Industry Questions in Supercross

1. With injuries really setting in late in the season, who is taking advantage and opening the most eyes?

Jason Thomas: Injuries have always been a part of this sport and that isn’t going to change. Rough beginnings to a season can be turned around as the field thins out … I know this from experience. Lately, I have been watching Chris Blose improving his results and removing the inconsistency he showed early on. Chris has very little support and has literally been racing out of a rental car so it’s cool to see things go his way. It’s crazy that a guy that talented can barely squeak by in the sport. No one ever said it would be easy I suppose.

David Pingree: Injuries down the stretch are common in supercross racing, unfortunately. It always seems like the consistent riders who typically finish just out of the limelight end up gaining the most ground when riders start dropping out. Broc Tickle has taken advantage of this in the past as has Nick Wey and this year guys like Chris Blose and Nick Schmidt are posting solid finishes. Sometimes the confidence that comes with finishing inside the top ten is all it takes to help bump these guys to the next level. The 250 class is the title that nobody wants to win. AC looked to have things handled only to pull out with injury. Now Davalos, who was finally putting things together, may be out with an injury of his own. This leaves Jusin Bogle holding the baton. Will he toss it or win GEICO another championship? I’m not guessing on this one.

Steve Matthes: Injuries are going to happen and they’ve definitely struck the series this year. The real benefactors are the privateers. Guys like Ronnie Stewart, Cody Gilmore and more are putting it into the main event every weekend and riding well. Next year they can potentially get better sponsors and be more excited to follow the series because for some strange reason no one remembers what happened in any particular year, but looking at the results on the paper (or computer screen) is what matters. So in a way the injuries help the sport in terms of helping out privateers. Weird, right?


2. Is having a race in the NYC area going to be a big deal for the sport?

Thomas: I don’t think that it being in NYC (yes, I know it’s in Jersey, don’t freak out) is necessarily a big deal for the sport. I think it’s cool that it will be so close to the Big Apple and any exposure is obviously a plus. When it really comes down to it, though, this sport is an enthusiast driven sport and I don’t see that changing.

Ping: I think so. There is a huge fan base in the Northeast and they have waited patiently [kind of] for supercross to come back there. The City will be a draw for guys like myself who want to see the sights, eat a slice of NY-style pizza and hit a diner to try the world’s best cup of coffee. It’s always fun for the riders and teams to go to a new venue, also. By this point in the season they are going through the motions like zombies after crisscrossing the country all winter. With RV looking to wrap up the title and Stewart wanting to go out with a win, this round should be fun for everyone.

Matthes: Nah. I know this isn’t a popular opinion and not one that people want to hear but it’s just another race in a big stadium in America. I think the crowd will be solid—the Northeast hasn’t had a supercross for a long time—but as far as being in this huge media market and the sport getting all this exposure, call me skeptical. We are what we are, a small niche sport that will only ever be so big because of the fact that it’s motorcycle racing and not that many people ride motorcycles. Everyone drives a car and can relate somewhat to NASCAR but supercross, we are what we are. And I love it. There is nothing wrong with that in my eyes.


3. That said, name some cool things you’re going to do while you’re there—you know you’re doing something besides ordering room service at the hotel.

Thomas: I am flying in on Thursday afternoon and heading into the city to take in the sights and enjoy the New York springtime weather. Friday I will take care of some daily work responsibilities and then a big group of us are heading over to Yankee Stadium to watch them play the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I am sure we will check out the Manhattan nightlife at some point over the weekend as well but generally I plan on being right in the hustle and bustle of NYC as much as possible.

Ping: I’m spending all day Sunday and Monday checking things out. I want to see the memorial at the World Trade Center, visit a fire station in the city and maybe head over to Harlem and check that out. You know, just for fun. I’ve got a friend playing tour guide so I’m sure it will be amazing. I’m really looking forward to it.

Matthes: I was hoping to go to a New York Yankees game on Friday with my best friend Jason Thomas but he informed me that a couple of his friends that are richer than me and more famous than me have bought him a ticket and he’s going with them. He said I can still go and buy a single ticket but then I would be sitting by myself. So with these plans dashed, I’ll probably sit in my hotel room in Newark and cry.


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