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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Supercross Prognostication 2005/2006

Bubba Stewart (259)leads Ricky Carmichael (4) and Chad Reed (22)
When I started this blog, I set out to blog on all that was blogworthy. Now that Garet and Dave have helped tackle sanctification and soteriology, the only logical next topic is Supercross (I have a very thin dictionary). I now offer my stunning predictions for the 2005/2006 season.

Having read Phillip Johnson's controversial entries on cessetionism, I want to make it very clear: I am not a prophet. If your Bible came in a loose leaf binder do not print out this blog entry and add it to the end. That said, it takes no prophet to recognize that Ricky Carmichael is the fastest motocross rider in the world. This does not always translate into Supercross results, though.

Carmichael has won his last few Supercross titles due to consistency. He shows up fitter than any of his competition and beats them (ironically) like red-headed stepchildren for the first few rounds. From then on, he manages the season and doesn't take any more risks than necessary. When he doesn't win, he finishes second. His competition hasn't been able to counteract his strategy yet.

Things might be turning around, though. In 2002, Australian Chad Reed won more rounds than Carmichael but didn't win the championship. 2004/5 saw Reed make a late season charge, but it was ultimately too late. This year, Reed has wised up. This is his year.

The Supercross powers that be have set up a goofy World Championship "series." All it is is two rounds in Canada before the American season begins. During the AMA season, selected rounds count toward the World Championship. At one point, it was a legitimate series that spent time in Europe, but the Europeans stayed away in droves. Chad Reed has committed to run the two Canadian rounds this year. This will see him competing with Carmichael from day one. I believe that Carmichael will win the Canadian rounds, but Reed will be up speed by the time they arrive in America.

The question mark for the season is James "Bubba" Stewart. Bubba is ridiculously, obscenely fast. But he has had a case of Terra Ingestitis lately. He just can't seem to keep off the ground. Add to that the mysterious illness that caused him to withdraw from the US Open of MX, and things are looking a little shaky in Bubbaland. In fairness, motocrossers seem to suffer a mystery stomach ailment fairly frequently. Carmichael battled a weird stomach virus for years. (Is there something in the roost?) Carmichael proved that he can ride through anything. Can Bubba? We all hope that he is not on the same road as Travis Pastrana. No one wants to see his talent squandered by a series of horrific crashes that leave him too hobbled to show his talent. For now, there is hope. Bubba doesn't make excuses. Perhaps he will break through the out-of-control stage that Carmichael had to go through.

So who will win? I predict that Carmichael will get off to a quick start, but Reed will begin winning races by the time they get to San Diego. Bubba will win races, but neither championship will be his. Reed will win enough races to take the AMA Championship, but Carmichael will be World Champion again, due to winning both Canadian rounds. To find out how wrong I am, tune in on December 4th to Speed.


  • I think your prognostication is evenhanded, but as you know I tend to like to roll the dice a bit more.

    The only way James Stewart will not win the AMA Championship this year is if he doesn't start the season. In my opinion there is a simple reason why Bubba had this serious case of "terra ingeste" lately- he was riding a two stroke that was underpowered compared to the four strokes of Carmichael, Reed and Windham. His competetive nature would not let him ride at his bike's limits- he had to push it beyond, and because of that would try and make up time in ways that border on insane, and typically ended in dramatic pile-ups. The only chink in my theory is that Carmichael rode a two-stroke in Supercross. But the results show that on similar equipment, when Bubba was at the gate, he ran away with the win.

    Bubba is different from Pastrana in that he knows his legitmacy will only be realized in a title. I also suspect that in his gut is a burning desire to break all of Carmichael's records. Pastrana was an x-game god, and threw away his AMA motocross possibilites for hot chicks and scarred up glory.

    James Stewart is a racer pure and simple- he will dominate from the first moto of the season. I think Reed is out of the title hunt early, as he will injure himself in attempt to chase Bubba's pace, and will likely focus his efforts elsewhere, once he realizes the title will never be his.

    By Blogger Garet Pahl, at 2:43 PM  

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