Ken Roczen will have the red plate for the second time tonight.
The 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, lands inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas for round seven. While 2019 will mark the 39th time the gate has dropped for an AMA Supercross in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, this will only be the eleventh time the Monster Energy Supercross event has been held inside the beautiful, $1.3 billion home of the Dallas Cowboys. JGR / Suzuki’s Chad Reed has been the winningest Supercross rider at the Dallas/Fort Worth area event with four wins, but none of those have come inside the new stadium.
After six rounds have been completed in the Monster Energy Supercross series, we generally have a firm grasp on who the 450SX Championship favorite is, but so far in 2019 we have four 450SX riders separated by just two points between them. Red Bull/KTM’s Cooper Webb—who is 1 point behind in the points—leads the field in the win column with three wins, but HRC / Honda’s Ken Roczen—who has no wins in ’19—will have the red plate tonight. Monster Energy / Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac and Red Bull/KTM’s Marvin Musquin both trail Roczen by just two points.
In the 250SX Eastern Regional Championship class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner came out swinging at the East opener last weekend. The #24 was fastest qualifier, led every lap of his heat race and every lap of the main event on his way to the first East win of ’19. Landing on the podium with Austin in Minneapolis was Troy Lee Designs / KTM’s Jordon Smith and Star Racing/Yamaha’s Justin Cooper.
450SX Qualifying Report:
Session 1: In the opening 450SX session of the day, Musquin (50.597) laid down the fastest lap on the final lap of the session to finish just a couple of tenths ahead of the surprise of the top five: JGR / Suzuki’s Justin Hill (50.731). Musquin and Hill were the only two riders in the opening session under 51 seconds and both were only able to do it one time. Musquin being first is not a surprise, but Hill has not been the rider we have expected to see in ’19. The #46 took last weekend off, so hopefully the R&R weekend gave him a little mental reset and we see some improvements from him tonight in Arlington.
Rounding out the top five in the first 450A session was Tomac (51.292), Webb (51.579) and Roczen (51.624). All four of the riders in the 450SX Championship hunt are right where the want to be so far on the Arlington circuit. Besides the battle between the top four in the 450SX class, there’s another story we will be watching today: The rookie debut of Rockstar / Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne (52.432). In free practice Zach was on the leaderboard right out of the gate and ended the session 8th, but the #16 dropped down to 12th in the first qualifying session today. We expect Zach to get more and more comfy as the day moves on.
Session 2: In the final session of 450 qualifying, Cooper Webb (50.012) put his KTM on top of the leaderboard and kept it up there to take pole position into the night show, but the big story is that the 14th fastest lap time (Aaron Plessinger 50.942) is less than one second off of Webb’s top time. With the track rutting up and making passing tough and lap times between the top fourteen being separated by nothing, I think we are in for some more freight train action for the win tonight.
The remainder of the top five spots in 450 qualifying belonged to Hill (50.203), Musquin (50.248), Osborne (50.328) and HRC / Honda’s Cole Seely (50.373). For Zach in the first-ever 450SX qualifying sessions of his career, it has to feel good knowing that you are right where you need to be heading into the night show tonight. Zach has always been a good starter in SX, so this could be an awesome debut for the rook.
Normally we would be surprised by Tomac (50.600) and Roczen (50.608) qualifying 7th and 8th, but with the times being so close it likely doesn’t mean much of anything. Both are just six tenths off of the best lap times and both are still in a good enough spot heading into the night show.
250SX Qualifying Report:
Session 1: In the opening 250SX session of the day, Forkner (51.096) had a few scary moments, but by the end of the session the #24 was on top of the leaderboard ahead of Mitchell Oldenburg (51.413), Cooper (51.453), GEICO / Honda’s Chase Sexton (51.939) and Smith (52.067). All five of those riders were on the top five leaderboard for most of the session and were just swapping positions on the board. Just like the top five, the 6th and 7th fastest riders in session one both qualified also qualified 6th and 7th at the opening round: JGR / Suzuki’s Alex Martin and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Martin Davalos. With these same seven riders being the top 7 in qualifying a week before and we expect more of the same in session 2 today.
Session 2: In the final 250 session of the day, Forkner (50.149) kept his undefeated in qualifying record intact for 2019 with the fastest 250SX lap and the 2nd fastest lap time of any sized bike. Just behind Austin in the final session was Cooper (50.418) in 2nd. Arlington is just Cooper’s third SX race of his career, and someone we definitely need to keep an eye on for ’19.
Making his first appearance inside the top five this year was Martin Davalos (50.601) with the third fastest lap just ahead of Sexton (50.656) and Smith (50.771)—who have been inside the top five in every session so far in ’19. After his very uncharacteristic 16th place finish to start the year last weekend in Minneapolis, nobody needs a big night more than Davalos does. I expect at the very least to see a top five finish from the #73 tonight.
Finishing with the 6th fastest lap time in Arlington—and in every session of the year so far—was again Alex Martin (51.023). Alex finished fourth in last week’s main event and he will be looking for his first podium of the year tonight. The seventh fastest lap was turned in by TiLube / Honda rider Blake Wharton (51.214). Wharton looked really good last weekend and even qualified 3rd out of his heat race, but a big crash early in the main event ruined his night. We are hoping to see if Blake can begin creeping towards that top five in tonight’s main event.
Check out the 250 and 450 qualifying results below. Click here to view all time sheets.
450SX Combined Top 40 Qualifying Results – Arlington
Click Time Sheets to View in Slideshow
250SX Combined Top 40 Qualifying Results – Arlington
Click Time Sheets to View in Slideshow