This one felt really good for Eli Tomac. Feature photo by: Octopi
The 2020 Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship made a u-turn in St Louis and headed back to Angel Stadium of Anaheim for round number three and the 2020 Anaheim 2 SX. While you might think that things would start to settle in for round 3, it was the exact opposite of that with some insane racing, battles, and take-outs in both classes.
In the 450 class, it was Monster Energy / Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac coming out of his shell and scoring his first “W” of the year with a big win in the main event. With the #3 starting the season with a 7-4 scorecard, he needed to remind the field of what he is capable of. Tomac was joined on the 450SX podium by HRC / Honda’s, Ken Roczen (2nd)—who took the red plate away from the #51—and the defending 450SX Champ, Cooper Webb (3rd).
In the 250SX class, the Monster Energy / Star Racing / Yamaha dynamic 250 West duo, Dylan Ferrandis (1st) and Justin Cooper (2nd), occupied the top two spots on the podium for the second time during the young 2020 season. It was not without controversy for the Frenchman on the 1w, though. At the end of the main, Ferrandis found himself penalized by the AMA with a 1-year probation period and a $3000 fine (suspended if no more problems) for rough riding. The two Star Yamaha’s were joined on the 250SX podium by Troy Lee Designs / KTM’s Brandon Hartranft in 3rd.
After the racing was over, we gathered numerous quotes from the riders in the pits and around the web talking about how their third Supercross of 2020.
Eli Tomac: (1st in 450SX) “Today was the day we worked for all offseason. Things were just clicking all day, we qualified second coming into the night, and in the first heat race we were able to get out front early and just kind of set the tone for the rest of the night. In the main, I didn’t get the best jump of the gate, but I was able to find some good passing lanes and remained aggressive in the opening laps. The two sets of whoops and dragon back were so mentally and physically demanding, I believe that is where I was able to separate myself from the rest of the pack. All in all, I can’t thank my team enough, the whole Monster Energy Kawasaki crew for all the hard work this past week, it definitely paid off tonight. I am looking forward to Glendale next weekend and to race a Triple Crown. My first 450SX win came in Phoenix and the high-intensity Triple Crown format really suits my racing style.”
Dylan Ferrandis: (1st in 250SX) “I’m really happy to get this first win, especially after some struggling in the first two races. We had some issues with the start and we figured it out this week with the team and made some good improvements there. I got caught up with some riders at the start (of the Main) but was able to move forward. The race was going good and then the moment with Christian (Craig)… Obviously it was not my intention for us both to crash, but it was just a racing incident. We had one of the most technical tracks that we’ve ever had. I did like the track. I felt really good all day, but there were a lot of things going on in the Main. A lot of riders crashed. I’m glad to get this win and we will keep working during the week to prepare for next weekend.”
Ken Roczen: (2nd in 450SX) “My night was pretty good. In the heat race, I had a good battle with Adam [Cianciarulo]. We’ve been having good starts and took the win there [heat race]. That makes things a lot easier for the night. Just putting myself in a good position and being able to pick a decent gate. Tonight, every single gate on the start was super rough—multiple holes being the gate. I literally was dancing around there like, “I literally don’t know which gate I was gonna take.” They all looked the same. But I did hook up really good and I got my first holeshot of the year. It’s been a long time. I’m trying to get good starts because I really was all that comfortable as of recently. I’ve been working on them a lot and that shows. For me to be able to win tonight, I have to be a lot better in the whoops. I had a big battle with the whoops the entire main event. I feel like I lost all my time there. I’m honestly not complaining up here—I still ended up 2nd. I have to be happy with that.”
Justin Cooper: (2nd in 250SX) “It was just a tough day all day, but we were able to come through when the time was right and land on the podium again. We got some good points. The track was definitely tough tonight; it was pretty tricky. It was hard to find a flow out there, but I did the best I could. Knocked off some consistent laps, rode smart and ended up with a good result.”
Brandon Hartranft: (3rd in 250SX) “It feels just as good [to get on the podium] as last weekend, I am so happy. I’m starting to believe in myself a lot more. I definitely want to win – that’s the main goal – but I’m just going to take it step by step and make the weeks count.”
