Ricky Carmichael never won the opening round of Monster Energy AMA Supercross. Ryan Dungey didn’t either. “My mentality was the long play, the championship,” says Dungey. “All of the decisions you make go back to that.”
That could be the reason why the riders in it to the end, the riders that end up winning the title, don’t shine through the early season. The most recent time the winner of round one took the title was in 2012, with Ryan Villopoto. Also, RV’s 2012 Anaheim 1 win marks the last time the defending Monster Energy Supercross Champion won the opener.
Over the last decade, the opener has been crazy, as has round two. Let’s have a look.
Round 1: 1. Davi Millsaps 2. Trey Canard 3. Ryan Dungey (Champion, Villopoto, 16th)
Round 2: 1. Justin Barcia 2. Ryan Villopoto 3. Davi Millsaps
Ryan Villopoto was the defending champ (again) and crashed several times at round one. He finished 16th. Meanwhile Davi Millsaps was off to the races with a magical season and led the points early.
Round 1: 1. Ken Roczen 2. Ryan Dungey 3. Chad Reed (Champion, Villopoto, 4th)
Round 2: 1. Ryan Villopoto 2. Justin Brayton 3. Ryan Dungey
Ken Roczen wins the opener! Have you heard that before? Villopoto is the defending champion (again) and quickly rebounded to win round two.
Round 1: 1. Ken Roczen 2. Jason Anderson 3. Trey Canard (Champion, Ryan Dungey, 4th)
Round 2: 1. Eli Tomac 2. Ken Roczen 3. Ryan Dungey
First two rounds didn’t tell the story. Dungey won the title but didn’t even win a race until round five.
Round 1: 1. Jason Anderson 2. Ryan Dungey 3. Cole Seely (Dungey 2nd)
Round 2: 1. Ryan Dungey 2. Chad Reed 3. Cole Seely
Dungey’s 2016 title run was underrated dominant. He won four of the first six races and won the title over Ken Roczen by 60 points. By round two it looked pretty obvious he had this one dialed.
Round 1: 1. Ken Roczen 2. Ryan Dungey 3. Marvin Musquin (Dungey 2nd)
Round 2: 1. Ken Roczen 2. Ryan Dungey 3. Marvin Musquin
You all know the story here. Roczen won the first two rounds (dominated round one, outdueled Dungey in a great battle at round two) before suffering a huge crash at round three. Again, the first two rounds don’t always tell the story. Eli Tomac was virtually invisible early but won round four and quickly went on a huge run to nearly snatch the title.
Round 1: 1. Marvin Musquin 2. Jason Anderson 3. Justin Barcia (Anderson 2nd)
Round 2: 1. Jason Anderson 2. Ken Roczen 3. Justin Barcia
The first two rounds actually did tell the story here. Anderson went 2-1 to take the points lead, and he would never give it up.
Round 1: 1. Justin Barcia 2. Ken Roczen 3. Eli Tomac (Cooper Webb 5th)
Round 2: 1. Blake Baggett 2. Jason Anderson 3. Ken Roczen
Cooper Webb goes 5-10 in the first two rounds. Then he wins round three and completely changes everything.
Round 1: 1. Justin Barcia 2. Adam Cianciarulo 3. Cooper Webb (Eli Tomac 7th)
Round 2: 1. Ken Roczen 2. Justin Barcia 3. Jason Anderson
First two rounds don’t tell the story: Eli Tomac goes 7-4 at the first two races, then wins round three and goes on to take the ‘ship.
Round 1: 1. Justin Barcia 2. Ken Roczen 3. Marvin Musquin (Cooper Webb 9th)
Round 2: 1. Eli Tomac 2. Dylan Ferrandis 3. Justin Brayton
First two rounds don’t tell the story: Cooper Webb goes 9-4 in the first two races, then wins round three and goes on to take the ‘ship.
Round 1: 1. Ken Roczen 2. Cooper Webb 3. Justin Barcia
Round 2: 1. Jason Anderson 2. Aaron Plessinger 3. Justin Barcia
Do the first two rounds of 2022 tell us what’s to come, or is someone else about to go on a run?
Main image: Barcia's GasGas MC 450F from the 2021 Houston 2 Supercross (photo by Align media)