2018 Supercross Mid-Season Report | Lots of Surprises

2018 Supercross Mid-Season Report Kawasaki Rider Eli Tomac
Kawasaki's Eli Tomac

2018 Monster Energy Supercross After 9 of 17 Rounds

Back in December I produced a Fantasy Supercross Guide for the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season. I divided the 12 riders in the top seven Supercross teams into four tiers, and offered predictions about how each rider would do.

The Atlanta round marks the mid-point in the 2018 Supercross Championship Series, so let’s take a look at how the riders did, and how I did.

2018 Supercross Mid-Season Report Kawasaki Rider Eli Tomac
Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac

TIER 1: Musquin. Roczen. Tomac.

All three riders have suffered injuries that have forced them to miss one or more races, and only Marvin Musquin (Red Bull KTM) has led the series—and that was only after he won the opener in Anaheim.

Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) crashed and injured his shoulder in the A1 Main, leaving him with only one point after two rounds. Since then, it has been feast or famine for Tomac. He has four wins, but two more Main crashes in Oakland and San Diego left him with just 11 points total in those two rounds. Tomac has climbed to fifth in the standings, but is 70 points behind leader Jason Anderson.

Musquin injured his shoulder in a Heat in Round 2 in Houston, and he rode his way to recovery. Unfortunately, he was off the podium for three rounds after Houston, putting him in a big points hole. Musquin has reeled off four consecutive second place finishes since then, and is now second in the standings, a daunting 42 points behind Anderson.

Ken Roczen (Team Honda HRC) looked good, but not quite great, coming off his career-threatening arm injury last year. Roczen racked up three podiums and no wins, putting himself second in the standings before injuring his other arm in a crash with Cooper Webb in Arlington that didn’t have to happen. Roczen is out for the season.

2018 Supercross Mid-Season Report Husqvarna Jason Anderson
Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson

TIER 2: Anderson. Baggett. Seely.

If you’ve been following the 2018 Supercross season, you know how Jason Anderson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) is doing—four wins in nine races, and a 42-point lead with eight races remaining. Anderson can finish third at each of the remaining races and clinch the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship. So far, he’s been on the podium in all but two races, and he finished fourth those times.

Although Blake Baggett (Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM) is third in the standings, he can’t be fully satisfied with his performance this year. He had three consecutive podiums in Oakland, San Diego, and Arlington, but Baggett has finished outside of the top 6 at the other six rounds. Third in the series is nice, and it’s a fairly safe third place for a while, though Baggett better keep an eye out for Tomac.

Cole Seely (Team Honda HRC) was having a Cole Seely type of year—in the top 6 at all but one race, plus one podium. Seely even led a number of laps and looked like a threat to win on the right night. That all ended with a crash in a Tampa Heat race that resulted in a broken pelvis and tailbone. He’s out for the season.

2018 Supercross Mid-Season Report Kawasaki Eli Tomac
Kawasaki’s Josh Grant

TIER 3: Grant. Tickle. Webb. Wilson.

Josh Grant (Monster Energy Kawasaki) did about as well as predicted. He was in the top 10 at every round but San Diego (an 11th), and was as high as sixth overall in the Triple Crown format at Anaheim 2. Grant injured his leg prepping for the Arlington round, and hasn’t been back.

Never quite getting on track, Broc Tickle (Red Bull KTM) has been a fairly reliable top 10 finisher, but has finished outside of that level three times. He has two fifth place performances—San Diego and Tampa—and that puts him ninth in the standings.

Cooper Webb (Monster Energy Factory Yamaha Racing) has struggled, but things have been looking up at the last three rounds. In the six opening rounds, Webb finished outside of the top 10 twice and did no better than seventh place. Since then, Webb has gone 6-4-5, and a tangle with Weston Peick stopped him from doing better in the Atlanta Triple Crown. Webb could easily become a consistent Tier 2 rider in the second half of the 2018 Supercross season.

