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Monster AMA Supercross notes, Anaheim 1

By Rich Winkler

Track

Generally speaking, things went pretty well for the Dirt Wurx USA crew at the Anaheim (Calif.) opener. We started, as we always do, by laying a gravel road base down on the plastic and plywood covering the Angels' baseball field, so we can move our equipment around even after heavy rain. The dirt we use for the racetrack at Anaheim has been sitting in the same spot for nearly a year. It's got an extremely high clay content, and a gooey and gummy texture. It's really clumpy and difficult to shape in that condition so it's really difficult to get a nice racing surface the first week.

From a rider's standpoint, the most difficult issue is the abrupt transitions when there's any sort of elevation change on the track. With no fill dirt to soften the ramped areas, guys can get a pretty good jolt on the faces of some of the obstacles. The good news is every time we run the equipment on the track or move the dirt around from Monster Jam to Supercross it helps aerate the dirt, so the conditions get better and better as the weeks go on.

Once section in particular stood out when looking back on the job we did at Anaheim 1. We took part of Jeremy McGrath's Anaheim track design from last year, a rhythm section, and applied it to our design of the 2010 track. (James) Stewart and (Ryan) Dungey were still doing it two different ways right until the end of the main, so we were happy with how it worked. Last year the rain and wet conditions made it hard for the fans to see how the section was supposed to work, but I really liked it and I wanted to give it another try.

The whoops got pretty beat up in practice. We went in and fixed the ruts, but the weight of the machine ended up crushing the whoops down more. There were some comments on how small the whoops were, but if we didn't go in and groom them there would have been one giant rut right down the center - meaning there would have been no whoops at all. We fixed it, but again the whoops ended up getting pushed down. Other than that I was pretty happy with how the track worked.

Racing

I wasn't surprised Dungey was in there, but RV (Ryan Villopoto) and some of the other guys did exactly what they should - riding smart and feeling out where they were. You haven't seen the top speed of those guys yet. Once(Chad) Reed, Stewart , Dungey and RV - and a couple more - find their groove in the next few weeks, it's going to make for a heck of a season.

Upcoming

Phoenix is the exact opposite of Anaheim, a big, fast, flowy track - mainly because of the sandy dirt. We have to go bigger and rounder as opposed to steep and peaked to keep the sandy dirt from breaking down. Plus, the stadium's so big (home to the NFL Arizona Cardinals), if you built obstacles with the frequency we do at Anaheim (a Major League Baseball park) we'd end up running out of dirt. Big, fast and rhythmy compared to real technical. It's like comaparing the Unadilla (N.Y.) and Steel City (Pa.) MX Nationals, Phoenix is more flowy and open like Unadilla, where Anaheim's more technical like Steel City.

 

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