Round one of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship series, and the Western Regional 250SX Championship is in our rear-view-mirror.
In the 450SX class, Monster Energy / Yamaha’s Justin Barcia fought forward after a decent start to take his first win since 2013. The #51 was joined on the 450 podium by Team HRC’s Ken Roczen in 2nd and Monster Energy / Kawasaki ‘s Eli Tomac finishing 3rd.
In the 250SX class, it was the Star Racing / Yamaha boys taking the first two spots on the podium with Colt Nichols scoring his first-ever win just ahead of his teammate Dylan Ferrandis. Taking the final spot on the 250 podium was Troy Lee Designs / KTM’s Shane McElrath.
After the riders survived the rainy opening round, we gathered some quotes from the race and around the web to get their thoughts on the 2019 Anaheim 1 SX.
Justin Barcia: (1st in 450) “It’s a cool story, for sure. I definitely embrace it ’cause I’ve been all the way to the bottom. Like almost quitting to back to winning this weekend. For me, it’s phenomenal. I’m glad I never let this tough racing career get the best of me. I just kept charging, worked hard and made my way back to this position. It’s phenomenal! I can’t be any more happy than to get a win here. It’s been six year and I remember it was Seattle and it was a little bit muddy that night. So this brings back some really good memories.”
Colt Nichols: (1st in 250) “It’s really an indescribable feeling to win at A1. The conditions were far from perfect but I was able to stay focused, ride my laps to take the win. That was the longest race of my life, it felt like. My mechanic gave me five to go, four to go, three to go… You’re kind of talking to yourself a little bit to get through it. I just tried to stay consistent. I really didn’t know how big of a lead I had and who was in second at the time, so just tried to keep the focus forward. I knew if I tried to relax a little too much I’d probably make a big mistake and crashed. So I just kind of tried to keep it moving and it ended up working out for me. The off-season was great this year. I was really, really pumped on how everything went. This is really what it was for. You can’t describe the feeling I had jumping that finish line in first. That’s why we all do this. For me to cross that off my list was a really, really big deal. That made all the suffering, all the pain of the past two years completely worth it.”
Ken Roczen: (2nd in 450) “It’s good to get out of here healthy and with a solid podium. The conditions were tough; they can obviously play in your favor but they can also bite you bad. For about half of the main, we were still jumping the big doubles in the middle but it was definitely sloppy and sketchy out there. It was really all about consistency. There were ruts everywhere so you had to try not to make any mistakes. Once we got into the lappers that’s when it got really bad. I got held up a couple times, which cost me time. I’m pumped though; I’m leaving with a heat-race win and second in the main, so I couldn’t have asked for a better first race.”
Dylan Ferrandis: (2nd in 250) “The track was difficult with the rain, but I got a good start and tried not to make many mistakes. I was able to come back for a good result, some good championship points, and leave Anaheim healthy.”
Eli Tomac: (3rd in 450) “There were tricky track conditions due to the unusual amount of rain for Anaheim, but I managed to stay in good enough condition to keep jumping most of the lanes and pushing forward. I remained patient and controlled my pace throughout the Main Event, and although we’re always shooting for the top spot, I’m happy to kick off the season on the podium. The team and I are already looking forward to Glendale, let’s get this season rolling!”
Shane McElrath: (3rd in 250) It didn’t seem like the rain was coming down that much, but then when we opted out of the sight lap and got into the race, it was quite a bit different. The track crew did what they could, but they just pushed around what was on top. We kind of had to move that stuf out of the way again. It was tough because you couldn’t judge anything. That’s kind of where I struggled the most. Colt was riding good and I couldn’t catch him and then I couldn’t keep Dylan behind me”
Dean Wilson: (4th in 450) “A1 is in the books. Waking up this morning not gonna lie I’m slightly disappointed. Just because I felt like I had the best opportunity to win that race leading 15 minutes but then ran into lappers, and lost my rhythm and goggles last 5… just needed 5 minutes in me!! (That’s what she said) Anyways I can’t be to greedy. I have came a long ways recovering from double ACL reconstruction on each knee and worked hard with good people and will continue to! 2nd in timed qualifying, 2nd in heat, led laps and 4th in main. That’s a great start. Once again I was blown away with all the support!”
