By Jason Weigandt and Chase Stallo
Craziest stat this week: Through four rounds—three of those being wins—Jason Anderson has led a grand total six laps. In comparison, Cole Seely has led 40 and Dean Wilson eight. Justin Hill is the only other rider to have led a lap.
Australia's Matt Moss missed the race with a separated shoulder.
Terrible night for team Soaring Eagle/Dodge RCH Suzuki, with Broc Tickle again being relegated to the sidelines with injury, and now Josh Hill joining him on the injured list with a broken collarbone. "I felt great all day, and had the speed I needed. I just made a mistake in the heat coming through the pack," said Hill in a team statement. "I'm not in too much pain. More than anything, I'm just frustrated that I'm going to have to miss a couple races."
Tickle came in with sore ribs after a big crash in his semi race last week at Anaheim. Then? "I got off to a decent start in my heat and felt the best I have all night," said Broc in a team statement. "Barcia knocked Weimer down in a berm in front of me and I got on the gas to try and miss his bike, but clipped it and crashed. I sprained my left wrist and my pointer finger. It swelled up really quickly, so we made a decision as a team to pull out on racing tonight." Tickle hopes to be back this weekend.
Now, let’s get to the lap charts.
|Lap Rank||Finish||Best Lap||In Lap||Avg Lap Time||Rider|
|Lap Rank||Finish||Best Lap||In Lap||Avg Lap Time||Rider|
Over the last two weeks James Stewart and Chad Reed have renewed a rivalry that a year ago seemed to have vanished. Both have shown consistency (aside from Stewart’s crash at A1 and Reed’s ninth in Phoenix) in the results and consistency in challenging each other. A week ago, Reed used a late burst to overtake Stewart for the win at Anaheim 2. This past weekend, the tables were turned. The quad that Reed was doing earlier in the race worked to the advantage of Stewart late as he drew in Reed. Let’s take a look and see where Stewart was able to make up ground on Reed.
|Lap||Chad Reed||James Stewart|
After he cleared Reed, and still using the quad to his advantage, Stewart did make up ground on RV over the final six laps. Check out the side-by-side comparison below.
|Lap||Ryan Villopoto||James Stewart|
In 250SX, Jason Anderson pulled out another last-lap pass, but without Dean Wilson’s mechanical problem on the final lap, Anderson probably wouldn’t have been close enough to attempt a desperation move at the end. However, Anderson was making up ground over the final six laps. Let’s have a look.
|Lap||Jason Anderson||Dean Wilson|
More News and Notes:
Shoutout to Moto Mafia's Nick Wey, who missed the main at Anaheim 1 but has been solid since, carding a 13th and two 15ths at the last three races. Not bad for a guy who missed all of 2013 with injury.
The Oakland whoops were very tough early in the day, but were rolled in (made smaller and rounder) as the show went on. Even James Stewart and Chad Reed, two riders who normally gain time in big whoops, were okay with the change. "The way they’ve been building the whoops this year is kind of dangerous," said Stewart to our Aaron Hansel. "They’re just built really steep. You can build them ten feet tall, but when they’re really steep and guys miss them, they just endo. In practice I said, ‘Do you guys want to have a series, or are you going to have people hurt?’ They changed them, so that was better." Reed echoed those thoughts to our Steve Matthes. "I like big whoops as you know, but I think they were a little bit sketchy," said Reed. "If there was a riders union and if I was the head of it I would agree that they needed a little work. Maybe they went a little too far with it, but they were really sketchy in practice. They were real pointy. I think there would have been a lot of crashes, and it’s a series. Sometimes you can’t make choices for the benefit of yourself. Like I said, if I was in a position where I had to be like, 'Hey, you’re the guy, should we cut them down or not?' I think that they did the right thing."
If you’re looking to find a new rivalry between friends Cooper Webb and Malcolm Stewart you may want to look elsewhere. Stewart downplayed their incident in the 250SX main, while Webb placed the blame squarely on his shoulders.
“Racing is racing. I don’t have a grudge with him,” Stewart told Racer X. “I have nothing against him. I actually walked over here and talked to him. I’m just going to let this race go like nothing ever happened.”
“We’re good buddies and he was bummed, and I was too,” Webb told Racer X. “The crash was totally my fault. We’re both pushing to be up there, and when you’re both trying that hard your emotions can get high. We talked after the race and we’re still good buddies."
Webb was lucky to even be competing in the main after a big crash in qualifying, which resulted in a sprained wrist.
“I had a really bad crash in practice and popped my wrist out of place and sprained it. Doc G helped me out a lot and got it back in. I was just trying to ride through that and do the best I could.”
Pretty thankful to walk away from this. Gotta thank the man upstairs. Popped my wrist out and a sprain… http://t.co/cMeHUnJ5ry— Cooper Webb (@minicoop175) January 26, 2014
We all called Factory Metal Works’ Vince Friese grabbing the 450SX holeshot, right?
How scarce has Suzuki’s presence been in 250SX in 2014? On Saturday in Oakland, privateer Brandon Scharer was the first Suzuki rider to make a main this year.
51Fifty Honda’s Jake Canada was back in action, which meant fill-in rider Chris Plouffe was no longer with the team for Oakland. Canada finished 11th following his one week absence.
Jimmy Decotis is using the West Coast as a warm-up for a run in the 250SX East Region. The privateer hero qualified for his first career 450SX main in Oakland. Decotis would finish the night 20th.
Privateer Michael Leib held off Jessy Nelson for sixth in Oakland, marking a season-high for the Rocket Exhaust/On Track rider.