Justin Barcia leads Supercross field in return to Anaheim

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What a difference a year makes. Cooper Webb scored his first career Supercross win in the 2019 edition of Anaheim 2 and went on to take the championship. Now Webb will attempt to put his bad finish from St. Louis behind him as the Monster Energy Supercross series heads back to Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. for their second visit, Saturday January 18.

Justin Barcia’s solid performance in the first two races and Ken Roczen’s first win in three years has put pressure on a number of riders. The most recent four champions in 450 competition have each won one of the first three rounds. Eli Tomac, Jason Anderson and Adam Cianciarulo cannot afford to give up any more ground.

This race is critical for another reason: The winner of Anaheim 2 has won the championship in 14 of 21 seasons including a streak from 2003-2010. Webb won A2 last year.

Barcia is determined to hold onto the red plate. To do so, he will likely need to score three straight podiums for the second time in his career. The first time came late in the 2014 season.

If Roczen scores his fifth Anaheim victory, he will move into a tie for fifth on the all time list at this track alongside Ryan Dungey and Ryan Villopoto.

Cianciarulo has shown a lot of promise in the first two weeks, but after falling in Missouri and failing to sweep the top five, this could be an important race. He needs to show how rapidly he can put that hardship behind and concentrate on the current task.

The layout will be different than it was in Anaheim 1, but most of the riders remain familiar with the track since the industry is centered around Southern California.

One of the changes to the layout is a sharper Turn 1. Last week in St. Louis several riders had difficulty navigating an equally treacherous corner, so the starts to the heats and mains will require some extra concentration.

Fredrik Noren will miss Anaheim after sustaining an injury to his left leg at St. Louis.

Austin Forkner rebounded nicely last week and he still has a chance to establish early dominance in 250 points.

Coming off a career-first podium at St. Louis, Brandon Hartranft will focus on maintaining momentum while Michael Mosiman looks to rebound.

Cameron McAdoo will be out for the foreseeable future with a collapsed right lung and a partially collapsed left lung.

Schedule:

Qualifying: 4:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Gold
Race: 10:00 p.m. on NBCSN, or stream live by clicking here

Last Week:

Ken Roczen beat Justin Barcia and Jason Anderson in the 450 class.
Austin Forkner beat Justin Cooper and Brandon Hartranft in the 250 class.

Last St. Louis race (March, 2018):

Cooper Webb beat Marvin Musquin and Eli Tomac in the 450 class.
Shane McElrath beat Dylan Ferrandis and Colt Nichols in the 250 class.

Points Leaders

450s:
Justin Barcia (49)
Ken Roczen (43)
Jason Anderson (39)
Adam Cianciarulo (39)
Eli Tomac (35)

250 West:
Justin Cooper (49)
Austin Forkner (44)
Brandon Hartranft (37)
Dylan Ferrandis (34)
Alex Martin (32)

Wins

450

(1) Justin Barcia (Anaheim 1)
(1) Ken Roczen (St. Louis)

250 West

(1) Justin Cooper (Anaheim 1)
(1) Austin Forkner (St. Louis)

Top-5s

450

(2) Justin Barcia
(2) Jason Anderson
(1) Adam Cianciarulo
(1) Cooper Webb
(1) Blake Baggett
(1) Ken Roczen
(1) Eli Tomac
(1) Zach Osborne

250 West

(2) Austin Forkner
(2) Justin Cooper
(1) Dylan Ferrandis
(1) Christian Craig
(1) Michael Mosiman
(1) Brandon Hartranft
(1) Alex Martin
(1) Jett Lawrence

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Robert Wickens shares more positive strides toward recovery in new video

Joe Skibinski/IndyCar
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Robert Wickens has made massive steps since sustaining a spinal cord injury in an Aug. 19, 2018 crash at Pocono Raceway.

Since the accident, Wickens publicly has shared his recovery, often uploading videos of his physical rehabilitation on Twitter.

In his most recent update on Wednesday, Wickens shared a video of him walking on a treadmill. Fellow NTT IndyCar Series competitor Tony Kannan, who competes in triathlons during his spare time, also was visible running on the treadmill behind Wickens.

“When I am @TonyKannan [sic] age, I hope to run as fast as him…” Wickens tweeted. “Today was a good day!”

Wickens, who will turn 31 on March 13, first made his return to the IndyCar paddock in last year’s season opener in St. Petersburg. Since then, he’s made a return to the driver’s seat, piloting a specialized Acura NSX prior to the start of last year’s IndyCar race in his hometown of Toronto.

In September, Wickens fulfilled a vow to his wife Karli, by standing with her during their wedding. The new husband and wife also danced together during their reception.

Should Wickens fully recover to resume racing, Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt has stated that the team’s No. 6 entry will be available for him to drive. Wickens continues to remain as a “driver coach and consultant” for the team.

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