It’s time for the 17-round 2021 Monster Energy Supercross Championship Series to get underway, and with it, predictions for the season. With 16 factory-backed racers, it’s going to be very difficult to get into the top-ten, let alone the top-five—with three notable exceptions. Let’s break it down:
Eli Tomac, Cooper Webb, and Ken Roczen dominated 2020. The trio took 35 of 51 possible podium finishes last year—that is a staggering collective performance. This happened with Webb dogged by injury and Roczen by illness. Webb is recovered, and Roczen has gotten rest. Tomac will be eager to repeat. Another rider might crack the dominance of these three top dogs, but it’s not going to be easy. They will be your opening round podium picks, if you’re playing it safe. Next, we can look at the contenders.
Jason Anderson, Justin Barcia, and Zach Osborne represent the next tier. They grabbed 12 podiums between them, which means just six riders were responsible for 47 of 51 podiums. That’s a virtual shutout of everyone else. 2020 looks promising for all three riders. Osborne is coming off a 450 National Motocross Championship, and he won the final 2020 Supercross round at Salt Lake City. Barcia has moved from Yamaha to GasGas, and he starts the year strong—he has won the opening round two years running. Anderson is always fast and a threat, as he had 13 top-five finishes in 17 rounds. Now, we can start thinking about the could-be crowd.
Adam Cianciarulo should be ready to go. Cianciarulo’s rookie year was a mixed bag. He had three podiums and finished outside of the top-five four times in the seven rounds before an injury ended his campaign. Cianciarulo is coming off a runner-up finish in the 450 Nationals, so he has found consistency on a big bike. Now, he has to carry that over into the stadiums. He could be a title contender this year—no doubt about that.
Two serious 450SX rookies are lining up for 2021—Dylan Ferrandis and Chase Sexton. Rookies are always a tough call. Both are on factory teams and coming in with 250SX regional titles from last year. While I will be surprised if either can crack the Tomac/Webb/Roczen podium stranglehold, everyone else below that is likely to have their hands full.
There are a few dark-horse picks out there for the adventuresome fantasy supercross fan. Malcolm Stewart had three top-five finishes in 2020, and Dean Wilson made the podium at the final round. Joey Savatagy will finally get his rookie supercross season underway–a pre-season injury kept him out of 2020. Max Anstie is a possible breakout rider, as he was strong in the 450 Nationals last year. Marvin Musquin is a big question mark—has his moment passed?
Here are my 2021 Houston 1 picks for the RMFantasySX.com:
The Wild Card is P10 for the opening round. Based on past performances, Justin Brayton and Aaron Plessinger are likely candidates. Martin Davalos, Vince Friese, and Dean Wilson should also be on your radar. I’d throw in Blake Baggett and Justin Hill, but they aren’t on the entry list. Really, this is an exceedingly difficult call; I’m going to go with Plessinger for P10.
We also have a rundown of the 450SX teams you’ll be seeing in the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross Championship Series:
Monster Energy Kawasaki#1 – Eli Tomac#9 – Adam CianciaruloMonster Energy Star Yamaha Racing#7 – Aaron Plessinger#14 – Dylan Ferrandis#27 – Malcolm StewartRed Bull KTM#2 – Cooper Webb#25 – Marvin MusquinRockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing#15 – Dean Wilson#16 – Zach Osborne#20 – Jason AndersonTeam Honda HRC#23 – Chase Sexton#94 – Ken RoczenTroy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GasGas Factory Racing#51 – Justin BarciaTwisted Tea/H.E.P. Motorsports Suzuki Racing Team#28 – Brandon Hartranft#34 – Max Anstie#722 – Adam Enticknap
MCR Smartop Bullfrog Honda#12 – Shane McElrath#20 – Broc Tickle#37 – Benny Bloss#40 – Vince FrieseMuc-Off Honda#10 – Justin BraytonPRMX Wossner Deep South Kawasaki#280 – Cade Clason#TBA – Josh Cartwright#952 – Ludovic Macler (fill-in for injured Cartwright)Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM#17 – Joey Savatgy#19 – Justin BogleTeam SGB Racing/Maxxis/Babbitt’s Online Kawasaki#57 – Justin Rodbell#83 – Alex Ray#309 – Jeremy Smith#330 – AJ CatanzaroTeam Tedder#36 – Martin Dávalos#151 – Dakota Tedder2021 Monster Energy Supercross Championship Series Schedule
Jan. 16, Sat., NRG Stadium, Houston
Jan. 19, Tue., NRG Stadium, Houston
Jan. 23, Sat., NRG Stadium, Houston
Jan. 30, Sat., Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
Feb. 2, Tue., Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
Feb. 6. Sat., Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
Feb. 13, Sat., Camping World Stadium, Orlando
Feb. 20, Sat. Camping World Stadium, Orlando
March 6, Sat., Daytona International Speedway
March 13, Sat., AT&T Stadium, Arlington
March 17, Tue., AT&T Stadium, Arlington
March 20, Sat., AT&T Stadium, Arlington
April 10, Sat., Atlanta Motor Speedway, Atlanta
April 13, Tue, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Atlanta
April 17, Sat., Atlanta Motor Speedway, Atlanta
April 24, Saturday, Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City
May 1, Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City
2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship Series Final Standings
Eli Tomac (Kawasaki), 384 points (7 wins; 12 podiums)