McThoughts | Monster Energy Supercross | A1 – 450 Class
By Jeff McConkey
Going into A1, most people were ready to just hand over the 2018 championship to Eli Tomac. With Ryan Dungey gone, the Tomac bandwagon was full. Well, good thing we run the races and just don’t go by thoughts or opinions. Tomac got the start and looked really good early on, but disaster struck and he pulled off. He may be back for round 2, and he may be able to dig himself out of this early hole, but he may not.
You’ve got a super-confident Marvin Musquin, you’ve got Ken Roczen back, and you’ve got a calmer Jason Anderson. You can’t just hand the title over to anyone with this stacked class.
The A1 track looked good and was technical in spots, causing some of the best to hit the dirt. The racing was pretty exciting so here are the results and my thoughts.
1st Marvin Musquin: Marvin looked off during the heat race, and just didn’t seem himself. He got a decent start in the main and moved forward. He is very smooth and, like always, his fitness will be great. I think with Marvin being the number one guy at Red Bull KTM, and at the Baker Factory will help him, too. It’s all about Marvin now, as it should be.
2nd Jason Anderson: Jason looked good, but I feel he has more in the tank. I think he’s matured and is looking at this a little different. I think he is finally looking big picture and riding smarter. Don’t get me wrong, I think he will still shut the door on anyone and put you in the tough blocks, but he didn’t seem to be forcing it like before.
3rd Justin Barcia: Wow, is Barcia back? Justin looked great all night. Not a bad ride for a fill in rider… Justin looked good on the new Yamaha, and earned his first podium in what seems like ages. And I said earned. He was not given an easy top 3, he worked hard and kept pushing all main. Will he be able to back it up? That’s the real question. I’m willing to bet that he finishes SX and all of MX on the Factory Yamaha.
4th Ken Roczen: This is a win for Ken. He rode smart and was calm after getting a pretty bad start. I think it was good for him to come through the pack as he has been away for so long. He had a very close call, but was smart enough to back it down and not just send it. Very happy to see the 94 back out there!
5th Weston Peick: Weston really impressed me at A1. You can really tell that he has put in the work, his fitness and technique are top shelf. You’d never think that this is the same Weston who was barely making the mains and was a pretty pudgy fellow. Hard work pays off.
6th Cole Seely: Cole didn’t look aggressive enough to me. If he wants to be a serious player, he needs to make the moves earlier and take advantage of bad starts by others. Sometimes, I think he is too calculated or maybe too smart. I’d like to see him let loose a little. Worth a shot.
7th Justin Brayton: Brayton looked good in both the heat and the main. He was better than I expected. I really think racing the Australian SX series is helping him keep the ball rolling.
8th Broc Tickle: I think Broc may be pushing too hard due to the new ride. He needs to let it come to him and be Broc Tickle. He’s not going to win races, so he needs to be sneaky good and do his thing.
9th Josh Grant: I didn’t really see JG out there. That’s not always a bad thing. He starts the season with a solid top 10 ride and is healthy. He’s doing very well as the “2nd” rider on the team, and making Kawasaki signing him look very good.
10th Cooper Webb: I didn’t think Cooper looked comfortable at all during the night show. He just doesn’t look anywhere near the guy that dominated 250SX not long ago. I have ridden the new Yamaha, and it is much much better than the previous bike, but maybe it just doesn’t suit Webb?
Biggest Stud: Ken Roczen, his crew, and his amazing doctors are my studs. This guy almost lost his arm. He had 11 surgeries. He’s not just back riding, he’s racing, and he’s in this championship hunt. Huge respect to what this guy has gone through.
Biggest Dud: Eli Tomac is my dud. When he’s hot, he’s on fire. When he’s off, well, it’s so bad that his pants won’t even stay on. Honest crash that could have happened to anyone, but the black cloud hit Eli hard, and he had a serious wardrobe malfunction causing him to pull over and adjust. After getting his pants done up, Eli pulled off due to what they are calling a shoulder contusion. You can’t win championships at this level with mistakes like that.
Biggest Surprise: Barcia was the biggest surprise for me. He looked good on the bike brand that he wasn’t a real fan of in the past. I would have never ever have picked him for a podium…ever!
MC’s G’d Up From The Feet Up Award: Marvin Musquin and his black/gold Thor gear looked real good.
Thanks for reading.