Supercross

Who’s going to WIN: Carroll or Anderson?

Author: Mark Fattore

Posted:

The 25th instalment of the Nokia Supercross Masters will conclude at the outdoor WIN Stadium in Wollongong (NSW) this Saturday night, with the series set to go down to the wire for the fourth time in five years.
Anderson is focused on taking the number 1 plate for No Fear Honda.
Well, in the Pro Open (250cc 2T vs 450cc 4T) class at least, where defending champion Troy Carroll (CDR Nokia Yamaha YZ250) currently holds a 2pt (22 to 20) lead over No Fear Honda‰Ûªs Craig Anderson (CR250) and indisposed New Zealander Daryl Hurley (Shift Motul Suzuki RM250). Cheyne Boyd (CDR Nokia Yamaha YZ250) is fourth on 16pts. In the Pro Lite (125cc 2T vs. 250cc 4T) division, Daniel Reardon (Whale‰Ûªs Kawasaki KX250F) already holds an unassailable 12pt advantage after wrapping up proceedings in the penultimate round at Melbourne‰Ûªs Rod Laver Arena on October 1. There are only 8pts available for a Nokia Supercross Masters win. In what has been a Pro Open championship of halves, Hurley dominated the opening two rounds on his RM250 before suffering a knee injury while practicing at home in New Zealand. That automatically ruled the Kiwi out for the remainder of the year, which was about the same time that Anderson, a three-time Pro Open (nee 250cc) champion, really started to hit his straps after an indifferent start to the year. Anderson, 27, has subsequently cantered home in rounds three and four; his latest victory a 2.632sec triumph at Rod Laver Arena. Meanwhile, Carroll, who also won successive Pro Lite titles in 2002-2003, has been a model of consistency all year, making every final for 2-6-4-2 results. The 25-year-old has enjoyed a solid lead-up to the final round, and is feeling upbeat about his prospects. "Myself and everybody at CDR‰Û_ have done everything in our power in order to be in the best position to take out the championship," said Carroll. "I am feeling very confident, and now all I have to do is put it all together on race day." The permutations of the final round are straightforward. If Carroll accumulates more points than Anderson after the three championship finals (the previous indoor rounds only had one final), he will ‰ÛÒ obviously ‰ÛÒ claim the title. Moreover, even if he finishes one spot behind Anderson, Carroll will still be crowned champion. If Anderson beats Carroll by two spots, the championship will conclude in a tie ‰ÛÒ but Anderson will be awarded the spoils on a countback. And, finally, if Anderson is three or more positions in advance of his nemesis, he will cleanly win his third title in as many campaigns. Anderson won the Pro Open title in 2001-2002 before venturing to America the following two years. His first title win came in 1998. "Everything is going to plan and I'm really looking forward to the weekend," said Anderson. "It will be a close one, I'm sure because TC (Carroll) has been strong all year. But as we know, anything can happen and I think this is going to be a pretty tight finish. "I've basically been doing my usual training program since the last round, and the same goes for set up on the bike. Other than that injury I had earlier in the year during motocross, and a couple of bad rounds at the start of the supercross season, everything has been working well for me all year so I haven't needed to make any major changes." Anderson has figured in two of the last three tense Supercross Masters finishes. In 2001, he just edged out Cameron Taylor in a thriller, while Hurley came out second best the year after. As for Carroll, he won last year‰Ûªs title by 1pt after a late charge by 2003 champion Jay Marmont. Meanwhile, Boyd will still be holding out hope of a minor supercross miracle, although he knows that usurping both Anderson and Carroll will require a large amount of good fortune. Instead, moving past Hurley will mean a rostrum finish ‰ÛÒ and a great deal of personal satisfaction after shoulder problems ruined the first half of this year. "At this stage, I think it is still more possible to come home in third position when the championship is finished," said Boyd. "With testing on my side and more experience under my belt, I am hoping for a really strong finish to the year." Behind the top four, Matt Moss (CDR Nokia Yamaha YZ250) and South Aussie Shane Metcalfe (Kawasaki Racing Team KX250) are locked in a 12pt impasse, although the former will again miss after breaking his leg in round three. Metcalfe has qualified for all of this year‰Ûªs finals, and he‰Ûªll be primed to keep that stellar run continuing as he seeks to hold Luke Burkhart (Shift Motul Suzuki RM250, 10pts) and Cody Cooper (No Fear Honda, 8pts). In other Pro Open news, American Tyler Evans (Motorex KTM 250SX) will return for the final round after missing the action in Melbourne, while the finale will also be graced by one of his highly credentialled countryman ‰ÛÒ Jason Thomas (Subway Honda CRF450R). Thomas finished fifth in the 250cc class at the recent US Open supercross, and only last weekend was second behind the venerable Jeremy McGrath on day two of the Madrid Supercross. Earlier this year, he was 14th in the AMA 250cc Supercross Series, with a best finish of seventh in round 15. Shift Motul Suzuki‰Ûªs Danny Ham (RM-Z450) has been the only four-stroke rider to finish on a podium in the opening four rounds, but Thomas could certainly add to that tally if he produces his best form. In Pro Lite, Reardon has already performed the victory jig, but there are still six riders battling over second position - Ryan Marmont (Motorex KTM 250SXF, 16pts), Troy Dorron (No Fear Honda CRF250R, 16pts), Robbie Marshall (Serco Yamaha YZ250F, 16pts), Cody Mackie (Academy Development Racing YZ250F, 14pts), defending champion Cameron Taylor (Serco Yamaha YZ250F, 14pts) and Mitch Hoad (Chris Watson Motorcycles YZ250F, 12pts). Of the six, Marshall and Marmont already have winning form in the 2005 Nokia Supercross Masters, while Dorron knows where the finish line is ‰ÛÒ he won three titles in a row from 1999-2001. Moreover, the outdoor WIN Stadium ‰ÛÒ notionally a rugby and soccer venue ‰ÛÒ may throw up some surprises, which augers well for a tension-packed final round. In Junior Lite, dual Australian junior motocross champion Kade Mosig (Full Throttle Sports Honda) and Shaun Williamson (Hogan Racing) are involved in a tense battle, while Taylor Potter (BTX KTM) and Tye Simmonds (Motorex KTM) are in the box seat to clinch the two 85cc titles ‰ÛÒ 14-15yrs and 12-13yrs. Main Photo: Defending champion Troy Carroll
Photo: Graeme Baynes

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