“Last weekend I was tenth, and I was pissed off.”
“I had some redemption this week.”
“I was so nervous for this last moto, really focused on just trying to hold on.”
“This is incredible, I really do have to give it up to the group at KTM for sticking with me after the last two years.”
As a child, Cooper Webb would dream, day and night, of moments like these. Whether it was by studying tape aboard the VHS player, or reading magazines like MotoPlayground cover to cover, he would become obsessed with the sport of motocross. Looking up to riders like Jeremy McGrath and Ricky Carmichael, he could only hope, pray, and dream that one-day he would be in held that high of regard. Although there were those that called his vision lucrative, he, and those close to him, knew that he could reach the pinnacle of this sport with due time. And as the 2019 season approached, he believed there was little that could stop him from doing so. Lining up for the first dropping of the gate, his flare would be easy to see, with the relaxed pose of his upper body. Sitting back, letting waiting for the referee to signal the revving of the engine, a subtle yawn could be seen from beneath the shell of his helmet. But that sight would quickly be washed away, as the gate would crash into mother earth, and he would emerge near second on the first lap. With heavy hitters all around, he was showing absolutely zero hesitation when contending to put his front fender in the lead. His determination was startling, showing no signs of backing down toward the leader, Ken Roczen. He would hound the number ninety-four, really making a substantial chase toward the front in the last few laps. He would look to make a move just before the finish, coming alongside of Roczen in the final rhythm section! With both riders squaring up the last corner, Webb would actually go on to make the move! Cooper Webb would win! For the second round of action, the number plate would remain relatively clean for quite sometime, his numerical “two” glistening from the beams of these skylights. Getting out to an early lead, he would power around the track unscathed, nailing every triple combination in sight. Dragging the footpeg through the unique, two-lane switch back section, he would ride a relatively clean race for the duration of this main event. It would result in yet another win, one that would help inch him toward an overall victory. Second off of the start to begin the last main event, he knew that he had to stay at the front of the field, if the gold medal were to be placed around his neck. Displaying veteran-like charisma, he would remain second until around lap six, when a charging Marvin Musquin would go by. He would latch onto his teammate, where the duo would pack a one-two punch, behind Tomac. Finishing third for the final go-around, his victory in the 2019 450 class would arrive! Cooper Webb was the Triple Crown champion!
“It’s been pretty amazing so far, I just go race by race.”
“This week I stayed in California with a whole week off the bike, to try and rest my knee.”
“I felt really good in practice today, and the track was awesome.”
“Three main events are really intense, but thankfully my starts were awesome.”
Throughout the offseason, Marvin Musquin was persistent on his quest for gold. Whether it was logging hundreds of laps on the practice track, or pushing the limits inside the gym, he was willing to do whatever necessary prior to the start of the season. That’s why he’s appeared so ready, willing, and able, in regards to these first couple of rounds. Never letting anything destruct his path for glory, he would come into the second round of Anaheim willing to stake his claim as one of the best. And the opening laps of the first moto would prove that, where he would be situated around the fourth place position. Pouring his heart and soul into the being of this raceway, he was doing everything imaginable to try be the clear-cut, fastest competitor on the track. With Eli Tomac just in front, Marvin’s unorthodox style was allowing him to make substantial gains on the Kawasaki rider ahead. Nearly making the move in the two-lane switchback section, you could tell that he had a large variety of lines, when the time would appear to make the ample pass. And finally, on lap eleven, he would simply out charge Tomac just after the short whoop section, making the move around the outside. He would work his way into third, where he would stay. Third off the line to begin moto number two, he wanted to latch onto his teammate, Cooper Webb, as quickly as possible. Making the move on Cole Seely by lap five, the tandem of orange-hued members would be situated at the front of the field. Replicating days at the practice facility, Marvin looked for a multitude of ways to break the newfound 450-class pilot. But it wouldn’t be of justice, with Marvin finishing second, allowing the other KTM signee, to claim the victory. Registering third on the first lap of moto number three, he knew that Cooper Webb would be riding a bit hesitant, in order to justify his points total. Therefore Marvin would apply more pressure, letting the heat come to a boiling point on lap six. With it now just a two-horse race at the front, he would do all in his power to catch Tomac, but it just wasn’t in the cards. A second place in the final moto, would place him just shy of the lead, in overall scoring.
“It was a building process through the three mains.”
“Main’s one and two, I was just riding around out there.”
“The third main, I got the holeshot and was in clear air after that.”
“The track was really technical at times, and honestly a bit scary.”
