2020 ST. LOUIS SUPERCROSS | THE AFTERMATH
2020 ST. LOUIS SUPERCROSS | THE AFTERMATH
The 2020 St. Louis Supercross was an exciting night for Supercross fans. The 2020 Monster Energy Supercross season is off to a good start with lots of exciting battles and story lines heading into round three at Anaheim. Ken Roczen and Austin Forkner both bounced back to get their first wins after injury and while they led fairly uneventful races, the battles behind them were intense on Saturday. Adam Cianciarulo bounced off Zach Osborne who retaliated right away, Eli Tomac came from behind and gained two positions on the last lap, Justin Barcia raced while dealing with an illness and still finished second, Jett Lawrence took out Japanese rider Taiki Koga in a rhythm section, Alex Martin ran into Mosiman who got landed on by Dylan Ferrandis and more. Every week we like to highlight the top stories lines from Saturdays race and share our favorite photos in Motocross Action’s The Aftermath.
Photos by Brian Converse
Words by Josh Mosiman
KEN ROCZEN BACK ON TOP
Ken Roczen’s story is one of perseverance and grit. Ken is a great advocate for the sport of Supercross and motocross and to see him bounce back and grab his first win after his the major injuries he has gone through was great for everyone to see. Ken is a fan favorite for many reasons, one of them being that he is so open and transparent on social media. Through the years fans have watched videos on instagram of Ken at his lowest points in the hospital rooms right after surgery, we’ve seen him working out with his training partners, we’ve watched him get married and even his brother-in-law get paralyzed. Ken is authentic with what he shares online which allows his fans to connect with him on a more personal level and therefore makes us that much happier to see him back on top of the podium.
JUSTIN BARCIA RETAINS THE POINTS LEAD
Another success story in St. Louis was Monster Energy Yamaha rider, Justin Barcia. Justin came into the night under the weather like many of the top riders have been at the last two rounds (Webb, Osborne, Lawrence, Mosiman and now Barcia) but he dug deep, finished second in the Main Event and held onto the points lead. Justin has a six point lead on Ken Roczen going into round three which is back in Anaheim.
COOPER WEBB STRUGGLES WITH ILLNESS
Cooper Webb was sick coming into Anaheim 1, he qualified 15th during the day, but then went the night show started he came alive and was able to salvage a third place finish even while feeling under the weather. Unfortunately, Cooper was still sick when the series came to round two and even though he struggled in qualifying again, nobody counted him out because we know what he’s capable of, even on his worst night. This time the KTM crew said that he had a chest infection and that he was only able to ride once during the week. Cooper wasn’t far behind the lead pack in the middle of the race, but instead of making passes and moving forward, the leaders pulled away and Cooper finished 12th.
Cooper Webb stated after the race: “Tonight definitely didn’t end up how I had wanted it to. I struggled all day to get comfortable and unfortunately, I was just not able to make it happen tonight. We are going to regroup, work on getting healthy and hopefully get back up on the podium next weekend in Anaheim.”
BRANDON HARTRANFT’S FIRST PODIUM
Unlike most factory riders earning Supercross podiums, Brandon Hartranft didn’t come into the Pro ranks with a long list of Amateur National Championships and a factory ride. Brandon turned made the move up from the Amateurs in 2018 and he rode with the Cycle Trader Yamaha team for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He came in as a relatively unknown name and he earned respect from the riders and the industry by his work ethic and persistent riding style. Now a factory Troy Lee Designs Red Bull KTM rider, Brandon has the bike and the program that he’s been working for years to get and he delivered them their first podium of the season and his first podium of his career at round two.
AUSTIN FORKNER REBOUNDS FOR THE WIN AT HOME
With chaos happening all around the 250 Main Event, it was Austin Forkner who grabbed the holeshot and led every lap in St. Louis. His win didn’t come with the dominate lead that he had when he was winning in last season, but he was smart, smooth and consistent in Missouri and that’s what it took grab the win and the 25 Championship points that go with it. Now Austin has moved up to second in the points standings, only five behind Justin Cooper.
