Wow. I can’t even begin to fully comprehend what happened Saturday night in Oakland… what a crazy night!
Firstly, the track is what provided all of the excitement. Huge thanks to the soft Oakland soil for that (and huge thanks to Dirt Wurx for keeping it somewhat rideable). The track design itself didn’t provide for great racing, but the ruts made all the difference. It was hard to pass on, but with riders making mistakes and crashing all over the place, the racing was super crazy.
And wow, did people ever make mistakes. Seely was leading and crashed (Seely would have won if he didn’t crash in my opinion… he was riding super well all day), Craig was leading and crashed. Cianciarulo, McElrath, Peick, and Grant all crashed at some point. But perhaps the most noticeable mistake was the one Ken Roczen made on the last lap, letting Anderson by. It has been over a year since Roczen has won, and this should have been the magical moment where he returned to the top step of the podium!! Ughhhhh, he had it! Watching this race in person was crazy… fans were yelling, and my heart was racing. I can’t imagine how Roczen himself felt after blowing it like that (but for real, he rode well and should be happy with the 2nd on such a brutal track).
Congrats to Anderson for taking that win. He didn’t get the best of starts, and was forced to come from behind. He also had a massive crash in practice that he’s lucky to walk away unscathed from. He’s quickly solidifying himself as the title favorite; that points lead is growing! Anderson has never, ever looked this great… 2018 is his year to take it all the way. His night had some added controversy though when he cleaned out Marvin Musquin along the way. This was a clear take out; Anderson will have to apologize and talk to his training partner Marvin about that one. It’s no surprise to see this kind of riding from him (watch the thousands of clips of him taking out Seely), but I am surprised to see him riding this aggressively with Marv. I asked him about the pass after the race, and he declined to comment and walked alway abruptly afterwards; clearly he is having mixed feelings about it as well. He wasn’t so happy considering he had just won a race!
Another take out happened in the 450 class when Justin Barcia went to the inside of Eli Tomac, taking Tomac down. Barcia was super fast all day in Oakland, and was being his usual self by not wasting times with passes. I actually don’t mind this pass; I think it was fair. Tomac cut down and wasn’t expecting Barcia to be there… guys, you have to learn to check up when Barcia’s coming in like that! Weston Peick has admitted that that is just Barcia, and if you know better, you won’t get taken down. Barcia was too far behind at this point to make a run for the lead, but he definitely had race-winning speed if he had gotten better start. Meanwhile, Tomac rode horribly after that moment. It was reminiscent of New Jersey SX last year… for some reason Tomac seems to lose all his mojo after he crashes. He also took super long to get going… I’m not impressed with his ride at all.
I also wanted to talk to Justin Hill after the race. He ended up being too busy for an interview, but seemed really pumped with his ride nonetheless. The last we talked was after A1, and he was extremely fired up to redeem himself. But woah, it took him so long! Finally we are seeing the Hill we all expected at the beginning of the year (now it’s just Webb’s time to turn it around right?).
The last person I want to mention is Adam Cianciarulo. His struggles continue with starts, and a crash as well this time, but wow is he ever fast. AC looks better than ever, and I’m genuinely surprised he doesn’t have a win yet. Plessinger is starting to look dominant, but AC will be his biggest threat for wins. Just you wait and see!
I’m off to San Diego now for round 6. Let’s hope for some more excellent racing!
Cover photo from Supercross LIVE