2018 Phoenix Supercross Preview |
8 Things to Watch For

Things return to normal for the 2018 Phoenix Supercross, with two Heats, an LCQ, and a single Main. However, the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship Series is in serious disarray. None of the three favorites in the title race—Marvin Musquin, Ken Roczen, and Eli Tomac—are to be found in the Top 3 in the standings. Here’s a 2018 Phoenix Supercross Preview to give you an idea of what to watch for. We also have a TV schedule available.

  1. Eli Tomac will be aiming for his first win of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross season in the traditional single-Main format. The Monster Energy Kawasaki racer crashed out of the season opener and couldn’t ride the next round. However, he returned for Anaheim 2 and put the rest of the field on notice—he is back. Tomac won one of the three Mains in the Triple Crown format, and grabbed the overall with a 5-1-2 night. Tomac is 43 points out of the top spot with 14 rounds to go—he doesn’t quite control his own destiny, but he is close.

    2018 Phoenix Supercross Preview - Eli Tomac
    #3 Eli Tomac
  2. Jason Anderson is riding with confidence, but struggled in Phoenix last year. Riding up to the gate at University of Phoenix Stadium, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Team’s Anderson has an 11-point lead over Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely. Anderson will not want to repeat the 10th place finish he had at Phoenix a year ago when he started in 11th place and floundered around the entire Main. Anderson had a strong final Main at A2 and easily passed Tomac in the process, so he has real momentum.

    2018 Phoenix Supercross Preview - Jason Anderson
    #21 Jason Anderson
  3. It’s time to start wondering about Ken Roczen. Given his tepid performance 11-12-4 at A2, it is possible that Team Honda HRC’s Roczen is considering this a rebuilding season. You don’t see Roczen finish a night in ninth place when there isn’t a crash involved, yet that was his Anaheim 2 result. He acknowledged some demons about A2, as it was the round where he had the nearly career-ending crash last year. Roczen is as mentally strong as any rider, but he has a lot to overcome physically and mentally. We will see if the fire is there in Phoenix.
  4. Justin Barcia will be trying to return to form after his A2 hiccup. As a fill-in rider for the Monster Energy/Knich/Factory Yamaha Team, Barcia had podium finishes in the first two rounds. However, that came to an abrupt end at Anaheim 2 when he went 8-5-9 for eighth place overall. Barcia holds onto third place in the standings—he was passed by Cole Seely while moving ahead of Roczen. We should learn quite a bit about the rest of Barcia’s season in Phoenix.
  5. An unexpected second-place holder after three rounds, Cole Seely is riding strong. Although he faded in the final Main at A2 and lost a real chance for an overall after going 1-2 in the first two Mains, the Team Honda HRC racer still took second place overall for the night. He catapulted from fourth in the standings to second, as Barcia and Roczen did not meet expectations. Watch Seely closely—he’s a perennial fifth or sixth place rider, and now he has his first podium of the year, and he is just one position out of the series lead.

    2018 Phoenix Supercross Preview - Cole Seely
    #14 Cole Seely
  6. If Dean Wilson and Marvin Musquin line up at the 2018 Phoenix Supercross, don’t expect much. Both are recovering from injuries and made tepid comebacks at Anaheim 2. Wilson had two 14th place finishes, followed by a collision in the final Main that damaged his bike, causing him to call it a night. Musquin did better in the first two Mains—a ninth and 11th—but pain stopped him from riding the third Main. If Musquin can qualify out of the Heat race, he’ll only have to ride two races in Phoenix, but that 20-minute, plus one lap, Main will be a challenge.
  7. The race for second place in the standing is a tight one, with five riders in the mix. In addition to Seely, Barcia, and Roczen, the battle to get into series podium positions also includes Autotrader/JGR/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Weston Peick and Smartop/MotoConcepts Racing/Honda’s Justin Brayton. A mere seven points separate second place Seely from sixth place Brayton. Both Brayton and Peick have done far better than expected. Peick has three fifth-place finishes in three races, while Brayton has been beating many of the factory riders on his private-team motorcycle. Keep an eye on Brayton and Peick as they eye the Phoenix podium.

    2018 Phoenix Supercross Preview - start
    The Championship race is on!
  8. Two factory riders definitely need to make something happen. Monster Energy/Knich/Factory Yamaha Team’s Cooper Webb has been embarrassed by fill-in rider Barcia, while Red Bull KTM’s Broc Tickle is not doing much with one of the most coveted factory rides. Both riders have a dismal 37 points in the series, leaving them tied for ninth place and 33 points behind Anderson. Will their team managers send them wake-up calls for Phoenix?Photography by Jeffery Brown, Simon Cudby and Feld Entertainment

2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Standings (after 3 of 17 rounds)

  1. Jason Anderson, 70 points (1 win)
  2. Cole Seely, 59
  3. Justin Barcia, 57
  4. Ken Roczen, 56
  5. Weston Peick, 54
  6. Justin Brayton, 52
  7. Josh Grant, 45
  8. Blake Baggett, 43
  9. Broc Tickle, 37
  10. Cooper Webb, 37
  11. Marvin Musquin, 36 (1 win)
  12. Jeremy Martin, 36
  13. Eli Tomac, 27 (1 win)
  14. Vince Friese, 26
  15. Malcolm Stewart, 24
  16. Chad Reed, 24
  17. Kyle Cunningham, 20
  18. Tyler Bowers, 17
  19. Ben Lamay, 15
  20. Alex Ray, 14
  21. Dakota Tedder, 7
  22. Dean Wilson, 5
  23. AJ Catanzaro, 5
  24. Adam Enticknap, 5
  25. Matt Bisceglia, 4
  26. Henry Miller, 4
  27. Austin Politelli, 1