Photo by: Octopi Media
“Cooksey’s Hard Truth” presented by Scott Sports is a weekly editorial written by Chris Cooksey. Chris will be diving in and out of controversial subjects and bringing you his hard truth about the racing and the riders from around the world of Supercross and Motocross.
After the 12th round of the Monster Energy Supercross, we are now entering the home stretch. In the 450 class, Jason Anderson sits comfortably atop the standings despite losing 7 points to Marvin Musquin this past weekend. Anderson is experiencing a champion’s season, even when things go wrong he is able to fight back and minimize the damage. Along with Anderson’s determination, his competitors continue to fumble opportunities. During my preseason predictions I did not think he would win a championship because of maturity issues. Anderson is not any more mature and is winning anyway; he rides like a bully who is not afraid run over anyone in his way. He has other riders moving out of his way like Cole Seely (before his horrific injury) and Blake Baggett, who literally pulls over anytime he sees Anderson’s front fender.
Eli Tomac continues with his enigmatic season. He suffered a crash on the harsh Indianapolis track and appeared hurt as he sat on a tuff block. Eli was not in a hurry to re-enter the race which is understandable, but after essentially resting on a tuff block for a couple minutes, he re-entered the race at a good pace. He is out of the championship battle, so I have no idea why he would re-enter the race after going a lap down. What’s strange is Eli’s lack of urgency to get back on the bike after crashes and not just in Indianapolis. This is becoming a pattern. When Eli crashes, he moves at the pace of a hippie on edibles. Anderson on the other hand bounces right up and re-enters the race immediately. Watching Eli re-enter the race is like watching my kids do their chores, slow and frustrating.
Marvin on the other hand is doing exactly what he needs to keep his championship hopes alive. Unfortunately, like his 2017 outdoor season, this is too little too late. Had Marvin not had the tear off malfunction at Daytona, this victory would have put him 27 points behind Anderson instead of 35 points. A race win is worth 26 points and no championship lead under 26 points is comfortable. If the lead was 27 right now, Anderson might feel some pressure but as it sits right now he can easily manage this lead into Vegas. I will remind everyone that this is Supercross and anything can still happen. Last year Supercross champ Ryan Dungey let me know, “THERE WAS NO CROWN!”
As we enter the last 5 rounds of the 2018 Supercross series, I am confident Jason Anderson will close out the series and win his first Championship. I am sure Marvin will keep Anderson honest, but it’s not Marvin’s year. Much like Eli, Marvin came into the season with title aspirations and winning races will not satisfy his expectations. Marvin has done a fine job riding through a shoulder dislocation he suffered at the second race in Houston. As a guy who suffers from shoulder issues, I thought Marvin was out for the year but he has fought through his issues and still has a chance at the 2018 Championship. It’s a slim chance but other than the tear off malfunction Marvin has been making the most of his opportunity even though he will come up short.
For Eli Tomac, 2018 is a year he would probably like to forget. I picture Eli on a therapist’s couch discussing his 2018 Supercross issues. The season he is having will surely leave some emotional baggage. For Eli, anything except the 2018 Championship has to be considered a failure. He won 9 races last year and with one more victory in 2018 [he has 5] he will pass Damon Bradshaw’s record (19) on the all-time win list. That would give Eli the dubious honor of winningest Supercross rider without a premier championship. Winning 20 Supercross races is not an easy feat, but it’s more difficult to win that many without winning a championship.
While looking at the series from a distance, it seems like Eli is destined to win a championship. We thought Damon Bradshaw would dominate in 1993 but some guy named Jeremy McGrath emerged instead. In this sport opportunities need to be seized because the racing landscape changes fast and what seemed a certainty for Bradshaw never materialized. Will 2018 be eerily similar to that of 1992 for Bradshaw? This will be two years in a row that Eli will finish the season with the most wins and no championship. His hour glass is running, will it run out?