The 2018 AMA Supercross series came to an exciting close for Team Honda HRC at Las Vegas’s Sam Boyd Stadium, as replacement rider Christian Craig rode to another strong fourth-place finish. In the final main event of the year, Craig launched his CRF450R down the start straight from the far inside gate, coming around the first turn in fourth. For the remainder of the 20-minute-plus-two-lap race, the Californian rode smoothly and consistently, maintaining his position to the checkered flag. It was the second weekend in a row that Craig matched his career-best result, which he initially achieved at Daytona back in March.

NOTES

  • During Friday’s pre-race press conference, MotoConcepts Racing made the exciting announcement that Justin Brayton had signed a two-year contract extension with the team. Brayton, who won this year’s Daytona Supercross aboard an MCR CRF450R, will stay with the team during the 2019 and 2020 AMA Supercross seasons. The agreement was in conjunction with a partnership extension with American Honda Racing for 2019.
  • On Friday night, Team Honda HRC’s Christian Craig was joined by GEICO Honda’s Jeremy Martin and Chase Sexton, and Smartop/Bullfrog Spas MotoConcept’s Justin Brayton, Vince Friese, and Jake Weimer, along with Adam Enticknap, for an autograph session at RideNow Powersports. Hundreds of fans were on hand for the one-hour event, to get pictures and hang out with the Red Riders.
  • With lap times over a minute, the Las Vegas track was one of the longest of the season. During the daytime program, Craig logged the seventh-quickest qualifying time at 1’02.694″.
  • On race day, 16 grand-prize winners of the Honda Accessories Rewards Event–a contest for Honda dealerships around the country to get an expense-paid trip to Las Vegas–were provided with a rig tour of both the GEICO Honda and Team Honda HRC race rigs, as well as an opportunity to meet and take photos with Craig following qualifying practice.
  • The Vegas finale marked the second 250SX East/West Showdown of the season, with riders from both regions battling for the top spot, and GEICO Honda’s Jeremy Martin and Chase Sexton rode their CRF250Rs to fifth and sixth, respectively. Martin wrapped up the East series in third with 175 points, while Sexton was fifth in the West series with 167 points. Following his heat race, Sexton was awarded 2018 250SX Rookie of the Year honors.
  • The day after the Vegas race, a few Team Honda HRC members flew east to join recovering racer Ken Roczen at his home, where he has been testing with mechanic Oscar Wirdeman and Showa technician Adrian Bernal. Roczen says he will be ready in time for the first AMA Pro Motocross round in Sacramento on May 19, and his team is doing everything it can to help him prepare.
  • Whereas Roczen is working to be ready in time for the first AMA Pro Motocross round, teammate Cole Seely has a longer recovery period ahead of him. That said, the Californian got out of his wheelchair a couple of weeks ago and began walking–first with crutches, then with a cane, and now unaided. He recently had a follow-up appointment with his doctor, and things are progressing well. Cole is planning to attend the Hangtown and Glen Helen races with his team, who are eager to hang out with him at the track.
  • With the AMA Supercross season completed, Team Honda HRC will enjoy a much-needed weekend off (only their second since the January 6 season opener), before kicking off the AMA Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday, May 19, in Sacramento.

Press contact:

Mandie Fonteyn // Jonnum Media // mandie@jonnummedia.com// +1 (951) 537-0454

Christian Craig  32

“Today started off pretty good. I felt comfortable on the bike right away, which I think showed throughout the entire day and night. I just had a good flow and was feeling relaxed. After qualifying seventh during the day, I went into the night just wanting to put in a solid result to finish the season on a high note. The heat race went pretty good; I felt like I put in some good laps to finish fourth. In the main, I actually picked the first gate on the inside. I don’t know why I’m confident there, but I always find myself picking one of those tight inside gates and seem to get good starts. I came off to a fourth-place start, sticking myself in behind [Blake] Baggett, and just clicked off my laps. I just put in my laps, rode consistent, and tied my best finish with another fourth. I’m really happy. There’s a lot more left in me and I feel like I have some podiums in me, so there’s a lot of confidence heading to outdoors.”

Christian Craig

Erik Kehoe

Team Manager

“Tonight was a great way for Christian to gain confidence and momentum before transitioning to outdoors. After his fourth in Daytona, he had a string of bad races so he kind of started to lose some faith in his ability to be up there, but to get a fourth last weekend and then to back it up again here, is huge from him. I think he was just putting too much pressure on himself before, so this weekend he was more settled down. Obviously, the season was tough overall with both of our main riders getting injured, but bringing Christian in and him performing how he did, really helped turn the season around. I’m proud of his efforts for us and am looking forward to motocross.”

