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News and Notes: Arlington

  • If you ask most riders what they first think of when Arlington is mentioned, they would say the slick, hard-pack dirt. It is typically like it every year, no matter what the conditions are outside of the stadium or how it is prepped. However, in an attempt to combat the problem, the guys at Feld Motorsports purchased all new dirt prior to this past weekend. It was much better and looked great during practice, but as the night wore on most riders made comment that the hard base started to come through…
  • Vicki Golden attempted to become the first woman to qualify for a supercross in Arlington, but I’m sure you already knew about that. It was publicised everywhere you looked, but ultimately it was for nothing as she failed to make the night show. Her lap time put her fifty-fourth out of fifty-six in the daytime qualifying sessions, and she would have to shave off another four seconds a lap just to creep into the night show. There are a lot more rounds to go, but it’s going to be an uphill climb.
  • Blake Baggett (fourth), Andrew Short (fifth), Josh Grant (eighth), Phil Nicoletti (thirteenth), Kyle Partridge (fifteenth) and Tony Archer all had their best finishes of the year in the 450SX class in Arlington. With Archer also making the main for the first time, and out of the semi too!
  • Speaking of Blake Baggett, was his fourth place just a fluke? I’m sure some people are claiming that, but it really wasn’t! He has been steadily progressing in recent weeks and he managed to stay up front for the duration in Arlington, after starting there. He was also one of only five riders (the other four being the top three and Tomac) to post a lap time under the fifty-two second range. He really was on fire!
  • How is Davi Millsaps following his weird loop out in the 450SX main event? Despite initial fears that he had again injured himself, he is okay and will be fine to race in Atlanta this weekend. He did bang his chin and, consequently, has a sore neck, but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue moving forward. It is an unwanted setback though, just as he was starting to get on the right track.
  • Seeing as Arlington was the first 250SX East round, there were a handful of crashes and close calls as riders were trying to get accustomed to the track. Unfortunately one of the seasoned veterans, Kyle Cunningham, crashed hard in the main (there is no update on his condition currently) and, consequently, there was a staggered restart. That has only happened a couple of times, with the first being Indianapolis in 2012.
  • Arnaud Tonus was much better in his Monster Energy Supercross debut than his eighth place may indicate. The Swiss import was very fast during practice, as he diced it out with Musquin for the top spot in both sessions. However, he got caught up with Martin Davalos in turn two in the main and had to push forward from the back on a track that was tough to pass on. Expect to see more from him in Atlanta.
  • Geico Honda’s RJ Hampshire picked up a very respectable seventh in his supercross debut, although it could have been even better. RJ was feeling a little second hand after crashing hard in the third practice session, but fortunately was able to race. His teammate on the other hand, Jordon Smith, sat out after breaking his hand a couple of weeks before the event. His status for Atlanta is unknown.
  • The most shocking statistic to emerge from Arlington? Jeremy Martin has raced the event three times, but this is the first time he has managed to qualify for the main! Thankfully he got that monkey off his back and is still in title contention, too, after finishing fourth.
  • There was an influx of rookies making their supercross debut at Arlington, as usual. How did they do? Hampshire was the best with a seventh, whilst Colt Nicholls was eleventh. Luke Renzland was twelfth and, finally, Dakota Alix was twentieth.

Image: James Lissimore

MX Vice Editor || 25

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