Seattle - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
I imagine that a mudfest is generally a nightmare scenario for a red plate holder. A "wake up in the middle of the night covered in sweat" type of nightmare. Anything can happen. Anything. So I'm glad I wasn't in Jason Anderson's boots this past Saturday, because it was clearly not easy to ride the track, period, so to add the pressure of the red plate on top of that must have been something else. But, I think he handled it about as well as he could have. Yeah, he may have gone a bit wild at times and scared just about everyone watching, and he did go down a couple of times throughout the night, but at the end of the day he walked away with a second-place finish and he gained a couple of more points on Marvin Musquin. Pretty solid. Oh yeah, only four more rounds and then the #1 plate will likely be his.
The Bad: Chad Reed's Bike
There was some sort of crazy stuff at work in Seattle, because Chad Reed's bike quit on him on the last lap of the Main Event. Heard something similar to that before? Maybe? Yes, the answer is yes, you have. Maybe he's cursed. I dunno, but to see his bike go up in a cloud of smoke right on the face of the finish as he tried to push it up and over was something else. I was almost in disbelief. How could this possible happen to this dude twice?! But, the Moto Gods decided not to completely screw him over as the transponder loop was placed basically right where he was able to push his bike to, so technically he did finish and was awarded seventh place, which is his best finish so far this season. Crazy.
The Ugly: The Mud
Whether you love mud or hate mud, you have to admit that the conditions on Saturday were treacherous. The guys weren't racing each other; they were fighting to survive, to finish. And I understand why some fans like muddy conditions. It's something different, and it really throws all expectations out of the window and can allow for some crazy stuff to happen. Nevertheless, I'd rather see the guys race in dry conditions. I don't like the idea of a red plate holder or title contender losing out on any chance of winning the title because he got messed up on the first lap or got tangled up with someone in the mud. But, we can't control the weather, and sometimes mud is what we get. And all things considered, it was a solid night of mud racing.
The Good: Aaron Plessinger | 1st Place
A mud race? Alright, I'd like to place $5 on Aaron Plessinger, please. Okay, maybe it's a bit too late to make a bet, but that would have been the smart (and rather obvious) bet to make, right? This dude loves muddy conditions. He thrives in the brown nastiness, so unless something out of his control happens he's probably going to win, and he did just that in Seattle. He got the holeshot and gave a thumbs-up (figuratively) to the rest of the field as he entered the first section because he knew exactly what he was about to do to them: He was about to smoke them by 30 seconds and have a blast doing it. He also had an interesting celebration routine at the end, which involved belly flopping into a puddle of muddy water. That just goes to show how excited he was about his win. Anyway, now he has a 17 point lead with two rounds left, and I'm thinking he has got a pretty good chance of turning the #23 into a #1 come Las Vegas. He's the class of the field right now.
The Bad: Shortened Main Event
Would the bikes have survived a 10 minute + 1 Main Event? Hell, I dunno. There probably would have been a couple more DNFs, but I was a little caught off guard when I saw that the Main Event would only be a little bit longer than the heat races. I get it, the conditions were no bueno, but for fans watching and in attendance a Main Event that short was probably a bit of a disappointment after waiting all evening. I'm just torn on it, because it most likely was the right decision...but you know...I wanna see more than 10 minutes of racing.
The Ugly: Joey Savatgy | 12th Place
Blah, I'm calling it, guys. On April 7th, at about 11 PM or so Central Time, Joey Savatgy's Supercross Championship hopes were pronounced dead on the scene. His crash in the Main Event could be chalked up to more chance than anything. Anyone could have gone down at any point, but his title chances were slipping long before Seattle. And I really want to defend Joey; I really do. But it is quickly becoming harder and harder as I look back at the past two years of his career and then this year. Every single series since 2016, he has come in as a championship contender, and he's held the red plate in most of those championships at some point, but he hasn't been able to hold it together for an entire series. Crashes, bad races, mental mistakes, random incidents...it has all combined to keep him from winning his first professional title, which I figured he would have secured by now considering how talented he is. I'm not sure how much longer he plans on racing the 250 class, or if will even be able to, as I believe he is set to point out of the class at the end of the year, but regardless, this year's outdoor season may be one of his last chances to grab a title in the 250 class. I'm pulling for him.
Words by Grant Dawson
Photos by Steve Giberson