McThoughts | Monster Energy Supercross | Houston – 450 Class
By Jeff McConkey
How about the story line in the 450 class?! First we have pre-season favourite, Eli Tomac, score 1 point at the opener. Fast forward to this week, and Eli was 10 seconds a lap off the pace. Next, came the announcement that he would be unable to compete in the night program. Instant game changer, and everyone should have been licking their chops. Wait, there is more.
While riding not his best in heat race #2 Marvin Musquin goes down awkwardly and gets up holding his wrist and shoulder. After having his shoulder put back in, Marvin tried riding around the pits, but made the smart decision to sit out for safety. Nobody wants to see the points leader sitting on the sidelines, but I’d rather see him there instead of sitting or laying on a medic’s mule.
Fast forward to the main. The track was breaking down and rutting up fast, making it very technical. The points lead was up for grabs and ‘El Hombre’ Jason Anderson took advantage of it, and is now our new red plate holder.
Here are the results and my thoughts.
1st Jason Anderson: ‘La Flama Blanca’ is the new points leader. Jason looked aggressive, but calm all night long. I think his new approach is working very well, and he will be very hard to beat with this points lead.
2nd Ken Roczen: It was great to see Ken leading laps. His starts were much better this week, and that helped him a lot. His right arm is pumping up due to the limited strength in his left. Once he figures out how to compensate, he will be even better.
3rd Justin Barcia: Barcia looks good back on the Yamaha. He’s getting the starts he needs, and he’s looking good up front. He was also able to battle back after falling out of podium contention, which shows you that this is by no means a fluke. Like I said a few weeks ago… I bet Yamaha extends his deal for the full SX season along with the outdoors. He’s riding that well right now, and Cooper isn’t.
4th Cole Seely: Cole looked really good all night long. This is the type of ride I expect from him on most nights. With the top two guys out, this is his opportunity to get some wins.
5th Weston Peick: Weston continues to impress in 2018. He’s getting the starts he needs to run up front. He looks good, and has been finishing well. I just don’t think he gets the same results if he has a poor start and has to make the passes to get to the front.
6th Justin Brayton: JB10 looked very good. He had a good ride in his heat race and even better in the main. I keep saying that racing in the off season is helping him out a lot early on.
7th Blake Baggett: Blake didn’t look like himself at round 1. He looked better at round 2, but I think he still isn’t happy with his set up. I expect him to be stalking the top 3, not the top 5 or 6. He will get much better as the season goes on.
8th Broc Tickle: Average night for Tickle. I’m expecting more from him. I feel when he realizes that he isn’t there to win or podium, his results will improve.
9th Josh Grant: Josh is playing it smart and safe early on and getting decent results. With Tomac out, there may be a little more pressure to move up the standings.
10th Jeremy Martin: Jeremy will never be a Supercross threat, but rides and results like this will help keep him on factory equipment. Jeremy is expected to be a badass outdoors and at Daytona, but he needs rides like this in SX. He has one more start left in the 450 class before dropping to the 250 East class. I think this will help him in the East, but he won’t be in the title fight.
Biggest Stud: Justin Barcia proved to us, that last week was no fluke, and he also proved how good the new Yamaha is. This guy looked like his career was going down hill not too long ago. Very impressed to see how he has rebounded.
Biggest Dud: Cooper Webb is my Dud.. The new Yamaha is a great bike, I just don’t think Cooper is getting along with it. Unless Webb is injured, but I haven’t heard any rumours of it yet. Like I have said before…. he’s just way too damn good to not be a top 5 guy every week.
Biggest Surprise: I was surprised to hear the news that pre-season title favourite, Eli Tomac, would be sitting out the night program, but I was even more surprised when word came out that points leader, Marvin Musquin, was also out. Good thing the 450 class is so stacked this year. You never want to lose top guys to injury, but at least the class is stacked enough that we will still have great racing.
MC’s ‘G’d Up from the Feet Up’ Award: Cole Seely. His TLD kit and helmet matched with his Alpinestar boots and Spy goggles had a very clean but nice look. Not overkill, but not too plain. I liked it.