JASON ANDERSON QUIETLY PODIUMS
Jason Anderson has always been a unique character. In contrary to Ken Roczen, Jason doesn’t show off the hard work and grueling training days he puts in during the week, even though we fully know that he’s doing them since he’s apart of the Aldon Baker program. Jason displays his fun-loving nature and it almost seems like he doesn’t work hard and he doesn’t care about his results. But then he shows up on Saturday and he’s battling at the front of the pack. Both Ken and Jason are open and authentic with their social media, but Jason mostly shows the fun side when he’s goofing around with his friends, while Ken displays more of the daily grind and dedication that goes into being a Pro athlete. Jason and Ken have two different personalities, but both of them ended up on the podium in St. Louis. Jason Anderson also rode a smooth and consistent race to earn his first podium of the season at round two. After missing almost the entire 2019 season, Anderson kept his podium speech light and simple. He’s happy to be back on the podium after missing so many races last year, he’s having fun and he wants to do some battling for the fans.
In this three photo sequence, Jett Lawrence takes out Japanese rider, Taiki Koga midair in one of the rhythm sections during the second 250 heat race. It started two turns before when Jett tried to make his way passed Taiki on the inside of the bowl corner. He wasn’t close enough for the pass, but he made sure Koga knew he was behind him. Coming into the rhythm section, the track jumped into the first turn which was a 90 degree left hander. Lawrence shoved Koga out of the way with an assertive pass, but then instead of continuing forward and pulling away, Lawrence slid on the lip of the first double and drifted right into Koga’s landing zone. Lawrence at the same time cased the double and lost control and launched into Taiki Koga who was inches away from him at this point. Both riders went down, Lawrence was able to rebound and earn the final transfer spot through the heat race and Taiki Koga would be out for the night.
ADAM CIANCIARULO IS GETTING THE EXPERIENCE
Adam Cianciarulo was in fourth on the second lap when he made a very aggressive pass on Zach Osborne which caused them both almost to crash and they had to roll the double across the start. Osborne was not happy about ut and he had already been block passed by Roczen and he definitely wasn’t going to let Cianciarulo get by him like that without a fight. Zach came in hot to the next corner and sent Adam into the tough blocks. Luckily for Adam he kept it on two wheels, but he lost two more positions in the process to Anderson and Brayton. Adam then fought back into fourth place where he stayed for most of the race until he crashed on the last lap. He would finish seventh on the night.
ELI TOMAC GAINS TWO SPOTS ON THE LAST LAP
Eli Tomac entered the last lap of the Main Event in sixth place, but Adam Cianciarulo gave him a gift by going down and he was able to pass Zach Osborne to get himself into fourth across the checkered flag. It wasn’t what we expected from Tomac in St. Louis, but it certainly was an improvement from Anaheim 1. Eli is now 14 points behind Justin Barcia in the Championship standings.
ROCKSTAR HUSKY LEADS THE WAY INTO TURN ONE
Zach Osborne hugged the inside and grabbed the holeshot while Dean Wilson drifted wide and Jason Anderson doubled into the rhythm section. Ken Roczen waited for nobody and tripled his way through the rhythm lane and got in right behind Zach Osborne on turn number two. Then, in turn three Ken made an aggressive pass to take over the lead and pull away.
For the second week in a row, the track featured a steep over-under table-top on it which makes for slower speeds, technical racing and cool photos. With the table-top having such a steep take off and landing, it really shoots the riders high into the air if they aren’t careful. Adam Cianciarulo was making the most of this jump by consistently scrubbing it each lap. We all know scrubbing jumps saves time because it gets your tires on the ground and accelerating forward quicker, but when it comes to these steep table-tops, it’s easy for riders to get lazy and catch a lot of air. Cianciarulo was intentional each lap over the jump and he gained lots of time on it.
Last weekend’s Anaheim 1 track layout didn’t have any straightaways on it. This weekend in St. Louis there was a long straightaway across the start where riders didn’t have to worry about jumps, whoops or sand rollers. But even with one straight away, riders don’t have time to take breath or they’ll be passed by the next guy behind them.
2020 450 SUPERCROSS POINT STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 2
- Justin Barcia-49
- Ken Roczen-43
- Adam Cianciarulo-39
- Jason Anderson-39
- Eli Tomac-35
- Blake Baggett-33
- Cooper Webb-32
- Malcolm Stewart-31
- Justin Brayton-30
- Zach Osborne-27
Dylan Ferrandis didn’t get a great start in the Main Event, he was around the ten spot when Alex Martin lost control and shot left into Michael Mosiman which pushed Mosiman directly into Ferrandis’ landing zone causing them both to go down hard. Ricky Carmichael said it best, Michael and Dylan don’t have anyone to blame except themselves. If they would’ve had better starts they wouldn’t have been caught up in the carnage. It’s chaos on the start of a Supercross race, especially when the track designer had a big long rhythm section straight after the start.
