Vital MX Pit Bits: Salt Lake City

It's still a topic on the Vital MX Forums, on social media and around the pits, but Marvin Musquin and Eli Tomac have little appetite for talking about what happened during last weekend's main event.

The Monster Energy Kawasaki crew had AP Designs do up this helmet for Eli. We can find the irony of a red bull graphic on a Monster-sponsored rider, and this has yet to hit the track. Maybe in the main event?

Josh Hill is back under the Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing awning for this weekend and next.

We haven't seen Brian Calma spinning wrenches at the track since his days with Kevin Windham. He's taking care of Hill's wrenching duties.

Christian Craig checking in with Rich Simmons.

Chris Loredo finishing up some last-minute details on Jason Anderson's bike. A fifth or better in tonight's 450 main will wrap up the title chase...which hasn't been much of a chase this season. Jason has been consistent where others haven't, and it's about to pay off big.

What do you think, did the very late switch last week to the new Factory Edition Husky help out Chad Reed? We think it did.

The Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rig was MIA last week for the first time in...maybe ever? We quizzed Mitch Payton, and he couldn't remember the rig not being at the track for a race. With both of their East riders hurt last week, the truck came directly to Salt Lake after Minneapolis, rather than going to Foxborough.   This is an odd time of year for mechanics, as they've got their race and practice bikes, plus some outdoor testing, and starting to build bikes for the outdoors. They're busy.

The gang at Bell had another sweet helmet done up for Justin Hill. The flame theme continues.

The H.E.P./Suzuki guys had some blue plastic for the forkguards, shrouds, and sideplates on their bikes this week.

Malcolm Stewart was fast in the first timed practice and hit the deck in the second. He was tenth overall.

The tributes to Dan Cunningham of the Dunlop crew continued, and this helmet was a nice addition.

If you stop by the IBCorp rig, know that you're in the line of fire for their video filming.

The JMC Motorsports crew have upped their game with a bigger rig setup. They had it at Seattle, but not with the full awning setup.

With their headquarters nearby, the Rocky Mountain crew had lots of employees and family on hand. They had a huge tent set up for hospitality.

It was cool to hear from Broc Tickle this week, in the form of a statement following his failed drug test. While he's still sidelined while awaiting testing of his B sample, his bike is ready and waiting, and the team wants him to keep riding so that he's ready in case of a decision from WADA.  We think testing is needed in the sport, but there's a growing consensus that penalties and punishment should be determined by people within the sport.

It's good to see Jake Weimer back in action here.

Jason Anderson skipped Friday's press day, opting to stay at lower altitudes until race day. We'll see how it affects him this afternoon. He was seventh quickest in qualifying, and fifth or better is our goal.

Gearing changes are pretty common, especially among the 250 riders. Some teams opted for one tooth, while others were going for two.

Adam Cianciarulo grabbed the top qualifier spot in the 250s.

There must be a lot going on under the seat on the GEICO Honda bikes. There's always a fairly big gap up at the front.

Chase Sexton is the lone rider under the GEICO Honda tent, and he was fourth-quickest.

Shane McElrath was fifth in 250 qualifying.

Malcolm Stewart, working the whoops.

Eli Tomac, making the jump into the "sand" section, which looks a lot more like gravel.

Dean Wilson eyeing up the finish line jump.

With the grumping about Marvin Musquin's jersey numbers last week, we're not sure how these got by during tech inspection. They're probably the smallest we've seen.

Hayden Mellross waiting to hit the track.

There's lots of rider merch available in the pits.

Dylan Merriam is riding under the CycleTrader.com/Rock River/Yamaha awning.

Aaron Plessinger was second in qualifying, and is closing in on the 250 West title.

Mitchell Harrison doing extra work, trying to get around an errant Tuf-Blox.

Justin Barcia hucking the inside seat bounce double exiting one of the 90-degree corners.

Tyler Bowers

Weston Peick laying down the power on a practice start.

Dean Wilson was having some fun during press day.

This corner was a bit of a mystery to the riders early in the day. Yeah, there's an elevated outer line, and a middle berm, but few riders were using it. A majority seem to prefer the inside...and were rolling the first little jump. Later in the day it was common to see them doubling out of the corner.

There are back-to-back whoop sections here, and a batch of riders are undecided on how to take the second set. Blake Baggett has it figured out that skimming works for him. Lots of others are jumping their way through it.

Do we see Jason Anderson wrap up the 450 title tonight? We will see. Remember, start time for today is 3:00 pm Mountain time.


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