Tampa, bitches! Since moving to Florida, this will be the first Supercross for us to attend. Normally we'd have been waiting a little longer into the season so, yea, pumped would be a good word to use. Coming from the North, I had to keep reminding myself that it is in fact February because damn was it hot. I was also pretty glad that the track had a legit sand section. It's Florida, the track needed some deep sand and man did it definitely have it. The sand was the talk of the day, and from watching from Qualifying on, there was no shortage of carnage in there all day long. The amount of body english and correcting they were having to do was definitely going to add another level of challenge to the race.
Heat 1 got underway and after a clean start Colt Nichols got out front but it didn't take long for Osborne to get by and take that win. Short fight from Nichols but there was lots of other action going on around the track during the race. Otherwise, it was a pretty non eventful heat and business as usual Heat for Osborne. After that, in Heat 2 there was a bit more dicing around with Hampshire and Davalos. (Good to see Davalos back out there after that gnarly start last weekend.) Hampshire almost became a victim of the sand and went off the track and somehow did not crash racing down the very narrow split between the lanes. He lost the lead but he somehow got back on the track right behind Davalos. Just not enough though and Davalos took the win there.
450 Heat 1, wow. Justin Hill was making his debut and was killing it. Reed was looking to make his 228th start and he got caught up in the sand early. This was not what you'd want to get that 228th start done, especially with that track and having to go to the LCQ. I had made a joke on Instagram about those freaking nets in the turn, mainly because they only have it in one turn. Maybe it's to test them out, I don't know. After I made the joke, what do you think happens? Blake Baggett cases the big quad coming into the turn and flies over the tuff blocks and straight into the freaking net! In hindsight it really helped him out in that instance. However, I feel like Roczen when he said on the broadcast that, I really think those things can go either way. We'll see though if they keep them around. But, going back to Justin Hill. Wow, Justin Hill on a 450....is SMOOTH. After so much trouble in the 250 class, then bringing it around towards the West Coast time off, he comes out swinging in the 450 class with a heat win! A win and a hell of a battle with Musquin. Think he feels comfortable on it? I do.
Heat 2 lined up with Tomac being the fastest qualifier. He just looked so good all day. We would have a red flag in this one and damn. So bummed for Cole Seely. There's been updates since on his status. It' just looked like he didn't get a good pop when going for one of the quad options in the rhythm lane and the bike just smashed him. Couldn't see him down but from where we were you could see him almost immediately signaling for help. Ugh. Well, with half the race done they had a staggered start to get the racing going again. Once they got going, damn! Anderson and Tomac played cat and mouse basically the rest of the heat. Anderson would ultimately come out on top but you could tell Tomac was itching to make the pass and it went down to the final turn.
Man, LCQ's are always sketchy. The 250 class ended in a wild one, haha! Hartranft, in second, goes down at the end of the sand and then tries getting up quick and gets bounced off of by two other riders fighting for what was a transfer spot! Now, jumping over the 450 group....this is not a place Chad Reed wanted to be on the night of the potential record breaking, that's for sure. I don't know how nervous he was but I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I kept telling myself..if he wins this, he's throwing a Nac and boom! Haha, Congrats to Chad Reed on an insane accomplishment!
Onto the Mains! Much cleaner start this weekend for the 250 main! Austin Forkner was making quick work and moved into the lead, battling it out with Hampshire. The top four were so close, I was really expecting to Ferrandis to make a move any moment just because he was the fastest on the day. Hampshire wasn't done battling yet though because he had Osborne all over his ass, then made a huge bobble at the end of the sand and almost went down. Jimmy Decotis, who was on the podium last week, had some issues in this one, but for getting up in last he put on a hell of a charge. He was getting SO damn sketchy in the sand section though. Multiple times, just completely sideways. He saved it every time though. Most of the main you could throw a blanket over the top few guys. Forkner really had to be mistake free because one little oopsie and it was going to be done. Ferrandis finally made the block pass on Osborne with about 5 minutes to go and you could tell he was going to try and charge for the lead. It went from four guys, to three, then down to two as Ferrandis and Forkner pulled away from Osborne. Which, is something you really don't see much! Ferrandis had pressure on Forkner and then they both slammed together in the chicane before the over under. The crowd went nuts but that was it for the battle. Ferrandis went for it but Forkner grabbed his first win ever.
Alright! Gate dropped for the 450's and damn! Cooper came out hard! It didn't take long for the other guys to eat him up though. Tomac, Musquin and Hill were on the GAS. Hill was honestly riding amazing, ripping huge lines in the rhythm lanes. Tomac dropped back to third rather quickly, which resulted in Musquin taking the lead from him and pulled away a little. Hill came in for the pass on Musquin and damn he had it, he just happened to catch a little of Musquin's wheel and went down. Had Hill not went down in that turn, I really think he would've been very hard to beat. He looked soo fast, and smooth. Keep your eyes open in Atlanta because Hill is gonna be a force in this 450 class. The track was looking like ice in some spots by this point and then that sand section everyone had been talking about all day was just gnarly. Speaking of that sand, Anderson was killing it in that section. He would get so far off the back of the bike, it was insane! He finally moved up into third but I thought that Tomac and Musquin were a little far gone even with his speed in the sand. Tomac just lurked behind Musquin for quite a while, I think he knew he had his number and was just looking for the right spot to make it happen. After pacing each other for a while Tomac finally made the move on Musquin grabbed the lead! Musquin made a ballsy pass to take the lead back in the chicane! The crowd was going nuts yet again, then Tomac just wouldn't be denied and passed him back in the same spot right before the sand. Crazy racing and keep in mind, both of those dudes had shoulder injuries a few weeks ago. Tomac ultimately went on to take the win and phew, what a day!
I'll end off this giant post with...MAN! Tampa was awesome. It felt great to be back at the races, I got to say hey to a lot of people I hadn't seen in a while, watch some really exciting racing and cook in the sun for a while, haha!! Next stop, DAYTONA!
As always, until next time..PEACE!
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