Undoubtedly, Anaheim 1 is one of the most popular races on the motocross calendar, as the event attracts a lot of attention from fans around the world. Fortunately, the many fans that had their eyeballs fixed on Angel Stadium this past weekend were treated to some brilliant racing in each class. Join us as we break down some of the lap times and battles from Anaheim 1.
Dean Wilson vs. Zach Osborne (250SX Main Event):
Zach Osborne (3rd)
Dean Wilson (4th)
Zach Osborne and Dean Wilson had a great battle for third for much of the main event; they traded paint many times, whilst battling over the final podium position. It was not surprising at all to see both riders up front. However, their times were a tick off of the top two. In part, this was because they were distracted by their battle – they spent a lot of time slowing each other up, which also allowed the guys behind them to close in. When Dean and Zach met on track, on the seventh lap, their times dropped into the one-minute mark for the first time all race; this was clearly a direct result of their fiery battle.
Interestingly, the battle between Wilson and Osborne started off of the track, as Dean stole Zach’s gate just minutes before the main; the two exchanged words, which certainly set the stage for their main event battle. Although it may have seemed like Wilson was a bit off of the pace, he dropped back down below a minute after the initial block pass. In the following laps, both riders continued to swap positions, before Zach eventually secured third. I am sure that they were slightly disappointed at how the leaders rode away from them though.
Jason Anderson vs. Cole Seely (250SX Main Event):
Jason Anderson (1st)
Cole Seely (2nd)
I was sure that Cole Seely was going to win the 250SX main event after he took the lead from Jason Anderson early on in the main event. In the early laps, it was quite clear that Seely was the fastest guy. But, Jason began closing in rapidly at the end of the main event; he managed to come out of nowhere and make up a lot of time. Although Seely has stated multiple times that backmarkers were the reason for his downfall, I am not sure that I fully agree with this.
Sure, they were a contributing factor, but if you look at the times, Anderson dropped his lap times by half a second, whilst Seely seemed to back it down a little bit. Cole did not run into too many backmarkers on the penultimate lap, but he was still above the one-minute mark, whilst Jason almost dropped down into the fifty-eight second range, which he had not done since lap seven. Maybe the backmarkers aided the Rockstar Energy KTM rider when it came to making the pass, but Jason closed in because of his raw speed late in the race.
Ken Roczen vs. James Stewart (450SX Main Event):
Ken Roczen (1st)
James Stewart (17th)
Although Ken Roczen topped the podium in the 450SX main event, I think that everyone can agree that James Stewart was the fastest rider on-track. Would Stewart have passed Roczen if he had not of fallen? I guess we will never know, but it seemed likely. Despite the fact that he had to work his way through some traffic, James was in the fifty-eight second range most laps. In fact, he was the only guy that had an average time under fifty-nine seconds. Stewart did complete five less laps than everyone else, which helped in that area, of course. But, it is still a feat worthy of admiration.
I am actually quite amazed how much quicker James was than Roczen in the part of the race that is highlighted in the table. The Yoshimura Suzuki rider crashed out on lap sixteen, so lap fifteen (the one where he set the fastest lap of the main, and managed to close in on Ken by a second and a half) was his final one. If there is one thing that most people are taking away from A1, it is that James Stewart is very fast and back to his former self. Judging by the table above, James is not out of this thing yet.
Words: Lewis Phillips
Image: James Lissimore [www.lissimorephoto.com]