We've already covered the big stories and the race winners. Check out the notebook to see who else made some news over the weekend.
By Chase Stallo and Aaron Hansel
- On opening night in Anaheim, you might expect top racers to be hanging out inside their motor homes or having serious last minute discussions with team managers or mechanics before heading into the stadium. That was not the case in the Red Bull KTM pits. With literally less than five minutes remaining before opening ceremonies, Ryan Dungey was outside leaned over a table autographing a stack of posters for future distribution. Had he won the race, perhaps this would have become his new pre-race ritual!
- In the rider's meeting, AMA Race Director John Gallagher said that this year the tracks would be designed in part to lower top speeds in an effort to improve safety. With the best lap times ranging in the 55 to 57 second range, it appears as though Dirt Wurx was successful in this endeavor at A1.
- Before you criticize Justin Brayton for not qualifying right out of his heat race, know that he injured his left thumb during a crash in practice. The injury required Brayton's mechanic, Patrick Barker, to make an interesting modification to the Brayton's grip. Despite the setback, Brayton was able to win the LCQ and finish in ninth place.
Aaron Hansel photo
- Always forward thinkers when it comes to the fan experience at the races, the Dodge/Sycuan RCH Suzuki team unveiled their newest form of pit entertainment at A1. They strapped a 450 to a dyno and let fans have at it! If you are at a round of Monster Energy Supercross this year, be sure to stop by the RCH pits and check it out!
- Terrible night for Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki. Martin Davalos was looking to shed his "win the heat, DNF the main" reputation, but he made it through one corner of the main event before getting his bike mangled in the Jessy Nelson inspired first turn melee. Heat race win to DNF it was. Blake Baggett had it even worse, as his hand/wrist was bashed in the first turn stack up. We're hearing rumors of a broken hand for Baggett. Stay tuned.
- After getting together with Max Anstie early in the race, Kyle Cunningham was forced to finish the remaining laps without the use of his front brake lever. Despite that and a hurt wrist, Cunningham managed to pull off an eleventh place. X-rays don't show any broken bones, and Cunningham should be back on the line when the gate drops in Phoenix.
- Team Yamaha was back! At least it looked that way when the old factory Yamaha semi, which served duty for Valli/Star Yamaha last year, rolled into the pits with the old Yamaha graphics back on it. Travis Baker, lone racer for Valli right now, was the exclusive rider for this rig. Star Racing and Valli have split, so Star is back to having its own semi.
Max Anstie is back for a few 250SX West Region rounds.
Simon Cudby photo
- Rockstar Energy Racing's Jason Anderson is off to a career-best start after a fourth place finish at Anaheim. Anderson had finished seventh in his two previous season openers. Combine his fourth with teammate Ryan Sipes sixth, and the 450SX win for Davi Millsaps, and Rockstar Energy Racing had quite the night!
- Also off to a career-best start is J-Star JDR KTM's Malcolm Stewart after a fifth in the opener.
- J-Star JDR KTM's Joey Savatgy and Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Designs Honda's Jessy Nelson became the only rookies in the 2013 class to make the main at Anaheim after finishing eighth and second in their heat races, respectively. Nelson suffered a big crash after snagging the holeshot in the main, leading to an 18th place finish. Savatgy finished 13th in his debut.
- Britain's Max Anstie, recently signed by Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe this off-season, is back to contest a number of 250SX West Region races, before returning to Europe to contest the FIM World Motocross Championships. The former Star Racing Yamaha rider finished ninth at the opener.
- JAB Motorsports' Matt Lemoine made his 450SX debut at Anaheim. The Texan, by way of Louisiana, finished 15th in his debut.
Matt Lemoine finished 15th in his 450SX debut.
Simon Cudby photo
- South Carolina native, and 2008 AMA Horizon Award winner, PJ Larsen made his 450SX debut Saturday night. The 2010 Australian MX and SX Champion, and current Rocket Exhaust rider, failed to qualify for the main at Anaheim.
- Other notables that failed to qualify for the 450SX main event included: Josh Hansen, Kyle Partridge, Chris Blose, Phil Nicoletti, Tevin Tapia, Les Smith and Ben LaMay.
- Notables that failed to qualify in the 250SX main included: Ricky Dietrich, Australians Kade Mosig and Josh Cachia, Dakota Tedder, Chris Plouffe, Nick Paluzzi, “Driven to Ride” Derek Anderson, rookie Dillan Epstein and Scott Champion.
- Reigning Canadian MX Nationals Champion Matt Goerke is back in the States full-time under the BTOSports KTM tent. Goerke finished 12th in the 450SX class Saturday.