(Sam Donsig/Intermission Sports)
Three treacherous rounds in, with a close battle at the top in both the 450SX class and 250SX West regional class. It's a great time to be a fan of supercross. As it heads back to Angel Stadium for Rd. 4 of the Monster Energy Supercross Championship, and it's first Triple Crown event of the year. This weekend is a must watch event for all racing fans.
This weekend is going to be a little different in terms of the format. There are no heat races, there is qualifying in which the top 18 riders book their spot in the evenings' races. The remaining four spots up for grabs will be determined in the last chance qualifier race. The LCQ races take place before the opening ceremonies for the night races. From there, there are three races for each class, split up throughout the night.
The rider who finishes with the least amount of points, will be declared the winner at the end of the night. Each rider receives a point based on their finishing place, first place gets 1 pt, second place gets 2 pts, and it continues down in single digit increments until 22nd place, who earns 22 points.
Now that you have a solid understanding of how the night works, it's time to get into my three keys of success for riders to have the best chance at winning.
1. MANAGING STAMINA
Compared to other weekends, riders are going to have a lot more racing this weekend. Which means their bodies will be feeling it by the third and final race of the night. The most important thing for riders to do is manage their stamina level throughout the night. They will need to keep it at a consistent level and not burn out too quickly.
Despite the fact that they will have over 40-minutes between each race. I believe riders will still be feeling fatigued at the end of the night. Each rider will have their different way of dealing with it, but I think the best thing to do will be conserving energy in the first race, and using more energy during the second and third race. Yes, riders might sacrifice some points, but I think they can make them up in the next two races. It will be interesting to see how the riders manage their stamina throughout the night.
2. MAKING SMART DECISIONS
For both classes, there are three races in the night. Which means there will be lots of opportunity for overtakes, and wheel to wheel racing. Hence, it will be crucial for riders to make smart choices in each race. It's going to be a long night, and there is no reason for riders to be over aggressive in the first race. If a rider is too aggressive in their first race, it could result in them lessening their chances at winning the overall.
The best approach would be to focus on your own race, and analyze each decision clearly before making a potential overtake, or move into a corner. I'm not saying the riders need to just lay back and don't try, all I am saying is to critically think each decision through and think whether it is going to help or hurt their race. Weather will not be an issue this weekend, so I expect to see some aggressiveness from riders. However, I think there is a limit to which riders should push, considering there is three total races throughout the night.
3. MAINTAINING COMPOSURE
We saw at the end of the 450 main event in San Diego, CA Jett Lawrence and Jason Anderson having a bit of a disagreement. Which resulted in both riders laying hands on each other, Anderson grabbing and pulling on his helmet. Maintaining composure will be important this weekend, as riders cannot lose sight of the end goal. If a rider is too focused on another person's race, and is focused on getting them back after a dirty move, or crashing with them. It will result in their own race being ruined and add to their overall points total. Which for this weekend, will be something they don't want to have happen.
It is is crucial for riders to simply move on and not to worry about it, there is lots of racing throughout the night. Hence it is not important to get caught up in the moment, and lash out at another rider. Riders that can maintain their composure throughout the night, will be the ones I see at the top step of the podium. Now, I know the incident happened after the race, but there were things that went on during the race that led to that post-race altercation. Therefore, riders need to make sure about focusing on themselves and not focusing on another rider who might have pissed them off earlier in the night.
Six total races between the 250SX West regional class and 450SX class makes this weekend even more exciting. I cannot wait and see which rider will be crowned our triple crown winner in each class. Will the cowboy Aaron Plessinger take another win and extend his points lead? Or will Jett Lawrence bounce back, it's all to play for this weekend at Angel Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. Stay tuned for more motorsport-related content coming soon to Intermission Sports.
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