Tuesday’s Supercross Round 2 in Houston: How to watch, start times, schedule, TV info


After a season opener that reaffirmed the difficulty of advancing (especially on a surprisingly soft surface) in a stacked 450 class, the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series will return Tuesday night for Round 2 at NRG Stadium in Houston.

It’ll mark the second of three races at the Texas venue, but the track layout will be tweaked for each event (as the series did during its seven-race run in Salt Lake City, Utah, to close the 2020 season).

Houston dirt is known for its grip, and riders are expecting it should be drier and less tacky for Tuesday and in Round 3 (which is Saturday). But a fast start likely will be critical again to a solid performance.

Winner Justin Barcia led last Saturday night’s opener virtually from start to finish while past champions such as Eli Tomac and Cooper Webb struggled in traffic after being slow off the gate.

Husqvarna rider Dean Wilson battled to a 12th and said the start was his biggest focus for Round 2.

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“It’s pretty hectic; there’s so many fast guys,” he said. “You’re in that heat of the battle. I was thinking I was farther up than I was, but there’s just that many fast guys. I was battling outside the top 10 with Cooper. There are so many good guys in this class, it’s crazy. Fast starts are super, super important.”

Fourth-place finisher Adam Cianciarulo said “you can always said it’s hard to make up time … everyone’s really close” but noted the softer dirt combined with ruts getting deeper on the end of corners made passing “exceptionally difficult.

“It’s something with the way the ruts form,” he said. “It’s hard to cross those ruts and really block someone off. It makes it more difficult to pass.

“I didn’t have a problem with the track, though it wasn’t my favorite, and I didn’t gel with it, I thought they did a fine job with it. Clearly, people were able to separate themselves, and I think I got beat by 40 seconds. You can find time. … It’s just about adjusting technique and the motorcycle to suit your tendencies for the track.”

Malcolm Stewart, who finished fifth in his debut on the factory Star Racing Yamaha, said the fastest lines through the rhythm section got deeper and ruddier, changing “nonstop throughout the race,” but he still credited Dirt Wurx (the Supercross track constructor) for a solid layout.

“I don’t think anyone expected Houston to be that soft,” Stewart said. “I think it’ll dry out (Tuesday). It’s just the 450s eat the track up with 20 fast guys out there.

“I felt like the harder you pushed, it was almost like the more time you lost. The whoops got pretty gnarly on us, even though we were jumping through them. You try to push harder to catch someone, you start making more mistakes.”

For the riders who made errors in Round 1, Houston will be a chance to wipe the slate with a fresh track — even though the venue will remain the same.

Dylan Ferrandis, the two-time 250 West champion who finished seventh in his 450 debut Saturday, said “you still have to restart the whole process of a new race, even if it’s the same stadium, you still have to relearn the track and think about what’s the best combination.”

Here are the pertinent details for watching Round 1 of the 2021 Supercross season:

(All times are ET)

BROADCAST/STREAMING SCHEDULE:  TV coverage of Round 1 will be shown on a same-day delay Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. The event will be streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports App.

Live coverage is available via the exclusive streaming coverage formerly on NBC Sports Gold’s Supercross and Pro Motocross Pass. That has moved in 2021 to Peacock Premium, which is available for $4.99 per month.

The Supercross and Pro Motocross packages will have live coverage of all Supercross heats, qualifiers and races and Pro Motocross main practice, qualifers and motos. On-demand replays (including the full 2020 season) are available without commercial interruption.

ROUND 1 NOTABLE: With his third consecutive victory in the 450 season opener Justin Barcia won in his debut for GasGas, a new factory team. GasGas became the first brand to win in its first race since Yamaha won the first Supercross in 1974. The last time a brand premiered in the Supercross class was Ammex in 1978.

ENTRY LISTS: There are 49 riders entered in the 450 division for Round 2. Click here for the 450 entry list. The 250 division has 41 riders entered for Round 2. Click here for the 250 entry list.

EVENT SCHEDULE: After opening ceremonies at 8 p.m. ET, the starting gate will drop on the 250 and 450 heats at 8:30 p.m. ET.

