By Billy Rainford
We made it! The off season is behind us and we’re full steam ahead into the 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season.
In case you were under a rock all weekend, here are the 250 and 450 main recaps from A1 to get you up to speed:S2F1PRESS
250 Mini McThoughts:
1 32 Justin Cooper YAM Anyone who is really surprised by this win hasn’t been paying attention the past couple years. He’s ready for this. The west should be a weekly battle between Cooper, Dylan Ferrandis, and Austin Forkner.
2 1W Dylan Ferrandis YAM With a good start, I don’t think anyone can stay with the 2019 champion on a regular basis. I think he’s got the field covered, but looking good on paper and doing it in the dirt are 2 very different things.
3 62 Christian Craig HON It really would have been nice if the TV broadcast showed Christian, or anyone else other than the top 3. He’s back after his FIM/WADA suspension, and getting bumped up to 3rd after the main event verdict puts him in a good place in this series. We all know he’s got the talent, but can he run up here every week like he should remains to be seen.
4 28 Michael Mosiman HSK Something you may not know about Michael is that he’s a very respectful guy. He’ll go out of his way to thank a photographer for shooting photos of him and giving him press at the practice tracks. I like this kid. He had to fight his way into the main but keeps improving and should put himself in the list of names that is fighting for podiums this season.
5 52 Austin Forkner KAW I kind of forgot Austin was racing west. He should be fighting for the win every weekend, to the surprise of no one. I have to bust his chops a little for that tuff block/track cut incident though. In the press conference, he said he could see the other riders but that point is debatable, and I think everyone around him is just lucky he didn’t take them out as he got going again. Riders need to take re-entering the track as the serious safety hazard it is and be extremely careful, no matter how panicked they are at the time.S1F1PRESS
1 51 Justin Barcia YAM I didn’t really know how uncomfortable Justin was last SX season. He won A1 last year, but it was a bit of a mudder. This win has his confidence soaring and it might mean he will be a threat every weekend, but we’ll have to wait and see.
2 9 Adam Cianciarulo KAW I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by how fast AC is, but doing it in this stacked class is amazing. He’s been on this path since he was a little kid and now he’s going to get his chance to be a top guy in the 450 Pro class. No one else seems like they have this much fun in the top class! Also, press conferences are actually interesting when he’s involved, so let’s hope he keeps grabbing top 3’s.
3 1 Cooper Webb KTM Cooper came into A1 kind of the same way Jason Anderson did the previous year. He was the defending champ but really wasn’t getting the credit he deserved. He was pretty sick and a 3rd place should have the rest of the riders nervous and the media paying beter attention.
4 4 Blake Baggett KTM Blake looked like he should have been fighting for a podium. He had to pass his way up to 4th place and was in with the rest of the top guys. Another win should be in the cards.
5 21 Jason Anderson HSK I think Jason enjoys being the underdog and proving people wrong. He’s having fun with his whole Team Fried thing and I think keeping it loose is what will get him the good results he’s looking for.
6 and 7 Ken Roczen HON and Eli Tomac KAW I’m adding 6 and 7 here because of these 2 guys. I really thought they’d have made their way to the front, but it never materialized. Perhaps they both kept reciting the old adage about Round 1. We’ll see this weekend in St Louis.
I’ll let The Journal sum upEli’s A1:
Eli Tomac opens Supercross season with lackluster race in Anaheim
Eli Tomac of Cortez launched his campaign for a first AMA Supercross championship with a seventh-place finish Saturday at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.
Tomac, 27, entered the 450cc series on the back of his third consecutive Lucas Oil Pro Motocross title this summer and an overall 23 victories in the past three years, the most of any rider. But a Supercross title and a season-opening win at Anaheim have eluded him.
On press day 2020, he appeared ready to race.
“Absolutely I’m here to win this championship,” he said this weekend. “The past two Supercross seasons have consisted of a lot of wins for me, but it has also consisted of a lot of inconsistency. I’m trying to be a new guy that way, but it’s always easier said than done. I would love to make a statement here and try to get a win at Anaheim 1.”
