Another week in the books saw more intrigue as the Monster Energy Supercross invaded my home town of Phoenix last Saturday evening. I was fortunate enough to get to be a guest of the RCH Racing team, whose riders are points leader Ken Roczen, and my son’s favorite rider Broc Tickle(hehe). Before I dive into this I’d like to thank them and their sponsors(looking at you Jimmy Johns) for the hospitality and the gifts they gave my son. Such a great group of guys, from Roczen and Tickle(hehe), to Gina D’ Ambrosio and Justyn Amstutz to the GOAT himself, Ricky Carmichael. The professionalism and the time they make for their fans make them an easy team to root for. I’m forever grateful for the experience, and Aidan will remember it always.
After a dominating win in Anaheim week one, Roczen was the obvious favorite in Phoenix. Eli Tomac had other plans. After a back and forth first few laps, Tomac was able to get ahead of Roczen and was gone, showing everyone that the Geico Honda team is not going to be counted out the rest of the year. The usual suspects, for the most part, were up towards the top of the rankings. The biggest surprise was Weston Peick holding down third for most of the race before finally allowing Ryan Dungey to get around him, still finishing in a very respectable fourth overall, just missing the podium. Chad Reed had another disappointing race also, finishing in 10th. He just hasn’t been able to find his speed yet this year.
Week three is the second visit(of three) to Anaheim during the season. I could basically tell you to look over my week one article for tips on whom to start, but that would be lazy of me. And obviously, if you have been following along so far, Tomac was an afterthought to me that week. He isn’t now. His week one issues stemmed from an early collision, and Phoenix is more what I feel is going to be his norm. He is a legitimate championship contender. I still think Ken Roczen is the favorite, but this isn’t going to be a cake walk.
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Ken Roczen – He is obviously the guy to beat this week after his domination of Anaheim in week one. In four career Anaheim starts, he now has 2 wins, a 2nd and a 3rd. Like I said, domination.
Eli Tomac – He has been fast in every race, practice, and qualifier, and put it all together in Phoenix. Don’t count him out.
Chad Reed – He has been, like I’ve said, the undisputed King of Anaheim, with 5 wins and 18 total podiums in Anaheim in the 450 era. If he is going to break out this season, it’s going to be here.
Trey Canard – Another rider who has been fast this year, Canard had a mediocre 8th place finish in Phoenix, but is holding onto 4th in the points standings. He has two 2nd place finishes in Anaheim.
Ryan Dungey – The Red Bull KTM rider is the model of consistency. He has 9 podiums in Anaheim, including two wins.
Sleepers: Wild Card is 12th place
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Davi Millsaps – Another consistent rider on a fast bike. Millsaps has four podiums and a win in Anaheim.
Justin Barcia – Barcia has been a consistent Top-10 rider in Anaheim. I’m expecting more from him than what he has currently showed so far this year.
Editor’s Note: Peick is hurt and out tonight. Weston Peick – Peick looked great in Phoenix. This is actually my pick for the Wild Card spot this week. He seems real comfortable on that new ride, much more so than the majority of riders who switched teams.
Broc Tickle – Broc has the skills and the ride to podium or win on any given week. Getting to watch last week from the press box, he rides too nice. The guy is honestly on par with Ryan Dungey as one of the nicest guys in Supercross. If he can develop a killer instinct on the track he will be a championship contender.
Andrew Short – Short is another of those riders that has the ability to finish on the podium or be in the middle of the pack. More often than not he is a consistent Top-10 rider. Look for more of the same this week.
Jason Anderson – El Hombre has had a great start to his rookie year, and it’s awesome to see Husqvarna back in Supercross. Anderson finished 2nd in Anaheim week one, there’s no reason he can’t do it again.