By The Numbers
Shane McElrath finished 3-2-1 at the 2019 Anaheim 2 Supercross Triple Crown—his one and only win of 2019. On Saturday at the 2020 Arlington Supercross, McElrath finished 3-2-1 but this time his 3-2-1 resulted in second overall on the night, as GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton finished 2-1-2 to take his second career 250SX win. RJ Hampshire took his first Triple Crown race win in the first race of the evening before finishing 1-6-3 for third overall. It was Hampshire’s fourth career supercross podium. This was the fifth time in the eight Triple Crown events that have been competed where three different riders recorded a race win on the same night.
250SX Triple Crown Events with Three Different Race Winners
|Event||Region||First Race||Second Race||Third Race||Overall Winner|
|2018 Atlanta||East Region||Zach Osborne||Martin Davalos||Jeremy Martin||Austin Forkner|
|2018 Minneapolis||East Region||Austin Forkner||Jordon Smith||Jeremy Martin||Jeremy Martin|
|2019 Anaheim 2||West Region||Colt Nichols||Dylan Ferrandis||Shane McElrath||Shane McElrath|
|2019 Houston||West Region||Adam Cianciarulo||Dylan Ferrandis||Colt Nichols||Dylan Ferrandis|
|2020 Arlington||East Region||RJ Hampshire||Chase Sexton||Shane McElrath||Chase Sexton|
Through round nine of 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross.
Joey Crown finished 7-5-10 for seventh overall—his second straight main event and top-ten finish. Jalek Swoll finished 10-12-9 for ninth overall in his first AMA Supercross main event (Swoll missed the main by inches last week in Tampa).
The whoop section, that stood over 200 feet long and included 15 whoops, caused for both bright spots and rough spots for riders throughout the day and night:
Entering 2020, Ken Roczen had recorded only one Triple Crown race win entering this year. However, the German native won the first race of the night—his fourth Triple Crown race win in a row after he swept the Glendale Supercross Triple Crown at the fourth round. Eli Tomac took the second win of the night before he, Roczen, Jason Anderson, and Zach Osborne engaged in a battle in the final race of the night. Anderson was leading the race as Tomac ran in fourth but a typical ET3 charge to the front allowed him into a tie with Anderson for the overall. Anderson eventually made a costly mistake in the whoops and finished fifth, not only giving Tomac sole possession of the overall but allowing Roczen to sneak into second overall as well.
By taking the overall win, it was Tomac’s fourth win of the 2020 championship, his fourth Triple Crown overall win, and the 31st career 450SX win. He’s also the first rider in the 450SX Class to earn back-to-back wins this year. PulpMX’s analytic stud Clinton Fowler pulled up some stats that are both good and bad about ET3 and the first to four wins…Here’s what he found:
Did you know the first rider to 4 wins has won the championship 80% of the time since 2000 (and 79% since 1977). The exceptions since 2000 are Ryan Villopoto in 2010, James Stewart in 2014, and Eli Tomac in both 2017 and 2018. Eli Tomac accounts for 2 of the 9 times that a rider hasn’t won the championship after being the first to 4 wins. Will he break his own streak?
For more stats, read Fowler’s full 2020 Arlington Supercross analytical breakdown.
Tomac (181 points) now has a seven-point lead over Roczen (174 points), and a 26-point lead over Cooper Webb (155 points). After eight rounds of the 2019 championship, Webb had 173 points and a six-point margin over Roczen, a 12-point lead over Marvin Musquin (161), and a 13-point lead over Tomac (160). Tomac has as many points as Anderson did in 2018—the year he went on to win the championship—although Eli’s gap to second place isn’t nearly as extreme: through eight rounds Anderson (181) was +39 on Marvin Musquin (142).
Chad Reed made his 256th main event start and recorded his season-best finish—13th overall after 13-12-16 finishes. Get the 2020 April issue of Racer X Illustrated to read "When It's Time" about racers on their farewell tours.
Quotes From Around The Paddock
Justin Barcia | 4-5-4 for 4th overall in 450SX
“It was strong racing tonight in Dallas. We got a little bit better on the starts, but still needed something there to get us on the podium. The track was not super technical, but took a few guys out of the race. All in all, my race was really good. I made charges and made passes. I felt really strong and stayed in the hunt. My starts are going to keep getting better, I just need to stay consistent and keep trying my hardest. I’m ready for next week for sure.”
Justin Hill | 6-3-8 for 6th overall in 450SX
“There is a lot of good to take away from this. I feel like I was the best guy in the whoops most of the day, which is a huge confidence boost, especially from where I was last year and my struggles in the whoops. The first moto should have been really good. I was in third place, had the pace, was blitzing the whoops, and Anderson cleaned my clock before the finish line, which just screwed my whole night. I got up from that and worked to sixth place from way back. The second one was good; I had a decent start and ran up front to finish in third. In the last one, I threw it away all on my own. They fluffed some loose dirt over a spot that was hard pack and because you came down that straight so fast, you were never not braking. It’s not like I was suddenly on the brakes hard and it tucked; I was on the brakes the whole time and it just went without warning. If I didn’t get stuck under the bike, I could have gotten up quicker and salvaged more. I got up and there weren’t many people behind me, it was so early in the race. Sixth overall, I can’t complain. We are inside the top-10 and are knocking on the door for top-five finishes. Tonight should have been a podium and I’m using that for motivation.”
Said SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda’s team manager Tony Alessi:
“Justin got the ball rolling early on by leading the qualifying times. His speed was around the top-three all day, but he had a crash here and a crash there, so he ended up sixth overall, which is very good.”
Malcolm Stewart | 8-6-9 for 7th overall in 450SX
“The Triple Crown at this race was really gnarly and unfortunately a lot of guys got hurt, so I want to say a prayer for all of those guys. It was one of those races that you just tried to get through. You couldn’t push it too hard on this track. I struggled in practice, but the race was much better for me. I am happy to walk away from this one, to be honest. A lot of people had big crashes. We have some work to do and I find myself in a bubble, but that’s part of racing. I could have been worse, I could have been better, and I was seventh overall tonight. I have my starts down and that makes it easier for me, I can be in the front right away. I need to work on what I can and go from there.”
“Malcolm is still struggling a little bit with some energy loss, but he was solid with a seventh overall. His starts were very good tonight.”
Aaron Plessinger | 9-10-7 for 8th overall in 450SX
“Dallas was another step in the right direction for me. I felt good in practice, was really flowing and riding well. The dirt was a little slick on top, but got rutted and really rough. The whoops broke down quite quickly and we were jumping them by the second or third practice. I liked it though. It had some technical stuff, but overall I’m just happy to be back on soft dirt. I’m looking forward to this week riding. I ended up eighth overall, and that’s my best finish so far this year. Next week we’ll go to Atlanta which is where I got my best finish at last year. Hopefully we can get better starts and run up there and break into the top five.”
Vince Friese | 12-11-10 for 12th overall in 450SX
“The day was okay. It started a little tough. I feel like I am riding okay but then the lap times aren’t there in practice. I didn’t have the speed I wanted in the first two races, I was 12th and 11th. But in the last one, my speed was there and I really came alive, I finished 10th, and that put 11th overall. My teammates went by me and I latched on to them, which upped my pace and that’s something I was happy with. I have either been the slowest fast guy or the fastest slow guy, in that no man’s land. In that last race, I had that top-10 pace, which makes me happy. I just have to be better about making that happen earlier.”
Justin Brayton | 15-21-21 for 21st overall in 450SX
“Man, what a rough night. I had five crashes in one day—that’s more than I’ve had total in the past few years! I had three in practice, and the last one I thought was going to end my night. I caught my foot on the takeoff of the finish-line jump and it sent me down hard. I decided to suit up for the races after being checked out and cleared by the medical staff. In the first race, I got a good start, was running in fifth and feeling good. Unfortunately, with a few minutes to go, I crashed in the whoops. Then in the second race, I crashed again, high-siding in a corner, and that one ended my night. I’m honestly sitting here in disbelief about how it all happened, but I’m also thankful nothing is seriously injured and I’ll be good for Atlanta.”
Said Brayton’s Honda HRC mechanic Brent Duffe:
“There’s not much to say about today other than it was really tough for Justin. It was just one of those off days that continues to spiral from the first practice. I give him huge props though, he’s a tough guy. We were worried and didn’t know if he’d be walking away from his crash in the last qualifying practice, so for him to go out and race at all was impressive. We’re happy to put this one behind us and to know that he’s not seriously hurt. We’ll come back better in Atlanta.”
Jeremy Martin | 5-3-4 for 4th overall in 250SX
“It was a straight struggle for me in Dallas! I fought it all day long with arm pump and being under the weather with the flu. Wasn’t good out of the gate come time for the night show, and with the shorter races in the Triple Crown format, I really had to work hard to make up ground each moto. I was putting in a charge but just didn’t feel quite like myself out there. Not stoked on a fourth overall but could have been worse.”
Garrett Marchbanks | 6-4-5 for 5th overall in 250SX
"I am happy with today’s result. I honestly didn’t feel like myself all day today and struggled in sections of the track. I had tweaked my ankle during practice which really bugged me all night long, so to finish with another top-5, I’ll take it. We will continue to work throughout the week to find an even more comfortable flow so that we are ready to go in Atlanta next weekend.”
Jo Shimoda | 14-10-8 for 10th overall in 250SX
“I was struggling a little bit in practice and timed qualifying. The whoops were tough. I actually crashed one time, and in the other one I didn’t get any clear laps. I ended up 13th in lap times, so I didn’t get a good gate or starts. In the first main I got taken out by someone and I could only get back to 14th. After that, in both of last two main events, I couldn’t get a good first lap. I did my best to come back through, I ended up 10th and eighth in those 10th overall for the day. It was a tough race but I did learn some things doing all of those laps.”
Jordon Smith | 4-20-14 for 13th overall in 250SX
"Today is one of those days you just want to forget about. I had some good battles in the first main event and was excited to improve my position in the last two races to fight for a podium or even an overall win. My starts all night were dialed, but man I felt like I was a magnet out there to everyone else. I kept getting bumped, cleaned out, knocked down, you name it. I did the best I could and am proud to say I never gave up. We will regroup this week as a team and come out swinging in Atlanta next weekend. That is somewhat of a hometown race for me, so it will be awesome to race again in front of my family and friends.”
Brayton had a tough day in Arlington as he suffered several crashes. According to an Instagram post, he was checked out and cleared by the medical crew but he decided to lineup for the night show. But after his last crash in the second race, he called it a night. He said in the post that he’s “very thankful nothing is seriously injured,” and is expected to race in Atlanta, Georgia, this weekend. Below is the full post:
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What a rough night in Dallas! I had five crashes in one day!! That’s more than I’ve had the past few years?♂️. This was my third one in practice and the one that I thought was gonna end my night. Caught my foot on the take off. I decided to suit up for the races after being checked out and cleared by the medical staff. First main I ran fifth and felt pretty good till a few minutes to go, I crashed in the whoops. Second main had another get off and that ended my night. Kinda sitting here in disbelief how it all happened but also very thankful nothing is seriously injured. See y’all in Atlanta?
Cianciarulo suffered a broken collarbone during qualifying after a mistake on the dragon’s back, knocking him out of the night show.
Decotis, who was dealing with a fractured pelvis suffered during the week leading into the Tampa Supercross, suffered a crash on the dragon’s back during qualifying as well and was unable to lineup for the night show. According to the team, he is expected to race this weekend in Atlanta.
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Unfortunately I won’t be racing tonight in Arlington. I was so close to saving this crash but I got hung up on the side of my bike and my momentum took me straight into the face of the triple. I was able to walk off under my own power but I took a hard hit to my head and after a VERY hard decision I’m going to sit out tonight. Bummed for my whole team, I just want to compete. “life can only be understood backwards but we must live it forward.”
Tickle posted on Instagram that he had gotten together with another rider on the first lap of the first race and his “left hand got smashed in between my bars and rear wheel of other rider at contact.” Tickle said in the post he would have an update on his hand on Monday, meanwhile, JGRMX/Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing shared an update:
“Tickle is undergoing treatment to determine if he can return at next weekend's Atlanta round or if he will require time off.
"Broc just had bad luck the first lap of the first main event, when his hand got hit by another rider's wheel,” said team manager Jeremy Albrecht in a team press release. “He was in too much pain to continue racing and walked straight to the Alpinestars Mobile Medical rig to fix him up the best they could. We will have Tickle evaluated first thing with a hand specialist and see what’s required and at that point determine a timeline for his return to racing."
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Tough night in Arlington last night. Struggled a little throughout the day but was excited to go racing for the night show. Got off to a rough start in Main 1 and came through first rhythm, first lap and collided with another rider. My left hand got smashed in between my bars and rear wheel of other rider at contact. I am unsure of full prognosis of my hand, but will have more insight tomorrow and will give you guys an update as I know more. Thank you to all my supporters ?? @jgrmx @yoshimura_rd @suzukicycles @fxrmoto @alpinestarsmx @scottmotosports @hartluckcbd @socalsupertrucks @protaper @pirellimx @fueloffroad @taggerdesigns @wristbraceguy @wes.hunter @jbonejgr @mrrenezapata @jaredkeller96 @deanbaker113 @mikeyg_24 ? @michaelantonovich
Webb crashed in the second Triple Crown race off the dragon’s back as well and he was sent flying into the air off the side of a triple takeoff before slamming hard into the ground. He hit hard and after being attended to by the Alpinestars medical team, was taken to a nearby hospital where his X-rays came back negative. The team announced he will do everything in his power to lineup for the ninth round this weekend.