Now that the supercross series is finally over, it’s time for the great outdoors. There is a ton of good racing going on all around the world. The first round of Lucas Oil AMA Pro Championship at Hangtown in California was pretty exciting this past weekend. I think we all knew that Roczen and Dungey would be on the podium somewhere and most people were wondering where the winner of last year’s series would finish. Yes, we are talking about Tomac on his factory Kawasaki. I was speechless when I saw the results from last year’s event with Tomac dominating both motos. I think he won by over 60 seconds. To put it in perspective, that would be about half a lap lead on second place. I can’t remember the last time someone took the win with a lead like that. Maybe rewind to the RC or Bubba days. How about the Factory Honda boys … it’s time they started stepping it up. Barcia is another rider that needs to figure things out. That is one really high paid rider that should be on the box each weekend. Marvin Musquin has made the move up to the 450 class for 2016. The factory Husky guys also have Anderson and Pourcel. These two riders can and will be on the podium during the year. The big question was about Bubba and his team. We know Baggett is a much better outdoor rider than a SX rider. What everyone wants to know is if James would show up for Round 1. We all just want the flawless old Bubba back. I have read on a few forum sites that people think James is over it. I read one comment that said to “put a fork in to James as he is done.” There is seriously something not right, for sure. Is it that he was out of the program for the year and he is just off the pace? Yes, surely that contributes to it but I think James just can’t finish 5th or worst in his head. The team and sponsors must be disappointed, but it’s James Stewart. Now that the first round is over we know that Ken basically dominated with a 1-1 for the overall. Ken looked rock solid on his Suzuki 450. Ryan Dungey looked good but just off the pace. Finishing 2-2 for the day is a good way to start the series. Factory Kawasaki Tomac had a pretty good day, going 4-4 for third overall, which is a good start as well. I am expecting to see Tomac up front this coming weekend at Glen Helen. Not far off the pace was fourth overall, Anderson going 6-3. Jason looked aggressive right to the last corner of Moto 2. Finishing fifth for the day was Trey Canard on the factory Honda. If you didn’t know, Bubba was having an okay day until the first moto. Just a few laps into the race, James somehow cross rutted and darted off the side of the track and crashed pretty hard on his shoulder. That was it for James. Let’s hope he bounces back and we see him back real soon.
The Lites class is super stacked. Outdoor nationals don’t have an east and west series so all Lites guys compete against each other. We knew that Webb was coming in with a wrist injury but didn’t know how strong he would be for two 30 minute motos. Team PC has Adam, Joey and Forkner looking really strong. How about the TLD KTM squad? I almost forgot about the rest of Webb’s teammates, the two Martins plus Plessinger. The Geico Honda team also has some heavy hitters, then you have the Husky team. After practice, the lap times showed that Joey Savatgy was looking like the rider to beat. The star Yamaha guys were right up there too. Practice times are good to see what your one lap time is like. The real question is who has done their homework? Well, by looking at the results, I would say Pro Circuit’s Savatgy was the one that wanted it bad. Going 1-1 shows that Joey is here to stay. Second place went to Alex Martin with an 8-2. I am sure Alex is super happy with second but that shows that the rest of the riders were a little inconsistent. Joey has a fifteen point lead on Alex after one weekend and that is a big head start. Third was Cooper Webb with a 4-5. Not bad for a rider that thought he re-broke his wrist in Vegas. Aaron Plessinger was able to finish fourth for the day with a 9-3. Not too consistent but I’m sure he will take it for Round 1. Jeremy Martin had a good, solid first moto with a third but a ninth in Moto 2 was only good for fifth overall for the day. Looking down the list I was surprised to see Shane McElrath with an 18-36, Albertson with a 27th overall and Davalos with a 32nd overall.
Looking forward to this coming weekend at Glen Helen. I am sure we will see a few new faces up front or on the box. Glen Helen is the official outdoor practice track for just about every factory rider. Josh Grant is a rider that usually has this track wired. The Star Yamaha guys know this track really well too. Until next week, have a good week of riding.