A1 Supercross Breakdown Report 2017 | Keefer’s Korner

DR test editor Kris Keefer gives insight on Round 1 of the 2017 AMA Monster Energy Supercross Series in Anaheim, California.

Welcome back to racing folks! The 2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series kicked off in Anaheim, California Saturday night as Mother Nature cooperated and let us have a dry ro13und one. With the changes Feld implemented this year with 20 minute plus 1 lap 450 Main and 15 minute plus 1 lap 250 Main it could be survival of the fittest this season. However, we actually didn’t see any difference in total laps run in both Main Events on Saturday night (250 Main was 15 laps, 450 Main was 20 laps). The longer than normal Anaheim lap times hovered around 1:04 proved to be challenging for all the riders, as the easier Dirt Wurx track layout got super choppy with the soft spots that arose from last week’s rain that Southern California experienced. Here are some riders and things I saw that stood out to me from Saturday night at the “Big A” (Results at bottom of page).

A1 Supercross 2017
450SX holeshot, A1 Supercross 2017Photo by BrownDogWilson

450 Class:

Ken Roczen: If Kenny didn't sell Honda hundred of brand new 2017 CRF450R's on Saturday night, I will be shocked! We all knew that Kenny would be fast but 13 seconds (16 seconds on the last lap) ahead of Ryan Dungey fast? I think not! Kenny looked more comfortable on the red bike than I have ever seen him. The confidence he is oozing out is noticeable and you can see this in his riding. Kenny usually is known to force and push down on the front end hard when landing off of jumps, but when you watch the tape of him riding the Suzuki last season compared to this year's Honda, he looks much more relaxed and fluid aboard the CRF450R. This doesn't bode well for the other riders. Yes, it's only round one, but this is a different Kenny and he looks like he wants this championship more than ever. Oh and so does Honda, especially with all the money they are paying him. Fun Fact: Did you know that Team Honda doesn't run fuel tank bolts to their frames. The fuel tank is fastened with a rubber tank strap. This apparently helps with chassis feel when the track gets rough or choppy.

A1 Supercross 2017
Ken Roczen, A1 Supercross 2017Photo by BrownDogWilson
A1 Supercross 2017
Ken Roczen & team HRC on 450SX podium, A1 Supercross 2017Photo by BrownDogWilson
A1 Supercross 2017
Ken Roczen wins A1 Supercross 2017Photo by BrownDogWilson

Ryan Dungey: This is what Ryan does. He comes in and just plugs away and gets points. It took him a while to make the pass on Marvin and Eli, but he gets it done and collects a second at the first round. His bike looked to be set up well for the choppy conditions, but getting pinched off the start didn't help his cause. Would he have been able to run with Kenny? Probably not on this night, but Dungey is smart and gets the job done when it matters. Look for him to be much closer next week in San Diego.

A1 Supercross 2017
450SX Podium, A1 Supercross 2017Photo by BrownDogWilson

Marvin Musquin: I stayed away from the press conference this week and I think doing this gave Marvin good luck. If you want to know how to dissect a track watch Marvin ride a Supercross track when it gets torn up. Going across the start into the sand section he was hopping over a huge sand roller and landing on the downside and giving him a great drive to jump three into the rhythm! It's a thing of beauty!

A1 Supercross 2017
450SX Start, A1 Supercross 2017Photo by BrownDogWilson

Chad Reed: Chad got into it with "The Hulk" AKA Weston Peick and damaged his machine while trying to make the pass on Weston. With his YZ450F smoking profusely Chad pulled her into the pits and called it a night. This is too bad because after watching him ride practice he looked to be on par for a great night. He is riding the YZ450F better and his age doesn't seem to bother him one bit. A steady heat race left him with a decent starting pick, but once again Chad needs to find good starts this year or else he will be tangling with guys like Peick all season long.

Cooper Webb: Cooper and his bike looked to be stiff for round one. When I was watching him try to push, it looked to me as if his bike wouldn't react the way he wanted it to. You could see his front end wash out in corners and hitting the sizeable braking bumps, coming into the first corner, you could see it was on the rigid side. You can guarantee Cooper will be better in San Diego and don't be surprised if we see the number 2 crack the top five.

Eli Tomac: It looked like the old Eli was back in the heat race, but a mishap in main left him visibly shaken and he went backwards. He cased a rhythm section heavily before Dungey made his move around the Colorado native. Eli stated once that happened arm pump set in and he was in survival mode. This could be the reason why he went from second to fifth in twenty minutes eh?

