TRIPLE CROWN ALERT!!! Round four of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship took place in Glendale, Arizona, and it was the first race running the Triple Crown format this year. I like these things, I’m not sure I want to see 17 of them in a year but they’re a nice change of pace from the usual main events (that have been stretched from 20 laps to 20 minutes plus a lap). Overall, there are many things that are great about these.
Almost nothing though from a rider/team point of view, however! I guess one positive of this format is that a guy like Adam Cianciarulo can crash out of the last race but end up with a ninth overall and not lose too many points. Justin Barcia had a similar scenario last year at the Anaheim 2 Supercross Triple Crown when he finished 7-3-22 (crashing out in the final race) and still finished tenth overall.
That’s about it though. The teams have to build two bikes, the riders have more starts, more laps and more chances for things to go wrong. There’s not much time for the teams to get the bike changes/routine work done between races and if you’re a privateer, you hate these things because you don’t get a heat race and LCQ during the night show, so if you don’t make the main (which few of those riders will) it means you paid $250 bucks to enter and ride in front of very few fans.
Hence the entries this weekend, they were pretty low in both classes with no third practice group needed for either class. Yikes! But hey, if there are 22 guys on the line at 7 p.m., that’s all that’s needed. Cruel but true…
Speaking of this: Attention Feld Entertainment, the AMA, the FIM, WADA or whomever actually runs this sport…PLEASE PUT THE TWO LCQ’S IN THE NIGHT PROGRAM!! It would stretch the thing out by ten minutes but provide so much drama and excitement that it’s inconceivable it’s not already done. What’s better than building drama by telling fans that four of these dudes go to the main and the rest go home. What’s better than that?
Look at what people missed!
NOTHING! Why can’t we do this? We do want to entertain people right? I won’t even take credit for this if it happens.
(I probably still will)
Let’s take a look at the results shall we?
1st | 1-1-3 | #52 Austin Forkner | Richards, MO | Kawasaki KX250
Great work for Forkner this weekend and to be honest, it barely looked like he was trying en route to getting his two wins. Measured, calm riding and airing out that quad as well, Austin looked to have everything in control. And, despite a 17th last weekend, he pulled up to within ten points of the class lead even! What a night for Forkner.
2nd | 2-2-2 | #1W Dylan Ferrandis | Lake Elsinore, CA | Yamaha YZ250F
I really wanted to see a Ferrandis/Forkner battle to the death where Dylan just tries to take Forkner’s wheels out from him while Forkner loses his composure and does something dumb. Alas, we didn’t get either of those things because Dylan’s reactions off the start wouldn’t cooperate. Afterwards I tried to keep things positive with Dylan in saying that he got Forkner and rode away from him in the third race, but Ferrandis, in his usual honest self, said that Austin had the overall sewed up and wasn’t trying. BUT if Cooper had been given the signal, he could’ve moved over for Dylan and given him the overall win and nothing would’ve changed for Cooper in terms of overall event points. IJS.
3rd | 4-4-6 | #28 Michael Mosiman | Menifee, CA | Husqvarna FC 250
This was Mosiman’s first career SX podium? I thought he got one last year and yeah he did it without actually getting on the podium (#TripleCrownbenefits) but the check will still cash, right? People close to the team tell me that during the week, Michael is amazing but hasn’t quite been able to translate that to the races. Maybe this podium will help.
4th | 5-6-4 | #30 Brandon Hartranft| Corona, CA | KTM 250 SX-F
Hartranft was pretty good in Glendale and just missed getting his third-straight podium. Clearly there’s a separation in the 250SX West Coast though and he (and the other factory guys) need to get a little closer to the big three (Cooper, Forkner, Ferrandis) to make their team managers happy.
5th | 6-5-5 | #45 Jacob Hayes | Lodi, CA | Husqvarna FC 250
Hayes has been very good this year with a shoulder that still isn’t 100 percent. He was very consistent in Glendale…come to think of it, the whole class was (outside of Cooper) which was weird and perhaps a downside to the Triple Crown format.
6th | 7-7-7 | #40 Mitchell Oldenburg | Godley, TX | Honda CRF250R
The words “steady as a rock” and “consistent” and “you just know what you’re gonna get” don’t fit Freckle but here we are. Steady scores all night. Deal with it.
7th | 8-8-9 | #26 Alex Martin | Clermont, FL | Suzuki RM-Z250
Poor Troll Train. The last two races haven’t gone well for the guy and the last two races have also had big whoops. This is not a coincidence folks.
8th | 10-3-13 | #57 Derek Drake Corona, CA | KTM 250 SX-F
Uhhh, okay? Two of Drake’s race weren’t good but then there was that other one WHERE HE LED FOUR LAPS! There we go…some bright lights for the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull rider. Like they said in Dodgeball, “You can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.” Well, if you lead one lap…you can lead them all.
