With 1:30 remaining on the clock in Round 2 of the Supercross season at Glendale, Ariz., Blake Baggett swept past Jason Anderson to score his first career win. Prior to tonight, Baggett had three podiums – all of them third-place finishes.
Baggett finished fourth in his heat, which gave him a less-than desirable gate pick. He was running nearly five seconds off the pace in fourth when a red flag four laps into the race for a hard crash involving Malcolm Stewart allowed the field to close the gap.
“I’ve had weekends when I could run with those guys and weeks when they leave me in the dust,” Baggett said on NBCSN after the race. “”It feels good to finally get my program together and be able to run with those guys.”
After being passed by Baggett, Anderson lost his rhythm and fell 5.847 seconds behind and only 2.301 seconds ahead of a hard charging and highly-amped Ken Roczen.
Roczen was riding like a man possessed.
With 10:30 to go in the Main, Anderson banzied Roczen and clipped the then-leaders front tire – sending Roczen to the dirt. Roczen lost six seconds as he climbed back on his bike. Once he regained his rhythm, he was embroiled in a battle with Marvin Musquin and Eli Tomac.
Roczen’s disappointment was palpable. He seemingly had the race in hand until Stewart’s crash.
Roczen grabbed the hole shot from the far right side of the gate and had visions of his first win in two years. He had a comfortable three-second lead over Anderson that had stabilized until Stewart went down hard with 14:30 remaining in the Main. It took a few seconds to alert the field and a stunned Stewart watched as five riders flew over his prone body – some clearing him by mere inches.
The red flag was displayed with 13:25 remaining. Stewart was running sixth at the time.
Tomac finished fourth, which was an incredible feat considering the hole that was dug in his heat. Tomac had a rear wheel lock up on the start and fell to 17th. He was only able to ride to 10th in the six-minute heat and was forced to pass through the Last Chance Qualifier. This is only his second trip to the LCQ and first since St. Louis in 2013; he won that race.
In the LCQ, a major incident erupted right behind Tomac in Turn 1 that wiped out more than half a dozen riders. Tomac emerged with the hole shot and the lead. Tomac won and remains perfect in regard to his LCQ performance.
Musquin rounded out the top five with last week’s winner Justin Barcia finishing sixth.
In Heat 1 Joey Savatgy went into the pits at the four-minute mark and climbed carefully off his bike. He was unable to continue in the event.
In the 250 class, Adam Cianciarulo got the hole shot and drove away from the field, winning his seventh career race by nearly 10 seconds over points leader Colt Nichols.
Cianciarulo was given a little distance between himself and the field when Dylan Ferrandis high-sided at the two-minute mark. Ferrandis fell to 16th.
Shane McElrath rounded out the podium.
RJ Hampshire backed up last week’s fourth-place finish in Anaheim with another fourth at Glendale, while James Decotis rounded out the top five.
Ferrandis had perhaps the gutsiest performance of the Main when he rebounded to finish sixth and salvage a ton of points that allowed him to hold onto the fourth position in the points, nine behind the leader Nichols.
450 Heat 1 (6 minutes + 1 lap): Marvin Musquin won over Cole Seely
450 Heat 2 (6 minutes + 1 lap): Justin Brayton won over Chad Reed
450 Last Chance Qualifier (5 minutes + 1 lap): Eli Tomac won over Kyle Chisholm. Ronnie Stewart and Cheyenne Harmon also advanced.
250 Heat 1 (6 minutes + 1 lap): Adam Cianciarulo won over Shane McElrath by 5.487 seconds.
250 Heat 2 (6 minutes + 1 lap): Colt Nichols won over James Decotis
250 Last Chance Qualifier (5 minutes +1 lap): Enzo Lopes won over Jim Pettis. Dylan Merriam and Devin Harriman also advanced.
Colt Nichols (49 points) (1 win)
Adam Cianciarulo (-5) (1)
Shane McElrath (-7)
Dylan Ferrandis (-9)
RJ Hampshire (-11)
Ken Roczen (44 points) (1 win)
Justin Barcia (-1) (1)
Eli Tomac (-4)
Blake Baggett (-7)
Dean Wilson (-10)
Next race: January 19, Angel Stadium, Anaheim, Calif.
Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.