COVID-19 CROWD PROTOCOLS: Houston will have limited attendance of about 25 percent capacity and “pod”-style seating for the event with face coverings required and social distancing observed in the stadium.

Supercross will be reopening its FanFest pit and sponsor area to fans but will keep riders and teams in a paddock bubble separate from the general public.

STANDINGS: 450 points standings | 250 East points standings 

HOW TO WATCH SUPERCROSS IN 2021Full NBC Sports schedule


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Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan after controversial block pass at Detroit


Media and fan attention focused on a controversial run-in between Haiden Deegan and his Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing teammate Jordon Smith during Round 10 of the Monster Energy Supercross race at Detroit, after which the 250 East points’ Hunter Lawrence defends the young rider in the postrace news conference.

Deegan took the early lead in Heat 1 of the round, but the mood swiftly changed when he became embroiled in a spirited battle with teammate Smith.

On Lap 3, Smith caught Deegan with a fast pass through the whoops. Smith briefly held the lead heading into a bowl turn but Deegan had the inside line and threw a block pass. In the next few turns, the action heated up until Smith eventually ran into the back of Deegan’s Yamaha and crashed.

One of the highlights of the battle seemed to include a moment when Deegan waited on Smith in order to throw a second block pass, adding fuel to the controversy.

After his initial crash, Smith fell to seventh on the next lap. He would crash twice more during the event, ultimately finishing four laps off the pace in 20th.

The topic was inevitably part of the postrace news conference.

“It was good racing; it was fun,” Deegan said at about the 27-minute mark in the video above. “I just had some fun doing it.”

Smith had more trouble in the Last Chance Qualifier. He stalled his bike in heavy traffic, worked his way into a battle for fourth with the checkers in sight, but crashed a few yards shy of the finish line and was credited with seventh. Smith earned zero points and fell to sixth in the standings.

Lawrence defends Deegan
Jordon Smith failed to make the Detroit Supercross Main and fell to sixth in the points. – Feld Motor Sports

“I think he’s like fifth in points,” Deegan said. “He’s a little out of it. Beside that it was good, I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention.”

Deegan jokingly deflected an earlier question with the response that he wasn’t paying attention during the incident.

“He’s my teammate, but he’s a veteran, he’s been in this sport for a while,” Deegan said. “I was up there just battling. I want to win as much as everybody else. It doesn’t matter if it’s a heat race or a main; I just want to win. I was just trying to push that.”

As Deegan and Smith battled, Jeremy Martin took the lead. Deegan finished second in the heat and backed up his performance with a solid third-place showing in the main, which was his second podium finish in a short six-race career. Deegan’s first podium was earned at Daytona, just two rounds ago.

But as Deegan struggled to find something meaningful to say, unsurprisingly for a 17-year-old rider who was not scheduled to run the full 250 schedule this year, it was the championship leader Lawrence who came to his defense.

Lawrence defends Deegan
A block pass by Haiden Deegan led to a series of events that eventually led to Jordon Smith failing to make the Main. – Feld Motor Sports

“I just want to point something out, which kind of amazes me,” Lawrence said during the conference. “So many of the people on social media, where everyone puts their expertise in, are saying the racing back in the ’80s, the early 90s, when me were men. They’re always talking about how gnarly it was and then anytime a block pass or something happens now, everyone cries about it.

“That’s just a little bit interesting. Pick one. You want the gnarly block passes from 10 years ago and then you get it, everyone makes a big song and dance about it.”

Pressed further, Lawrence defended not only the pass but the decision-making process that gets employed lap after lap in a Supercross race.

“It’s easy to point the finger,” Lawrence said. “We’re out there making decisions in a split millisecond. People have all month to pay their phone bill and they still can’t do that on time.

“We’re making decisions at such a fast reaction [time with] adrenaline. … I’m not just saying it for me or Haiden. I speak for all the guys. No one is perfect and we’re under a microscope out there. The media is really quick to point a finger when someone makes a mistake.”

The media is required to hold athletes accountable for their actions. They are also required to tell the complete story.