Supercross reconvened at Salt Lake City overnight for the fifth round of the seven that will be held without spectators inside Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium to close out the 17-round 2020 AMA Supercross season.
Eli Tomac entered this round with a 27-point advantage over defending champion Cooper Webb. Ken Roczen has been experiencing some health problems of late that has seen him lose pace in the second half of the main events. Would this be the round that the German bounces back..?
450 Heat One
Veteran and dead-set supercross legend Chad Reed scored the hole-shot in the opening 450 Heat ahead of Martin Davalos and Benny Bloss but that pair pushed the Aussie back to third place later on that opening lap.
Once through to the lead Davalos had clear air and used that to his advantage to pull away from Bloss. Dean Wilson worked his way up to third while things were very busy in a tussle over fourth that involved Adam Enticknap, Chad Reed, Justin Barcia, Zach Osborne and Jason Anderson.
With just over a lap remaining and while holding down a 2.5-second lead, Martin Davalos threw away an almost certain victory, losing the front in a left-hander. Davalos was relegated to eighth position by the time he was up and running again while Bloss had inherited the lead.
At the last lap board Dean Wilson jumped past Bloss and the two battled all the way to the finish line but it was Bloss that took the chequered flag and his first ever heat victory.
Justin Barcia took third ahead of Chad Reed while Zach Osborne rounded out the top five ahead of Justin Brayton and Justin Hill. Davalos salvaged eighth place after leading the first seven laps of what was a ten lap race.
450 Heat One Results
Benny Bloss – KTM
Dean Wilson – Husqvarna +1.151s
Justin Barcia – Yamaha +1.928s
Chad Reed – KTM +3.795s
Zach Osborne – Husqvarna +4.699s
Justin Brayton – Honda +7.013s
Justin Hill – Honda +8.915s
Martin Davalos – KTM +13.893s
Adam Enticknap – Suzuki +15.878s
Alex Ray – Kawasaki +17.771s
450 Heat Two
Lining up directly alongside each other on the starting gates for the second 450 Heat race were the top four in the championship, Eli Tomac, Ken Roczen, Cooper Webb and Jason Anderson all side-by-side as the gates dropped but it was Roczen that scored the hole-shot and the early race lead from Malcolm Stewart. The #27 Honda rider showing a ‘Back Lives Matter’ patch on the seat of his ‘Seven’ branded nylons to Tomac, Anderson and Webb, the defending champion rounding out the early top five.
The quintuple largely remained in that order for the first six laps until Tomac put a move past Stewart with a minute remaining on the shot clock to take second place and then laid down the fastest lap of the race to try and claw back ground on race leader Ken Roczen. Tomac took almost a full-second out of Roczen on the penultimate lap but the German had enough in reserve to take the chequered flag 1.3-seconds in front of Tomac.
Malcolm Stewart was five-seconds further back in third place ahead of Jason Anderson and Cooper Webb while Aaron Plessinger took sixth.
Blake Baggett had to race the LCQ after having problems in his heat race but the KTM rider sailed through the LCQ with a nine-second victory over Broc Tickle. Ryan Breece scored the final transfer position.
450 LCQ Results
Blake Baggett – KTM
Broc Tickle – Suzuki +9.046s
Ryan Breece – Suzuki +15.573s
Cooper Webb and Eli Tomac went into turn one side-by-side but as Webb spun the bike through the exit of the corner he then ran a little wide and his rear clipped the front wheel of Tomac which saw the Kawasaki man have to get out of the throttle, by the time he recovered he had been shuffled back to around tenth place.
Ken Roczen and Jason Anderson were the men left to chase Webb on that opening lap but Anderson then made a mistake and went off the track. The #21 rejoined the race at the back of the field, 20-seconds behind the leaders.
It only took two-minutes for Eli Tomac to work his way up to fifth place while at the front of the pack Ken Roczen had done the Kawasaki rider a big favour by slipping past Cooper Webb for the race lead.
Five-minutes in and the battle for third place was hotting up as Tomac caught Malcolm Stewart and Zach Osborne. It didn’t take long for Tomac to take that third place and with 13-minutes remaining he was now five-seconds behind Webb and seven-seconds behind Roczen.
A mid-pack melee then unfolded that involved Anderson, Friese, Hill and Bloss, all four of those riders left on the ground after getting caught up while battling for tenth place. Friese and Anderson faring the worst as their bikes were hooked up on each other and it took help from officials for the two machines to finally be separated. Anderson could only watch on as he saw his fourth place in the championship chase evaporating in front of his eyes. The initial accident that caused the melee was initiated when Bloss and Friese went down together, an accident that Chad Reed narrowly managed to avoid and take that tenth position.
Up front Ken Roczen was looking smooth and in control. The German had extended his lead over Webb to three-seconds but now Eli Tomac was the fastest man on track and starting to close in on Webb.
