The 2019 Monster Energy Supercross season is only 21 days away. The stacked 250SX and 450SX classes hit the starting gate on January 5th at Angel Stadium; the series of 17 races in 18 weeks ends May 4 at Sam Boyd Stadium. Supercross Live has the full schedule.
Let’s start with the 250SX class. It will be broken up into two different series: east coast and west coast. There will be eight west coast races, seven east coast races and two east/west showdowns. The first of the east/west showdowns will be held in Atlanta on March 2nd, and the second is in Las Vegas on May 4th. Each series features a different set of riders competing for the 250SX championship. The east/west showdowns give the riders a chance to compete against riders from the other series. Be on the lookout for Adam Cianciarulo, Jeremy Martin, Dylan Ferrandis, Austin Forkner, Shane McElrath and Jordon Smith to all be title contenders in this class. As I said, this division is stacked.
On to the big boys. The 450SX class is loaded as well. These riders will race all 17 stops in the series then continue with three Triple Crown races. The Triple Crown format is different from a normal Supercross race. The normal race format is two heat races, with the top four riders advancing to the main event, then two semifinal races, with the top five from each race going on to the main event. There is also a last chance qualifier with the top four making it to the main. The top 22 then compete for the win.
The Triple Crown is three main events, with each getting longer as the night goes on. The riders in the main events will have qualified before the night show begins. The overall win for the night is based on the lowest combined score from the three main events. For example, if a rider finishes first three times, he scores three points and would win the overall. The three Triple Crown events will be in Anaheim on January 19th, in Detroit on February 23rd, and then in our great city of Houston, at NRG Stadium, on March 30th.
Let’s talk about the 450SX riders completing for the title. Jason Anderson is the defending champion. Last season, Anderson took the points lead at round two in Houston and never looked back. He was consistently in the top 10 and is one of the best-trained riders in the series. Marvin Musquin, the French-born rider, won the opening round last year in Anaheim, but he crashed hard in Houston and was forced to miss the following race. Even with this setback, Musquin ended up finishing second in points last year. Without the fall in Houston, he might be the defending champion. Eli Tomac is routinely the fastest guy on the track; I consider him the favorite to win it all. Ken Roczen is a series wildcard and had some of the worst luck with injuries in 2017. Roczen suffered a nasty broken arm that required multiple surgeries. He came back last season and rode well before suffering another broken bone when his hand got caught between another rider’s swingarm and rear tire. And a final contender to watch is Justin Barcia. Last season Barcia was brought to Yamaha as a fill-in rider, but he rode so well that he earned a multi-year contract. He’s always one of the most aggressive riders on the track and can be a consistent top five or ten finisher.
I’m really looking forward to this season. Both classes should come down to the final races of the season due to each field being so deep. I’ll be doing weekly write ups on the races as well as weekly podcasts to recap the races on Saturdays.
If you have questions about Supercross, reach out to @ryanhorton209 on Twitter.