Anderson Takes Series Lead As Musquin and Tomac Sidelined at 2018 Houston Supercross

The 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Championship Series continued to unfold in unexpected ways at the Houston round. Jason Anderson took the win with two of the top three pre-season favorites injured and watching.

Ken Roczen continued his recovery process, returning to the podium. Justin Barcia far exceeded expectations again at the 2018 Houston Supercross round, with a repeat podium finish. Like A1, unfortunately, it was not an exciting race—passes and battles were few.

1. Marvin Musquin and Eli Tomac sat out the Houston Main with injured shoulders. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Tomac, who bruised his shoulder at A1 was not fit to even ride a Heat race. There was a huge opportunity for Red Bull KTM’s Musquin to build on his A1 lead, but he went down in his Heat while struggling in fifth place. The crash dislocated his shoulder. Musquin considered competing in the LCQ, but his shoulder was not race-ready. Musquin drops from first to 10th in the standings with 26 points, while Tomac sits in 26th with just a single point.

Jason Anderson 2018 Houston Supercross

Jason Anderson

2. Jason Anderson is stepping into the void with two podiums. With neither Tomac nor Musquin riding in the Houston SX Main Event, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider grabbed a solid win and a firm grip on the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Championship Series lead. Anderson won his Heat, and got a decent fourth place start in the Main. He methodically picked off Weston Peick on Lap 2, Justin Barcia on Lap 11, and finally Ken Roczen on Lap 15. Anderson looked loose on a very rough track, won by a comfortable margin, and is an instant championship contender.

3. Ken Roczen looks like he’s still getting his footing in the Main. Roczen won his Heat easily, but the Team Honda HRC racer had nothing to answer Anderson at crunch time in the Main. Anderson went by easily late in the race, and Roczen did not mount a challenge to retake the lead. After two rounds, Roczen is working his way to the front. He’s 4-2 in the first two races, is now second in the points race. The only question is how good will Roczen be once he is settled into the season.

4. The podium at Anaheim was no fluke for Justin Barcia. Filling in for the injured Davi Millsaps on the Monster Energy/Knich/Factory Yamaha team, Barcia led the first lap before nabbing his second straight podium. To do it, Barcia had to endure a long battle with Cole Seely, finally sealing the deal when Seely made an error in a corner on Lap 19 of 20. As improbable as it would have been to say 10 days ago, Barcia is tied for second in the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Championship Series Standings with Ken Roczen after two rounds. Memo to the FS1 crew: Drop the outdated “Bam Bam” nickname.

5. Weston Peick and Justin Brayton are also for real. Both did well at A1, with Autotrader/JGR/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Peick finishing in fifth place and Smartop/MotoConcepts Racing/Honda’s Justin Brayton in seventh. Peick put in another strong ride, repeating his fifth place performance, while Brayton moved up a spot to finish sixth in Houston. As at Anaheim, Peick had a podium start, but dropped back; Brayton held steady throughout the race, only passing Blake Baggett.

6. It’s not looking good for Blake Baggett and Cooper Webb. While not exactly expected to be championship contenders, Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM’s Baggett has gone 12-7, and Monster Energy/Knich/Factory Yamaha Team’s Cooper Webb has finished 10-12. Baggett is ninth in the standings, and Webb is in 12th place, and that’s with Tomac and Musquin injured. Both of these highly touted riders need to pick up their paces. However, in Webb’s defense at Houston, he was involved in a first lap pileup and had to come from dead last.

7. Cole Seely remains Mr. Consistent. Seely can be expected to finish in fifth or sixth place every time they lineup for the Main. With Tomac and Musquin in the pits, Seely took advantage and grabbed a fourth place finish. Team Honda HRC’s Seely battled hard with Barcia for that last podium spot, but faded after an error and finished four seconds behind Barcia.

8. Malcolm Stewart’s return to Monster Energy Supercross was uneventful. He finished seventh in his Heat after starting fifth—a common occurrence for Stewart. Filling in on the Autotrader/JGR/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team for injured Justin Bogle, Stewart ended up 11th in the Main—the last rider to avoid being lapped.

Photo by Simon Cudby

     2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Results, Round 2, Houston

  1. Jason Anderson, Husqvarna
  2. Ken Roczen, Honda
  3. Justin Barcia, Yamaha
  4. Cole Seely, Honda
  5. Weston Peick, Suzuki
  6. Justin Brayton, Honda
  7. Blake Baggett, KTM
  8. Broc Tickle, KTM
  9. Josh Grant, Kawasaki
  10. Jeremy Martin, Honda
  11. Malcolm Stewart, Suzuki
  12. Cooper Webb, Yamaha
  13. Vince Friese, Honda
  14. Kyle Cunningham, Suzuki
  15. Ben Lamay, Honda
  16. Chad Reed, Husqvarna
  17. Alex Ray, Yamaha
  18. AJ Catanzaro, Kawasaki
  19. Henry Miller, Suzuki
  20. Adam Enticknap, Honda
  21. Dakota Tedder, KTM
  22. Austin Politelli, Honda

     2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Standings (after two rounds)

  1. Jason Anderson, 49 points (1 win)
  2. Ken Roczen, 42
  3. Justin Barcia, 42
  4. Cole Seely, 36
  5. Weston Peick, 36
  6. Justin Brayton, 33
  7. Broc Tickle, 30
  8. Josh Grant, 28
  9. Blake Baggett, 27
  10. Marvin Musquin, 26 (1 win)
  11. Jeremy Martin, 25
  12. Cooper Webb, 24
  13. Vince Friese, 20
  14. Kyle Cunningham, 16
  15. Chad Reed, 15
  16. Ben Lamay, 14
  17. Malcolm Stewart, 12
  18. Alex Ray, 11
  19. Tyler Bowers, 9
  20. AJ Catanzaro, 5
  21. Dakota Tedder, 5
  22. Matt Bisceglia, 4
  23. Henry Miller, 4
  24. Austin Politelli, 1
  25. Eli Tomac, 1