Supercross: 2011 Season Appetizer

James Stewart Returns

We’re now just a few weeks away from the start of the 2011 Monster Energy Supercross Season. The AMA and FIM sanctioned series blasts off January 8, 2011 at Anaheim Stadium in California.

The SX Championship has added venues to the season, starting most notably with Dodger Stadium.

It’s only natural that the Supercross series-which began life back in 1972 as a one-race event at the L.A. Coliseum (won by a then unknown Marty Tripes)-should be run at the famous southern California stadium.

The Oakland Coliseum is back on the race schedule as well, giving the State of California an unprecedented five rounds.

2011 is revealing itself to be one of the most unpredictable and toughest SX series ever. The line-up for the 450cc class is a who’s who of top caliber talent, many who are in the mix after being sidelined with injuries, such as James Stewart (back on his San Manuel Yamaha) and Ryan Villopoto (back as Kawasaki’s number 1 man).

The combustible combination of Stewart and Villopoto returning to action after such long hiatuses-each eager to make up for their aborted 2010 Supercross seasons-will certainly be looking to dethrone wunderkind Ryan Dungey (Suzuki less DeCoster)… the big question being; can they?

The Team Suzuki double-2010 (Supercross and AMA Motocross) champion is riding the high of confidence after a stellar year both indoors and outdoors.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment is the absence of French sensation, Christophe Pourcel, who wrecked his shoulder at the end of the outdoor season, leaving questions about his physical readiness and led to his being dropped by Pro Circuit Kawasaki.

Pourcel, unquestionably one of the fastest men on a motorcycle, was set to move up to the 450 motos, which would have added a nice bit of juice to the expanding field of hungry, deserving motocross riders.

There are still plenty of uncertainties. Former champ, Chad Reed, has yet to officially announce the manufacturer his independent team will embrace for their choice of motorcycle (Honda being the rumored ride).

Reed still possesses the speed and has an elder statesman’s maturity to his racing strategy born from years of experience.

The last time Supercross had a field this deep, this talented, and this unnerving was in the early 1980s when the main event starting gate was often comprised of the likes of Bob Hannah, Johnny O’Mara, Broc Glover, Jeff Ward, David Bailey, Donnie Hansen, Darrell Schultz, Alan King, Kent Howerton, Mark Barnett, Ron Lechien, and Danny Chandler. Let the games begin.

2011 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, Schedule:

  1. January 8 – Angel Stadium #1 – Anaheim, CA
  2. January 15 – Chase Field – Phoenix, AZ

  3. January 22 – Dodger Stadium – Los Angeles, CA

  4. January 29 – Oak-Alameda City Stadium – Oakland, CA
  5. February 5 – Angel Stadium #2 – Anaheim, CA
  6. February 12 – Reliant Stadium – Houston, TX
  7. February 19 – Qualcomm Stadium – San Diego, CA

  8. February 26 – Georgia Dome – Atlanta, GA

  9. March 5 – Daytona Int’l Speedway – Daytona, FL

  10. March 12 – Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN

  11. March 19 – Jacksonville Municipal Stadium – Jacksonville, FL

  12. March 26 – Rogers Centre – Toronto, ON, Canada

  13. April 2 – Cowboys Stadium – Arlington, TX

  14. April 9 – Edward Jones Dome – St. Louis, MO

  15. April 16 – Qwest Field – Seattle, WA

  16. April 30 – Rice-Eccles Stadium – Salt Lake City, UT

  17. May 7 – Sam Boyd Stadium – Las Vegas, NV