Photo by: Octopi

The 2018 Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship series, kicked off the new season at Angel Stadium for round 1 of the 450SX Championship and the first round of the 250SX Western Regional Championship–the Anaheim 1 SX.

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In the 450SX main event, Monster Energy / Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac took off early building a gap the field, but one small mental hiccup through a rhythm section threw away 26 points and handed the lion’s share of points to two of his biggest threats in 2018, Red Bull / KTM’s Marvin Musquin–who recorded win number one of ’18–and Rockstar Energy / Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson. Musquin and Anderson were joined on the 450SX podium by Monster Energy / Knich / Yamaha’s Justin Barcia.

Musquin lit up A1 in more ways than 1. Photo by: Simon Cudby

In the battle for the fastest lap in the 450SX class, Eli Tomac (52.575) was on another level. Tomac used his unmatched raw speed to win the lap time battle and help him build a healthy gap early in the race, but Musquin (53.156) eventually won the war with the third fastest lap time and his unwavering consistency. Anderson clocked the third overall fastest lap time (53.340) and the #21’s average lap time (54.184) was literally just a fraction of a tick off of Musquin (54.117) in the battle for fastest average lap time.

The second fastest lap time at round 1 came from the surprise rider of round one, Justin Barcia (53.018). Justin showed speed that we haven’t seen from him since his Rookie 450SX year on the Honda, and he used that speed to record his first podium in as many years. While BamBam’s single lap time had both Anderson and Musquin covered, their race consistency pushed him back to third. Unlike the last few years, though, Barcia regrouped, made a late race run at Anderson and kept Team HRC’s Ken Roczen–who finished 4th and had the 6th fastest lap–behind him.

Justin Barcia had an aggression at the opener that we thought we may not not ever see again. Photo by: Octopi

450SX Main Event Lap Time Graph. Click the riders name in the graph to add and remove them from the graph.

Top 20 450SX Times Top 20 250SX Times
1. E. Tomac – 0:52.575
2. J. Barcia – 0:53.018
3. M. Musquin – 0:53.156
4. J. Anderson – 0:53.340
5. W. Peick – 0:53.632
6. K. Roczen – 0:53.676
7. C. Seely – 0:53.758
8. B. Baggett – 0:53.920
9. C. Webb – 0:54.324
10. B. Tickle – 0:54.330
11. J. Martin – 0:54.419
12. J. Brayton – 0:54.489
13. J. Grant – 0:54.599
14. V. Friese – 0:54.994
15. T. Bowers – 0:55.336
16. B. Lamay – 0:55.843
17. A. Ray – 0:55.848
18. D. Tedder – 0:56.053
19. C. Reed – 0:56.067
20. K. Cunningham – 0:56.116
1. S. Mcelrath – 0:53.547
2. A. Plessinger – 0:53.681
3. A. Cianciarulo – 0:53.973
4. M. Oldenburg – 0:54.043
5. J. Savatgy – 0:54.100
6. C. Craig – 0:54.478
7. B. Taft – 0:54.506
8. J. Hill – 0:54.599
9. C. Sexton – 0:54.639
10. A. Martin – 0:54.701
11. J. Cooper – 0:54.985
12. K. Chisholm – 0:55.472
13. H. Mellross – 0:55.693
14. J. Hoeft – 0:55.736
15. M. Harrison – 0:55.936
16. D. Alix – 0:56.075
17. R. Breece – 0:56.889
18. J. Ramos – 0:57.097
19. J. Starling – 0:57.113
20. K. Auberson – 0:57.247

Full 2018 Anaheim 1 SX results here>>>

250SX A1 podium, Shane McElrath (center), Aaron Plessinger (left) and Adam Cianciarulo (right). Photo by: Simon Cudby

In the first 250SX Western Regional Supercross Championship main event of the year, Troy Lee Designs / KTM’s Shane McElrath yanked the start and led every lap of the main. The arguably bigger names in the class like Star Racing / Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger (finished 2nd), Monster Energy / Pro Circuit / Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo (finished 3rd), Monster Energy / Pro Circuit / Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy (finished 4th) and GEICO / Honda’s Christian Craig (finished 5th) could do nothing about the #28’s early race sprint speed and were left racing for second. It was simply a masterclass performance by the #28.

The back side of Shane McElrath was the only side riders saw on Saturday night. Photo by: Simon Cudby

The race for the fastest 250SX lap time of the night was also won by McElrath (53.547). Plessinger (53.681) and Cianciarulo (53.973) were not far off McElrath in lap times, but Shane made a clear point: if you don’t get a start in 2018. Plessinger (54.624) and McElrath’s (54.626) fastest average lap time battle tells the story of how close the top guys are and how important starts will be with the depth of field in 2018. Plessinger had the fastest average lap time of the main, yet still crossed the line 2.5 seconds behind the KTM rider. The third fastest lap (53.973) and the third fastest average lap time (54.678) both were set by the third place finisher, Cianciarulo.

The fourth and fifth fastest single 250SX lap times were clocked by Star Racing / Yamaha’s Mitchel Oldenburg (54.043) and Monster Energy / Pro Circuit / Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy (54.100). Joey had an inspired ride carving his way up from a tenth place start to finish 4th, while Oldenburg rounded the first turn way back around 15th and finished with a very hard-earned 6th. If we learned anything by looking at the 250SX times, we learned that a rider could be battling for 10th one week and possibly winning the next. This one is just getting started and going to be good.

Aaron Plessinger came out of the gate with a bang at A1. The question now is, can he solve his consistency issues and be in this title chase down to Las Vegas. Photo by: Octopi


250SX Main Event Lap Time Graph. Click the riders name in the graph to add and remove them from the graph.

Updated 2017 250SX West and 450SX Championship Points>>>

Top 20 450SX Avg Lap-Times Top 20 250SX Avg Lap-Times
1. M. Musquin – 0:54.117
2. J. Anderson – 0:54.184
3. J. Barcia – 0:54.415
4. K. Roczen – 0:54.555
5. W. Peick – 0:54.832
6. C. Seely – 0:54.872
7. B. Tickle – 0:55.098
8. J. Brayton – 0:55.182
9. J. Grant – 0:55.242
10. C. Webb – 0:55.376
11. C. Webb – 0:55.376
12. B. Baggett – 0:55.439
13. J. Martin – 0:55.525
14. V. Friese – 0:56.327
15. T. Bowers – 0:56.847
16. C. Reed – 0:57.493
17. K. Cunningham – 0:57.504
18. D. Tedder – 0:57.582
19. B. Lamay – 0:57.641
20. A. Ray – 0:58.072
1. A. Plessinger – 0:54.624
2. S. Mcelrath – 0:54.626
3. A. Cianciarulo – 0:54.678
4. J. Savatgy – 0:54.833
5. C. Craig – 0:55.481
6. M. Oldenburg – 0:55.517
7. A. Martin – 0:55.543
8. B. Taft – 0:55.679
9. J. Hill – 0:55.715
10. C. Sexton – 0:56.007
11. J. Cooper – 0:56.243
12. K. Chisholm – 0:56.897
13. D. Alix – 0:57.216
14. H. Mellross – 0:57.249
15. M. Harrison – 0:57.512
16. J. Hoeft – 0:58.239
17. J. Starling – 0:58.923
18. K. Auberson – 0:59.351
19. R. Breece – 1:00.003
20. J. Ramos – 1:00.431

Ken Roczen made his return to racing at A1 and left with a solid start to his Championship run. Photo by: Honda

250SX vs 450SX Main Event Lap Time Graph. Click the riders name in the graph to add and remove them from the graph.


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