2013 Toronto Supercross Photo Report
This past weekend I got out to cover the 2013 Toronto Supercross at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. This is the only Canadian stop on the tour but with the slow decline of the Montreal event, there is chatter that an AMA Supercross could hit “The Big O”. Attempts to bring a race to Vancouver a few years ago were unsuccessful. I’m uncertain as to whether Saturday’s race in Toronto was officially sold out or not but from my viewpoint on the floor, it looked like a full house.
In the fall, I transition to winter sports, so for me, it’s the first big event since Walton and it’s great to see everyone and catch up. New teams have been finalized and it’s a time when everyone is starting to get stoked for the outdoor season in Canada. Riders, racers and even photographers like myself have what is refereed to simply as, “The Itch”.
This has been a banner year in Supercross and the 2013 Championship is really starting to heat up. Marvin Musquin marked his third consecutive win in front of Toronto fans. This brings Musquin to within only six points of series leader, Will Hahn. Canadian Cole Thompson had his best career finish, placing sixth after an epic battle with Friese. Easily the best racing of the night. Cole made a hard pass on Freise for fifth on their last lap which had the crowd on their feet. A crazy finish line collision resulted in the two crossing the line nearly simultaneously. Thompson was originally awarded fifth place but the decision was later overturned and Cole was dropped down to sixth. Cole raced hard, pushed his limits and we’re all super proud of him. Toronto was also a big night for Canadian Nicky Beatty who made his first AMA Supercross night show in front of hometown fans.
Saturday’s 450 main event saw the top riders, in one of the most gifted fields the sport has ever produced, go head-to-head in what is turning out to be a legendary championship battle. Other than Canard and Reed, who just announced he was going back under the knife, most of the fast guys are healthy. Villopoto is starting to stretch his lead but Millsaps gave him one hell of a fight. Dungey is back on his game and things are starting to get interesting. Houston is going to be a battle royale. I would have loved to see Reed pull off a win. Seeing him in front out of the gate and then slowly slide back to fifth was hard to watch. The surgery Reed will undergo is said to be minor and will allow him to return quickly. We’re all pulling for ya, buddy!
The track in Toronto was a new design which seems to have been well-received. The dirt was thawed and sandier than in previous years. Many riders looked to a more sand-specific tire to give them the edge. It was reported that the dirt was well-sifted with the majority of the rocks removed.
Shooting wise, it was a challenge. Photographers were happy to see that we finally had access to the back section on the course but after a few riders went off the track there, we got shut down. There wasn’t really a great start shot, other than the middle section we were eventually allowed to be in. Once we were in this middle section we had to remain there until the track was clear. This section was opposite the inside gate position top riders would pick which made for an odd angle of the start. I decided to shoot here for the heats and then free-range it for the mains. Most of the easily obtained shots were butt shots and guy in the sky – far from ideal. I managed to make a few other locations work but that involved stretching out my 300mm with teleconverters which isn’t optimal under the lighting conditions we had. I enjoy a challenge and had a good time finding some interesting shooting solutions.
Here are some of my images from the race in Toronto. Hope ya dig ‘em!