This time around Roczen showed no signs of fading. After finally being diagnosed with shingles a few days ago, an extremely painful ailment related to chicken pox but much more painful, Roczen now at least knows one of the things that has been holding him back of late and can hopefully find a way forward though his medical dramas.
After looking as though he would easily close in on and pass Webb, Tomac’s charge started to falter. After getting to within two-seconds of Webb the Kawasaki man then started losing ground to the tune of almost a second a lap. With two-minutes left on the clock Tomac was now seven-seconds behind Webb, but had a clear 12-seconds over fourth placed Zach Osborne. Perhaps the championship leader was just playing the safe game and did not want to give Webb the chance to take him out and make a huge leap towards him in the points…
With two laps to run Roczen had backed things off a little and Cooper Webb now had the #94 Honda in his sights and had the hammer down to try and get on terms with Roczen. The German though had his measure and took a clear victory in what was a huge boost to the pysche of the 26-year-old. That victory also saw him move back past Cooper Webb in the championship standings with only two rounds remaining.
Tomac’s third place good enough for him to only lose two-points on Webb and the Kawasaki man has a very handy 24-point lead with 52-points left up for grabs across the final two rounds in this COVID-19 induced quick-fire end to the season. Racers will be back on track this Wednesday June 17 ahead of the finale on June 21.
450 SX Main Results
Ken Roczen – Honda
Cooper Webb – KTM +3.140s
Eli Tomac – Kawasaki +17.844s
Zach Osborne – Husqvarna +29.584s
Malcolm Stewart – Honda +32.389s
Dean Wilson – Husqvarna +40.472s
Blake Baggett – KTM +40.865s
Justin Brayton – Honda +42.677s
Justin Barcia – Yamaha +44.729s
Aaron Plessinger – Yamaha +1 lap
Chad Reed – KTM +1 lap
Broc Tickle – Suzuki +1 lap
Benny Bloss – KTM +1 lap
Justin Hill – Honda +1 lap
Tyler Bowers – Kawasaki +1 lap
Kyle Chisholm – Yamaha +2 laps
Vince Friese – Honda +2 laps
Adam Enticknap – Suzuki +2 laps
Martin Davalos – KTM +3 laps
Ryan Breece – Suzuki +4 laps
450 Main Video Highlights
450 SX Championship Points
Eli Tomac 342
Ken Roczen 319
Cooper Webb 318
Justin Barcia 255
Jason Anderson 246
Malcolm Stewart 217
Dean Wilson 208
Zach Osborne 205
Justin Brayton 199
Justin Hill 188
Aaron Plessinger 186
Blake Baggett 180
Martin Davalos 157
Vince Friese 141
Adam Cianciarulo 129
Chad Reed 92
Benny Bloss 87
Tyler Bowers 85
Kyle Chisholm 76
Kyle Cunningham 48
250 SX West
The final 250 SX West round until the East-West showdown finale played out once again in front of no spectators this morning in Salt Lake City.
250 Heat One
Jett Lawrence got an absolutely amazing run out of the gates and it looked as though he would score the hole-shot by a country mile but the 16-year-old carried so much speed into turn one that he ran a little wide, quickly filling that hole up the inside was Austin Forkner, who perhaps held Jett out a little wider than he had to, as the Kawasaki rider finally turned his bike on the gas to exit that opening turn his rear tyre clipped the front wheel of Jett’s Geico Honda and pitched the youngster on to the deck. From a perfect start off the gates to the back of the field in one split second. It looked as though Forkner would have a clean run from there but only metres later he himself got hooked up a little with Hunter Lawrence, this time around it was Forkner that came off second best.
Far away from all that melee out front was Justin Cooper and after the opening few laps the Monster Energy Star Yamaha rider was more than four-seconds ahead of Alex Martin while Aussies Hunter Lawrence and Luke Clout were running third and fourth. Jett Lawrence had worked his way up from dead last to seventh while Forkner was ninth.
Moments later Forkner was all over the back of Jett Lawrence and then forced his way up the inside to take sixth. Jett looked to have been taking it a little easy, knowing he was in a safe transport spot, but being passed by Forkner seemed to light a fire underneath his Shift ensconced arse.
Jett followed Forkner for a while before choosing his moment to run up the inside into a very tight left-hander that Forkner had entered a little wide, Jett executed a great turn which sent Forkner further wide and the 16-year-old was back up to fifth. A lap later thoughtForkner capitalised on a mistake by the youngster to re-take that fifth position once again.
Meanwhile up front Justin Cooper had no idea of all the excitement that was being played out behind him and cruised home to an easy victory over Alex Martin. Hunter Lawrence held on to his third position all the way to the flag.
On the final lap Austin Forkner relegated Penrite Honda’s Luke Clout to fifth while Jett Lawrence claimed sixth.
