The Las Vegas Supercross Finale Preview
Last season may have been touted as one of the best Monster Energy AMA Supercross seasons ever, which left fans on the edges of their seats for the 2012 season. Now, sixteen races later, it's all coming to a close in Las Vegas once again. And while this season my not have overtaken the last in the excitement factor, a whole lot did go down.
Crashes galore. 2012 may have been one of the bloodiest and bruised we've seen with almost all of the top riders being forced out of the race at one point or another. Early on, Chad Reed crashed out and wouldn't be able to return due to some broken ribs and a broken vertebrae.
A few races later, Ryan Dungey was missing from the track after breaking his collar bone during practice (Dungey to Miss Daytona Supercross). Luckily, the KTM rider was able to return for the last few races but only got back up to his usual winning par last weekend.
And then you have James Stewart. Once bragging to be the "Tiger Woods of Supercross," Stewart had nothing but a rough season. Fall after fall in almost every main event ended up with him injuring his hand in Indianapolis and being replaced by privateer rookie Gavin Faith (Out with Stewart and in with Faith). But while the rookie racer on the Yamaha got his few minutes on the track, he only replaced Stewart for the last few races and Stewart is hoping to be back in operating order for the season finale, despite his position in the point standings being pretty far off the map.
But the most bazaar crash of the season belongs to Ryan Villopoto. Just after winning himself enough points to claim the 2012 Monster Energy AMA Supercross title, leaving him a few races left to enjoy just for the heck of it, Villopoto went down. Despite tweeting to followers that his leg was merely tweaked, the rider was forced to step out of the rest of the races as well as the entire 2012 motocross series, forcing him to lose his chance at retaining his 2011 title (Villopoto Out for Motocross).
With all of the heavy hitters chilling on the sidelines together, this season has given the rest of the riders a real time to shine. So who has stepped up to the plate? Davi Millsaps is currently sitting in second place in the point standings just seven points ahead of Justin Brayton. Both riders hail from Murrieta, California and both have had great rides the last few races. But with Dungey back on the track and only five points below Brayton, they'll have to put up a fight to keep their spots on the podium.
But one of the riders to watch out for this weekend in Vegas doesn't happen to have a slot in the top ten right now. Andrew Short is quickly becoming a fan favorite and pulled into seventh place in the last race, showing followers and racers alike that he's not done improving. Still, both Mike Alessi and Broc Tickle won't be planning to make that easy.
With the stadium being set up and fans pouring into the city of sin, Las Vegas will surely be one heck of a place this weekend. Here's to hoping that more riders stay on their bikes.