sensors on the engine, exhaust and rear wheel, and combines it with data transmitted from an on-bike GPS device, all for use to determine the bike’s performance on different parts of the track. San Manuel restricted photographers from shooting photos inside it’s roped off area. There has been a lot of speculation about this system – stay tuned.
In contrast, the Team Steen bikes use no data acquisition what so ever.