After every opener, we like to look back at a few things we learned. However, this 250SX East Region opener in Arlington taught us less than usual. Why? First, one crazy first lap wiped out a lot of data. Second, well, a lot of the action only confirmed things we already know.
Here’s a quick list.
1. We didn't really learn anything.
With nearly every contender down in the first turn, or shortly after (Forkner), it’s hard to draw any conclusions from the first round of the East Region. Look at how far back the following contenders were after the first lap:
|Dylan Ferrandis||Not listed (down a lap)|
|Martin Davalos||Out of race|
Even Zach Osborne, who won the race, said he didn’t ride well: “Just the whole day today was kind of strange for me. I just never really gelled with the track. I was just kind of putting a little bit too much pressure on myself, maybe.”
So, take this round with a grain of salt, we could see a lot different results next weekend.
2. Colt Nichols Must Be A Robot.
For a second straight year, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Colt Nichols wasn’t even sure if he’d be racing the opener. Nichols broke his upper arm in a December practice crash and said his goal at the opener was a top-ten. “I didn’t even know if I’d be here racing,” he said in the post-race press conference. “So, to come in here, the goal honestly was try to get inside the top ten and salvage some points. To come out with a second, I know there was a lot of carnage out there, but I felt like I just rode my own race and had a good time doing it.”
Last year Nichols came in off a broken femur and went 10-3-4 at the opening three rounds before sustaining another injury and missing the rest of the supercross season. He’s either a robot or a miracle of modern medicine.
3. Davalos Wins Heat Races and Sets Fast Qualifying Times
Wait…. Pretty sure we already knew that, right?
4. Why The Results Changed
If you checked results last on Saturday night and then again on Sunday morning, you probably noticed a significant change. That’s because CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha rookie Brandon Hartranft was docked 11 positions for cutting the track after the first turn pile-up in the main. You can actually see him (#114) cutting the first portion of the track below:
According to the FIM’s John Gallagher, this penalty was deduced because Hartranft was behind Lorenzo Locurcio going into the first turn, but Lorcurcio stayed on the track and went around the wreck while Hartranft just went through the first turn to skip all of it. We noticed that Hartranft actually slowed down a bit and let a few riders go by him, but apparently that wasn’t enough. They penalized him to finish behind Locurcio in the final results.
5. Jimmy D and Suzuki are Legit
Just three weeks ago, the new Autotrader.com/Yoshumura Suzuki 250 effort wasn’t looking good, as defending 250SX West Region Champ Justin Hill was struggling. Then Hill flipped the switch and the script, delivering a podium in Oakland and a win in San Diego. Now Jimmy Decotis, after coming so close so many times on a GEICO Honda, has taken his RM-Z250 to his first career podium. Jimmy was pretty fired up when Hill won last week:
But that suzuki can't win they all said ??? where's all them vitards now...— Jimmy Decotis (@JimmyDecotis) February 11, 2018
Here is what he said following his podium: “If it wasn’t for them [GEICO Honda] letting me go, I wouldn’t have found this home where I’m at with Suzuki,” Decotis said after this race. “I’m thankful for how my career has unfolded until now, but I’m also really thankful that it did happen and that I didn’t get the opportunity there and now I can build this relationship with Suzuki and get them up here on this podium. I’m really thankful.”