Never one to shy away from competition, Eli Tomac has embraced these first few rounds with open arms. It’s been a shuffle of chaos so to speak, with riders already hitting the dirt on multiple occasions, and riders who were lost in the pre-season hype, coming out to display spectacular rides. Take Blake Baggett for example, although a high profiled rider in his own right, he took the sport by storm last week in Glendale. And although his speed was apparent, there weren’t many who would place Baggett atop the leaderboard, once all was said and done. But that’s why we line up put the events into play, rather than scoring the results off of preconceived notions. Now, Tomac wanted to make his impact felt worldwide, and hoped to begin with the Triple Crown event, here in the second rendition of Anaheim. For moto number one, he could found lingering near the third place position. Jockeying the bike around in an aggressive manner, he looked to make moves as quickly as possible, otherwise the leaders of Roczen and Webb may gravitate away. But the aforementioned train of thought would almost derail the Colorado native; as he wasn’t aware of just how fast Marvin Musquin was closing. And then, all of the sudden, it was if Tomac simply let Marvin around the outside; making the pass just after the shorter whoop section, he would be moved to fourth. As this segment would end, he would be registered in the fourth place position. The second round of action was next up, and after a jam-packed first turn he hoped to be on his own, and away from those who surrounded him. If he could just get a clear track, he knew he could lay down some outstanding lap times. He tried to fight through, but by the time he began making some headway, the leaders had established a gap. Scrapping through the best in the business, he would move ahead of Roczen, taking a fourth place for this moto’s conclusion. Shortly after, he could be seen clasping his hands with readiness, longing for the third moto to begin. With the track at its roughest portion of the night, it truly was a “fend for yourself” type attitude, displayed by many of the front-runners. With a top five full of passion, he knew he wasn’t going to break any of his fellow competitors easily. So he began to chip away, taking his lead on lap run, and spreading it portion by portion. Eventually, growing to near five seconds, he would realize that a moto win was finally being given to him. Taking the checkered flag, and burst of flames alike, he was satisfied with the final performance. As all would conclude, his sound third place finish, would put him into third overall for the evening.
Growing up through the amateur ranks, Ken Roczen had become accustomed to the sprinting sections of designated racing. Rarely, if ever, were races conducted to surpass the five or six lap mark, making it a necessity to get out front early and often. But as he rose through the tiers of professionalism, he would find that the longer motos would provide a bit of opportunity, if and when a bad start would arise. However, it would all change and come full circle so to speak, as the field would arrive on the premises of Angel Stadium here in Anaheim, California, for this particular round of Monster Energy Supercross. Knowing that this particular event, (now being split into three individual main races) offered a few outlying variables, he would walk to the line for the first gate drop with an attitude of refreshment. Putting his machine near the front of the field in the early going, he would find himself situated in the lead. As the pack would begin to flounder and space themselves out accordingly, Roczen would remain a constant, as Cooper Webb would begin to close in. All seemed to be well, until the absolute, final rhythm lane; it was here, where Webb would square Roczen up, and pass him just yards before the finish line! Disappointed as could be, Ken would claim second place. For the second round of racing, the field would storm out of the gate, and immediately jam onto the brakes to make the first corner. Roczen, registering sixth, would look to move forward despite the crowd of competition near him. He was staying strong aboard the Honda, moving into third; when on lap eight, a mishap in the whoops, would buck him off the motorcycle, and leave him scrambling to remount. He would do so, generating a fifth for the final circuit. As the final portion of competition would commence, he knew he must stay strong in order to secure solid overall placement. Registering sixth on lap one, he felt as though he could move his way through the crowd, if he allowed his aggression to come to the forefront. Tripling through all rhythm lanes, the injury woes of years past were an afterthought; he would continue to move forward, climbing to fourth by the end of the moto. These scores, once tallied together, would place him just off the podium, in forth overall.
With the Triple Crown format offering multiple gate drops for the main event, it allows riders an additional spotlight to showcase their skills. Couple that with a shorter duration of total laps, in regards to specific sectors, and it makes the chances for a lesser-known winner to emerge, that much greater. And you best believe, that the thought of stealing a race win from the point’s leader would cross the mind of Dean Wilson. Thinking back to his days of amateur competition, Wilson knew that he had the ability to start in the front of the field, and hold off the competitors, even in a defensive manner if he had to. He would come to the line for the first moto, however, with an offensive game plan, hoping to push his pace of fury onto the field that surrounded him. Jumping on and over the series of tabletops in the lane just before the finish line, he would situate himself to the left of Chad Reed, prior to the final whoop section. Hounding his adversary for quite some time, Reed would finally break, and allow him to move ahead. As he would glance across the track, he would notice the leaders in his peripheral vision, doing his best to gauge his pace off of them. And it would work, as he found a groove during the final portion of the moto to sustain ninth place, ahead of the number twenty-two. Shortly thereafter, he would line up for the second round of competition, with his goggles snug to the shell of his helmet, packed full of laminate tearoffs. Hoping that he wouldn’t have to use the extra sense of vision, he knew things may get a bit hairy in this ever so deep quick sand, just after the start stretch. Situating himself early behind Joey Savatgy, the two would put on a rather daunting pace to the field around them. He would sniff the race fuel from the forthcoming exhaust for quite sometime, almost mesmerized by the back wheel of the competitor. It would create a substantial gap on that of Plessinger behind, leaving him to reside in eighth place by the moto’s end. Lining up for the final go-around, he wanted to lay as much of an assault on the crowd around him as possible, equipped with rounds of ammunition. Roosting everyone in sight, he would fire some heavy artillery to the bow of Savatgy’s machine. As the competitor would try to infiltrate his designated area and position, the bullets would begin to add up, penetrating the armor of the foe behind him. Coming through the sand section on the last lap, he made sure to hit the thickest point of the outside berm, stabbing the clutch in the process. Hoping to obliterate the number seventeen in a whirlwind, the process would work, doing just enough for seventh position at the line, claiming fifth overall.
