The 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Series returned to Anaheim, CA, for the second time for another night of racing under the Angel Stadium lights. The excitement continued into round three of the series, as the night’s entertainment came from both on and off the track, so let’s revisit what happened.
– Again, more rain was experienced throughout the week prior to race day, which gave riders and teams no time during the week to ride or test. The Dirt Wurx crew, on the other hand, did an amazing job with track prep along with protecting the racetrack throughout the week from the inclement weather.
– The first gate drop of the night for the 450 class riders saw RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki’s Justin Bogle take the holeshot and early lead. However, just a few sections into the opening lap Bogle miscalculated a tricky rhythm section that ultimately put him on the ground after a hard crash. Bogle lined up for the Semi, but the pain was too much, so he headed to the Hospital where he was found to have bruised lungs and a few other minor injuries. As of now, there’s no update on when the number 19 will be back.
– Towards the latter half of Heat One is when the real entertainment began. A collision ensued between SmartTop/Motoconcept’s Vince Friese and Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson that left the Husky rider on the ground along with Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin. Both riders remounted unscathed, but none of the three riders made it into a transfer position by the end of the race. Immediately following the race, Anderson raced over to Friese and hit him on the side of the head as they went into the stadium tunnel. At the very same moment that Anderson took his hand off the handlebars to hit the Motoconcepts rider, Friese’s mechanic simultaneously shoved the Husqvarna rider into a fence as he hit the concrete. For his actions, members of the AMA decided to disqualify Anderson for the remainder of the night.
– It’s not every weekend that Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey is forced to qualify into the Main Event through a Semi race, but a slight collision with Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac after the start of Heat Two left the defending champion with a broken throttle housing. Dungey and his mechanic Carlos headed back to the truck to replace the broken part, and he qualified through the next Semi.
– Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Justin Hill earned his first win of 2017, and he did so in dominant fashion. Hill moved into the lead on lap one around rookie teammate Austin Forkner and proceeded to gap the rest of his competition on his way to his first win since the 2016 Toronto SX.
– The biggest news of the night came at about the halfway point in the 450 Main Event. After starting in seventh, Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen made his way around several riders and began to reel in teammate Cole Seely. Shortly after though, disaster struck as the number 94 was kicked off the motorcycle in a rutted rhythm section that ultimately left him with a dislocated wrist, dislocated elbow and a compound fractured radius. There is no word yet as to when we’ll see Roczen line up again.
– After facing some adversity early on, Dungey went on to lead the 450 Main Event from the gate drop to the checkered flag, ultimately earning his first win of 2017 along with the points lead as they head into round four.