For the second time in 2022, the motorcycle world will turn its eyes to Anaheim, California. Anaheim 2 typically has a different feel than the opener. There is a little less hype, but that excitement is replaced by racing storylines that have been created over the first rounds. The endless questions that we had at this same venue going into January 8 have started to find answers. What does A2 have in store? Let’s check it out.
Dirty Little Secrets
The start is similar to A1 but just moved a bit more to the rider’s left, creating a sharper but shorter first corner than the opener. The first rhythm section has two basic approaches and the difference hinges on how riders tackle the first jump. If riders roll the first jump, they will likely double and then go on-off into the next berm. If they double from the first jump, they could then triple onto the next tabletop and step off into the berm. This decision could be made for them also if the first jump is built very small, forcing them to roll it.
The next rhythm section will be a bit tougher but not complicated. The only effective approach is 3-3-3. There is simply no other way to look at it. That’s not to say every rider will be able to execute. Seat bouncing the first three will challenge many 250SX riders. To have a respectable lap time on Saturday, though, it has to be done.
The next 90-degree, right-hand corner is where home plate would be during an Angels game. It also sets up for an interesting rhythm section. I am torn on how riders will tackle this section, but I think that tripling over the first tabletop is the way to go. As crazy as it sounds, I think it makes sense to double the next two jumps because of how they are built, then triple and possibly quad into the next berm. The challenging part of predicting this rhythm section is that one small change to one singular jump can change the entire process. This whole straightaway plays out based on angles of certain jumps. Change just one and the plan changes, too.
The next section is comprised of eight similarly built jumps. The second-to-last jump is a little taller, but I don’t think it will change the thought process. The likely line will be 3-3-2. I could see some 250s opting for a 2-3-3 if the corner becomes rutty. That could also be a line for late in the 450 main event as the track deteriorates.
The first of two whoops sections is up next and if 2022 stays on trend, buckle up. Dirt Wurx has made some of the toughest whoops the series has seen in years. With two sets on the A2 track layout, it could be a challenging night for some. Exiting the whoops, riders will rail through a right-hand sand corner and across the mechanics’ area. That sideways crossing of the start straight doubles back after a bowl berm and sets up for a tight 90-degree corner before the finish line. The interesting aspect of this will be on the decision making process. If a rider is in tight formation behind another, he could easily just cut across and block the lead rider’s line as he goes outside to build speed for the finish line jump. Will it ruin the entire next lap because they must roll the finish line? Yes. Would it result in a pass? Also, yes. Look for desperation moves to be made here, especially in qualifying.
The next section is a bit unique as riders will land from the finish line and bend over the start straight yet again but are greeted by a stand-alone standard supercross triple. Watch for riders to scrub this triple for everything they have in hopes of staying low and fast into the next bowl berm.
Exiting said bowl berm fires riders into the second whoops section and arguably the best passing zone on the track. The fast entrance and plentiful room on the exit will allow riders to set up a pass in multiple ways. If they aren’t able to fully execute a pass in the whoops, the distance to the next bowl berm opens up every opportunity for a block pass. Watch for the whoop masters to utilize this section to their advantage each and every lap.
The next bowl berm provides a chance to double back into the first rhythm lane and onto lap two.
Eli Tomac hasn’t won a race yet but that hasn’t kept him from reuniting with the coveted red plate. His starts were better in San Diego which could be ominous for everyone else.
Chase Sexton dropped the proverbial hammer on everyone, grabbing his first-ever 450SX main event win. We all knew this was coming. Now the question transitions into whether or not he can maintain this level of excellence without the downside variance.
Dylan Ferrandis is significantly better in his overall craft than he was this time a year ago. I think he gets his first win this season.
Jason Anderson’s result suffered from mechanical troubles (good luck figuring out exactly what happened there) but he is on his best form since 2018.
Joey Savatgy underwent knee surgery this week after his first turn pileup ended any chance for suffering through the season. On the upside, his wife is currently giving birth to his second child.
Adam Cianciarulo similarly will be out of the rest of Monster Energy AMA Supercross after a knee injury sustained in qualifying practice at San Diego. Poor guy can’t catch a break.
Ken Roczen just hasn’t looked the same since his practice crash in Oakland. He doesn’t seem as confident in himself, and it just feels as if he is less assertive on the racetrack.
Marvin Musquin had a miserable main event in San Diego after leading three laps early on. I was literally scratching my head as he moved backwards.
Jo Shimoda is still looking for his first podium of 2022. While he looks good on the track, the results have just not been there, yet.
Justin Bogle makes history as the first rider to ever be disqualified for stalling his motorcycle.
After San Diego’s treacherous whoops, riders are forced to jump over a crocodile pit in Anaheim.
Vince Friese is picked up off the waiver wire by the Kansas City Chiefs and immediately jets off to Sunday’s playoff game. When pressed, head coach Andy Reid shares, “Our team’s offensive line has been a struggle and no one on the planet can block like Vince Friese.”