Cianciarulo did not win, but he did make a big statement at the opener. Feature photo by: Octopi
The 2020 Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship kicked off on Saturday with the 2020 Anaheim 1 SX. It was another incredible opening night for the boys in blue with Monster Energy / Yamaha’s Justin Barcia winning the 450SX main event and the Monster Energy / Star Racing / Yamaha teammates, Justin Cooper (1st) and Dylan Ferrandis (2nd) taking the top two spots on the 250SX podium.
Barcia was joined on the 450SX podium by Monster Energy / Kawasaki’s rookie, Adam Cianciarulo (2nd), and the defending 450SX Champ, Cooper Webb (3rd). The two Star Yamaha’s were joined on the 250SX podium by Monster Energy / Pro Circuit / Kawasaki’s Austin Forker, but he was later docked two positions for cutting the track and moved to 5th and GEICO / Honda’s Christian Craig was credited with the third spot in the box.
After the racing was over, we gathered numerous quotes from the riders in the pits and around the web talking about how their first Supercross race of 2020 went.
Justin Barcia: (1st in 450SX) “It doesn’t get much better, honestly. We had a really nice day. I qualified alright. The Heat race was great, I got a great start and won. And the main event, wow, just unbelievable. I got another great start, led a lot of laps, but I made a mistake and got passed. I regrouped and got into the lead again and took the win. I’m feeling over the top right now. It’s phenomenal! It’s going to be a long season though. I just want to keep having a lot of fun and keep putting that bike on the podium.”
Justin Cooper: (1st in 250SX) “It’s indescribable. Everyone says that about their first win, but it honestly it is. I felt like I needed to pinch myself after I went over the finish line. Looking up into the crowd and all the lights and realizing what I had just accomplished – my first win at Anaheim — it’s unreal! I can’t wait to go home and sleep on it and see how I feel tomorrow. I really don’t want this feeling to end.”
Adam Cianciarulo: (2nd in 450SX) “I fell in love with Supercross watching Anaheim 1back in 1999. Ever since then I’ve been dreaming about what I got to experience tonight. Everything from opening ceremonies to getting my first 450 podium. I was bummed we couldn’t capture the win, but regardless I am stoked on this result. It is a long season, I still have a lot to learn and build on from here, but I am already fired up to go racing next weekend in St. Louis.”
Dylan Ferrandis: (2nd in 250SX) “The day was good as a whole, I just got a bad start in the Main. I came back pretty strong, but I’m a little bit disappointed because I think I should have finished a little bit closer than I did. I was riding a little bit tight today. It’s the first one of the year, a lot of pressure, a lot going on. Everyone wants to win the first one. But it’s good. Last year, I finished second and went on to win the championship. So no problem, we’ll move on to next weekend.”
Christian Craig: (3rd in 250SX) “Anaheim was awesome honestly. I went into the weekend just grateful to be there so to leave with a third is so cool. For months I’ve been riding supercross but had no idea when I’d be racing. I assumed it would be in April, when my suspension was supposed to end originally. The trip I took to Switzerland in December and thankfully went my way and I was able to race A1. All day on Saturday I felt good. I qualified third overall and got second in my heat. The main was going pretty good for my first race back. I started around third and stayed there for a lot of the race. Dylan [Ferrandis] got by me eventually and then I road pretty tight, keeping me in fourth. [Austin] Forkner, who was in front of me, ended up having a crash and re-entered the track at the wrong place. I was not far behind him, so I really do think we were in for a good battle had he entered back where he was supposed to, but we have the rest of the season to do that. Saturday night I got the call that I was now bumped up to third for his mistake. I’m not extremely pumped on it because I want to finish in third and actually stand on the podium but we will get there! Really looking forward to the rest of the year!”
Cooper Webb: (3rd in 450SX) “It’s been a struggle today with the sickness but that’s what makes this sport so gnarly, you have to be able to go out on Saturday and perform despite how you’re feeling. I’m just pumped to be on the podium, I feel like I dug deep and pushed through it tonight and it’s a good start to the season for myself and the team.”
Jason Anderson: (5th in 450SX) “My weekend went pretty decent. In the Main Event, I started in the back and I had to make some passes to get into fifth-place. Once I got behind [Blake] Baggett and Cooper [Webb], that’s all she wrote.”
Michael Mosiman: (4th in 250SX) “It was good to come out of here with a top-five result but I’m not super stoked on how I rode,” Mosiman said.“It’s comforting, though, because I know I’ve got a whole lot more in the tank.”
