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Enter the Dragon

January 4th, 2009

The 2009 AMA Supercross season kicks off in just two hours. This one’s big for a number of reasons.

1. James Stewart is 100% healthy and ready to take back his crown from Mr. Reed. He’s riding the new Yamaha, sporting all new sponsors from boots to helment to unhealthy energy drink, and he’s motivated to show his new backers the money.

Green or blue, Stewart's going to be nothing but a blur to his competition this year.

Green or blue, Stewart's going to be nothing but a blur to his competition this year.

2. Chad Reed has been racing SX in his upstart series in Australia right up through late fall. While everyone else has been training, Reed has been racing. That’s absolutely an edge in his favor. What’s more, Reed is so over taking second place to Stewart. And he’s more than a little upset that he lost his factory ride at Yamaha to James Stewart. He has much to prove on his new Suzuki and he’s better prepared than he’s ever been for the opener at Anaheim.

3. Up to now, this is interesting stuff but it’s similar to what we’ve seen going into the last two seasons. So here’s where things get really interesting. “RV Park” himself is stepping up to the bigs. Ryan Villopoto, the redhead from Poulsbo, WA, who decimated the field in the Lites class will race his first-ever contest on the big green bike. Win, lose or draw, I think he is going to change the game in the Supercross class, beginning tonight. By the way, he’s riding Stewart’s old bike and I think that is bugging Bubba more than he’s let on. Expect some rough passing to welcome RV to the big boy’s class.

Villopoto scrubbing it at "Shougal." Photo: Steve Cox

Villopoto scrubbing it at "Shougal." Photo: Steve Cox

My pick for the Supercross class: James Stewart. He really is that much better than everyone else.

As for the Lites, expect JLaw to look to make a statement after his suspension. But more than six months of no racing will not likely be overcome with sheer enthusiasm and raw talent alone. My pick for the overall win is Ryan Dungey.

Put your mouthguard in. This is going to get rough before it’s over.

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January 3rd, 2009
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