What To Look For At Anaheim 1 Supercross

There will be 56 hopefuls trying to qualify for the opening round of the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series in Anaheim, Calif.

Simply getting into the A1 SX Main will be a major challenge, as the field is impressively deep, even though there are just three serious contenders for the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Championship. Here’s what to look for at Anaheim 1.

Anaheim 1 Supercross Preview: Honda's Ken Roczen
Honda’s Ken Roczen

1. Focus on Ken Roczen’s level of aggression in his Heat race. Yes, Roczen is back and he’s riding fast on his Team Honda HRC CRF450R. However, shredding on the practice track is quite different from banging bars in the first corner with 19 other competitors hoping to make the Main. If he goes hard, then you’ll know he is back. If not, he will still be getting his footing. Here’s what Roczen has to say about his comeback from last year’s injury.

2. Eli Tomac will be looking to get his season off to a strong start. Roczen dominated early last year, and it took a while for Tomac to challenge eventual 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey. Tomac will not want to dig himself into another hole this year on his Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F.

3. Marvin Musquin has momentum on his side. The Red Bull KTM factory racer had a huge post-Nationals off-season. Look for Musquin to use his new KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition motorcycle to make a statement in his Heat race, as well as in the Main. If he flags, that momentum is toast.

Anaheim 1 Supercross Preview: Kawasaki's Eli Tomac
Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac

4. Jeremy Martin is a great unknown, and should be fun to watch. Martin is set to ride the 250SX East Championship, but Honda is letting him have a limited shot at some 450SX races on the West Coast. While the GEICO Honda rider did well at Daytona last year on his first foray into the world of 450SX, Daytona is quite different from a stadium. Martin could find himself on the podium with his CRF450R, and turn things upside down for Honda if he beats Roczen consistently.

5. Like Roczen, Blake Baggett is coming off an injury. Riding a Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition, Baggett has essentially the same motorcycle as Musquin. That means expectations will be high for Baggett, who is returning from a thumb injury. Like Tomac, Baggett will not want to drop too far behind the leaders too quickly. Still, it remains to be seen how aggressively he will feel comfortable riding.

6. Jason Anderson has won A1 before, and he undoubtedly would like to again. The anchor on the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team is going to have a tough time consistently making the podium. Last year was a bit of a letdown, even though he finished the championship in fourth place. Anderson finished 2017 with four consecutive podiums and had an improbable win at Las Vegas. That’s momentum that Anderson will be trying to draw on.

Anaheim 1 Supercross Preview: KTM's Marvin Musquin
KTM’s Marvin Musquin

7. Cooper Webb is a dark horse for the podium. This is a big year for the Monster Energy Factory Yamaha Team rider. He struggled in his rookie year, and had a mid-season injury. 2018 may be the year we find out if Webb is for real on his YZ450F, or if he is another 250 phenom that couldn’t hack it in the 450SX class. A1 may set the tone for Webb’s 2018 campaign.

8. Keep an eye on #55, Vince Friese. Love him or hate him, controversy seems to follow the Smartop MotoConcepts racer. Whether you think he is at fault or people come at him looking for trouble, Friese often gets a great start and isn’t shy about protecting his position when trying to qualify for the Main—something he did in all but one round last year. For 2018, Friese is returning to a number he used to run—he was #61 last year—maybe that will help.

Anaheim 1 Supercross Preview: Husqvarana's Jason Anderson
Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson

9. Keep an ear out for #178, Ronnie Ford. If he qualifies, he will be on a Husqvarna TC 250 two-stroke in a sea of thumpers.

10. If you’re planning to watch on television, here is the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross TV Schedule.

