Well the cat is out of the bag . . . James Stewart has left Yamaha for a new start on Suzuki for the 2012 AMA 450 Nationals.
In quick succession, JGR / Yamaha released JS7 and Stewart popped up on his new Suzuki. Amazing how a new ride heals broken bones . . .
JS7 Top Secret Snapshot
The first thing I noticed is the secrecy surrounding Stewart’s new RM-Z . . . why no engine photos!
And why is there a black frame / swingarm combo on the bike he’s testing vs the polished aluminum in the team bike photo. Is this a mule bike with base settings to compare to the works bike.
Is this the new generation of RM-Z or a new prototype to sway Stewart to jump ship.
JS7 New Ride & Hiding the Engine – Suzuki Photo
The Stewart riding photos provided by Suzuki are deliberately not showing their engine package . . . do they have a new engine design like KTM, revamped their 450 model ? Is this the way they convinced Stewart to break with Yamaha?
Stock RM 450 Photo – Old Design ? – Suzuki Photo
Time will tell if this is a new design for Suzuki and if Stewart can capture some of his old magic since the last time he raced the outdoor series.
JS7 on new RM – Suzuki Photo
JS7 Flying on RM – Suzuki Photo
2012 AMA 450 Nationals are about to become really interesting . . . just in time since Ryan Villopoto knocked himself out of competition with a knee injury.
Ryan Dungey vs James Stewart . . . KTM vs Suzuki.
Will 2012 AMA 450 Nationals be a grudge match for Suzuki to get back at KTM since Suzuki lost almost their entire race team staff to KTM ?
We will see . . .
Finally the long wait is over. Let the racing begin . . .
2012 Supercross Season has begun with a predictable 450 winner, Ryan Villopoto, an odd track for the first round and a new 250 winner, Cole Seely.
450 – (1) Ryan Villopoto seems the most prepared early on since he is the only top guy that didn’t make major team changes from last year. He could rack up a lot of points early if the other guys don’t watch out. (2) Chad Reed was consistent for second and looking more confident with his factory Honda equipment. (3) Ryan Dungey looked like he was taking the first round easy on his maiden KTM voyage by not taking too many chances and making sure he was in the top 3 all night. (4) Justin Brayton worked hard all night and earned 4th in his first factory Honda race. (5) Jake Weimer raced unnoticed most of the night to work his way through the pack to a top 5 finish. (6) James Stewart rode fast and fell just as fast. He should settle in more towards the top 3 now that the first round is behind him.
250 – (1) Cole Seely was a man on a mission. He looked fast, working the bike with a lot of body english, and he blasted past the field early to earn the win. (2) Tyla Rattray must of been working on his starts because he didn’t make a single start lower than top 2. (3) Eli Tomac fought through the pack to earn third, but needs to get better starts if he wants to win the 2012 SX Lites West title. (4) Marvin Musquin had a successful 1st supercross race in 4th. (5) Ryan Sipes finished top 5, but needs to get better starts early in the season. (6) Dean Wilson looked nervous and off key with his late race crash – he could win once he shakes off the nerves.
Here’s a recap of the Anaheim 1 Round – Thanks GoPro Video
Track – The Anaheim 1 round featured a different track, some said was not a true supercross track. Chad Reed didn’t like it, but he seemed to cope. The middle section was more motocross/enduro than supercross but made the racers think out of the box to find new lines. The staggered mounds with offset heights made for a one line affair, but was really a good way to bring the riders together without resorting to t-bone moves that the typical supercross 180 bowl berms do. It was probably a good idea to run a different SX track at the first round to keep the field from killing each other so early in the season. It’s a long season and to mix up with different track designs is refreshing from the cookie cutter SX tracks.
This years racing should provide a lot of fireworks, maybe more than last year . . . .
2012 AMA Supercross - Round 1 Start (photo by VitalMX.com)
Race On . . .
Here is a nice, stylish video of Ryan Dungey at KTM’s California Test Track.
Thank you MXA
Spoof . . . Ryan Dungey studying at KTM’s HQ getting ready for next year.
I can’t wait until the first photos of #5 ripping up the track on the new KTM 450 and see where Andrew Short ends up.
photo courtesy of http://moto.mpora.com/news/partnerships-ktm.html