After storming his heat race – and under differing weather conditions – Millsaps decided to have mechanic Steve Westfall change his front tyre. The expectant downpour did not arrive however so the tyre-change was not needed on the RM-Z450. But Millsaps had a decent start and quickly moved into third in the Main. At one point he was catching the leaders in front of him and really seemed to be pushing to the front.
Said Millsaps: “It was a tough race. I made a change before the start. It started raining and I ‘kinda panicked. I shouldn’t have made that change but ‘hey, it’s racing and I took a chance. It was good in the beginning when it was slippery. But once it tacked-up a little bit I was struggling. I’m a very heavy front-end rider and I went to a more-grippy front tyre and it ended up not raining. So you live and you learn. It was a great night though and it was my 10th podium of the year so I’m pretty stoked on that. Also my seventh heat race win. It’s just been an awesome season. I know I lost the points lead, then dropped to third; and now I’m back to second but it doesn’t matter. It’s been a great run and the best of the best are all in this class right now and we’re all near the front.”
In the 250 class, Ryan Sipes made his comeback from injury after breaking his hand in a pile-up at Anaheim 2, then having two lots of surgery to repair it. Sipes looked to be riding good enough to pick up a podium until the half-way point of the Main Event when his arms began to pump up due to lack of time on the RM-Z250.
Said Sipes: “It was an ok weekend. It was a tough one to come back to because the track was so technical and I was just fighting it. I couldn’t find a flow but luckily my starts were really good. In the Main I got out and passed Christian Craig for third. For about seven or eight laps I felt pretty good. The leaders were getting away a little bit, but I was just kind of riding my pace. Then I just got tight. I was afraid to charge stuff because I thought my hands were ‘gonna come off. I don’t really ever get arm-pump but I got it tonight. I think it was just because it was my first one back and the track being so gnarly. I gave it everything I had and fought until the end; seventh isn’t where I wanna be but there were good parts to the night.”
250 team-mate Jason Anderson was very fast all day and was frequently on the qualifying leaderboard. In his heat race he got a great start, and then it was red flagged. After the caution it was a full restart and again Anderson rounded the first turn in a stellar position. He rode to a solid second place in the heat but more impressively was the fact that he was catching Eli Tomac and remaining mistake-free on a track most riders were faltering on. Things were looking very good going into the Main but unfortunately he did not start as well after he was buried in the pack. Then things just got worse and Anderson collided with a tuff block and went down.
Said Anderson: “My night started out good. My starts are getting better. I just need to put it all together with laps, not get too anxious and not crash. I was riding good tonight so I can take that away from it. ”
The Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki team now heads to Utah where it has snowed the past several years. Also an open stadium, the hopes will be for a nicer climate than the previous two races.