Cooper Webb: (3rd in 450SX) “It feels good to be up here on the podium, it’s been a tough start to the season. I went to the doctor on Monday after A1 and found out I had the flu and strep [throat] so it was a tough week leading up to St. Louis. It was a good learning experience for me and this week was much better, I was able to ride and train a little bit more. I’m pumped to be up here and we were pretty dang close [to the winner] so I can’t complain.”
Zach Osborne: (4th in 450SX) “It was a pretty good night. I struggled all day to get in a good flow but I turned it around for the Main Event. I moved up in the points a little bit so we’ll just keep building and keep hammering and I think podiums and wins are coming, it just takes some time to find your race speed.”
Jett Lawrence: (9th [Despite a DNF] in 250SX) No words really guys! I’ll never settle for second and will always leave everything out on the track. Lucky to only have a broken collarbone. We will get it all sorted tomorrow and get back to the races as soon as possible. Thanks for all the support and messages.”
Michael Mosiman: (4th in 250SX) “It was hectic and chaotic in the Main Event, it was like survival mode out there for most of us. My starts were pretty good tonight but I don’t feel like I rode deserving of fourth. But I’ll take it and go onto the next round.”
Jason Anderson: (5th in 450SX) “My weekend went alright but I kind of was under the weather all day. I tried to make some stuff happen in the Main Event – I got up in third but ended up going backward to sixth and then back to fifth, so not too bad going into next weekend.”
Alex Martin: (5th in 250SX) “I struggled throughout the day to get comfortable with the track,” said Martin. “I had a painful crash in the heat race, forcing me to go to the LCQ. The main event turned out to be the best I felt and rode all day. I was very close to another podium this weekend if it wasn’t for a late race mistake. I’ll take the top-five result and move forward healthy”
Adam Cianciarulo: (6th in 450SX) “Today was a bit of a rollercoaster ride for me. I was able to qualify on top again which always helps going into the night show. In my heat race, I was able to get out front but my buddy Ken (Roczen) got by and I settled into second. In the 450SX Main Event, despite my start, I felt like I was riding well and making good progress. I began to go forward and was able to make my way up to fourth, but unfortunately, I made some minor mistakes that cost me a better result. Sixth place isn’t where I want to be, but it is a long season and we are going to keep grinding. I am looking forward to the Triple Crown format next weekend in Glendale and the three gate drops we get to race.”
Justin Brayton: (7th in 450SX) “I’m pretty happy with how the race went tonight. A little bummed after the heat race after getting the holeshot but crashing in the first turn, which set me up for a bad gate pick for the main. That’s pretty crucial now with how bad the ruts get outside the gate, but I was able to start around 11th or 12th and pass my way up to seventh. At the middle of the race, I was actually one of the fastest guys on the track. With a better track position, I definitely think I could end up on the podium. Overall a really good night, and although the first three rounds have gone well, I’m looking forward to improving and getting into the top five.”
Malcolm Stewart: (8th in 450SX) “Not the best start. The track was challenging all day. Corners were slick and whoops got really bad in the main event. Next stop, Arizona. Shout out to all the fans for coming and supporting us!”
Justin Barcia: (9th in 450SX) “Anaheim 2 was a difficult one to say the least. I really struggled in the whoops all day, also in the race. I definitely rode really smart, I didn’t want to lose too many points so I managed the race as good as I could. Ninth was the best we had tonight. I tried really hard, rode as hard as I could but it just was a little bit of a struggle. We have some work to do for tracks with whoops like that. I’m just happy to get out of Anaheim healthy. That’s the biggest thing. In the past I haven’t been able to get through the first three rounds healthy, so we’re in a good position. We’re only three points down. I’m feeling good about that. I’m really excited for Glendale next weekend, I really like that track and stadium, so I’m just going to keep moving forward and get ready for the next race.”
Dean Wilson: (10th in 450SX) “I would say today was an improvement. I just have to keep trying to get better every race. I definitely felt my fitness struggling at the end of the Main Event but overall I was actually pretty happy with my starts and how it went.”
