Anaheim 1 Supercross Preview | 10 Things To Watch at A1 SX

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

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 WebbMonster Energy/Knich/Factory Yamaha Team
3- Eli TomacMonster Energy Kawasaki
4- Blake BaggettRocky Mountain ATV/MC – KTM – WPS
6- Jeremy MartinGEICO Honda/AMSOIL/Factory Connection
10- Justin BraytonSmartop/MCR/Honda
12- Jake WeimerSmartop MotoConcepts
14- Cole SeelyTeam Honda HRC
15- Dean WilsonRockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
19- Justin BogleAutotrader JGR Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing
20- Broc TickleRed Bull KTM/Motorex
21- Jason AndersonRockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
22- Chad ReedCR22
25- Marvin MusquinRed Bull KTM/Motorex
33- Joshua GrantMonster Energy Kawasaki
34- Weston PeickAutotrader/JGR/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing
39- Kyle CunninghamH.E.P. Motorsports/FXR/Suzuki
48- Henry MillerH.E.P. Motorsports/FXR/Suzuki
51- Justin BarciaMonster Energy/Knich/Factory Yamaha
55- Vince FrieseSmartop MotoConcepts
58- Matt BiscegliaNut Up Industries
60- Benny BlossRocky Mountain ATV/MC – KTM – WPS
69- Tyler Bowers 
72- Josh HansenNut Up Industries, Fox
73- Brandon Scharer3-D Racing/EBR Performance/Altus Motorsports/Yamaha
80- AJ Catanzaro
84- Scott
90- Dakota TedderTeam Tedder/Monster Energy/KTM/Lucas Oil
91- Alex RayCycleTrader Rock River YAMAHA
94- Ken RoczenTeam Honda HRC
120- Todd BannisterMoto Adventure Kawasaki/VMX/Fox Racing/Spy Optics/FAF Graphics/ Nielsens
145- Travis Smith 
178- Ronnie FordMotoTech Trailers/Nash Motorsports/Grassroots Husqvarna/Advanced Automotive/
181- Dustin PipesH.E.P. Motorsports/FXR/Suzuki
185- Damon BackSouth Valley Motorsports/H&H/Triple Effect/PB
211- Tevin TapiaTrust Implants / TNT Racing
214- Van MartinAllsouth Sprinkler Company/Honda Of Houston/Fox/Legends and Heroes/Yoshimura/
256- James MilsonTeam TPJ/Fly Racing/Granbury Motorsports
262- Connor PearsonSt Claire Design and Construction/Colton’s Concrete
282- Theodore PauliTXS/Outlaw Motorsports/St Louis Tattoo/Top Secret Designs
330- Cade Autenrieth
447- Deven RaperRJC Racing/Kelly’s Kawasaki
471- Logan KarnowTeam Gear/Pelletier Kawasaki
509- Alex NagyLike You Live/Axo/Pirelli/EVS/ODI/Rekluse/Shoei/SoCal SuperTrucks
526- Colton AeckCharity Air Ambulance/ Powersports
542- JB BullerHelp Smog/DT1 Filters/MIKE Metals/CTO Goggles/Scorpion Helmets
608- David Pulley JrDMP Motorsports/Think Technology/Honda
645- Cheyenne Racing/M2- Auto repair/Answer Racing/Elite Landscape
722- Adam Enticknap 
723- Tyler EnticknapSLO Painting/Fly Racing/BTO Sports/Rekluse/TXS/Scott USA/Works Connection
877- Dylan BauerDylan Bauer Racing
907- Ben LamayTPJ/Fly Racing/L. Beardsley CPA/RTS/UofMX/EKS Brand, Stratus
914- Brice KlippelBWR Engines/SSI Decals/FXR/Arai
918- Michael AkaydinTXS Productions/Gateway Cycles/Vuckson Excavating/Embree Racing/Skillz
976- Josh GrecoPrivateer Graphics/Strikt/Moto Tech Trailers/Atlas/Sidi/Flo Motorsports/Moto Sea
981- Austin PolitelliU Of MX/TXS Productions/HRT Racing/California Coast Plumbers