Musquin wins Anaheim 1
McElrath dominates 250SX opener
Chad Reed 15th in 450
Hayden Mellross 13th in 250
Marvin Musquin won the 2018 AMA Supercross season opener at Anaheim in front of over 45,000 fans, while the Western 250SX class winner was McElrath, making it his second consecutive year taking the opening win.
Following a highly successful off-season, Musquin came into the AMA Supercross Championship with a lot of momentum behind him. However, the French rider experienced a few struggles early on as he qualified 5th overall for the day, while capturing 4th place in the heat race.
But when the gate dropped for the 450SX Main Event, Musquin’s READY TO RACE instincts kicked in and he set his sights ahead. While he didn’t get the best jump off the start, Musquin quickly pushed himself into the top five on the opening lap and he continued to pick off riders through the first half of the race. Musquin eventually made the pass on Justin Barcia to take over the lead on lap 11 and from there he never looked back.
“To win tonight definitely was not expected. It was a difficult day but I tried to stay calm and we were able to make it happen. I had a bad start in the Main Event but we put everything together and we were consistent, it was a long Main – but this is what we’ve been working so hard for. I can’t thank everyone enough for their support!”
Musquin, the million-dollar winner of the 2017 Monster Energy Cup, was joined by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson and Monster Energy/Knich/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia on the podium, the first for Barcia since 2014.
Jason Anderson hunted down Justin Barcia down before making a clean inside pass for the second position with seven minutes to go. He continued to set a blistering pace and consistently improved his time with each lap. He ended the night with a second-place finish.
“This was a rather smooth day, I was able to get a good start in the heat race and then got the win there. Then I was able to make some good moves in the main and work my way up to second. I think it was a good opening round and it puts me in a good position for the rest of the season.”
For Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen, last year’s Anaheim 450SX Class winner who has not raced since Anaheim 2 in 2017, came out swinging after a 12th place start and climbed to fourth by the checkers.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac, winner of nine Main Events in 2017, found the holeshot and lead for seven laps until a mishap eventually forced him out of the competition.
“We started the day off great, I felt really strong on the bike all day and I had a good heat race, which put us in a great spot for the main event. The main didn’t end how we wanted it to, but this is only one race in a long season.”
Aussie Chad Reed took out 15th in the Anaheim 1 Race, taking home eight championship points.
450SX Class – Anaheim 1 2018 – Results
- Marvin Musquin (FRA), KTM, 21:20.367 min (24 laps)
- Jason Anderson (USA), Husqvarna, +2.579
- Justin Barcia (USA), Yamaha, +4.629
- Ken Roczen (GER), Honda, +12.826
- Weston Peick (USA), Suzuki, +15.694
… 15. Chad Reed (AUS)
Monster EnergySupercross 450SX Standings
- Marvin Musquin, Clermont, Fla. (26)
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M. (23)
- Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla. (21)
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla. (19)
- Weston Peick, Menifee, Calif. (18)
- Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif. (17)
- Justin Brayton, Mint Hill, N.C. (16)
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich. (15)
- Joshua Grant, Wildomar, Calif. (14)
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C. (13)
… 15. Chad Reed (8)
Western Regional 250SX Class
In the Western Regional 250SX Class, Troy Lee Designs Red Bull KTM’s Shane McElrath earned his second consecutive Anaheim 1 win after qualifying first, taking the holeshot and leading all 18 laps of the Main Event.
“We’ve worked really hard this off-season and we got everything out of it we could. It’s early in the season and I know everybody likes to be at A1 but this one feels good. The track was really demanding, the whoops were gnarly and it was good to get good stats tonight and put in a solid race.”
Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger also captured his second consecutive second place finish at Anaheim 1 after a fourth place start.
Adam Cianciarulo had been campaigning to ride the west coast for some time and he proved he was up to the task with a great overall day at Round 1. The Floridian adapted quickly to the slick dirt and demanding track, qualifying second during timed practice. In his heat race, Cianciarulo showed some aggressive riding as he passed for second on the final lap.
In the main event, Cianciarulo was shuffled outside the top five on the start and was forced to push through the pack. With the track being slick and often one-lined, it took a little longer than he hoped to make it past riders, but was able to get into third by the fifth of 18 laps. He held on despite the deteriorating track and earned third – his fifth podium in 16 supercross starts.
“Tonight we got off to a good start and it’s nice to get some good points, I can’t be overly stoked on third because I know I’m capable of more, but I was pretty nervous being a part of the very first race of the season for the first time and all the nerves that come with that. I think we are in a good spot for the rest of the season.”
Joey Savatgy’s last Western Regional campaign was in 2015 where he finished runner-up in the championship. He was more than ready to put in a consistent finish at the opening round. It started with a third-place qualifying position, and like his teammate finished second in his heat.
Savatgy had a bit of work to do in the main event after starting eighth, but didn’t let that stop him from pushing to the front. Just after halfway, Savatgy passed for fourth where he would end the night.
“Anaheim is one of those races where you feel especially good when you leave healthy and with a solid result. With all that could go wrong at an opening race like an injury or bad finish, I felt like we put in a good ride overall and have things we can use to build off of for next weekend. We’ll go home and put in the work to come back even stronger in Houston.”
Hayden Mellross took 13th in the 250SX West main event, earning 10 championship points and the same position in the standings.
250SX West Class – Anaheim 2018 – Results
- Shane McElrath (USA), KTM, 16:01.193 min (18 laps)
- Aaron Plessinger (USA), Yamaha, +2.521 sec
- Adam Cianciarulo (USA), Kawasaki, +4.609
- Joey Savatgy (USA), Kawasaki, +8.508
- Christian Craig (USA), Honda, +16.061
…13. Hayden Mellross (AUS)
Supercross Western Regional 250SX Standings
- Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C. (26)
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio (23)
- Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna, Fla. (21)
- Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga. (19)
- Christian Craig, Orange, Calif. (18)
- Mitchell Oldenburg, Alvord, Texas (17)
- Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore. (16)
- Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla. (15)
- Justin Cooper, Huntington, N.Y. (14)
- Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla. (13)
…13. Hayden Mellross (10)