10 things to look out for at the opening round of the 2017 AMA Supercross season, taking place at Angel Stadium in Anaheim this weekend.

1. Mother Nature – It’s been an unusually damp few weeks in Southern California and with talks of more rain to come it’s looking like A1 might well be a mudder. Fingers crossed the track crew can keep on top of things and ensure we get some top-notch bar-to-bar action this weekend.

2. The JS7 conundrum – For years he’s been one of the most enigmatic figures in our sport, but the 2016/17 off season has by far been Bubba’s most mysterious. He’s almost been completely off the grid, with just one short clip of him riding a Yamaha at his home track in Florida. The debate of where James will end up has been the hottest topic of the off-season.


3. The Rookie – Cooper Webb is the reigning two-time West Coast 250SX champ. For 2017 he’s made the jump up to the 450 class on board a factory Yamaha. Webb has been putting in the laps around the SoCal supercross tracks and he’s looked fairly solid aboard the big YZ450, but maybe not as fast as you’d expect him to be. However, practice/ qualifying has never been Cooper’s strong suit. Expect him to come out all guns blazing once the gates drop at A1. A top five finish would be a solid start for the Yamaha pilot.

4. Privateer life – You’ve seen the videos, right? Dean Wilson has been looking superfast of late, stomping quads left, right and centre. Despite looking like the quickest guy at pretty much every SoCal SX facility the likable Scotsman has still been left without a ride for the 2017 season. He’ll be going it alone at A1 and boy does he have a point to prove, I expect Deano to put it all on the line and leave nothing on the table. For sure he should be at the top of everyone’s injury replacement list.

5. The champ – As always Ryan Dungey has had a quiet off-season, keeping himself to himself down there in Florida. He’s a three-time champ for a reason and that same reason is why Dunge has to be the overwhelming favourite heading into the big race. Can he make it three titles in a row, four in total? A1 is going to be our first chance to see what the man in orange has to offer.

6. Red Ken – After just a few short days on the bike Roczen looked super comfortable and incredibly confident at the Monster Energy Cup in October. Now he has a solid few months of testing under his belt Roczen may well be a formidable force to contend with. My money is on the German to take the Main Event win on the weekend.

7. Tomac – Talking of the MEC, the #3 Kawasaki eventually went on to win that event after Roczen’s big crash. The Monster Energy Cup wrapped up what was a stellar off season for the Factory Kawasaki pilot. If he can carry that momentum into Angel stadium on Saturday Tomac could be hard to beat. After Roczen Eli is my number two contender for the W.

8. The contenders – We’ve talked about Roczen, Dungey, Webb and Tomac but there are literally a crap ton of guys that have the potential to claim the race win on the weekend. Baggett, Brayton, Wilson, Seely, Millsaps, Bogle, Tickle, Anderson, Reed, Musquin, Peick, Grant, Barcia and Pourcel are all potential race winners lining up on Saturday. That’s 18 world-class Supercross riders all with the talent to take a main event win. Damn. That’s why we love Supercross!

9. The 250 class – With the reigning two-time champ making the move to the premier class the 250SX West Coast title is vacant and anyone’s for the taking. Mitch Payton’s Pro Circuit Kawasaki team is desperate to reclaim their spot at the top of the class but you know for sure that Star Yamaha and GIECO Honda will do all in their power to keep PC’s dry spell going just a little longer.

10. New format – Gone are the days of the 20 lap main events. In are the days of timed races. A1 will be our first look in at the new 20-minute plus one lap format. Will it make things more exciting or is it just a tool to make Supercross a little more TV friendly? We’ll see on Saturday night I guess.

Bring on Supercross. Bring on Anaheim. Bring on Saturday!