Best Lap Times
- Although it may seem like Anaheim 1 went exactly as planned for Jason Anderson, it really didn’t. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider encountered issues in practice, when he got wayward in a rhythm section and went flying over a berm into a group of stationary riders. Jason was lucky to escape unscathed and eventually posted the tenth fastest time.
- Ryan Dungey again failed to win Anaheim 1 on a 450F, not that it really matters. The defending champion was perhaps better than most realise, as he rebounded to charge forward after being taken out by Trey Canard. Ryan passed five riders on his way to the runner-up spot, after being buried as far down as seventh at one point.
- Ryan Dungey also crashed in his heat race, which forced him to go to the semi. This was the first time in his career that Ryan found himself in this position, as he transferred straight out of the heat race at all rounds the last two years. That is not to say that ‘1’ hasn’t come close, as he took the final transfer spot in the heat at nine of the thirty-four rounds. The semis returned for the first time since 2006 in 2014. When was the last time that Dungey did not transfer directly out of the heat? It was at Anaheim 3 in 2013 and he went on to win the main!
- Cole Seely finished third, despite leading the most laps and taking the holeshot. His gap out front peaked at just over five seconds on lap eight, but soon after that he let nerves get the better of him. In a team press release, Cole admitted that he was unusually nervous due to this being his first race since his shoulder injury. The HRC rider held on for third though, so captured the seventh podium of his 450SX career.
- Eli Tomac finished fourth in his Monster Energy Kawasaki debut, which was by no means a bad start. Eli stated that his goal was just to leave with solid points, after running into problems at the opener the last two years. Finishing fourth isn’t all bad, anyway, as the eventual champion has finished in that position at Anaheim 1 the last two years! Eli also had the fastest lap time of the main.
- Ken Roczen had a very eventual opener and is, truthfully, lucky to leave with a fifth place finish. Kenny was involved in a first turn pileup in his heat, which left him with a bent up bike and sore shoulder. After charging forward in the semi to finish third, he then again got caught up on the first lap of the main. According to the lap chart he passed eleven riders (and it was probably more, seeing as he was second to last on lap one) – that is more than any other rider.
- Trey Canard, one of the more underrated contenders heading in, looked set to dominate the opener. After setting the fastest time in practice and winning his heat, he charged towards the front in the main before coming unravelled. In his words, he “just didn’t ride well. I was tight, picked poor lines and didn’t fix my mistakes.” Eventually a mistake where he ran off the track saw him shuffled back to seventh.
- Justin Bogle, in his 450SX and west coast debut, had a turbulent night. A disappointing practice time and first heat saw him head to the semi, which he won, and then take thirteenth in the main, which was pretty much where he started. It’s worth noting that Justin appeared to be limping all day, which may be a result of his recently fractured foot. The Geico Honda rider ended as the top 450SX rookie.
- Justin Barcia looked set to have one of the better nights of his career, but it soon turned into one of the more disappointing ones. Justin led prior to the red flag, but was also in contention once the race was restarted. Eventually he started to drop back on lap six, due to arm pump, until he found himself on the cusp of the top ten. A crash contributed to his end result of fifteenth. This is the worst result he has had at Anaheim 1.
- Christophe Pourcel is an enigma, as we know, and his performance on Saturday night was consistent with that. After setting the fastest time in the second practice session, Christophe floundered in the main and rode around to eighteenth. A disappointing result, but he had the speed in his first supercross race since May 8th 2010.
Best Lap Times
- Cooper Webb, unsurprisingly, dominated the 250SX main event and took his fifth consecutive victory (when you take last season into account). Need proof that Webb is indeed stronger than his competition? His lap times were, on average, four tenths faster than the second place finisher in the main event.
- Jessy Nelson looked set to repeat his Anaheim 1 victory from last year at one point, as his gap out front peaked at just under five seconds on lap three. That wasn’t quite enough, however, as Webb kept chipping away and closed in by around half a second each lap. Nelson could match his pace at points though, as his fastest lap time was less than a tenth off.
- The 250SX main certainly followed the pattern we all expected it to, as Zach Osborne landed on the final step of the podium. This was just his seventh 250SX podium finish, which is a little surprising, and he also took the first heat win of his career. Zach wasn’t thrilled about his riding in the main, as he was a little off the pace; his best lap time was almost two full seconds slower than the time Webb posted.
- Jimmy Decotis (who has previously finished in the top five four times in his career), Hayden Mellross and Fredrik Noren all posted career best finishes in the 250SX West main event. The latter made the most progress of anyone in the main event too, along with Cole Martinez, gaining five spots across the fifteen laps.
- Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki had a testing start to the season, with both Joey Savtagy and Chris Alldredge hindered by crashes. Savatgy got caught up with Christian Craig and was as far back as twelfth at one point, before rebounding to finish eighth. Alldredge crashed multiple times, which left him outside of the top twenty and with a single point to his name.
- Mitchell Harrison, the Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha rookie, had a rough introduction supercross. Following a torrid time in the heat he transferred to the main, but was then docked two positions for jumping on a yellow flag in that. Cole Thompson, who eventually ended up finishing eighteenth, was handed a similar penalty.
- Motorcycle Superstore Suzuki rookie Mark Worth was eager to impress in his supercross debut, as he ripped to the front of the pack in the first practice session of the year. Mark didn’t make it further than a lap though, as he crashed on the dragon’s back after the finish and sustained multiple injuries. A dislocated hip and dislocated/fractured elbow will keep him out of action for the foreseeable future. Kyle Cunningham, his teammate on the new team, finished nineteenth.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Image: Sean Ogden