Features 12 Jan 2012

The Matthes Report: 1

Steve Matthes is back with his first feature of the year on MotoOnline.com.au, reflecting on A1.

Well we’re one round deep in the AMA Supercross series and there were a few questions answered, but a lot more left unanswered, no doubt about it. Let’s tackle some things that we do know and some that we don’t know going into round two of the series in Phoenix, Arizona, courtesy of some random questions from random fans…

Dear Steve, was RV’s win a sign of things to come? Sincerely yours, James from Haines City, Florida

Well, James, we don’t really know that yet but he certainly laid a beat down on the field out there at the Big A. He looks as fit as ever and as fast as ever as well. His 2012 Kawasaki KX450F that helped him so much last summer looks like it’s dialed in and he made a mockery of the best riders in the world last Saturday.

It’s too early to know what we’re going to see as far as the champion goes, but if you’re Ryan Villopoto right now you have to be feeling really good about life in general.

Reed, Dungey and Villopoto were the first three to fill the AMA Supercross podium of 2012 at A1. Image: Simon Cudby.

Dear Steve, G’day from down under. Before I throw another shrimp on the Barbie, I’d like to hear what you thought of my main mate Chad Reed’s performance at the opening round. It seems like he flew pretty far under the radar for a guy that got second. Yours truly, Mick Dundee, Queensland, AU

Yeah, for a guy that’s third in all-time supercross wins, Reedy’s ride was over shadowed a bit by James Stewart, Ryan Dungey’s switch to KTM and RV’s domination. Still he was on a better bike than he was on last year with less prep time (he told me he’s ridden five times in he last two months) and he did better than he did last year when he wasn’t on the box.

All things considered, it was a great ride for Reedy (and props to him for admitting that RV had them all covered after the race) and even better when you consider he got up after tipping over and pulled back out from Dungey and Stewart. Reed’s just going to get better from here on out.

What about me? Can I really win the 250 West Coast title? Cole, from Corona, California

Yeah man, not only can you win races as we saw by your third career win at Anaheim, but clearly when you pass Tyla Rattray and Dean Wilson and motor off for the win, you can win the whole shooting match. A very good supercross rider who’s training alongside Justin Brayton, you’re looking good to be right in the mix bro!

Look for Metcalfe to be back on his game this weekend at Phoenix. Image: Simon Cudby.

Just one simple question, what happened to me? From, Brett Metcalfe

I really don’t know. You were very un-Metty-like for sure but hey, I imagine that those heavy crashes you took in practice probably caused you to just go into survival mode and try and get through the night.

An 11th is okay, all things considered, and we think you’ll be back strong in the coming weeks. You better – your whole Suzuki team is there for you! No pressure or anything…

Let me know if you see any of our tyres over under the JGR truck please. Thank you, Broc from San Diego

No problem Broc, but I think after this weekend when Stewart ran two different brands of tyres other than his sponsored Pirellis, everyone over there in the JGR team should be on high alert.

Stewart’s looking to change up the performance of his bike and for those that don’t realise it, let me just say that tyres are a huge deal. For more on the whole tyre-gate thing, read my Observations column on Racer X by clicking here. But, I feel pretty confident in saying we’ll see Pirellis on the #7 Yamaha this weekend.

Stewart wasn't 100 percent settled at A1, but expect the Pirellis to remain for Phoenix. Image: Simon Cudby.

What are we going to see this weekend oh wise one? Sincerely, the fans

Well after Anaheim 1, I don’t think it’s possible for the riders to hate the track any more. And Phoenix is always a nice track with a big floor and plenty of jumps. It’s going to be way faster than Anaheim and depending on whether they leave the roof open or closed, we’ll see how the dirt turns out.

If they leave it closed, it’s usually pretty good and tacky (as tacky as it can be here in the Southwestern United States anyways) and if the dome is open, it’s slick and hard pack. Let’s get it on!