Monster Energy Supercross

Monster Energy AMA Supercross season kicks off Saturday in Anaheim

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The Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series kicks off Saturday with its 2019 season-opening race at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.

Jason Anderson is the defending champion of the top Supercross class, 450SX. He isn’t changing much in his approach to earn a second straight title in 2019.

“I’m entering this year with the mindset that I’m going to be the hunted each and every week,” Anderson said. “So I know I’m going to need to be better and even more consistent if I’m going to repeat as champion.”

Anderson not only has the pressure of being reigning series champion on him and trying to stave off top rivals including Marvin Musquin, MEC and MX champion Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen, he’ll also face several other riders, including a number of past champions moving up from the 250SX class to 450SX.

Jason Anderson (Getty Images)

“This is one of the deepest fields I’ve ever competed against and the young talent moving up from the 250SX class is really impressive,” Anderson said. “But I can’t worry about the other guys. I’m going to show up each week and race my race.”

With the colorful nickname of “El Hombre,” Anderson also is well aware that he can’t stand – or in this case, sit – on last year’s laurels. 2019 is a new season fraught with new challenges, new riders, new track layouts and more.

“Last year is in the past, it’s 2019 now and this is a new season with a deep field of talent in the 450SX class,” Anderson said. “I need to be even more consistent than I was last year because several guys are going to be capable of winning each week.”

Not only will the stands be packed in Anaheim, the entire season will be televised for the first time on the NBC Sports Gold subscription service. Fans of Supercross can catch every race this season live and on demand on NBC Sports Gold. (Click here for more)

“Many Supercross fans are cord-cutters or cord-nevers,” said Supercross senior director of operations Dave Prater. “They now have the ability to purchase the NBC Sports Gold Supercross package.

“NBC Sports Gold purchasers will be able to watch all events in real time, which allows us to super-serve the super fan.”

Prater also emphasized the large number of storylines heading into the new season, including:

* Can Jason Anderson repeat as 450SX champion?

* Will Eli Tomac, who has won twice as many races over the last two seasons than any other rider, finally put it all together and be crowned champ?

* Will Ken Roczen emerge after two seasons of injury?

* Can Marvin Musquin finally reach the top in the 450SX class?

* How will 450SX rookies and former 250SX champions Justin Hill, Aaron Plessinger and Zach Osborne fare in their first season in 450SX?

* Another 450SX rookie, Joey Savatgy, had an impressive showing at last October’s Monster Energy Cup, running up front in all three main events and finishing on the podium in his first ever race on a 450.

NOTES: When the gate drops to open the season Saturday in Anaheim, Chad Reed will make Supercross history by competing in his 18th consecutive season, breaking the old mark held by Mike Larocco. … After the heartbreak of finishing just two points behind Anderson for the 450SX championship last season, Adam Cianciarulo is back to try and dethrone Anderson in 2019. … Shane McElrath goes for three straight wins in the Anaheim season opener, having won the kickoff races for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

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Dean Wilson out for rest of Supercross season

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“Such a massive gut punch on Saturday,” Dean Wilson wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye.”

With that post, Wilson announced that he will be out for the remainder of the Supercross season, which includes races at East Rutherford, N.J. and Las Vegas, Nev. An MRI earlier in the week revealed a shoulder injury. He also sustained damage to his kidney in a Lap 8 accident while he was running in the top 10.

Wilson’s injuries will not require surgery.

Wilson’s season began with a lot of promise. Earning the holeshot in the season-opening race at Anaheim, Wilson led for a time before narrowly missing the podium in fourth.

Two weeks later, Wilson finished fifth overall in the Triple Crown event of Anaheim II. Those are his only top-fives of the season.

“The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year,” Wilson continued.

View this post on Instagram

Such a massive gut punch on Saturday. Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye. Started off Denver topping free practice then went on to qualify P1 in qualifier 1. Qualifier 2 didn’t get the cleanest laps but ended with a 4th. On to the main event I was running around 7th on lap 7 moving forward and as I came around for the rhythm section I tripled in and something freak happened causing the bike to nose dive after I tripled in and pile driving me into the ground. The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year. It’s tough just hoping to have a ride each year. 2nd part is people saying “wilson’s hurt again, big surprise there” when it was something that wasn’t my fault. It’s a tough pill To swallow.. I injured my shoulder and got a contusion on my kidneys. Got MRI and good news is I dodged a bullet on my shoulder and I am just going to give it a few weeks of rest and therapy and see where we are at. Huge disappointment to end my SX season like this. Thanks to my whole team for everything and everybody checking in on me. I really appreciate it. I will be back.

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Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold

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