A shoulder injury at A1 got Dean Wilson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) off to a terrible start. He missed the next round in Houston, and has been slowly improving since. Wilson now has four top 10 rides in a row, but doesn’t look like a threat to become a reliable top 6 rider.

2018 Supercross Mid-Season Report Yamaha rider Justin Barcia
Yamaha’s Justin Barcia

TIER 4: Barcia. Bloss. Bogle. Peick.

It’s time for me to eat some crow here. Regarding Justin Barcia (Monster Energy Factory Yamaha Racing), who was filling in for an injured (and now retired) Davi Millsaps, I said, “Don’t expect much.” Well, I was wrong—big time. Barcia nabbed three podiums and was second place in the standings when he missed a triple in a Heat race in Arlington. Another rider landed on him, breaking his hand and ruining his season. Barcia may be back before the end of the year, but he won’t be a threat to win the championship.

Benny Bloss (Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM) injured himself at Anaheim 1, and hasn’t done much since. He missed the next two rounds, and hasn’t finished in the top 10 yet. Bloss has just 27 points on the year and is 21st in the standings. On the bright side, his 11th last week in Atlanta was his best ride of the year.

The 450SX class has not been kind to Justin Bogle (Autotrader/JGR/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing). Like his rookie year, Bogle’s sophomore year is injury plagued. After recovering from a concussion that keep him out of the opening rounds, Bogle had two 17ths at Glendale and Oakland, before breaking his humerus in San Diego.

Weston Peick (Autotrader/JGR/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing) exceeded expectations early on, with a string of fifth place finishes in the first three rounds. Peick hasn’t been able to return to the top 5 since then, though he sits in sixth in the 2018 Supercross standings, just a point behind Tomac. Peick has had a number of off nights, finishing 12th in Oakland, Tampa, and Atlanta. Still, it has been a good year so far for Peick, but he needs to return to early season form.

2018 Supercross Mid-Season Report Justin Brayton
Honda’s Justin Brayton

Privateer Surprise: Justin Brayton

It’s hard not to be rooting for Justin Brayton. Riding for the Smartop/Bullfrog Spas/Honda team, he is an amazing fourth place in the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship Series standings. Brayton and his teammate Vince Friese are the only non-factory backed riders in the top 15, and Friese is 15th.

That’s a stunning achievement for Brayton, who has finished in the top 10 in every round. Plus, Brayton has three top six finishes to his credit. His fourth place overall in the Atlanta Triple Crown matches his best finish of the year—another fourth at the Anaheim 2 Triple Crown. Brayton is just seven points ahead of Tomac, so he might not be fourth in the standings for long, but he could hold on to fifth place for a while.

2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Standings (after 9 of 17 rounds)

  1. Jason Anderson, 207 points (4 wins)
  2. Marvin Musquin, 165 (1 win)
  3. Blake Baggett, 150
  4. Justin Brayton, 144
  5. Eli Tomac, 137 (4 wins)
  6. Weston Peick, 136
  7. Cooper Webb, 125
  8. Cole Seely, 124
  9. Broc Tickle, 118
  10. Justin Barcia, 113
  11. Ken Roczen, 102
  12. Dean Wilson, 85
  13. Josh Grant, 83
  14. Malcolm Stewart, 82
  15. Vince Friese, 81
  16. Chad Reed, 70
  17. Tyler Bowers, 60
  18. Kyle Cunningham, 49
  19. Ben Lamay, 42
  20. Benny Bloss, 39
  21. Jeremy Martin, 36
  22. Kyle Chisholm, 30
  23. Alex Ray, 22
  24. Cole Martinez, 20
  25. Christian Craig, 18
  26. Justin Hill, 18
  27. Matthew Bisceglia, 15
  28. Adam Enticknap, 12
  29. Justin Bogle, 12
  30. Dakota Tedder, 10
  31. AJ Catanzaro, 7
  32. Cedric Soubeyras, 6
  33. Justin Starling, 5
  34. Jacob Weimer, 5
  35. Henry Miller, 5
  36. Austin Politelli, 4
  37. Brandon Scharer, 3