Trey Canard: Poor Trey! Trey went down hard in practice and hurt his shoulder and tried to gut it out in the night show. You could see he wasn't himself and went to the LCQ and barely qualified in front of Christophe Pourcel. Hopefully Canard will be good to go next weekend and get in the mix.

250 Class:

Shane McElrath: I don't think anyone besides Shane and his team thought this would happen. Shane looked fast from the start of practice, as he was always one of the first ones out on the track trying to get his hot lap in. Watching Shane ride is not something you will get excited over, but he rides fluid and smooth. Nothing flashy, just puts in solid laps. He normally gets great starts and has a great bike so he will definitely be the one to watch this season on the West.

A1 Supercross 2017
250SX Podium with Shane McElrath & team TLD KTM.Photo by BrownDogWilson

Aaron Plessinger: One guy who is fun to watch ride is Mr. Plessinger. Aaron did a rhythm that not even the 450 guys tried in practice. Out of the first corner there was the first rhythm lane and Plessinger went roll, three, three, single into the corner. It was at least a second faster and that garnered him the first practice fastest time. He couldn't get it done in the second practice and never found it in the main neither when it counted. A bad start, which might hurt him this year as he is on the bigger side for a 250 rider, didn't make life easier for him. He caught McElrath from about 8 seconds back but ran out of time.

A1 Supercross 2017
250SX Podium, A1 Supercross 2017Photo by BrownDogWilson

Martin Davalos: Martin won a heat race (shocker) and looked good in the main, but didn't have the pace that the top two had. This is Martin's 12th season in the 250 class and he must win the championship to be considered for a factory 450 ride next year.

Austin Forkner: Forkner had the rookie jitters and crashed in the Main event. He will put it together and win a couple before this thing is done though. Training with Canard looks to have rubbed off on him as you can see a lot of Canard in Forker when he rides.

Jeremy Martin: Martin looked insanely fast in practice, although a little out of control at times, but set the fastest time of the day. When the sun went down so did his starts and he started from way back and couldn't make the time up on the leaders. Getting a good start will be important this year as the top 5 guys are with tenths of each other.

Kyle Chisholm: A tenth place isn't a bad ride considering Kyle got this ride a couple weeks before A1. He wanted to ride 250's this year for a better chance at a great result unfortunately for Kyle the west coast field is stacked. I have ridden the bike that Kyle is riding and I can vouch for that bike. It is fast. So he has that going for him.

A1 Supercross 2017
250SX Start, A1 Supercross 2017Photo by BrownDogWilson

Dan Reardon: Dan is old enough to ride the Vet class, but showed the young guys he still has what it takes to get into the top ten! Dan's speed is a tick off from the top five but he is smooth and will stick his nose in there if a young guy leaves it open! Look for Dan to crack the top five in the next couple races!

Awards From Anaheim:

I am a big fan of all the new gear combinations and new factory bikes we see at the first round every year. I wanted to acknowledge some of the riders and bikes that wore it best. Just think of Joan Rivers of “E” Entertainment channel “Who Wore It Better”, red carpet style.

Most Well Put Together Fly Racing Rider: Bradley Taft

Most Well Put Together Fox Rider: Chad Reed

Most Well Put Together Thor Rider: Cooper Webb

Most Well Put Together Answer Rider: Justin Bogle

Best Looking Factory Bike(s) In The Pits: Chad Reed/Cooper Webb

Best Looking Seven Rider: Jake Weimer

Most Used Phrase In The Pits: "What's Up Bud"?

Least Used Words In The Anaheim Pits: "Excuse Me" and "Thank You"

450SX Class Results:

  1. Ken Roczen (Hon)
  2. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
  3. Marvin Musquin (KTM)
  4. Jason Anderson (Hus)
  5. Eli Tomac (Kaw)
  6. Cole Seely (Hon)
  7. Davi Millsaps (KTM)
  8. Weston Peick (Suz)
  9. Josh Grant (Kaw)
  10. Cooper Webb (Yam)

Western Regional 250SX Class Results

  1. Shane McElrath (KTM)
  2. Aaron Plessinger (Yam)
  3. Martin Davalos (Hus)
  4. Mitchell Oldenburg (KTM)
  5. Justin Hill (Kaw)
  6. Jeremy Martin (Hon)
  7. Dan Reardon (Yam)
  8. Austin Forkner (Kaw)
  9. Jimmy Decotis (Hon)
  10. Kyle Chisholm (Hon)