Wow is all I can say. I feel so honored to have attended A1 in person this year; what an incredible race it was. Everything from the sold-out fan turn out, to the hype of the opening race, and the actual racing itself, was amazing to witness live. Thanks to all of our followers for allowing us to share these moments with you!
There are three really notable points in the 450 race for me: Roczen’s come-from behind ride (he’s back folks!), Tomac’s crash and ensuing DNF, and Justin Barcia’s podium finish.
Let’s start with Roczen. 10 months ago I was happy to hear that he didn’t lose his arm (literally), and that somewhat of a recovery was possible. Fast-forward 5 months, and the motocross world was simply happy to see him pop a few wheelies. To see him back riding and lining up at Anaheim was great, but the level of his riding there was spectacular to witness. No, I don’t think he’s quite the same level he left off at, but he’s pretty darn close and that’s a miracle. I’m so happy for him, and I think he will be a real contender this year.
Eli Tomac was hyped up as a more consistent, wiser Tomac than 2017. If this were the case, it would be super scary for his competitors, because he was almost impossible to beat last year. However, his only downfall has always been himself, and nothing has changed this year. Tomac throwing it away is unfortunately classic Tomac. I think he sometimes rides a bit over his head, which displays a lack of focus. I read a tweet that perhaps he needs Adderall; I don’t want to joke about the use of substances, but in Tomac’s case, perhaps it could help (just don’t do it without a TUE!).
On the other hand, no one expected anything whatsoever of Barcia. I mean it, I don’t think anyone talked about him whatsoever in the pre-season. Barcia has been steadily going down hill in the past few years, and the lack of a ride entering the season for him wasn’t a surprise. He is lucky to get the fill-in ride on Yamaha, but wow, did he ever prove EVERYONE wrong! Barcia was awesome; he looked super fiery, kinda back like the old Honda rookie days. Not even that, but he is so much humbler now; nothing but respect and gratitude shown from him in the post-race press conference. With that one ride alone, I think Yamaha signs him for the rest of the season.
In the 250 race, I was super impressed with the top 4: McElrath, Plessinger, Cianciarulo, and Savatgy. Even though McElrath won with a comfortable lead, I wouldn’t say any of these 4 riders were significantly better than the other. All of them rode mistake-free and really well the entire race, pushing one another to the very end. It honestly came down to the start, which McElrath had down pat.
In contrast to these 4, Justin Hill was a complete let down. Come on man! You’re the defending champ, but yet couldn’t even get a top 5. No one is harder on him than himself though, and we were able to get his feelings on the race in an interview afterwards. Stay tuned for that.
Bring on round 2!