Red Bull Moto Spy 2020 | Episode Four
Red Bull has dropped episode three of the Moto Spy series for the 2020 season and there’s plenty to see in the 20-minute plus video. Voiceovers from media members bring context to the clips and drum up the anticipation, but it’s the personal moments filmed at the practice tracks, in the gym, or at home that really reinforces what we see play out over the course of 17 weekends with defending 450 champion Cooper Webb, a rebuilt Ken Roczen, and the young roster of the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM team.
Not to read too much into things from a single video, but there were a number of things that caught my attention from episode four…
The video begins in the days following Webb’s big win at the 2020 San Diego Supercross, which was finished by a big champagne shower for Roger De Coster. The Red Bull KTM rider let on that there was some pressure being put on him from De Coster, director of KTM and Husqvarna’s racing operations in the US, to step up and put in results worthy of a championship defense. Since Webb is someone that seems to thrive when doubted, he made sure to let “The Man” know he had what it takes to win when the race was over that night.
Steve Matthes accurately predicted what Adam Cianciarulo would do in his rookie year. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider was the fastest rider more often than not during the qualifying sessions and had shown speed during multiple rounds of the season, complete with podium results, but a win eluded him and a crash in Texas put him on the sidelines with a broken collarbone.
It’s interesting to hear AC say that he knows there is a difference between being fast for a single lap on your own and running at the front of the pack, particularly the riding style required.
2020 TAMPA SUPERCROSS
Looking back, it’s unbelievable to see how many storylines played out at the 2020 Tampa Supercross. The first stop of the East Coast swing, it feels like forever ago already due to the go-go nature of the modern world, but really, it was only a month back.
Broc Tickle’s return to action acted as the transition into the race footage. Determined to make up for the lost time from his failed WADA test in 2018, Tickle put together a very impressive privateer program with support from AEO Powersports, FXR, Alpinestars, and other key sponsors, but was tapped by JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing to be a fill-in after their original roster suffered injuries. It’s cool to hear some of the negotiations that Tickle did with JGRMX Team Manager Jeremy Albrecht to get the deal to benefit both parties. This is a bit of a guess, but I would think that detail about Tickle “trying to make money while he’s 30” pertains to his FXR Racing gear deal, something he was able to keep despite JGRMX’s teamwide contract with Answer Racing.
Like episode three, the clips of Brian Moreau bring up a lot of emotion. I had become familiar with the French teenager during my past visits to races in Europe and was lowkey excited for his debut in the US with Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM. I hated every single part of my visit to the TLD KTM rig after that first practice session; there was a massive knot in my throat when I had to ask people I consider friends how bad things sounded and I wanted to leave the track multiple times that day. As for this footage, it’s amazing the way that the Red Bull crew edited a very difficult day together in the most respectful way possible. Seriously, this is a lifechanging moment that had never been documented in a motocross video.
And then there’s the race itself. Eli Tomac triumphed and scored another big win in the first part of the season, Ken Roczen had a small mistake while on a move to the front but regrouped in time to maintain a place on the podium, and Cooper Webb’s runner-up result. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you anything from those actual motos right now. The day at the stadium is a complete blur, until Donn and I got dinner at Waffle House at 1 AM.
2020 ARLINGTON SUPERCROSS
The video jumps from Tampa to Texas, a weekend that was made difficult by the cold weather, challenges getting into/out of the building, a meat grinder of a track, and the Triple Crown format. Adam Cianciarulo’s season-changing crash came during practice and left him with a broken collarbone, while Cooper Webb did a full body slam onto the pavement and was wheeled out of the venue with worry of a severe hip injury, uncertain if his championship defense was done.
Also, thanks to the guys for using audio from an appearance on the FLY Racing MOTO 60 Show when I explained the importance of a Roczen win at the Atlanta Supercross, which ups the suspense for episode five.