As the 2015 Monster Energy Supercross series visits Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., for the third and final time this season, it will also mark the first time that the red plate and championship points lead has changed since the series began in early January.
The man who now holds the red plate is none other than Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey. Oddly enough, the Minnesota rider has yet to stand on the top of the podium, but his consistency has paid off as he is the only rider who has placed in the top five in every race so far this season. As a past winner at Anaheim 3 Supercross, Dungey hopes to earn his first victory of the season by repeating that success.
RCH/Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s Factory Suzuki’s Ken Roczen surrendered the red plate to Dungey after a scary crash on one of Oakland Supercross’ massive triple jumps The crash occurred when Roczen attempted to pass TwoTwo Motorsports Kawasaki’s Chad Reed for second place on the opening lap of the main event.
The German rider fell out of the sky coming up short on the triple and casing hard. After riding off the track, he rejoined the race to salvage a 15th place finish. Although it looked as if Roczen could have easily broken both wrists and/or ankles, he thankfully walked away mostly uninjured suffering two black eyes from the impact to the handlebars. Despite being a bit banged up, he will be looking to get back to his winning ways at Anaheim 3.
Getting black flagged at Anaheim 2 seems to have lit a bit of a fire within series veteran Reed. The Australian managed to put his Kawasaki on the box after a few mishaps in the main event. An improper fork set up in the first few rounds and getting penalized at Anaheim 2 may have not been the best start to the season Reed has ever had, but he has gained some momentum from Oakland and will certainly be looking to apply it at Angel Stadium this weekend. Another incentive for the Aussie to win this weekend is that if he does, he will pass Jeremy McGrath and James Stewart on the all-time win list.
Team Honda’s Trey Canard put his Anaheim 2 drama with Reed behind to rebound in Oakland and score his first win of the 2015 season. It would be his first win since Arlington, Texas in 2011. “I didn’t think I would be on the podium after the first few laps; it was busy out there. It has been a long haul to get here on top of the podium and I am really happy about it,” Canard says.
The Honda CRF450R rider has displayed incredible speed all season long. If he can get better starts, Canard will undoubtedly be in line to score several more wins this season.
In the West Region 250 Supercross class, GEICO Honda’s Malcolm Stewart took his first-ever main event win in front of the Oakland crowd. The Florida rider took advantage of a mistake made by Red Bull KTM’s Justin Hill to overtake the lead and remain there until the checkered flag.
Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Cooper Webb retains the red plate, but only after experiencing some adversity in the Oakland main event. The young rider was put on the ground after an aggressive move and an elbow to the side of the helmet by Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers.
In spite of the cheap shot made on him, Webb made a charge from 12th place after his crash to put a clean pass on Bowers and take second place for the night. Despite the fact that they are training partners, Webb made it very clear after the race that he was not happy with Bowers’ pass. “I am in this for the championship, so I will just have to wait until Vegas to clean him out.”
During last year’s 450SX Class Main Event at Anaheim 3, TwoTwo Motorsport’s Chad Reed took the main event win. In the 250SX class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson scored his first win of the season.
2015 Monster Energy AMA Standings after 4 of 18 rounds:
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 82
2. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki, 78
3. Trey Canard, Edmond, Okla., Honda, 68
4. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 64
5. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna, 62
6. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha, 58
7. Cole Seely, Laguna Beach, Calif., Honda, 45
8. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 44
9. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 44
10. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki, 42
Photos by Don Williams