TEXT | Curtis
PHOTOS | Swanberg
What a way to start a new season. The 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Series kicked off its seventeen-round run around North America with an incredible night of racing at Angels Stadium of Anaheim. A tradition in the two-wheeled racing world, it’s a first glimpse of action after a cold winter and little excitement. The months of anticipation were put to an end on the early January night in Southern California and by the time the checkered flag flew, we were left with confirmation on some things and uncertainty on others. This is going to be a great year…
250 Heat One
Martin Davalos lead heat one of the 250SX class from start to finish aboard his Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawsaki’s Austin Forkner followed Davalos’s great start and the rookie quickly settled into second place. Aaron Plessinger and Justin Hill battled for third, but Justin Hill would keep the position. AutoTrader/Monster Energy/Toyota/JGRMX/Suzuki’s Phil Nicoletti grabbed the final transfer position after a mistake by Noah McConahy late in the race.
Transfer to Main Event – Davalos, Forkner, Hill, Plessinger, Mellross, Chisholm, Bowers, Lilly, Nicoletti
Total Race Time – 6:22.442 minutes, 6 laps
Margin of Victory – 0.848 seconds
Fastest Lap Time – Justin Hill, 1:03.378
250 Heat Two
Jeremy Martin grabbed the early lead aboard his GEICO Honda. Shane McElrath stayed close Martin for the full duration of the race and on the final lap the Troy Lee Designs/ GoPro/Red Bull/KTM rider executed a pass for the lead that Martin had no time to react to. Cole Martinez took the final transfer position to the main after battling all race. Opening lap crashes hindered Josh Hansen and Jimmy Decotis from reaching transfer positions.
Transfer to Main Event – McElrath, Martin, Oldenburg, Reardon, Taft, Catanzaro, Starling, Auberson, Martinez
Total Race Time – 6:22.961 minutes, 6 laps
Margin of Victory – 2.472 seconds
Fastest Lap Time – Shane McElrath, 1:03.528
Chase Marquier took the early lead but was passed by Decotis midway through the short sprint. Jon Ames would settle in third and transferred to the main event in his pro debut. Noah McConahy crashed while battling for a transfer position.
Transfer to Main Event – Decotis, Marquier, Ames, Commans
Total Race Time – 4:25.266 minutes, 4 laps
Margin of Victory – 2.692 seconds
Fastest Lap Time – Jimmy Decotis, 1:05.074
250 Main Event
Troy Lee Designs/ GoPro/Red Bull/KTM’s Shane McElrath lead the race from start to finish, as he rushed through the first turn at the head of the field and was never truly challenged for the spot for the entire duration of the race. Martin Davalos snagged second place in the early moments of the moto, but was eventually caught and passed by Aaron Plessinger as Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha rider clocked a series of quick laps and even closed in on race leader McElrath. Austin Forkner struggled with a mid-pack start and front-flip in the whoops, yet managed to run back through the field to claim an eighth place finish in his pro debut. GEICO Honda's Jeremy Martin andYamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Dan Reardon had one of the better battles of the main event for sixth place, and Martin outlasted the Australian for the spot.
Total Race Time – 16:11.289 minutes, 15 laps
Margin of Victory – 2.299 seconds
Fastest Lap Time – Aaron Plessinger, 1:03.588
250 Main Event Results
250 Championship Point Standings | Round One of Nine
Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM’s Blake Baggett took the holeshot and then was passed by Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac on the opening lap. Monster Energy/Yamalube/Chaparral/Yamaha Financial Services/Yamaha’s Chad Reed forced his way up to third early in the race and was followed by Jason Anderson aboard his Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna. While Tomac and Baggett built a sizeable lead on the rest of the field, the top four remained in their final positions until the conclusion of the race.
