A handful of riders made their supercross debuts. Here’s how their respective nights went:
Seth Hammaker | 6th in the main event
Nate Thrasher | 11th in the main event
Dilan Schwartz | 17th in the main event
Jarrett Frye | 19th in the main event.
Carson Mumford | DNQ for main event
Ty Masterpool | DNQ for main event
Jake Masterpool | DNQ for main event
Dominique Thury | DNQ for main event
The following riders earned a career best at the opening round of the 250SX West Region:
In the first 250SX West Region main event of the season, Justin Cooper led all 19 laps to earn his second career 250SX main event win. Cooper’s win was his second straight season-opening win, as he won the 2020 Anaheim 1 Supercross. Cooper made his supercross debut in 2018 but he only competed in one main event that year. However, in his 20 total career main event starts (including the opening round of 2021), Cooper has earned 12 podiums.
Although it was tough to see on the broadcast, Dylan Ferrandis had to pull into the pits on the fifth lap of the 450SX main event (he was running in seventh at the time). His lap time on the fourth lap was a 50.495, and then on the fifth lap (when he had the issue and pitted) his lap time was a 1:28.933, as he dropped to dead last. He then pulled out of the pits just ahead of race leader Adam Cianciarulo, as Ferrandis was only a couple of jumps from getting lapped. Ferrandis ended up charging throughout the entire race. Although he finished 45.187 back of race winner Cooper Webb, Ferrandis finished the race 11th. Check out this screengrab from the highlights below, as Ferrandis is flashing in the corner of the screen just ahead of the AC-Webb battle. Props to the #14 for that comeback ride.
Mad Max’s 450SX Debut
After a back injury kept him out of the first seven rounds of the championship, Max Anstie made his 450SX debut, finishing 18th. Anstie raced in the 250SX West Region back in in 2010, 2012, and 2013, but when he lined up for the Orlando 2 Supercross, it was his first supercross race in over eight years, as his last race was the Anaheim 3 Supercross on February 2, 2013.
Quotes From Around the Paddock
Ken Roczen | 4th in 450SX
“Orlando 2 was a good night for us, even though it may not look like it on paper. I felt really good in the heat race, getting the holeshot and first gate pick in the main event. The 250 riders were racing, and as soon as they moved the Tuff Blocks, I noticed that my rut was actually very rough and had a big kicker in it. As the gate dropped, I fed my clutch and my front wheel just hit that kicker dead on and my front popped up and really messed me up. I went around the first turn in 22nd, and by the first segment I clocked in at 17th position. I really had to do some work, and then I got behind [Eli] Tomac and [Justin] Barcia. I definitely had more speed, but I just couldn't quite make the pass happen right away. Once I got by Tomac, I tried to reel in Barcia but just didn't have enough time, so ended up getting fourth. I felt like I was riding really well, even though I always had someone in front of me. Ideally, if I could’ve made a couple of passes to have a clear lap, I could’ve really put in some good time, but that just wasn't in the cards tonight. We did some damage control and came in fourth and I'm really looking forward to Daytona. I've always wanted to win that round, so I'm going to put all my focus on that.”
Said Honda HRC team manager Erik Kehoe:
“Ken worked hard all day to get comfortable on the tough, hard-packed track conditions. After a solid heat-race win, things were set for a good start position in the main event. Unfortunately, a bad rut after the gate caused Ken to wheelie and he found himself finishing the first lap mid-pack. Ken put his head down and battled through the pack, ultimately ending up with a solid fourth-place finish and earning valuable championship points. The team is looking forward to a quick off weekend break to get prepared for the Daytona Supercross.”
Jason Anderson | 5th in 450SX
“My night was a lot better. I had a good practice and ended up P1, had a good battle in the heat race and got first in that. In the main event, I kind of had a bad start and worked my way up to fifth. I’m getting better and feeling better, so hopefully we’ll have an even better weekend in Daytona.”
Eli Tomac | 6th in 450SX
"Today was just not my day. The track conditions were rough at the start, but I had no issues finding traction and qualified in fifth aboard my KX450. In my heat race, I got a terrible jump out of the gate and this track was extremely difficult to pass on, I had to settle for seventh going into the main event. In the main event, I had a decent start and was able to get into a good position inside the top-5 where I had a solid three-way battle going with (Justin) Barcia and Ken (Roczen). I fought as hard as I could tonight, but it was only good enough for sixth place. We have the next weekend off from racing, so we will regroup and come out swinging at my favorite place to race, Daytona.”
