Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series
Round 3: Angel Stadium
Courtesy of Feld Motor Sports
Photos by Simon Cudby
ANAHEIM, CA, JAN. 17, 2015
In front of 40,718 Southern California fans, Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, made the second of its three visits this year to Angel Stadium on Saturday night, January 17, on its path to determine “#WhosNext.”
Following a strong start in the 450SX main event, RCH Soaring Eagle/ Jimmy John’s Factory Suzuki’s Ken Roczen added to his points lead by racing to his second win of the season. Meanwhile, in the Western Regional 250SX class, Yamalube/ Star Racing Yamaha’s Cooper Webb used a last-lap pass to make it back-to-back wins, taking control of the points lead by doing so.
Motosport.com/ Arma Energy Yamaha’s Jimmy Albertson grabbed the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award, but he was quickly overtaken by BTO Sports KTM’s Andrew Short, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Davi Millsaps, and Roczen. On a hectic opening lap in which the entire field jockeyed for position, Roczen seized the opportunity to take the early lead and sprint away. Roczen first worked his way by Millsaps and then made the pass on Short on lap one. From there, he opened a multiple-second advantage that would last the entirety of the 20-lap main event.
With Roczen out front, several riders put themselves in contention for a podium result. Short crashed out of second, which in turn collected Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson, which allowed Millsaps to assume second and Discount Tire Racing/ TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed to take over third. Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey, who was running fourth, then passed Reed for third on lap three and proceeded to pass Millsaps for second one lap later. That same lap, Millsaps fell into the clutches of Reed, who then passed him for third.
As those battles were taking place, last week’s winner, GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac, was fighting his way forward from an eighth-place start. Tomac quickly climbed his way into the top five and then made a pass on Reed for third on lap four.
Shortly thereafter, Reed and Team Honda’s Trey Canard came together while battling for fourth on lap seven, when Canard misjudged Reed’s line and ran into the back of him. Both riders remounted quickly and Reed retaliated by pushing Canard off the track and forcing him to the ground. Reed was subsequently black-flagged and disqualified from competition.
Once the field settled in, the top three – Roczen, Dungey and Tomac – began to pull away. Dungey slowly gained ground on Roczen and was consistently posting faster lap times, but once the leaders encountered lappers, it slowed Dungey’s progress and allowed Roczen to easily take the win and stay undefeated inside Angel Stadium so far this season.
“That was an awesome race!” exclaimed Roczen, who earned his fourth career victory. “I fought hard the whole way. It was a tricky track, but I was able to get a good start, get into the lead early, and ride my own race. I’m so happy!”
Dungey followed in second for his best finish of the season. Tomac followed in third.
“It was a good night, and we gave a hard push,” said Dungey. “The first lap was chaos, with everyone fighting for position, so Kenny [Roczen] got away a bit. I tried to close down the best I could, but lappers got in the way. The track was really difficult and you could only do so much. I’m excited, and we’ll build from this.”
Autotrader.com/ Toyota/ Yamaha’s Justin Barcia finished fourth for his best finish of the season, while RCH Soaring Eagle/ Jimmy John’s Factory Suzuki’s Broc Tickle did the same in fifth. Team Honda’s Cole Seely was sixth, with Anderson seventh, Red Bull KTM’s Dean Wilson eighth, Millsaps ninth and Team Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Baggett 10th. Canard fought back to finish 11th.
Roczen extended his advantage in the 450SX-class championship standings, and he now sits 12 points ahead of Dungey, in second. Anderson retained control of third, 21 points behind, with Tomac and Canard rounding out the top five.
In the Western Regional 250SX main event, Rockstar Energy/ Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne captured his second straight SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award, in front Lucas Oil/ Troy Lee Designs/ Red Bull/ KTM’s Jessy Nelson and Monster Energy/ Pro Circuit/ Kawasaki’s Chris Alldredge.
Nelson put the pressure on Osborne early and was able to move into the lead as the field completed the opening lap. Once out front, Nelson sprinted away and opened up a multiple-second advantage.
While Nelson led comfortably, Red Bull KTM’s Justin Hill put himself into podium contention, followed by Monster Energy/ Pro Circuit/ Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers, who’d started in fifth. As things took shape out front, Webb was on a charge through the field after starting 12th.
