Arlington - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly 5

Everything's bigger in Texas, including the Goods, Bads, and Uglies. Here's Grant's take on who landed in which pile.

Arlington - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

450 Class

The Good: Eli Tomac | 1st Place

So far this season, you can count on Eli to do one of two things: win or crash. In Arlington, he won convincingly. He had the fastest qualifying time, walked away with his heat race win, and was never challenged in the Main Event. It makes you wonder what could have been had all of these small crashes and injuries not happened, but that's how this sport is sometimes. It's not always about who's the fastest and wins the most, but who can stay upright and ride well enough to consistently finish inside the top four. Right now, Dung–I mean Jason Anderson is doing that. But hey, while the championship may be out of Eli's grasp, he could rack up quite the collection of bonus checks if he continues to ride like this. 

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The Bad: Justin Barcia | DNQ

I couldn't help but start to shake my head the second I saw Justin miss the triple. With the amount of guys that were right behind him, it was inevitable that someone was going to hit him. Luckily, it wasn't worse and "all" he sustained is a broken bone in his hand. But, my goodness, we've now lost both of the comeback story boys in two weeks. I don't think he'll be out for that long, but he was really the last guy standing who could actually try to challenge Anderson for this championship, which sucks.

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The Ugly: Title Chase

Jason Anderson now holds a 36-point lead over Cole Seely in the championship. We're seven rounds in. 36 points. That's not good, folks. (Well, good for him, but you get the point). And, worse than that, I don't think I'm speaking out of turn when I say that I don't think Seely is much of a challenger for this title. He's a solid rider, sure, but he has not shown the ability this year to actively contend for the title. I'd say Musquin's the only guy who could contend for it unless Anderson has some sort of issue, and even then it's a big stretch (Musquin is 41 points down). It's just not what we want to see. But hey, on the bright side at least most of the fast guys are still healthy and can make the racing interesting. But now it's more about each individual race battle rather than the battle for the championship. 

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250 Class

The Good: Zach Osborne | 1st Place

Wacko Zacho's day looked darn near perfect on paper (third in timed qualifying, second in his heat, and first in the Main Event), but he made it pretty clear in his post-race interviews that he was not feeling super awesome throughout the day. And yeah, I guess you could say he didn't dominate the entire day, but he did everything he needed to do. He avoided the first turn carnage, slowly picked his way through the rest of the field (despite having a small crash a few minutes into the race), and took home the first win of the 250 East season. And with Martin Davalos not finishing the race, and Austin Forkner, Jeremy Martin, and Jeremy Smith all having to come back from first lap problems, he has set himself up nicely for a title defense. He'll be looking to keep the ball rolling in Tampa this coming weekend. 

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The Good Bonus: Jimmy Decotis | 3rd Place

Jimmy may have gotten a little bit of help when a slew of riders hit the deck in the first turn, but he was solid the entire day and it was awesome to see him grab the first podium finish of his career. I was honestly a bit worried when he got let go from GEICO Honda at the end of last season, as I wasn't quite sure where he would end up. But clearly JGR is a good place for him and he looks very comfortable on the bike. But wait, the RMZ250 isn't competitive anymore, right? Seems like it is to me. 

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The Bad: Dylan Ferrandis | 18th Place

Bleh, I'm all for championship shake-ups, but this is not what I mean. I wanted to see everyone make it through the first round healthy and crash-free, but less than ten seconds into the Main Event Dylan was sitting on one of the Tuf-Blox, presumably trying to process what just happened. He took a bit to gather himself and then went back out on track. He had lost a ton of time, though, so he was only able to make it up to 18th. Nevertheless, he did look good out there. He looked silky smooth and was doing a pretty sweet wheelie through the whoop section almost every lap. So he at least gets style points for the day. Now, he's not completely out of the championship or anything, but he's already in a must-win situation one round into the series...which ain't good. The Frenchman has to come out swinging in Tampa. 

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The Ugly: Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki

Despite Martin Davalos having an awesome day all the way up to the Main Event and Austin Forkner rocking a sweet-ass butt patch, Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki's day was pretty terrible by their standards. Martin got absolutely thrown in the first turn and wasn't able to finish the race, while Austin got a little held up in the first turn and then went on to stall his bike right before heading back onto the start straight on the first lap. He fell pretty far back because of that and had to claw his way back to seventh by the time the checkered flag flew, which isn't disastrous for his championship hopes, but not what anyone involved with the team was hoping for. But, man, what really sucks here is that it was looking like we may see a sick championship battle between Davalos and Osborne, and then it evaporated right in front of our eyes. It sounds like Davalos is okay and will be back next week, but like Ferrandis, he's now in a must-win situation. 

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Words and Photos by Grant Dawson

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