By The Numbers
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner led the first 11 laps of the 250SX West main event on Saturday night. A mistake caused Forkner to lose the lead and although he finished third, he was docked two positions. On Sunday morning, Jason Weigandt explained the ruling.
11, 7, 110
Monster Energy/Star Racing Yamaha’s Justin Cooper led the final six laps of the main event before taking his first Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX main event win in the 11th main event start of his career. It was his seventh career podium. His rookie year (2018) was cut short due to an injury suffered in a qualifying crash at the Houston Supercross, causing last year to be his first full season. Cooper became the 110th winner in the small bore (125SX/SX Lites/250SX) class.
Justin time? Three of the four total heat races during the night show were won by riders with the first name Justin: Justin Cooper won the first 250SX West heat, Justin Brayton won the first 450SX heat, and Justin Barcia won the second 450SX heat. Dylan Ferrandis won the second 250SX West heat. With his heat win on Saturday, Barcia has won three-straight heat races at the Anaheim 1.
With Cooper winning the 250SX West main event, Yamaha won both main events at the season opener in back to back years. An OEM winning both main events at the opener has happened now six times in the last 20 years, although Yamaha has been the first OEM to win both races in back-to-back years. Here are the other five times an OEM has opened the season winning both main events:
2019—Yamaha: Justin Barcia in 450SX and Colt Nichols in 250SX
2014—KTM: Ken Roczen in 450SX and Jason Anderson in 250SX
2011—Kawasaki: Ryan Villopoto in 450SX and Josh Hansen in 250SX
2007—Kawasaki: James Stewart in 450SX and Ryan Villopoto in 250SX
2001—Yamaha: Jeremy McGrath in 250SX and Ernesto Fonseca in 125SX
Barcia is also the sixth rider to go back-to-back at the season opener in Anaheim since 1999.
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Justin Barcia won the Monster Energy Supercross opener at Angel Stadium of Anaheim for the 2nd consecutive year, claiming his 4th career 450 SX main event win in his 83rd start, and first since he won the 2019 season opener at Anaheim. The Monster Energy Yamaha rider is the 6th rider to win back-to-back season openers at Anaheim since 1999. ? . . Back-To-Back A1 Wins 450 Class (Since 1999): Justin Barcia - 2019 & 2020 Ken Roczen - 2014 & 2015 Ryan Villopoto - 2011 & 2012 James Stewart - 2006 & 2007 Chad Reed - 2003 & 2004 Jeremy McGrath - 2000 & 2001 , , Barcia won by 5.646 seconds over Adam Cianciarulo, who was making his 450 SX debut. Cianciarulo capitalized on a mistake by Barcia to lead 7 laps, but then made a mistake of his own to hand the lead back to Barcia. AC recovered to finish 2nd, and became the first Premier Class debutant to finish on the podium AND lead in his first race since Jeremy Martin at Daytona in 2017. ? . . If he had won, Cianciarulo would have become the first rider to win his debut Premier Class main event in 45 years, since Jimmy Ellis won in February of 1975 at Texas Stadium near Dallas. ? . . Chad Reed became the first rider in Supercross history with 250 starts in the Premier Class, when he qualified for the main with a 2nd place finish in the Last Chance Qualifier. Reed finished 18th in the main event. ? . . Justin Cooper became the 110th different winner of a Lites Class main event in history when he won the 250 main event, beating this teammate and defending 250 West champion Dylan Ferrandis by 2.450 seconds. Cooper’s first win came in his 11th career start. The Monster Energy Yamalube Star Yamaha Racing rider took the lead on Lap 12 of the 17-lap final when Austin Forkner crashed out of the lead. Forkner then rejoined the race in 3rd, but was later penalized 2 positions for cutting the track, which promoted Geico Honda rider Christian Craig into the 3rd and final podium position. ?
Of the 22 laps the 450SX main event completed Saturday, Barcia led 15 of the main event laps and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo led seven before finishing second in his premier class debut.
All three SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda teammates Malcolm Stewart, Vince Friese, and Justin Hill finished 9-10-11, respectively, in the 450SX main event. Plus, former teammate Justin Brayton finished right in front of them.
Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-KTM-WPS’s Blake Baggett finished fourth in the 450SX main event Saturday. The best A1 finish of his 450SX career was a 12th-place finish (2019, 2018, and 2015).
Rookies Derek Drake (Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM) finished eighth and Jett Lawrence (GEICO Honda) finished tenth in their respective AMA Supercross debuts. Lawrence made his debut on Race Day Live with Daniel Blair and Jim Holley, where the 16-year-old mentioned he was dealing with food poisoning.
Chad Reed started his 250th main event on Saturday night at Anaheim 1. Reed finished 18th in the 450SX main event.
Reed has made the main event at Anaheim 1 for 19 straight years, most all-time.
Quotes From Around The Paddock
Jason Anderson | 5th in 450SX
“My weekend went pretty decent. In the Main Event, I started in the back and I had to make some passes to get into fifth-place. Once I got behind [Blake] Baggett and Cooper [Webb], that’s all she wrote.”