2018 Monster Energy Supercross Round 1 Entry List, Anaheim, CA

2- Cooper Webb Monster Energy/Knich/Factory Yamaha Team
3- Eli Tomac Monster Energy Kawasaki
4- Blake Baggett Rocky Mountain ATV/MC – KTM – WPS
6- Jeremy Martin GEICO Honda/AMSOIL/Factory Connection
10- Justin Brayton Smartop/MCR/Honda
12- Jake Weimer Smartop MotoConcepts
14- Cole Seely Team Honda HRC
15- Dean Wilson Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
19- Justin Bogle Autotrader JGR Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing
20- Broc Tickle Red Bull KTM/Motorex
21- Jason Anderson Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
22- Chad Reed CR22
25- Marvin Musquin Red Bull KTM/Motorex
33- Joshua Grant Monster Energy Kawasaki
34- Weston Peick Autotrader/JGR/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing
39- Kyle Cunningham H.E.P. Motorsports/FXR/Suzuki
48- Henry Miller H.E.P. Motorsports/FXR/Suzuki
51- Justin Barcia Monster Energy/Knich/Factory Yamaha
55- Vince Friese Smartop MotoConcepts
58- Matt Bisceglia Nut Up Industries
60- Benny Bloss Rocky Mountain ATV/MC – KTM – WPS
69- Tyler Bowers  
72- Josh Hansen Nut Up Industries, Fox
73- Brandon Scharer 3-D Racing/EBR Performance/Altus Motorsports/Yamaha
80- AJ Catanzaro
84- Scott Champion Partzilla.com
90- Dakota Tedder Team Tedder/Monster Energy/KTM/Lucas Oil
91- Alex Ray CycleTrader Rock River YAMAHA
94- Ken Roczen Team Honda HRC
120- Todd Bannister Moto Adventure Kawasaki/VMX/Fox Racing/Spy Optics/FAF Graphics/ Nielsens
145- Travis Smith  
178- Ronnie Ford MotoTech Trailers/Nash Motorsports/Grassroots Husqvarna/Advanced Automotive/
181- Dustin Pipes H.E.P. Motorsports/FXR/Suzuki
185- Damon Back South Valley Motorsports/H&H/Triple Effect/PB
211- Tevin Tapia Trust Implants / TNT Racing
214- Van Martin Allsouth Sprinkler Company/Honda Of Houston/Fox/Legends and Heroes/Yoshimura/
256- James Milson Team TPJ/Fly Racing/Granbury Motorsports
262- Connor Pearson St Claire Design and Construction/Colton’s Concrete
282- Theodore Pauli TXS/Outlaw Motorsports/St Louis Tattoo/Top Secret Designs
330- Cade Autenrieth
447- Deven Raper RJC Racing/Kelly’s Kawasaki
471- Logan Karnow Team PR-MX.ca/Strikt Gear/Pelletier Kawasaki
509- Alex Nagy Like You Live/Axo/Pirelli/EVS/ODI/Rekluse/Shoei/SoCal SuperTrucks
526- Colton Aeck Charity Air Ambulance/TREMX.com/Tri-County Powersports
542- JB Buller Help Smog/DT1 Filters/MIKE Metals/CTO Goggles/Scorpion Helmets
608- David Pulley Jr DMP Motorsports/Think Technology/Honda
645- Cheyenne Harmon Shawneemotors.com/Merge Racing/M2- Auto repair/Answer Racing/Elite Landscape
722- Adam Enticknap  
723- Tyler Enticknap SLO Painting/Fly Racing/BTO Sports/Rekluse/TXS/Scott USA/Works Connection
877- Dylan Bauer Dylan Bauer Racing
907- Ben Lamay TPJ/Fly Racing/L. Beardsley CPA/RTS/UofMX/EKS Brand, Stratus
914- Brice Klippel BWR Engines/SSI Decals/FXR/Arai
918- Michael Akaydin TXS Productions/Gateway Cycles/Vuckson Excavating/Embree Racing/Skillz
976- Josh Greco Privateer Graphics/Strikt/Moto Tech Trailers/Atlas/Sidi/Flo Motorsports/Moto Sea
981- Austin Politelli U Of MX/TXS Productions/HRT Racing/California Coast Plumbers