Race Report From Anaheim, California.
There's few races that hold weight like Anaheim 1. The opening of the season opens a Pandora's Box of nerves, excitement, fear and anticipation. Couple that with a forecast calling for 100% precipitation, and you have the cocktail of a tense race night.
For Jimmy D, the day kicked off with a bang in qualifying. On a dry track, the no. 64 JGR Suzuki sat on top of the board for the majority of the final session, ultimately ending up in third place heading into the night show. It was a huge start for Jimmy in his first A1 on the Suzuki.
The night proved not quite as fruitful. When the skies opened up and the track surface changed from west coast tacky to more slippery than a greased-up ice rink, every rider that hit the track was learning with every section how to ride the slick stuff. After a great jump in his heat, Jimmy ran up into the first turn poised to snag the holeshot, but the slick dirt punished him for his late braking, and Jimmy wound up on the ground. He rebounded and charged through the pack, making it into the top nine and avoiding the LCQ en route to the main.
With an outside gate, Jimmy needed a huge jump to start the main with any hope of a decent result. With rain continuing to fall, the track was even slicker and muddier, and riding in the middle of the pack would be next to impossible. Again, Jimmy ripped the start, charging into the first turn. But on the outside, he was quickly gobbled up by a solid chunk of the pack. Rounding turn two just outside the top ten, Jimmy D put his head down and started picking off riders for the duration of the 15 minute main. With steady pace throughout, Jimmy worked his way up to seventh by race's end, finishing as the only Suzuki in the top ten. Though not the ideal result, it was still a strong day for Da Rippa.