With this race offering a bit of spice to what some would call a mundane racing format, many would applaud the series and promoters for their aspirations to change. With the heat race and main event sectors of the Supercross show consuming the eyes of attendee’s for many years now, many felt it was nice to have another variable being thrown into the mix. The Triple Crown portion of the series, would broadcast three different main events, with the average of each moto being tallied for a rider’s overall finish. And Cole Seely was looking forward to it. Knowing that his stamina could outlast many of the opposing competitors, he felt that his cardiovascular capacity would be able to endure much hardship than that of his familiar foe. Coming into the first main event, he felt extremely confident based off his flow in practice, rarely making any mistakes, and keeping the bike in tact. He would load the gate for the first portion of racing as the night would fall, taking a big breath just before firing the engine. Letting it all unleash in the blink of an eye, the pack would motor into the opening left-handed bend. Situating himself throughout the early going, he would linger near the fifth place spot, searching for a way to the front of the pack. With Jason Anderson within a close radius, his body would kick into a “fight or flight” mode so to speak, and battle to the bitter end. With the heart rate racing, he would remain composed, blitzing the final whoop section right down the pipe; crossing the Monster Energy Finish line double, he would take fifth. For moto number two, his start would place him in an optimal position to do damage, but he knew he would have to flourish early in order to succeed. Nailing the furthest rhythm section to the right of the gate, his sequence of touching down was absolutely stellar; as he would glue multiple triple combinations together for an illustrious masterpiece. His corner speed would follow suit as well, doing just enough to keep Dean Wilson at bay, although he desired to hold onto the second place position he started with. With his eye on that highly coveted checkered flag, his visualization would come true, finishing seventh. As the gate would fall for the final moto of competition, the field would logjam in the opening corner. Doing his best to not hit the back wheel of Justin Bogle in the opening, but rather short whoop section, he knew he must engage all of his skill in order to work his way around. Darting across the start straight in the series of switchbacks, his mechanic would relay both a message of position and encouragement, as the laps would dwindle away. It was a much-needed boost, doing just enough to hold onto the thirteenth position, placing him into sixth overall.
Rewinding to just a few short weeks ago, the series and all involved would reside here in Anaheim. Engulfed in a sea of hype and significant rains, the tables have now been turned into a more reserved environment, with passive temperatures and a little less anxiousness displayed by the riders involved. And it’s put Aaron Plessinger a bit at ease, knowing that the pre-season chatter is now an afterthought, and the forecast is catered a bit more toward his liking. With positive thought flowing from his mind, both he and team wished for strong results to become obtainable. Making a few laps throughout the initial qualification session, he would duck into the mechanic’s area, telling his team to make a few changes before his departure back onto the runway. After adjusting the rebound of both forks and rear shock, he wanted to adapt the suspension a bit more to his riding style, with the increase of speed making the springs extremely stiff. It would work, and by the time that practice had concluded, all in his camp were nodding in unison. The first moto would offer a place for everyone in the field to display their finest of antics, as many were acting as if they were scrapping for gold. Yearning for a period of relaxation, there weren’t many times where he could truly stop and take a breath. He had Justin Hill barking in his ear, trying to shove a front wheel in wherever possible, and he figured that with a short race period, he wouldn’t have time to make his way back around if a pass were made. It would be a matter of will as he pushed the chassis to the finish line, taking twelfth. Never once questioning his ability as he chose his gate for the second main event, he was ready to do battle with the best as the pin would unlatch. Banging it out through the first few laps, he would seem to feast on the possibility of any doubt, seeping from the competitors around him. He would eye Joey Savatgy like a salivating carnivore, hoping to catch him at his weakest point and make the move. He spotted his line through the far whoop section, knowing that he could gain substantial time. And when the opposition would check up, he would click forward, twisting the throttle tube a mere quarter second longer. The gain in positive momentum would take him into seventh, where he would settle as the final lap would end. For the third moto, the duration of the night would begin to weigh on him. He would battle through a lapse of focus, knowing that he must remain intact in order to secure a strong overall. Keeping the pace ahead of Dean Wilson, after soaring past and making the move, his final position of sixth would generate seventh overall.
With the sport of Supercross undergoing a series of changes as the season of 2019 has come to light, one thing has remained the same. And that’s the pure determination of Joey Savatgy as he’s willing to push through any and all adversity, in order to obtain the goal ahead. Whether it was talk of contractual obligations, being counted out, or who was outright better than he, Savatgy has pushed much of the negative chatter to the wayside as he has vaulted toward the front of the field. Staying true to his foundation and efforts as a competitor, his routine hasn’t deviated from staples of hard-work and dedication. They’re two variables that can’t be overlooked, as they are tried and true with the test of time. Stretching from the practice track to the main event, he knew if he could embody a sense of what truly made him tick, that he could succeed once the checkered flag would fly. It was apparent too when watching him obliterate the track for qualification, nearly spraying clods of dirt into that of the first row. Trying to touch down as little as possible throughout the far two rhythm lanes, his synchronization was eye-catching, never once having a bobble of any sort. For the first moto, it was much of the same thing, as everyone was trying to catch Cooper Webb out front. And although this 450 was one of the heaviest production machines made by the OEM, he was flicking it around as though it were a carbon fiber 125. Slashing and scrubbing every obstacle in sight, he was focused on moving forward and leaving the battle of transfer to someone else. Targeting a solid gate pick for the second main event, he would slowly but surely solidify eighth place over Dean Wilson; and he would reside here for the conclusion. Terrorizing the track to begin the first few laps of the main event, air traffic control was on high alert with the amount of cross-jumping and zigzagging being displayed by the field. Running the edges of the bowl turns whenever possible, his amount of speed carried into the whoop sections was clearly absurd, where he try his best to pull from the likes of riders like Justin Brayton. Executing for laps, it would give him a goal to obtain so to speak, as the distance between he and Brayton behind, would grow greater. In an all out dash to the line, he would pursue Vince Friese to the bitter end, winding up thirteenth. It was an all out battle royale for the final portion of competition, with competitors vying to make a lasting impression on the city of Anaheim. With stamina now coming into play, he could feel the likes of Vince Friese behind him beginning to drift. And it would be of reassurance to him, knowing that if he could just keep the machine on two wheels, a top ten overall is where he would reside. He would conclude the final race in eighth, generating an eighth overall.