RJ Hampshire: (4th in 250) “Glad to get back to racing, we had a really good offseason. Practice went well and then the rain came. The heat race was a little sloppy but I was able to get a good start and get out front. I won my first heat race in a while, which I was pretty pumped on. Main event came around and it was still raining pretty heavy. Got a decent start and was just kind of riding around in third for a few laps. I made a dumb mistake and went for the quad-quad in the rhythm before the whoops and came up way short and went down pretty hard. Then once I got up I was in fifth and had a couple more close calls throughout the race. Happy to get out of round 1 healthy and ready to go racing next weekend!”
Cooper Webb (5th in 450) “Anaheim I is in the books and overall it was a really good day. We started with free practice just getting the hang of the track and I was able to qualify seventh. In the heat race, I didn’t get off to the greatest of starts and I didn’t ride to my potential, so I had a bad gate pick in the Main Event. I had a pretty outside gate but I nailed the start and I was first in the first turn but unfortunately, I fell over. It was slicker than I thought but I was able to get up and really put my head down and charge really hard to come back to fifth. I guess I had the fastest lap of the race, so that was really cool and I’m feeling confident and good with that result, so I’m ready to go to Phoenix next weekend!”
Adam Cianciarulo: (5th in 250) “For me, there are a lot of positives to take away from today’s race. The day started out great as we were able to secure the fastest qualifying time in practice, which gave us first gate pick to start the evening races. In my heat race, I got a little squirrelly off the start but I was able to save it and charge to the front and get my first heat race win of the year, which was awesome. The main event is a tough one to swallow because I know I should have been on the podium. It is unfortunate that I came together with another rider, however, I am happy I was able to remount and safely walk away from Anaheim 1 with some decent points. I am already looking forward to next weekend in Glendale.”
Aaron Plessinger: (6th in 450) “Anaheim 1 went pretty well. I got better and better every time I went out on the track. The heat race went awesome. I started out about fifth or sixth, got past some guys and finished third. I was pretty amped on that and I went into the main event pretty happy with myself. I got a great start and just maintained it. There were sometimes where I felt a little winded, but I couldn’t back down and pushed on to the finish and got sixth. I’d say Anaheim I, my first 450 race, was pretty good in my eyes. We’ll keep making improvements and head into Phoenix hot on the ball.”
Garrett Marchbanks: (6th in 250) “Coming into my first ever supercross race I was both excited and nervous as I did not know where I would fit into the picture compared to all the other racers. To finish 6th overall in my first supercross race in the mud is something that gives me a great building point to move from the rest of the season. I know I have the speed to be in top five each week and contest for podiums. I am really excited about getting back on the bike this week to work on a few things and improve on this result next week in Glendale.”
Malcolm Stewart: (7th in 450) “What a night. Can’t believe this was my first A-1 race in the 450 class. It will be one to remember that’s for sure. It was good to be back under the lights racing in front of you guys, I was nervous i won’t lie haha! But we got a long season ahead, we just gonna take it race by race and have fun this season.”
Jimmy Decotis: (7th in 250) “The first round of the year with the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing crew was a blast. I was excited to debut the new Suzuki RM-Z250. I felt very comfortable all day. Unfortunately, I had a crash on the start of the heat race that put me in a tough spot for the main event. The conditions were tough due to the rain. Overall, I’ll take a seventh given the circumstances. We have lots of racing to come, and I’m excited to grab some more starts. I want to show the industry what the new RM-Z250 can do. Thanks to the whole team for supplying me with the best equipment. I’m looking forward to Glendale!”
Marvin Musquin: (8th in 450) “The riding was not too bad but physically it was not an easy day as I didn’t have much time on the bike this off-season. But we knew it coming in, so the goal was to score some points and I ended up eighth in the Main Event. I had a great start and Cooper did too, but we almost got into each other and he went down. I avoided him but I lost a lot of ground. It would have been a little bit easier on me to get out front – I was right there in second place behind Cooper, it was pretty cool – but almost both of us crashing. My goal, once again, was to be consistent and score points and that’s what I did. Eighth is not too bad considering and now we can move on and get better from there.”
