There is so much that goes on at each round of Monster Energy Supercross that it is inevitable that you will overlook certain things. That is where our regular ‘Stat Sheet’ feature comes into play, however, as we focus on the details that you may have overlooked.
– Justin Barcia did not quite get the holeshot in the 450SX main event, but he immediately took the lead and reached the finish line first. That was an accomplishment in itself – he rarely leads from the beginning of the main event. When was the last time he actually completed lap one at the front? That was in the main in Houston two seasons ago (seven hundred and twenty-two days ago to be exact). Since getting on the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory squad, he has actually only started inside of the top three in a main seven times (including this past weekend).
– Anaheim 1 has actually been pretty kind to Justin Barcia in the past. Barcia pulled through and won at the event a year ago, plus he was on the podium the year before that. A fifteenth at the opener in 2016 is the only dark spot on his record. Fifth is his average finish in the 450SX class at Anaheim 1. There are a lot of riders who would love to be sat on that stat! Does that mean that one cannot read into the fact that he came out swinging too much? Time will tell.
– Although Anaheim 1 has been rather kind to Justin Barcia, that does not mean that Angel Stadium is a happy hunting ground for him. Anaheim 2 has never gone well. In fact, he has crashed out of that race twice in his premier-class career. A fourth in 2015 is his best result at the second Anaheim event. What is his average finish at Anaheim 2? Eleventh. That is a big difference to the statistic above. Watch quite closely in a little less than two weeks.
– Consistency has never been a strength for Justin Barcia, but he is the only premier-class rider who had an average lap time below the one-minute mark. A 59.963 was his average lap at the end of the twenty-two-lap main. Who had the next best average lap? It was Adam Cianciarulo (unsurprisingly) with a time of 1:00.144. Cianciarulo was the rider who had the best lap of the race though, a 58.530. The best time that Barcia had was a 58.708.
– Speaking of Adam Cianciarulo, he immediately made waves by being so brilliant in practice. Cianciarulo set the fastest time by a margin of 0.498. When was the last time a 450SX rider topped timed qualifying by such a margin? Marvin Musquin did it in Daytona last year – Eli Tomac did it in the San Diego mudder last year as well – but that can be removed from the record as it is not a stereotypical race like Anaheim 1 was. Tomac was the fastest in qualifying in Salt Lake City in 2018 by 0.654 – that was the last time it happened in a regular race.
– Cooper Webb was a popular talking point on Saturday, as he ended up fifteenth in the timed qualifying. When did a reigning premier-class champion last qualify that far down the order at the first event? The archive of results covers the last sixteen years and in that time no title defence has kicked off so poorly. Jason Anderson was sixth in timed qualifying a year ago and that was the worst that a defending champ has qualified in that time frame. It is no wonder this was such a topic of discussion!
– This is not relevant to the opening round of 2020 Monster Energy Supercross, but the defending champ has only kicked off a title defence by going the fastest in timed qualifying at round one three times the last sixteen years. Odd, right? It last happened with James Stewart in 2010. Stewart also managed it in 2008, as did Chad Reed in 2005. Does that speak to the parity in the class currently? It strengthens that case.
– Blake Baggett ended up fourth at Anaheim 1. That is not too big a deal, right? Baggett is a former 450SX winner and stood up on the podium countless times. Well, Anaheim 1 has not exactly been kind to him in the past. This is momentum that he has never experienced exiting the season opener. The best finish that he had picked up at Anaheim 1 before this year was a twelfth. Oddly enough, he did that in three of his four premier-class appearances at A1 (2019, 2018 and 2015). Fourteenth was his finish in 2017.
– Finishing sixth at the first round of 2020 Monster Energy Supercross was not a disaster for Ken Roczen, but it was the worst that he has performed at the opening round in his career. Roczen has never missed an opener and before this year his worst finish was a fifth in 2016. The opening race has been won by him three times (2014, 2015 and 2017). Even though this was his worst result at Anaheim 1, his average finish at A1 is a third. Not bad at all.
– Ken Roczen blamed the mediocre finish on the fact that his bike set-up was really stiff, which obviously made the thing harder to ride as the track deteriorated. It is clear when things started to trend downhill for him – lap nine was when his times flew above the one-minute mark and he did not bring them back down in the remaining laps. Justin Barcia and Adam Cianciarulo, on the other hand, kept circulating in the fifty-nine second range until laps fourteen (Cianciarulo) and fifteen (Barcia).
– Although Ken Roczen finished in sixth, the two riders behind him actually had better average lap times. Roczen had an average time of 1:00.854. Eli Tomac (seventh) had an average lap time of 1:00.847 and Justin Brayton (eighth) ended the main event with an average of 1:00.639. This obviously confirms that Brayton would have (and should have) been higher in the results column, had it not been for a fall that was prompted by Jason Anderson.
– The idea that the 450SX field is stacked has been mentioned countless times. The fact that every single rider in the main event had a national number strengthens that theory. Has that happened at Anaheim 1 before? The last time that there were truly no three-digit guys in the main was at Anaheim 1 in 2007. One could argue this actually happened in 2017 – Mike Alessi was the only three-digit rider in the main event and was obviously good enough to earn a national number (the only reason he did not have two digits was because he was grandfathered in). Hey, he was still using three digits in the main!
– Although Justin Cooper won the opening round of 2020 Monster Energy Supercross in the 250SX class, it was Dylan Ferrandis who made the most waves by being so strong in timed qualifying. Ferrandis was on top each session and by a considerable margin too. Was this really a surprise though? Ferrandis was in the top two in timed qualifying at nine of the ten 250SX West rounds last year. What about the other event? Well, he was third in that one. Throwing down one quick lap appears to be his thing.
– Speaking of lap times, Dylan Ferrandis actually had a better average lap time than the eventual winner in the 250SX main event. Ferrandis has an average time of 59.756, whereas Justin Cooper was sat at a 59.775. When was the last time that the winner of the 250SX main did not end up with the best average lap time? That was at round fourteen a year ago, when Martin Davalos won with an average of 51.465. Chase Sexton finished second with an average of 51.173.
– Dylan Ferrandis finished second in the 250SX main event for the seventh time in his career on Saturday night, which took his podium total to eleven. The average finish that Ferrandis has had in his supercross career is currently a fifth. Not bad at all! Justin Cooper has now completed eleven main events and has an average finish of fourth. It took him eleven starts to grab his first win, but how about his teammate? Ferrandis did it in his nineteenth start.
– Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha obviously got the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross series off to a phenomenal start, as their two riders finished first and second in the main. When did the riders in blue last manage that? It was actually at Anaheim 1 a year ago (three hundred and sixty-five days ago). Colt Nichols won on that night and Dylan Ferrandis finished second. Ferrandis obviously went on to win the title, so maybe history will repeat itself?
– Austin Forkner got docked two positions at Anaheim 1, which handed Christian Craig third in the main. Craig did not actually get to stand on the box – the ruling was not immediate – but being listed as third is still a massive step in the right direction. It has been a while! When was the last time that he finished third in a main? It was at Anaheim 2 back in 2018. That was seven hundred and fifteen days ago! A lot has happened to him in that time.
– Having two riders in the top eight in a 250SX main may not sound like much for a factory team to shout about, but that was actually a step in the right direction for Troy Lee Designs Red Bull KTM. When was the last time that they managed that indoors? It was in Foxborough in 2018 (six hundred and sixty-four days ago). Jordon Smith grabbed second and Sean Cantrell was in fifth on the night. Could Derek Drake and Brandon Hartranft match that in St. Louis?
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Sean Ogden