The 450 main event lined up for a staggered start after Malcolm Stewart crashed and the race was red flagged.
Photos by Brian Converse & Story by Josh Mosiman
Last year the 2019 Glendale Supercross was the second race of the season. This year it is round four. The Arizona Cardinals’ State Farm stadium is beautiful. Rain was in the forecast last year and it came, but luckily the stadium has a retractable roof and it was closed in time to keep the track dry.
The 2019 Glendale Supercross round was held in the State Farm stadium where the Arizona Cardinals play.
The track was long and technical. During track walk, immediately it was immediately noticed that the dirt was by far better than last year. The Phoenix soil is known for being hard pack and slick. Usually the Dirt Wurx crew floods the track in hopes of creating more traction. This year it seemed like the dirt was holding moisture better and they didn’t have to water it as much on Saturday morning. The track still developed to be hard pack and slick, but qualifying was by far better than it was in 2018.
We heard mixed reviews about the 2019 track from the riders, but they were generally positive. The long and technical rhythm sections made for many different rhythm options and they weren’t easy. The whoop section was also difficult. They weren’t very big, but were hard pack and blue grooved.
Malcolm Stewart was a contender for the win until he went down hard in the whoops.
The major bummer of the 2019 Glendale Supercross was that SmartTop Moto Concepts rider Malcolm Stewart. crashed. in the 450 Supercross main event while running sixth place. Malcolm suffered a broken femur. It was awesome to watch Malcolm at A1, but his 2019 season ended in Arizona.
Dylan Ferrandis topped qualifying in the 250 class with a 1:01.270. He was just .01 of a second faster than Adam Cianciarulo who ran a 1:01.286 and he was .2 of a second faster than his teammate Colt Nichols who qualified third.
Adam Cianciarulo got the holeshot and checked out in the first 250 heat race of the night.
Jacob Hayes #156 was very impressive in Arizona. He ran third for most of the first 250 heat race before R.J. Hampshire passed him. Jacob was the 2018 Arenacross Champion, but when Arenacross went belly up in 2019, Jacob got a Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha ride for Supercross. Arenacross has been reformed for the 2020 season.
Martin Castelo (72) finished fifth in the first 250 heat race on his BarX Suzuki ride. Dylan VonLossberg (427) chases him.
Jimmy Decotis charged hard in the second 250 heat race. Jimmy got the holeshot and held on for second after Colt Nichols passed the JGR Suzuki rider.
After a rough weekend of bike issues at the 2019 Anaheim 1 Supercross, Mitchell Harrison was ready for redemption at round two. He finished sixth in the second 250 heat, but unfortunately another bike issue for Mitchell on the sight-lap caused him a DNS (did not start) in the main event.
Colt Nichols was on a mission in Glendale to prove that his win at Anaheim 1 wasn’t a fluke. Colt won 250 heat race number two commandingly.
Enzo Lopes passed his way through the 250 LCQ to win and transfer to the main event. Jess Pettis, Dylan Merriam and Devin Harriman rounded out the top four and made it into the 250 main event.
Justin Hill qualified first in the 450 class with a 1:00.659, Cooper Webb was second with a 1:00.887.
Eli Tomac was excited to race in Glendale, Arizona, in 2019. When interviewed during opening ceremonies Tomac said that Glendale was his favorite race of the year and that he had a lot of family there to watch him.
Chad Reed has never won in Glendale and hinted that this would be his last time racing in Glendale, but he is back for a last hurrah in 2020.
Marvin Musquin got the holeshot in the first 450 heat race of the night, here he grabs a handful of throttle as he tries to pull away.
Malcolm Stewart was flying through the whoops and actually made the pass on Marvin for the lead in the 450 heat. Malcolm led for just two corners before he made a mistake which caused him to have to slow down and double the big triple. Musquin was able to get back by him.
Soon after Malcolm’s mistake Cole Seely was able to get around Stewart and finish second in the heat.
Justin Barcia, Cooper Webb and Dean Wilson battled back and forth before finishing fourth, fifth and sixth in the first 450 heat race. The Glendale track provided for great battles.
This was the start of an epic heat race. Justin Brayton got the holeshot in the second 450 heat and his teammate Vince Friese ran second. Eli Tomac had issues with his brake on the first lap, he crossed the line 17th on the first lap. Last year’s champion, Jason Anderson was 8th off the start.
On the first lap of each heat race the riders learned that every part of the track had been groomed, except the whoops. Since the riders don’t have a sight-lap to view the track before the heat races the riders didn’t know that the whoops would still be blue groove and have kickers from practice.
