McThoughts | Phoenix SX | 450 Class | Presented by Shot Race Gear
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Billy Rainford
Just when I thought we were about to see Ryan Dungey dominate the rest of the season, it happens again — Eli Tomac steps up and puts in an incredible ride and waxes the competition. That’s part of the reason why our sport is so good. Stuff like this can happen anytime and make the series interesting. I’m still very sad about the Ken Roczen injury, but life goes on, and I’m willing to bet that Kenny will be back as good as ever. It may take a bit longer then most would like, but we have to remember how young Ken is.
Speaking of age, how about Chad Reed?! He looked like a new man. I don’t know if he found a new set up or if the more technical track helped him, but damn he looked good! Age is just a number and Reedy proved it last night. Let’s look at the results and see my thoughts.
1st Eli Tomac: Just when I thought Eli had lost the magic and that his 2017 season was a wash, he comes out and destroys everyone. I was waiting for him to start pumping up 7-8 minutes in, and it never happened. He rode a flawless 21 laps and pretty much embarrassed everyone else. I’m not ready to say he’s 100% back, as I need to see a few more complete main events before I am sure. Either way, he looked fantastic in Phoenix.
2nd Chad Reed: Chad has shown flashes in the first 3 rounds, but not like this. The old timer of the class looked fresh and hungry and pretty much shocked me when he was reeling in Dungey and got the two for one pass in the main. He shines when the tracks are a little tougher and I hope this continues. Long live the fountain of youth!
3rd Ryan Dungey: Ryan looked good, but kind of off at the same time. If your bad or “off” race gets you a 3rd, well I guess that means you’re a bad man on a dirt bike. He holds a 15-point lead over Marvin Musquin in 2nd, and a 20-point lead over Tomac after 4 rounds. Can you say 3 450 SX Championships in a row?
4th Cole Seely: Cole has been riding well and this is around where he should be every weekend. He has a lot of weight on his shoulders flying the Red flag with Ken Roczen out, so let’s hope he can keep up the good work and stay healthy at the same time.
5th Davi Millsaps: Just like I said all summer long, Davi is able to cut down and put his KTM just about anywhere he wants, anytime. He’s been very impressive and it’s safe to say that Davi is back, and he’s having fun.
6th Justin Brayton: Justin looks off to me. I just expect him to be better, considering the equipment he is on. I’ve heard he usually likes to stick with one set up, but with the lack of parts for the new Honda, he’s still trying new stuff every week. I hope he gets a set up he likes soon, because he is sitting 13th in points with a very unimpressive 33 points.
7th Blake Baggett: I was ready to see Blake fighting for top 5’s all season long. Word in the preseason was that he was absolutely flying. It was nice to see him set the fastest qualifying time, but he needs to do more to keep the ball rolling.
8th Cooper Webb: Cooper was the victim of being in the “wrong spot at the wrong time” in the heat race with Jason Anderson. He was visibly pissed off and for good reason. He had a great battle with Marvin for the majority of the main and it was a sweet back and forth battle for 8th. Nice to see these guys not settling.
9th Marvin Musquin: Marvin’s start hurt him a lot. I was expecting him to slice his way through the pack and get at least into the top 5. Unfortunately, with the class being so stacked, it’s just not going to happen like that. The good news though, Musquin sits 2nd overall with 74 points.
10th Jason Anderson: Jason needs to calm down and believe in himself and in his program. His over aggressiveness has hurt him, and will continue to hurt him. He’s too good not to be top 5 on his very worst day.
Biggest Stud: Eli Tomac destroyed the field in Phoenix. It was very impressive, as 99.9% of us didn’t see it coming. That is why he is my stud.
Biggest Dud: I love watching Jason Anderson ride and race, but I’ve been disappointed in his ‘brain farts’ lately. He needs to stay calm and race like he practices at the Baker Factory.
Biggest Surprise: Eli Tomac… I maybe thought he could have won Daytona, but I never expected this performance anywhere.
Thanks for reading, see you next week.