After months of planning and preparation the TPJ Fly Racing team made the long trip to Anaheim, California for the 2017 season opener of Monster Energy Supercross.
This week, TPJ Racing debuted their 2017 team: our 450 riders Dustin Pipes and Nick Schmidt, Chad Cook, Chad Gores and Tyler and Adam Enticknap. Our 250 rider, John Short will make his debut with the start of the east coast leg of the series.
With A1 there were a few difficulties that come with racing. Chad Gores had mechanical problems that kept him from racing at Angel Stadium. And Dustin Pipes made the last minute decision to pull out of the race after struggling with illness the week leading up to Anaheim 1. Despite these setbacks, the rest of the team was excited and ready to kick the season off.
In qualifying, Chad Cook was off to a great start when he cased one of the jumps – causing him an extreme amount of pain throughout the rest of qualifying and keeping him from the main event. We hope to see Chad Cook well-rested and back for San Diego.
Tyler Enticknap was able to qualify for the main event, but found himself in the LCQ after the semis. He was making great progress working back from a rough start in the LCQ when he lost his footing off the triple and crash-landed into the only mud puddle on the track. He was unable to finish the LCQ race – but showed great promise throughout the night. We are excited to see what he can do this season.
Adam Enticknap spent most of his day signing autographs for 7deucedeuce fans, but made the time to make it to qualifying. Adam rode aggressively and made advances throughout the semis. In the LCQ he worked to chase down factory riders Trey Canard and Josh Grant, as well as TPJ Racing teammate Nick Schmidt. Although he did not make it to the main event at A1 we have faith he will continue to progress.
Nick Schmidt kicked off the season at Angel Stadium by qualifying for the 450 main event in an intense LCQ race. Schmidt caught the eye of the camera and had the crowd on their feet as he made passes after a rough start. He managed to pass factory rider Trey Canard and fought wildly to catch race leader, seasoned rider Josh Grant – earning him a ticket to the main event. After racing back to back motos, and a bumpy qualifying ride that left him with a minor injury, Schmidt finished 19th overall, in front of Mike Alessi, Chad Reed and Trey Canard.
With just a week before San Diego, the TPJ Fly Racing team will regroup and make changes to improve our program for the rest of the season. We look forward to the progression our riders make as we continue to compete in the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Championship.
We want to thank all of our fans who supported us this weekend both at the races and online by following along with our social media and watching us on Fox Sports. We also want to thank our sponsors who make our race weekends possible by supporting our riders.
We are looking forward to San Diego and the rest of the season!
WORDS: ANNA GLENNON