Chad Reed: (9th in 450) “With the weather, it was an interesting weekend. I had the feeling that no matter what I was going through, it was going to drastically change by the night program. I tried to get the most out of the daytime practices and qualifying to have good data for the next round in Glendale. Once the weather came I just dealt with it. I didn’t get the best of starts in my heat race. The conditions were tough and challenging, so I had to go to the LCQ. In some ways, it rained quite a lot in the LCQ, so I had a feel for what the track was going to be like in the main event. The downside was that I was on the far outside gate for the main. I was dead last on the start and came up to ninth, which is respectable. I feel like I have the pace. There are just a few things I need to work on to allow me to feel more comfortable when I’m out of my comfort zone. I have to adapt to the pace, but fortunately that’s one of my strengths. Sometimes that pace comes naturally, and other times it’s forced. I need to be more comfortable in that area. That’s something I will work on this week.”
Cameron McAdoo: (11th in 250) “I felt pretty comfortable on the bike during the day, but I’m never at my best in practice. I started to find my groove in my heat race and was happy to finish third there. In the main I was running around fifth, but I slid out on the little double-single after the finish and launched onto the concrete! I banged up my arm and got a little burnt, and the bike was bent up. So that wasn’t great, but I did my best to get back up and rolling. The conditions were really sloppy, though. With all that rain, it got crazy out there.”
Cole Seely: (10th in 450) “It felt so good to get back to racing. I was so nervous and excited at the same time, but also so happy to line up again. Normally 10th is something I’d be disappointed in, and I was a little bummed at first but after putting it into perspective and considering the conditions, I’m happy with it and just excited to be back. I’m looking forward to the process and to just building on my finishes each week.”
Blake Baggett: (12th in 450) “Tonight was a struggle. I had the speed all day. It’s unfortunate I didn’t get the start I needed, and the conditions made the track very challenging. The most important thing is we leave A1 healthy and looking forward to Glendale next weekend.”
Jason Anderson: (14th in 450) “Anaheim was an interesting day. Practice wasn’t bad, and the heat race was ok. It rained so hard in the main and I struggled. I’m ready to focus on next week’s race in Glendale and I’m looking forward to getting back on the box.”
Michael Mosiman: (12th in 250) “I started the day off feeling pretty solid. I felt good and enjoyed the track. I made a few mistakes in the first lap of the main then I was in catch up mode after that. I think my speed was decent for the conditions. It’s not what I expected, but I know what I’m capable of. I’m looking forward to a dry weekend next week.”
Joey Savatgy: (16th in 450) “I’ve been working so hard this off-season and feel really comfortable on the bike, but the weather made quite the challenge for us. I had a tip over on the bike and some issues with my goggles in the rain, but I remained focused on finishing the race to my best ability. We have a long season ahead of us, I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike and continuing to grow and improve.”
Enzo Lopes: (15th in 250) “Practice and the heat race was awesome. I don’t know what happened in the main event. I somehow stalled my bike, and then I crashed, so that made it worse. It was unreal to line up on the gate for my first Supercross race. I had that dream as a kid. I had a perspective of watching from the stands or from home. Placing third in the heat race was incredible. I had the speed, but the track was sloppy, so I couldn’t attack. The main event wasn’t what I wanted, but there’s another race. I learned a lot.”
Justin Hill: (15th in 450) “For a moment in time, before I fell in the slop, that was the best I had ever felt in a mud race. I’m very bummed about the end result, but there are several good things that I learned from this weekend that I can apply to the next 16 rounds.”
Justin Bogle: (19th in 450) “It was a tough night, I felt good all day. It was unfortunate with the track conditions. We’ll build off this race, go back and do some work this week and come out swinging at Glendale.”
Dylan Merriam: (DNQ in 250) “A1 was a rough one. Had a huge crash in the heat race due to the mud and smashed me up pretty good. I toughed it out in the LCQ but got cross jumped on lap 1 and went down hard again ending my night early. Nothing broken, but a lot of trauma to my body. I will rest up this week and be back 100% for Phoenix. Can’t thank the team enough for sticking behind me.”