9th | 17-9-1 | #32 Justin Cooper | Menifee, CA | Yamaha YZ250F
The good news, Justin won the last main. The bad news: Literally from the moment Cooper went down hard in the sand in the first practice most of the event turned to poop. Now he’s got a slim points lead…life happens fast.
10th | 13-12-8 | #101 Luke Clout | Hemet, CA | Honda CRF250R
Clout is very loose but he’s exciting. In fact him and Oldenburg probably lead the class in “Oh shit” moments out there which must make for fun video sessions!
11th | 11-13-11 | #95 Carson Brown | Ravensdale, WA | Husqvarna FC 250
I think outside of Hayes, Brown’s been the surprise of the West Coast so far. All those Instagram shots of him jumping pit bikes before the year were a cover for some of the real work he was doing. Look at the guys ahead of him, they’re all making more money than he is!
12th | 16-11-12 | #72 Robbie Wageman | Newhall, CA | Yamaha YZ250F
Good work for Robbie out there and his younger brother RJ just about got into the main also in his LCQ.
13th | 12-14-14 | #55 Martin Castelo | Murrieta, CA | Husqvarna FC 250
Castelo pulled some starts and showed some speed out there but got shuffled back in the third main pretty quickly. At one point him and his teammate Carson Brown were laying in the whoops together which has to be every team manager’s nightmare.
14th | 15-16-10 | #90 Killian Auberson | Winchester, CA | Husqvarna FC 250
I know I said that Auberson is the best Swiss SX’er ever and some of you hit me back with Arnaud Tonus and yeah, sure maybe Tonus’s best finish is better than anything Killian has done but I still don’t even care. #BestSwissSXEVER
15th | 14-10-8 | #106 Jay Wilson | Palm Beach, QLD | Yamaha YZ250F
Man, Wilson and Aaron Tanti travelled halfway around the world to race SX and end up just battling each other every week.
16th | 9-17-17 | #108 Aaron Tanti | Silverdale, NSW | Yamaha YZ250F
The Aussie invasion of 250SX West this year has been fun to watch, all three guys (Clout, Wilson, and Tanti) have some skill and it’s been impressive to watch. You add them to the guys like the Lawrence brothers, Mitchell Evans and others and you have another generation of Reed, Metcalfe, Byrner, Anderson…
17th | 3-22-22 | #62 Christian Craig | Orange, CA | Honda CRF250R
Craig’s last three weeks have been…the opposite of awesome. The high has been that one third place in the first main where he rode pretty well, but other than that it’s been terrible and now he’s out with a broken hand. It’s weird because I don’t think of Christian as a crasher, if anything I always thought he should push it harder at times a few years back. Three straight DNF’s (not technically but you get the point) for CC and a disastrous return to racing. Not much he can do now other than heal up and try to win some races when the West Coast returns after their break.
18th | 19-15-15 | #170 Michael Leib | Temecula, CA | Husqvarna FC 250
The GEICO guys were doing some light talking about a fill-in rider for the next two races because Craig and Lawrence are out and I suggested Leib because, I mean, it’s just for two races and you need a guy that’s not on a team. Shades of Daniel Blair getting his shot with the same team years ago, right? Journeyman privateer...it’s a feel good story! Hopefully he wouldn’t sell his team gear on eBay like DB did afterwards. Anyways, the team has decided to not get a rider and will be parked for two weekends.
19th | 18-18-16 | #60 Mitchell Falk | Costa Mesa, CA | Honda CRF250R
Didn’t notice Mitchell out there much and that’s not a good thing.
20th | 20-19-19 | #118 Cheyenne Harmon | Dallas, TX | Honda CRF250R
Great LCQ battle with Harmon and Wagemen. Again, why they don’t put the LCQ’s into the main program to start the night is beyond me. It’s usually amazing racing and what drama for the fans.
21st | 22-20-20 | #88 Logan Karnow | Amherst, OH | Kawasaki KX250
Karnow was, like, lurking out of qualifying in the LCQ and I couldn’t figure out why. He was one of the best guys in that race so in my thinking he should’ve been in. Then I think he realized that he wasn’t going to make it and started riding like he could and easily got in. He also didn’t start the first race of the night for some reason?
22nd | 21-21-21 | #952 Ludovic Macler | Bliesbruck, FR | Kawasaki KX250
I’m very upset at Ludovic. He was a 10 handicap in PulpMX Fantasy and therefore just needed to beat one guy every main event (because there was always one guy in every main who didn’t start or crashed out) to get double points. Alas, he couldn’t do that and not only that, he looked like he wasn’t trying out there. I know I said to never let PulpMX Fantasy affect your real life but because of this ride, I’m never going to name my dog Ludovic ever.
