Round 4 last weekend in Arizona was a big one. Many
significant things happened, but the most exciting thing was probably seeing
many riders come alive with speed, aggression, and starts that we haven't seen
from then before. As a result the points race tightening up in both classes and
the stage being set for an important weekend for many riders in Oakland this
improving starts, Eli Tomac had a great performance in Phoenix, as it's safe to
say he annihilated the competition. At one point he had a lead of 17 seconds
over second place Seely, but backed it down just a notch towards the end to
take the win by a huge margin over Chad Reed.
.Yes, that's right! -- Chad Reed. After a battle royale with
Seely and Dungey, the wiley veteran Reed got around them both and stayed there
to take second place at the checkers. It was an incredible battle that lasted
several laps and had the crowd in the stands and at home, off their seats.
race, Reed said he'd finally gotten the go-ahead to make a few key changes to
his factory YZ450F and this incredibly battle and second place finish was the
result. With confidence being a key component in his racing, Reed's at an
all-time high as we head into Oakland. The rainy forecast for the weekend must
literally have Reed on cloud 9 (or 22), as history shows he's done pretty well
for himself in the mud.
Both breaking out for another great ride were Davi Millsaps
and Blake Baggett. Each have been making a mark the last couple of weekends.
Millsaps was definitely on fire, winning another stacked heat race and riding
his bike way all the way to the fifth position -- and knocking on Seely's door
for fourth -- by the end of the race.
Seely, with a good start, has the speed and tenacity to hang
with just about anyone for most of a main event. The fact he was caught by the
Reed/Dungey freight train must've been a tough pill to swallow, as it put him
just out of a podium position.
coming alive lately, Seely has just about everything he needs to get there and
maybe - with the right circumstances - could pull off a win this weekend. And
expected muddy or slick track could be the wildcard he may have been waiting
Justin Hill made has now taken two wins in the last two
rounds, tying him with points leader McElrath who also has two wins this
his buddy McElrath are clearly the front-runners in a deep and talented pack of
250SX West Regional racers, and it won't be a surprise this weekend when they
make their way to the front and battle it out again - rain or no rain.
Finally breaking out for a 250SX main event podium finish
was rookie Austin Forkner. Forkner looked fast but maybe not as consistently as
the top two -- Hill and McElrath -- but he certainly is gaining speed from
earlier in the year. Being a mid-westerner, he may be better suited for the possibly
muddy conditions in Oakland this weekend, but let's not forget that he's
literally never been to any of these stadiums before, so it's a new experience
for him every weekend.
The inevitable injury list grows each week, this time
including multi-time outdoor motocross champ Jeremy Martin. After a run-in
during practice that left him with a light concussion, Martin has chosen to
skip this weekend's round in an effort to better prepare for Arlington the
joining the injury list is 450SX front-runner Weston Peick, who had a crash in practice and will be missing Oakland as a result.
The track is built and ready to go, all covered up to shed
the rain as a storm system heads through the Bay Area.
point though, the plastic has to come off and how much water hits the surface
is anyone's guess. Mud race? Maybe. Or could it just be slick? It seems likely
that the conditions will be unpredictable, just like this race, so you won't
want to miss out.
Look for AMA
Supercross coverage on:
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for live timing and scoring, as well as results and the day's schedule.