Vital MX Pit Bits: Anaheim 1

Who has the hot seats tonight? Anyone under cover. The rain started during the last rounds of practice, and is supposed to get harder as the evening goes on.

What's new? This podium...and it has a few tricks up its sleeves.

What's old? Some people struggle to make it through sound testing. We hear the H.E.P. Suzuki guys bought some Yoshimura pipes after Friday to ensure they could make it in.

Here are a few bikes that we missed yesterday (or were getting wrenched on when we stopped by). Here's Blake Baggett's Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/KTM/WPS 450.

Dean Wilson's Husky.

Marvin Musquin's Red Bull KTM.

The KTM crew has a new spec Akrapovic head pipe. In Supercross for past seasons, they've had a short spec and in outdoors they finally ran the long "low-boy" design the GP team uses. For 2019 Supercross however, they've found a spec that's more in the middle. Longer than their old SX system but shorter than what they used in outdoors last year.

The Red Bull KTM team is fairly serious about data collection, as both of their riders are running fork and shock data systems in practice/qualifying.

Cooper Webb is rocking handguards this weekend...hmmm...

The Smartop MotoConcepts Racing have stepped up their pit presence quite a bit this year.

Dylan Ferrandis' Monster Star Racing Yamaha.

Rockwell's Yamaha 250F for Mitchell Harrison.

Monster Energy Yamaha stepping up their data area this year. Little road race inspiration...

Like many 450 squads, the Yamaha team had fork and shock data collection devices on in practice for both riders.

Yamaha guys are looking for some serious rear brake protection. Look at that carbon!

What the cut out? Justin Barcia likes having the fuel cover part of his seat cut up as it gives him a pocket to set into on the start.

Ben LaMay's TPJ Honda.

It'll be a while before we see Dakota Tedder on the track, following yet another wrist surgery, but his KTM is ready and waiting for his return.

The BWR Honda for Robbie Wageman.

Carson Brown's JMC Motorsports Husky.

Okay, now for some qualifying action. Who picked this top five for the 450 class? (We're guessing very few of you.) Blake Baggett was on top...

...Dean Wilson was in second spot...

...Malcolm Stewart was in third...

Justin Brayton was in fourth.

...and Eli Tomac in fifth.

The Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450s have a new head pipe spec since they debuted the 2019 machine at Monster Cup. The head pipe design has changed a bit and they've added a resonance chamber up front.

Joey Savatgy's bar risers look pretty precise as they've got multiple sizes to choose from to get just the right height. In this case, Joey runs a low bar such as Renthal's 999 spec and uses risers to obtain the right height. For some riders, it's not just the height of that bar they want to maintain, it's the flex characteristic of that bar due to the bend, sweep and height they like. So instead of running a taller bar, which would change the flex characteristic, they opt for adjusting the height through the bar mounts.

In the 250 class, Adam Cianciarulo topped the time sheets, followed by...

...Dylan Ferrandis (who was also fastest after the first timed practice)...

...Jimmy DeCotis in third...

...Shane McElrath in fourth...

A quick peek at Shane McElrath's' bike brought up a question...

We believe (as we couldn't get confirmation) that Shane is actually riding the 2018 chassis under 2019 bodywork. The empty mounting point near the shock tower and repositions mid pipe mount (2019 has it on the frame, 2018 had it on the engine mount as this bike does). As we've noted in our own test, the flex characteristics of the 2019 chassis are different enough we'e had riders prefer the older setup and it seems Shane might be thinking the same. His teammate Sean Cantrell appears to be on a 2019 chassis though.

...and Colt Nichols in fifth.

Not all the trick parts live in the factory pits. This was a display bike for Dynamic Designs. We dig the cerakote stuff, like on the cases here...

...and these brakes.

The ti tanks on the GEICO Honda bikes? Nice.

Don't go looking for these pipes on the Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing bikes just yet. They're all handbuilt at the moment. Another trick part are the carbon skid plates.

Ah, that afternoon glow (from Friday afternoon, definitely not Saturday) on Ken Roczen's Honda.

When you have your own logo on your suspension? You know you're in the bigtime.

When you're trying to get a point across...

We were stoked to see Cameron McAdoo get another shot with the GEICO Honda crew.

Yep, Supercross suspension is stiff...(especially when you're trying to dial in your start device mounting).

Ken Roczen's helmet.

Jade Dungey (left) bringing Jason Thomas back up to speed on the latest with GEICO Honda. Jason may be the only guy in the world who has worked on pro MX/SX teams (most recently at Team Honda HRC), rockets (at SpaceX), and also wrenched on top fuel dragsters.

It's good to have friends. Dean Wilson will get some help from his old Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki mechanic, Paul Perebijnos, for the next couple of rounds. Paul works at ProTaper these days.

Jeremy Coker is the crew chief at Star Yamaha. We did a double-take when we saw him on Friday, since he'd shed 97 pounds since the Ironman race at the end of the outdoor season. Way to go, Jeremy.

What's Josh Hansen up to? Helping out with testing at Team Honda HRC.

What, me worry? If the rumors of a back injury during the offseason were true, you'd never know it. Eli Tomac looks as fast as ever.

Makes you wonder what Trey Canard and Ian Harrison are looking at...

Marvin Musquin may have had a handful of riding days since returning to action from a tweaked knee, but he's looking good here.

Justin Barcia was on top of the 450 time sheets in the first timed session.

Jason Anderson? He was sixth in qualifying here.

Aaron Plessinger was 16th in qualifying.


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