McThoughts | Arlington Supercross | 450 Class
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Billy Rainford
We had some good racing, once again Saturday night. Unfortunately, we lost Ken Roczen the previous week, and Justin Barcia and Josh Grant this week to injuries. That really shakes up the points when you lose #2 and #3, but it is the perfect chance for some fresh faces to step up.
Going into a night show, you never know which Eli Tomac you are going to get. This week, we had a near perfect Eli and he made it look easy. Points leader, Jason Anderson, got out to a good start but made a mistake and went down. The new-and-improved El Hombre battled back and turned what could have been a terrible night into a solid 4th.
Anderson is in complete control at the moment, and it looks like Tomac is the only one to match or better his speed.
Here are the results and my thoughts.
1st Eli Tomac: That is 3 wins now for Eli, but he still only sits 10th in points. He’s starting to look like a “Checkers or Wreckers” type of rider. When he is on, I don’t think many catch match him, but when he’s off, he is really off. Consistency wins SX championships and that piece is clearly missing in the program.
2nd Marvin Musquin: Great ride for Musquin, considering his not-so-great heat race. He got a pretty decent start from further outside than he’d prefer to be. It’s starting to look like Marvin is really getting close to being healthy again. He has clawed himself back into the points and now sits 4th with 119 points.
3rd Blake Baggett: How about Baggett and his recent rides. It’s starting to look a lot like last season. Blake seems to have found the magical settings and it is really working for him. Not to mention, we are back on the East Coast where Blake excels. I don’t think he will get a win on any ‘traditional’ style SX track, but Daytona is a different beast, and Blake has a legitimate chance there. Blake has jumped to 3rd in points with 120, just 40 out of the lead.
4th Jason Anderson: Jason is the complete package in 2018. For him to regroup after going down and salvage points is very championship worthy. He’s still super aggressive, but calm in a weird way. The difference for 2018 is that El’ Hombre believes in himself enough where he knows he can get back to the front after going down or a poor start. And that is part of the reason why he has a 36-point lead.
5th Cole Seely: Cole needs to start banging off some podiums and challenge for wins. He has been given a gift with Roczen and Barcia going out with hand injuries, being that his average finishing position is 5.6 and he’s now sitting 2nd in points. He is also, once again, the one and only guy under the Big Red tent and he just needs to be better. With these average finishes, he won’t last in 2nd or even 3rd for long.
6th Cooper Webb: Cooper has looked like a different rider as of late. The big problem is his starts. His average starting position is 13.7, that is awful for a top guy. He still has a lot of work to do, before he will be fighting for podiums, but he’s going in the right direction. Cooper is sitting 11th in points, just 1 point out of the top 10.
7th Weston Peick: I wasn’t a huge fan of Weston’s aggressiveness early on in the heat race, but a win is a win. But he really needs to work on his post-race interviews, man that was brutal. Anyway, not a great finish, but also not a bad finish for Weston. He is now 5th in points with 114.
8th Dean Wilson: Welcome to the top 10, Deano. He’s getting better every week, and I can see him creeping towards the top 5 after that nasty crash at the start of the season. It’s very tough to make big leaps in this stacked class, but you can definitely tell that Dean has the talent, and that he is putting in the work. He is up to 15th in points.
9th Broc Tickle: On paper, it doesn’t seem like a great ride, but Tickle came from dead last. He made a lot of passes on a tricky track and over the last 2 weekends he has performed much better. He’s still not a podium guy, and I don’t think he will ever be, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a solid #2 guy on a big team.
10th Justin Brayton: Decent result for Brayton. I think if he doesn’t get that top 5 start, he doesn’t get that top finish. Due to Brayton racing the Australian SX series, he came in race ready. Well, now that we are over 6 races in, I think that advantage is gone. Justin is now 7th in points, just 1 point behind the injured Justin Barcia.
Biggest Stud: Tomac is my Stud. When he is on, he’s just about unstoppable. Great day for Tomac!
Biggest Dud: Injuries, like always, are my dud. We lost 3 more factory guys with Roczen, Barcia and Grant getting hurt. It’d definitely the shitty part of the sport. Heal up quick, guys.
Biggest Surprise: Nothing really shocking went on for me. Maybe Peick winning a heat race, only because I can’t leave this blank?
MC’s “G’d Up from the Feet Up” Award: After a lot of thought, Justin Barcia is my winner. I’ve picked this kit before, but to be honest, I wasn’t really a fan of anyone’s. Wilson, and maybe Tickle get runner up nods.
Thanks for reading, see you in FLA.