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Images taken at the second stop in Anaheim of the 2019 Supercross season

Monster Energy Riders Swing for the Fences at the Anaheim Triple Crown

Jan 202019

Since it was introduced last season, the Triple Crown format in Monster Energy Supercross has been the source of some of the captivating and dramatic racing of the championship. With a trio of Main Events that get progressively longer, it sets the stage for unpredictable action, and the competition was fierce at the first Triple Crown event of the 2019 season this past Saturday night in Anaheim.

Monster Energy riders have been at the forefront of both the 450SX Class and 250SX Class at this early stage of the championship, earning a total of three wins in four Main Events. The stacked four-rider lineup in each division was in search of more of the same at the third round of the season, and while the Monster Army was ultimately held out of a win for the first time in 2019, Eli Tomac, Dylan Ferrandis, and Colt Nichols collectively carried the torch for Monster Energy with strong podium results.

450SX Class

Given his speed, it’s only a matter of time before Tomac breaks through for his first win of the season. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider was the heavy championship favorite entering the season, and while he’s still chasing his first win of the season, Tomac has made his presence felt each and every week. He capped off the Triple Crown with a glimpse of what’s likely to come in the near future, with a Main Event-winning run that vaulted him onto the overall podium.


All four Monster Energy riders positioned themselves in the top 11 at the conclusion of qualifying, which led to the first and shortest Main Event to open the night. The eight-minute race saw Ken Roczen and Cooper Webb position themselves out front, with Tomac battling with Marvin Musquin for third. With the short timeframe and exceptional pace, the top four easily asserted themselves out front, while the battle for position behind them was intense.


Webb was able to make an aggressive pass around Roczen in the final corner to steal the first Main Event win, while Tomac lost a spot to Musquin late and settled for fourth. Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia overcame a start outside the top 10 to finish seventh, with Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy right behind in eighth. Barcia’s Monster Energy Yamaha teammate Aaron Plessinger was mired in 20th off the start, but posted an impressive come-from-behind effort to salvage a 12th-place finish.


Webb kept the momentum going at the start of the second Main Event, which was slated for 12 minutes. Barcia led the way for the Monster Energy squad in fifth, with Savatgy and Plessinger both inside the top 10 as well. Tomac was faced with his some adversity and found himself mid-pack on the opening lap in 12th. Arguably the biggest surprise of the season thus far, Barcia rode exceptionally and stormed his way into podium position. Like Barcia, Tomac was on fire as well and despite being well behind the leaders out of the gate, he surged through the field to close in on Barcia’s rear fender in fourth. Out front, Webb was in a class of his own and easily cruised to another Main Event win. Barcia finished solidly in third, with Tomac in fourth. Plessinger maintained his top-10 spot in ninth, while Savatgy finished 13th.


The third and final Main Event was bound to be the most competitive of the night at 15 minutes in length. With an overall finish on the line, all riders were going to look to finish the night strong in hopes of late moves up the standings. However, Tomac silenced the field with an utterly dominant performance. The Kawasaki rider grabbed the most important holeshot of the night and proceeded to checkout on the field. The clear track was the only advantage Tomac needed to quickly put some distance between he and his rivals, and it was a glimpse into what lies ahead if Tomac is able to pull a start at any time this season.


Tomac led wire-to-wire to earn the win by 4.7 seconds over Musquin in second. Plessinger and Savatgy both rode to solid top-10 finishes, while Barcia suffered a crash and needed assistance getting of the track.


When the overall results were tallied Webb captured his the first win of his career, while Tomac’s win vaulted him into third. All four Monster Energy riders successfully secured top-10 finishes for the second time this season with Plessinger seventh and Savatgy eighth. Barcia finished 10th despite the DNF in the final race of the night.


The strong finish paid big dividends to Tomac in the championship standings, as he has now closed to within just two points of Roczen for the lead. Barcia sits tied for fourth (-7) with Plessinger tied for eighth (-18). Savatgy is making his climb back up the standings after sitting on the sideline last weekend, currently 15th in points.