250 Heat One Results
Justin Cooper – Yamaha
Alex Martin – Suzuki +31.05s
Hunter Lawrence – Honda +5.049s
Austin Forkner – Kawasaki +9.733s
Luke Clout – Honda +10.707s
Jett Lawrence – Honda +11.045s
Robbie Wageman – Yamaha +20.942s
250 Heat Two
Shortly after witnessing one of the most action packed heat races in recent memory the other half of the 250 West field lined up for their heat race. Dylan Ferrandis scored the holeshot but at the end of the first rhythm section Cameron McAdoo put an aggressive pass on the Yamaha rider after he had made a small mistake, leaving the series leader in the dirt and at the back of the field. It only took Ferrandis a couple of laps to get back inside the top ten and into a secure transfer spot.
At the front of the field Christian Craig had worked his way to the front but was being chased hard by McAdoo but the Honda man held on for the win. Derek Drake rounded out the podium ahead of Brandon Hartranft.
250 Heat Two Results
Christian Craig – Honda
Cameron McAdoo – Kawasaki +1.026s
Derek Drake – KTM +4.873s
Brandon Hartranft – KTM +9.315s
Mitch Oldenburg – Honda +10.525s
Michael Mosiman – Husqvarna +11.201s
Dylan Ferrandis – Yamaha +16.574s
Aussie privateer Geran Stapleton scored the hole-shot in the LCQ and the Victorian had a few bobbles on the opening lap before settling to take a clear victory over Lorenzo Camporese while Chris Howell scored the final transfer spot.
250 LCQ Results
Geran Stapleton – Honda
Lorenzo Camporese – Kawasaki +1.536s
Chris Howell – Husqvarna +2.245s
Dylan Ferrandis got the best run down the start straight and came out the other side of turn one leading Christian Craig and Hunter Lawrence. Right behind Hunter Lawrence was the Kawasaki pairing of Austin Forkner and Cameron McAdoo. After winning the LCQ 27-year-old Aussie privateer Geran Stapleton had lined up for his first 250 Main of the season and was tenth on the opening lap just ahead of countrymen Jett Lawrence in 11th and Luke Clout in 13th.
Two-minutes in and it was still Ferrandis from Craig while both Forkner and McAdoo had worked their way past Hunter Lawrence before Michael Mosiman then pushed Hunter further back to sixth while Jett was now up to eighth.
Forkner then relegated Craig back to third place and set about chasing down the championship leader. Forkner had gone into this round ten-points behind Ferrandis and needed victory here to strengthen his championship challenge. It only took the Kawasaki rider a couple of laps to pull back more than two-seconds on the defending champ and he then settled into a position only a few bike lengths behind the Frenchman.
Christian Craig fell as the race neared its halfway-point and was shuffled back to ninth place. At this stage of the race the Lawrence brothers were running on track together and after Craig’s mishap were in fifth and sixth positions. The younger Jett squeezing past Hunter with a little over seven-minutes remaining, 20-year-old Hunter in only his second Supercross event while 16-year-old Jett has a few more under his belt. The brothers had Justin Cooper chasing them hard.
Ferrandis had responded to the challenge of Forkner and was maintaining a lead of just over a second. Forkner was gaining a lot of time on the flat stop-go turns while Ferrandis seemed to have the upper hand through the jump sections. Lapped traffic started to really become a factor and with five-minutes remaining that had allowed Forkner to get on direct terms with Ferrandis. Forkner then put a very aggressive pass on Ferrandis for the race lead, effectively running into the Frenchman and forcing him off the circuit. By the time Ferrandis was back on track and up to speed he was 4.5-seconds behind Forkner.
Jett Lawrence pulled away from his brother later in the race and closed in on Cameron McAdoo before then taking fourth place with two-minutes remaining. Jett then caught and passed Mosiman for third but the Husqvarna rider then came back at him and held Jett wide in a corner to re-take that third position. The young Aussie though was much faster through the whoops section and moved back up to third with 45-seconds left on the clock. Mosiman then made a small mistake which saw him passed by McAdoo and that allowed Jett to get away and race to a well-earned podium result. The 16-year-old absolutely pumped with that result and deservedly so.
Despite missing three rounds after that crushing shoulder injury after leading the Main at A2 Jett is now within striking distance of a top ten finish in the championship chase.
Hunter Lawrence was caught and passed by Cooper a few minutes before the chequered flag but still took a great 16-point haul from that seventh place finish in what is only his second AMA Supercross event and now has 26-points to his name.
Penrite Honda’s Luke Clout continued his run of scoring points in every single event this season with 11th position here today. That consistency sees Clout a hugely impressive seventh place in the 250 West Championship with only the East-West showdown remaining.
In his first ever Main event Victorian privateer Geran Stapleton finished in 20th position and scored his first points of the series. A great achievement in itself for the self-funded 27-year-old.
Austin Forkner though the winner here though, his fourth victory of the season thus far, and in the process the 21-year-old pulled back three-points on second placed Ferrandis to head to the East-West showdown only seven-points behind the defending champion.
That round is the last conventional round for the 250 West competitors as the next 250 round will see 250 East competitors race on June 17, ahead of the combined 250 East-West showdown on Sunday, June 21.
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