Transfer to Main Event – Tomac, Baggett, Reed, Anderson
Total Race Time – 6:13.227 minutes, 6 laps
Margin of Victory – 3.560 seconds
Fastest Lap Time – Eli Tomac, 1:02.104
450 Heat Two
Ken Roczen immediately showed how comfortable he is aboard the new Team Honda HRC by leading the race from the holeshot to the checkered flag. Red Bull KTM teammates Ryan Dungey and Marvin Musquin and Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely filed in behind Roczen at the finish. Cooper Webb and Josh Grant battled through the field after a bad starts, but both were unable to get into transfer positions.
Transfer to Main Event – Roczen, Dungey, Musquin, Seely
Total Race Time – 6:12.248 minutes, 6 laps
Margin of Victory – 3.774 seconds
Fastest Lap Time – Ken Roczen, 1:02.352
450 Semi One
Red Bull KTM’s Trey Canard took the early lead and crashed out of contention in the second corner, which allowed AutoTrader/Monster Energy/Toyota/JGRMX/Suzuki’s Jake Weimer to take the lead. Justin Bogle and Cooper Webb went wheel to wheel for the full span of the race and their duel ended when Bogled squared up and passed Webb for second place on the final lap. Privateer Dean Wilson took the final transfer position. Trey Canard and Christophe Pourcel were forced to go to the LCQ after suffering separate mishaps during the race.
Transfer to Main Event – Weimer, Bogle, Webb, Wilson
Total Race Time – 5:19.464 minutes, 5 laps
Margin of Victory – 1.502 seconds
Fastest Lap Time – Justin Bogle, 1:03.715
450 Semi Two
Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM’s Davi Millsaps and RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki’s Broc Tickle lead the field into the first corner, with Tickle ultimately taking the top spot. As Tickle broke away from the field, Millsaps began a battle for second spot with SmarTop/MotoConcepts/Honda’s Vince Friese, while Weston Peick made a pass on Justin Brayton for the last transfer position. Eventually Peick and Friese found each other in a fight for third spot and after last year’s incident, all eyes were on them. The tension lasted until the finish, as Peick showed Friese a wheel but did not take the position. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Josh Grant had a problem early in the race and would finish out of a transfer position.
Transfer to Main Event – Tickle, Millsaps, Friese, Peick
Total Race Time – 5:19.303 minutes, 5 laps
Margin of Victory – 3.534 seconds
Fastest Lap Time – Davi Millsaps, 1:03.902
Josh Grant took the holeshot and never relinquished control, and the win put the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider into the main event. Privateers Nick Schmidt and Jimmy Albertson claimed spots at the front of the field early, and a pass by Schmidt put him in second position. After a lackluster start Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna’s Christophe Pourcel made a last-lpa dash to catch Trey Canard for the final transfer spot, but was unable to get it done.
Transfer to Main Event – Grant, Schmidt, Albertson, Canard.
Total Race Time – 4:16.592 minutes, 4 laps
Margin of Victory – 2.632 seconds
Fastest Lap Time – Josh Grant, 1:04.261
Ken Roczen controlled the race from the moment the gate dropped and went the full twenty-minute duration of the moto without a single challenge for the lead. Monster Energy's Eli Tomac took second place early in the race after a stellar exchange in passes with Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin, but would later fall back to fifth after a series of slow laps. A top-ten start put Ryan Dungey deep in the field and the Red Bull KTM rider pushed his was up to second with speed and consistency in the middle of the moto. Jason Anderson and Cole Seely reignited their rivalry during the main event, with Anderson coming out ahead this time after a calculated pass. They would both go on to finish inside the top-ten. Trey Canard did not line up for the main event due to a sore shoulder from a practice crash and Mike Alessi’s night came to an end when he cased a triple. Contact between Chad Reed and Weston Peick eventually caused Reed to withdraw from the race with mechanical issues.
Total Race Time – 21:08.409 minutes, 20 laps
Margin of Victory – 16.200 seconds
Fastest Lap Time – Ken Roczen, 1:01.859
450 Main Event Results
450 Championship Point Standings | Round One of Seventeen