450SX Class Results

1. Cooper Webb, KTM (1-1-3)

2. Marvin Musquin, KTM (3-2-2)

3. Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki (4-4-1)

4. Ken Roczen, Honda (2-5-4)

5. Dean Wilson, Husqvarna (9-8-7)

7. Aaron Plessinger, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing (12-9-6)

8. Joey Savatgy, Monster Energy Kawasaki (8-13-8)

10. Justin Barcia, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing (7-3-22)


450SX Class Standings

1. Ken Roczen, Honda - 63

2. Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki - 61

3. Cooper Webb, KTM - 57

4. Justin Barcia, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing - 56

5. Marvin Musquin, KTM - 56

8.  Aaron Plessinger, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing - 45

15. Joey Savatgy, Monster Energy Kawasaki – 22

Western Regional 250SX Class

Through the first two rounds of the season it’s been all Monster Energy in the Western Regional Championship. Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Colt Nichols started things off with a win, and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo followed suit one week later. The duo carried all the momentum into Anaheim, but the Triple Crown format shook things up a bit.


Nichols, Cianciarulo and fellow Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha rider Dylan Ferrandis have been the class of the field in terms of speed throughout 2019, and they paced qualifying with the top three times. Ferrandis topped the charts, followed closely by Cianciarulo and Nichols.


When the gate dropped on the first six-minute Main Event to no surprise it was Cianciarulo who grabbed the holeshot and early lead with Nichols in tow. Ferrandis slotted into sixth, but soon surged into a battle for podium position. Cianciarulo appeared to have the race in control, but a mistake put him on the ground and handed the lead to Nichols. Ferrandis took advantage of the mistake as well to move into second, while Cianciarulo remounted in sixth.


The clear track gave Nichols all the advantage he needed to cruise to the win 2.6 seconds ahead of Ferrandis, while Cianciarulo impressively recovered to finish just off the podium in fourth.


The Monster dominance continued into the second Main Event, slated to be 10 minutes in length. Nichols grabbed the holeshot and put his Yamaha into the lead, with Ferrandis right behind. Cianciarulo didn’t get the start he needed and was forced to fight from ninth. With Ferrandis right on his rear fender for several laps, Nichols made a crucial mistake and tipped over, which handed the lead over to his teammate. Nichols remounted quickly and resumed right behind Shane McElrath in third. As this unfolded Cianciarulo was on a march through the field and moved into fifth. However, the Kawasaki rider encountered misfortune again and dropped outside the top 10.


Out front, Ferrandis carried on to the Main Event win and took the checkered flag 1.3 seconds ahead of McElrath, with Nichols in a close third. Cianciarulo was forced to settle for 14th.


The classification entering the third and final Main Event was exceptionally tight, and with 12 minutes scheduled for the last race of the night it was anyone’s guess as to who’d emerge triumphant. As the field stormed into the first turn it was Nichols who once again came away with the holeshot, but a battle with Sean Cantrell allowed Cianciaulo to seize the top spot ahead of Nichols. Cianciarulo paced the field for several laps, but a hard-charging McElrath eventually worked his way by both Nichols and Cianciarulo to take control of the race.


Once out front McElrath maintained his lead and took the win, while the Monster Energy trio of Cianciarulo, Ferrandis, and Nichols followed in second, third, and fourth, respectively.


Cianciarulo’s defense of the runner-up spot over Ferrandis ultimately benefitted McElrath in the overall classification as the Frenchman and KTM rider ended the night tied. By virtue of his win in the final race McElrath was awarded the victory. Ferrandis was forced to settle for second, while Nichols put a pair of Monster Energy riders on the podium for the third consecutive round. Cianciarulo rebounded to finish fifth, while Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rookie Garrett Marchbanks endured through an up and down night in 21st.


Nichols maintains his hold of the championship lead, with a two-point margin over McElrath. Ferrandis is third (-7), with Cianciarulo fourth (-8).


Western Regional 250SX Class Results

1. Shane McElrath, KTM (3-2-1)

2. Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha (2-1-3)

3. Colt Nichols, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha (1-3-4)

4. RJ Hampshire, Honda (5-4-5)

5. Adam Cianciarulo, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki (4-14-2)

21. Garrett Marchbanks, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki (17-21-22)


Western Regional 250SX Class Standings

1. Colt Nichols, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha - 70

2. Shane McElrath, KTM - 68

3. Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha - 63

4. Adam Cianciarulo, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki - 62

5. RJ Hampshire, Honda - 57

12. Garrett Marchbanks, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki - 33