Rain was forecast for the opening round of the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship Series at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, and Mother Nature delivered a deluge. After running in a podium position for most of the race, Justin Barcia passed Dean Wilson in traffic for the lead at the beginning of lap 15 (of 20). From there, Barcia motored off to a solid victory—his first Supercross Main win since Seattle 2013. Ken Roczen finished in second place, followed by Eli Tomac, with both riders methodically working their way to the podium on the sloppy track.
Rain can produce unexpected results, and Justin Barcia was the surprise winner. Although Barcia (Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing) is a podium threat, few would have picked him to win at A1. Riding with the patience of a veteran, Barcia followed Wilson through most of the race before cleanly passing Wilson for the lead. Once there, Barcia was never challenged, finishing with a three-second margin over Roczen. Barcia helped himself out by winning his Heat race, giving him top gate pick. That was converted into a P4 start, which put Barcia in a position to win.
Privateer Dean Wilson led most of the race, but fizzled in the last, dropping him off the podium. For the opening 14 laps that Wilson (Rockstar Energy/Shift MX/Husqvarna) led after snagging a holeshot, his lead was usually in the two- to three-second range ahead of Malcolm Stewart. However, once passed by Barcia, Wilson’s lap times increased by about four seconds for the final four laps. That allowed Roczen to get by on lap 16 and Tomac to take Wilson’s podium finish away on the last lap. It will be surprising if Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing doesn’t let Wilson keep the injured Zach Osborne’s factory seat warm while Osborne is out.
In another shocker, Malcolm Stewart ran in a podium position until sliding out in the mud on lap 12. Stewart (Smartop/Bullfrog Spas/Honda) jumped off to a P2 start and held his ground for 11 laps, with Barcia in hot pursuit. Stewart looked good earlier, having finished in P2 behind Barcia in their Heat race. While never challenging for the lead, Stewart was consistently close enough to keep Wilson honest. However, on lap 12, Stewart lost the back-end on a right-hander and went down softly. By the time he got going, Stewart had been passed by Barcia and Roczen. Eventually, Stewart was passed by Tomac (lap 17), and then Cooper Webb and Aaron Plessinger went by on the penultimate lap. That left Stewart in 7th place—still a great night for him.
To finish in second place, Ken Roczen got a decent start, and was persistent. Roczen (Team Honda HRC) started the race in P6 after winning his Heat race. From there, Roczen picked off Plessinger on the second lap, defending Supercross Champion Jason Anderson two laps later, and then settled into P4 for much of the race. He was gifted a podium spot when Stewart went down, and then passed Wilson for the podium on the lap 16. Roczen never was close to Barcia while Barcia led, and was as much as eight seconds back on lap 17.
The night looked bad for Eli Tomac, until he came alive in the last half of the race and took a podium spot on the final lap. Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) qualified in P5 in the afternoon, and that’s where he finished his Heat race. A P10 start for Tomac didn’t bode well, and he had only worked his way up to P6 after 16 laps, battling with Plessinger much of the way. However, as other riders were wet, tired, and slowing, Tomac improved his lap times. Tomac got by Plessinger on lap 17 for P5, passed Stewart on the next lap, and then Wilson on the last lap.
It was a forgettable night for Marvin Musquin and disastrous for Jason Anderson. Musquin (Red Bull KTM) was out of the top 10 in qualifying, and finished in P6 in his Heat race. Musquin was never in the mix in the Main, starting the night in P7 and ending in P8. It was a nightmare for Anderson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) in the Main. After a decent start, Anderson ran in the top 6 for the first third of the race, running lap times in the 1:06 range. However, Anderson never did better than a 1:11 after lap 12 and did a pair of 1:21s on the final two laps, dropping like a stone through the field. That left Anderson in P14, a lap-and-a-half behind Barcia.
Cooper Webb rode brilliantly after crashing in the first turn. Webb (Red Bull KTM) went wide at the start and went down in the mud. Sitting in P20 at the end of the first lap, Webb never let up. His lap times were in the 1:05 range most of the way, matching the leaders. At the halfway point, Webb had moved into the top 10 and behind Tomac by a large margin. However, Webb was able to follow Tomac toward the podium, though Webb was not close to passing Wilson. Webb’s 1:02.476 lap 12 was the fastest of the Main for any rider. In comparison, Webb went 54:950 in qualifying.
Five different brands took the top five spots. That’s impressive. Suzuki’s top rider was Chad Reed (JGRMX/Yoshimura/Factory Suzuki Racing), who finished in P9 after having to go through the LCQ to get to the Main.
Round 2 of the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series is in the desert outside of Phoenix. Rain is unlikely at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, and we will get our first look at the riders in dry conditions. Tomac and Roczen emerge as the leaders among the championship series favorites, with Musquin and Anderson having serious work to do. Series leader Barcia will want to retain the red plate. Be sure to bookmark our 2019 Supercross Television Schedule.
Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory + Steve ’Stavros’ Parrish
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Our first segment features the new Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory. Senior Editor Nic de Sena brings us his report on the flagship version of Aprilia’s upright middleweight machine. He gives us insight into whether it’s worth spending the extra money on the Factory version, and also of course, whether this sporting Aprilia is really the motorcycle for you.
The next guest segment of Motos and Friends is brought to you by the faster and most technologically advanced, 2023 Suzuki Hayabusa—one of the most iconic sportbikes ever. Check it out in person at your local Suzuki dealer now, or visit suzukicycles.com to learn more.
In this segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with (arguably) one of the most interesting Suzuki race riders of all time. the iconic RG500 alongside teammate double World Champion Barry Sheene. The two were almost as famous for their exploits off-track, as for their success on it. Those were the days! Steve also raced the Isle of Man TT for about ten years where he won 13 Silver Replicas, and got a podium finish. His insight into that particular brand of mayhem are fascinating.
But there’s waaay more to Steve Parrish than his motorcycle racing. He is also the most successful Semi-Truck racer ever, and, little known piece of useless trivia—he’s my birthday twin: 24th February. He is a natural entertainer and you can’t miss his recounting of the world’s most entertaining—and arguably terrifying—double-decker bus ride ever. If any of you were actually on that hell-ride then we’d love to hear from you!