Reed 11th at Vegas, 13th overall – Mellross 10th in 250SX
Images by Hoppenworld
AMA Supercross crowned Jason Anderson as the 450SX Class Champion following an electrifying race in Las Vegas, as his fifth-place finish held off the hard-charging Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin who finished second at the Supercross grand finale and nine points behind the championship winner.
Post Race Conference
With a monumental championship on the line, Anderson took on a conservative approach to the final round. Qualifying third, the newly-crowned 450SX Champion got off to a top-three start in his heat, where he settled into second early on. He maintained his second-place transfer position for the remainder of the heat race, shifting his focus toward the Main Event.
Anderson got a top-ten start in the Main Event but he quickly established himself in the fifth-place position early on. He maintained a solid pace for the remainder of the 21-lap Main Event to finish fifth overall on the way to claim his first-ever 450SX title.
Jason Anderson – 450SX Championship winner (P5)
“Today was really stressful, but I feel like I handled it really well and came out with the championship, I’m so excited. We put our whole lives into this, we’ve been riding dirtbikes for so long and to win this championship, me and my team, it’s the most surreal moment of my life up to this point.”
It was a bittersweet ending to the 2018 AMA Supercross Championship for Marvin Musquin and the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team, who concluded the 17-round series only nine points shy of the 450SX Championship title. Musquin piloted his KTM 450 SX-F to a hard-fought second-place finish at the Las Vegas finale on Saturday where he enjoyed his seventh-straight podium appearance in front of a packed crowd at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Marvin Musquin – P2
“I knew it was going to be a tough Main Event. It’s Vegas, it’s hard and slippery. My start in the Main Event was awesome but Eli was a little bit better and we were first and second right away. My goal was to keep charging and keep pushing. We both made mistakes and we pushed hard. I made a mistake with the lappers in the rhythm before the finish and definitely lost the connect with Eli and after that, the gap stayed the same. I gave my best, and on a track like that, I improved so much from last year and I’m really proud about it.”
Musquin was joined on the podium by KTM’s Blake Baggett, who rode a steady race in the third-place position. Baggett concludes an impressive 2018 season with fourth overall in the 450SX Championship Standings. His teammate, Benny Bloss, earned his best finish of the season with sixth-place in the Main Event.
Aussie Chad Reed was 11th in Las Vegas in the Main event and ends the season 13th in the 450SX standings.
Las Vegas SX Results – 450SX Main Event
Las Vegas SX Results – 450SX Rider Point Standings
Jason Anderson – 356 points
Marvin Musquin – 347
Eli Tomac – 318
Blake Baggett – 285
Justin Brayton – 275
Weston Peick – 251
Dean Wilson – 208
Broc Tickle – 184
Cooper Webb – 181
Justin Barcia – 177
…13. Chad Reed – 159
250SX East/West Showdown
Zach Osborne also made history as he successfully defended his title and claimed his second-consecutive 250SX East Championship aboard his Husqvarna FC 250.
Aaron Plessinger took the 250SX West Championship title, and proposed to his girlfriend on the podium, and took a narrow title win from Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo, who won the Main Event and was just two-points off the leader.
Supercross 250 Main Event
Osborne set the tone for the day as top qualifier in the 250SX East division, where he went on to capture a commanding heat race win. As the gate dropped for the 250SX E/W Showdown Main Event, Osborne had trouble getting off the line as he found himself nearly last at the start of the opening lap. Osborne immediately began climbing through the pack to reach a top-ten position by the end of lap one. With a championship mindset, Osborne maintained his seventh-place position to emerge as a two-time 250SX champion as the checkers flew.
“This year has been tough for me. I’ve had to fight every inch for this championship, Jordon and the rest of the guys rode really awesome this whole season and gave me a heck of a challenge. This was the hardest one so far, I would say, but it’s amazing to be a three-time champion.”
Kawasaki enjoyed a double celebration inside Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday night to close out the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross season. Not only was the team celebrating Adam Cianciarulo’s first win of the 2018 season but also the 150th supercross victory.
Cianciarulo’s come-from-behind ride showcased his raw speed as he did everything he could to have a chance at the championship, ultimately coming up only two points shy. Teammate Joey Savatgy also had a great run in Las Vegas, finishing just off the podium in fourth.
“It was a rollercoaster day because I’ve come in with the burden of a torn ACL all year, but then I twisted my ankle a bit in practice,” said Cianciarulo. “Maybe it evened me out, but I felt ready to get this win and I’m so happy it ended up being Pro Circuit’s 150th supercross victory. Since the knee ended up bothering me more than I thought it would during the supercross season, I have decided to get surgery on it so I can enter the 2019 season healthy and ready to bring the team a championship. It was a tough decision because I love riding outdoors, but it’s the best decision for the long term.”
“I really wish I could have ended the season on the podium, but we’re healthy and ready to go after a championship outdoors. I feel really good and confident that the speed will be there for the motocross season. I got a win and several podium finishes, so the supercross season was solid.”
Jordon Smith came into the final round only 15-points down from the 250SX East Championship title. With both championships up for grabs, the 250SX E/W Showdown proved to be an exciting finale as the top riders from each division were lined up together inside Sam Boyd Stadium. It was teammate Shane McElrath who assumed the early lead in the combined Main Event where he led the first seven laps of racing.
The top-five swapped positions many times throughout the 16-lap Main Event and soon Jordon Smith found himself in a three-way battle with McElrath and another rider for second. Smith eventually made a pass on McElrath with three laps to go and he held strong to finish second, while McElrath rounded out the podium in third.
Aussie Hayden Mellross finished the Showdown Main Event 10th, while holding the same overall rank in the 250SX West championship.
“Tenth overall in the East Vs West showdown race last night. Thanks to everyone cheering me on, especially all the Aussies who came out to say hello! It’s always great catching up and hearing Aussies in the pits!”
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.