Well if you haven’t watched the videos of Anaheim 1 on MOTO then shame on you because you missed an absolute corker. The first fixture promises much and delivered big style, with Davi Millsaps getting his first win since 2010 and putting on a truly epic performance in front of a sold out crowd. As Racer X put it – ‘Nobody, but Nobody predicted this result’ and they were bang on with their assessment. OK so some of the ‘wise after the event merchants’ were quick to point out that they weren’t surprised as ‘Davi was runner up last year’ and ‘has been training very hard’ but frankly that’s just pure BS – even Millsaps was surprised by his win and nobody saw it coming. Either way, event organizers Feld was absolutely delighted at the curve ball result (we know – we emailed them!) – all of a sudden there is going to be a massive scrap for the 2013 title and that means sell out all the way – a series promoter can’t ask for more.
Recap from Phoenix 2012
In the 250 Class, things were a little more as per the plan, with Tomac and Roczen out front, and it’s hard to imagine they will move far from this formation all season.
As for the results on the night – we predicted Villopoto, Barcia, Dungey in the 450 class and Tomac, Roczen, Osborne in the 250s, so on our reckoning we got half the positions correct – not too shabby for Round 1.
After the hullabaloo of A1, the series takes a short drive east into the desert to touch down in Phoenix Arizona for Round two, and for many, there is a lot of work to be done if there is any hope for the season – as the saying goes ‘You can’t win a title at the first round, but you can certainly lose it!’
If the result in Phoenix is the same as Anaheim 1, we’ll eat our hats (and at this moment we are wearing rather stylish trilbies without relish). Whilst Millsaps performance was astounding, what was equally astounding was the lack of challenge from the predicted big hitters, and it’s hard to imagine that this will continue ‘til Vegas. Reed was OK but hardly put in the ride of a champion, Barcia was a disappointment given the talk of a rookie championship win and RV was trying so hard he ended up making rookie mistakes. Elsewhere, the words ‘Stewart’ and ‘injury- were yet again thrown together to lead to another familiar points salvage situation – this was not the artiste formerly known as Bubba. Aside from Canard’s fantastic comeback and near win, it was however Ryan Dungey who was doing his ever so sensible ‘points mean prizes’ routine and to be honest has to be a whole heap closer to netting KTM their first SX title than on Jan 4th. With RV a mountain of points behind him, RD5 must be quietly very happy with the trip to Anaheim, and will look to do the same in Phoenix. If the reigning champion does not score big points in Arizona, he might as well cash in his chips right there in the desert.
Prediction: Villopoto, Dungey, Canard
If the 450s results were all over the shop, the win from Geico Hondas Eli Tomac was as predictable as the sunset. Right from lap one, Tomac was whipping and scrubbing joyfully like it was the parade lap, stretching his lead with a confidence of a multi – championship winning veteran rather than a first time champ defending his title. KTM’s KRoc was doing well in the number two slot, but never looked like he had enough to hunt down Tomac – or maybe he just wasn’t trying, simply settling for solid points and a podium for the first of the season. That’s all fine and dandy if it was the case, but if he wants the title, he’s going to have to take the fight to Eli, ‘cos the Honda guy is mighty happy out front.
Recap from Phoenix 2012
The biggest story with the 250 class was the complete collapse of the Pro Circuit challenge thanks to the first lap pile-up which took out the lot of them. By the chequers, Rattray had clawed back to 8th with Baggett languishing in 14th and Davalos in a disastrous 20th – this was not in Payton’s game plan. With only 9 rounds to get a result, a 2013 championship for PC looks a very, very remote possibility.
With Malcolm Stewart pretty impressive back in fifth, it looks like and headline this year are going to be about James’ little brother, not James…
Prediction: Tomac, Roczen, Stewart.
Oh and by the way – well done Max Anstie – top ten as predicted and likely to do better this week. England is proud Maxy Boy!