Sign of the (Lap)  Times: Anaheim 3

Sign of the (Lap) Times: Anaheim 3

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Eli Tomac has raced a total of nine laps in 2014. Injuries (shoulder, which forced him to miss four rounds) and bike problems upon his return (flat in main at Anaheim 3) have given the rookie little in the form of 450SX experience. One the bright side, with no title pressure Tomac can step back and really look at 2014 as a learning year.

"Today I just wanted to get back in the groove as much as I could and learn things about the bike," Tomac said in a team release. "I was shooting for a top-five in the main but I ended up getting a flat, which is something that is just so rare with these things. I can't even remember the last time I had a flat tire.

"Overall it was a good day of learning, and I did some stuff on the track that the other guys weren't doing so it was fun,” he continued. “I think my shoulder probably is 80 to 90 percent strength-wise. I did feel it getting a bit weak there in the main before the flat, so I know I still need to build strength back so I can attack the whole time."

Eli Tomac got a flat in the main, ending his night early. Photo: Simon Cudby
Eli Tomac got a flat in the main, ending his night early. Photo: Simon Cudby

Tomac’s GEICO Honda teammates didn’t fare well in the final visit to Anaheim. Zach Osborne went down hard in practice and had to leave with a shoulder injury. Osborne will miss San Diego but will be back for Houston on April 5. Meanwhile, Tomac’s 450 companion, Wil Hahn, injured his hand in a practice crash, but was able to grind out a twelfth.

"I've always enjoyed Anaheim and the GEICO Honda team has won a bunch of races here over the years, but today I really couldn't wait for this thing to end," said Hahn in a team release. "I had a spill in the whoops section earlier today and hurt my hand. I was doing as much therapy as possible between sessions, but it really started hurting by about lap 15 in the main. I was just counting down the laps from there.”

Hahn’s big crash took place in the super tough whoop section, but to his credit, when we saw Wilbur after the crash, he still said he liked tracks with big whoops. “I hope they leave them like that,” he said. “It was my fault that I made a mistake. I like technical tracks.”

On to the lap times!

450SX Class

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1  2 1:02.724 4 1:03.633 Ken Roczen
2  1 1:02.893 1 1:03.623 Chad Reed
3  4 1:03.097 4 1:04.371 Justin Barcia
4  7 1:03.136 9 1:04.395 James Stewart
5  20 1:03.225 9 1:03.821 Ryan Dungey
6  3 1:03.236 5 1:04.141 Ryan Villopoto
7  5 1:03.415 6 1:04.778 Weston Peick
8  9 1:03.773 5 1:05.610 Andrew Short
9  6 1:03.964 7 1:05.077 Justin Brayton
10  8 1:04.287 7 1:05.176 Jake Weimer
11  21 1:04.304 3 1:05.454 Eli Tomac
12  10 1:04.787 5 1:05.814 Ivan Tedesco
13  11 1:04.946 7 1:06.011 Broc Tickle
14  22 1:04.919 1 1:04.919 Mike Alessi
15  12 1:05.030 4 1:06.090 Wil Hahn
16  13 1:05.157 11 1:06.284 Nick Wey
17  14 1:05.220 6 1:06.403 Matt Moss
18  16 1:05.524 8 1:06.290 Vince Friese
19  15 1:05.601 4 1:06.883 Jimmy Albertson
20  17 1:05.672 6 1:07.677 Josh Grant
21  18 1:06.244 7 1:07.678 Matt Goerke
22  19 1:07.134 6 1:08.895 Chris Blose

250SX Class

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1  2 1:02.145 1 1:04.705 Cole Seely
2  5 1:02.895 15 1:04.346 Jason Anderson
3  1 1:03.301 1 1:04.242 Dean Wilson
4  3 1:03.734 2 1:05.101 Cooper Webb
5  6 1:04.002 7 1:05.789 Malcolm Stewart
6  7 1:04.010 2 1:06.095 Jake Canada
7  4 1:04.500 6 1:05.170 Justin Hill
8  8 1:04.764 5 1:06.342 Shane McElrath
9  9 1:05.074 4 1:06.627 Jessy Nelson
10  10 1:06.432 4 1:07.577 Dakota Tedder
11  11 1:06.908 14 1:07.578 Dean Ferris
12  12 1:07.171 3 1:08.621 Scott Champion
13  15 1:07.476 4 1:10.025 Valentin Teillet
14  13 1:07.773 3 1:09.139 Topher Ingalls
15  14 1:07.900 2 1:09.403 Preston Mull
16  16 1:08.101 2 1:10.421 Brandon Scharer
17  17 1:09.220 4 1:11.506 Chris Howell
18  18 1:09.355 2 1:12.995 Shawn Rhinehart
19  22 1:10.057 5 1:12.123 Conner Elliott
20  19 1:11.183 3 1:13.909 Jean Marrone
21  21 1:11.285 2 1:16.804 Brandon Rangel
22  20 1:11.338 3 1:14.404 Joseph Dalzell