250 WEST 2020 SUPERCROSS POINT STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 2
- Justin Cooper-49
- Austin Forkner-44
- Brandon Hartranft-37
- Dylan Ferrandis-34
- Alex Martin-32
- Jett Lawrence-32
- Jacob Hayes-29
- Derek Drake-28
- Christian Craig-22
- Michael Mosiman-22
Christian Craig was looking fast in St. Louis. He passed Michael Mosiman in the whoops and pulled away to win the first 250 heat race. Unfortunately he had a rough go in the Main Event though, while running in third behind his teammate, Jett Lawrence, Christian went down in a rhythm section and didn’t finish the race. He posted via instrgam that he’s ok and he’ll be good to go for next weekend.
Troy Lee Designs KTM rookie Derek Drake came into the first turn hot during the first heat race of the night, but if you were there or if you watched on TV, you saw Derek spin a complete 180 and go down in the first turn. It was slick and it caught Derek off guard, he figured it out and was much easier on the throttle in the LCQ and then in the Main Event he went on to finish tenth.
WORDS FROM THE RIDERS:
Ken Roczen said via instagram: “1092 Days in the making. What a struggle it has been. That shows you the incredible things the mind and body can over come. I mean that for anybody. I have been in pain, i have struggled with depression and it always seems like the negative out weighs the positive. I have learned that that is only if you let it! Last night was one of the sweetest moments of my career. The emotions and joy from everybody is special to me! We will enjoy this today but after the race is before the race and i hope to get a bunch more of these”
Adam Cianciarulo said via instagram: “Really encouraging day. In the main event, despite my start, I felt like I was riding well and making good progress. Unfortunately turned a 4th into a 7th with a last lap mistake. Been grinding on my starts trying to get them where they should be but I obviously didn’t execute tonight. We’ll lock those in and be ready for A2!”
Cameron McAdoo injury update via instagram: “I would like to thank everybody for reaching out yesterday, unfortunately I had a pretty simple little crash in practice, with my bike landing on me. I was able to get my oxygen levels back up to normal so I tried to ride last practice, but could tell something was not okay. I went straight back to the medics they then sent me to the hospital, and they immediately found that I had a fully collapsed right lung, and a partially collapsed left lung. I was put under right away for a chest tube, and further tests. I am currently in the hospital in St. Louis hoping to get out sometime tomorrow! I’ve been feeling better than ever on the bike, and can’t wait to heal up to get back out there! Much love”
Malcolm Stewart said via instagram: “Good racing last night P-6. Had a little get off early in the week so we can came into the weekend a little beat up. 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 that was a cool moment for me! Looking forward to A-2”
Brandon Hartranft said via instagram: “What a night. First career podium!! So pumped. Wasn’t riding the best all day. Just put my head down for the main and road to my potential. Ready to keep this momentum going and to have some fun!!”
Jason Anderson said via instagram: “fun times in St. Louis ! The crew enjoyed every second of the day . Also almost died in the heat race glad I’m alive (crying laughing emoji) good farkin times see you back in Cali next week peeps @team__fried WE OUT”
Christian Craig said via instagram: “Had a good night going with a heat win! I was in a good position in the main for a podium spot but unfortunately, clipped a tuff block and took a handlebar straight to the stomach. I’ll be good to go for A2. Taking positives from the night and learning from the mistakes. IM STILL HUNGRY. Thanks team @fchonda”
Jett Lawrence said via instagram: “Gave it everything I had last night. Unfortunately I clipped a tough block which wrapped my rear brake around my peg and locked on my brake causing me to come into pit lane. Thanks for all the messages and comments I appreciate it. Thanks to my team and sponsors. Back to work this week!”
“It was a great night in St. Louis, and it almost feels like a win after some early obstacles. Justin came down with a cold at the end of the week, and he was not feeling 100 percent. He was pushing through it and practice was going well until he got cross-rutted and went off track, landing on the concrete. The team worked together like a well-oiled machine and replaced parts from Justin’s crash and were able get the bike’s setup back for the tacky, rutty track.” said Monster Energy Yamaha team manager Jim Perry.