Malcolm Stewart | 7th in 450SX
“We struggled in practice and made a few changes and got the bike really good for the heat race. The heat race was great, but I didn’t get the best start. My starts have been struggling a little bit all year long. Even in the main event, I didn’t get the best of starts, but I still made some passes on the first lap and put myself in a great position. Then I had a couple of sketchy moments on the track. I landed on a hay bale. I tried to do a quad and landed on a hay bale again. You know how people say cats got nine lives? I think I used every bit of those nine lives out there. It’s just one of those deals when the track goes away, and there are potholes, and the whoops are kind of sketchy. It turns into more about survival mode out there.
“We ended Orlando 2 in seventh. The way practice went, we turned this whole day all the way around. Hats off to my guys. They have been busting their tails all year long, the whole team. I’m looking forward to the week off. We’re going to do some more testing and start swinging for Daytona. That’s another hometown race for me, so I’m excited for that—three hometown races. Let’s just keep the ball rolling.”
Zach Osborne | 8th in 450SX
“It was a little bit of a tough night for me. I kind of tweaked my back in the last practice and I really struggled with it tonight. I had a mediocre start and an eighth-place finish, which is not really anything to write home about but I’ll get it sorted and be ready for Daytona.”
Aaron Plessinger | 9th in 450SX
“It was a so-so day. I started out not feeling comfortable in qualifying. We made some changes, and then we decided to go back to what I ran here last weekend. That was better in the heat race. I got a really good start and was up there in fourth and then passed (Broc) Tickle for third. I think I messed up on my gate selection and didn’t pick the right one, and did not get a great start in the main. I put my head down and tried to do what I did last weekend but only came back to ninth.
“The track was like glass out there, like wet glass. I went around one corner, and I barely even leaned over, and my back end almost spun around all the way on me. It was so hard-packed and so rough. The whoops were so edgy and slick and blue grooved. It was crazy. It was worse than the test tracks. So ninth on the night, I can’t be too mad, being that this class is as stacked as it is. It’s not where I want to be, though. I want to be up front and battling for that top spot, the top three spots at least. I know we can get there. Last year we had a pretty good race in Daytona, so I’m going to get back on my horse and ride on.”
Justin Bogle | 10th in 450SX
“It feels good to get this top ten after the start I had to the season. I’ve recently changed up a few things in my program and tonight shows it was a move in the right direction. I believe in the process and will be putting in the time during the break to be ready to fight at Daytona in two weeks for another top ten.”
Dylan Ferrandis | 11th in 450SX
“It was a tough two races in Orlando. I am not happy, but I gave everything I had to come back after hitting the Tuff Block and losing a lot of time in the race. I’m happy to have the weekend off to do more work and get ready for Daytona.”
Said Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 450 team manager Jeremy Coker:
“Unfortunately, our results at the end of the night did not show how well our day went. It started off great with Dylan P1 in practice and qualifying third overall. We made huge improvements, but our starts still aren’t quite there in the main event. We’ve got to get better. It was a bummer Dylan had bent his shifter on one of the Tuff Blocks. When he got back on track, he was in front of the leaders and was consistently faster to pull away from them. So we know we can do it. We’ve just got to get better starts.”
Dean Wilson | 12th in 450SX
“In the main event, I was all over 10th and I got a little bit traumatized from the blue flags and I thought the guy behind me was the leader so I let him by, which put me back to 12th. It’s disappointing but I’m looking forward to these next couple weeks to really heal up and get my body healthy. It’s tough to try and race injured but we’ll be back at Daytona.”
Broc Tickle | 13th in 450SX
"It was a lot better today. Getting the holeshot in the heat race was great, and even though I got caught off-guard by a last-lap pass, it was a big step in the right direction to run in that group. It wasn't the best finish in the main event, but there are things I can take as positives as we regroup during the break. We've been close, so it's time to put things together.”
Shane McElrath | 14th in 450SX
"I made a lot of progress with the team and am super excited about that. The track was the complete opposite of the week before, so that caused some issues as I tried to figure the bike's setup out. We made great changes and adapted to the conditions. I'm excited for a weekend off so that I can get some solid training days in and be back at the races soon."
