2020 St. Louis Supercross 450 Class Race Report

Ken Roczen scores first 450SX main event victory in three years.

With his last main event win coming at the 2017 San Diego Supercross, Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen scored his first feature race victory in three years at the 2020 St. Louis Supercross.
With his last main event win coming at the 2017 San Diego Supercross, Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen scored his first feature race victory in three years at the 2020 St. Louis Supercross.Brown Dog Wilson

It was an emotional night for Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen at round 2 of the 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series inside The Dome At America’s Center in St. Louis, Missouri, with the German rider clinching his first main event victory since the 2017 San Diego Supercross. Roczen took the win in his heat race before grabbing a second place start in the main event. He made a commanding pass for the lead on lap 2 and rode unchallenged out front for the remainder of the 20 minute-plus-one-lap race.

“This feels so surreal and is absolutely amazing,” Roczen said. “It’s been a long time coming with a lot of struggle in the process, so this is definitely one of the sweetest moments of my career. The emotions and joy from everyone is very special. I think tonight was just our night to win. The whole day was good, starting with feeling so much more comfortable on the bike than I did last week. We also grabbed a couple of solid starts in both races. I rode really good in the heat race and even in the main. I’d say that I actually surprised myself and maybe the team a little with how the main event went; it was just our time to shine. I knew if I wanted to make it happen, I’d need to make my way to the front fast, so that’s what I did. I got around Zach [Osborne] quickly and had a clear track, so then I just clicked off some great laps, putting a gap between myself and the field. At one point Justin [Barcia] seemed to close in a bit, but I just focused on hitting my marks and managing my pace. The race felt really long because the lap times were fairly short; the tower was right after the finish, so I could get a glance at the clock each lap—it seemed like it took forever! I’ve messed it up so many times in the last laps, so it’s not over until it’s actually over. I just tried to maintain a pace while also staying consistent and not making any mistakes. We’re going to enjoy this, but then get back to work this week. This is a big confidence booster and really motivating for me to want to keep the momentum going.”

After winning the opening round at Anaheim 1, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia finished in the runner-up spot in St. Louis despite being ill.
After winning the opening round at Anaheim 1, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia finished in the runner-up spot in St. Louis despite being ill.Brown Dog Wilson

After winning the Anaheim 1 opener just one week prior, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia piloted his YZ450F to a runner-up finish in St. Louis despite being ill.

“It was a pretty tough day for me,” Barcia admitted. “I was really sick all week and I just had to be mentally tough and push through the difficulties I [had]. My heat race went really well. I got a bad start, but I fought through the pack and got up to third. I made some really great passes, so that was awesome. In the main event, I got a much better start and quickly moved into second. I was pushing really hard, but tonight the best I had was second. I rode really well, considering. I felt like I rode better today than I did in Anaheim. I just unfortunately was a little under the weather. So all in all, [it was] a really good day. The team did a great job with the motorcycle and setting it up. I’m really looking to get better this week and feeling better for Anaheim 2.”

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson grabbed his first podium of the season.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson grabbed his first podium of the season.Brown Dog Wilson

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson put his FC 450 Rockstar Edition machine in fourth place on the first lap of the main event and quickly worked his way into third, a position he retained for the remainder of the race to bring home his first podium finish of the season.

“I’m just out here enjoying myself,” Anderson said. “I feel like I was riding pretty good in the main. I got off to a good start and I kind of let the battling happen in front of me, and then I worked my way through the guys I could and settled into third.”

After a seventh place result at the opening round, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac rebounded to finish inside the top five in St. Louis with his fourth place finish.
After a seventh place result at the opening round, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac rebounded to finish inside the top five in St. Louis with his fourth place finish.Brown Dog Wilson

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac found himself mid-pack off the start in the main event, but was able to go from 12th to fourth before running out of time just shy of a podium finish.

“Well, we didn’t finish the night where we wanted or should be, but the team and I will get back to work this week and get everything dialed before Anaheim next weekend,” Tomac said. “I know we’ll be focusing on my starts, which have really been hurting my chances at finishing on the podium, but we’ll get those dialed and make any other minor adjustments that need to be made so we can get back on top.”

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne grabbed the holeshot and led the opening lap, but fell back to fifth by the time the checkered flag flew.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne grabbed the holeshot and led the opening lap, but fell back to fifth by the time the checkered flag flew.Brown Dog Wilson

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne grabbed the holeshot in the main event and led the opening lap before being passed by Roczen on lap 2. He battled back and forth inside the top five before ultimately securing fifth for the night.

“All in all it was a good night and a good rebound from last weekend,” Osborne said. “It was good to get a solid finish and restart my season after being really ill last weekend.”