Fine-tuning the 450’s of 2019 is a task within itself, yet the mechanic’s and riders of today seem to be doing it flawlessly. At least from what us in the industry and fans alike see. However, what we appear to glance over, is that of the strenuous days of grinding within the race shop. With parts being in a constant rotation of swapping and configuring, the amount of work the team and mechanic’s put in behind the scenes is simply unfathomable to many. But if you listen closely to how Jason Anderson speaks, when in discussion of he and his crew, he stresses just how much of a team effort this really is. His results are reflection of those around him, and he represents a manner that is truly grateful for what he has been blessed with. And they were the first to encourage him as he sped around the track for practice; sizing up nearly triple combination within the first few laps. Putting away all hesitation and second-guessing, you could sense that he was truly confident in both his skill set and bike setup. Hitting every mark seemingly on his radar, he would cross the checkered flag with a thumbs up to his crew, letting everyone know that he was ready to go. As the gate would fall for the first main event, his flow would be found almost immediately. Blitzing through the whoop section prior to the finish, his line from inside out, would have him sweeping the right-hander before the start. Back onto the start straight, he was clicking his left foot as fast possible, searching heavily for that next bit of speed and RPM. He would look to move forward, hoping to create distance between he and Justin Barcia. It would work, all the while doing it in strong style. By the end of the moto, he had finagled his way into sixth. With the gate now loaded, the field would crowd his way into the initial bend, sorting themselves out respectively in the coming laps. With roost being pelted onto his front number plate, he was urgently looking for a way around Cole Seely. And it would appear, taking the opportunity on lap nine. With both his hands and forearms staying clear from lactic acid build up, he knew that he could make a run within the top ten. That immediate aspiration would transcend into reality, knowing that if he could keep the bike upright through the treacherous sand section on the final lap, that sixth place would be his. The wish would be of fruition shortly thereafter, with it all coming together as the clock struck zero. The last main event, the final leg of the Triple Crown, would bring another opportunity for a clean slate. He marveled at the chance to storm the track again, and was burning rubber by the time his tread hit the soil. Dicing it up with Tyler Bowers, he would cut underneath in every bowl turn he could, doing his best to move forward, after a disastrous first lap had him in twentieth. With the track and competition deteriorating, he knew he had to muster every point possible. It would transcend into a seventeenth, but strong enough for a ninth overall.
With the series beginning to roll on, it seems as though the notorious “injury plague”, is beginning to rock the tour. Most notably, the devastating crash and subsequent pain bestowed upon Malcolm Stewart, has left many in the series reminded of just how much longevity one must possess in order to succeed in this championship. As the tracks become more technical, the skills of the riders continue to heighten, and the RPM capacity of the 450 continues to climb, the risk levels of these athletes begin to rise ever so steadily with each passing lap. But Justin Barcia acknowledges that one can’t dwell on the “what-ifs” and the things of the past, as the present and obtainable future must be the only thing within the foreground of their vision. He rolled into Anaheim two, looking to be the true conqueror of the course, forcing the track to obey to his ruling, and not the other way around. Taking a lap or two to gaze at the fastest ways around, he would then flip the switch to “go” mode, and hurl the bike forward with frantic fashion. Each lap seemed to be a true race against the clock, where he wanted to cement his name on the top of the leaderboard. Spraying through the left-handed sand sweeper, you could tell that a few solid lines would develop throughout the evening. He would make sure to try out all that were available, knowing that he may need a variety come time for the main event. Off the start in the first main event, the field would dart for the opening left-hander and across the series of jump for the holeshot award. Quickly into the following set of whoops, he would find a smooth flow, hovering near the eleventh mark. Chipping away, his times would settle near a median average so to speak, never deviating too far from the average circuit. It would reap dividends, as when all was said and done, he would place seventh. The second sector of racing was around the corner, and the chaos would be apparent at the beginning. With a fight and clash of footpegs ensuing, he would begin to battle with Cole Seely. The two were neck and neck, hitting the far side “SX” triple nearly side by side, before sweeping into the following right-hander. Navigating through the following opposing rhythm sections, he was near perfection through the quest of the moto, pulling away from Tomac in the process. His totality at the end, would be an exceptional third place. With the race split into three, it was time for the last main event. As the green flag would fly, he would hover near tenth, anxiously trying to get to the front. The pace of the field was a strong as ever, with times of the leaders climbing ever so steadily. He would try to make moves, and albeit in hindsight, maybe a tad too fast. Cross-rutting in the rhythm section before the finish, he would have to walk over the handlebars, crashing into the soil below. As a result, he would be placed in the record books with a “DNF”, but hope to be back on board the bike as soon as possible.