Ken Roczen | 6th in 450SX
“Anaheim 1 started pretty good but the main event was definitely not the greatest. We were a little off on our bike setup, with it being way too stiff. That really showed in the main because of the way the track deteriorated so much. I didn’t feel like I was able to keep a good flow or attack the track the way I needed to. For sure this is not the position we wanted for the night, but it’s good to get the first race out of the way and leave healthy. We know what we need to work on for the upcoming race and have a plan in mind moving forward to implement those changes. Overall we’re not going to let this first race get us down, and I’m looking forward to St. Louis.”
Said Roczen’s mechanic, Jordan Troxell:
“Tonight did not go as we wanted. The bike was pretty stiff all day, but with how the track shaped up throughout the night it really amplified it. Ken was just uncomfortable and couldn’t get into a rhythm. We’re going to readdress things this week and hopefully have a better setup for St. Louis.”
Eli Tomac | 7th in 450SX
“Man, the first race of the season is always an interesting one. The whole day is just chaotic. I started feeling a bit of a flow by the end of the last qualifying session today, but in both the heat race and main event tonight I got decent starts but got shuffled back in the first turn and the way the track broke down tonight it became very one-lined and difficult to make passes. The competition this year is deeper than ever, so we will regroup this week and come out swinging in St. Louis next weekend."
Justin Brayton | 8th in 450SX
“I’m pretty happy with how tonight went overall. To start the night with that heat win and Kenny and I going 1-2 was super cool. The biggest thing I’m really stoked about is my starts. All off-season, that was my main focus. I told myself that if we can start up front, we can win some of these races, and I think I really put a stamp on that tonight. Running top-three for over half the race was great too; unfortunately, I got taken out, but it is what it is. I was still able to get up and get eighth. So a heat win, two good starts and an eighth with a crash—I’d say I’m pretty happy. The bike was awesome too, so it’s only up from here.”
Aaron Plessinger | 12th in 450SX
“A1 wasn’t really the night that I wanted. I felt kind of tight in practice and qualifying and then in the Heat race I went down and someone ran over my ankle. I had to get it taped up and went out for the LCQ. I was able to get the last transfer spot to the Main and I pretty much got the best start I could have with the gate pick that I had. In the end, I was able to salvage the night with 12th and get some valuable points for the championship. I’m going to go back with the team this week, work out some kinks and come back swinging in St. Louis.”
Dean Wilson | 13th in 450SX
“My weekend was pretty good. Going from dead last to 13th isn’t the greatest way to start the season off but I charged the whole way and I know we’re just going to get better from here.”
Zach Osborne | 14th in 450SX
“The first round didn’t go the way I would have liked. I’ve had a flawless off-season and it’s a bummer to come in super prepared on a great bike/team and then get sick—I’ve had a fever pretty much since Tuesday and tonight I just had nothing left to give.”
Justin Bogle | 16th in 450SX
“It was a frustrating night out there. I didn’t get the starts I needed tonight and were a bit off on my settings which made it tough to push out there. I am happy to leave here healthy and I know we will get it sorted out and be ready at St. Louis next weekend.”
Christian Craig | 3rd in 250SX
“Anaheim was awesome honestly. I went into the weekend just grateful to be there so to leave with a third is so cool. For months I’ve been riding supercross but had no idea when I’d be racing. I assumed it would be in April, when my suspension was supposed to end originally. The trip I took to Switzerland in December thankfully went my way and I was able to race A1. All day on Saturday I felt good. I qualified third overall and got second in my heat. The main was going pretty good for my first race back. I started around third and stayed there for a lot of the race. Dylan [Ferrandis] got by me eventually and then I road pretty tight, keeping me in fourth. [Austin] Forkner, who was in front of me, ended up having a crash and re-entered the track at the wrong place. I was not far behind him, so I really do think we were in for a good battle had he entered back where he was supposed to, but we have the rest of the season to do that. Saturday night I got the call that I would be bumped up to third for his mistake. I’m not extremely pumped on it because I want to finish in third and actually stand on the podium but we will get there! Really looking forward to the rest of the year!”
Michael Mosiman | 4th in 250SX
“It was good to come out of here with a top-five result but I’m not super stoked on how I rode. It’s comforting, though, because I know I’ve got a whole lot more in the tank.”
Cameron Mcadoo | 6th in 250SX
“After so much preparation, it’s nice to finally get on the track and get a finish under my belt. We took away a lot of good from this round that I’m hoping we can work on this week to go after an even better result. I would love to be challenging for the podium and proving to these guys that I am able to run up front."
Jett Lawrence | 10th in 250SX
“Well, Friday started off with getting food poisoning from a Chick-fil-A sandwich! I ended up waking up at one in the morning throwing up and having diarrhea and really bad stomach cramps so I couldn’t make it to press day. Saturday morning I was feeling a little bit better but I didn’t get very good sleep. I was pretty tired plus couldn’t eat anything—just a rice cracker and some sips of water so my energy was pretty low. In practice I was struggling to dial the track in and get a good flow and was struggling with the whoops a bit because they were very close together and fast. It was easy to miss a whoop with the front wheel and go over the bars, and then of course that’s exactly what I did! By the time it came to the main event I was starting to feel a little bit better but halfway through I started to get some belly cramps and started to feel a little bit lightheaded. At the end of the day it was not the result I was wanting but I guess it is not such a bad result for my first race."