Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014 Supercross Season Opener - Erin Bates

The 2014 opener in Anaheim certainly suggested an entertaining season. I have been following Supercross off and on for about 35 years and in my memory there has never been a season when so many riders in the field were capable of winning any given race.  Moving to Washington has made me even more of a Ryan Villopoto fan but I was thrilled to see Ken Roczen win A1. It normally takes rookies a year or two to find their footing in the 450 class. With Roger DeCoster as team manager being a KTM fan allows you to root for the underdog, the rookie and the old guard all at once.

Ryan Villopoto is gunning for a 4th consecutive Supercross Championship, a benchmark for which I as a fan feel a little torn. Living in Washington it's hard not to root for the home team (GO HAWKS). Winning championships is less about being the fastest than it is being the most consistent. RV is currently the ONLY guy capable of being consistent (and still often the fastest), which I respect. Still, there is a side of me that hopes Jeremy McGrath's record will stay unbroken. No question if RV does it he's more than deserving and I'll still be thrilled.

Finally, I was very disappointed to learn Erin Bates will no longer be covering Supercross.

I've heard a number of guys in MX forums etc. that were critical of her in the past but I've always liked her. I suspect female sports reporters still face a lot of chauvinism, particularly if they look good in a swimsuit. Unfortunately that's probably the only way one has a shot at becoming a female sports reporter in the first place. Erin had been covering Supercross for nearly a decade. She had the inside relationships with not only riders but mechanics and support people required to get to the bottom of things very quickly but the experience to respect just how emotional reactions can sometimes be as a racer. She was a pro. I wish her well and I for one will really miss her coverage.

Best of luck to Albuquerque native Ivan Tedesco filling in for the injured Davi Millsaps (also now on KTM). Ivan had somewhat of a rough start at A1 but it sure is good to see him out there again.

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