Vital MX Pit Bits: Oakland

This marks Michael Leib's first race this season. He won the spot on the IB Corp squad, but was injured shortly afterwards.

It's almost odd to come to Oakland and not have muddy sections around the edges of the track. Add in unseasonably warm temperatures, and it makes for quite a different experience here. To top it off, the schedule's much earlier than normal, with the track walk starting at 7:30.

Pro Taper had a bunch of new bar pads on the bikes of their sponsored riders. This black/black version is cool, but not the best for race team logo presentation. We expect that customers will dig it, though. They'll be in shops on Monday.

Here's another one on Chase Sexton's bike...

...and a new pad for Justin Bogle, too.

This is close to the HQ for the H.E.P. Suzuki squad, so they're getting a lot of extra attention this week.

Yeah! Good news for the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM crew, with the return of Alex Martin from a collarbone fracture.

Eli Tomac's regular mechanic and his wife welcomed a new member to their family this week, so Monster Energy Kawasaki crew chief, Mike Williamson took over the wrenching duties this weekend.

With the harsh early morning sun, it made for some unusual vision issues.

We saw quite a few riders (and goggle reps) changing up lenses. The big issue was harsh, hard shadows following bright sections...almost like you find at Washougal.

The Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki gang getting their awning spotless on Friday.

The GEICO Honda guys have a secondary electric starter spot mounted on the frame, just in case they have an issue with crash-related damage to the bar-mounted button.

Broc Tickle laying down the watts for an early-morning warm-up.

To make sure their LitPros are linked up, GPS-enabled, and ready to go, they're left with the bikes. When the riders are ready to go they get added to the top of their helmets.

While we hate seeing it get uses, it sure is nice to have the Alpinestars Mobile Medical unit ready and waiting.

Ken Roczen and Adam Cianciarulo talk over the track during practice.

Kyle Cunningham was using Tyler Bowers as his umbrella here.

Aaron Plessinger gets a mid-practice shock adjustment.

The Dirt Wurx crew awaiting their turn on the track after the first round of practices.

Everything we hear from the Red Bull KTM crew is that Marvin Musquin's shoulder is feeling better. That bore out in practice times, as he was second on the time sheets this week, only a couple tenths behind Jason Anderson.

Michael Mosiman was on hand to cheer on his brother Josh's start to Supercross, as he'd just completed scoring his Supercross license points via Arenacross. We may have to wait to see the start of Michael's season this year. He was slated for the 250 East series, but a trio of concussions in succession have the team rethinking that plan.

Ah, that early morning highlight.

Neither Josh Hansen nor Matt Bisceglia are on board this weekend. Matt suffered some broken ribs at Glendale last weekend. We do like the Raiders-inspired LVN100 T, though.


Making sure the baby giraffe setting is dialed in on Benny Bloss' Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/KTM/WPS machine.

There's a mix of vintage and modern on this BSA. The bars and pegs are a nod to more current days, while the right-hand shifter harkens back to the old school.

The 5150 brand has always been supportive of Autism Awareness causes, and the puzzle piece graphics made their first appearance on the bike this year here.

Caption time! What do you suppose Yamaha's Keith McCarty is saying to Cooper Webb's mechanic, Grant Hutcheson?

The track was pretty dry during press day, as you can see.

Ah yeah...morning light...

Ever get sick and feel like sticking a rag up your nose stop the flow? 250 West points leader Aaron Plessinger knows that feeling. Unfortunately he's not feeling too spicy here.

Joey Savatgy getting the message...

Commitment to Leaving Town?

Shane McElrath was second among the 250s.

Now *that* is a bad-ass helmet.

Malcolm's looking happy these days. The Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing crew are trying to shake the money tree and wrap up a deal for him.

Last week. Jason Montoya shadowed Rene Zapata while he wrenched on Malcolm Stewart's bike. This week, Rene shadowed him. Next week it'll be all his. Oops...did we say next week?

Eli Tomac was eighth in qualifying. We'd bet he races better than that.

Josh Grant's looking solid here this weekend.

Weston Peick is 13th in qualifying. Yep, the 450 field is deep...

Ever buy a pair of sunglasses, and discover that they're polarized and you can't read what's on your phone? Yeah, so has Jeff Emig.

Jenny Taft doing her homework, checking in with Christian Craig before the races started.

Adam Cianciarulo grabbed the top 250 spot in qualifying.

Alex Martin was ninth in 250 qualifying.

Christian Craig clocked in at third-fastest in the 250s.

Phil Nicoletti checking in with some track feedback after one of the practice sessions.

Cole Seely's on the gas here.

It's interesting traveling to different events and spotting some of the jersey rarities that collectors wear.

We like this collection of helmets under the River/Yamaha tent.

Blasting off for the final 250 qualifying session.

Something odd was going on with Mitchell Oldenburg's bike during the final practice.

Ken Roczen was a bit off his game in qualifying, landing in 14th spot.

Shawn Bell throwing the flex for Justin Barcia, who was the fastest qualifier. Our guess? Justin's deal with Yamaha is done. Look for a full year or better for him on the blue bike.

Are you sure you want to make your living racing Supercross? Jason Anderson living on the edge here, on the takeoff of this triple. He had a hard crash in practice, but it doesn't seem to have affected him.

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