Justin Barcia, Colt Nichols win Anaheim Supercross opener

3 Comments

On a heavy, rutted track Justin Barcia scored the 450 win at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. to claim the first of 17 rounds. It was his third career victory in 450s and his first in six years.

No one quite knew what to expect since for the first time since 2008, the season opening Supercross race was run under very muddy conditions. And as the gate dropped on the 450 feature, rain that began with the last chance qualifiers fell as hard as it had all day.

Barcia took the lead with about three minutes remaining on the clock and stretched his advantage to almost five second at the checkers.

Ken Roczen finished second after overcoming an injury last year.

Eli Tomac grabbed third in the final laps.

But the heartwarming story of the race belonged to the rider in fourth. Earlier in the week, Dean Wilson was selling t-shirts and hoodies to raise money simply to make the race. He took the lead on the opening lap and held it for more than 10 minutes until he succumbed to the pressure from Barcia.

Getting the action started, Cooper Webb went down in Turn 1.

Defending champion Jason Anderson was aiming for the hole shot, but pulled up when it got crowded. That handed the lead to the privateer Wilson.

Webb got back on his bike to salvage a fifth-place finish. Anderson faded a lap off the pace to 14th.

In 250 action, Colt Nichols grabbed the hole shot when Adam Cianciarulo slid off track in Turn 1. Nichols was uncontested for the remainder of the race and scored his first Supercross 250 win in his 23rd career start.

With time running off the clock, the battle intensified for second. McElrath held the spot, but Dylan Ferrandis had chased him down from behind. The two riders swapped crossovers with Ferrandis taking the spot before the final lap began.

Cianciarulo’s night should not have been that difficult. He looked like he was going to get the hole shot in the 250 feature. Unfortunately, he overcooked the first lap and drove off course in Turn 1 – falling to 12th in the process. He was back up to sixth (14.204 seconds behind leader Nichols) after five minutes elapsed.

With a little more than seven minutes remaining, Cianciarulo caught RJ Hampshire for fourth and ran him high in a turn. Hampshire repaid the move at the end of the whoops and put Cianciarulo on the ground.

Hampshire finished fourth; Cianciarulo survived in fifth.

450 Heat 1 (6 minutes + 1 lap): Ken Roczen won over Dean Wilson

450 Heat 2 (6 minutes + 1 lap): Justin Barcia won over Malcolm Stewart

450 Last Chance Qualifier (5 minutes + 1 lap): Carlen Gardner won over Chad Reed. Ben Lamay and Kyle Chisholm also advanced through the LCQ. Reed made the season-opening A-Main for the 18th straight time – a Supercross record.

250 Heat 1 (6 minutes + 1 lap): RJ Hampshire won over Shane McElrath

250 Heat 2 (6 minutes + 1 lap): Adam Cianciarulo won over Colt Nichols

250 Last Chance Qualifier (5 minutes +1 lap): Bradley Lionnet won over Matthew Jorgensen. Logan Karnow and Jerry Robin also advanced through the LCQ.

Next race: January 12, State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.

Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter

Cooper Webb, Shane McElrath win Anaheim II Supercross

SupercrossLIVE.com
Leave a comment

Cooper Webb entered the Anaheim II weekend winless in Supercross. He left as a winner and did so in dramatic fashion. Webb was almost perfect in the Triple Crown format. He won the first two Mains and swept the podium with a third-place finish in the final.

Marvin Musquin was the only other driver in 450s to sweep the podium. He did not win any of the Mains, but with a finish of third in the first and second-place results in the last two, he was grabbed the second spot in the overall results.

Eli Tomac won the final Main after finishing fourth in the first two features, which put him third in the overall results.

Trouble continues for last year’s champion. With nine minutes remaining in Main 3, Jason Anderson got into a shoving match with Chad Reed. Knocked out of his rhythm, he finished 17th in that Main and was ninth overall.

Justin Barcia went down hard after being thrown from his bike with five minutes remaining on the clock. He got cross-rutted before being ejected. Barcia was helped from the track by the medical staff.

The 250 class featured three winners in the three Mains. Leading the points by one entering Anaheim II, Colt Nichols was determined to hang onto the red plate. He won the first Main, then finished third and fourth in his next two outings.

Dylan Ferrandis was the runner-up to Nichols in Main 1, but charged back to win Main 2. He finished third in the final Main.

The overall winner of the night, Shane McElrath just got better in every Main. He finished third in the first feature, was second in Main 2 and won the final. That elevated him to second in the points – two behind Nichols.

Nichols holds onto the red plate for the third straight week.

450s

Main 1: Cooper Webb won over Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin. … Roczen took the hole shot and steadily increased his advantage until Lap 6. Webb was in a battle of his own with Eli Tomac, but still closed the distance and overtook him on the final lap. The two riders went handlebar-to-handlebar on the final lap with Webb grabbing the lead on the run up to the finish line.

Main 2: Webb (cumulative: 2 points) won over Musquin (5) and the opening round winner Justin Barcia (10). … Emboldened by his Main 1 win, Webb led checker-to-checker. Running third on Lap 8, Roczen (7) went down after his foot came off the peg. He fell back dramatically, but held onto third in the class points through two mains. Tomas finished fifth in the Main and was fourth in class points. 

Main 3: Tomac (cumulative: 9 points) won over Musquin (7) and Webb (5). Tomac led flag-to-flag, building an advantage of 6.825 seconds at the halfway point. He did not need to keep pushing that hard and allowed Musquin to shave two seconds off his lead, but still had a dominant margin of 4.787 seconds at the end.

250s

Main 1: Colt Nichols won over Dylan Ferrandis and Shane McElrath. … Adam Cianciarulo took a fall after leading three laps and dropped 10 seconds off the pace, but he held on to finish fourth. … Nichols grabbed a lead of more than three seconds and cruised to victory.

Main 2: Ferrandis (cumulative: 3 points) beat McElrath (5) and Nichols (4). … Nichols led the first seven laps of 12 until he made a mistake exiting to whoops and fell. Ferrandis leaped past to take a more than two second lead. Cianciarulo (18) went off track while running fifth with less than a minute on the clock. He dropped to 14th. RJ Hampshire (9) was fourth in class after the first two mains.

Main 3: McElrath (cumulative: 6 points) won over Cianciarulo (20) and Ferrandis (6). Nichols got the hole shot , but Cianciarulo led the first four laps. He could not hold off McElrath, however, who had the overall victory in his sights. By winning the final Main, McElrath took the overall victory. RJ Hampshire rode a steady three races with results of fifth, fourth, and fifth to take fourth overall.

Click here for overall results

Points Leaders

450s
Ken Roczen (63 points)
Eli Tomac (61)
Cooper Webb (57) (1 win)
Justin Barcia (56) (1)
Marvin Musquin (56)

250s
Colt Nichols (70 points) (1 win)
Shane McElrath (68) (1)
Dylan Ferrandis (63)
Adam Cianciarulo (62) (1)
RJ Hampshire (57)

Next race: January 19, Angel Stadium, Anaheim, Calif.

Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter