A Matthes Report: Anaheim 1

Steve Matthes reflects on the opening round

· 4 minutes read

The deal of the day on 24MX.

Last week we wrote about how excited we were to have Anaheim 1 coming up, plus we had some questions that needed answering ASAP too.

What sucks for us, and you dear readers, is that the rain that came down for most of the day put a full stop to some questions we had. Like, for as great as Cooper Webb and Aaron Plessinger rode, I need to see them in dry conditions before I start freaking out about their rides. On the flip side, Jason Anderson did not have a good night at all but, with the rain, I need to see if this is something that will continue. I am out on making hard judgments one way or another on these three guys.

To the point about my questions from last week's column, I think we can try to touch on the answers.

How is Marv?

I asked if he could repeat his win from Anaheim 1 of last year and, yeah, that didn't happen. I mean we knew he was coming in without a ton of prep due to a knee injury, so it was unlikely anyway. His Anaheim 1 this year was quiet and that's not a good thing for Musquin, who one would think would make some noise if he was at 100%. Marv's getting up to speed right now and isn't ready to win yet.

The goal for him should be to just stay close enough to be ready to pounce when he is ready to go. Frustrating Anaheim 1 for him but, hey, he'll take his eighth and move on. So, to answer the question of "How’s Marv?" we'll say he is ok but not 100% yet.

Marvin Musquin is still catching up after a knee injury in the off-season (ConwayMX)

Fill-In Riders?

We are still waiting to see who's going to be the first fill-in. I mean, it was one week everyone. What did you think was going to happen? We had Dean Wilson on the Pulp MX Show this week and he told us that he "heard little whispers of maybe Zach [Osborne] being hurt and whatever. Honestly it bums me out, because I have worked so hard all this month to get all this stuff done and got some awesome sponsors on board.

"Literally we have made it all happen. Then I got a text from Bobby Hewitt [Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team manager] and he was like, "Hey. Do you have a minute to talk?" I'm like, "I'm at the track right now," but I just had that gut feeling of what it was about. Zach's going to be back soon enough – I like my programme and that is where we are at. My bike is good. They [Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing] are helping a lot, so it is all good."

Dean's not going to jump over unless it's a long-term injury over there to [Jason] Anderson and/or Osborne. We'll wait and see with the other guys. I know Josh Grant is out there sniffing around for a ride, so he might be the natural "next-up" guy.

Cooper Webb and Mookie?

Just as I said up top, Cooper Webb rode an amazing race coming from falling in the first turn to fifth. Fastest lap of the main event also! It was epic and a great start to the year, but I need to see it happen without the weather. Last year [Justin] Barcia was kind of in the same spot as Webb this year and was fast all day long at the opener. Webb qualified seventh, so that part is good, but let's just wait, yeah?

The other rider I was curious about was Malcom Stewart and, man, he was good. Third fastest qualifier, he ran second in the main for a long time and ended up crashing later in the race. His seventh was not indicative of his overall speed. Yeah, he did look a bit tired, which is something he's worked on this year but he was certainly happy with his race the next day when I checked in with him. I think Mookie's going to be really improved this year, I really do.

Malcolm Stewart was one of the most impressive riders at Anaheim 1 (ConwayMX)

Broc Tickle?

Yeah, still nothing on that situation and that's a joke. Makes our sport look really bad for sure.

Adam's Time?

I wrote this about Adam Cianciarulo last week: "He has just got to figure out how to minimise the mistakes. IS this the year?" Well, he didn't minimise the mistakes at the opener. In fact he made a ton of them and still salvaged the fifth. Adam's race showed us everything that we already know about him, like he's hella-fast and he makes a lot of mistakes. Will that change this weekend? Well he says he is a new man so, luckily for him, he has got another week to show us that it's true.

Words: Steve Matthes | Lead Image: ConwayMX

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