Chad Reed: (18in 450SX) “I promised myself to do my best to take it all in, I can honestly say I soaked it all up from press conference to the racing.The support from the fans, industry and close friends was something I’ll never forget. When childhood heroes drop by your truck to wish you luck and share a few personable conversations that really hits home. I achieved taking it ALL in but fell victim to taking it all on. The emotions got the best of me and my on-track performance was less than fun or acceptable. Sometimes I wish I didn’t care so much, but the truth is I care so freakin much and want to make my people and fans proud. I’m excited I get 15 more tries. Thanks for all the support!”
Ken Roczen: (6th in 450SX) “Anaheim 1 started pretty good but the main event was definitely not the greatest. We were a little off on our bike setup, with it being way too stiff. That really showed in the main because of the way the track deteriorated so much. I didn’t feel like I was able to keep a good flow or attack the track the way I needed to. For sure this is not the position we wanted for the night, but it’s good to get the first race out of the way and leave healthy. We know what we need to work on for the upcoming race and have a plan in mind moving forward to implement those changes. Overall we’re not going to let this first race get us down, and I’m looking forward to St. Louis.”
Eli Tomac: (7th in 450SX) “Man, the first race of the season is always an interesting one. The whole day is just chaotic. I started feeling a bit of a flow by the end of the last qualifying session today, but in both the heat race and main event tonight I got decent starts but got shuffled back in the first turn and the way the track broke down tonight it became very one-lined and difficult to make passes. The competition this year is deeper than ever, so we will regroup this week and come out swinging in St. Louis next weekend.””
Justin Brayton: (8th in 450SX) “Tonight did not go as we wanted. The bike was pretty stiff all day, but with how the track shaped up throughout the night it really amplified it. Ken was just uncomfortable and couldn’t get into a rhythm. We’re going to readdress things this week and hopefully have a better setup for St. Louis.”
Austin Forkner: (5th in 250SX) [About cutting track penalty:] “It was a split-second decision to be as safe as possible. That’s what they always tell us to rejoin safely and with me pointed backward and slightly left, I thought that after the next rider went by I would be fine. I didn’t gain any position by doing what I did. It’s a bummer they (the officials) didn’t feel the same way. After knowing I was able to put a good pace out front, I’m more fired up than ever to get back out there next weekend.”
Malcolm Stewart: (9th in 450SX) “A1 in the books. [Finished] 9th. Starts held me back! But man it felt good to be back racing! I appreciate all the fans for coming out.”
Cameron McAdoo: (6th in 250SX) “After so much preparation, it’s nice to finally get on the track and get a finish under my belt. We took away a lot of good from this round that I’m hoping we can work on this week to go after an even better result. I would love to be challenging for the podium and proving to these guys that I am able to run up front.”
Aaron Plessinger: (12th in 450SX) “A1 wasn’t really the night that I wanted. I felt kind of tight in practice and qualifying and then in the Heat race I went down and someone ran over my ankle. I had to get it taped up and went out for the LCQ. I was able to get the last transfer spot to the Main and I pretty much got the best start I could have with the gate pick that I had. In the end, I was able to salvage the night with 12th and get some valuable points for the championship. I’m going to go back with the team this week, work out some kinks and come back swinging in St. Louis.”
Dean Wilson: (13th in 450SX) “My weekend was pretty good. Going from dead last to 13th isn’t the greatest way to start the season off but I charged the whole way and I know we’re just going to get better from here.”
Zach Osborne: (14th in 250SX) “The first round didn’t go the way I would have liked. I’ve had a flawless off-season and it’s a bummer to come in super prepared on a great bike/team and then get sick – I’ve had a fever pretty much since Tuesday and tonight I just had nothing left to give.”
Jett Lawrence: (8th in 250SX) “Well, Friday started off with getting food poisoning from a Chick-fil-A sandwich! I ended up waking up at one in the morning throwing up and having diarrhea and really bad stomach cramps so I couldn’t make it to press day. Saturday morning I was feeling a little bit better but I didn’t get very good sleep. I was pretty tired plus couldn’t eat anything—just a rice cracker and some sips of water so my energy was pretty low. In practice I was struggling to dial the track in and get a good flow and was struggling with the whoops a bit because they were very close together and fast. It was easy to miss a whoop with the front wheel and go over the bars, and then of course that’s exactly what I did! By the time it came to the main event I was starting to feel a little bit better but halfway through I started to get some belly cramps and started to feel a little bit lightheaded. At the end of the day it was not the result I was wanting but I guess it is not such a bad result for my first race.”
Martin Davalos: (15th in 450SX) “Lots of learning to do this year. I had a big get off during practice the 450 power got the best of me. I’m happy to be safe! Long season ahead.”