“It was a tough day after seeing some progress in practice,” said Marchbanks. “I felt good after getting into a rhythm in the first race, but after going down it was tough to get going again. I felt pretty banged up and we decided to sit out the final race. After a day like that, it makes you look forward to bouncing back so I’m looking forward to getting back to the normal format next week.”
Round three of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series featured the first of three Triple Crown events, where instead of running qualifiers and then a single Main Event, each class runs three Main Events and the lowest overall score determines the winner.
In the 450SX Class, Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb pressured Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen throughout the race until Roczen messed up a rhythm section on the final lap, handing Webb his first-ever 450SX Class Main Event victory in front of 42,434 ecstatic fans. Roczen was second in front of Webb’s teammate Marvin Musquin, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac, Roczen’s teammate Cole Seely, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s defending series champion Jason Anderson, and round-one winner Justin Barcia (Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing).
In the second Main Event, Webb took the holeshot and led every lap to score his second win on the night, holding off teammate Musquin at the finish, with Barcia third, Tomac fourth, and Roczen fifth. Going into the final Main Event, Webb led his teammate Musquin by three points, which meant he only needed to finish fourth place or better to win the overall. Tomac ended up leading every lap of the final Main Event while Webb rode relatively conservatively to score third, just behind Musquin and in front of Roczen.
“Last weekend, I was 10th, and I was pissed off, man,” Webb said after winning his first-ever 450SX Class Main Event. “That wasn’t what I wanted. So, I had some redemption this week, but to win is insane. To win two races and be on the podium in that one. I was so nervous that last one, just trying to hold on. But it’s incredible.”
Webb’s teammate Musquin went 3-2-2 on the night to score second overall, giving the Red Bull KTM team a 1-2 sweep of the class, despite a knee injury Musquin’s been fighting since the off-season.
“I just go race by race,” Musquin said. “This week, I stayed in California. The weather was pretty bad, but I took the whole week off the bike and tried to not hurt the knee too much on the bike.”
Tomac ended up third on the night with a 4-4-1 score. “[Race] one and two, I was just kind of riding around, is what I felt like,” Tomac said. “I wasn’t attacking. I wasn’t getting my flow. And then the third one there just obviously got the holeshot, was in clean air really…”
Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia, who won Anaheim 1 two weeks ago, had a heavy crash in the final 450SX Class Main Event of the night and had to be carted off to the Alpinestars Medical Center.
Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen still leads the points standings by two points over Tomac as the series heads to Oakland in one week’s time. Tonight’s winner Webb sits third, four points behind Tomac.
In the 250SX Class, Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s points leader Colt Nichols came out of the gate on fire in the first Main Event, chasing Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo for the first few laps before Cianciarulo went down, handing Nichols the lead. Nichols held on to win over his teammate Dylan Ferrandis, TLD/Red Bull KTM’s Shane McElrath, Cianciarulo, and GEICO Honda’s RJ Hampshire.
In the second Main Event, Nichols led early but fell over when his teammate Ferrandis pressured him for the lead. Nichols remounted behind Ferrandis and McElrath, who ended up going 1-2 in the main, while Nichols ended up third in front of Hampshire and Hampshire’s teammate Cameron McAdoo.
Then, in the final 250SX Class Main Event of the night, Cianciarulo held the early lead before McElrath worked his way around him to take the lead, then sprinted off with the victory over Cianciarulo and Ferrandis. Nichols ran as high as second but ended up fourth in the third Main Event just in front of Hampshire.
After two consecutive third-place finishes in the opening two rounds of the 2019 championship, McElrath’s 3-2-1 score landed him his first 250SX Class victory of the season.
“It’s just learning throughout the season,” McElrath said regarding what changed for him from the first two rounds. “We had a really good off-season, but you can’t really do a bike setup without going to the races. So, that’s really what we’ve been struggling with, and just my comfort. That’s really what we’ve been searching for.”
A 2-1-3 score for Ferrandis tied him on points with McElrath, but the tiebreaker goes to the highest finisher in the final race of the night, so Ferrandis was forced to settle for second.
“I rode bad,” Ferrandis said. “I didn’t deserve to win tonight. Shane [McElrath] rode really good and he won, so congrats to him. I’m really frustrated by myself. It’s not the place I want to be. We’ll see next weekend. We’ll try to rebound. I’m really unhappy about myself and really disappointed, so we’ll see.”
Nichols ended the night third overall with a 1-3-4 score, but he still holds the points lead as the series heads to round four at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum this coming Saturday night. “I mean that’s always great, to hold onto the red plate,” Nichols said. “That’s kind of the goal. I kind of came out on fire that first one then was leading the second one and had a dumb little tip-over. Just my own mistake. Just a little brain fart if you will and just kind of tipped over. The third one I got the holeshot, started right where I needed to and just was a little flat.”
“It was a rollercoaster night to go from being out front to falling to finishing on the podium,” said Cianciarulo. “I really want to put the mistakes behind me and I think with three races, I was able to show that I could still be up front even on an off night. We are still in the hunt and will be working hard to make sure we get back on top.”
Cianciarulo’s teammate Garrett Marchbanks had it far worse. He was experiencing his first Triple Crown format and the day started on a good note, qualifying 10th. The rookie had a decent Main Event 1 going and was about to make it into the top 10 when he got tangled with another rider and went down. It took a while to get back going and finished 17th. In Main Event 2, he again was making progress toward the top 10 when he went down and was forced to retire early from the race. He decided to sit out the final main event and was eventually awarded 21st overall.
450SX Class Results
1. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM
2. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
4. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda
5. Dean Wilson, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna
6. Cole Seely, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Honda
7. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha
8. Joey Savatgy, Tallahassee, Fla., Kawasaki
9. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna
10. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha
450SX Class Championship Standings
1. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (63)
2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (61)
3. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (57)
4. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha (56)
5. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (56)
6. Dean Wilson, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (52)
7. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna (46)
8. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (45)
9. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (45)
10. Cole Seely, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Honda (44)
Western Regional 250SX Class Results
1. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM
2. Dylan Ferrandis, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
3. Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Yamaha
4. RJ Hampshire, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda
5. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki
6. Cameron McAdoo, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda
7. Jacob Hayes, Greensboro, N.C., Yamaha
8. Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., Husqvarna
9. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Husqvarna
10. Mitchell Harrison, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
1. Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Yamaha (70)
2. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM (68)
3. Dylan Ferrandis, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha (63)
4. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (62)
5. RJ Hampshire, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (57)
6. Jimmy Decotis, Peabody, Mass., Suzuki (44)
7. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Husqvarna (44)
8. Cameron McAdoo, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda (41)
9. Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., Husqvarna (39)
10. Jacob Hayes, Greensboro, N.C., Yamaha (37)
story and photos courtesy of Supecross