Erik Kehoe

Rich Simmons

Mechanic (Christian Craig)

“I think ending the season with another fourth is great. Today’s fourth was a lot easier than last week’s–at least for me. Last week he struggled throughout the day, crashing almost each time he was on the track, so I had a lot of extra work. This week was good. He rode solid, putting in good laps during qualifying, finishing solid in his heat, and putting together an impressive main event. His lap times started to taper off toward the end, but he did a good job regrouping and lowering them back down, especially in the last five laps. The conditions were tough out there. I think to back it up from last week is good for us, but really good for him heading to outdoors, giving him some momentum and confidence. In terms of the bike, he was really happy. We mellowed out the power because the conditions were so slick, then dialed in the balance for him. We raised the rear to get the traction he wanted, but we didn’t adjust must more than that.”

Rich Simmons

450SX Main Event Results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Time/Gap
1 TOMAC Eli 3 USA 26 Monster Energy Kawasaki
2 MUSQUIN Marvin 25 FRA 23 Red Bull KTM
3 BAGGETT Blake 4 USA 21 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS
4 CRAIG Christian 32 USA 19 Team Honda HRC
5 ANDERSON Jason 21 USA 18 Rockstar Husqvarna
6 BLOSE Benny 934 USA 17 Bloss Racing
7 PEICK Weston 23 USA 16 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing
8 WILSON Dean 15 GBR 15 Rockstar Husqvarna
9 BARCIA Justin 51 USA 14 Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team
10 FRIESE Vince 45 USA 13 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
11 REED Chad 22 AUS 12 CR22
12 BRAYTON Justin 10 USA 11 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
13 STEWART Malcolm USA 10 Ride365.com/Stewart Racing
14 SOUBEYRAS Cedric 201 FRA 9 None
15 RAY Alex USA 8 Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha
16 MILLER Henry 81 USA 7 Trigger Racing
17 TEDDER Dakota 90 USA 6 Team Tedder
18 AUTENRIETH Cade 330 USA 5 Mountain Motorsports/Factory Connection/Hinson
19 HILL Joshua 75 USA 4 Valley Motorsports
20 BOWERS Tyler 69 USA 3 Bowers Racing
21 POLITELLI Austin 981 USA 2 Old Town Construction/ TripTagger/ Yamaha
22 CUNNINGHAM Kyle 39 USA 1 H.E.P Motorsports

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 ANDERSON Jason 21 USA 356 Rockstar Husqvarna
2 MUSQUIN Marvin 25 FRA 347 Red Bull KTM
3 TOMAC Eli 3 USA 318 Monster Energy Kawasaki
4 BAGGETT Blake 4 USA 285 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS
5 BRAYTON Justin 10 USA 275 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
6 PEICK Weston 23 USA 251 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing
7 WILSON Dean 15 GBR 208 Rockstar Husqvarna
8 TICKLE Broc 20 USA 184 Red Bull KTM
9 WEBB Cooper 2 USA 181 Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team
10 BARCIA Justin 51 USA 177 Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team
11 STEWART Malcolm USA 169 Ride365.com/Stewart Racing
12 FRIESE Vince 45 USA 168 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
13 REED Chad 22 AUS 159 CR22
14 BOWERS Tyler 69 USA 149 Bowers Racing
15 BLOSE Benny 934 USA 140 Bloss Racing
16 CRAIG Christian 32 USA 134 Team Honda HRC
17 SEELY Cole 14 USA 124 Team Honda HRC
18 ROCZEN Ken 94 GER 102 Team Honda HRC
19 CUNNINGHAM Kyle 39 USA 99 H.E.P Motorsports
20 GRANT Joshua 33 USA 83 Monster Energy Kawasaki
21 LAMAY Ben 907 USA 71 TPJ.com/Fly Racing
22 SOUBEYRAS Cedric 201 FRA 65 None
23 CHISHOLM Kyle 11 USA 48 Chisholm Racing
24 MARTIN Jeremy 6 USA 36 GEICO Honda
25 RAY Alex USA 36 Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha
26 MILLER Henry 81 USA 29 Trigger Racing
27 TEDDER Dakota 90 USA 26 Team Tedder
28 MARTINEZ Cole 68 USA 20 Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha
29 ENTICKNAP Adam 722 USA 19 The Privateer Journey
30 HILL Justin 46 USA 18 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing