Several riders who had nice, easy bulls in Round 1 are going to experience karma today and not in a pleasant way.
Joao Ricardo Vieira on 373 Humdinger:
Vieira has a chance to grab the lead in the world championship race today, but in keeping with PBR tradition he must first conquer a dragon. His Round 1 bull was a day off, but it’s hard to draw nice bulls every time. Humdinger is not nice. He is rideable, and once he’s in a spin he can have good timing and be relatively normal, but he can also be really out of line and unpredictable. Vieira has the talent to ride any bull here. The key question about him is, when a bull brings the fight to him, can he punch back? No one will win the title without beating some bullies, and Vieira will have to do that here.
Danilo Carlos Sobrinho on 418 Heartless:
Sobrinho has been stalled since coming to the UTB level, but he made a good ride last night. He has a great follow-up bull here. Heartless is 3-4 against right-handed riders, and he’s been ridden in four of his last five outs.
Ezekiel Mitchell on 28 Touch of Class:
Of all the young riders on tour, Mitchell may have the most upside. He has great instincts and when a bull throws something at him, he always counters with the correct reaction. He is sometimes a split second late with the right move, but with time we should see him improve this and get to where his counter moves are quick and imperceptible and he will just flow with whatever the bull does. Cooper Davis was much the same when he first came on tour, and you could say the same of Luke Snyder, L.J. Jenkins and lots of other guys. Mitchell has a pretty good draw here. This bull should go into his hand. Touch of Class is a little heavy, but he’s rideable.
Stetson Lawrence on 02 Beaver Creek Beau:
Like Vieira, Lawrence had an extremely nice bull to ride last night, and he’s going to experience the universe balancing itself rather violently here in Round 2. Beaver Creek Beau is everything that Lawrence’s first round bull was not. He will spin the other way, he’s big, strong, explosive, and he’s one of the most difficult bulls in the business. Beau is 113-14 overall, and he’s 43-1 against left-handed riders in his seven-year career. He has more buckoffs against lefties than most bulls in this round have career outs.
Joe Frost on 204 Deep Water:
Deep Water is a rideable bull for right-handed guys, but he is miserable to ride for everyone. He has some forward movement and doesn’t kick enough to help a rider out, and that is how he gets most riders. Frost has no doubt been on bulls like this before and knows how to handle it.
Jose Vitor Leme on 42 Leona’s Pet:
Leme may have bucked off in Round 1, but don’t expect the same here. He will almost certainly get a score here and maybe a good enough score to get him into the short round.
Matt Triplett on 447 Pennywise:
Pennywise isn’t an easy bull to ride, but he’s rideable. The key thing to watch for here is if the bull goes away from Triplett’s hand he cannot afford to get behind. This bull keeps the spin pressure on by using his head to gain momentum, and he will feel like he’s faster than he really is. If Triplett can stay in the sweet spot he will have no trouble getting a second straight score here.
Tanner Byrne on Y1 Wired Child:
Byrne has bucked off this bull twice before, but he picked up a score last night on a bull he was 0-1 against. Wired Child gives a lot of riders trouble because, like Deep Water, he doesn’t quite kick enough to help the rider reset each jump. Once he gets into a spin, he’s likely to reverse it at some point. He can be ridden, but he’s a lot of work.
Ruger Piva on 991 Dead Calm:
Piva is another guy who had the day off yesterday and will now have to work a double to make up for it. Dead Calm is not very calm and not very easy to ride. He has some forward movement and will try to yank Piva’s arm off at some point.
Rubens Barbosa on W402 Jasper:
This is the bull that knocked Brennon Eldred out a few weeks back. He’s pretty salty, but he may be a good fit for Barbosa. He goes to the right, has some backup and will try to work the rider down on his head, but that kind of counters Barbosa’s weakness, which is that he rides back on the end of his arm a lot. This could end up being a second straight round win for Barbosa or it could end up being a wreck.