What a weekend! Three rounds down, and this season is shaping up to be much more exciting than the passed few years. While James Stewart continues to tweak and learn to ride a brand of machine he has not ridden since about the age of six, he still looks scary fast every time he hits the track. But there is a catch that has manifested in the form of an Australian rider who has surprised just about everyone so far this year, including Mr. Stewart.
Chad Reed looks, and sounds, like the guy whom many will recall from his 2004 season of dominance. Chad’s demeanor, both on and off the track, shows a rider who is confident in his equipment, his abilities, and his fitness to ride above the rest. While Reed has yet to collect a win this season, it is not for a lack of trying. Crashes and bad luck have so far kept him from winning. However, if Saturday’s charge from 19th to second at the finish is any indication, Reed is more than due for a win.
Although Stewart has been visibly upset on the podium and is behind in points, he still has two wins to his credit and the San Manuel/ L&M/ Yamaha team will continue to test to find the best settings for their star rider. At the moment, if Stewart is the hard-working student getting straight “A’s”, then Reed is the brainiac whose dog just ate his homework.
Away from the standouts, the action is still fast paced. While Supercross class rookies Ryan Villopoto and Josh Grant continue to learn the ropes, veterans like Kevin Windham and Tim Ferry are doing their best to keep the kids honest.
In Lites competition, three riders have established themselves as the front-runners in the form of Ryan Dungey, Jake Weimer, and Ryan Morais. All three riders are running similar lap times, while Dungey has had the edge the last two rounds and appears much more aggressive out on the track than in years past. Dungey knows what he wants, and is willing to fight to get it. And let’s not forget about Jason Lawrence. It is not often that the wild card goes to the defending champion, but in this case, Lawrence fits the bill with no OEM support, a team he is largely funding on his own, and his questionable past. Although his chance for retaining the West Lites title is a long shot, Jason is still an ultra-fast rider who is always a threat for a win and finished just behind the podium on Saturday.
Below you will find a gallery of pit shots of the weekend, as well as links to the many galleries of race action from Anaheim 2. Enjoy and be sure to check back throughout the week some more interviews.
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