First-career victory for Cooper in 250SX West final at opening round.
A spectacular 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, opener at Anaheim 1 tonight resulted in Justin Barcia landing back-to-back opening round victories.
The new season saw Barcia (Monster Energy Yamaha) and 450SX newcomer Adam Cianciarulo go head-to-head, as Barcia led the opening seven laps with a 2.5s cushion prior to an off-track excursion.
That enabled the Monster Energy Kawasaki rookie to lead his share of the final, however, he too would make an error that cost him the lead – Barcia striking back to seize upon the opportunity. That’s how they would finish, with Barcia clear by 5.646s.
Completing the podium was defending champion Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) despite qualifying down in P15 this afternoon with a minor sickness, fending off challenges from Blake Baggett (Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM), Jason Anderson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) and Ken Roczen (Team Honda HRC) through the race.
One of the favourites, Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki), was unable to find the spark needed in the main to wind up seventh, ahead of Justin Brayton (Team Honda HRC), who had been in podium contention earlier and then made a mistake of his own.
SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda rider Malcolm Stewart was ninth at the flag, directly in front of teammates Justin Hill and the fast-starting Vince Friese. Commencing his final season of competition, Chad Reed (Mountain Motorsports CBDMD CR22 Honda) finished 18th.
Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha rider Justin Cooper won the opening 250SX West round of the season at Anaheim 1 tonight, topping teammate Dylan Ferrandis.
The opening lap saw Austin Forkner (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) out front early, before Cooper managed to take over at the front momentarily.
On lap 12 a mistake by Forkner while leading saw him go off-track, able to resume in third, but only after allowing defending champion Ferrandis to gain the position behind teammate Cooper.
Cooper took victory by 2.450s over Ferrandis in a strong beginning to his defence, with Forkner a comfortable third to complete the podium. Behind them, Christian Craig (Geico Honda) kept Michael Mosiman (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) at bay for fourth place.
The first showing of Cameron Mcadoo at Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki resulted in sixth ahead of Brandon Hartranft (TLD Red Bull KTM), with his teammate Derek Drake, Australian rookie Jett Lawrence (Geico Honda) and Alex Martin (JGRMX Yoshimura Suzuki) rounding out the top 10.
Lawrence did go down on lap four after dicing with countryman Luke Clout (Penrite Honda) for position inside the top 10, eventually working his way back to P9 after remounting. Clout, meanwhile, crashed out of ninth at around the halfway mark.
Next-best finishing Australian in the field was Jay Wilson (Altherm JCR Yamaha) as he qualified directly through his heat and went on to claim 17th, while Aaron Tanti (Serco Yamaha) crashed out of the LCQ. In 450SX, Joel Wightman (Honda) was unable to make the night program at A1.
Next weekend will see the series arrive for round two in St. Louis, Missouri, the red plate to be worn by Barcia aboard the factory YZ450F in 450SX and Cooper in 250SX on Saturday, 11 January.
Forkner was later docked two positions from third to fifth for his incident that saw him cut part of the circuit. Geico Honda rider Christian Craig is now third, with Michael Mosiman (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) fourth.