Much has been made in the last twenty-four hours about the wheel change that the Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna team were forced to do on Jason Anderson’s motorcycle in the early moments of the 450 Main Event at the 2018 Salt Lake City Supercross. Anderson was caught up with other riders as the pack entered the first turn, which resulted in spokes being busted out of Anderson’s front wheel and him hitting the ground. After a few laps of circulating the track, Anderson pulled into the pit area to have the wheel swapped out with the spare set that the team takes to the starting line each weekend. The team was unaware that there was an issue with Anderson’s bike until the moment he entered the work area and motioned towards the front wheel. The stop and repairs dropped Anderson to the very bottom of the running order and he was two laps down by the time he was back in action.
We timed the stop from the moment Anderson’s bike was put on the stand, the repairs were made by the mechanics on the Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna team, and Anderson swung a leg back over the bike. In total, the stop took one minute and forty seconds, which was roughly the same amount time it took for a rider to get around the track three times. After talking to some of the team, it sounds like the brake pads closed slightly when the wheel was taken off and this caused some delay.
There have also been comments regarding Dean Wilson’s stop through the work area at the same time, as some hinted it may have been team tactics to help Anderson improve his position on the track. After seeing a video of the race, it’s evident that Wilson’s issues were caused by a run-in with Weston Peick that put Wilson on the ground and knocked his front-end and controls out of alignment, and that he was unaware of Anderson’s issues. Wilson’s crash occurred three minutes into the Main Event.
Anderson finished the race in seventeenth place, which not only ended his chance at clinching the title a round early as many expected but allowed Main Event winner Marvin Musquin to close the margin in points between the two riders to fourteen points with one race remaining in the series.
The video below shows Anderson’s issues from the crash to the repairs, as well as Wilson’s impaired clutch lever.