The first three opening rounds at Houston are finally at a close. As we move onto Indianapolis for another three rounds, we're looking at a very interesting 2021 season. Houston has left a lot of riders beaten and bruised in both classes, and fortunately, it's opening up more spots for privateers to get in the mix. With such a tough field this year, it's been crucial to get a good start and stay on the bike in every single race.
This week, we finally saw some longer lap times with a completely different track layout and it led to some very interesting racing. In both heats, factory and factory-supported riders would top off the transfer list, unfortunately putting all of the privateers into the LCQ. However, in heat 1, Carlen Gardner was only one spot away, sitting behind Dylan Ferrandis. Heat 2 would see Austin Politelli also only one spot away just behind Vince Friese.
As always, the LCQs are filled with battles and boy did we see it come down to the wire. Kyle Chisolm would not only set the fastest lap of the race, he would take the first spot to go into the main event after leading the entire LCQ. With Broc Tickle working his way up the pack, we saw three privateers battling for the last two spots behind Tickle in order to advance into the main event. Cade Clason was on his way to his first main event of the year (and last year), sitting in second place for the majority of the race, then into third, then into fourth. On the final lap Clason got passed by Politelli, putting Clason into the final transfer spot. However, things got heated towards the end of the last lap, where Carlen Gardner snuck passed Clason in the final corner, right in front of the finish line. Gardner would advance to his first main event of the year! A sad ending to Clason's night, but a a huge start to Gardner's.
As the main event gate dropped, we quickly saw factory rider, Ken Roczen, work his way into the top spot, and lead the majority of the race. As usual for this year, a few top hitters found themselves in the middle to back of the pack and spent the entire main event struggling to move forward. Lapped traffic would also become an issue, as the last lap of the main event cost Ken Roczen his first win of the season, with Dean Wilson taking up the main line and allowing Cooper Webb to once again, take the win from Roczen on the final lap. This is Cooper Webb's first win of the season, and it certainly wasn't a pretty one!
As for the privateers, Kyle Chisholm is once again looking at a promising season, ending the night in a well respected 18th position, putting him at a solid 18 points already for the series, a well improved 14 point difference from this point last year. Carlen Gardner and Austin Politelli would round out the rest of the field finishing in 21st and 22nd. Gardner is also looking good with a 2 point improvement over this time last year, and is now sitting in second place for the PRVTR Party Fund. Congrats to both Kyle Chisholm and Carlen Gardner for a spectacular beginning to the 2021 season!
Below you will find the current standings for the PRVTR Party Fund, including every eligible privateer who earned at least one point in the 2020 AMA Supercross series. For those who don't know, the PRVTR Party Fund rewards the most improved top five riders at the end of the season based on the points earned for the current compared to the points earned from the previous season. The winner will receive 50% of the pot with the other 50% being distributed equally the rest of the riders in the top five.
|Name||R1-3 ('20)||R1-3 ('21)||Difference|