Luke Clout: (6th in 250SX) “Long night last night. Crash and an LCQ to start the night. Ended up pulling it together for the main and ended up 6th. Still got more to give as I’m learning the bike, tracks, and the intensity. Thanks to everyone who supports me, I appreciate it al”
Carson Brown: (12th in 250SX) “I felt good for A2. Ended up on the ground twice on the first lap of the main but that’s racing. I climbed up to 12th and enjoyed every lap. The JMC Motorsports racing crew has been working hard and we are excited for the next round!”
Austin Forkner: (17th in 250SX) “Well there isn’t much for me to say at this point. Tonight, was a night I just want to forget and move on from. I felt good all day and got a great heat race win aboard my KX™250, but that costly mistake in the whoops in the main event ruined my evening. My team and I are going to regroup and probably spend a good amount of time hammering out whoops this next week. I had a lot of fun racing the Triple Crown races last year, so I am just ready to get to Glendale and redeem myself.”
Blake Baggett: (14th in 450SX) “It was a tough one tonight. I had a great start in the main and I was feeling it tonight. My speed was there and had the track dialed. It was unfortunate I went down while battling for the lead, as I feel we had a chance at the win. We leave here healthy and look forward to next week at Glendale and the triple crown.”
Aaron Plessinger: (15th in 450SX) “Yeah, tonight was tough. I got off to a really good start in the Main and kind of froze up. It was a gnarly track. The whoops were really gnarly, a lot of moisture in the track. I’m going to put my head down and keep on focusing on getting better – take the positives and work on the negatives. We’ll be back next week in Phoenix, so I just need to get another start like that and keep it up front.”
Justin Bogle: (16th in 450SX) “Tonight was a struggle. I didn’t have the flow all night and it’s frustrating because I know I should be running at the front. We will make some changes, keep making progress and come out swinging at Glendale next weekend.”
Alex Ray: (21st in 450SX) “Have some stuff to work on but we made the best of it with the tough track this weekend. It felt good to be in the main but still not satisfied.”
Christian Craig: (22nd [Crash] in 250SX) ““I actually had the flu the entire week leading up to Anaheim 2. Not sure what St. Louis did to me [last weekend’s race] but I could not keep anything down all week and lost 10 pounds so I was just pumped to feel kinda normal on Saturday. I felt off all day honestly, the track was so tight and didn’t flow well for me. I heard a lot of other guys felt the same so that made me feel better! I qualified fifth and went on to win my heat race which was cool and I’m pumped on that. In the main, I got the holeshot and led some laps before my teammate passed me. I stayed with him for awhile and knew Ferrandis was catching us. I knew he was right behind me for a couple laps and knew he was going to go for it eventually but did not expect that outcome. At the end of the day this is racing. Yeah it sucks but there’s no point it dwelling on it when I can’t change the outcome. I’m happy to be healthy and going to Glendale next weekend”
Ryan Breece: (20th in 450SX) “A2 was a step in the right direction for me. Getting in the main event was a priority to me. I was able to get good starts on my Suzuki RM-Z450. I am excited for Arizona and look forward to carrying this momentum into the next round.”
Jimmy Decotis: (DNQ in 450SX) “Anaheim 2 was a tough weekend. I made some great progress with the bike but didn’t get the starts I needed to run up front. I’m looking forward to the East coast and to get back up front where we belong. Thanks to the crew for keeping my spirits high this weekend”
Kyle Cunningham: (DNQ in 450SX) “Bit of a bummer this weekend. Qualifying wasn’t bad for me but I felt that I struggled on the track most of the day despite that I still put myself in qualifying position during the LCQ. I made a mistake that ended up costing me the main event. With that being said, I learned a lot of things this weekend. I’m looking forward to making a few changes this week to come out and get it done in Glendale.”
Adam Enticknap: (DNQ in 450SX) “Super stoked to be back racing. The injury to my arm before A1 was a bummer, but I got my arm feeling better. Getting used to my bike in a race setting was a real confidence booster as I get healthier moving forward. My Suzuki RM-Z450 was great. I had my best starts in two years. I’m looking forward to Arizona.”