Staging Area: Anaheim 2

Staging Area: Anaheim 2

Anndddd we’re back! Anaheim 2 is déjà vu for everyone in the supercross world. Just two weeks ago, we were all anticipating Anaheim 1 and looking for answers to so many questions. Some were answered over the last two rounds, while some are still up for debate. The weather has been a big factor and looks to be again this weekend. We have been fortunate to dodge the rain on race day but it has still made an impact with the dirt and how the track shapes up. With rain forecasted every day this week, the track will be covered, but the moisture is already in the dirt so it will be soft and rutty again this Saturday. Let’s take a look at the track map, shall we?

This track has a little bit of everything. It has a 90 degree first turn to the left, which isn’t the worst scenario, but I would definitely look for people to end up on the outside of the track. Ninety degree first turns generally result in the inside pack pushing the outside riders deeper than they want to be, and right off the track.

Feld Motor Sports

There are four straightaways in the middle of the track that are going to be critical. The first is a whoop section with a 180 degree turn directly after. Anaheim whoops are usually tough but with the rain, I bet they are fairly easy again like we saw at A1. The turn afterwards could lead to some block passes, especially if riders need to set up for a triple into the next section. That hesitation in the “setting up” for the next rhythm opens the door for an aggressive rider trailing into the turn.

The next two rhythm sections will probably be built with shorter jumps again due to the rain, which is unfortunate. Anaheim is usually known for having very tough obstacles and whoops, but the weather is simply melting those hopes. The final of the four straightaways is another set of whoops, which as we’ve seen, will probably be smaller and get worn down as the night goes on. The one other aspect to note in these four sections is the riders’ heart rates will spike. Riders use triple jumps and open straightaways to catch their breath and lower their heart rate. Having four tough sections in a row gives little opportunity to regulate any of that, so look for riders to be utilizing the next triple jump as a chance to “reset” for the remainder of the lap.

The following sections are fairly easy and while somewhat tight, there aren’t a lot of difficult obstacles to navigate. The over/under bridge makes its first appearance of 2017, but who are we kidding, Steve Matthes won’t even make it that far during track walk. The disappointing part of this track is that once the riders pass those four sections we discussed, I don’t see many passing opportunities. The jumps become easy, the turns get tighter and the inside line will be impossible to overcome. Look for riders to make it happen in those four tough sections, or not at all.

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Questions I Want Answered:

What’s eating Eli Tomac?

Can Cooper Webb take a step forward this weekend?

Will Chad Reed find his magic in Anaheim?

Can Shane McElrath keep this going?

How will Mookie do?


Who’s Hot:

Ken Roczen is hotter than Chernobyl on a calm night in April 1986.

Shane McElrath has served notice that we were all morons for not picking him to win races this year.

Ryan Dungey stepped up his game and gave Ken Roczen a battle for over 20 minutes.

Justin Hill charged up to the back of McElrath and was arguably the fastest rider at San Diego.

Marvin Musquin is two-for-two on podiums in this young season.

Hill caught McElrath at the end of the main event last weekend, but ran out of time. Can he dethrone the TLD KTM rider this weekend?
Hill caught McElrath at the end of the main event last weekend, but ran out of time. Can he dethrone the TLD KTM rider this weekend? Jeff Kardas

Who’s Not:

Eli Tomac has had two weekends he would probably like to forget.

Cooper Webb has had two weekends he would probably like to forget.

Christophe Pourcel has had two weekends he would probably like to forget.

Jeremy Martin hasn’t been able to put it together yet, but that crash in San Diego practice was nothing short of spectacular.


Bold Predictions:

Mookie still denies there have been any talks between he and Chris Crossland.

Freddie Noren ups the ante, dropping down to a CRF150R for A2.

Dean Wilson drops banana peels on the track throughout the day as his five-race window draws closer.

Martin Davalos starts a petition to bring 15 laps back to 250 main event racing.

Ryan Dungey wins his first main event of the season.

Jason Anderson gets his first podium of the season.

Weston Peick logs his third top 10 in a row. Just like last season, he has really come out swinging.


My Picks:

250

Shane McElrath
Aaron Plessinger
Justin Hill

450

Ryan Dungey
Ken Roczen
Jason Anderson