JAN. 21, 2013 - TROY BENDGEN

Questions Answered: Anaheim 2


The answers to the Anaheim 2 Burning Questions from Friday...

Eli Tomac

Q1. What are the chances Justin Barcia can make it two in a row?
A1. Coming into Anaheim 2 Justin’s chances at a repeat win were as high as they could be. At Anaheim 1 and Phoenix he was riding like a veteran, so perhaps it was only a matter of time before rookie mistakes were set to happen. Barcia completed two and a half laps before casing his face on his handlebars, bringing an end to his race. While at this stage, reports suggest he should still be alright to continue racing, it is a set-back in his bid to become rookie 450 champion.

Q2. Cole Seely and Martin Davalos are both showing good speed, who will be the first to break up the Tomac/Roczen 1-2 act?
A2. Neither rider, nor anyone else could break up the Tomac/Roczen 1-2 this week. Seely felt back at home in Angel Stadium and did lead several laps before succumbing to the faster pace. It's an improvement for Seely but he still seems a little off the pace of Tomac/Roczen who both passed him during the race.

Q3. Chad Reed has been consistent with two fourth place finishes, but wasn't anywhere near the lead. Has he figured out what's wrong in time for A2?
A3. Reed admitted on the podium that he has been having problems setting up his bike this season. He hasn’t necessarily figured out what the exact problem is yet. He did grab himself a podium finish after pressuring Millsaps into a mistake, and has looked better each weekend. With that said, Villopoto did gap him quite easily so he won't be happy with that, however it is a long season and he's still right in the hunt.

Q4. Will Joey Savatgy or Jessy Nelson win a heat race and/or podium the main event?
A4. It is only a matter of time before one of these guys gets a win or podium, but it didn’t happen at A2. Savatgy finished eighteenth with Nelson in tenth. Behind the Tomac/Roczen duo, there are a large number of riders who are all looking to get that final step of the podium and with the starting ability of these two, they are definitely in the hunt.

Q5. Can the real Kevin Windham show up?
A5. Windham’s head just wasn’t in it this season. At Anaheim 2 K-Dub decided to make it official and call it a career. It was a sad day for everyone. You can’t put his career into words because it just wouldn’t do it any justice. Though keep in mind that this is his second retirement…he could be back.

Q6. After going 13-13 the first two races can Kyle Chisholm crack the top ten?
A6. Chisholm finished fifteenth on Saturday. We’re going to guess it’s not what he wanted. He now sits tied for thirteenth in points with Broc Tickle and Weston Peick. This is a stacked 450 class but Chisholm would still be hoping to have cracked the top 10 by now. Still, consistency is important and you can count on the #11 to stay in the chase.

Q7. So far only 21 riders have made a 450 main event. Will any new faces make it in?
A7. Yes, with Windham sitting out it created an opportunity for Chris Blose to make it in. That makes a whopping 22 riders in three main events thus far. Blose would go on to finish seventeenth. It's amazing with this class of riders that the field has stayed pretty much the same, even with Millsaps and Barcia both visiting the LCQ.

Q8. It's been a rough start for the "big 4" former SX champions, who will get into their groove first and take the win and can James Stewart's knee hold up to the strain?
A8. The defending champ was back to his old ways. Ryan Villopoto was not to be denied a win three times in a row. As for Stewart’s knee, it still hurts. The fall in the main probably didn’t help his situation either. James is showing what determination is all about in 2013. It may have been his worst result so far, but James said he's feeling better and riding better so those are positives.

Q9. After a disastrous Phoenix where he didn't make the main event, can Jason Anderson bounce back this week, and if so, can he challenge for a podium spot?
A9. You could tell in his riding that Anderson was riding with a lot of heart all night. His heat race was on point and in the main event he got caught up in all the carnage on the first lap. He charged all the way back to seventh place. It wasn’t a challenge for the podium but with a good start it very well could be.

Q10. Tomac is two for two so far and is looking fairly unstoppable and with talk already starting about a perfect season, many are writing off the 250 West already. Is there a glimmer of hope for any of the competition?
A10. If there was any hope for anyone before the race, it’s gone now. Although keep in mind Barcia’s east run from last year. Yes, it was a runaway in points but Wharton and Durham were able to get wins. As it sits right now it looks like Roczen has the best shot at a win. It can all change in one gate drop; there is still hope.

Troy Bendgen