Well, it’s over. After months of traveling around the country, running through hallways of stadiums, and watching the top riders go at it on some of the most challenging tracks in motorcycle racing, the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Series is complete. As always, the tour wrapped up with a big weekend in Las Vegas and included some action from the AMSOIL Arenacross Series. Our time in the pit area and trackside at Sam Boyd Stadium this weekend resulted in plenty of conversations and photos, all of which is recapped below. Here’s our recap of championship night in the desert.
On Friday night, Jacob Hayes and Chris Blose were set to square off for the final round of the 2018 AMSOIL Arenacross championship. With only one point separating them in the standings and some bad blood from the week prior in Reno, we figured we were in for a fight. That all came to an anti-climatic end when Blose crashed in his Heat Race and injured his leg/knee, which sidelined him for the rest of the night and allowed Hayes to sweep the evening’s program and claim the championship.
Although some were tight-lipped on Friday night, we were told by teams and even series personnel that Vegas marked the end of AMSOIL Arenacross as we know it and the series will cease operations. What this means for the many riders and team members that made their money in the series is uncertain, but we know that some people are already picking up the pieces for future plans. During a brief interview on Saturday night at Supercross Hayes said that he’s looking for an SX team to take him racing in 2019.
CYCLETRADER/ROCK RIVER YAMAHA & 51FIFTY ENERGY YAMAHA
On Saturday we talked with the CycleTrader/Rock River Yamaha team and 51FIFTY Energy Yamaha about the riders on their teams. We were told that Hayden Mellross will be hop over to CycleTrader/Rock River Yamaha and join Brandon Hartranft for the full Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship in the 250 class, filling the spot that Bradley Taft leaves from his Supercross-only contract.
There were also recent rumors that 51FIFTY Energy Yamaha was to cease operations, but we’ve been told that the team will be around in 2019. Craig Monty is leaving his post as Team Manager (more on that below) but Brent Myron will pick up the responsibilities.
INJURED RIDERS AHEAD OF THE OUTDOORS
Now healed from his collarbone break at the Minneapolis Supercross, Austin Forkner recently resumed riding and will be on the line at Hangtown alongside Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammates Joey Savagty and Garrett Marchbanks.
Colt Nichols and Dylan Ferrandis are still on the mend from their arm injuries. The Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Factory Racing team expects Nichols to return in the middle of the season, maybe at High Point, but Ferrandis should be back sooner. With Nichols, Ferrandis and Mitchell Oldenburg (torn ACL) all injured, the team will have only Aaron Plessinger and Justin Cooper confirmed to be on the line at Hangtown.
Justin Bogle recently resumed riding after his arm and back injuries, with his first laps taking place on the turn track at Ricky Carmichael’s GOAT Farm in Florida. The AutoTrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team expects him to be on the line midway through the season.
Josh Grant got back on the bike a few weeks ago and will be back under the Monster Energy Kawasaki tent at Hangtown.
RJ Hampshire has been on the bike for more than a month at tracks around Florida and will be back with GEICO Honda at Hangtown. Cameron McAdoo, meanwhile, will be sidelined for a little while longer due to the fractured scapula he sustained in a practice crash.
ALIAS MX & GEICO HONDA
In March we heard rumors that ALIAS MX was about to go through a transition period, that their stock of riding gear was completely sold out online, and that they would end their partnership with GEICO Honda at the conclusion of the Supercross season. That news was confirmed to us on Saturday, but ALIAS is not closing its doors, as there are plans for something new to take place with the brand.
With this news, expect to see an announcement of GEICO Honda in apparel from a different gear company sometime this week.
TOMAC & MUSQUIN DUEL
Eli Tomac and Marvin Musquin left nothing on the table in the 450 Main Event, as the two foes faced off at the front of the pack for the full duration of the feature race. Tomac and Musquin matched each other’s pace for the full twenty-minute moto and for a while we figured the Foxborough sequel was about to unfold. That never occurred, but it made us even more excited to see the two square off again this summer, along with Anderson, Baggett, Roczen, Wilson, Peick, Barcia…
With the championship on the line, we weren’t surprised to see Jason Anderson staying under the radar on Saturday afternoon. The Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna rider stayed in the team truck between practice sessions and opted out of the autograph signing, but was quick as usual in qualifying. His performance in the Main Event was solid as he got up to fifth place, a spot that was enough for him to clinch the championship, and rode it in to the checkered flag. He joined the team in champagne showers and burnouts on the podium, but during his time on stage in the press conference, he stated that he had gotten an illness or food poisoning at some point on Friday evening and was in survival mode on Saturday, then turned pale and had to excuse himself from the interview. He got out of the building just before getting sick in front of everyone and was taken to a nearby hospital, which meant he didn’t get to partake in the pit area celebration with the team. Do not feel sorry for El Hombre, though, because he made up for it with a celebration on Sunday with the team at a club in Vegas.