After an eventful opening round in Anaheim, the Monster Energy Supercross Series made a run east to Arizona for the second stop of seventeen, the 2019 Glendale Supercross. Many were expecting a sense of “normalcy” to come in the way of results sheets, but that didn’t exactly happen with a first-time winner taking the checkered flag in the 450 Main Event while other incoming title favorites filled out the other places in the results sheet. Our take on the day? We’re not going to say that this is going to be the most unpredictable year in the history of the sport, as we’re two races in after all and one was rather muddy, so it’ll take a few races to develop a better idea of how the rest the year will play out.
FERRANDIS MAIN EVENT ISSUE
During the earliest laps of qualifying, we noticed bikes kick-out when riders hit the throttle on the slick hard pack after landing by the mechanic’s area and wondered if that would be a thing to watch later in the night. Well, that happened to Dylan Ferrandis early in the 250 Main Event and for the second week in a row, the Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha Factory Racing rider had to turn laps with a busted front brake. All things considered, Ferrandis’ push back to sixth was solid and it scored valuable points in the championship standings.
Will it be a surprise if the GEICO Honda rider wins a Main Event before the end of the season? Hampshire has been on the cusp of success for a few years and it looks like all of the pieces to the puzzle are coming together. The A1 run-in with Cianciarulo shows that he’s willing to bang bars for a spot and in Glendale Hampshire had a competitive average lap time but was caught out early with a mediocre start.
A CONFIDENT COLT NICHOLS
When we posted a shot of Colt Nichols with the red plate on Friday, we saw quite a few comments saying his time at the top of the point standings would be short-lived. The Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha Factory Racing rider showed at A1 wasn’t a fluke with a forceful, well-planned pass on Decotis for the Heat Race win and a charge to second place in the Main Event that keeps him in control for another week. Nichols doesn’t seem fazed by the attention that comes with being the point leader and he was lighthearted and focused in Arizona. It’s worth noting that even if Nichols doesn’t seal the deal in 2019, he has another year on his current contract with Star Racing.
ROCZEN – ANDERSON
What you think of this pass most likely will be based on your affinity for one rider over another, so that’s on you. We were at the podium after the checkered flag and although there was some frustration on Roczen’s face, there was no dust-up or issue. In fact, Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna’s Bobby Hewitt went to Roczen to offer some sort of consolation. The quotes on the podium and in the press conference indicate that neither rider planned to make more out of it than what happened on the track and we would be surprised to see further tension come between these two.
WILSON – BARCIA
A tight heat race between these two reportedly led to some words and fingers after the checkered flag, but we spoke with both riders after the race and neither brought it up to us. With Wilson’s plans to stay healthy and Barcia’s plans to turn over a new leaf for a championship chase, don’t expect a fierce rivalry to come out of this.
Well, that was unexpected. Blake Baggett has always hovered around the top-five part of the final standings in Supercross, but in Arizona, he finally put all of the pieces together and claimed a career-first 450 Main Event win. The Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM rider did not just luck into the win, as he had very fast lines in the rhythm lanes and obvious endurance over the field. We have to say that passing Jason Anderson, a rider he has a long history with (you could argue their run-in at RedBud in 2017 ended Baggett’s shot at that 450 MX title), on the outside was ballsy but Baggett didn’t seem to think so. His post-race press conference interviews were exactly what we’ve come to expect from a confident Baggett, as he told Anderson and Roczen he would need to win another race for team owner Forrest Butler to see in person. It could get interesting here…