10 Things to Watch: Detroit

USA Supercross 2014

maddix park mx

www.racerxonline.com  By Chase Stallo and Aaron Hansel

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Second-Half Surge

Broc Tickle is doing everything he can to avoid the nickname “Cheese,” as in your everyday cheese pizza (a nickname given to him by our Steve Matthes, of course). Matthes asked Tickle to get crazier, spicier—even if it meant crashing—and indeed after a big crash early in the season that took Tickle out of action for a pair of rounds, he’s been on the move. He was involved in that spicy Alessi incident in Atlanta, notched a career-best fifth in Indianapolis, and an even-better fourth-place in Daytona. If he gets another top five this weekend people are going to have to start calling him deep dish! – Aaron Hansel

Fifteen to Twenty

The good news from Daytona for Discount Tire/TwoTwo Motorsports fill-in rider Dean Wilson is that he was fastest in qualifying, won his heat race and held down second place for fourteen laps in the main. The bad news is that after Wilson was passed by Ken Roczen on lap fifteen he really threw out the anchor, eventually dropping to seventh place. But you can’t blame him too much. After all, his regular gig is going hard for fifteen laps on a 250, not twenty laps on a 450 … at Daytona. We’ll see if he comes into The Motor City with some extra juice in the tank for those extra five laps. - Hansel


There may have been a record set last Saturday night for most Stewarts (James, Malcolm and Ronnie) ever in a 450SX main, and you can be sure that Ronnie was by far the happiest of the three. The #606 came into Daytona fresh off qualifying for his first ever 450SX main in Indianapolis and looking to make it two in a row, which he did, enthusiastically fist pumping like he’d won the main as he took second in the LCQ. And he should be happy—qualifying for a pro supercross is a big deal, especially for a true privateer. Will he pull the three-peat in Detroit? - Hansel


Ronnie Stewart is seeking his third main made in Detroit.  Photo: Andrew FredricksonRonnie Stewart is seeking his third main made in Detroit. Photo: Andrew Fredrickson

New Old Dirt

Supercross hasn’t visited Detroit since 2008, but in the past the dirt has been pretty good. Somewhat comparable to St. Louis, it’s traditionally tacky and provides a good racing surface. But even though it's the same dirt as before (with a small amount added and stored inside for the last three weeks), it doesn't mean it's going to ride the same. A lot can change in six years, and we’ve seen the tracks become harder and drier in recent seasons. What kind of terrain will greet the riders this weekend, and who will figure it out the quickest? - Hansel

Score One

Actually, you’ll have to score twenty-five for Blake Baggett, who took his first win of the season last week in Daytona. He now sits third (fifteen points out of first) behind his teammates Adam Cianciarulo and Martin Davalos. He’s definitely not out of the championship, but Davalos and Cianciarulo are seriously on the gas this year, and Baggett needs to stack up some more wins to get back in the thick of the hunt. Let’s see if he can close the gap more in Detroit. - Hansel

Making a Claim

GEICO Honda’s Wil Hahn was the overlooked 450 rookie heading into 2014. Although he has a 250SX East Region title to his credit, teammate Eli Tomac and Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen received most of the attention. But Hahn is starting to make a claim as a contender in 450SX. Save for a crash in Indy, Hahn has finished in the top six in two of the last three races. Training with Kevin Windham, and healing up from an early-season hand injury has helped Hahn place his name in the top five contenders hat. Will it continue in Detroit? – Chase Stallo

Wil Hahn is making his mark on the 450 class. Photo: Simon CudbyWil Hahn is making his mark on the 450 class.Photo: Simon Cudby

Will a Challenger Stand Up?

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki has been relentless in their pursuit of perfection in the East Region. With two podiums sweeps and four race wins in four races, we could very well see a perfect season from Pro Circuit. GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle has been the only rider to break up the Pro Circuit podium party, but starts have hindered any run at a win. Will the likes of Bogle, Blake Wharton, Vince Friese or Jeremy Martin be able to stop PC’s perfection? – Stallo

Succeeding Through Pain

JGR/Toyota Yamaha’s Josh Grant has two top ten finishes in three races since he returned from a shoulder injury. While Grant has said the injury is better since taking a few weeks off, it’s obvious he’s still working his way back to form. Can Grant continue to improve and make a run at a top five? – Stallo

Short looks to continue his streak Saturday. Photo: Simon CudbyShort looks to continue his streak Saturday.Photo: Simon Cudby

Short’s Streak

BTOSports.com KTM’s Andrew Short is one of only three riders—Ryan Villopoto and Justin Brayton being the others—to have a top ten in every round this season. Quite a feat for one of the oldest riders on circuit. Short is also coming off a season-high fifth in Daytona. Will the streak continue in Detroit? - Stallo

LaMay Returns

CycleTrader.com Rock River Yamaha’s Ben LaMay will make his 2014 debut in Detroit. LaMay missed the first ten rounds after suffering a dislocated wrist, broken upper jaw and broken eye socket leading up to Anaheim 1. His return couldn’t come at a better time for the team, who will be without Kyle Chisholm for a few weeks due to a shoulder injury. How will LaMay fare in his season debut? –Stallo

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