Weekly Roost: Anaheim 1
The game is afoot! The 2019 Monster Energy Supercross season opener from Anaheim was one to remember with very wet conditions making the 250SX and 450SX main events very tricky! In the end, it was Monster Energy/Yamaha factory Racing’s Justin Barcia winning the 450SX class and Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Colt Nichols earning the first win of his career in the 250SX class.
Anaheim 1 is very special. It is the first major race of any kind of the new year and for the riders and fans of Monster Energy Supercross, it is simply the most exciting time of the season! The racers go through months of training and preparation heading into the event and the nervous energy is so thick you can feel it. The vibe of opening ceremonies is purely electric and makes the hair stand up on your arms. The racers are focused and the fans are rabid!
With speculation running rampant heading into the season opener, the 450SX class was a thrill show all day long. Qualifying showed some surprises with Blake Baggett, Dean Wilson, Malcolm Stewart and Justin Brayton posting very fast times ahead of some of the bigger names in the division. However, Justin Barcia was fastest in the first session and backed it up with a heat race victory setting himself up as one to watch for the 450SX main event. With the rain coming down the racers blasted off of the holeshot and it was Dean Wilson grabbing the early advantage. Hot on his heels was Malcolm Stewart followed by Barcia and Ken Roczen. Some may have thought that Barcia and Roczen would have easily overtaken Wilson and Stewart but it was not the case. Wilson would lead well over half of the 20min main event with Stewart right in tow. As the laps wound down, Stewart tipped over and Barcia was inevitably able to get past Wilson for the lead. Storming through the pack was Eli Tomac who suffered a bad start and made his way to third to round out the podium behind Barcia and Roczen. Wilson would finish an impressive 4th.
The 250SX Western Region Main Event was all Colt Nichols as he grabbed the holeshot and was never to be headed. The most spectacular performance came from Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo. The pre race favorite suffered a bad start but was slicing his way through the field in a hurry. Cianciarulo made his way to third place racers Rj Hampshire’s Geico Honda and the two clashed hard with Adam going down! He would make another charge with time running out and recover for a 5th place. Meanwhile, Nichols was gone. He took the checkered flag with room to spare over his Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha teammate Dylan Ferrandis and Troy Lee Designs KTM mounted Shane McElrath.
All in all it was an outstanding start to the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross an FIM World Championship! The rain provided a wild element and a near capacity crowd was able to witness amazing racing all night. The championship continues next weekend at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.