The start of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross Series has come and there was plenty to see in the parking lot at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of Anaheim One, especially when you spend the day running between team rigs trying to tie together stories and shoot the parts or pieces we know people want to see. So below is our initial recap, the things that don’t get shown on television but are important nonetheless.
Before we dive into the photos, let’s hit a few quick things…
NBCSN & GOLD PASS
The move to NBC has drawn mixed criticism from fans, due to the late announcement and the handful of delayed races, but after watching the race again on Sunday and with the Gold Pass package, all is good in our eyes. The quality of the stream and lack of commercials is a huge plus, while the overall production got a refresh with new on-screen graphics, more personal rider and team features, and the Shaheen-Carmichael-Christien-Blair announcing crew.
250 HEAT RACE ONE
Well, this one had its share of excitement. After the pneumatic starting gate failed to drop after ten seconds of 250cc bikes on the rev limiter, the track crew worked out the details and got things ready for a second, successful attempt. The racer’s eagerness then led to a massive pile-up in the ice-slick first turn, which took a number of riders down. Dylan Ferrandis seemed to fare the worst because the front brake on his Yamaha was broken in the crash, but he climbed back to fifth place.
CIANCIARULO – HAMPSHIRE
We expected 250 Heat Race winners RJ Hampshire and Adam Cianciarulo to have a duel for a position, but not the way it ended up happening. Two turns of block passes raised tensions between the two riders, with Hampshire settling the matter (for now) with a move that left Cianciarulo on the ground. Since both riders are contenders for podium spots and the title, this will be one thing to keep an eye on.
Despite hours of steady rain, the A1 track held up remarkably well. The California soil has a tendency to develop into a dry, slick surface but Dirt Wurx managed to keep it from becoming a total ice rink or swamp by sealing the top layer of dirt after timed qualifying and re-prepped it through the night. The track was challenging, for sure, but it was far from the mess it could have been.