2018 Arlington Supercross Preview | Anderson Looking To Extend Lead
Going into the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship, the consensus was that KTM’s Marvin Musquin, Honda’s Ken Roczen, and Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac were the three favorites to win the title. Any money put on anyone else was a long shot.
As it has turned out, it is almost certain that none of those three riders will carry the #1 plate next year. Heading into round 7 of 17 of 2018 SX, it’s looking like Jason Anderson’s championship.
Here’s what you need to watch for at the 2018 Arlington Supercross:
1. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson will be looking for a three-peat. Anderson has two consecutive wins for the first time in his 450SX career, and the Husqvarna FC 450 pilot has won half of the rounds so far in 2018. Not just a winner, Anderson has five podiums in six rounds, and has not finished lower than fourth place. He’s a winner and he’s consistent—the perfect combination for taking a title.
2. You won’t be watching Ken Roczen in Arlington. In an odd crash with Cooper Webb— which was completely Roczen’s fault—Roczen ended up sending his previously uninjured right arm through the swingarm of Webb’s Yamaha. Roczen’s hand was broken in the crash, and he’s looking at surgery this week. Team HRC Honda CRF450R rider Roczen’s dream of a miracle comeback are over, though we should see him back before the end of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross series is over.
3. Justin Barcia is now a Factory Yamaha Team racer, and ready to run back up front after a brake failure in San Diego. With Davi Millsaps retiring due to injuries that resulted in Barcia getting the fill-in spot, along with Webb continuing to flounder—Webb is 11th in the standings—signing Barcia was only about asking him to be gentle with his demands. The YZ450F pilot Barcia is now second in the standings with three podiums to his credit in 2018. No one would have guessed it two months ago, but Barcia is a serious title contender after years of struggling in the 450SX class.
4. Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin has improved for four consecutive weeks and has his eye on returning to the top of the podium. It might be hard to remember, but Musquin won the first round at Anaheim. He got hurt the following week, and has been slowly recovering. In the last four weeks, Musquin has gone 13-5-4-2. If he keeps that momentum going, he’s looking at a win.
The KTM 450 SX-F rider Musquin has been roughed up in the past, though last week he showed a willingness to retaliate—a fire is burning. Musquin is 45 points behind Anderson in the standings, but you can’t completely count him out yet for the championship. Still, Musquin has gone from favorite to long shot.
5. Eli Tomac retains his status as a Fantasy Supercross menace. Tomac has two wins in 2018 when he doesn’t crash. When he does go down, he has a 13th and two last place finishes, along with one missed round. Motorcycle damage after a first-turn pileup in San Diego took Tomac out of the race seconds after the start. Tomac might win, or not finish in Arlington. He’s out of the race for the title, sitting 77 points behind Anderson, but every time Tomac lines up, he can win.
6. Cole Seely has lead 23 laps in the last two races, but not the most important lap. Seely went down in Oakland while leading, and flat out got passed in San Diego. Both times, he dropped off the podium. However, after a 12th in Glendale, Seely is absolutely on the right track.
He needs to ride the second half of the race like he does the first half. Seely’s only podium in 2018 came in the Triple Crown format at A2, so he will need to put together a full 20 minutes plus one lap to get it done. He has never been a reliable podium finisher, but keep an eye on him at the start as he’s competing for holeshots.
7. Blake Baggett has found his way to the podium twice after a poor start to 2018. Only five riders have two consecutive podiums this year—Anderson, Barcia, Roczen, Tomac and, after the last two rounds, Baggett. That puts Baggett in some impressive company. At Oakland and San Diego, Baggett earned his podium spots by staying out of trouble. Baggett doesn’t look like a threat to win, but if the track is tough, another podium won’t be unexpected.
8. Barring a catastrophe for one of them, Blake Baggett, Justin Brayton, Weston Peick, and Marvin Musquin will be aiming to move up in the standings at Arlington. Those four riders have only three points separating them, as they sit in fifth through eight places.
Roczen is ahead of them by just a few points, so they should all pass him. Baggett and Musquin were on the podium last week, while Brayton and Peick finished next to each other with Brayton ahead in sixth place. There should be some intense competition as these four riders vie for a top five spot in the standings.
9. Set your DVRs if you can’t watch it live. The 2018 Arlington Supercross starts at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Fox Sports 1. There’s always a chance it will run over time, so be sure to add an hour at the end, just to be safe. For the broadcast times for all the races, check out our Supercross TV Calendar.
2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Standings (after 6 of 17 rounds):
- Jason Anderson, 141 points (3 wins)
- Justin Barcia, 113
- Cole Seely, 106
- Ken Roczen, 102
- Blake Baggett, 99
- Justin Brayton, 99
- Weston Peick, 98
- Marvin Musquin, 96 (1 win)
- Josh Grant, 83
- Broc Tickle, 82
- Cooper Webb, 72
- Eli Tomac, 64 (2 wins)
- Vince Friese, 56
- Chad Reed, 47
- Malcolm Stewart, 41
- Dean Wilson, 39
- Jeremy Martin, 36
- Tyler Bowers, 35
- Kyle Cunningham, 30
- Ben Lamay, 27
- Alex Ray, 22
- Benny Bloss, 17
- Adam Enticknap, 12
- Justin Bogle, 12
- Dakota Tedder, 10
- Matt Bisceglia, 6
- AJ Catanzaro, 5
- Jake Weimer, 5
- Henry Miller, 4
- Austin Politelli, 1