Rev Up: JacksonvilleThursday, April 2, 2009 | 2:51 PM
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev Up. This weekend the show makes its way south for the first ever Jacksonville Supercross.
I felt like switching The Rev up a little this week. I was doing a little bench racing – with myself, because I live in North Carolina now – and I thought about some of the best seasons that I've watched throughout the years and compared them to this current debacle. Before we polish off these last four races, let's take a step back and look at the series from the stratosphere.
2. Innovation, and creativity. Opening ceremonies alone make it worth the trip to a race. Witty rider skits, gnarly fireworks, and colored flames put on an astonishing spectacle. I mean, it was cool when they played "Bad to the Bone" as MC went and did a couple whips, but today's show is down right awesome.
3. James Stewart. Call him a Jedi, Neo from The Matrix, Superman, or whatever fictitious super being you can think of, and they all pale to #7. I'd book a flight to watch that dude go 20 laps by himself. But getting to watch him hit a supercross triple beside another rider, any rider, and see him stay 3 feet lower makes it even better.
4. Attendance. We have butts in the buckets, asses in the seats.
1. The rider count. Thirty-two 450cc riders in Toronto? It's too bad we don't put up enough for riders to come to the show and make a living. In these tough times, there are NASCAR teams that are putting cars together just to try and qualify for last. Making the show gets them enough cheddar to get home and get faster. We aren't nearly as big as NASCAR, but we're, like, the 3rd largest motorsport in the world. We have live TV and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on firecrackers. I'm not saying take away the firecrackers, I'm saying that if there is money for that, there is money for the LCQ somewhere, from somebody. In the McGrath era (1993-2000) guys would load up their vans and make a trip to the SX, ride two classes, and if they did okay, they could pocket a couple grand. This doesn't happen much anymore.
What's really bad is that the lower rider count has stabbed us in the back and made "The Show" a quicker, more action-packed, great for TV speedster. How can we continue to built the beast, but also take care of the riders? There are smart people that know how...right?
2. The tracks. They have been hit and miss, and indoor mudders aren't good for anyone – especially the riders. Maybe TP should be hired on as a full-time track consultant?
1. Stewart vs. Reed. Okay, enough day-dreaming and politics. Let's get down to brass tacks, shall we? There are a plethora of stories chasing the season down the final stretch, but the battle for the premier title takes center stage. Four races may seem like a short span, but with the gap only being 8 points, there is a lot that can happen. Jacksonville is up next. There are no stats about the joint, because she is the first one. Stewart has the home state charge going, but it looks like rain has been pounding the area and it could play a factor unless it stops so they can build the track. It could be soft and rutted again, which always makes it wild. Which one of those guys is going to make a mistake in the next 80 laps? Chad Reed hasn't dealt with much trouble this year, but don't hold your breath waiting for a slip up from #1.
Florida is a great fan state and there should be another huge crowd. Let the championship battle and the power of The Claw draw you to Jacksonville this Saturday night.
Thanks for reading, see you next week.
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Jean-Michel Bayle, the iconic superstar of yesteryear, raced motocross for the first time in twenty-one years at the Vets MXdN in England. Page 126.