“I’m just learning throughout the season.”
“We had a really good off-season, but you can’t truly do a bike setup, without attending the races.”
“We’ve really been struggling with the bike setup, and searching for my comfort.”
“God is good man, we’ve just been pushing, and perseverance produces hope.”
When looking at the resume of Shane McElrath, you can certainly see how his career to this point, has been much of a fairy tale. A Hollywood, “Blockbuster” type-script, where the underdog makes his way to the top so to speak, is truly occurring in front of our eyes. Think back just a few short years ago, when he went from a lesser-known top-fifteen ranked national rider, to setting the fastest time at Loretta Lynn’s. He showcased, in multiple performances, of what can blossom if a rider is equipped with the right tools. That’s why the team at TLD is so attracted to this man from North Carolina, as his character off the motorcycle, is just as admirable as riding etiquette while aboard. Possessing manners in various forms, he couples his soft-spoken personality, with a burst of outright speed that’s hard to replicate. And he would look to put it all on display for the fans of Anaheim, as Saturday evening came to fruition. Fifth out of the gate for the first main event, he would quickly work his way behind Jacob Hayes, who held down the third place ride. Stalking his fellow East Coast counterpart for a series of laps, he would make the move stick on lap eight. But by that time, the lead of the two Yamaha teammates out front had been established, and the number twelve would seek redemption in the upcoming round. The second moto meanwhile, had Shane starting in third, and moving forward at the expense of Colt Nichols. Nichols, who was out front to begin, would have a series of hiccups, resulting in a tip over; this would push Shane into second, realizing that the points gap could be shrunk, with a pass like that. Behind Ferrandis at the stripe, he would let the KTM cross the checkered flag with a coast, taking in a big exhale prior to his journey into the third moto. For the final moto, McElrath would quickly work his way into second, knowing that the scent of Adam Cianciarulo was lingering within the distance. Putting all of his senses on high alert, he would dart around the Anaheim floor, rampantly chasing the Kawasaki as if it were blood in the water. And it was though on lap four that his emotion would overtake him, he couldn’t bare the idea of residing in second any longer. So he would leap through the far rhythm lane, pushing Cianciarulo wide in the following bowl turn. Now taking the lead, it was just a matter of time before he crossed the finish line. And as the twelve laps would conclude, McElrath finally felt satisfied, taking home a much needed overall victory.
“I knew I had to get Adam for the overall, but I didn’t do it. I didn’t deserve the overall tonight.”
“Shane rode really well, and won, so congratulations to him.”
“I’m definitely frustrated with myself.”
“It’s not the place I want to be, I hope to rebound next weekend.”
With the series divided into two, there are those among the message boards and throughout the rest of social media, who believe one coast has more talent than the other. As many of the quarrels and bits of argument have yet to be settled, one thing is for certain, and that’s Dylan Ferrandis being a contender, regardless of where he races. As he rolled into Anaheim, he knew that both he, and machine, were armed to the hilt, in terms of readiness. So for the first moto, it was as though the “Red Sea” was parting in front of him, and a path to the front was clear. Hitting his lines with excellent marksmanship, nothing seemed to divert his attention from the task at hand. Reiterating why he was signed to such a sturdy and thorough contract, you could see his team members and owner shaking their head in unison as he vaulted around this Anaheim course. Second for a solid chunk of this race, he would steadily creep toward the rear wheel of Colt Nichols, hoping that the number thirty-nine would make an uncharacteristic mistake. But it was to no avail, as the red plate holder would hold the lead for the entire duration. Once the end of this particular segment would conclude, he would find himself in the second place spot. For moto number two, all bets were on, in regards to him succeeding despite the realm of competition around. Thriving in an environment that was filled with adrenaline and high intensity, you could tell this is where he felt at home. And despite the pace that he and Colt Nichols were setting, you could sense that he was calm, cool, and collected. Nailing the far side rhythm lane, he would begin to hop through both sets of whoops, when possible. It allowed him to create a bit of gap between he, and the mess of shuffle going on behind him. Nichols would eventually have a mishap, tipping over the machine just after the smaller sector of whoops; and in result inherit the lead and victory to Ferrandis. Eager to set the tone early, for the final 250 main event, he knew he must be display an imminent pace if he wanted to hold off the likes of Cameron McAdoo. Going through the whoops with absolutely zero hesitation, his style would be picture perfect, as his sternum was held just over the bar pad, and hips pushed toward the rear fender. Using his legs as shock absorbers, it was all he could do to pull away from Colt Nichols, after making the move on the younger rider on lap eight. Now in third, he would display a sound episode of racing character, charging toward McElrath until the final flag. And finally, as this Triple Crown championship event would conclude, he could be located in the third place position. It was strong enough for a spectacular second overall.
“It’s always great to hold onto the red plate, in the end that’s the goal.”
“The first main I came out on fire, and the second main I had a bit of a tip-over.”
“My own mistake’s caused me to come out flat for the third moto.”
“A little frustration, because when you get the taste of victory, that’s all you want.”
