The seventh round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series held its first open-air race of the season inside Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. Race fans, seated in restricted-attendance pod-style seating, braved morning rains to witness the retro-track layout that commemorated the last time the series visited the venue and that event’s battle between James Stewart and retiring 5-time champion Ricky Carmichael in his final Monster Energy Supercross race.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne grabbed the holeshot and had the speed to keep the pack behind him in the 450SX Class Main Event, but a big mistake in the whoops allowed three riders to get by as he recovered. Muc-Off Honda’s Justin Brayton took over the point position with Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen—winner of three straight—right on his rear tire.
Roczen was coming off a three-win streak, but that only motivated Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb more as the the KTM rider sat close in third. Just over three minutes into the 20-minute plus one lap race, Webb positioned himself to pass both riders in a single corner. Like that, Webb had the lead with Roczen using the moment to get around Brayton, even as he lost a spot to Webb.
Opening round winner Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull / GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia was soon past Brayton also, and the three riders rounded the track nearly in formation just slightly out of range for any of them to make a pass attempt.
With just over five minutes left on the race clock Barcia had an incredible save in the whoops. He was thrown from his bike but managed to stay in touch long enough to jump back on without hitting the ground. Osborne took advantage of the mistake to take third spot – in the same section where he’d lost the race lead – and held it to the end despite a constant push from Barcia.
2020 defending champion Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac had a tough night after a mid-pack start and rounding the first lap in 11th place. Tomac’s CP-Carrillo power made steady progress forward and reached fifth by the checkered flag.
450SX Class Results
- Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda
- Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna
- Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha
- Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Husqvarna
- Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
- Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki
450SX Class Championship Standings
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (161)
- Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM (148)
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (132)
- Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (118)
- Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (115)
- Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (110)
- Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha (109)
- Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (108)
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (99)
- Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha (97)
The Eastern Regional 250SX Class delivered drama early in the night, but in the Main Event it was Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence—more known lately for drama than winning—with a wire-to-wire win.
After scoring the holeshot it was Lawrence’s race to lose with points leader Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Colt Nichols right behind him. As the two pulled away from third place rider Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Christian Craig, the gap between the top two riders stretched and closed. Lawrence handily got through lappers, never allowing them to slow him enough for Nichols to get within striking distance.
Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda closed out the opening rounds of the Eastern Regionals with a solid ride to fourth-place. In his last effort before the 10-week break, Shimoda started the evening with a second in his heat race. When the gate dropped for the main, Shimoda wasn’t able to put his Kawasaki KX250 up at the front and was forced to make his way through the pack from 10th at the holeshot line. He made quick work of his competition and was into fourth just a few minutes later. Shimoda put in clean laps and finished 14 seconds ahead of fifth place.
“It would have been nice to land on the podium one more time before the break, but I am still happy with how I rode,” said Shimoda, sitting third in the championship standings with two rounds remaining for the East Coast riders. “Just needed a little bit better start. At the start of the day, we didn’t really know what kind of track we were going to get after all that rain so to leave healthy and third in the points is good.”
The big drama of the 250SX class had come earlier in the night. Craig crashed hard in 250SX Class Heat 2 while leading; Craig was pitched and slow to get up, evaluating his right hand. He returned for the Last Chance Qualifier with the injury taped up. He rode conservatively for the LCQ win and a spot on the Main Event gate. Craig gutted it out through the pain in the Main Event for third, losing only two points on his teammate as the regional series goes into a 10-week break before the final two rounds to determine the champion.
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results
- Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda
- Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
- Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha
- Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki
- Mitchell Oldenburg, Aledo, Tex., Honda
- Joshua Varize, Perris, Calif., KTM
- Kevin Moranz, Topeka, Kans., KTM
- Joshua Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Honda
- Hunter Schlosser, El Paso, Tex., Yamaha
- Logan Karnow, Amherst, Ohio, Kawasaki
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
- Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha (166)
- Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (158)
- Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki (138)
- Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (128)
- Joshua Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Honda (103)
- Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., GASGAS (97)
- Mitchell Oldenburg, Aledo, Tex., Honda (91)
- Joshua Varize, Perris, Calif., KTM (81)
- Thomas Do, Murrieta, Calif., KTM (74)
- Grant Harlan, Justin Tex., Honda (71)
The racers line up again inside the same stadium on a completely re-designed track next Saturday for the second of the Orlando double-header; the February 20th Florida race will kick off the 2021 Western Regional 250SX Class series with a new group of hungry racers eager to start their title campaigns with a win. Event tickets are available in a restricted-attendance, pod-style seating structure for the second Orlando race as well as for upcoming rounds through the Atlanta triple-header.
photo and video courtesy of Supercross; story by Supercross with substantial editing by Tim Hailey