It seems like each year the anticipation for the start of the Supercross season grows. And this year it felt fever pitch. Was it because the season opener was a week later than normal? A case of short-term memory? Perhaps.

The more likely culprit: It’s human nature to look forward to a surprise. And this year the only easy prediction to the season’s start was to expect the unexpected.

In year’s past the preseason press conference gave some clues – are they fit? Does anyone look nervous? This year 17 riders were present at the presser – all either former champions or race winners. Let’s say it was a bit tough to make any assertions there, except that the 2016 Supercross 450 class is stacked.

At times, when the press conference gamesmanship gave no clues, there was a clear front-runner. This year? Not so much. No one really stood out. So going into the main, unless you had a crystal ball, picking a winner was like drawing a name out of a hat.

Would you have picked Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson to upstage Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey, the reigning champ and one of his training partners? Probably not. But I don’t think anyone would have ruled it out either. And that was the beauty of it. Even for Anderson.

“I felt like you could not have picked a shoo-in winner tonight,” Anderson said. “All those guys on the gate are gnarly. The competition is so crazy; it’s insane. But it makes the victories feel that much better when you know that you’re racing guys whom none of them are slouches.”

Anderson had a strong start to the season last year at Anaheim I, but struggled the rest of his rookie season. So he went into 2016 as one of the unknowns. But with a year under his belt, a brand new Husky, and a well-known weapon – trainer Aldon Baker – many could sense he was on the verge of that first win. So now what? Is he on the verge of more?

To read more in the latest issue click HERE

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