The National Superhooligan series rolls into the US scene's spiritual home, Costa Mesa Speedway, this Saturday.
Points leader Andy DiBrino missed the previous round, at Wheels & Waves California, because he was road racing, leaving the door open for former AMA GNC champ, Joe Kopp to take the points lead. To remind you, the series champion gets a $50,000 Indian FTR750, that's the bike joe Kopp himself helped develop and debuted at Santa Rosa in 2016 (read Sideburn 27 for that story, Kopp is on the cover). The bike that is going to win the 2017 AFT Season (and probably the 2018 and possibly 2019 too).
This series didn't discourage pros, in fact it actively encouraged them to take guest rides, but few envisaged that someone of Kopp's standing would attend so many races and be in with a shout at winning the bike. The Washington-based rider has competed at five of the seven rounds and won three races, coming second and fourth in the other two. No other rider has won more than a single race. And Kopp is doing it on his own Hinckley Bonneville.
Kopp has 110 points, Brad Spencer 106, DiBrino 103. There are 25pts for a win, 20 for 2nd, 17 for 3rd.
I'm torn. I'd have loved some Average Joe hooligan to have won the bike, but then I'm intrigued to see what Smokin' Joe will do with it. Sell it to a collector, or turn up at some races and compete on it? Or, wait until his son is old enough, and put him on it?
Anyway, the season's not over yet, but I reckon Kopp has smelt blood and it's so close to the end of the campaign that he's not going to walk away from a $50K race bike.
After Costa Mesa, there are two more rounds scheduled, one at the final AFT round at the big(ger) track at Perris on 7 October, then a week later at Bolsa Chica, all three remaining rounds are in So Cal.