Sunday, February 24

Brace Yourself

Millsaps in Houston

Millsaps in Atlanta

Do you want to know the real reason why Davi Millsaps finally got a win? What really led to this new confidence and big breakthrough? It took a major change in his program. It took the ability to embrace change, to look at the future and to leave the past behind. He had to come out of his comfort zone and evolve.

Look at the two Carl Stone photos above. Somewhere between Houston and Atlanta, Millsaps' classic neck donut was replaced by .... a Leatt-Brace!


He's also undefeated now racing with the brace. Looks like it works!

All kidding aside, I am super relieved that Davi Millsaps won a supercross race. I was afraid he was going to waste all of his talent and potential, at least, that's what I always hear is happening. I don't know why rumors of laziness follow Millsaps around so much. Maybe it's because he's a big kid so it looks like he's not in shape, or maybe because he has so much talent that it's easy to believe he isn't trying hard enough. Maybe it's because he advanced so quickly he seems older than he is, and hence expectations are too high. But for whatever reason, I often hear the "Millsaps isn't working hard enough" rumors ripple through the pits. I heard it as far back as 2005, when Suzuki made him ride the East Region 125 class because he wasn't ready. Then he went out and waxed everyone at the opener in Indianapolis. I heard it when he first rode a 450 at Hangtown in 2006, but then he made the podium at High Point. I heard it last year when he was really struggling in supercross, trying to come back from a broken femur. I heard it again when he was struggling to hold on and win the overall in Colorado. Or when he was gone altogether after that. And I heard the rumors harder than ever leading up to this season, including after he finished 7th at Anaheim 1.

Davi's been through some major changes to his program in the last year, which included moving away from training under the guidance of his mother, which, since everyone knows how close their program was, must have been a massive change. I was really afraid Davi was going to fall between the cracks and let all of that potential go to waste.

But in his heat race in Phoenix, he passed Tim Ferry and nearly passed Langston. It was just a heat race, yes, but it showed me that Davi was getting back on his game.

He held off Langston for a heat race win at A2, and was off to a great start in the main event. All that stood between him and a podium was a pass on his old rival Mike Alessi, but then Davi crashed on a tuff block. Then he pulled off with some sort of injury. I was ready to see that happen. Just when it looked like that potential was about to come through, Millsaps was hurt. What a waste.

But the injury turned out to be no more than the "elusive fart" as Ping called it. Davi was back in San Francisco and he led parts of the main and made the podium. Rode well again at A3 and made the podium again. Led part of the race in San Diego. Led again in Houston. He was getting closer and closer and that first win had now become more inevitable than hearing another story of "Dude, I heard Millsaps is lazy."

If you say "Reed led in Atlanta but then he crashed and Millsaps won," you'd be doing Davi a disservice. He was going faster than Reed, he was pressuring him, and he nearly passed him in the whoops leading up to the Wall of Death that took Reed down.

That's all good, because now I don't have to think: "Man, we would have some great racing going on if guys like Millsaps could just ride to their potential." Instead, he is riding to his potential and we do have good racing. Same for Windham. This is turning into a great season of supercross.


Reese said...

I definitely hope he can pull off some more wins this year, along with K-dub. Congrats Millsaps!

Anonymous said...

Agreed on all points. Have to give you credit since you have been pumping up Millsaps all year - and you were spot on. My early pick for a podium Shorty, FINALLY showed the heart to match the work he must be putting in during the week - no doubt Ferry was riding "tough" but I was stoked to see Andrew square him up and bang him back. All these guys need to keep the pressure on before Chad turns it around.

Great job on the webcast !

Jason Weigandt said...

Man, thanks for seeing it the right way. Often, once you pump someone up too much you have people just thinking you're biased. But I really saw something in Millsaps that made me think he was going to get a win soon. He made me look smart, which isn't easy!

cpsmith58 said...

Millsaps seems like one of the most down-to-earth genuine guys out there. Good for him, I've always pulled for him. And Kdub. And Short. All nice guys, the best thing I could say about a male at this point in my life is I'd take him gladly for a son-in-law.

fatty said...

i agree when you say it would be a disservice to him to say its only b/c chad wrecked. he wrecked b/c he knew he wasnt going to be able to run away from him like he normally does and he tried something stupid like trying to double over the wall. dont get me wrong i like chad and have all the respect in the world for him being the 3rd fastest man on the planet, but im tired of watching him ride off into the sunset unchallenged. its races like this that keep us, the fans watching and it cant hurt when it comes to getting more people involved either.

Englishman in S.D said...

It proves he reads your blog old chap. Why ? Because I called him "Doughnut Davi" here a while back and he must have read it and he knew that it was catchy enough to stick so he jettisoned the foam ring for good.
No worries we'll call him "Digestive Davi" while he's still farting up a storm out there.

Anonymous said...

Good race. I hope Villopoto and Reed are OK after their crashes though. I'm glad Davi has finally started using a functional protective device, rather than a hunk of crossbar padding glued to his helmet.

On a different note, would someone please put Eric Sorby to sleep? That guy is just all manner of annoying. All his time seems to be spent either trying to be Stewart or Reed's buddy, T-boning anybody that passes him (or that he comes into contact with for that matter), or begging Matthes for a hook-up (and then bitching at Matthes for saying something negative about him).


Keith said...

I saw the Leatt! I meant to check pictures from the last couple races to see if I had just missed him wearing it.

I didn't read whatever else you wrote, too many words.