2020 Anaheim 2 Supercross 450 Class Race Report

Main event victory number 1 for Eli Tomac in 2020.

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac was second-fastest in qualifying, won his heat race, and clinched his first main event victory of the season at Anaheim 2.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac was second-fastest in qualifying, won his heat race, and clinched his first main event victory of the season at Anaheim 2.Brown Dog Wilson

Round 3 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series visited Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, for the second time this season, where Eli Tomac clinched his first heat race and main event victory of the year in front of the 43,106 fans in attendance. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider completed the first lap of the feature race in 10th place, but began turning the fastest laps and wasted no time passing several riders. Seven laps were completed before Tomac moved into the lead and rode the remaining 17 laps unchallenged to stand atop the podium for the first time in 2020.

“[Anaheim 2] was the day we worked for all off-season,” Tomac said. “Things were just clicking all day. We qualified second coming into the night, and in the first heat race we were able to get out front early and just kind of set the tone for the rest of the night. In the main, I didn’t get the best jump of the gate, but I was able to find some good passing lanes and remained aggressive in the opening laps. The two sets of whoops and dragon back were so mentally and physically demanding; I believe that is where I was able to separate myself from the rest of the pack. All in all, I can't thank my team enough, the whole Monster Energy Kawasaki crew for all the hard work this past week; it definitely paid off tonight. I am looking forward to Glendale [Arizona] next weekend and to race a Triple Crown. My first 450SX win came in Phoenix, and the high-intensity Triple Crown format really suits my racing style.”

Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen won his heat race and finished in the runner-up spot in the main event.
Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen won his heat race and finished in the runner-up spot in the main event.Brown Dog Wilson

Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen began the evening by winning his heat race. The German rider went on to grab the holeshot in the main event and led early before he was passed by Tomac. Roczen’s runner-up finish moves him into the series point lead, which means his CRF450R will wear the red plate at round 4 in Glendale, Arizona.

“My night was pretty good,” Roczen said. “I had a good battle with Adam [Cianciarulo] in the heat race, which was fun and good to come away with the win. That put me in a good position for the main event and to be able to pick a decent gate. Pretty much every gate on the start was super rough and there were a lot of holes, so it was hard to decide which one to pick, but I hooked up really good and got my first holeshot of the year, so that was nice. We’ve been putting in a lot of work on my starts, so it’s been paying off. For me to be able to win tonight, I had to be a lot better in the whoops. I was just struggling there the entire race, so that didn’t help me out; I feel like I lost all my time there. I was trying to skim them, then went to jumping them, which was horrible too; I lost a lot of ground, so I went back to skimming and just was all over the place and that was where Eli [Tomac] made up a lot of time and closed in on me. We definitely have some work to do, but don’t want to get too crazy. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing. We’re in a good spot right now and we just have to keep it up. First [place] last weekend and second this weekend, plus the red plate is really great. I’m really happy.”

Just like he did at Anaheim 1, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cooper Webb grabbed the final podium spot with his third place result.
Just like he did at Anaheim 1, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cooper Webb grabbed the final podium spot with his third place result.Brown Dog Wilson

Just as he did at the Anaheim 1 opener two weeks prior, Cooper Webb put his 450 SX-F in third place in the main event. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider’s podium finish is a major improvement over his 12th place finish at round 2 in St. Louis.

“It feels good to be up here on the podium; it’s been a tough start to the season,” Webb said. “I went to the doctor on Monday after A1 and found out I had the flu and strep [throat], so it was a tough week leading up to St. Louis. It was a good learning experience for me and this week was much better; I was able to ride and train a little bit more. I’m pumped to be up here and we were pretty dang close [to the winner], so I can’t complain.”

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne captured a season-best finish of fourth at Anaheim 2.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne captured a season-best finish of fourth at Anaheim 2.Brown Dog Wilson

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne rounded the opening lap of the main event in third place and fell back to sixth early on, but fought his way back into the top five just after the halfway point. From there he charged up to fourth, finishing 10 seconds behind the race winner, Tomac.

“It was a pretty good night,” Osborne said. “I struggled all day to get in a good flow, but I turned it around for the main event. I moved up in the points a little bit, so we’ll just keep building and keep hammering. I think podiums and wins are coming; it just takes some time to find your race speed.”

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson rounded out the top five.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson rounded out the top five.Brown Dog Wilson

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson got off to a sixth place start in the main event and quickly worked his way into third by lap 5. While dicing back and forth with Webb, Anderson got pinched and was forced off the track, which allowed another rider to go and dropped him back to fifth. He continued to battle for a top five position, where he ultimately secured fifth for the night.

“My weekend went alright, but I was kind of under the weather all day,” Anderson said. “I tried to make some stuff happen in the main event. I got up in third, but ended up going backward to sixth and then back to fifth, so not too bad going into next weekend.”

