As the 2017 AMA Supercross Season heads to Round Three this weekend in Anaheim, it's clear riders are in for a long tough battle for both titles. With Ken Roczen once again winning the 450SX main event at Round Two, it would seem the title is his to lose.
What's not so clear from simply analyzing results, is just how close Ryan Dungey is to Roczen and how realistic Dungey's title hopes are. While Roczen has won both rounds so far, it wasn't without an impressive display by the defending champ Dungey, who marked the #94's every move on a tough and technical track in San Diego. Had it not been for a small mistake on the last lap, Dungey just may have been able to get past Roczen's Honda and find that top step. It's clear that Dungey certainly has the speed and stamina to win races, even without a mistake from Roczen. Anaheim 2 could be a key win for Dungey, because he needs to stop Roczen from stretching out the point lead. It's Dungey's time to make a move.
Just behind Roczen and Dungey, but still able to hold his own, Marvin Musquin finds himself in a bit of a no-man's land. All Musquin needs is a bit more speed and the ability to keep it for 20 plus one to be considered a title contender. A little bit of bad luck by the top two is all Marvin would need to garner his first premier class win.
The heat race between Eli Tomac and Jason Anderson was certainly one fans will remember. With Anderson eventually coming out on top, the back and forth dicing between the two could certainly be described as aggressive. Both riders are likely a bit frustrated that they haven't hit a podium yet this season. Tomac seems to be fading significantly throughout the main events, which often is an indication of fitness or sickness problems. Anderson, on the other hand, is riding strong and looking like himself but he's just not quite up to speed with the top three. Anaheim 2 is a critical break-out round for both Tomac and Anderson, because if it takes much longer to get the results they expect for themselves, their confidence could take a hit.
Shane McElrath looks to have all the pieces of his puzzle assembled perfectly, as his dominant win in San Diego showed. After following and literally letting the race come to him, McElrath found himself in the lead after getting past Martin Davalos and early race leader Jimmy Decotis. As the sole rider under the TLD/KTM canopy (teammate Mitch Oldenburg broke his collarbone at round one), McElrath has clearly risen to the challenge this season.
Also impressive and often setting the fastest 250SX lap time is Aaron Plessinger, who just hasn't been able to put it all together for a win this season. Bad starts, small mistakes and just plain bad luck have kept him from winning, but he's not out yet - look for Plessinger to come out swinging hard at Round Three in Anaheim this weekend.
One of the more impressive and remarkable rides so far has been from Jimmy Decotis. During his 250SX main event ride in San Diego he lead the first ten laps like a seasoned veteran, but he was also undoubtably feeling the pressure from those behind him. He eventually faded back to sixth by the finish, but Jimmy must have found an absolute load of confidence in his speed and should be capable of podium finishes or even a race win.
Heading into Anaheim 2, we're treated to an interesting track layout. With heavy rains forecast for Friday, the Dirt Wurx crew has had their work cut out for them in keeping the track as dry as possible. Luckily, race day's forecast at this point is not calling for any rain, so here's to hoping for another great weekend of great racing battles.
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