AMA Supercross jumped back into action for 2021 in a big way Saturday night in Houston, Texas.
The purpose of our race reports is to give you a little insight into what happened from the perspective of a small group of former AMA motocross and supercross professionals. We will keep the names anonymous to protect the innocent!
You can get the stats, facts, and figures from somewhere else. We are just going to give you our “collective” thoughts, opinions, and predictions. And we know it is tough for dirt bike enthusiasts to read much but, sorry, no pictures.
250 Class Main Event
First: Christian Craig
Christian did steal the show. He was unstoppable all night. Clearly the fastest man on the track. Yes, if you were going to bet on the championship from one round you would think Craig is the man to beat.
He seems to love the Yamaha! (or is it just the excitement of being on a new team?)
BUT if you follow the sport you know that Christian often encounters some kind of problem during the season. Also, that while he does look super fast at times he usually is not the best at being consistent.
Our prediction is that someone other than Craig will win the title even though he will win more races. Hey, we could be wrong of course!
Second: Austin Forkner
Austin actually rode smart, did not go crazy fast and put himself in great position for the rest of the series. Why would we even make this comment? Well, if you know Forkner you know that he does not always ride smart.
It is usually win or crash for him. Tonight was different. He seemed ok with second place. Will this mentality of looking at the big picture and not the ‘moment’ last? Time will tell. Good job Austin!
Note: This was his first race back since suffering a very serious injury at Salt Lake City last year. Could this explain the performance?
Third: Colt Nichols
Colt had a solid night despite not having a good start. He consistently moved forward throughout the entire race and had a bit of good luck when RJ Hampshire fell giving him the podium spot.
Prediction: This guy is going to win some races. Keep you eye on him!
RJ Hampshire rode great most of the night but a late fall cost him dearly. Poor RJ seems to often have some kind of issue like this.
Prediction: Expect more flashes of speed and good starts from RJ but also expect him to find the ground often for one reason or another.
Jett Lawrence showed speed at times and was in position for a good finish but kind of made a rookie type mistake falling over in a turn and then even had trouble getting back on the bike.
Prediction: We all know how fast this kid is. He will win races. And once he starts winning lookout as he may dominate the championship. Yes, even if Austin keeps it on two wheels. Much like last year where Ferrandis was faster than Forkner we think Jett ‘can be’ faster too.
Oh, sorry, did we forget Craig already??? Sorry dude!
450 Class Main Event
First: Justin Barcia
Now come on! Did anyone really not think Barcia would probably win this race? He was going for the threepeat on openers! Plus add in to the mix a new bike, new team and Justin had to be excited as hell! And he was.
Great start, great race is about all you can say. He was solid as a rock despite it seeming that Kenny Roczen was maybe a little faster. Barcia is not easy to pass and there was no way he would give up the threepeat!
Prediction: Justin always starts the year fast. The real key for him will be how it is going around races five through ten. We think you will see the same Barcia as prior years as the season goes on. History repeats itself right?
Second: Ken Roczen
Great ride for Kenny! But remember, Kenny is kind of like Barcia in this aspect that starting a season on fire is not unusal for him. So let’s see what happens.
Third: Marvin Musquin
Now this was a surprise! Yea, Marv is fast but getting third? Did anyone really expect he would be that fast? Good job Frenchie! Had you guys missed Marvin’s podium speeches??? Maybe he can run for mayor of Orlando when he retires. He has a gift.
Prediction: Marvin will be good all year but he won’t be a regular podium guy unless a lot of riders go out to injury.
Eli Tomac is a ‘notable’??? The defending champion had a bad night. That is all you can say. His 13th place finish really puts him in a deep hole after only one race! Yes, he never really does well at the opener but this was not good. He seemed to quit trying halfway through the race!
Come on Eli! You are the “champ”! Fight until the end!
Question of the Race: Was it Eli’s fault or Vince’s when they both went down? See the featured image on this post. Well, it was kind of just a racing incident. Yes, Eli went in hot and a bit high on Vince leaving him nowhere to go.
BUT Eli was trying to move to the front and really that type of pass is about all that was possible on that one-lined, fast track. So no, it was not Eli’s or Vince’s fault. It is the nature of supercross tracks. (Did you notice later in the race it looked like Eli tried to punt Vince off the track?)
Prediction: Eli will bounce back for sure. He is just too fast not too. He usually gets going around races five or so. Will this year be the same. Yes. Will it be enough to win title number two? Probably not unless some of the other top guys don’t make it the whole season.
Zach Osborne was thought to be a title contender. He is but had a poor start to his night going from down in the first turn to tenth at the end. Pretty good ride! He passed Tomac along he way and almost caught Webb.
Prediction: Zacho is fast, he is tough and he is determined. He will win a race or two but he will have mistakes and won’t win the title.
Cooper Webb had an off night for sure. Expect him to keep improving each race though. He could be in the title hunt by the end.
Adam Cianciarulo, yes we have another ‘notable’. Adam can go faster than anyone at times. He will win races and be in the title hunt. As we all know, if he can one day figure out how to avoid the mistakes he will be a champion
Chase Sexton is super fast. Wow, it seems like all of a sudden he went from pretty good to super fast! Did some of James Stewart rub off on him? He is making mistakes though that are costing him. Slow it down a little Chase ok? Just a tad.
Dylan Ferrandis is another one to keep your eye on. His finish was not so great but he will be at the or near the top in many races. The guy can cut through the pack almost like Tomac when he is in beast mode. Dylan has to be careful though as he often has some big mistakes that cost him.
Predictions for Houston round two!
Tomac has a much better race.
Adam or Chase leads much of the race.
Barcia does not win.
Kenny does not win.
Craig drops off the pace a little.
We see some flashes of Jett’s speed.
RJ has something happen to him.
Colt is sold again.
Off Road Joy Staff
Featured image of Eli Tomac and Vince Friese crashing at Houston supercross via video screen capture