McThoughts | Oakland SX | 450 Class
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Billy Rainford
The best 450 riders in the world looked pretty shaky at times on the tough Oakland track. Everyone but Eli Tomac. Eli was once again on a complete other level than the rest of the field. It’s almost like he didn’t realize that it was rutted and super sketchy. He caught and gapped Ryan Dungey after coming from way back. No, Dungey wouldn’t have had anything for him even if he wanted to, but in the end, Dungey only lost 3 points to Tomac and still leads him by 17. It’s a very long season with little to no time off, and it will be very exciting to see what happens next. Let’s take a look at the results and my thoughts.
1st Eli Tomac: 2 weeks in a row, Eli has been head and shoulders above everyone. He made it look so easy, I thought he was racing on a dry track. I really wish I knew what was the reason for the huge turn around, but I don’t have a clue. He looks unstoppable right now.
2nd Ryan Dungey: Ryan led 16 laps and was chased down and caught, and then gapped by Eli Tomac. If I’m Ryan Dungey and his team I am not too concerned. I’ll tell you why. He is the reigning champion. He has the entire world trying to beat him. They are use to it, and they know the long-term picture is the championship. I think he backed it down and played it smart on a very dangerous track. Nobody was going to match Eli on this night and Ryan knew it. The smart thing was to let the #3 go, lose 3 points, and not lose the season.
3rd Cooper Webb: Finally, the Cooper we have all been expecting. Webb looked great all day and is finally believing in himself and that he belongs near the front. I liked how he battled back against Tomac and stretched out the quad. He’s not going to win this year, but a few more podiums will happen.
4th Jason Anderson: This ride was needed by Anderson, almost as bad as he needs a razor for his teen stache! Jason is still recovering from an injured arm due to his “tunnel crash.” He will get better as the season goes on and be fighting for podiums every weekend.
5th Cole Seely: Poor Cole just can’t beat Anderson straight up. This was a good race and good finish for Cole. For a guy who is noticeably better indoors than out, I was surprised to see him do so well in the ruts.
6th Davi Millsaps: Another great ride for Millsaps. He’s sitting 5th in points and doesn’t seem to be slowing anytime soon.
7th Blake Baggett: Good ride for BB. He moved forward which is a good thing. He just needs to look as good as he did in the heat race in the main event now.
8th Chad Reed: Reed is listed as 16th off the start, so this is a great result. If he can start near the top 5, he can stay there, but his starts do need to improve. He is sitting 8th in points.
9th Marvin Musquin: Marvin has had 2 rough races in a row. At one point, he rode to the mechanics area then took quite awhile to get back up to speed. He was way back and able to make it to 9th, so the speed is still good.
10th Dean Wilson: Good first ride for Deano on the new team. I think this is a great thing for both rider and team. He will get a little better before the end of SX, but I expect him to be really good in outdoors.
Biggest Stud: How can you not pick Eli Tomac……
Biggest Dud: I don’t want to bag on the guy, but I wish Malcolm Stewart would be able to fight back better after going down in the mains. He was riding really good, and then had a mishap and seemed to lose all wind in his sails.
Biggest Surprise: I didn’t think Tomac would be this good two weeks in a row. If he would have holeshotted, he could have won by 30-plus seconds.
Thanks for reading, see you next week.