Categorized as one to be within the “hunt” for the championship, Colt Nichols has equipped mind, body, and spirit, to be prepared for whatever comes his way, in regards to happenings on the racetrack. Whether it’s a variable brought by mother nature, a roadblock from one of his competitors, or mechanical malfunction, he feels as though he’s done everything in his power to prepare for this stage in Anaheim. So as you may have guessed, upon rolling through the tunnel prior to the first gate drop, his face was as solemn as they come. Never letting anything from the outside get in the way of his goal, he aspired for a podium finish, from the time the motor would come to life. Revving the engine to the moon, he would nod to the referee down the start straight, and then focus on the thirty-second board as it went sideways. In an instant, his right elbow was perpendicular to mother earth, his hands clinching the waffle grips aboard his bars. Letting his inner aggression channel out, he would sit strongly in first to begin, after a crash from former leader, Adam Cianciarulo. Nearing the halfway point, he could be located around the number thirty-four machine, looking to keep ascending as the race would conclude. Once the referee initiated the stop of the race, he would be halted with an astonishing first place finish. For moto number two, his normal killer instinct would be for all to see, as he would immediately become intertwined with Dylan Ferrandis again. Scrubbing the “SX” triple, with an outrageous flick, he was showing that no obstacle was too large to counter. Feeling the flow as the laps would begin to wind down, he would hold the lead, until a slight hiccup after the smaller section of whoops; that mishap, seemed to derail the Yamaha pilot, pushing him back to third, with McElrath now in second. He would go onto finish third, looking forward to the final call of the third moto. As the gate would fall for last time, he would take second at the green flag. Looking to throw his name in the hat for an overall podium, he would show no sign of backing down, as Ferrandis would inch closer. Exiting out of these turns with a surge of speed and adrenaline, he was conquering every obstacle on this track with ease. It was merely a game of inches between he and those around him. Letting the number thirty-four around, Nichols was a bit displeased with his effort, but had to manage for a solid overall point total. As the final of the three flags were waved, it was he, taking fourth place, and capturing the bronze medal.
When the lights of Supercoss are broadcasted high and wide, there are those who tend to shy away from the attention, and there are those who relish when in midst of everyone’s view. RJ Hampshire is the latter, basking in front of sponsors, media, and fans alike, for what seems to be years now. Throughout his amateur career, and especially when making the jump to the professional ranks, he’s seemed to be accustomed to the pressure, something that’s tied to anyone at this level. He admits too, that the bigger the stage, the more he will flourish, as his true DNA as a competitor is something that can’t be mistaken or questioned. Therefore, when the gate dropped for the first moto, he could be seen hounding toward the front, hoping to catch a glimpse of the lead. Battling with Adam Cianciarulo, his skillset would thrive as the laps would continue. The track, beginning to becoming seated with bits of tire tread and narrow path, would develop optimal lines around the brink of the layout. He would carry his momentum in superb fashion, lunging toward the line of timing and scoring every lap. Moving forward, with Jacob Hayes behind, his vision would be unwavering in the quest toward the checkered. After all had wrapped up, his finish for the first round would be inscribed as fifth. The second round of action, saw him near the fifth place mark early on. Letting it all hang out, he would be on the balls of his feet at all time, in sequential fashion. His attack stance was apparent, as he could volley between eagerness to pounce, and staying within his comfort zone. However, that zone that we speak of is that of top-tier talent, and albeit blazing with his speed, he was in control. With Ferrandis out front, he would hold Cameron McAdoo at bay, and patiently wait for the checkered to fly. It would come shortly thereafter, where he would receive a bid to fourth place. The third, and final episode of racing festivities, would forecast a true display of his skills, as he would be precise with the throttle, as the track would slicken. An open stadium here in Anaheim, the dew of the night would begin to settle in as the clock would creep closer to the midnight hour. And although he would hope to become ultra aggressive, attempting to reel in Michael Mosiman, he knew that if he became too “trigger-happy” so to speak, he could be having a bit of a soil sample. Letting the track come to him, he would settle into a solid pace, eager to have solid overall finish when all was said and done. And that’s exactly what would occur, taking a fifth place ride, generating a noteworthy fourth overall.
There are certain landmarks, and tiers of results if you will, when in discussion of racing prestige. You here of many younger riders, or maybe even those new to the class, discussing how they yearn for a “top ten.” And then as all humans do, once the goal is accomplished, they dig for more. The next stop, as you could’ve guessed, is that of the top five; where this day in age, could be shuffled and mixed every which way, depending on how the chips may fall on a particular evening. Adam Cianciarulo realizes that, and embodies the hope of making serious waves, with the variables aligning in his favor. But believing in the idea of, “making his own luck”, he went to the line for moto number one, ready to hoist his abilities above everyone else’s, aspiring to set a pace that could hardly be rivaled. And he would do so to begin, circling the first few laps in the lead, and ready to burst away from the field. He didn’t want to settle into a pace, as he knew with these races, the lull of comfort was out the window. Focusing on gapping Colt Nichols who was behind, he knew that every specific corner, bump, and whoop, was an opportunity for time to be made. You could see him moving with the bike in a swift motion, with no abrupt turns or cuts being made. And it was reflected with solid laptimes, ones in which his mechanic was relaying on the pit board, in broad, black sharpie ink. The lead was his for the taking, until a huge mistake would cost him, leaving him having to remount and gain control of the machine. Subsequently, he would drop to fifth. Coming through on the final lap, his position of fourth would be where he stayed. The second go-around saw him battling with Michael Mosiman to begin, the two seemingly going toe to toe in the opening segments. He would take both, glances to his left and right, checking the competitor, at all times. Eventually, he would break away, focusing on the track that lay in front, rather than that of the enemy. However, on lap nine, he would be caught in a hay bale cover, forcing him to lose numerous positions. Devastated, he would come across the line in fourteenth. In an effort to claim a solid overall finish, he would sprint in the opening circuits of moto number three. Taking a stand, he wasn’t budging as pressure would begin to amount from around him. Looking forward with a clear fortune, he hoped that his pace could continue, as he hovered near the one-minute mark. With an early lead, things seemed to really begin to flow together for the number ninety-two. Keeping the lead until lap four, Shane McElrath would approach quickly, hoping to dethrone the Kawasaki rider. Moving to the inside just before the finish, he would pass Cianciarulo, pushing Adam to second. The Florida native would stay here for the rest of the race, placing in the runner-up position for the moto, and fifth overall.
