2012 WRAP: Good Helio was back after a miserable 2011, where his wild streak and accident penchant resulted in a finish outside the top-10 in points with his first winless season with Team Penske. An emotional win at St. Petersburg kicked off the year, and a second win at Edmonton renewed title hopes. A couple grid penalties and a lack of big results late in the year doomed his title chances, but it was still an impressive bounce back season.
2013 OUTLOOK: You know what you’ll get with Helio: a couple wins, unbridled enthusiasm throughout and usually, a very good chance at Indianapolis. With every passing year his odds of scoring his elusive first championship diminish, but that’s not the main target for him. He’s had three subpar years at Indy by his own illustrious standards, and now has another three-time 500 champion on the grid in Dario Franchitti. Wanting to beat his longtime rival to the four-time club at Indy will fuel his focus this season.
Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points
Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.
Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.
The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.
In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.
Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.
Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.
Last Five Seattle Winners
450s 2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto