Salt Lake City 1
By The Numbers
Shane McElrath took his second main event win of the year, his eighth 250SX main event win of his career. McElrath put on a show as the veteran completed a perfect night—qualifying the fastest, holeshotting, leading every lap before winning his heat and then holeshotting and leading every lap of the main event.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac took the 450SX main event win—his sixth of the 2020 championship and 33rd of his career. Through 11 rounds of the 2020 championship, Tomac sits seventh all-time in premier class wins. Tomac’s next win will tie him for sixth all-time with Ryan Dungey (34 career wins).
On Sunday, the 450SX main event saw the top riders complete 29 laps completed—the most ever by a supercross main event.
Quotes From Around The Paddock
Jason Anderson | 4th in 450SX
“My day went pretty decent. I got a bad start in the Main and ended up fourth but all-in-all, I feel like I rode pretty well all day and was able to make some headway as we work our way into the next six rounds here in Salt Lake City.”
Zach Osborne | 5th in 450SX
“It was a positive weekend overall. It was my first race back from injury so it was really good for me to go out there and get comfortable in practice. I feel really comfortable on the dirt here in Salt Lake, which is something that’s not typically my forte but it’s coming around for me. I’m happy with where I’m at fitness-wise and with my bike, so I’m looking forward to the next few races here—onwards and upwards.”
Justin Brayton | 9 in 450SX
“It was a pretty good day. It felt so good to be back with the guys and the crew at the races and to get behind the gate again. Overall, I'm fairly happy with the day. The heat race was good; I got third there. I had a solid first half in the main and ran second for a long time. To be quite honest, I just pumped up about halfway in and kind of went backwards. Then I had a really big moment where I almost went down and that allowed a guy to get by me and some other guys to close the gap. I’m happy I didn't hit the ground on that one, that's for sure, and happy with a solid top-10 result. We’ve just got to keep this ball rolling, especially with the good starts that we got all day.”
Dean Wilson | 10th in 450SX
“I’m not super pumped with how the day went but definitely taking a few positives from it including pole position in the first qualifier,” Wilson said. “I rode a bit tight in all my races and made some little mistakes that cost me. I didn’t get a great start in the Main so I was in the middle of the chaos but I’m happy to get that one out of the way, bring home 10th and hopefully get better from here on out.”
Adam Cianciarulo | 22nd in 450SX
"Man, I am so frustrated with how today ended up. I cannot tell you how stoked I was to be back racing my KX450 with my whole Monster Energy Kawasaki crew. I felt good all day, rode solid in my heat race and got a great jump in the main event. I just made a small mistake that cost me big time. I’m pretty sore from getting ran over, but we’re going to let the body rest and take all the necessary steps so we are ready for Wednesday.”
Jeremy Martin | 4th in 250SX
“Man it sure did feel good to be back at the races racing even though we still had to wear masks! Great start in the main to put myself in a great position to be in the hunt for the win but my arms blew up after lap three. I went into survival mode to finish fourth.”
Jalek Swoll | 7th in 250SX
“This was the best finish for me and that was the goal—to come back better than I was before the break in racing. Riding-wise I actually felt good, I just missed a couple things on the track that cost me some time but if I polish those things up I’d be right up there with those guys.”
Colt Nichols | 15th in 250SX
“It was honestly a really fun day and I was just really happy to be at the races again, even with the results. We had some tough luck in the main with a crash and a lengthy mechanics area stop, but in the end I just have to get off the gate better. All in all, I’m really happy to be back racing and can’t wait to try again on Wednesday.”
Jo Shimoda | 21st in 250SX
“Yeah, all day I had good starts and felt loose on the bike, just took a little time on one section. Once I had that down I felt pretty good. I finished fourth in the heat race but DNFed the main event because of broken front brake.”
Gif Of The Weekend
Salt Lake City 2
By The Numbers
After Colt Nichols took the holeshot and led the first six laps of the race, his Monster Energy/Star Racing Yamaha teammate overtook the lead and went on to take the checkered flag. McElrath won his third main event of the 2020 championship, the ninth win of his career. The win also means McElrath has won the last four 250SX main events competed in Rice-Eccles Stadium as he won the 2017 and 2018 events and has now won the first two SLC rounds here in 2020. Can he keep the streak alive through the next race day? We’ll only have to wait a few more days to find out!
GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton finished fourth—his worst finish of the year. Through the first five rounds, Sexton had recorded finishes of 2-1-1-2-2 respectively, and was the only rider in the 250SX East Region to be on the podium at each race. Sexton and McElrath are now tied in points for the 250SX East Region points lead at 140 points apiece. For the second time this year, both riders will sport red backgrounds at the Salt Lake City 3 Supercross on Sunday.
In the first 450SX heat race, SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda’s Malcolm Stewart earned his first heat race win. On a night where he was gelling well with the track, Stewart got tangled up and crashed coming out of the first turn in the main event and had to work his way back from 21st place. He managed a seventh place finish.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne earned the holeshot in the 450SX main event and led the first 20 laps of the race until Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb took over the lead. Osborne would battle with Webb and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac before eventually landing in third. Webb would take his second win of the 2020 championship and Tomac claimed the runner-up position. The win was Webb’s ninth premier class main event win. At the completion of the main event, Tomac gained five points on Roczen in the championship standings, moving the gap from him (275) to Roczen (262) to 13 points.
Quotes From Around The Paddock
Jason Anderson | 4th in 450SX
“My day was not bad. I ended up second in practice and in the heat race I had a decent little battle and ended up third. In the Main Event, I got a good start and got tangled in the first corner. I came up to third for a minute and then fell back to fourth and just kind of rode around in fourth.”
Ken Roczen | 5th in 450SX
“I’m feeling good on the bike and had a good heat race, but obviously I’m having issues that prevent me from keeping it going. I’m trying to figure it out and do my best to come back stronger. This thing isn’t over yet, but obviously fifth place is not where we want to be. The main goal is to try to be better, and especially get a better start; I took a chance going to the very inside on the start gate and that didn’t work out. I’m going to rest and recover, and I look forward to trying our best in the next race.”
Malcolm Stewart | 7th in 450SX
“I said it was time for me to get out there and put it on the edge and sure enough, I won my first heat race. That was super cool. I’ve been putting in so much effort with Gareth Swanepoel, the whole MCR team, my mechanic Jason, and we’re all pumped on that. It was time. For me to finally get that is a weight off of my shoulders. In the main event I had a decent start, not too bad, but [Jason] Anderson got caught with a guy and then I tangled with him and fell. I almost had a pretty big one in the middle of the race, but I kept charging and came from basically dead last to seventh place. I’m happy with the way I rode and obviously, on paper, it doesn’t show, but I think that heat race unleashed some stuff and I have to keep the ball rolling to stay in it.”
Justin Barcia | 8th in 450sx
“We definitely had better track conditions today, the traction was much better, but the whoops were very difficult. We made changes throughout the day searching for that happy setting. I got off to a pretty good start in the main event and was running well, but unfortunately got to the whoops and just couldn’t get through them all night. I’m proud of the team for making great changes today and it was a lot of hard work on everyone’s part. We’re just going to keep working and won’t be happy until we’re up front.”
Justin Brayton | 9th in 450SX
“So another ninth place, but it was a totally different type of ninth place than on Sunday, when I started second and kind of made some mistakes and went back. This time I got a really bad start and just got pinched off. I was in the second gate from the inside, which was kind of a gamble, but I chose it and it kind of bit me. I think I might’ve been last around the first turn and came back to ninth, so I felt good about the ride. I had really good lap times, especially the last 10 to 15 laps, so I just need to get a better start and I think we’ll be good to go here in four days.”
Said Honda HRC team manager, Erik Kehoe:
“Today was about damage control. Early in the day things were good; practice went well and Ken’s heat race went well. We know that starts are so important, and in that main event, both Ken and Justin were too far to the inside, got shut off and were pretty far back. Ken had to put in a really hard effort to battle back up into position, and he struggled to maintain that same effort throughout the race. We need to work on starts and come back strong for the next event.”