1st | 1-1-1 | #94 Ken Roczen | Clermont, FL Honda | CRF450R
What a night for Roczen! He was amazing and a little birdie (no, not someone on Twitter) told me once they saw the long start straight they knew that the Honda’s would be great. Well, one out of two were! Roczen’s ability to hit his marks, look ahead, and not ride defensive when Tomac caught him in main one was super gnarly. The other two races, see ya later—he looked like he always does when he’s on and that’s like he’s trail riding. By the way, I heard that a lot of these riders are paid for one race win as if it was a heat race which is something a few OEM’s are doing (of course Roczen got his regular main event bonus for the overall ala a regular SX) but to me, the OEM’s are getting off a bit lucky here. When you win one of the Triple Crown “main” races you should get more than a heat race bonus (all the competition is there!) but less than a main…to get just one heat race bonus when you win all three seems not very cool. Won’t be long before the agents of the sport get these things accounted for a little better, I would bet.
2nd | 2-2-3 | #3 Eli Tomac | Cortez, CO | Kawasaki KX450
I thought Kenny holding Eli off in that first main was a real statement ride for the German. Not many people in the world can hold off an all-out attack from Tomac once he’s caught you but Roczen did. Other than that, Tomac’s starts hurt him for an overall but they weren’t St. Louis or Anaheim 2 bad. Tomac’s in a better spot right now in terms of wins and points than he’s probably ever been on the Kawasaki so everyone there has to be feeling fine at the eight-point deficit he’s got right now.
3rd | 5-3-2 | #21 Jason Anderson | Rio Rancho, NM | Husqvarna FC 450
Quiet night for Anderson and actually, quiet season for Anderson as well. He got his second podium in three races and before the last race was red flagged, he had the lead and more importantly, the overall because ET and KR were buried. He rode well out there but to me, people are talking about Kenny being back, Eli being so fast, Webb’s up and downs early on, Barcia’s win at A1 but it’s very quiet around the #21. He probably likes it this way also.
4th | 8-5-4 | #1 Cooper Webb | Clermont, FL | KTM 450 SX-F
Webb wasn’t good in the whoops at all. So for him to get fourth overall, I think he can count himself lucky and move on to next week. Weird that he’s not that good in them because he’s on a bike that works in the whoops for other guys, he’s the same size as other KTM riders, he’s a SX champion and all that stuff but for right now, his Achilles heel is whoops. I loved his racing with AC, he was so smart with some of his lines out there.
5th | 6-8-7 | #51 Justin Barcia | Greenville, FL | Yamaha YZ450F
I could just call this column “startsversations” because that’s what a race boils down to a lot of the times. Who’s got the speed to rip through the pack from a so-so or bad start? ET? K-Roc? Maybe AC? Definitely Justin Barcia does not. If he gets the start he can go the speed but in Glendale, he didn’t so you have these finishes.
6th | 7-7-9 | #10 Justin Brayton | Charlotte, NC | Honda CRF450R
Brayton passed 12 riders in the three races which I would guess was the most riders passed out of anyone all weekend. Go ahead and look it up, I’m too lazy. Still, the fact that his starts were no good was weird. I asked Roczen why his were so good and JB’s weren’t and all Kenny could tell me was that Justin was too old and has bad reaction times. Makes sense!
7th | 4-14-6 | #27 Malcolm Stewart | Haines City, FL | Honda CRF450R
A part of me thinks that Mookie is really riding a bit conservatively in order to just keep racing. Or maybe the whole “I broke my leg at Glendale last year” thing was in his mind. Don’t get me wrong, he was good (he’s been remarkably consistent this year) but with these whoops, I thought we’d see MOOKIE FEVER. We just got mookie fever though.
8th | 3-6-17 | #9 Adam Cianciarulo | New Smyrna Beach, FL | Kawasaki KX450
AC was looking at a fourth overall until his crash in the whoops late. His battles with Cooper Webb in two out of the three races was pretty cool in a “next gen” type of thing. Sooooo who’s going to point out that AC’s races have been kind of going rougher and rougher since A1? “Stop it Matthes, I’m still on the hype train of fastest practice times in 11 out of 12 sessions and he’s the next great one.” Okay then, I get it.
9th | 11-9-8 | #7 Aaron Plessinger | Hamilton, OH | Yamaha YZ450F
Good start for AP in the second race and actually, in the third one as well. Starts have been something that AP’s needed to work on for most of his 450 career. I don’t get some people on social and in the pits talking about how “bad” Aaron’s been so far. He’s been in the top ten a lot, he’s coming off a bad injury and I’m not sure he’s ever been on the elite level of a Tomac or Roczen…can we give him some more time? I mean, you can literally look at the career of Cooper Webb and understand that it’s too early to say Aaron Plessinger “sucks.”
