Anaheim 3 Track Walk

February 3, 2009 10:36pm

Denny Stephenson is a former Suzuki factory rider as well as the 1990 AMA 125cc East Region Supercross Champion. He’s still involved in motocross, working for Connexions Motorsports Group and riders like Josh Grant, Trey Canard, Jimmy Albertson and Jeremy Lusk of FMX fame. We had originally hoped to have Jeremy McGrath take us on this track walk, but the King of Supercross banged himself up pretty good riding over the weekend, so we called Denny in and asked him to channel his inner-Jeremy and tell us about the Anaheim 3 track and this weekend’s Monster Energy/AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship.

“This is like the Excite-Bike track!” joked Stephenson. “I even pulled up the old Excite-Bike website to see where Jeremy came up with some of these jumps. This is a busy track! It will be a nice change of pace from what we’ve seen the last couple of weeks with smaller tracks.”

Anaheim 3
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  • Denny Stephenson
  • Denny Stephenson
1.) “This is a nice, long start—at least a couple-hundred feet long—and it doesn’t have one of those funky first turns like we’ve been seeing. This is a nice, flowing sweeper that should give everybody a little better chance of getting through while staying up, and maybe they won’t separate so quickly. As far as where to line up on the gate goes, on a start like this, if I had the first pick, I would go just inside of the box.”

2.) “None of these jumps are real big, but the first one looks like it’s right at the exit of the first turn, so I think you might see triple-in, triple the next three, and then either triple again and double into the next corner, or since the last two look like an inverted double, maybe just go double-double and land going down the backside of the second to the last one, and then it’s a bump-and-jump into the hairpin.”

3.) “The big bowl turns—I love these. I know they kind of took those away for awhile, but now they’re back every now and then and I think the guys really enjoy using them. It allows them to come in high and drop in low, or just come early and inside and roll out. Either way, there are two different lines.”

4.) “Boom! Right back into another big rhythm section, and that’s really going to keep the guys busy. You can maybe double out of the first turn here, then hit that big one and jump all the way up to the step-up, or maybe jump off the first one into the face of the second one and then up onto the third one, because that third jump looks pretty big. Then you finish the section with a double-double... It just depends on how the track sets up and how far apart these jumps end up.”

5.) “Another right, this time a 90-degree turn, sort of like the one at A2 that led into the finish line. The first two look small and easy, then it’s the big triple. Personally, I think triples are a waste of space, but they are always crowd-pleasers.”

6.) “After the triple, you go right into the whoops. I have always been a big fan of the whoops, and lately I just don’t think they’ve had enough out there. It’s definitely a breaker between good and bad, and we have so many good guys out there in both classes, I think the more whoops the better. Here, you will be landing and clicking up into fourth—maybe even fifth—and hit these at speed. Then rather than a leap of faith, it’s a run of faith. Here’s where guys can really mess themselves up if the hit them too fast and drop their nose in. If they are small like San Fran, there should be a lot of lines the whole way across the track.”

7.) “Depending on how you get through the whoops, if you’re carrying speed and go outside here, that will set you up for a nice double-double, or maybe even a triple up on that deal, then a triple-double to the corner. The ideal way to go through something like this is to use a smaller jump to get over the big ones, because that keeps you closer to the ground.”

8.) “Another hairpin, and then a run-up to a wall. Here’s where you want to keep an eye out for Damon Bradshaw launching his bike at Chicken! Seriously, you whoop it up to this breaker jump in the middle, and there’s talk good and bad about these things. They are definitely old school, and I think it’s cool that Jeremy is bringing it back here. And when you have something like this in the middle, the early whoops turn into more jumping than blitzing, because that gets you some rhythm going into the wall. Remember, at Houston it was Stewart and only Stewart who could blitz into the wall and then clear all the whoops on the backside—this plays into his strength because he’s been jumping some pretty amazing stuff this season.”

9.) “A rare left hander, and it takes you into a big double... This reminds me of the big double they used to have at the Pontiac Silverdome right before the finish line. What’s interesting about this is that the Lites guys might be forced to go outside a little bit, and that will set up the guy on the inside for a nice block pass, and as we’ve been seeing, those Lites guys really like to T each other up! I can see the 450 guys shooting through the whoops to the inside, then seat-bouncing the double. This thing looks almost bigger than the triples!”

10.) “This almost looks like a reverse dragon-back, with the rollers coming up to the face of it. So you could almost triple up onto it, or even rhythm your way up—depends on what they put at the base of that jump.”

11.) “I like a big hairpin at the end, right before the finish, especially with their being a lot of room like you have here. You might see a whole bunch of passing here, and then it’s a big double at the finish line, and that’s Anaheim 3!”