Photo one, Aaron Plessinger block passes Chad Reed.
Photo two, Chad Reed gets him back. Chad was fifth on the first lap in their heat, but he found his groove and the old Chad appeared! He sliced his way through the pack passing Blake Baggett, Aaron Plessinger and Vince Friese. He also caught up to Justin Brayton who had a big lead. Chad finished second in his heat and was looking good going into the main event.
Ken Roczen started the 450 heat in sixth and after Jason Anderson and Justin Hill both passed him at the same time in the corner after the whoops, he finished the heat race in eighth.
Jason Anderson and Justin Hill went back and forth throughout their heat, but eventually finished sixth and seventh. These two were both on the gas, but neither of them could get into the top five in the heat race. How crazy is that?
After brake issues on the first lap, Eli Tomac fought his way up to tenth place in his heat—that isn’t a qualifyng finish. Ben Lamay held on to the final transfer spot which forced Eli to go to the LCQ.
Justin Brayton celebrates his heat win with a scrub across the finish line. Justin was one of the few riders going double-double-triple-triple-triple-double through the very long rhythm section on the west side of the State Farm Stadium.
Eli Tomac won the 450 LCQ and was followed by Kyle Chisholm, Ronnie Stewart and Cheyenne Harmon.
250 WEST MAIN EVENT
Adam Cianciarulo (92) banged bars going down the fast start-straightaway and grabbed the holeshot in the 250 main event.
Shane McElrath was second off the start and he ran in the number two spot until Colt Nichols came up the inside of Shane on lap eight. Colt cut Shane’s line off and they both had to double the big triple, but Colt secured the second place position.
Dylan Ferrandis was third after the start, but Ferrandis would go down on the straightaway by the mechanic’s area. He bounced up quickly and charged back to finish sixth.
Jimmy Decotis had a JGR 250 ride in 2019 and he still has the 250 JGR ride in 2020, but this year they are letting him race some 450 events as well. At the 2019 Glendale Supercross Jimmy finished fifth in the 250 main event and moved up to sixth in the 250 West point standings.
Adam Cianciarulo wins the 250 main event in Glendale and moved into second place in the point standings just five points behind Colt Nichols.
The 250 podium in Glendale. Adam Cianciarulo first, Colt Nichols second and Shane McElrath third.
2019 GLENDALE SUPERCROSS: 250 WEST RESULTS
1. Adam Cianciarulo…Kaw
2. Colt Nichols…Yam
3. Shane McElrath…KTM
4. R.J. Hampshire…Hon
5. James Decotis…Suz
6. Dylan Ferrandis…Yam
7. Chris Blose…Hus
8. Sean Cantrell…KTM
9. Garrett Marchbanks…Kaw
10. Michael Mosiman…Hus
250 SUPERCROSS POINTS STANDING (ROUND 2 OF 9)
- Colt Nichols…49
- Adam Cianciarulo…44
- Shane McElrath…42
- Dylan Ferrandis….40
- R.J. Hampshire…38
- Jimmy Decotis…34
- Garett Marchbanks…31
- Chris Blose…30
- Michael Mosiman…24
- Jess Pettis…24
450 SUPERCROSS MAIN EVENT
In the 450 main , Ken Roczen got the holeshot from a 16th gate pick for the main (Ken isn’t even in this start photo because he was on the outside).
Malcolm Stewart was on fire in the whoops all day, but unfortunately they bit him. Malcolm’s crash brought out a red flag and the race to be restarted with 13 minutes remaining.
It’s always a bummer to see a rider go down and get hurt. It’s extra hard when the crash causes a red flag because we all know the injury is serious. It takes mental toughness for these riders to see their fellow competitor hauled off on a stretcher and then line back up to finish the race.
After the red flag, the 450s were restarted the race in a staggered start (in the position they were in on the lap before the red flag). Ken Roczen (94) was still in first place and Jason Anderson (1) was a second.
Blake Baggett (4) was fourth early in the main, but he was patient and let the race come to him. He passed Marvin Musquin (25) on lap four to get to third before the red flag came out. After the restart it was Roczen, Anderson and Baggett one, two and three. At first Roczen and Anderson pulled a gap on Blake, but after Anderson took out Roczen, Blake inherited second.
It looked like Anderson was going to walk away with the win and Blake Baggett would have to settle for the second, but light bulb came on in Blake’s head and he got next to Anderson in the bowl turn and the two drag raced to the next corner and it was all Baggett’s race from there. Jason settled for second placeand Blake took his first-ever 450 Supercross win.
