Early season success is on the line for Supercross at St. Louis

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Early season success is on the line as the Monster Energy Supercross series heads east for their first trip to St. Louis and the Dome at America’s Center in two years. Surprise winners in both the 450 and 250 class looking to build on their momentum. Meanwhile, two of the riders who took the 2019 points’ battle to the bitter end need a strong showing to overcome their deficit.

Last year Justin Barcia entered Week 2 of the Supercross season with the points’ lead and finished sixth at Glendale. If he wants to stay in contention for the 2020 title, he is going to have to ride well this week and threaten for a podium or his season may start to unravel once more.

Finishing sixth and seventh last week Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac cannot afford to give up points in back to back weeks. They need to challenge for the podium as well.

The 2019 champion Cooper Webb and the remarkable rookie Adam Cianciarulo also look to sustain momentum. Unfortunately, there are only three steps to the podium.

Cianciarulo has had an impressive two races leading up to St. Louis. He shocked the field with his Monster Energy Cup win at Las Vegas during the offseason and came up just a few minutes short of winning his first official 450 race last week. That would have made him only the third rider in history to win his first attempt. He finished second

Third-place Webb had his best Anaheim 1 race of his career.

Adam Enticknap did not line up for last week’s LCQ and will miss Round 2 with a wrist injury. He is expected to return for Week 3 as the series returns to Anaheim. Max Anstie remains out with an ankle injury.

In 250s, Austin Forkner has something to prove. He threw away his chance to win the opener by jumping wide right into the Tuff Blox and lost two positions to penalty after cutting the track. He will not be too pleased by the fact that an early altercation with Justin Cooper saw that rider recover for the victory.

Michael Mosiman is expecting a magical year and he got off to a strong start with his fourth-place finish, but he knows he needs to ride better in order to challenge the 250 West superstars.

Schedule:

Qualifying: 2:00 pm on NBC Sports Gold
Race: 8:00 on NBCSN, or stream live by clicking here

Last Week:

Justin Barcia beat Adam Cianciarulo and Cooper Webb in the 450 class.
Justin Cooper beat Dylan Ferrandis and Christian Craig in the 250 class.

Last St. Louis race (March, 2018):

Eli Tomac beat Jason Anderson and Marvin Musquin in the 450 class.
Zach Osborne beat Jeremy Martin and Jordan Smith in the 250 class.

Points Leaders

450s:
Justin Barcia (26)
Adam Cianciarulo (23)
Cooper Webb (21)
Blake Baggett (19)
Jason Anderson (18)

250 West:
Justin Cooper (26)
Dylan Ferrandis (23)
Christian Craig (21)
Michael Mosiman (19)
Austin Forkner (18)

Wins

450

(1) Justin Barcia (Anaheim 1)

250 West

(1) Justin Cooper (Anaheim 1)

Top-5s

450

(1) Justin Barcia
(1) Adam Cianciarulo
(1) Cooper Webb
(1) Blake Baggett
(1) Jason Anderson

250 West

(1) Justin Cooper
(1) Dylan Ferrandis
(1) Christian Craig
(1) Michael Mosiman
(1) Austin Forkner

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Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.