Kick (starting) It In Oakland

The JGR Yamahas had a slightly different look this weekend, as their new order of upper fork tubes came in last week, Though the silver coating resembles that of the factory Showa SFF Air fork on the Monster Energy Kawasakis, the works suspenders on the front of the Gibbs bike are of the traditional variety. “We’ve stayed with the traditional design Showa fork,” said Brayton’s mechanic Patrick Barker. “We plan to start testing some of the new SFF Air stuff for possible use in the Nationals.”
Ryan Dungey raced to third in Oakland with the works WP Air Shock mounted on his bike. Early in the day, a traditional mechanical spring shock adorned his Carlos Rivera-tuned 450SX-F, but before the first practice session the exotic component was re-mounted. “It’s exciting to be racing with something like the air shock,” said Dungey. “At first, when I learned about it, I thought, ‘Man, that thing might blow me off the track or something,’ but once I rode with it I was excited to use it. The performance in the whoops is what impressed me the most. Obviously, there is a lot of work to be done with it, but I am comfortable enough with it to race, and it gets better every week.”
Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson earned the second podium appearance of his young career at Oakland. Anderson was feeling it all day long, as he set the fastest lap time in the first afternoon 250 qualifying session. “I’m finally starting to race more like I ride at the practice track,” said Anderson, who was third in Oakland behind Ken Roczen and Cole Seely. “I get a little nervous at the races and tend to tense up. But it’s getting better!”
Anderson’s Rockstar Energy Racing teammate Ryan Sipes was sidelined this weekend, as he suffered a couple broken fingers in a crash at Anaheim 2. He passed the time in Oakland, however, by helping with some color commentary down on the track. In casual conversation with Sipes, we asked him about the super light Italian Airoh helmet that he and the rest of the Rockstar Energy 250 team wear. “I love it,” he said. “It’s super comfortable and light. The other day, I picked up one of my old helmets from a previous season and couldn’t believe how heavy it felt. I think a light helmet really does help reduce rider fatigue.”