Monday Kickstart Has The Pits, Parts, Gear & Talk From The 2019 Anaheim Two Supercross
PHOTOS | Mike Emery, Michael Antonovich, Octopi Media
TEXT | Antonovich & Emery
It’s hard to beat a race in Southern California. We know that won’t sit well with those of you outside the Golden State, but hear us out. There’s no other round of the Monster Energy Supercross Series that can match the vibe of a day at Angel Stadium of Anaheim because the pits are packed with fans, former racers, and industry friends, the weather is often excellent, the excitement of the new season is still high, and we can get back to our houses after the checkered flag (yeah, that last one is selfish but it’s nice to not catch a 6 AM flight on Sunday). Our day in Orange County for the 2019 Anaheim Two Supercross went by in a flash, thanks to the hurried schedule of the Triple Crown format, but we kept notes of what happened in the pits and on the track. Read on…
Anaheim Two was the first of three races in 2019 that will run the Triple Crown format. After a lukewarm reception from racers in 2018, Feld worked out some of the kinks by making all three races per class the same duration (10 minutes plus 1 lap for the 250 class, 12 minutes plus 1 lap for the 450 class). This definitely made riders more comfortable, as they hated the rushed pace of last year’s races, but it’s still unlikely that racers will ever be stoked on the triple crown idea as a whole.
A second rule change was the allowance of teams to tech two bikes per rider, which we outlined in December. We were really surprised to see so many teams took advantage of the rule, mostly due to the expense and work that comes from building a bike, but we soon learned many spares were refreshed practice units or in the case of the 250 class, an East Coast rider’s bike built with a West Coast rider’s parts. How will teams take advantage of the rule at Detroit, a round thousand of miles from their race shop or practice fleet? Some say they will build just one spare bike to a baseline setting that any of their team riders could jump on with a few small tweaks, while others will be ready to build a “fresh” race bike with a new frame/engine/etc and will have two bikes ready as a result.
TRACK BUILD & CONDITIONS
SoCal received some much-needed rain last week and as good as it was for the state, it threw a wrench in the gears for the Dirt Wurx crew. They knew a storm was on the way and before the racing was over in Arizona at round two, a number of their employees were back on their way to Angel Stadium for a rushed Sunday build. Their added efforts were appreciated and the track was stellar on Saturday.
Dirt Wurx has some interesting layouts planned for 2019 and we liked what they came up with at A2. The first base side of the track was filled with short lanes and unique obstacles like an elevated turn, steep whoops, and a hip jump while the third base side had the normal long rhythm lanes. During free practice, it looked like riders were going to follow just one line on the first base side because everyone followed one rut from the whoops around the turns and all the way to the triple, but we were relieved to see riders trying new options in the qualifying sessions (more on that below).
DATA & RACING
By now you probably are familiar with the various programs team have to find the ideal line around a race track. Bikes are built with GPS sensors, riders have LitPro trackers, and the teams can lay multiple clips of video footage over one another with Dartfish. If you watch the TV broadcast, LitPro data makes it look like the perfect line in the elevated turn was the tighter, shorter inside option, but we know that multiple riders and teams found going around the outside of the turn over the on-off tabletop was actually faster because it carried more momentum.
TWISTED DEVELOPMENT & ROCKWELL RACING YAMAHA
After two weeks of mechanical issues struck the Rockwell Racing Yamaha team, we were starting to grow concerned. Jamie Ellis of Twisted Development worked with the team through the week to sort out the problems and while Saturday didn’t seem to go “perfectly” it was a step in the right direction and Mitchell Harrison finished all three motos in the night show.