They say that Anaheim rarely provides a realistic gauge of what is to come the rest of the series due to the hype and anticipation leading up to the opener, and that Phoenix is truly the start of the season. True or not, the points scored and missed at Anaheim I are very real, and every one one of them counts. Preseason favorite and defending champ Ryan Villopoto had trouble keeping it on two wheels in Anaheim, and left the door open for the rest of the field to capitalize. Heading into Phoenix, it was still anyone’s guess as to who would emerge victorious, but as it turned out, A1 was indeed a good indicator as to how things would pan out. Just as with Anaheim, James Stewart continued to “survive,” while Chad Reed quietly cruised around the top five. Meanwhile, Millsaps, Barcia, and Canard continued where they left off, displaying blazing speed and solid starts. The x-factor again was Villopoto, who rebounded from his dismal first-round ride to finish second, although from the looks of it, RV2 still has some adjustments to address.