Glendale - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly 2

Get Grant Dawson's picks on the highs and lows on the weekend.

Glendale - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

250 Class

The Good: Bradley Taft | 6th Place

13-21-11-8-16-6 are Bradley Taft's career results so far. Take out the 16th he got at the Triple Crown event, and he's clearly progressing very nicely. Now, it's not particularly surprising to see him starting to put the pieces together considering he came up around the same time as Austin Forkner and Chase Sexton, who are clearly part of the next generation of this sport's superstars. He's got a great team behind him, but he doesn't have the pressure of performing that comes with riding for a factory team on his shoulders. By the time we get to Las Vegas he could very well be the surprise of the season, and he may catch the eye of a factory team manager or two if he keeps these kinds of performances up (like Colt Nichols did with CycleTrader/Rock River Yamaha a couple of years ago). It's always fun to root for an underdog.

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The Bad: Joey Savatgy | 4th Place

I honestly feel bad whenever someone is the Good one week and ends up the Bad the next. It makes me feel like I jinxed them or something. Anyway, Joey's night was not spectacular. Yeah, watching him grab the holeshot from the outside in the Main Event was pretty sweet, but that was basically the highlight of the night for him. He went down pretty hard in his heat race and had to go to the LCQ, and then he crashed in the Main and ended up fourth at the checkered flag. That fourth place lost him the red plate, and now he's going to have to regroup once again and try to regain it next week. This was the first sighting of the 2017 Joey Savatgy I mentioned last week, and boy, I hope this was the only sighting of him this season.

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The Ugly: Mitchell Oldenburg | 17th Place

I distinctly remember watching Mitchell Oldenburg at Arlington in back in 2015 (he was #52 and on a Yamaha that year as well). He crashed towards the beginning of the Main Event which put him way, way back from everyone else. But he kept riding hard, which was commendable...and then he crashed hard all on his own in one of the rhythm sections. That's what he reminded me of with his performance in the Main Event this past Saturday. He was riding well, but then he got boxed out by Adam Cianciarulo and went down, took a while to get up, and then crashed again all by himself in the whoops. Definitely not the night he was looking for, and honestly I was expecting a bit better results from him so far this season. Sure, this West Coast is stacked with talent, but he showed that he could run with the best of them last year before getting hurt, so what's stopping him from doing the same this year?

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450 Class

The Good: Weston Peick | 6th Place

Weston Peick is carrying the Suzuki brand on his back so far this year–don't worry, I'm sure he's strong enough to handle it–and put in another great performance in Arizona. 5-5-5-6 are his results so far this season, and it's not looking like he's going to slow up anytime soon. He told our own GuyB that he is extremely conformable on the JGR Suzuki, and he's looking to continue stacking up the solid results. Personally, I just hope that he stays healthy for the entire 17-round season, but imagine how awesome it would be to see him land on the podium this season? Man, talk about a season of comebacks and surprises.

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The Good Bonus: Justin Barcia | 2nd Place

Speaking of surprises, would you have bet money that 1) Justin Barcia would get second in a race and 2) that he would beat Ken Roczen this season? Nah, I didn't think so. But here we are, and you have to imagine that Justin's signature has already dried on a new contract extending his six-race deal to cover the full season. There have been rumors that it's practically done, but we won't know for sure until the press release hits our inbox. Also, I gotta throw it out there that he was catching Eli Tomac for the entire second half of the Main Event. Had he continued to consistently hit the rhythms cleanly (he said in the press conference that he was struggling a bit with the rhythm before the finish line towards the end), we may have seen a real battle for the lead towards the end of the race. Bam Bam is back!

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The Bad: Blake Baggett | 9th Place

Blake's season hasn't been terrible by any means, but I think just about everyone was expecting a little bit more from him. Not race wins, or really even consistent podiums, but I think a top five by now was expected. At the first couple of rounds it seemed like he was struggling to find settings he liked on the bike (similar to last season), but this week it seemed like the start held him back more than anything. When everyone in this 450 class is healthy, you can't start 14th and expect to move up that much. Given a start within the next couple of weeks, I think Blake will show what he's truly capable of in Supercross.

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The Ugly: Cole Seely | 12th Place

Cole's season so far has actually been pretty spectacular, as he was actually second in the 450 standings after Anaheim 2. But Glendale was just not meant to be his round after he got a pretty horrible start, worked his way up through the field a fair bit, and then knocked the wind out of himself and slipped back to 12th at the finish. Not good, but hey, at least he still got 12th after that whirlwind of a Main Event. He'll be back inside the top six next week.

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Words by Grant Dawson
Photos by Steve Giberson

2 comments
  • navalseabee

    1/30/2018 5:34 AM

    I've found watching JB51 and WP34 so much fun this year, amazing work thus far keep it up.

  • Jay Moto

    1/30/2018 9:54 AM

    Hell yes man. Same here! It's great when dudes ride bikes that so many people talk so much shit about to good results.

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