ESPN’s version of Supercross kept the crowd entertained this Saturday at the Home Depot center as Josh Hansen and Ashley Fiolek took gold in mens and womens SuperX respectively. The much-anticipated appearance of James Stewart was stifled by a shoulder injury he sustained during practice of SuperMoto. But Stewart wasn’t the only moto star to suffer the wrath of X Games. During his qualifying heat, Josh Grant wadded up and could not continue racing. Max Anstie and Blake Wharton also wadded up on the blue groove and both were carted off the track. Stay tuned for more on an injury update.
When the gates dropped for the main event, Kevin Windham and Justin Brayton jumped out front of the pack, while defending gold medalist Josh Hansen found himself a bit farther back. A dozen laps into the race, however, Hansen had made his way all the way up to Windham’s rear wheel. He then passed Kevin Windham and never looked back, remaining safely ahead for the event's remainder.
"I was just trying to be consistent, ride good and make sure I didn't override the track," said Hansen. "I'm happy. I'm stoked. It felt good."
Pushing past Windham was also the key to a silver medal for Justin Brayton. He may have proved triumphant in the end, but coming out the victor of this back and forth battle was anything but an easy task.
"We were playing cat and mouse and it was super hard to pass," said Brayton. "Once you get off the main line, it was super hard and slick."
Given how Windham settled for the bronze first after leading for more than half of the race's opening laps, it was no surprise that he expressed disappointment at his overall performance.
"I didn't feel like myself today," said Windham. "I just wasn't ready, I guess."
Gold – Josh Hansen
Silver – Justin Brayton
Bronze – Kevin Windham
Check out all of Motocross’s X Games 15 Motocross coverage
Photos from women’s racing on Page Two
In her X Games debut, Ashley Fiolek made a late surge on Jessica Patterson to take the womens Supercross win and her first gold medal.
“X Games are a big deal for women and anyone in action sports,” said Fiolek through her translator and father Jim. “So to come here and do this well, I’m very excited.”
Fiolek’s debut is a year late due to the wrist injury she suffered while practicing for last year’s games. She made up for it with a strong performance in what was the highest billing a women’s X Games event has received on ESPN.
“Last year I was really bummed, I wanted to come here and do good,” Fiolek said. “This year I was really motivated. I came out here and had a great race.”
After getting a less than savory start, Fiolek worked her way to to Patterson’s rear wheel. She spent the remainder of the race locked in a matchup with Jessica Patterson for the top spot.
On the second turn of the final lap, she made her move, overtaking her competitor and not looking back. Fiolek crossed the finish line in 372.47 with her left fist pumping through the air.
“I knew it was white flag, I knew I had to hurry,” Fiolek said. “I got out front and just wanted to stay steady.”
Patterson came across in 375.83 and Elizabeth Bash finished third at 397.32.
Gold – Ashley Fiolek
Silver – Jessica Patterson
Bronze – Elizabeth Bash