Vince Friese | 15th in 450SX
"It wasn't the best night for me, but it wasn't the worst. I had a decent start in the main event but got pushed around and never found a flow. I'll take this time off to regroup and get in a better position for this next portion of the series."
Joey Savatgy | 16th in 450SX
“While tonight's result doesn’t show it, I was riding well out there tonight. The main thing is I head into the break healthy. I feel good on the bike and progressing forward, so we will regroup during this break and come back ready in two weeks for Daytona.”
Max Anstie | 18th in 450SX
"It was nice to be under the lights racing my first ever 450SX event! It was a dream to ride into the stadium with the best supercross riders in the world. I came into this race without much preparation time so to leave with some points on the board and laps under my belt was all I could ask for. The team and I will get to work and make progress and I’m looking forward to Daytona in two weeks!"
Said Twisted Tea/HEP Motorsports Suzuki team manager Dustin Pipes:
“I am very proud of Max; he hit marks throughout the day and there is a lot to build on after his first-ever 450 Supercross. With this only being his fourth time on the bike after injury, we treated this race as a warm-up to Daytona – only taking the positives. He rode a complete race and mixed it up with many of the established racers. I look for Max to continue to grow throughout the remaining rounds."
Benny Bloss | 19th in 450SX
"I had a much better weekend going at Orlando 2, thanks to my qualifying times. I felt like I was riding well in the Main Event and got through the traffic in the beginning laps better than I have at the other races. It was a struggle after that, but we made a lot of noticeable improvements through the time in Florida, and it's been great to work with the team."
Adam Cianciarulo | 21st in 450SX
“Well, today certainly didn’t go the way we would have liked it too. We had some great momentum all day long. I qualified in sixth, finished second in the heat, and in the main event, I got such a great jump out the gate on my KX450 and was able to just lead some solid laps. Once Cooper (Webb) got by me, I was able to see some lines where he was a touch quicker than me and felt like he wasn’t getting away from me, but as I began to look for lines to try and make a pass back, a lapper threw off my whoop section and I miscalculated my jump into the whoops that resulted in me going down. It was not the way I wanted to end the night, but I can’t thank the Monster Energy Kawasaki team enough for their support on the good days and the bad days.”
Brandon Hartranft | DNQ for main event
"Orlando 2 was okay. The track was tough all day. I’m slowly getting back to where I was. In my heat race I didn’t ride well until halfway. In the LCQ I got the holeshot, which was great, but made a few mistakes on the first lap. I got right behind Wilson and tried to follow him, but made a mistake in the whoops and got passed out of the transfer spot. I'm going to take the positives from this weekend and go back to work for these next two weeks before Daytona."
“Brandon continues to improve, but the class is very tough right now. I expect him to bounce back in Daytona.”
Jalek Swoll | 4th in 250SX
“It was a pretty decent night. The heat race was a little hectic and I got shuffled back a bit and finished sixth. That didn’t set me up for a very good gate pick in the main event but I made the best of it. I felt like toward the end of the moto I started coming around but by that point it was kind of too late. I’m a little disappointed but we’ll be back next weekend.”
Hunter Lawrence | 5th in 250SX
“My Supercross season debut was pretty good; I'm pretty happy with it. We checked off a lot of the goals we had set during the preseason, with the limited time we had coming back from my shoulder recovery. That held me back a little bit to be honest. The strength was a big issue, but cardio and fitness have been great and I’m feeling really good; I need to keep building strength. We just finished the sixth week on the bike, so I can't complain. My starts were good until a restart in the main event. I put in some good, hard laps and was able to charge all the way back up to fifth from a pretty bad start. I'm content with the night. I got a solid one on the board and I’m looking forward to gaining more strength in my shoulder and coming back swinging at Daytona in two weeks. Massive shout-out to the team and all the fans supporting.”
“Hunter had a solid start to the 250SX West series, meeting his goal to be top-five. He continues to get stronger after his off-season shoulder repair and will continue to build his strength as the series continues.”
Seth Hammaker | 6th in 250SX
“I can’t say I wasn’t nervous with it being my first supercross race, but I felt like I handled it well. I felt good all day and qualified second which I was happy about. It was nice to be able to get the holeshot and lead some laps in my heat race, where I got second. The main event was wild and I already had to do my first restart. I got a decent start in the main and then got taken out on Lap four. I got up and never gave up to get back up to sixth. Not bad for a fall and working my way up. Definitely something to build off of.”
