Photo by: Simon Cudby

“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.

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In the penultimate round of Monster Energy Supercross, Rockstar Energy / Husqvarna rider Jason Anderson needed a measly 4th place finish to secure his and Husqvarna’s first premier Supercross Championship. Heading into the race, earning a 4th place or higher finish appeared almost certain as Anderson had only been outside the top 4 one time this season. In addition to Anderson’s favorable odds, only one other rider had a mathematical chance to win the 2018 Supercross Championship. Apparently nobody told Marvin Musquin the season was over, and Marvin has definitely not conceded to Anderson as the champion. Marvin has raced the entire season like he has a real opportunity to catch Anderson and until this weekend he was the only one that believed it.

Jason now needs to finish 10th or better in Vegas to lock up the title.

Whenever a manufacturer is close to winning a major championship they usually bring in the corporate stiffs to celebrate. This past weekend in Salt Lake City all the brass from Husqvarna Corporate were in town to pop champagne and behave as if they had somehow contributed to the team’s success. In reality, sometimes they do, but most of the time the team wins in spite of them. Still, what would the sport be without the signed checks and stamps of corporate approval on racing budgets? Many teams would not exist on the levels they currently operate at. This is why the corporate brass are paraded into the significant races to celebrate on the back of the rider and team’s hard earned wins.

All this corporate bashing has a point. How do you feel when your boss is looking over your shoulder and micromanaging your every movement? The Rockstar Husqvarna team is a little different than most teams. Their manager Bobby Hewitt allows the riders latitude to joke, laugh and be regular 20-30 year old men while ensuring they put in the necessary work. Unfortunately this past weekend when the corporate stiffs arrived in SLC, despite Bobby’s efforts to shield them from the corporate tension, it was apparent the team was tight. A team known for their swagger and personality did not appear as loose as they normally do. Jason Anderson has raced this entire season one event at a time, almost to the point of taking unnecessary risks. Ryan Dungey never rode like this and that worked for him, but Anderson needs his swagger. Anderson isn’t a guy who lives a conservative lifestyle; just look at his hair and beard, a far cry from Ryan Dungey and his choir boy “ah shucks” image.

Two very different personalities and looks. Both found their way to the front.

Jason Anderson’s day in SLC was reminiscent of Damon Bradshaw’s epic choke at the LA Supercross in 1992. While I am NOT comparing Bradshaw’s choke, which ended up costing him the 1992 championship, to Anderson’s lack luster finish, they both have one glaring similarity: the corporate stiffs! They were all there for Yamaha that fateful day in 1992 and again last weekend in SLC. Throughout the day and in the first turn crash, Anderson was riding conservatively trying to avoid a catastrophic mistake. Unfortunately, the law of attraction is strong and when you focus on a problem, that problem can become your reality. Fortunately for Anderson and the entire team, they had such a large lead heading into SLC that despite this epic fail, they are still the landslide favorite to be crowned next week in the Las Vegas desert.

It’s going to be a stressful week for Anderson and the team, but they have another chance to make their mark on history. Heading into the season finale, Marvin seems to be on a roll, ripping wins right out of the hands of unexpecting favorites these days; just ask Eli Tomac. Will Husqvarna win their first championship or will Marvin play the role of “Swiper”?