Nelson appeared to have control of the 15-lap main event, but he crashed out of the lead on lap six and dropped to sixth. That allowed Bowers to assume the lead, just a short time after passing Hill for second. By this time, Webb had fought his way into the top four, and he took over third on lap seven.
While Bowers pulled away, Hill and Webb engaged in an exciting battle for second, with Webb ultimately prevailing. Once in second, Webb consistently chipped away at a four-plus-second deficit to Bowers and put himself within striking distance on the final lap. As the two riders went to turn down the stadium’s first-base line one final time and hit the home stretch, Webb cut inside Bowers, forcing contact that pushed Bowers off the track. Webb slipped by and took the win. Bowers recovered to finish second, his best finish of the season so far. Hill finished third.
“That was crazy!” said Webb, who’d raced to his first career win one week ago. “I got a bad start and had to come through the pack, so I was just trying to get into the top five. Then I got into second and realized I had a shot at the win. On the last lap, I had to just put it in there, so I did and I was able to get by.”
“I got a decent start, but I rode better with people in front of me than out front by myself,” said Bowers, the four-time and reigning AMSOIL Arenacross Champion. “I didn’t get tight or anything, I just made a lot of small mistakes. We’re looking good in the championship with a third, a fourth and now a second, so it’s hard to be angry with that. If we can get a couple wins, we’ll really be in this [championship at the end].”
Webb passed Nelson for control of the Eastern Regional 250SX-class championship standings and now sits four points ahead. Bowers moved into a tie with Nelson for second.
Monster Energy Supercross will continue next weekend with its fourth stop of the 17-race season in Oakland, California, signifying the first of two visits to the Bay Area in 2015. Live broadcast coverage on Fox Sports 1 will begin at 7 p.m. PT/ 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 24.
For more information on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, please log on to www.SupercrossLive.com, the official website of Monster Energy Supercross.
Results: January 17, 2015 (Round 3 of 17)
KTM JR SX CHALLENGE: 1. Tyler Mollet (KTM); 2. Myles Monty (KTM); 3. Bryson Green (KTM); 4. James Alexander (KTM); 5. Ryan Stephens (KTM); 6. Paul Joyce (KTM); 7. Nathan Abbott (KTM); 8. K.C. Clinton (KTM); 9. Michael Wayne (KTM); 10. Gavin Tomilson (KTM); 11. Pete Comeaux (KTM); 12. Nathan Keith (KTM); 13. Jadon Slusher (KTM); 14. Kayden Weigand (KTM); 15. Charlie Henderson (KTM).
250SX: 1. Cooper Webb (Yam); 2. Tyler Bowers (Kaw); 3. Justin Hill (KTM); 4. Zach Osborne (Hsq); 5. Malcolm Stewart (Hon); 6. Jessy Nelson (KTM); 7. Josh Hansen (Kaw); 8. Alex Martin (Yam); 9. Tommy Hahn (Hon); 10. Shane McElrath (KTM).
450SX: 1. Ken Roczen (Suz); 2. Ryan Dungey (KTM); 3. Eli Tomac (Hon); 4. Justin Barcia (Yam); 5. Broc Tickle (Suz); 6. Cole Seely (Hon); 7. Jason Anderson (Hsq); 8. Dean Wilson (KTM); 9. Davi Millsaps (Kaw); 10. Blake Baggett (Suz).
Western Regional 250SX Class Season Standings (after 3 rounds): 1. Cooper Webb (64); 2. (TIE) Jessy Nelson (60)/ Tyler Bowers (60); 4. Zach Osborne (54); 5. Justin Hill (53); 6. Aaron Plessinger (40); 7. (TIE) Malcolm Stewart (39)/ Shane McElrath (39); 9. Josh Hansen (34); 10. Tommy Hahn (30).
450SX Class Season Standings (after 3 rounds): 1. Ken Roczen (72); 2. Ryan Dungey (60); 3. Jason Anderson (51); 4. Eli Tomac (46); 5. (TIE) Trey Canard (43)/ Justin Barcia (43); 7. Broc Tickle (38); 8. Weston Peick (32); 9. Andrew Short (31); 10. Davi Millsaps (30).