Sunday, February 3

The Duke's Duel

Years ago, the fortunes at Team Suzuki were so dire that people started talking about "The Suzuki Curse." It seemed like any time someone got momentum going for Roger's team, an injury followed. Then came 2005, and RC, and everything changed. Also new to the team that year were a pair of Lites riders, Davi Millsaps and Broc Hepler. Between RC's greatness and the potential of Hepler and Millsaps, the world was about to be painted yellow. RC did his part, but Millsaps and Hepler never quite developed into the racers Suzuki needed them to be to win championships. Both ended up notching wins for the team, but neither grabbed titles.

Hepler and Millsaps moved on, and Millsaps even notched an East Regional SX Title. But they still had trouble racing--going fast was pretty easy for them, but they just always had trouble putting it altogether.

Hepler's troubles continue. The rumor was that he broke his leg this week, and that turned out untrue. But then he ended up breaking his thumb tonight.

But Millsaps, he might get it. I heard some people bagging on Davi. His weight always seems to be a topic. Last summer he had some personal issues at home, and it led him to purchase his own facility for riding and training down in Georgia. And he had ex Miss Supercross with him and as soon as a rider has any cracks in his armor, you start hearing about "the girl trouble."

But Millsaps is just too damned talented to lose it all. After showing a few signs here and there early--he passed Ferry and nearly zapped Langston in a heat race in Phoenix, he won his heat at A2, he led the main in San Francisco--he finally put it altogether tonight and rode 20 solid laps. Now he's positioned himself as perhaps Reed's biggest challenge for wins. Kevin Windham pushed Chad hard for a few laps but ended up fading way back, and everyone else racing Reed is basically a known quantity. Chad knows he can beat these guys now that Stewart's out. But Millsaps is a new matchup for him, and I believe the speed is there. Of course it is. It always has been there for Millsaps. Can he actually put it together though? After tonight, it's starting to look like he might.

Credit Reed, though. Like a quarterback calmly engineering a fourth-quarter comeback, Reed just hung around, weathered the storm, and ultimately did what he needed down the stretch to pull this out. Reed admitted it wasn't his best night, but he still won. He also won in the mud last week. Get Chad on a dry track when he's feeling it and it could be scary. And you know he'll be looking to scare some people next weekend. The rest of these guys were too close and he needs to make sure no one gets confidence on him.

As for J-Law winning the Lites? Hey, I am very tempted to talk about how I knew Lawrence when he was a prodigy just hammering away at Englishtown 10 years ago. But I' m going to stay away from that, and just see if the Garden Staters can unite for one more win in the SuperBowl tomorrow. The trouble is, even if the Giants put up a good fight, the Pats have a quarterback who can work the fourth quarter a lot like Chad Reed worked the final 5 laps of tonight's main.

and he had trouble la


Englishman in S.D said...

Davi had some personal issues that led him to have to get his own training facility sorted out down there in Peach land? Sounds like his woman trouble isn't coming from the hotchick formally known as Miss Supercross but from Mummy.
Hey I didn't just say that!
Can he stop wearing the ring piece , dough nut thing now then ?

jeff said...

i would like to see Millsaps challenge Reed every week and maybe even win a main. My interest in that is that it will push Reed to his max and make for great racing either way. Reed had talk about his willingness to hang it out more and hit the dirt if needed, we might not get to see that this year in SX. Maybe he will ride that momentum into the MX: dream on i know.

He always gets compared to MC which is a great thing, but by his choice as with MC his SX skills/accomplishments will overshadow his equally impressive outdoor skills. Budds Creek 08 anyone!!