2018 Indianapolis Supercross Preview: Last Race Before The Break

It’s getting to be crunch time in the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship Series.

Following Saturday’s race at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, the racers take a break for Easter before embarking on a four-race sprint to the finale in Las Vegas. Here’s what you need to know about the 2018 Indianapolis Supercross

1. Get in front of your TV at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Yes, it’s an unusual starting time, so be prepared. As usual, the cablecast will be on Fox Sports 1. Bookmark and consult our 2018 Supercross TV Schedule.

2018 Indianapolis Supercross Preview Husqvarna's Jason Anderson
Husky’s Jason Anderson

2. With six rounds remaining, Jason Anderson just has to ride the way he has all year. With a 42-point lead, that gives Anderson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing FC 450) a seven-points-per-race cushion over Marvin Musquin. Given that Musquin hasn’t had a win since the opener at Anaheim, that means Anderson can cruise to fourth place or better the rest of the way and take the title. Keep in mind that Anderson has finished fourth or better in all but one race in 2018.

3. Marvin Musquin can only play the waiting game. There’s pretty much no way Musquin (Red Bull KTM 450 SX-F) can catch Anderson if Anderson stays healthy, so Musquin must do the same thing as Anderson—keep it on two wheels and stay on the podium. Musquin’s lead over Tomac has shrunk to 18 points, so he does have to keep an eye on that. If Tomac wins out from here—unlikely, but possible—and Musquin has a streak of second place finishes, Musquin and Tomac will be tied on points, with Tomac finishing ahead due to the most-wins tiebreaker. Last week in St. Louis, Musquin showed that he’s not willing to hang it out to go for the win, and that’s a smart attitude.

2018 Indianapolis Supercross Preview KTM's Marvin Musquin
KTM’s Marvin Musquin

4. Eli Tomac has nothing to lose and would love to keep winning. Last year, Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F) had a five-race winning streak, and there’s really no reason that he can’t do it again. Tomac comes into Indianapolis with a streak of five podium finishes, three of them wins. Winning the rest of the races won’t earn Tomac the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Championship, but it will salvage a year that has highlighted his unpredictability. In Tomac’s four worst rounds, he scored a total of 12 points. In Anderson’s four worst rounds, he took home 75 points. That’s a difference of 63 points, and Tomac trails Anderson in the standings by 60 points—there’s your story of the season.

5. Justin Brayton has been in the top 4 at the last three rounds. If Brayton (Smartop/Bullfrog Spas/Honda) can get a good start, he is definitely a podium contender. It’s amazing what confidence will do, even when you’re 34. Few would have picked Brayton to be third place in the standings at this point in the season, but there he is. However, Brayton’s three-point lead over Tomac going into the 2018 Indianapolis Supercross is going to be tough to defend as long as Tomac doesn’t go down.

2018 Indianapolis Supercross Preview Kawasaki's Eli Tomac
Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac

6. Watch for a battle between Blake Baggett, Weston Peick, and Broc Tickle. They are fifth (Baggett), sixth (Peick), and seventh (Tickle) in the standings. Last week in St. Louis, they finished fifth (Peick), sixth (Baggett), and seventh (Tickle)! Of the three, Baggett (Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM) has three podiums, compared to none for Peick (Autotrader/JGR/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing) and Tickle (Red Bull KTM). Baggett is shaking off an injury, but should be back up to speed at Indianapolis.

7. Christian Craig could pull a holeshot and lead some laps. St. Louis was an off race for the fill-in rider at Team Honda HRC, but he looked great in Atlanta and Daytona. We’ll find out if those first two races are the real 450SX Craig, or if he’ll be running in the bottom half of the top 10 the rest of the season. For Craig, a good start is crucial.

8. Benny Bloss will be shooting to crack the top 10. Bloss, who missed the first three rounds due to injury, has three 11th place finishes in a row. He was denied the top 10 by Chad Reed (Atlanta), Broc Tickle (Daytona), and Malcolm Stewart (St. Louis). Watch to see if Bloss (Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM) can make a top 10 happen in Indianapolis.

2018 Indianapolis Supercross Preview Justin Brayton
Honda’s Justin Brayton

2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Standings (after 11 of 17 rounds)

  1. Jason Anderson, 246 points (4 wins)
  2. Marvin Musquin, 204 (1 win)
  3. Justin Brayton, 189 (1 win)
  4. Eli Tomac, 186 (5 wins)
  5. Blake Baggett, 181
  6. Weston Peick, 171
  7. Broc Tickle, 147
  8. Cooper Webb, 146
  9. Cole Seely, 124
  10. Dean Wilson, 115
  11. Justin Barcia, 113
  12. Ken Roczen, 102
  13. Malcolm Stewart, 102
  14. Vince Friese, 98
  15. Josh Grant, 83
  16. Chad Reed, 82
  17. Tyler Bowers, 78
  18. Kyle Cunningham, 67
  19. Benny Bloss, 63
  20. Christian Craig, 51
  21. Ben Lamay, 51
  22. Kyle Chisholm, 48
  23. Jeremy Martin, 36
  24. Alex Ray, 22
  25. Cole Martinez, 20
  26. Justin Hill, 18
  27. Adam Enticknap, 17
  28. Matthew Bisceglia, 15
  29. Cedric Soubeyras, 14
  30. Dakota Tedder, 14
  31. Justin Bogle, 12
  32. AJ Catanzaro, 10
  33. Bradley Taft, 5
  34. Justin Starling, 5
  35. Jake Weimer, 5
  36. Henry Miller, 5
  37. Dylan Merriam, 4
  38. Austin Politelli, 4
  39. Brandon Scharer, 3
  40. Scott Champion, 2
  41. Carlen Gardner, 2