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo put his KX450 in sixth place at Anaheim 2. “I just never really found a flow on the track,” Cianciarulo explained. “Those guys are riding great and when you’re a little off, it certainly shows! Sixth is all I could manage, but I’m confident we can improve and be better next weekend.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo put his KX450 in sixth place at Anaheim 2. “I just never really found a flow on the track,” Cianciarulo explained. “Those guys are riding great and when you’re a little off, it certainly shows! Sixth is all I could manage, but I’m confident we can improve and be better next weekend.”Brown Dog Wilson

2020 450SX Class Championship Point Standings

Position Rider Brand Points
1 Ken Roczen Honda 66
2 Justin Barcia Yamaha 63
3 Eli Tomac Kawasaki 61
4 Jason Anderson Husqvarna 57
5 Adam Cianciarulo Kawasaki 56
6 Cooper Webb KTM 53
7 Zach Osborne Husqvarna 46
Malcolm Stewart Honda 46
Justin Brayton Honda 46
10 Blake Baggett KTM 42
Team Honda HRC’s Justin Brayton continues his streak of top 10 finishes with his seventh place at Anaheim 2. “I’m pretty happy with how the race went,” Brayton said. “[I’m] a little bummed [on] the heat race after getting the holeshot, but crashing in the first turn, which set me up for a bad gate pick for the main. That’s pretty crucial now with how bad the ruts get outside the gate, but I was able to start around 11th or 12th and pass my way up to seventh. At the middle of the race, I was actually one of the fastest guys on the track. With a better track position, I definitely think I could end up on the podium. Overall, [it was] a really good night, and although the first three rounds have gone well, I’m looking forward to improving and getting into the top five.”
Team Honda HRC’s Justin Brayton continues his streak of top 10 finishes with his seventh place at Anaheim 2. “I’m pretty happy with how the race went,” Brayton said. “[I’m] a little bummed [on] the heat race after getting the holeshot, but crashing in the first turn, which set me up for a bad gate pick for the main. That’s pretty crucial now with how bad the ruts get outside the gate, but I was able to start around 11th or 12th and pass my way up to seventh. At the middle of the race, I was actually one of the fastest guys on the track. With a better track position, I definitely think I could end up on the podium. Overall, [it was] a really good night, and although the first three rounds have gone well, I’m looking forward to improving and getting into the top five.”Brown Dog Wilson
With his eighth place finish at Anaheim 2, Smartop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda’s Malcolm Stewart sits in a three-way tie with Osborne and Brayton in the point standings. “Another weekend in the books!” Stewart exclaimed. “Not the best start. The track was challenging all day. The corners were slick and the whoops got really bad in the main event. Next stop is Arizona. Shout out to all the fans for coming and supporting us!”
With his eighth place finish at Anaheim 2, Smartop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda’s Malcolm Stewart sits in a three-way tie with Osborne and Brayton in the point standings. “Another weekend in the books!” Stewart exclaimed. “Not the best start. The track was challenging all day. The corners were slick and the whoops got really bad in the main event. Next stop is Arizona. Shout out to all the fans for coming and supporting us!”Brown Dog Wilson
Despite winning the opening round and clinching the runner-up spot in St. Louis, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia was only able to muster a ninth place result. “Anaheim 2 was a difficult one to say the least,” Barcia admitted. “I really struggled in the whoops all day [and] also in the race. I definitely rode really smart. I didn’t want to lose too many points, so I managed the race as good as I could. Ninth was the best we had tonight. I tried really hard [and] rode as hard as I could, but it just was a little bit of a struggle. We have some work to do for tracks with whoops like that. I’m just happy to get out of Anaheim healthy.”
Despite winning the opening round and clinching the runner-up spot in St. Louis, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia was only able to muster a ninth place result. “Anaheim 2 was a difficult one to say the least,” Barcia admitted. “I really struggled in the whoops all day [and] also in the race. I definitely rode really smart. I didn’t want to lose too many points, so I managed the race as good as I could. Ninth was the best we had tonight. I tried really hard [and] rode as hard as I could, but it just was a little bit of a struggle. We have some work to do for tracks with whoops like that. I’m just happy to get out of Anaheim healthy.”Brown Dog Wilson
All three Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing riders were inside the top 10 at Anaheim 2 with Dean Wilson finishing in 10th place. “I would say [Anaheim 2] was an improvement,” Wilson offered. “I just have to keep trying to get better every race. I definitely felt my fitness struggling at the end of the main event, but overall I was actually pretty happy with my starts and how it went.”
All three Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing riders were inside the top 10 at Anaheim 2 with Dean Wilson finishing in 10th place. “I would say [Anaheim 2] was an improvement,” Wilson offered. “I just have to keep trying to get better every race. I definitely felt my fitness struggling at the end of the main event, but overall I was actually pretty happy with my starts and how it went.”Brown Dog Wilson