It wasn’t until Monday that JGR Yamaha’s Josh Grant (pictured right) threw his hat in the ring for the Super X race at this year’s Summer X Games. But his last minute decision certainly proved to pay off as the Toyota/Muscle Milk Yamaha rider took home his first X Games gold after besting his teammate Justin Brayton and Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Josh Hansen in the Men’s Super X Final.
“I made the last minute decision a couple days ago to really race. I just wanted to have fun and it was our weekend off so I figured it wouldn’t hurt, or be a damper on the outdoors.”
Motocross racing returned to the L.A. Coliseum for the first time in years, and in old school flavor, promoters even ran the course up into the stands and through the peristyles, which riders liked. It may have been the only thing riders liked about the hard-packed Super X track, which featured two steep triple jumps that sent riders staring straight into the sun, and was the sight of several accidents throughout the program. Still, the course provided some good racing which saw the JGR Yamaha teammates Grant and Brayton leading the way to the X Games podium.
Ten riders qualified for the Super X Final via a heat, heat, LCQ format. In the first heat, Brayton led the way followed by Hansen (pictured right), Dan Reardon and Chris Blose who were the only four to transfer to the main. The second heat saw transfer positions go to Grant, Ivan Tedesco, Nick Wey and Jason Lawrence while Chris Gosselaar, Daniel Blair, Jimmy Decotis and Weston Peick transferred through the LCQ.
It looked as though ‘Lil Hanny was going to repeat his ’09 X Games performance and claim another Super X gold medal. Hansen, on board a Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki KX450F courtesy of Mitch Payton, grabbed the holeshot and the early lead. Hansen was in the process of checking out and was looking smooth as buttered glass until the last laps of the race when things started to unravel.
“Everything was going good and I kinda got a little flustered at the end,” Hansen said. “I had the pants dropping to the knees and I kinda let that get to me. I was struggling, making mistakes, overshooting stuff. Josh (Grant) was just being mellow and riding a consistent race. I started thinking too much and did an amateur move and blew off the track and got passed, went back to fourth. I got back into third, but it was pretty frustrating.”
Tedesco (pictured right) also got around Hansen at one point, but Hanny was able to regain the point to finish third behind Brayton, who earned his second consecutive Super X silver medal.
Grant was excited to claim his first gold medal, even if he wasn’t a fan of the X Games track.
“The whole track was sketchy,” Grant said. “It was dusty; I couldn’t see. I was just following the guys (in front of me) just following their rear wheel because it was the only thing I could see off the jump. The whole track was pretty much blown out so it wasn’t good.”
Tedesco took fourth place ahead of his Valli Motorsports Yamaha teammate Dan Reardon, who rounded out the top five. Chris Blose collected sixth followed by Nick Wey, Weston Peick and Daniel Blair.
Men’s Super X Final Results
1. Josh Grant (Yam)
2. Justin Brayton (Yam)
3. Josh Hansen (Kaw)
4. Ivan Tedesco (Yam)
5. Dan Reardon (Yam)
6. Chris Blose (Hon)
7. Nick Wey (Kaw)
8. Weston Peick (Yam)
9. Daniel Blair (Unk)
10. Jimmy Decotis (Hon)
11. Chris Gosselaar (Suz)
12. Jason Lawrence (Yam)