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Chilly’s 2012 X Games Endurocross Review
2012 X Games Endurocross Review
Mike Brown Wins 2012 X Games Endurocross
Chilly’s arm chair quarterback view of the event
So let’s talk Enduro X. I am so glad I was able to go. The action went by so quick that it was hard to catch your breath. While we were still watching replays from one heat race on the big screen, they were already lining up for the next heat.
This year the course was a fast and furious one. At first, it looked like it was only fast and not very technical. But after watching some of the riders, it was obvious there was plenty of technical challenge. Never the less, as the racing went, it clearly favored the aggressive moto style riders.
During qualifying, the times were very close, lots of riders finishing on the same second. Then Mike Brown went out and put down a lap that was nearly 3 seconds faster than everyone else was. That would set the stage for the whole night. Mike Brown was the man to beat before the race even began.
Let me try to break it all down in short order. I think we all know that Brownie got the hole shot, rode at a shocking pace and walked away with the thing. He had one big fall, but was easily up before the next bike was close.
Taddy went down the first lap and knew the win had slipped away. He cruised around for a couple of laps. Then he put the hammer down and made four passes in one lap, but then just stayed in a mid pack battle to the finish.
Overall, this was one of the strongest collections of talent to be featured in any off road competition anywhere. Here are my pundit calls on performances for the night.
Winners – Mike Brown, KTM, Cody Webb, Cory Graffunder, Beta, Husky and Stillwell Racing
Losers – Taddy, all the Euros, Geoff Aaron, Colton Haaker, Kyle Redmond, JG Racing, Kevin Rookstool and Kawasaki
Honorable Mentions – Destry Abbott, Taylor Robert, Graham Jarvis, Kendall Norman. These guys all looked strong at times and had turns running in the front, even if it was just in the heat races.
Wally Palmer Award – For those who may not know. Wally is famous for spectacular crashes, particularly at Endurocross. This time the award goes to…..Wally Palmer. I did not get to see it, but I hear he had a fantastic crash, even if it was not his fault. Jumping over the tires, Wally’s chest mount GoPro caught the throttle cable and rocketed him down the course out of control. He hit the next log so hard that it broke the triple clamps, broke the front end off the bike. Wally was an alternate for the event and did not get to compete. Neither did the other alternate, Jacob Argubright.
Almost Made The Show – Kendall and Steward Baylor vie for the top nod here. Each led most of his semi and was just laps away from a transfer to the main. One bobble and it slipped away. Bobby Prochnau also rode strong in his heats. Keith Sweeten was on fire in the very first heat of the night and just missed a transfer.
The Europeans – It was mostly a forgettable night. I talked with Letti before the race and he knew that it was going to be a hard night for him, different bike and unfamiliar style of racing. Salvini was fast at times, but never really looked to be a contender.
Husaberg’s Graham Jarvis was by far the best of the group. He was super consistent in both his lap times and the way he attacked each obstacle. Each lap was a replay of the previous one. He had one crash on a big log and then looked timid in that section after that. He would take a wide line to square it up and it cost a couple of seconds each lap. Overall, he displayed the most finesse of the night. He was especially smooth in the matrix, but just didn’t have the speed to run up front.
Of the other European riders, Crossett, Gomez and company, none really looked in the game.
Speaking of speed and consistency, I have to put Cody Webb on that list also. He was right in the mix all night. In the final, he came back from a poor start and chipped away at the pack, even getting past Graffunder, to finish second.
The Women – This was easily the best competition of the night. The main event brought plenty of action and lead changes. There were a number of the girls that looked strong, each with a chance at the win. Louise Forsley and Tarah Gieger commanded the spotlight early. However, it came down to who could ride consistent and make the fewest mistakes. I had no doubt who that would be. Maria Forsberg had to show some patience and let the race come to her. That is exactly how it played out. She went from third to first as the riders in front went down. Once in front she just kept the pace and went on to the win.
So a great time was had by all. Well, except for a few riders who struggled all night. Other than that, it was a well run program. The course held up all night. The crew did some adjusting to the rock field where it was needed. The demand to make a TV schedule made sure that the program did not drag on. Some riders that most people have never heard of, got some valuable television time. Good job to ESPN and the whole Endurocross crew.