With the crew at Dirt Wurx seemingly known as modern day Picasso’s of the motocross world, many in the series anxiously await each weekend when they step onto the course for the annual track walk. Like kids in a candy store, many times you will see a rider grin with delight, as he lunges up the face of some of these rather steep takeoffs. It’s a feeling for comfort for some, yet vulnerability for others, where an emotion of dismay will overtake them. And like the way of jungle, the concept of the “strongest will survive” will run its course, as the night progresses. Cameron McAdoo seemed to have this look in his eye, as if he were a predator, waiting to feast on every portion of this soil-ridden masterpiece. Looking to attack and impose his will, he would sprint off the line, as if a gunshot would initiate the race’s commencement. Looking to push his way to the front, he couldn’t help but notice who was out front. With Nichols leading the pack around, he sincerely wanted to reel in the alpha, knowing that he gain a substantial amount of points. Contending with Michael Mosiman, who was just near him, the two would set the bar at a rather high level. Attempting to out launch and throttle one another, it was a pure battle of guts, as they headed into the sand section one final time. He would keep the throttle on, just a millisecond longer, pushing his clutch lever ahead of the throttle of the opponent; forcing the latter to subsequently shut down. And in return, a ninth place position would be granted to him. Next up, the second main event, where he hoped to improve on his initial outing. Throwing the rear wheel to the crowd over the far “SX” triple, he could see the flashing of Iphone’s as he soared through the air. Quickly keeping focus on that of Cianciarulo just ahead, his patience would wear then, as the idea of complacency merely crossed his mind. He just knew he had to buckle down, and keep fighting forward. And it was then, that the law of attraction would fully bloom, holding down the fifth position with a surging amount of integrity. He would stay here, capping off the moto in the aforementioned. For the final run of the night, he wanted to let it all hangout. Blitzing through the switchbacks across the start straight, he would crest the jump with his left foot in the air, eyeing the sand section as a place to make time. Clicking forward, gear after gear, he wouldn’t sweat any of the competition that was near, including that of Michael Mosiman. His effort would be of abundance, and as a result, the sixth place finish, would generate sixth overall.
In a sea full of armored combatants, Jacob Hayes hopes to emerge from the rubble and smoke with his hand held high, victorious and proud of the task he has accomplished. He visualized himself overtaking this particular layout, set within the coliseum of Anaheim. After taking care of all qualification matters, he had his sights set on putting in the work throughout the main event. He and mechanic would then head to the line, seemingly an unbreakable tag-team. After some quick words of wisdom and a pat on the back, the chief of wrenches would walk away, leaving only he and the other warriors behind the gate to take care of business. Storming out of the hole, he hoped to venture left, eyeing the inside hay bales as his destination point. Being boxed out a tad bit, he reminded himself to remain calm throughout the initial portion of the moto. With riders like Colt Nichols just near him, he didn’t want to become overwhelmed, and fall into the trap of merely racing the competition; he knew if he could stick to besting the track instead, that he would be of greater result at the end. Blasting through both particular whoop sections, he felt enabled aboard the machine, feeling as though the suspension would drive through any mogul in front of him. The confidence would create a ripple effect, all the way to the finish line; taking sixth, he looked forward to the second moto, after an applaud worthy start to the moto that just occured. With the heart rate now spiked a wee bit, he had to take his focus off the adrenaline dump that had just occurred, in reel the cerebral cortex back to living in the present. And although a tall task, you could see him excel while others were beginning to briefly fade. Pushing through both rhythm lanes prior to the finish line, he looked to keep in perfect tune, while others were littering the track with mistakes. He began to pull from Mitchell Harrison, giving him a bit of ease as he saw the white flag come about. With just one more time around, he would fend off the enemy, claiming seventh. For the last bit of racing, he would move into ninth place early on. He knew everything would have to be engaged, if he wanted to stay within a solid position. Keeping his nose to the grindstone, he would push through both lap traffic and competition, seeing that some were beginning to fall from the pack. It would motivate him to keep plunging forward, placing a bit of satisfaction at the realm of others expense. Taking the final lap in ninth, his name would be penciled in seventh place, as the record books would close.