Ken Roczen, Ryan Villopoto and eventual winner Chad Reed were joined at the hip for a majority of the race, before Roczen and Reed separated from RV. Let’s take a look at their lap times to see what laps Roczen and Reed were able make up the most time.

Lap Chad Reed Ken Roczen Ryan Villopoto
1 1.02.893 1.03.895 1.03.892
2 1.03.130 1.03.034 1.03.723
3 1.03.188 1.03.258 1.03.434
4 1.03.318 1.02.724 1.04.841
5 1.03.484 1.03.120 1.03.236
6 1.03.212 1.03.328 1.03.284
7 1.03.685 1.03.788 1.03.520
8 1.03.656 1.03.445 1.03.543
9 1.04.206 1.03.827 1.03.572
10 1.04.025 1.04.160 1.03.610
11 1.03.366 1.03.673 1.03.526
12 1.03.482 1.03.210 1.03.666
13 1.03.709 1.03.931 1.03.459
14 1.03.453 1.03.662 1.04.027
15 1.03.808 1.03.997 1.03.959
16 1.04.105 1.03.719 1.04.511
17 1.03.740 1.04.238 1.05.056
18 1.04.464 1.03.739 1.05.309
19 1.03.723 1.03.850 1.05.703
20 1.03.828 1.04.065 1.06.968

While Justin Barcia’s (fourth) and Weston Peick’s (fifth) banner nights are gaining most of the attention, another rider struggling in the early portion of the season got a much needed top 10 at Anaheim 3. Monster Energy’s Jake Weimer, who has dealt with a myriad of problems in 2014, finished a season-high eighth on the night.

Rockstar Energy KTM’s Ivan Tedesco made the switch to the 350SX-F at A3—he raced the 450 at the first four rounds—and finished inside the top ten for the first time in 2014. 

“Coming into the week I really didn’t know what to expect,” Tedesco told Racer X. “I was faster on it during the week at our track and I don’t get as tired on it. I really didn’t know. The one big question was the starts on it. I felt like they were fine. I didn’t have the best qualifying position so my starting gates weren’t the greatest.”

Ivan Tedesco finished inside the top ten for the first time all season at A3.  Photo: Simon Cudby
Ivan Tedesco finished inside the top ten for the first time all season at A3.  Photo: Simon Cudby

Mike Alessi, who has been battling illness over the past few weeks, finally felt healthy at A3—and it showed. Alessi moved into fourth early in the race, passing James Stewart in the process, before a mechanical (brake problems) would end his night early.

Want to know something cool? Ryan Villopoto and Jake Weimer’s Monster Energy Kawasaki bikes use titanium front spokes. There you go.

Kawasaki also presented Villopoto with a championship ring at A3. Kawasaki President Tak Tarinishi, Vice President of Product Development and Racing Shinichiro Yokoyama, and Kawasaki Senior Racing Manager Reid Nordin all gathered to present Villopoto with championship ring featuring a diamond for each championship in 2013.

Oh and speaking of spokes, BTOSports.com KTM’s Andrew Short lost some in a main event tangle with Justin Brayton. He hung on to finish ninth. Shorty has been in the top ten in all five races this year.

Josh Hill, as expected, missed the race with a broken collarbone suffered last week in Oakland. However, Hill says surgery to install a plate over the broken bone went very well and the Soaring Eagle Casino RCH Suzuki rider was tempted to try racing Anaheim. He thought better of it, but hasn’t ruled out San Diego yet, either.

On the other end, gutty ride for Hill’s teammate Broc Tickle, who is dealing with rib and wrist injuries but fought to an eleventh in the 450 main.

No official word yet, but early indications are that privateer Kyle Partridge suffered a torn ACL in practice. Partridge had made all four main events on the season before the injury. We will have more news as it becomes available.

Team Tedder/Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Dakota Tedder pieced together his best ride of the season at A3, claiming his first top ten of the year.

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