Practice qualifiers are done in Anaheim’s Angel Stadium! After much rain earlier in the week, the track is very soft, but should shape up nicely for some good racing tonight.
Here are the results:
My Opinion: Cooper Webb… is he back? I’ve been purposely taking it very easy on the rookie these past couple of weekends, but secretly I’ve been super let down with his riding. Honestly, I expected race-winning speed right away from him, and I’m assuming most race fans did as well. Perhaps this pressure got to Webb? Whatever it is, he sure looked a lot better today. We also know that he can ride these fast laps consistently (he was the only rider to go sub-56 twice). Let’s see if that translates into the night show.
I really don’t know what to think of Eli Tomac. So far, his 2017 season is shaping up to be much like 2016: fast in practice and heats, but struggling in the mains. I think this track suits him tonight; the soft soil will get super rutted and make for technical racing conditions; normally Eli excels on this stuff.
— Moto Now (@MotoNowBlog) January 22, 2017
Also, check out Malcolm Stewart! It’s a deep field to dive into a few races late, but Mookie looks right at home so far. Top 10 in this field is big; kudos to him.
In the 250 class, J-Mart has had a rough go of it lately. No pressure is left on him (everyone is already counting him out of the championship hunt), so perhaps we will see some better riding out of him; we saw this happen last year. However, don’t read too much into fast qualifying times from him; he was the fastest at A1, only to be outpaced by many other riders in the night show.
Looking at the times, I think the top 6 riders are really solidifying in the 250 class. Barring any crashes or horrible starts, I would be super surprised if these guys aren’t in the top 6 for the rest of the season. The nice thing about this though is that I don’t believe they’re in any particular order yet. Yes, McElrath has won the first two races, but seeing him finish 6th tonight and a guy like Forkner or Martin winning wouldn’t surprise me at all. In conclusion, expect more battles like last weekend!
The race comes on FS1 at 10:00 pm ET tonight. Enjoy!
Cover photo from Racer X Online