The Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, heads down Interstate 5 to Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California for round six of the Western Regional Supercross Lites Championship. Coming with the caravan down to San Diego are three different winners from 2012, but one man stands apart as the clear favorite in the 2012 Lites West Regional Supercross Championship: GEICO Powersports/Honda’s Eli Tomac. Eli spent the first two rounds of the series slicing his way forward from bad starts to finish third and fourth, but since round three at Dodger Stadium, he has put three straight dominating wins up on the score board. Eli’s weapon of choice over the course of his three straight wins has been pure speed, and that speed has been simply untouchable. If you total up his three win margins, his average win has been by over ten seconds, the net result being a comfy twenty-two point lead over his nearest competitor: Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson.
Just two Main Events ago as we headed to the Oakland Supercross, the Scottish born California transplant, Dean Wilson, was a slim one point behind in the Championship, but with Eli going 1-1 and Wilson going 10-4, that hole has grown. Now behind twenty-two points with only four rounds left to run, all Deano can do is win and hope for a mistake or two out of the seventeen. There is only one problem facing Dean in that plan: Eli’s speed. If he is going to give himself a chance at the Championship, he is going to have to figure out how to match Eli’s speed, and so far, only the top Supercross Class riders have been able to do that. Dean has been training and riding with Chad Reed, so he certainly knows what that speed looks like, but knowing what it looks like and matching it are two totally different animals. For the sake of the fans that are growing bored with Eli Tomac’s runaway wins, we hope the #15 can locate the extra speed, harness it and bring it with him to the final four Main Events.
One rider in the series that seems to find more speed every time he lines up on his Red Bull/KTM is the Frenchman Marvin Musquin. 2012 marks this former two-time MX2 World Champion’s first season of Monster Energy Supercross, and if you take away his DNF, he would be comfortably in second within striking distance of the red plate holder. Unfortunately, mulligans are not part of supercross, so as it is, the number thirty-eight is twenty-nine points back in third. Now heading into San Diego, Marvin is riding a two-race podium streak and looks ready to finally take it to the top step of the box. If he can get the start needed, do not be surprised to see him battling with Eli in San Diego.
Riding a renewed burst of confidence after leading the first three laps of last weekend’s Main Event and finishing second is the Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda rider Cole Seely. After winning the opener, the Californian spent the next three weeks trying to salvage points after Main Event mistakes. Cole went 5-16-11 in three straight Main Events, falling quickly from point leader to sixth in the points, but with the exits of Monster Energy/Yamaha’s Zach Osbourne and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray—and a solid second place at Anaheim 2—Cole is now back up to fourth in the points. Cole has thirty-four points to make up in the Championship, and that may be out of reach. But Cole knows he can win, and he will do everything in his power to finish the season off with at least a few of them in this “anything can happen” sport.
With #338 Zach Osbourne heading overseas to prepare for his 2012 mx2 Motocross World Championship campaign, Star/Valli/Yamaha’s Nico Izzi now sits fifth in the points. Last weekend, the former factory rider showed up and reminded everyone why Roger Decoster signed him directly out of the amateurs: his speed. Nico brought his blazing speed with him to Anaheim 2 and surprised everyone when he qualified on top of the board with the fastest lap before the night show. While the #50 may not bring that speed to every event, his speed has never been in question. What many have questioned—due to injuries and rumors about his off-track training regimen—is his heart. Well in 2012, he is beginning to put some of that to rest by progressively improving his results. With a seventh and fifth place finish in the last two Main Events, Nico looks poised to return to a place he has not seen since 2009: the podium.
Behind the top five in the points are a myriad of riders looking to move up, but two of them stand out as definite podium possibilities in the near future: JDR/JStar/KTM’s Matt Moss and Rockstar Energy/Suzuki’s Jason Anderson. Both of these rising stars have shown potential and, at times, have put their machines in the top five. Unfortunately, small mistakes and bad starts have kept them outside of the top five on most nights. Moss may have been disappointed last weekend with a seventh place finish, but after his incredible push from last place up the seventh, it may have been just the confidence boost the Australian needed. With the exits of Osbourne, Rattray and recently injured Star/Valli/Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes, we expect both Jason and Matt to be near the front each and every week now.
Over the first five rounds we watched this series develop from a five man fight to a one man show, and if there is anything that being a fan of this sport has shown us, it is that it can change back just as fast. At the moment Eli is doing everything in his power to turn this into a one man beat down, but there are nineteen other guys that hate being beat down. With a six week break coming up to start the East Lites Series, there are strong rumors that Tomac may be on Trey Canard’s 450 in the east. As the old saying goes; anything can happen.
Lites West Championship Points
1 Eli Tomac Honda CRF250 113 2 Dean Wilson Kawasaki KX250F 91 3 Marvin Musquin KTM 250 SX-F 84 4 Cole Seely Honda CRF250 79 5 Zachary Osborne Yamaha YZ250F 67 6 Nico Izzi Yamaha YZ250F 62 7 Tyla Rattray Kawasaki KX250F 60 8 Jason Anderson Suzuki RM-Z250 54 9 Matt Moss KTM 250 SX-F 53 10 Ryan Sipes Yamaha YZ250F 53