After being taken out by Anderson, Ken Roczen picked up his bike in fourth and chased down the number 25 of Marvin Musquin. Ken skimmed by Marvin for third place when a lapper force Musquin to change his line in the whoops.
After the restart, Tomac passed Justin Barcia, but Justin came back up the inside and moved Tomac out of the way. But Eli passed Barcia back and Tomac ended up 4th and Barcia 6th.
Vince Friese (42) held off the JGR Suzuki teammates Chad Reed (22) and Justin Hill to finish 12th in the main. After going down on the first lap Justin would finish 13th and Chad Reed 14th.
Dean Wilson was riding great at round two and he finished eighth in the main.
Cole Seely was racing himself back into shape in 2019 after breaking his hip in 2018. Cole had a one-year contract with the Factory HRC Honda team in 2019 and decided to retire before the 2020 season started.
Blake Baggett won his first-ever 450 Supercross main event in at the 2019 Glendale Supercross.
Blake Baggett stated in the press conference:“The last five laps were a blur. Literally a blur. All I remember was on the last lap there was somebody rolling, not deciding which way he was going to roll in the whoops and I came out of the turn and looked up and I’m like I don’t know if he’s going left or right and so I went down the middle and it was a terrible line and thats literally the only thing that can stick to me with the last five laps. I was just being patient and trying to capitalize on any mistakes.”
Blake Baggett, Jason Anderson and Ken Roczen placed one, two and three in the 450 main.
2019 GLENDALE SUPERCROSS: 450 RESULTS
1. Blake Baggett…KTM
2. Jason Anderson…Hus
3. Ken Roczen…Hon
4. Eli Tomac…Kaw
5. Marvin Musquin…KTM
6. Justin Barcia…Yam
7. Justin Brayton…Hon
8. Dean Wilson…Hus
9. Cole Seely…Hon
10. Cooper Webb..KTM
450 SUPERCROSS POINTS STANDING (ROUND 1 OF 17)
- Ken Roczen…44
- Justin Barcia…43
- Eli Tomac…40
- Blake Baggett…37
- Dean Wilson…34
- Marvin Musquin…33
- Jason Anderson…32
- Cooper Webb…31
- Aaron Plessinger…29
- Justin Brayton…28
TOP NEWS AFTER ANAHEIM 1:
Ken Roczen stated in the press conference: “I didn’t think about him (Jason Anderson) diving in there like that, I didn’t hear him either. I feel like the ruts the last few years especially kinda go up and they hook down pretty hard so I was just committed to the inside rut, but I saw a white bike there so I went down. I tried to get back up as quickly as possible, luckily my bike was still running and once I got back going and went over the finish line jump I knew I was in fourth. The front two guys had a little bit of a gap on me, so I was just trying to get on the podium.”
When asked if Blake wanted to be leading the last few laps he responded: “To be honest no, I already saw what went down a few laps before that (Jason taking out Ken) so I was being patient and trying to find a spot and I didn’t want it to get into a slugging fest and then all the sudden the train (of riders) was going to be back up on us. So I was trying to just wait for a mistake because there was nowhere to pass, the place is like concrete out there. You fight for traction and as soon as you are a little aggressive you lose the front wheel or slide or spin or something. I quit tripling on (to the step-on step-off) and I honestly thought Jason was going to get away from me because I couldn’t get the thing to bite and get up on there. I wasn’t comfortable with it and we kind of banjoed a little bit and he kinda came back to me. I was just trying to find somewhere. It might have looked like I was laying up but I was really just trying to find traction and just find a spot where it was going to be feasible.”
Shane McElrath said about the track: “It really was a tough track tonight, it required a lot of focus and a lot of patience and it was really tough to be consistent. The whoops were probably the hardest part, they weren’t that big but the third practice they started having the black marks on them. From then on the track crew couldn’t really do anything about them. They held their shape all the way from the first practice through our main event. So it was really tricky because it really required a lot of body position and technique through there. I had a few mistakes there and it really cost me a lot. It was kind of like riding at the test track. I know this week we had some rain so the test tracks were really good, but we should have rode the test track dry to prepare for this.”
Adam Cianciarulo said: “For me it’s always about being stronger on the bike. You guys have seen me, everybody jokes about ‘you know, he’s doing a heater but it looks like he’s about to die.’ Basically that’s really what I worked on, just kind of being stronger on the bike and to trying make things more repeatable. So that’s the biggest change, and for me I’ve been a little more locked in mentally. I’ve been kind of in this same head space and working towards this goal since the summer. It’s nice to see a sign that we’re going in the right direction.”