Round 3 of the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross season at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. looked eerily familiar. The top three riders in 2019 points reprised their battle at the head of the pack for the first time this year. Eli Tomac’s cold start to the 2020 season finally heated up with a convincing win over Ken Roczen and Cooper Webb.
As for the race, it was another slow start for Tomac. Riding 10th at the end of Lap 1, Tomac came from the middle of the pack once again, but this time he knew he could catch the leaders.
“That was a big push,” Tomac said after the race. “Luckily I was able to get the insides in the first few corners there and then it was game on. It was realistic to catch to front today. I was riding way better and was more comfortable on my motorcycle.”
With his win, Tomac jumped two positions in the standings to third in points.
Second-place finisher Roczen was disappointed after giving up the race lead, but was consoled by the points’ lead.
“I grabbed a super great start,” Roczen said. “I made it around the first turn and had a good gap going, but to win this Main event I had to skim the whoops. I made some adjustments from the heat race, but I wasn’t that comfortable out there.”
Roczen led early but was soon challenged. Blake Baggett slipped past Roczen and then immediately fell in the next turn. Baggett ended the race in 14th.
Webb took the final spot on the podium, but after battling the flu and strep for the past two weeks, he was happy to feel healthy.
The points’ leader entering the race, Barcia had a tough outing. He was outside the top 10 in the first five minutes and managed to climb as high as seventh before dropping to ninth in the final rundown. He lost the lead to Roczen and now trails by six.
Zach Osborne and Jason Anderson rounded out the top five.
Dylan Ferrandis took the checkers first in a race that threatened to end under review. That speaks volumes about the intensity of the 250 West Main.
The incident that brought about the potential review came halfway through the Main when Ferrandis made heavy contact with Christian Craig as the pair battled for second place. Ferrandis catapulted Craig off his bike as both riders fell. Ferrandis was quick to reclaim his seat and continued on his quest to catch the leader.
“From my perspective, I scrubbed really fast past the finish line. … We made contact, but I feel like I was a little bit in front of him,” Ferrandis said from the top spot on the podium with boos raining down. “It’s not the kind of racing I want to do, but otherwise I give everything I have and a win is awesome.”
More drama was set up late in the race.
The leader, 16-year-old Jett Lawrence was gifted an 11-second lead with Ferrandis and Craig’s incident. It wasn’t enough.
With four minutes on the clock, Lawrence fell and allowed last year’s 250 West champion to close within two seconds. Lawrence regained his composure and maintained a steady advantage for the next two minutes until a bobble brought Ferrandis into contact.
The final lap shaped up to be a classic battle. Ferrandis took the lead with time running off the clock. Struggling to catch him, Lawrence endoed hard into a jump. His bike followed him into the crash scene and slammed into him. Lawrence was helped off the track by the Alpine Medical team. At the conclusion of the night, the team announced Lawrence suffered a broken collarbone.
Justin Cooper inherited second and maintained his points’ lead.
On the heels of his first podium finish last week at St. Louis, Brandon Hartranft scored another and solidified his position of third in the standings.
A night that started out with so much promise for Honda teammates Craig and Lawrence ended with neither rider on the lead lap. They earned a three-second lead over Austin Forkner early in the race. Forkner was running third when he landed awkwardly and laid his bike down. Forkner had trouble restarting his Kawasaki and finished 17th.
Lawrence finished ninth as the first rider one lap down.
Heat 1: Eli Tomac finally looked like Eli Tomac; he took the heat win by nearly 10 seconds over the field. … Tomac and Cooper Webb needed to get out of the gate fast. They have not shown the level of strength necessary to contend for the championship and in a 17-race season, there is not much time to find one’s rhythm. … Webb finished second. … Dean Wilson rounded out the podium … Justin Brayton was involved in a Turn 1 accident, but he climbed back onto his steed and rode into a transfer position with his seventh-place finish. … Chad Reed was in the final transfer position until the next to last lap; he was run down and passed by Justin Hill, who was forced to come from the back after he was also involved in the Turn 1 incident. | Heat 1 Results
Heat 2: Ken Roczen picked up where he left off in St. Louis with a win in his heat. … He did not walk away with the victory uncontested, however. He was embroiled in a fierce battle with Adam Cianciarulo in the early laps … Cianciarulo got a fast, aggressive start and held the advantage for half of the heat before succumbing to the veteran. Once he fell behind, AC went to school on Roczen. Based on that observation, Cianciarulo said he lost the majority of his time in the whoops. … Jason Anderson took the final spot on the podium. … Malcolm Stewart finished fourth. … Zach Osborne took the final transfer spot over Chris Blose. | Heat 2 Results
LCQ: After getting edged on the next-to-last lap of his heat, Chad Reed paced the field to win the Last Chance Qualifier over Chris Blose. … Ryan Breece advanced with his third-place finish, but it came with a little drama: Breece muscled Jason Clermont out of the lead and off of the track halfway through the race. … Alex Ray grabbed the final transfer spot. | LCQ Results
Heat 1: Austin Forkner walked away with the win by nearly 11 seconds over Mitchell Oldenburg. “I really wanted to try and crush these guys in this heat race and make a statement.” Forkner declared from the top step of the podium. … Justin Cooper rounded out the top three. … The final transfer spot went to Lorenzo Camporese, edging out Taiki Koga. … Alex Martin was also sent to the LCQ after crashing early in the rhythm section. | Heat 1 Results
Heat 2: Christian Craig got the early jump and maintained it through the heat as Jett Lawrence and Dylan Ferrandis were forced to come through the field. It wasn’t simple. Craig had to battle a loose seat. … Ferrandis and Lawrence were jammed up in the opening lap and the pair had to come blazing through the field. … Logan Karnow took the final transfer over Michael Mosiman. | Heat 2 Results
LCQ: Michael Mosiman put two fast straights together on the opening lap and blasted past Alex Martin. … That’s how they finished the LCQ with Mosiman holding a more-than seven-second lead. … Luke Clout finished third with Robbie Wageman taking the final transfer spot. | LCQ Results
Next race: January 25, State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
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