Following a chaotic night of racing in San Diego, which saw many riders suffer injuries and mechanical issues throughout the night, some of the early season hype was finally starting to settle down. Now the biggest question mark in the 450 class was whether or not anyone could challenge Jason Anderson for the championship, as he now holds a 28 point lead over Justin Barcia. The 2018 Arlington Supercross also marks the opening round for the 250 SX East Coast region, where Zach Osborne looks to defend his 2017 title against a highly talented field. Heading into the night’s racing, it would be Eli Tomac claiming the top qualifying time ahead of Cooper Webb. In the 250 class, Martin Davalos came away with the top time, though Dylan Ferrandis, Zach Osborne, and Jimmy Decotis all logged times just a fraction off of Davalos. Altogether, things were coming together to make for a good night of racing.
250 SX Heat One
Austin Forkner claimed the first holeshot of the East series, but R.J. Hampshire would muscle his way into the lead. Behind them, Dylan Ferrandis held onto the third spot, with Jon Jon Ames in fourth. Up front, Forkner caught and passed Hampshire back for the lead after a heated battle, but Hampshire didn’t allow him much breathing room. Around three and a half minutes left, Jimmy Decotis worked his way up to fourth, with Colt Nichols following shortly after to take fifth from Ames. Many riders were too spaced out to gain or lose any positions at this point in the race, but Ferrandis had closed the gap on Hampshire with only a minute left. Then Hampshire would go down, falling back to fifth in the running. The heat win would go to Forkner, with Ferrandis second and Decotis in third.
250 SX Heat Two
Martin Davalos came away with the holeshot in the second heat, followed by Sean Cantrell and Jeremy Martin. These riders would also have company from Zach Osborne and Jordon Smith early on. A good run through the whoops would allow Osborne to get past Martin for the third place spot, and a similar charge through another whoops section would be enough to pass Cantrell for second. Then, Martin would make a move on Cantrell for third, with Smith not far behind. Smith would then apply pressure to Martin for the third place position. A battle wouldn’t materialize until the final lap, but Smith would make the pass with only a few corners to go. Up front, Davalos maintained his gap on Osborne and went on to take the win.
250 SX LCQ
At the gate drop of the 250 LCQ, it would be Lane Shaw with the holeshot and early lead. He would begin to stretch his lead out, but there was chaos behind him for second, third, and fourth. Challen Tennant would put a pass on Jayce Pennington. A pileup further back involving several riders would allow Lorenzo Locurcio to put himself into fourth place with a decent gap over Cartwright in fifth. A mistake by Tennant would then allow Pennington to get back around, and Locurcio would also take advantage, eventually grabbing third. Tennant would now be under pressure from John Short with three laps to go. Short made the pass just before the finish. Then with two laps to go, Pennington would make a mistake that would give Locurcio second, Short third, and Tennant fourth. Locurcio then went for the lead and successfully made the pass. Shaw then came under pressure from Short and ended up going off the track and going down. Locurcio would take the win with Short second, Tennant in third, and Pennington in fourth.
250 SX Main Event
The start of the 250 main event was chaotic as a big pileup would take several riders down. Hampshire would come away with the early lead, with Cantrell in second place. Hartranft had a great start in third, but Osborne was quick to take the spot away and start challenging for second place. He would tuck the front end though and drop to fifth. Furth back, Davalos had gone out of the race as a result of the first turn pileup and a mistake by Forkner put him back to sixteenth, along with McAdoo, Peters, and Ferrandis further back. Hartranft would slip back in the running, moving Nichols to third and Osborne to fourth. Osborne would make the pass for third though and was once again in the position to challenge for second.
At around eight and a half minutes to go, Osborne went to battle with Cantrell and wasted little time passing for the position. Nichols was now right on the back fender of Cantrell. The two would battle side-by-side through the whoops, but Cantrell got sideways and went off the track. This moved him back to ninth. Decotis would inherit fourth and Hartranft would return to the top five. Meanwhile, Osborne had chipped away at the lead of Hampshire and was now showing his front wheel. Hampshire responded though and wasn’t giving the lead up easily. Osborne also responded though and pushed harder, making the pass with over three minutes left. Hampshire then went down in the whoops the following lap and gave Nichols second. Decotis was then able to catch up to Hampshire and take third place away. A few seconds behind, Martin had worked his way up to fifth and not far behind was Smith.
As the track began to deteriorate and the time expired, Osborne had built up a good enough lead to take the win without any further challenge. Nichols would go on to finish second, and Decotis rounded out the podium in third.
450 SX Heat One
Justin Barcia came away with the holeshot and appeared to have a solid lead at the start, but he made a mistake and doubled the triple. He was then just barely clipped by Tyler Bowers as he crested the landing, but the impact was enough to cause him to crash and walk away with a broken bone in his right hand. Cooper Webb would also go down in the same corner. Meanwhile, out front was Vince Friese, followed by Bowers and Weston Peick. Marvin Musquin was making his way through the pack as well, but Peick and he came together, causing Musquin to go to the ground. With two and a half minutes left, Cole Seely and Malcolm Stewart were now starting to come into the picture as well. Peick then made the pass for the lead at around a minute left, and Seely would pass Friese for third. Further back, Musquin and Webb found themselves in a battle, making several passes on one another. Musquin would eventually come away with the spot. At the checkered flag, Peick was not to be challenged for the heat race win.
450 SX Heat Two
Eli Tomac shot out of the gate and pulled the holeshot, with Dean Wilson and Blake Baggett not too far behind. Jason Anderson sat in fourth, but made a move on Baggett on the second lap for third place. Anderson would then go on to pass Wilson for second. Tomac, however, was nearly four seconds up on Anderson and was setting fast lap times out front. Baggett had slipped back to fifth, giving the fourth place spot up to Justin Brayton. Further back in the running order, Benny Bloss would take seventh place away from Chad Reed, but he would still qualify through the heat. Out front, Tomac would take the heat win without any challenge.
450 SX LCQ
Ben Lamay came away with the holeshot while several riders went down in the second turn. Lamay would be closely followed by AJ Catanzaro and Henry Miller. Tevin Tapia held down the fourth place spot early on. Tapia would then face pressure from Harmon, who was followed by Kyle Cunningham in sixth. Cunningham would get by Harmon and later Tapia, taking the final transfer spot for the main.
450 SX Main Event
When the gate dropped on the 450 main event it would be Tomac with the holeshot, followed by Anderson, Baggett, Musquin, and Peick. Musquin would quickly make the move on Baggett for third, then go to work on Anderson. Then Anderson started pulling away a bit and Baggett started to close in on Musquin. Anderson then went down three minutes into the main event and dropped down to seventh place. Seely would close in on Peick and make the pass, as would Webb. Peick would slip back to sixth and face pressure from Anderson.
It would take a few minutes and a handful of pass attempts, but with 12 minutes left to go Anderson would make the pass on Peick for sixth. Three minutes later, Anderson had closed the gap on Webb and Seely. He would successfully make passes on both riders, putting him into fourth place. From then on, the gap from Baggett to Anderson was six seconds and Anderson wouldn’t be able to close it enough to challenge for the spot. Further forward, Tomac was on cruise control in the lead, but Musquin had started to click off impressive lap times with three minutes and a lap left. Still, it wouldn’t be enough to close the gap on Tomac.
Tomac would go on to win the race uncontested, leading every lap of the main event. Musquin would finish up second, and Baggett would close out the podium in third place.