JAN. 30, 2012 - BRENT STALLO

Oakland Headlines

RACE REPORT

Ever wonder what the newspaper headlines would read if motocross were covered on a national scale? How would mainstream media portray Saturday’s events at Oakland? Well, we thought the same thing and decided to come up with our own headlines. See what made our list from Oakland.

Consistency Issues Separate Lites Class

As it sits, Eli Tomac (88) is 15 points ahead of his next closest competitor, Dean Wilson (73). And the next closest in line, Zach Osborne, isn’t even going to finish out the season. A lot of things played into Tomac’s favor in Oakland. 1. He was faster than everyone else. 2. Everyone else, or at least those within striking distance of the championship, crashed out. Dean Wilson looped it out while leading Tomac early in the race, Seely washed out on that very same lap, Rattray hit the deck early and is lucky to be as healthy as he is, and Musquin got a poor start and was forced to work his way through the pack. With Tomac getting all the luck in Oakland, the rest of the field better make up some ground quick, because another round like this could give Tomac the confidence to seal the deal earlier than expected.

Villopoto Surprises in Oakland

Normally when a headline reads that someone “Surprises” it is referring to a positive result. And while Villopoto’s third wasn’t bad, for most it was a surprise. He’s been touted as the new “fastest man on the planet” this season, and he failed to work his way past Reed and Stewart. Not that that’s the easiest feat, but regardless, he was unable to accomplish it. Meanwhile, Dungey got a start more reminiscent to what we’ve seen from RV in previous weeks and, with much the same ease as RV has, he sliced his way through the pack into fourth. Who knows, maybe the field just isn’t strong enough to hold the top four at bay and RV isn’t as daunting as everyone is making him out to be. In this writer’s opinion, it’s going to be a crapshoot every week. We’ve seen four race winners in four weeks, and I’d be surprised if every one of them didn’t see the winners box again this season.

Winning for “Tex”

Fifteen laps into the main event, heart rate anaerobic, nerves pinching every inch of the body as your competition pokes a front wheel in for seemingly the 10th time, that’s when James Stewart looked the strongest in Oakland. And regardless of your beliefs, I have a hunch he had a little help from his friend, Tex.  Mark “Tex” Adams was Stewart’s practice mechanic. He passed away at the early age of 28 last week after being struck by a vehicle while attempting to help another stranded vehicle. (Full PR here). When Stewart crossed the finish line in Oakland after what is already being deemed the best race of the season, he shot a finger to the sky to salute his friend, as if to say, “That one was for you, buddy.”

From LCQ to Top Five, Moss/Sipes Impress

What a difference a couple of weeks make, as Sipes and Moss swapped the minor-battlefields of the LCQ with the big stage of the main event. Instead of trying just to make the top 20, these guys were instead trying to see how far inside the top 5 they could finish. In the end it was Sipes who got the better of things, coming from 10th place after lap one to pass the Australian with three laps remaining and finish fourth. It was Sipes' best finish of the season so far and an indication that he might finally be finding the speed that everyone expected him to show at A1. Moss can also be happy with his efforts as the fifth place position he finished in was his best of his short AMA career.

New Faces on the Gate

Unfortunately injuries and accidents continue to play a part of this 2012 supercross season, and while that is generally bad news for the sport, it does allow other riders a chance to step up and make a name for themselves. No one did this better than Australian Cody Mackie who has been trying to qualify for the first three rounds without success. However at Oakland, he filled in for the injured Josh Grant on the JWR team and not only made his first main, but scored himself a 16th. Other riders who also got into the main for the first time at Oakland include Ben Lamay and Robert Kiniry in the SX class, while Topher Ingalls and Killy Rusk got into the top 20 of the Lites class.

CONTRIBUTORS
Brent Stallo