With many of the top positions in this class being secure by riders of factory position, and who have been in the field for multiple years, Michael Mosiman knew that his current standing in the chase was no fluke. The raw speed that the front-runners of the 250 West Coast Championship were possessing was simply unreal, and he knew that with just a bit more “oomph” so to speak, he could be contending for the bright light of the series. Therefore he would come into this portion of the Anaheim Triple Crown with a positive attitude, and a mind full of confidence. Showing his true form to begin the first moto, he would jolt out of the gate, letting the clutch and holeshot device disengage in unison. Vying for the tenth place ride in the opening segments, it was all he could do to keep this powerful 250f underneath him. Rallying through the trenches, he would fight tooth and nail with everyone around him in order to keep moving forward. Looking to surpass Jess Pettis, he knew that if anything, he couldn’t afford to be in a standstill of sorts, and would have to keep climbing. Therefore he would power around, letting the rest of the field behind duke it out. Coming across the line in tenth, the next event would be quickly upon him. Pushing furiously throughout the beginning of the second race, he wanted to set a tone of urgency rather quickly, knowing that many of the usual suspects were out front. Feathering the clutch when necessary, his rolling speed through some of these bowl turns was rather astonishing, as you could here the engine purr to the top of the stroke, only exit the corner with maximum velocity. It would power him through every particular portion of the track, including the treacherous far rhythm lane. Piecing it together to solve the deceptive puzzle of combination. With the header of the 250f’ screaming for dear life, flustered with a fiery red tint, he would bring home his machine in sixth position, ready to wrap it all up in the coming moments. For the third and final round, he was wedged within a series of bars and pegs, trying his best to weasel his way around the intricate circuit. Tenth in the early laps, he felt that if he could just pace the likes of RJ Hampshire in front of him, the towing effect could propel him to new heights. So he would zoom in on the jersey lettering of the competition in front of him, never once afraid to push his comfort zone. Lap after lap, he would keep the competitor in check, the throttle firmly gripped in his right hand. And it would pay off, as he took the final jump in seventh place, accumulating an eighth overall.
Now three rounds into the series, Chris Blose knew of points throughout the sequence of racing in which he would both excel, and need to improve, in order to become a staple at the top of the tour. And with a sense of work ethic instilled within that few others possessed, you best believe that he would do everything in his power to better himself through the midst of his practice days. But now, as the weekend would approach, and Saturday night would be in the present, he knew that he must place all he had worked on, into action. And what better place to do it, than in the first main event, as he would absolutely blister off of the starting gate. Moving forward in this train of absolutely stacked competition, you could almost sense his confidence growing with every passing lap. Hitting every combination with perfect timing, he eyed the whoops just before the finish line as a place where he could make up substantial time on Jimmy Decotis. And if you were to watch his left boot closely, you could see him actually click up two separate times, never once letting go of the throttle. Fourth gear, and absolutely revved to the moon, his pace would only continue to rise as he crept toward the top of the leaderboard. Finishing up eighth, he was eager for the second main event. Packing a punch to begin, he would catch the opening flag around the fourth place spot, yearning to make moves in quick fashion. Latching onto the back of RJ Hampshire, he would watch his every move, knowing that he could be the ticket to the front. Knowing that he didn’t want to get stuck into a lull type of trance, he would try and make moves once everything in his surrounding began to situate. It was a smart plan, showcasing his veteran like stature, although still within the 250 division. Once all had concluded, he would be placed in the eighth place position. As the final gate drop for the class would fall, he would be in the battle for fourth place, again, to begin. Never one to back down from a fight, both he and Jacob Hayes would nearly bang radiators, in the right-hander near the mechanics area. Almost coming to a stop, at times, he knew that he would have to get around his opponent if he wanted to make any positive headway. And he would do so, putting out enough effort, to secure the eighth position, and ninth overall.
For Mitchell Harrison and his respective crew, they wanted to make a lasting impression on the crowd at Anaheim, leaving their mark on hollowed grounds so to speak. They know the type of memories and racing action that this stadium has seen over the years, and just being able to compete under these respective lights was an honor in itself. But in present perspective, they knew they would have to seize the moment, not being deterred by the aura of their surroundings. Coming off the line in a strong manner to begin the first main event, he would take the first few laps near fourteenth place. Looking at his mechanic for both a bit of guidance and reassurance, he felt compelled to put on for all in his corner as the laps would continue to click away. Absolutely blitzing the whoop section before the finish line, he could be seen almost having to slow down as he crested the face of the final double, before ducking into the right-hander shortly thereafter. With Sean Cantrell breathing down his neck, he began to white-knuckle the grips so to speak, but would remind himself to stay calm and composed. And this reiteration would work, taking him all the way to the finish line, securing twelfth place. For the second round of racing, he would finagle his way into tenth by lap three, hoping to move forward with the passing of time. As the leaders would establish a solid pace out front, he would try his best to mesh with the heard just in front, knowing he couldn’t be left behind. Whipping the chassis into the wind over the far “SX” triple, you could tell he felt comfortable, even on the biggest stage of the sport. Throwing caution to the wind as he soared into the forthcoming rhythm section, his seat-hopping antics would be followed up with a subtle tapping of the rear brake, setting the nose of the machine down in each respective transition. It was an adequate sequence of pure speed, doing enough to scurry away from Cantrell yet again; he would finish ninth. Going into the last moto, he knew his finish would have to be solid in order to secure a top ten overall, therefore he gave his effort in regards to reaction time. In a prominent situational standing after the first few laps, his machine would be caught in a joust with that of Jimmy Decotis. Scrubbing the hip jump before the triple on the far side, he would give a faint look over his right shoulder in the meantime. Glancing back, he could see the gap between he and Decotis stretching; knowing that he’d done enough to secure the eleventh place ride. And once all was said and done, his hopes would come to light, securing a solid tenth place for the evening.