View From The Infield: Expect The Unexpected 3

If there's one thing we've learned from this season so far, is that trying to pick the results is insanely tough...and we love it.

View From The Infield: Expect The Unexpected

Whew, what a night in Glendale. The on-track action, combined with the unpredicability of the results, has made this an exceptionally fun season. On the downside, the crash and injury for Malcolm Stewart (broken femur) was something that we're really bummed about. The work that he'd put in so far was obvious, and he showed some great speed in the first two rounds, and the team had high hopes for him. Here's hoping the best for him.

All right, on with the action. Here's some of what caught our eye.

It was all Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM with Sean Cantrell and Shane McElrath up front as the riders got to the first turn at the end of the long start straight to start the night in 250 heat one. Adam Cianciarulo (92) came through to take the win in this one.

With the old Arenacross series being shuttered after the end of the '18 season, it's been interesting to see a couple of the AX refugees in action on the SX side. The final champ, Jacob Hayes, has shown good speed at the first couple of rounds. Check out the audio clip below to hear his thoughts on the season so far.

Chris Blose is another wily vet of the AX wars, though he's also spent plenty of time on the SX side, including a bunch of time in the 450 class. We caught up with him after the night's action to see what he's been up to...including his recovery from a big crash at the Arenacross finals last year.

Michael Mosiman looks a lot more solid this season aboard the Rockstar Husqvarna. He grabbed the holeshot to start 250 heat two, and ended up fourth at the end. He was also tenth in the main.

Dylan Ferrandis was third in his heat, and was looking good in the 250 main...right up until he washed the front end and got tossed off of his Yamaha. He remounted for a sixth in the main,

Colt Nichols is showing some good stuff this season. Besides the win in his heat race (and confidence to throw a sweet nac-nac at the finish line), he was second in the main event. He still has the points lead as we head to round three next weekend in Anaheim.

The battle for the inside line in the first 450 heat went to Marvin Musquin, with a slew of fast guys right on his heels.

Malcolm Stewart kept Marvin honest, though Cole Seely slipped by him before the checkers. It was good to see Marv back up front, after limited time to ride before the season.

Hmm...are we starting to see some of this season's rivalries form up already? Depending on who you talk to, there may have been a bit of a kerfuffle with these two after the finish.

Justin Brayton grabbed the lead (and win) in the second 450 heat.

Chad Reed was a man on the move in the second 450 heat, starting in fifth and working his way by Blake Baggett, Aaron Plessinger, and Vince Friese to grab second. Vince Friese was a strong third.

How deep is the field right now? This trio was sixth, seventh, and eighth in this heat race.

Weirdness is seeing Eli Tomac in the 450 LCQ. We definitely haven't seen 2018 vintage Eli yet...though a consistent third and fourth in the two main events so far has him third in the standings, and only four points out of the lead.

Man, what a bummer deal to start the season for Mitchell Harrison. He missed the main at A1 due to bike problems and qualified easily for the main easily here...only to have more troubles that kept him from lining up. That was after starting with a brand-new engine from a very reputable builder. Here's to better days ahead for him and the team.

The 250s blast off the line, and head for the first turn.

Adam Cianciarulo jumped out front early, and made this one look relatively easy. He looked like a different guy from the one who showed up at A1 and fumbled around. Those first-race nerves are no joke, and adrenaline management is definitely a thing.

Add another main event win to the record books for Adam Cianciarulo.

In the 450 class, this will go down as a start that never happened. Sure, they ran six-plus minutes of the main, but the race was red-flagged after Malcolm Stewart went down hard. After heading back to the gate, they lined up there for a minute, but it was quickly determined that per the rulebook, they'd use a single file restart to get the race going again.

Ken Roczen had led the pre-red portion of the main, and looked really good out front.

Here's the lineup as they awaited the restart.

While the single file restarts may seem a bit odd, it's the fairest way to get things going again, without completely penalizing guys like Ken. On the other hand, for guys like Justin Hill (who'd gone off the track, crashed on the slick concrete floor, and remounted), it was a better chance to move up some spots in the final standings.

Shortly after the start, Jason Anderson began hounding Kenny. Some contact in one of the corners caused Roczen to crash, and handed the lead to Jason.

Marvin was definitely faster in Glendale than at round one, but he didn't put up too much of a fight as Roczen worked his way back to second spot. Look for better days ahead for him.

Eli Tomac ended up fourth in this one.

With a few laps to go, it became apparent that Blake was in position to catch Jason Anderson. On the other hand, he'd already seen the contact between Jason and Ken Roczen, and likely didn't want to go to the front too early.

Blake's pass for the lead? Wow. It was as they drag raced on the fastest part of the track...and by going around the outside.

Yep, Blake was pumped with the win, as was his Team Manager, Michael Byrne (in the tower). The only bummer on the night? Team Owner, Forrest Butler, didn't make it to this one.

It was cool to see Blake break through and get this win after several promising years in the 450 class. With Barcia and Baggett taking the first two rounds, we're wondering how many more winners we might have this season. Could it number in the double digits? We don't think that's out of the question, unless someone steps up and breaks away from the pack. But we certainly haven't seen that yet year. Enjoy this, folks.

GuyB GuyB 1/13/2019 3:07 PM

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