10 Things to Watch: A3

10 Things To Watch A3

February 1, 2013 9:30am

By Aaron Hansel and Chase Stallo

Down But Not Out
After dominating the first three races, GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac had a terrible night in Oakland. He crashed twice, with the second crash, a nasty get-off in the whoops, resulting in a DNF. It’s eerily similar to the situation that Tomac found himself in last year after a big crash in the San Diego whoops erased a big points lead. Now, with five races to go, Tomac faces a 15-point deficit behind Ken Roczen, who has yet to finish lower than second place. Both riders are championship-caliber, and their intensity and determination is unquestionable. Further complicating matters is Cole Seely, who is hitting a mid-season surge and now sits second in points. Who will win the battle of A3 in what has suddenly become the war of the western guns? - Aaron Hansel

Still Got It
After four rounds of Monster Energy Supercross, Rockstar Energy Racing’s Davi Millsaps still has that big, beautiful shiny red number plate bolted firmly to his motorcycle. When asked after Oakland if that was empowering or if it just added pressure, Millsaps responded that, “It’s just the color of my graphics.” With a 7-point lead over Trey Canard and just one race off the podium, a fourth at A2, Millsaps clearly has a few things figured out this season. Will that translate into another red plate-clad motorcycle after A3? - Aaron Hansel

Tomac looks to bounce back in Anaheim.
Simon Cudby photo

Sooner or Later
Considering Trey Canard’s strong riding this year, it seems only a matter of time before he lights the torches and pulls in his first win of the season. In fact, if not for a few small mistakes late in the races, there’s a good chance he’d already have that win. Had he won Anaheim 1, it would have been a surprise. If he wins Anaheim 3, it won’t look that way at all. - Aaron Hansel

Knocking on the Door
If you followed the Driven to Ride series last year that chronicled privatees Derek Anderson and Tucker Saye on a Nationals road trip, then you’ve probably been following Anderson’s quest to make a supercross main this year. He’s come close on several occasions, and in Oakland he turned faster laps in the LCQ than anyone else after getting a lousy start. Had he not crashed on the final lap, he would have been in a position to challenge for the final transfer spot when Scott Champion made a last-ditch effort to make it into the main by attempting a big block pass on Killy Rusk. Anderson is going to make it one of these weeks. Will A3 be the race? - Aaron Hansel

Privateer Battle
Vince Friese, Matt Lemoine and Weston Peick have been logging great rides and making in into main events—but they’ve also been getting into each other. At A2 Peick and Lemoine had an altercation that spilled over into Twitter and in Oakland, Peick and Friese (whose rivalry predates the 2013 season) got into it. If they keep finding one another on the track, things are going to get ugly. Will the situation lie dormant at A3, or will things boil over in Angel Stadium? - Aaron Hansel

Millsaps looks to continue his hot start in Anaheim.
Simon Cudby photo

The High Road
When I talked with HRT Honda’s second-year pro Austin Politelli after Anaheim 1, he told me all he needed was a good start to run up front. “I think if I’m able to get good starts and run up front, I’ll be able to stay there.” Well, the southern California native didn’t need a good start (15th after lap 1) in Oakland to achieve a career-high eighth. Politelli has qualified for three of four rounds this year (missed the main at Anaheim 2) and is in the midst of a breakout season. Will the upward trend continue at Anaheim 3? – Chase Stallo

Unhappy Camper
Mitch Payton is not happy right now. “I don’t really know what to say,” Payton told Racer X’s Steve Matthes after Oakland. “It’s just like I really expected more from Tyla and I really expected Martin to have the speed to run with those guys with the right circumstances. And right now he just needs to dig down and find that speed.” Can Tyla Rattray or Martin Davalos find it? – Chase Stallo

Canard has been knocking on the door, can he get his first win at A3?
Simon Cudby photo

Last Stand?
When Chad Reed darted sideways in the whoops at the start of last week’s main event, it set off a chain reaction and one of the biggest pileups we’ve ever seen at the start of a supercross races. And, of course, Reed ran into James Stewart, because they two have been magnetized to each other for over a decade now. Trouble is, both haven’t had the seasons they were expecting so far, and the big points hit in Oakland only made it worse. Can the two old warriors of the former-champions set mount one more run to the front, or has the torch officially been passed? - Jason Weigandt

Bam Bam Bruised
In the two rounds since capturing his first career 450SX win, Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Barcia has scored just two points, has not finished a race, and has slid from second in points to ninth. There’s no denying the speed is there—see his win in Phoenix—but Bam Bam needs to regroup in a hurry before his rookie year gets away from him completely. – Chase Stallo

Oh, BTO!
BTO Sports KTM’s first season with factory support is off to a roaring start, thanks to Matt Goerke, who is quietly having a career season. With two top tens through three rounds—including a career-high seventh in Oakland—the reigning MX1 Canadian Nationals Champion is making his mark on a loaded field. He’s showing legitimate speed, too, mixing it up with the top stars in both his heats and the mains—and no doubt gaining confidence each time. Can Goerke keep the good times rolling into Anaheim 3? – Chase Stallo