Aaron Plessinger | 12th in 450sx
“I struggled a lot throughout the day with setup. I didn’t qualify too well in the first session, I was just sliding around a lot and not really hitting the whoops like I wanted to. We got better in the second qualifying. I felt a lot better in that one and was flowing a little bit, but in the heat race I got off to a bad start and fought my way to eighth. In the main event, I got an even worse start. I was messing around with some dudes in the back and couldn’t really get going until the halfway mark and worked my way up to 12th from 18th.
“It’s not where we want to be. We’re going to have to make some adjustments and get better starts and finish where we need to. I’ve got a good feeling about these next two rounds. I’m looking forward to it.”
Said Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing team manager Jim Perry:
“It was another challenging night for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team. We had our hands full all day, both guys struggled with the track conditions. They were much better than they were on Sunday, there was much more moisture in the track. However there was a gnarly set of whoops and that was our Achilles Heel. We’ll regroup and come back for the third event Sunday afternoon in Salt Lake City.”
Adam Cianciarulo | DNR—Injured
"Unfortunately, I had to make the tough decision of sitting this one out. I tried to ride the first couple practices but it’s just not in the cards for me today. It’s very frustrating and if I could ride I would. I’ve got to make the smart call now to rest and be ready for next Sunday because we have a lot of good times ahead.”
Shane McElrath | 1st in 250SX
“Man it was a great day for the team! It was a tough race. The track crew built a technical track and it was physically demanding, but I’m super excited and thankful to do my best out there and tonight that was the top step. It’s cool to get back-to-back wins and I’m really excited about it, but right now my focus is on Sunday.”
Colt Nichols | 2nd in 250SX
“It was a really great night for the team, exactly what we needed to do. I wish I could’ve held the lead a little longer, but it was awesome to lead laps and be back on the podium after such a long break from racing. I had a blast during the night program. It felt like another day at the test track with Shane in that Main Event. So that made it really fun. I’m ready to go again Sunday.”
Said Monster Energy/Star Racing Yamaha team manager Wil Hahn:
“It was an unreal night for us, getting the double podium and Shane moving up to tie the points lead in the East. Both guys are riding awesome and did exactly what they needed. I couldn’t be more proud of the team.”
Garrett Marchbanks | 5th in 250SX
“My start in the main didn’t do me any favors trying to get up to the front. I was way back and had to manage to get through the pack. I’m thankful that we were able to get through pretty quickly, but the pace at the front is really high and if you’re not there at the start, it’s hard to close the gap. Everything else feels great, I just need to get up there so I can challenge those guys from the start. We get another try in a few days (on Sunday).”
As he mentioned above, Cianciarulo tried to take to the track for qualifying on Wednesday after the crash he suffered on Sunday that left him banged up but the 450SX rookie was unable to bare the pain through qualifying, let alone the remainder of the evening. He posted the following on Instagram after he decided he would sit out Wednesday’s race:
View this post on Instagram
Unfortunately I’m out tonight. Tried to ride the first couple practices but it’s just not in the cards. Trust me, if I could race—I would. It’s very frustrating but it is what it is. Gotta make the smart call now because we have a lot of good times ahead! I’ll keep you guys in the loop.
He told our Steve Matthes that he will be giving it another go on Sunday for round 13 of the championship.
Lopes had a big getoff in the first 250SX heat where he cased the standard supercross triple and then clipped a Tuff Block while taking off for the next jump, causing him to eject from his Yamaha. Lopes landed hard on his right shoulder and immediately started favoring the shoulder, not going for his bike.
On Thursday morning, the ClubMX team announced on Instagram that Lopes had suffered a dislocated shoulder but “the medic crew did a great job and put it back in right away on the track.” Lopes did not return to the gate for the remainder of the night but also said on his personal Instagram on Thursday morning: “popped out shoulder but I’m all good.”