Jason Anderson wins Supercross Round 2 at Oakland for first victory since 2018 title


Jason Anderson won in the 450 class for the first time since his 2018 championship season and climbed to second in the points standings Saturday in Round 2 of the Monster Energy Supercross season in Oakland, Calif.

After an opening round that featured a 1-2 finish by last year’s top title contenders, Ken Roczen and Cooper Webb, Round 2 brought new faces up front as Anderson led Aaron Plessinger and Justin Barcia across the line.

Anderson got a good start, but it was new teammate Adam Cianciarulo who grabbed the holeshot and held the lead for the first four minutes.

Once Anderson passed Cianciarulo, he held the lead to the checkers, ending a 47-race winless streak dating to March 3, 2018 at Atlanta.

“Since I won that championship, it’s been a roller coaster for me mentally,” Anderson told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “Last year was a tough one for me. I wasn’t performing, and I was thankful that (Kawasaki) set me up and gave me a breath of fresh air. They stuck with me and gave me an opportunity.

“As much as I don’t show it, this one feels so damn good, and I’m so excited, and I want to keep the ball rolling.”

As Anderson waited to climb onto the podium, nearly every rider in the field came to express congratulations.

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 main event in Oakland 

Plessinger and Barcia had more challenging openings to their race. Starting outside the top five, they had to pick their way through the field before finding the podium.

It was a rebound for Anderson, who lost a podium in Anaheim because of late contact with Barcia. Anderson tweeted there were no hard feelings, but it would be nice if Barcia bought a couple of items from his merchandise site. During the track walk, Barcia was seen wearing a Team Fried hoodie.

Despite the slow start, Plessinger moved forward quickly and moved into second at the five-minute mark. It was the second career podium in 450 for Plessinger, who finished third at Daytona last year.

“I don’t know where I was last week,” said Plessinger, who finished ninth at Anaheim in his Red Bull KTM debut as Webb’s teammate. “I was in a different mind state. I regrouped this week, and it was a good week.”

Barcia climbed to third before midway and closed onto Plessinger’s bumper but was unable the complete the pass for the runner-up position. Last week, Barcia was gunning for his fourth consecutive opening round victory, but when he came up short, he was content with being on the podium. He hoped his strong run signaled a return of consistency and would help him make a legitimate run at the championship.

“I was just riding my race, having fun,” Barcia said. “I got a little tight in the middle, was able to regroup. I saw Eli (Tomac) coming and needed to put the hammer down. I really wanted those two in front of me, but they ran awesome.”

He left Anaheim without the red plate for the first time in three years but will have it firmly affixed to his GasGas bike when the series heads to San Diego next weekend.

After a slow start, Tomac finished fourth, and Malcolm Stewart rounded out the top five.

It was a tough evening for last week’s top-two finishers as Webb finished seventh and dropped into a tie for second with Anderson, three points behind Barcia.

The news was worse for Roczen, who started up front but quickly was shuffled out of the top five. Soon after, Roczen lost control in the whoops and crashed hard. He was able to remount but faded to 13th.

After the holeshot, Cianciarulo remained bothered by a separated shoulder over the course of the main event and dropped to a 12th-place finish. But he raced with the leaders for most of the shorter heat race.

The 250 West class had a much more familiar feel at the front. Christian Craig scored his second consecutive win and padded his points advantage to eight over the field.

“It’s always cool to win and then to do it two weeks in a row is special and something I’m very thankful for,” Craig told NBC Sports’ Daniel Blair from the top step of the podium.

“I got behind Jo (Shimoda) in the main, and he stalled it in the whoops. After that, I just clicked off my laps. The track got really tricky. I had a couple of sketchy moments in the rhythms, but other than that, I managed the race.”

The heat races saw a return of both Anaheim winners with Craig standing on the top box in Heat 2 and Michael Mosiman winning Heat 1.