Jace Owen | 10th in 250SX
“It was good to be back at the track. I got some great starts and being up front in this class makes a huge difference. There were certainly some points in the night where I struggled with the track but I’ve got a lot in the tank which is great for me. I can already see the improvements and can’t wait to get back out there.”
Nate Thrasher | 11th in 250SX
“It was good first supercross. We had some good qualifying times and came out swinging with a good start in the heat race. I almost had the holeshot but got tangled up and went down there in the first turn. So I had to go through the LCQ and just rode smart to put it in the main. Then we just clicked away laps. I had really good endurance and got better every lap. That’s the goal. We ended up 11th, so that’s not bad for a rough night. We’ll just keep getting better every weekend.”
Joey Crown | 13th in 250SX
“Not my best work but all things considered, I’m happy to be back home and ready to work on some things. I know I can get better starts so we’ll get that figured out first. I found myself being really tight and I think I was trying too hard. I just need to relax and have more fun and that’s when I do my best work. It’s exciting to be back at the races and I’m happy that we are going to Daytona next, it’s always one of my favorite places.”
Dilan Schwartz | 17th in 250SX
"Orlando definitely was a tough day. It didn’t really go the way we planned. I was making rookie mistakes all day, which cost me to miss out on qualifying straight from the heat so I had to go to the LCQ. That race was pretty hectic. In the main I was running in fifth place and unfortunately the race got red flagged. On the restart, I didn’t get the greatest start and then ended up tangling with another rider and going down. I'm happy to come away healthy and I am looking forward to improving at the upcoming rounds."
Note: Check out Schwartz’s move in the 250SX LCQ to take the final transfer spot lower in this post.
Stilez Robertson | 18th in 250SX
“We had a smooth start to the day with seventh in qualifying and fourth in the heat race. In the main, I got a decent start about 10th through the first jump but Jeremy Martin rolled and I thought he was going to jump and I ended up landing on him. I crashed and bent my bike up but I still gave it a go in the main and just tried to salvage what we could, so not too bad, thanks to the team.”
Jarrett Frye | 19th in 250SX
“My first supercross race didn’t really go to plan. I made it in the main but kind of struggled all day to find a flow with the track being so hard-packed. Then in the main, somewhere a little over halfway, I made a mistake in the whoops, went down, and got some stuff tangled in my wheel that cost me the race. It was a tough day, but we’re going to go back to work and come back at Daytona.”
Said Monster Energy/Star Yamaha Racing team manager Wil Hahn:
“Jarrett was up there for a while. He just made a mistake and got something caught in the rear wheel and was unable to finish. We’ll just keep fighting.”
Jordon Smith | 20th in 250SX
“The end result wasn’t what I was looking to accomplish in this first round, but thankfully I’m okay and just a little banged up. The whole day was going great and I just lost some of the needed strength for the whoops. I have a lot of positives to build on and I’m thankful I was able to walk away okay.”
Sean Cantrell | DNQ for main event, injured in heat race crash
"I went into round one not really knowing what to expect, but I just knew I was comfortable on the bike, which is the biggest thing. In the two qualifying sessions I felt good on the bike, I felt that the speed was there, I just had trouble putting together a whole lap. I was actually shaking the cobwebs off after not being in the stadium for about two years. Once I got behind the gate I knew I was back at home. I knew that I was meant to be there and all the work I put in was about to pay off. In the first corner of my heat I got pushed wide by another rider and a lot of guys snuck around the inside. After that I made some pretty good passes and got into qualifying position. The white flag came out and then I made just the slightest mistake in the whoops and it bit me. I left Orlando with a broken collarbone, hopefully we will get it plated and make it to one of the Arlington rounds."
Dominique Thury | DNQ for main event
“I was pretty disappointed not making the night show. I was prepared and I felt good leading both of my practice sessions. With the exception of the last three laps of the heat race I would have made the night show. It was my first time racing in the US, first time on the new bike, first time seeing all of the people I have only seen on TV. I’m not making excuses, it was just a lot to take in on one weekend. I appreciate all of the support from my teammates and Brandon (Haas) and I will be ready for the Daytona race.”