Cycle News

Cycle News Issue 17 May 1

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 133 of 133

VOL. 55 ISSUE 17 MAY 1, 2018 P133 seriously hurt other racers. However, just about anything else in a corner is fair game. Always has been, and I hope it always will be. But nowadays, I'm not so sure. There was a lot of hubbub around Zach Osborne's now- legendary last-lap move against Joey Savatgy for the 2017 250SX Eastern Regional Supercross Championship almost exactly a year ago. Osborne was fined $5000, which I thought was an awful example to set. There isn't a single champion in the history of the sport who wouldn't have done exactly what Osborne did, and most of them would've done much worse for a title. At Daytona this year, Tomac went in really hard on Monster Energy Yamaha's Cooper Webb during their heat race, ending with them both going down. The announcers, and many of the fans, were surprised by the move, but if you pay close atten- tion, Webb was cross-jumping Tomac on the prior straightaway. Webb was endangering Tomac's well-being, and obviously Tomac didn't have a lot of patience for that sort of thing. And he shouldn't. I think Webb brought that takeout move on himself. So, there are probably going to be people reading this from Tomac's race team, and I predict they won't like my analysis, but that's because they're biased in Tomac's favor. And that's totally expected. The thing is, though: If you reversed this move late in the Foxborough main event, making it so that Tomac was the one who took Musquin out, I'd be saying the exact same thing. I promise. I like Eli Tomac. He's a genuinely good dude. But in terms of this incident specifi- cally, I think there were a few dif- ferent issues at play: First, Musquin incorrectly stated that there was "no line" there after the Foxborough main event, but there definitely was, and Tomac had used it. The problem is, Tomac was behind Musquin for that entire main event, so he couldn't have known all of the lines Tomac was taking. It's likely that Tomac's line there surprised Musquin, but Musquin was committed. That's why the two racers hit so incred- ibly hard. And it was a really, really rough move in the end. Next, Musquin isn't known for being that aggressive, so maybe Tomac thought he was safe. If it were Justin Barcia behind him, for example, maybe Tomac would've done something differ- ently. I don't know exactly what, but something. And finally, there's no time to be patient on the last lap of a race. Musquin was justified in "rushing it" and just going for the win. This is the kind of thing that the racers have always been able to sort out on their own. Chances are good that the next time Tomac has a shot at Mus- quin, he's going to put the KTM racer into row F. And here's the thing: Tomac will be justified in doing that. Racers have always been good at policing them- selves, and when one particular guy starts becoming too much of a bowling ball, like Vince Friese, other guys just start taking them out pre-emptively. Eventually, that racer either learns, or their career is ruined because they're always on the ground. But ultimately, I have to say that a primary reason for the internet backlash against this move probably isn't about the move in particular, but rather the fact that Musquin's French and Tomac's American. Or the fact that some fans don't like Musquin for "moving over" for his teammate Ryan Dungey last year. In the end, I don't care who does this kind of thing to whom. Supercross tracks are tight, and if we want passing, sometimes people are going to make con- tact with one another. Some- times, that contact is going to be really heavy. And sometimes, the guy on the losing end of that contact will pay the other guy back for it at a later date. And as far as I'm concerned, and as far as our sport's history is concerned, that's racing. CN

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