I’m always really excited for the Glendale round. The super large stadium floor at the University of Phoenix Stadium allows for long and fast rhythm sections. This typically results in massive jump combos; I’m sitting at the edge of my seat watching these guys jump across an entire stadium floor in 4 leaps! The hard-packed Arizona desert soil also doesn’t break down quickly. How does this impact the racing? The whoops remain built-up and challenging, and lap times stay fairly consistent. Instead of racing the track, these guys are always racing each other for an entire 20 minutes at Glendale. It’s intense!
So how did it all go down? We have a brief recap available, but you gotta watch this race for yourself. On paper it sounds pretty boring: Tomac gets the start and leads the whole thing. In person, this was the best supercross riders in the world racing their guts out for the entirety of the main. One mistake from Tomac and this race could have been super different: Barcia and Roczen were really pressuring him until the very end!
But woah… how about Justin Barcia?! Sure, impressive at A1, but we’re now 4 rounds in and Barcia is maintaining that spark we saw from him at the beginning of the season. Bam Bam deserves a multi-year deal riding at this pace: for goodness sake he’s a championship contender right now! I thought for sure that Roczen would catch and pass Barcia, but Barcia kept on it and even challenged Tomac right at the very end. What is Barcia eating, drinking, doing in general for him to rebound this much? I can’t think of a rider who has ever turned their career around so drastically like this.
The “injured shoulders” seem to be doing pretty well. Tough to tell after last weekend’s unique format, but both Marvin Musquin and Eli Tomac seem to be doing alright (clearly Tomac is doing great!). Musquin definitely struggled strength-wise at A2 with his shoulder, but he made significant improvements and looked pretty good all night in Glendale (even in the whoops for that matter!). The one “injured shoulder” guy that just isn’t back to himself is Dean Wilson. It’s tough to tell exactly where a healthy Deano should be finishing (given his injury happened in the opening heat race of the year), but I honestly think he’s a top 5 guy. Only time will tell…. let’s just hope the injury doesn’t affect him mentally much.
Most of the racing went down drama-free, except for a questionable pass for the lead by Aaron Plessinger in the 250 main event. Aaron cut over super hard and almost cleaned out Shane McElrath. It wasn’t quite “cross-jumping”, but it was definitely “cross-tracking” (for lack of a better word). It was nice of Aaron to apologize immediately after the race, and McElrath seemed to forgive, but a couple more of those and Aaron will have to watch out.
McElrath got away from a take-out, but Oldenburg wasn’t so lucky. He has been fast all year, and finally gets a good start! But some help from Adam Cianciarulo, and he’s down on the ground; good start pointless. He might have well given that start to Cianciarulo, because AC could have used it! Cianciarulo has been fast all season (like championship-winning fast), but a mixture of bad starts and small mistakes is starting to cost him.
That’s it from me for Glendale… but I’m flying out late Friday night to the bay area of the golden state for this weekend’s race in Oakland! In other words, more opinions en route… so stay tuned!
Cover photo from Supercross LIVE