Smartop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda’s Malcolm Stewart achieved his second consecutive top 10 result. “I had a little get-off early in the week, so we came into the weekend a little beat up,” Stewart explained. “I’ve got a few things I can pick up on. I had a good run in the whoops one lap and I heard the fans get loud [and] that was a cool moment for me! I’m looking forward to A2.”
Smartop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda’s Malcolm Stewart achieved his second consecutive top 10 result. “I had a little get-off early in the week, so we came into the weekend a little beat up,” Stewart explained. “I’ve got a few things I can pick up on. I had a good run in the whoops one lap and I heard the fans get loud [and] that was a cool moment for me! I’m looking forward to A2.”Brown Dog Wilson

2020 450SX Class Championship Point Standings

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo battled inside the top five for the majority of the race before making a minor mistake on the final lap of the race, recovering quickly to finish seventh. “Today was a really encouraging day,” Cianciarulo said. “In the main event, despite my start, I felt like I was riding well and making good progress. Unfortunately, I turned a fourth into a seventh with a last lap mistake. I’ve been grinding on my starts trying to get them where they should be, but I obviously didn’t execute [in St. Louis]. We’ll lock those in and be ready for A2.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo battled inside the top five for the majority of the race before making a minor mistake on the final lap of the race, recovering quickly to finish seventh. “Today was a really encouraging day,” Cianciarulo said. “In the main event, despite my start, I felt like I was riding well and making good progress. Unfortunately, I turned a fourth into a seventh with a last lap mistake. I’ve been grinding on my starts trying to get them where they should be, but I obviously didn’t execute [in St. Louis]. We’ll lock those in and be ready for A2.”Brown Dog Wilson
Position Rider Brand Points
1 Justin Barcia Yamaha 49
2 Ken Roczen Honda 43
3 Adam Cianciarulo Kawasaki 39
Jason Anderson Husqvarna 39
5 Eli Tomac Kawasaki 35
6 Blake Baggett KTM 33
7 Cooper Webb KTM 32
8 Malcolm Stewart Honda 31
9 Justin Brayton Honda 30
10 Zach Osborne Husqvarna 27
Team Honda HRC’s Justin Brayton put his factory CRF450R in eighth place inside The Dome At America’s Center. “[It was] definitely a wild night,” Brayton said. “I never want to go to the LCQ, but I actually enjoyed it a bit. Under those circumstances, you just try to make the best of it and it was kind of nice to get out there and win it, plus get to ride the track so close to the main event. I hope I don’t have to go to another one though! I’m super proud of the team to be able to get me back out there. Main event-wise, I was still able to get a pretty good start from the far outside gate. I ran inside the top 10 the whole race, finishing eighth, which isn’t where I would like to be by any means, but still an overall good start to the season with the adversity both weekends. Hopefully another cleaner weekend next week at A2, and I’m really hoping to be in the top five, then build up to some podium finishes.”
Team Honda HRC’s Justin Brayton put his factory CRF450R in eighth place inside The Dome At America’s Center. “[It was] definitely a wild night,” Brayton said. “I never want to go to the LCQ, but I actually enjoyed it a bit. Under those circumstances, you just try to make the best of it and it was kind of nice to get out there and win it, plus get to ride the track so close to the main event. I hope I don’t have to go to another one though! I’m super proud of the team to be able to get me back out there. Main event-wise, I was still able to get a pretty good start from the far outside gate. I ran inside the top 10 the whole race, finishing eighth, which isn’t where I would like to be by any means, but still an overall good start to the season with the adversity both weekends. Hopefully another cleaner weekend next week at A2, and I’m really hoping to be in the top five, then build up to some podium finishes.”Brown Dog Wilson
After finishing in fourth place at the season opener in Anaheim, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-WPS-KTM’s Blake Baggett achieved a ninth place result in St. Louis. “Tonight didn’t go how I wanted,” Baggett said. “My start wasn’t there in the main event and I found myself buried in the pack. We still have a few changes that we need to make on the bike and we will be back battling for a top three next week at Anaheim.”
After finishing in fourth place at the season opener in Anaheim, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-WPS-KTM’s Blake Baggett achieved a ninth place result in St. Louis. “Tonight didn’t go how I wanted,” Baggett said. “My start wasn’t there in the main event and I found myself buried in the pack. We still have a few changes that we need to make on the bike and we will be back battling for a top three next week at Anaheim.”Brown Dog Wilson
Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Aaron Plessinger rounded out the top 10 on his YZ450F. “Today was a little bit better than last weekend,” Plessinger shared. “I kind of struggled in the heat race. I didn’t get the greatest start, but I still qualified pretty good. A 14th gate pick in the main event was tough. Then getting a bad start and trying to work my way back up into the top 10, it was really gnarly. The track conditions were pretty challenging. It was slick in some spots and really rutted, so you had to be on your toes at all times or the track was going to take you down. It took a lot of people down and I’m glad I wasn’t one of them. It was a tough day, but we’re making progress. We’ll go back this week, put some more work in, and work a little bit more on the starts and sprint laps so I can get a better gate pick. I want to try and get up on the podium or at least in the top five.”
Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Aaron Plessinger rounded out the top 10 on his YZ450F. “Today was a little bit better than last weekend,” Plessinger shared. “I kind of struggled in the heat race. I didn’t get the greatest start, but I still qualified pretty good. A 14th gate pick in the main event was tough. Then getting a bad start and trying to work my way back up into the top 10, it was really gnarly. The track conditions were pretty challenging. It was slick in some spots and really rutted, so you had to be on your toes at all times or the track was going to take you down. It took a lot of people down and I’m glad I wasn’t one of them. It was a tough day, but we’re making progress. We’ll go back this week, put some more work in, and work a little bit more on the starts and sprint laps so I can get a better gate pick. I want to try and get up on the podium or at least in the top five.”Brown Dog Wilson