3 weeks. 3 races. 3 different winners. 3 different points lead changes.
Unpredictable enough for you yet? Wait, there’s more.
The winner of Anaheim 1 wasn’t Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey, or any other 450 favorite. In fact, they had never won a pro 450 supercross race in their lives, and never even raced one as an official 450 rider.. Ken Roczen, the rookie rider hailing from Germany, won his debut after making the official and permanent change to the 450 class this season.
The winner of Phoenix was Ryan Villopoto, which seems predictable enough, right? Except for the fact that this was the one venue that Villopoto had never won in supercross. Until now.
But the most unpredictable and probably most inspiring win of all goes to Chad Reed taking the checkered flag at Anaheim 2. Reed had a disappointing 2013 season in both supercross and motocross after injuries plagued him in 2012. Many had believed that in his early 30s, Reed was too old to seriously compete in the sport and that he should have retired. Company sponsors were reluctant to fund Reed, and he struggled to find recognition or a team to ride for until late last year. And in a race where Ryan Dungey, Ryan Villopoto, and James Stewart all led laps, it was Reed whose constant hard charging kept him creeping up, until with 4 laps remaining he was able to take the lead and break away for the win. Though the misfortunes of the Ryans gave Reed a chance that had seemed out of reach (both Dungey and Villopoto crashed separately in the race), I had never seen Reed race like the mad man he was this past Saturday. He was visibly the fastest guy on the track.
In a sport that recently has been dominated by a small handful of guys, no riders have even made all three podiums this season. We knew the 450 class would be stacked this year, but it’s the veterans like Reed and Stewart who have seemingly revived their careers that are making it even more interesting. Perhaps the marketing agency over at Monster Energy was on to something this year when they advertised 2014 as having a great chance to be the best season in supercross history.