450 Words: A1Monday, January 7, 2008 | 12:42 PM
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While the voters on last week’s Racer X Online Poll had the favorite answer of who would win Anaheim 1 in a virtual tie—40.31 percent for James Stewart, 39.46 percent for Chad Reed—there was less of a consensus in Anaheim Stadium on Saturday night that really thought that #22 was going to win. After Chad crashed hard in his one and only practice by flying off the side of a triple and splattering himself in mud, it seemed even less likely that he would come out on top. But Reed showed a resiliency that he lacked last year, and the Australian has now matched his grand total of wins in 2007 after a single race. The L&M Yamaha rider overcame a few bobbles of his own to get the job done, and he was downright pumped to start the season with a hard-earned A1 win.
As for the rest of the field, things went pretty much the way many figured. Stewart’s Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate Tim Ferry was his usual reliable self, quietly putting together another podium finish, making him the winner-of-the-rest-of-the-guys’ unofficial weekly battle. Team Yamaha’s Grant Langston kept rolling with the consistency he’s shown since late last summer, and while Torco Racing Fuels Honda’s Kevin Windham rounded out the top five, he looked more inspired than he did when he started last season’s tour. And Mike Alessi rode to a decent sixth in his first-ever AMA Supercross race (a position matched by Ricky Carmichael in his first 250 SX race back in 1999).
The bottom line? In my opinion, the 80 percent of the people who think either Reed or Stewart or will win this title are 100 percent right, but the question as to which will be the winner suddenly seems too close to call after the first 20 laps of 2008.
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Check out 10,000 MILES FROM HOMEin our Latest issue of Racer X available now.
Australian Dean Ferris hopes to follow in the footsteps of some of his legendary countrymen. Now contesting the FIM Grand Prix series, he made a huge impression at the Motocross of Nations. Page 138.