The highly anticipated 2020 AMA Supercross season kicked off at Anaheim’s Angel Stadium, where Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen rode his factory CRF450R to a sixth-place finish, while teammate Justin Brayton overcame a mid-race crash to secure eighth.
When the gate dropped for the main event, Brayton came around the first turn in fourth place and quickly made his way into third in the first rhythm section. Meanwhile, Roczen was shuffled around in turn one, emerging ninth. While the German began making his way forward, Brayton made an impressive pass into second on lap two. It was short-lived however, as he relinquished the position on the following lap. Meanwhile, Roczen had advanced to fifth, where he stayed for the first half of the race. With less than eight minutes remaining, Brayton surrendered one more position, dropping to fourth, right in front of his teammate. Roczen began applying pressure and eventually took over the spot. On the same lap, Brayton was taken down by another rider, causing him to lose positions and ultimately take the checkered flag in eighth. As the track deteriorated, Roczen struggled to find his groove, making several mistakes that caused him to lose two spots and finish sixth.
- To kick off 2020, American Honda launched a new racing-focused Instagram channel on January 1. The channel highlights Honda’s racing programs and teams in all disciplines. Fans can follow the account (@honda_racing_us) to stay updated on Red Riders in supercross, motocross, arenacross, off-road, ATV, side-by-side, road race and flat track racing.
- On Friday, Huntington Beach Honda hosted the first dealer appearance of the year, where fans had the opportunity to meet and take pictures with their favorite riders. Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen and Justin Brayton were joined by GEICO Honda’s Jeremy Martin and Christian Craig, as well as Team BWR’s Carlen Gardner, Colton Aeck and Mitchell Falk. In an additional effort to cross-promote Honda’s racing efforts and products, the Honda Talon Off-Road Racing team joined the open house with drivers Eliott Watson and Christopher Polvoorde, who pilot the Talon1000R side-by-side.
- Red Riders did well in 450SX qualifying, with five landing in the top 10. Smartop/MotoConcepts/Bullfrog Spas Honda’s Malcolm Stewart was fourth-quickest with a 57.039” lap, followed by teammate Justin Hill in fifth with a 57.106” time. Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen scored the sixth-fastest time with a 57.131”, while Justin Brayton was eighth with 57.629”. Vince Friese rounded it out in 10thwith a 57.969” time. No fewer than 13 Honda riders made it into the 450SX night program, by far the most of any manufacturer. Honda also had the most riders in the 250SX West night program, at 10.
- Brayton started the night program on the right foot, riding impressively to earn the win in the first heat race, with Roczen finishing just behind him in second. Also notable was Friese, who finished third. In all, there were five Red Riders among the nine riders advancing directly from the first heat.
- For most riders and mechanics on the start line, Anaheim marked their first gate drop since Monster Energy Cup, but for Justin Brayton and Brent Duffe, this could be considered their eighth, as the duo recently wrapped up a fourth Australian Supercross Championship and raced a number of European off-season races. “I’ve been on the same bike for several months now and have raced in several different conditions, whether in Australia or Europe, so to come back here and be on basically the same motorcycle was nice because I knew exactly what it was going to do,” Brayton said. “I still had some pre-race jitters only because I haven’t raced these guys at this pace in a long time, but overall it was a super-smooth day and we were just doing the same things as normal.”
- After being cleared to race by the FIM in mid-December, GEICO Honda’s Christian Craig returned to the 250SX West start gate in Anaheim and had a strong showing all day aboard his CRF250R. He qualified third-quickest in practice, then finished runner-up in heat two. In the main, Craig rode solid, taking the checkered flag in fourth. However, he was later awarded third after another rider receiving a two-position penalty for cutting the track. Young teammate and rookie Jett Lawrence suffered from food poisoning, but still had a respectable debut race, finishing ninth.
- On January 11, the Red Riders head East to take on round two of the AMA Supercross series in St. Louis, Missouri. On Friday, the riders will take part in a dealer appearance at Big St. Charles Motorsports from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Mandie Fonteyn // Jonnum Media // firstname.lastname@example.org// +1 (951) 537-0454
450SX Main Event Results
|1||Barcia Justin||51||USA||26||Monster Energy Factory Yamaha Racing||Yamaha|
|2||Cianciarulo Adam||9||USA||23||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|3||Webb Cooper||2||USA||21||Red Bull KTM||KTM|
|4||Baggett Blake||4||USA||19||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|5||Anderson Jason||21||USA||18||Rockstar Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
|6||Roczen Ken||94||GER||17||Team Honda HRC||Honda|
|7||Tomac Eli||3||USA||16||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|8||Brayton Justin||10||USA||15||Team Honda HRC||Honda|
|9||Stewart Malcolm||27||USA||14||Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts Honda||Honda|
|10||Friese Vince||45||USA||13||Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts Honda||Honda|
|11||Hill Justin||48||USA||12||Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts Honda||Honda|
|12||Plessinger Aaron||7||USA||11||Monster Energy Factory Yamaha Racing||Yamaha|
|13||Wilson Dean||15||GBR||10||Rockstar Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
|14||Osborne Zach||USA||9||Rockstar Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
|15||Davalos Martin||47||ECU||8||Team Tedder||KTM|
|16||Bogle Justin||19||USA||7||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|17||Bowers Tyler||69||USA||6||Bowers Racing||Kawasaki|
|18||Reed Chad||22||AUS||5||Mountain Motorsports/CBDmd/CR22 Racing||Honda|
|19||Chisholm Kyle||11||USA||4||Chisholm Racing||Kawasaki|
|20||Blose Chris||49||USA||3||Chaparral/FXR Racing/Honda||Honda|
|21||Noren Fredrik||40||SWE||2||Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing||Suzuki|
|22||Decotis Jimmy||53||USA||1||Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing||Suzuki|