PHOTOS | Antonovich & Swanberg
We knew better than to let our guard down. Just when it seemed like all of the steam was gone from the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Series, the excitement returned with round four at the 2017 Phoenix SX. A new winner in the 450 class added some much-needed life to the long weeks ahead, while another win by an emerging rider in the 250 class made that championship even more exciting. We take it that you’ve either seen the racing action already or have browsed through our archived content, so we’ll just get down to the details.
– Hard to believe there are no Suzuki-mounted riders ranked in the top-ten of the 450 championship. The yellow bike has been a popular choice this season, but for whatever reasons, its wide use hasn’t resulted in top results.
– After last week’s issues, Jason Anderson was visibly out of sorts in Phoenix. The Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna rider was unable to ride between the races due to heavy bruising on one of his arms, so Saturday’s practice sessions were his first lap in seven days. An odd run-in during his heat race with Cooper Webb while in a battle for the final transfer spot to the main event was another unneeded distraction, and although he attempted to smooth over the situation, there was nothing more that could be done. Anderson finished the main event in tenth place.
– Big whoops. We liked what the Dirt Wurx crew built in Arizona, mostly because we didn’t have to skim over them at warp-speed like the races. Seriously, you could hide a KTM JR SX Challenge kid in the section.
– Trey Canard was MIA for another week. At Anaheim Two the Red Bull KTM team seemed hopeful he’d return at Arizona, but it seems like he could come back in the next few rounds.
– Sounds like Jake Weimer will stay with the JGRMX team for a lot longer than originally expected. Weston Peick’s practice crash will drop another rider from the lineup for a lengthy amount of time, so Weimer will be the only 450 rider for the team until Justin Barcia returns, which could be at Dallas but possibly a few rounds later.
– We’re not sure what to make of Chad Reed’s post-race comments concerning the setup of his Yamaha YZ450F. The veteran racer basically said that the blue brand didn’t make what he felt were necessary changes in the offseason and waited until the first rounds of the SX were complete (His full statement is in the Press Conference video). Reed’s never afraid to say what’s on his mind.
– If Aaron Plessinger could get a solid start in the main event, we’d probably see a three-way brawl for the win. The Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha rider once again clocked the quickest lap of the finale while buried in the running order and worked his way up to fourth place at the finish line.
– That long start straightaway added plenty of excitement to the night and we were surprised at a few of the riders that crossed the holeshot stripe at the head of the pack.
– Shane McElrath and Justin Hill are two of the nicest guys to ever face off for a 250 class title, and they’ve made their respect for the other very clear in the press conference and their post-race celebration. It might not be the drama everyone hopes for, but it’s a nice change of pace.