Anderson on a podium, Covington on scoring no points at Hangtown!
The 2019 AMA Pro Motocross Championship kicked off on Saturday with the opening round of racing in Sacramento, California for the Hangtown Motocross Classic. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team fielded a full squad of riders with the return of Jason Anderson, who led the team to a solid third-place podium finish in the 450MX class. His teammate, Zach Osborne, made his 450cc debut in the outdoor championship with an impressive ride to claim fourth overall.
The day presented a little bit of everything as riders experienced a dry racetrack for the first portion of the day until rainfall came hammering down just before the start of the second motos. Anderson, who lined up behind the gate for the first time since sustaining an arm injury in January, showed great all-around speed at the opening round. Qualifying seventh, Anderson powered his FC 450 into third off the start in Moto 1 and he charged hard to keep himself in the battle for second. With three laps to go, Anderson made his move into second and from there, he held strong to maintain a runner-up finish in his first race back. With rainfall coming down hard before the second set of motos, track conditions became less-than-ideal with deep ruts and sloppy mud. Anderson got off to a fourth-place start on the opening lap and he quickly made his way into third early on. He diced back-and-forth for the third-place spot but a crash late in the race caused him to ultimately finish fifth in the moto. With combined moto scores of 2-5, Anderson was able to score an overall podium finish with third-place at round one.
“My weekend went pretty well,” Anderson said.“In the first moto, I just tried to figure out my groove since I haven’t been racing. At the beginning, I was a little tight and I ended up stalling the bike one time but all-in-all I was able to come back and make some good progress. Finishing 2-5 for third overall is not bad for the first round.”
Meanwhile, his teammate Osborne qualified sixth on the day, with a sixth-place start to the Moto 1. He worked his way into fifth early on and with five laps to go he climbed another position to fourth, where he battled all the way to the checkers for fifth. In Moto 2, Osborne fell victim to the treacherous track conditions early on as he rounded the opening lap just outside the top-15. He wasted no time climbing his way into the top-five and from there he continued to charge toward a podium finish. Just after the white flag came out, Osborne kicked it up another notch as he made the pass for third on the final lap to secure his first-career moto podium en route to claiming fourth overall with 5-3 moto finishes.
“Overall, it was a good start to my 450 outdoor career,”Osborne said.“I had a silly mistake in the first moto that cost me an overall podium but it was still a good weekend. I started off solid in the motos and I had an epic second moto from basically last to third, so I’m really happy with that and I’m pumped for next weekend and the rest of the series.”
After qualifying fifth, Michael Mosiman put his FC 250 into a solid fifth-place position off the start in Moto 1. He battled just outside the top-five for most of the race and with two laps to go he dropped back to ultimately finish seventh in the first moto. In Moto 2, Mosiman got off to a great start despite the slick conditions as he put himself into fourth after lap one. While battling for a podium position on lap two, Mosiman went down in the deep ruts and dropped to outside the top-10. He went down twice more in the second moto but he was able to climb his way back to an 11th place finish to secure seventh overall for the day.
“It was really gnarly conditions in Moto 2,”said Mosiman.“I think I rode well aside from the mistakes and I look forward to round two.”
His teammate, Jordan Bailey, had a tough start to the season with 17-19 finishes for 20th overall on the day.
“My starts were good, I just felt like I was struggling and not gelling with the bike or the track all day,” Bailey said. “We’ll go back and work on some things but at least we can take positives with the starts and head to the next round.”
Team rider Thomas Covington had a tough time keeping the bike on two wheels throughout the day, finishing 26th overall with 27-22 finishes.
“In the first moto, I didn’t get a very good start at all and I ended up going down on the downhill,” Covington said. “The second moto in the mud, I went down several times – it was deep in some spots and in other spots slippery so it was really hard to stay up. It wasn’t a great start but we’ve got 22 motos to go.”
Next Event:May 25 – Fox Raceway National – Fox Raceway at Pala – Pala, California