The main event podium was also a replica of last week with one slight adjustment: At Anaheim, Hunter Lawrence crossed over the finish line inches from Seth Hammaker’s back tire. This week, he climbed one spot higher into second with Hammaker rounding out the top three.

Click here for full 250 West main results

Back-to-back podiums were not enough, however: “Not when you’re trying to win a championship,” Lawrence told Blair. “I rode great, but just took myself out of the race with the start.

“It’s all on me. We’ll go back, keep working, and hopefully give ourselves a better chance next weekend.”

Lawrence and Hammaker are tied for second in the championship after two of nine rounds, but eight markers can be hard to make up in this field.

“Solid night here in Oakland: third,” Hammaker told Blair. “I’m going to take it and learn from it. I’m not super pumped about how I rode tonight, but I’m glad to be back on the box.”

Mosiman finished fourth.

But it was Nate Thrasher who mounted the biggest ride through the field. Finishing fifth in his heat, he was ninth at the start of the main before climbing to fifth in the final showdown.

ROUND 1, Anaheim: Ken Roczen renews battle with Cooper Webb by winning the opener

Jack Miller wins the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix as Fabio Quartararo stops his downward points’ slide


Jack Miller ran away with the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi as Fabio Quartararo stopped his downward slide in the championship when a last-lap accident from his closest rival in the standings caused Francesco Bagnaia to score zero points.

Starting seventh, Miller quickly made his way forward. He was second at the end of two laps. One lap later, he grabbed the lead from Jorge Martin. Once in the lead, Miller posted three consecutive fastest laps and was never seriously challenged. It was Australian native Miller’s first race win of the season and his sixth podium finish.

The proximity to his home turf was not lost.

“I can ride a motorcycle sometimes,” Miller said in NBC Sports’ post-race coverage. “I felt amazing all weekend since I rolled out on the first practice. It feels so awesome to be racing on this side of the world.

“What an amazing day. It’s awesome; we have the home Grand Prix coming up shortly. Wedding coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m over the moon; can’t thank everyone enough.”

Miller beat Brad Binder to the line by 3.4 seconds with third-place Jorge Martin finishing about one second behind.

But the center of the storm was located just inside the top 10 as both Quartararo and Bagnaia started deep in the field.

Quartararo was on the outside of row three in ninth with Bagnaia one row behind in 12th. Neither rider moved up significantly, but the championship continued to be of primary importance as Bagnaia put in a patented late-race charge to settle onto Quartararo’s back tire, which would have allowed the championship leader to gain only a single point.

On the final lap, Bagnaia charged just a little too hard and crashed under heavy braking, throwing away the seven points he would have earned for a ninth-place finish.

The day was even more dramatic for the rider who entered the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix third in the standings. On the sighting lap, Aleix Espargaro had an alarm sound, so he peeled off into the pits, dropped his primary bike and jumped aboard the backup. Starting from pit lane, he trailed the field and was never able to climb into the points. An undisclosed electronic problem was the culprit.

For Quartararo, gaining eight points on the competition was more than a moral victory. This was a track on which he expected to run moderately, and he did, but the problems for his rivals gives him renewed focus with four rounds remaining.

Next week, the series heads to Thailand and then Miller’s home track of Phillip Island in Australia. They will close out the Pacific Rim portion of the schedule before heading to Spain for the finale in early November.

It would appear team orders are not in play among the Ducati riders. Last week’s winner Enea Bastianini made an aggressive early move on Bagnaia for position before the championship contender wrestled the spot back.

In his second race back following arm surgery, Marc Marquez won the pole. His last pole was more than 1,000 days ago on this same track in 2019, the last time the series competed at Motegi. Marquez slipped to fifth in the middle stages of the race, before regaining a position to finish just off the podium.

In Moto2 competition, Ai Ogura beat Augusto Fernandez to close the gap in that championship to two points. Fernandez holds the scant lead. Alonso Lopez rounded out the podium.

Both American riders, Cameron Beaubier and Joe Roberts finished just outside the top 10 in 11th and 12th respectively.