He would leave Anaheim 1 again without a win.
Starting in the No. 7 position at the gate, Tomac was slow to the first turn and in 11th place after the first lap. Justin Barcia led the frontrunners and was trailed by Justin Brayton and Adam Cianciarulo, Tomac’s teammate on Monster Energy Kawasaki. Cianciarulo moved into second in the fourth lap and into the lead in the eighth as Barcia briefly went off the track.
After nine laps, Tomac was in eighth, more than 14 seconds behind the leader. He continued to fade and eventually finished seventh, more than 23.75 seconds behind Barcia, who recovered from a rough stretch and overtook Cianciarulo for the win.
Defending champion Cooper Webb finished third, and Blake Baggett and Jason Anderson rounded out the top five.
Tomac’s finish Saturday at Anaheim 1 was his worst since he crashed out in 2018. Last year, he was third.
The day started out well for the Kawasaki team.
Tomac was the second-fastest rider after two qualifying rounds in the afternoon. In the first round, he was seventh, with a time of 59.119 seconds. Cianciarulo was fastest, at 57.296. In the second round, Tomac posted a 56.667 second lap, and again Cianciarulo was fastest, at 56.169 seconds..
Then, in the first of two heats leading up to the main event, Tomac finished fourth, 8.440 seconds off the lead. Starting in the No. 1 gate, he was in sixth place after the first of eight laps, and in fifth after six laps. He passed Malcolm Stewart – and sent him into the dirt – in the seventh lap and finished fourth behind Brayton, Ken Roczen and Vince Friese.
In the second heat, Cianciarulo, finished second to Barcia. Cianciarulo was third after the first lap and dropped to fifth after two laps, but he charged into second in the fifth lap to finish 3.409 seconds behind Barcia.
The second round of the 16-round Monster Energy AMA Supercross series is Saturday in St. Louis at The Dome at America’s Center.
Now let’s check in to see how the Team PRMX gang did.
#88 Logan Karnow – Good showing for Logan. He looked aggressive in the LCQ and made it into the main (3rd) where he took 18th place.
#221 Mathias Jorgensen – Mathias is the Danish rider who looked like he had a good chance of making it into the main. He was close to his teammate on the track but could only muster a 6th in the LCQ.
#86 Josh Cartwright – Josh qualified 27th and then took 13th in the LCQ. Unless you’re a podium guy, you’re just not going to pass your way to the main, you really need a great start in this field.
#280 Cade Clason – It’s just great to see Cade back racing AMA Supercross. He must have been pumped to be back where he belongs. He grabbed the very last qualifying spot for the night show and then finished 16th in the LCQ right behind a Spanish rider I’ve never heard of.
Have a great week, guys, and good luck this weekend in St Louis.
I got the chance to head over to Gopher Dunes last Friday to check out some early January riding. That is extremely rare in this area! Or, as Quint from Jaws would say, “Not…bad…for this vicinity.”It’s a good thing they opened when they did because we got enough snow last night that I’m going to have to break out the shovel when I’m finished here.
I threw up a few photos from the day and I still want to get to the video I shot later today, so watch for that.
I also headed over to Hully Gully here in London for the 3rd annual London Bike Show they host at their massive store in the south end of the city.
I’m from the era of riders who spent a crazy amount of time up at the track in Varna, Ontario, so it was fun for me to walk through the doors and see so many familiar faces from ‘back in the day.’
Becky, Chuck, and Randy were all there to say hello and I had a great time sitting down with Randy Collins for an extended interview that I’ll post up on the site as soon as I can.
I shot some video clips, too, so I’ve got a list of things to get to on this Monday. I even got Randy to say the line that is engrained in all of SWO old-timers from the era: “Pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er! The 125 squirrelly whirlies are on the line!” Irv Ford coined it but Randy said it too, I”m pretty sure.
OK, that should have gotten you through at least another cup of coffee. I’m off to the chiropractor (nothing to do with shovelling the driveway) and will get back to some content from the weekend as soon as I get back.
Have a great week, and we’ll see you at the races…