10th | 12-4-14 | #4 Blake Baggett | Grand Terrace, CA | KTM 450 SX-F
Baggett’s been very fast the last two races and has nothing to show for it. That’s got to suck for him and the team.
11th | 10-16-5 | #37 Martin Davalos | Tallahassee, FL | KTM 450 SX-F
Marty Nation was rewarded this week with that strong fifth place in the last race.
12th | 9-13-10 | #46 Justin Hill | Yoncalla, OR | Honda CRF450R
It’s weird, Hill hasn’t shown that flash he’s kind of known for so far this year but he’s been remarkably consistent every race. Not the way I thought his year would go that’s for sure but he can work on putting these results in and then maybe take advantage of his crazy good skill once he has his base built up.
13th | 16-10-11 | #15 Dean Wilson | Murrieta, CA | Husqvarna FC 450
Wilson wasn’t happy with Vince Friese’s move on him in the first race but I didn’t see it so I can’t judge. But it is Vince Friese soooo…. Anyways, this result doesn’t indicate that Wilson is back to his old form but I think he’s getting there. Much improved practice times and he just looks friskier…if you want to know what happened to him at the Triple Crown, just refer to my Justin Barcia analysis. Or read his post-race comments to Aaron Hansel.
14th | 13-12-12 | #64 Vince Friese | Menifee, CA | Honda CRF450R
With this format we’ve seen Vince get starts (he usually does) and grab a pretty good finish but in Glendale, he didn’t get those top three/five starts that he needed to get inside the top ten. Still, anytime anyone can be consistent in these Triple Crowns, it’s a good thing because that’s not easy. Him and his teammate Hill had some good races.
15th |15-15-13 | #34 Tyler Bowers | Lake Elsinore, CA | Kawasaki KX450
With the big whoops, I thought the Bear would shine a little more but as he told me after the race he’s either the slowest fast guy out there or the fastest slow guy and isn’t sure which of those is a compliment. That made me laugh for sure.
16th | 19-18-15 | #71 Ryan Breece | Athol, ID | Suzuki RM-Z450
Breece gets it done when he needs to in the LCQ’s man. He’s not scared. As far as the Triple Crown races, he seemed to spend most of them right in front of Alex Ray. Considering that HEP Motorsports Suzuki grabbed Ryan right before Anaheim 1—literally announcing it during the pre-A1 press conference—and he’s easily made the most mains out of the three riders on his team (on top of going to Germany to claim his ADAC German Supercross title ON A YAMAHA), I’d say that’s a good pick up, right?
17th | 17-17-18 | #49 Chris Blose | Phoenix, AZ | Honda CRF450R
My theory that Chris Blose is a zombie might not be true because he took a big digger in the whoops and didn’t get up. He got carted off with some serious injuries and will be out for a while. I say give him some fresh brains and he’ll be fine for Oakland.
18th | 22-11-22 | #16 Zach Osborne | Abingdon, VA | Husqvarna FC 450
Whatever could go wrong for Zacho went wrong in Glendale. I’m surprised a piano didn’t fall on him when he left the stadium, actually. Osborne left the stadium after his 63rd crash in the third race, got looked at by the medics, his mechanic fixed his rear brake pedal and then he went back down there when the red flag came out for Blose. Somehow the AMA let him back out there when the rule states once you leave the staging area, you’re officially out of the race. I’m so confused. Don’t worry though, he crashed out of the race he should never have been in also!
19th | 20-20-16 | #61 Alex Ray | Milan, TN | Kawasaki KX450
ARay almost died in the LCQ while leading so that wasn’t good. Other than that, he was kind of in his own race throughout the night. There are five guys in the Glendale 450SX night show who haven’t won a professional race and ARay is one of them so to me, that’s not too shabby.
20th | 18-19-19 | #22 Chad Reed | Cornelius, NC | Honda CRF450R
I don’t want to talk about this.
21st | 14-22-21 | #19 Justin Bogle | Edmond, OK | KTM 450 SX-F
Man! Bogle didn’t need that crash that knocked him out. He had some good practice speed for the first time this year and looked good. So I would bet he’ll be out for a while because he’s had some bad concussions in the past and this can’t help. Motocross is a cruel sport sometimes. [Editor’s note: the team announced Bogle will miss this weekend’s race in Oakland as he is now in the AMA Supercross concussion protocol].
22nd | #67 Jerry Robin | Hamel, MN | Honda CRF450R
Jerry’s first ever 450SX main didn’t go great, he sort of hung out at the back and at times, looked like he did that on purpose even. Still, it’s an accomplishment for anyone to make one of these things and he can say he’s joined that club.
Thanks for reading, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to chat about this race, the Triple Crown format, or anything else.