Courtesy of RacerX

March 7, 2018 11:10am

by Steve Matthes

Yeah, Atlanta! One of the more popular rounds of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross. This year saw the A-T-L become a tad more interesting than usual with round two of the Triple Crown series and a brand-new stadium.

Of course, this is all speculation. I didn’t talk to anyone IN Atlanta because I didn’t go to Atlanta. Hey, man, I’m going to Daytona so cut me some slack. If you want to see coverage from a different look, including a bunch of interviews with riders who didn’t ride past 5 p.m., go check out for Kris Keefer’s stuff. On the other hand, I was just like you schmucks and had to watch it on TV.

Here I present to you my TV viewing experience from Saturday night….

Hey, there’s Ralph Sheheen and Jeff Emig introducing us to the new stadium and setting the stage for tonight’s race. Ralph’s great; he loves supercross but I guarantee you he’d be just as happy if a Whitesnake concert suddenly busted out at this stadium. That’s how he rolls.

A graphic pops up on the screen with the injured riders and Ken Roczen, Cole Seely, Justin Barcia, Justin Bogle, and Jake Weimer make the cut. I suppose they didn’t have enough room for an Alex Ray, but we’re still lighting that candle, A-Ray! Ralph says the word is that these riders might be back by the end of the year or “certainly [once] the outdoor season gets underway.” You want an example of the change in upper management of the folks in charge of SX? It’s right there. Two years ago, Ralph would’ve been hit with a cattle prod as soon as he said “outdoor season.” Now, it’s cool. 

Quick cut to Jenny Taft talking to Justin Hill, who was the surprise of Tampa on the 450. Taft’s great; she’s married to an ex-NHL’er and loves hockey. She’s rad in my books. Also, as we’ve seen with other pit reporters, she’s so good that Fox is using her in, uhhh, real sports that get actual ratings. Won’t be long until she’s gone, but until then, Jenny Taft rules.

Oh, hey, Hill might be the first rider to be interviewed on camera at a supercross wearing O’Neal gear since Mike LaRocco. Congrats, O’Neal. Yes, I know Tim Ferry wore O’Neal after Mike, but he wasn’t getting interviewed in the Stew/Reed/RC days, bro.

We’ve got the GoPro helmet cam with Sean Cantrell and the Yamaha animated arrow to finish off the track map. After that, Ricky Carmichael is onscreen talking about the Georgia red clay and how much it changes. He promises the racing will be great, and it should be—the Triple Crown is pretty much triple the fun of a regular format supercross.

COMMERCIAL: The GEICO Manatee commercial where they’re all wearing different t-shirts is great, BTW.

Before the first main, we see the Discount Tire rookie update where they focus on Sean Cantrell and the #114 who rides for River Yamaha is featured. I can’t say that rider’s name, as all he had to do in Tampa was ride around the last turn to get into the main, but he crashed. (Yes, this is all fantasy SX-related.)

Oh, hey, the first mains are two minutes longer than they were at Anaheim 2. This is a good thing. We couldn’t seem to make a change in the sport from 1986-2016, but now we can alter a main event six races later. Sweet! I love the new era of SX. 

Weston Peick’s girlfriend is the Monster girl holding the board up, and I always wondered about sitting on the line looking at your chick doing this. Like, are you tracking her when it goes sideways to make sure no one runs her over? Are you looking at her and thinking about how she never replaces the toilet paper roll? How can you focus? I’ll never understand that.

The gate drops for 250SX race one and it’s… Martin Davalos! Of course it’s Marty Davalos. In the first race of the night, it’s always Marty Davalos in 250SX.

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RacerX 2018 Atlanta Triple Crown Observations