Quick thoughts: AMA Supercross season opener – Anaheim 1
- Surprise winner: Heading into the first round not too many people would have predicted a Justin Barcia win but he got a good start and despite one mistake, was able to take the win. Barcia has won in the past but has struggled with his consistency to be a front runner. Can all that change in 2020?
- The rookie is fast: It was almost the perfect night for Adam Cianciarulo going quickest in both qualifying sessions and then leading the main event – as a 450cc rookie! One mistake cost him but to come home in second is impressive and he could be a genuine title contender. His riding technique also looks much better on the bigger bike which is encouraging.
- Webb is a fighter: The reigning champ came into the weekend with the flu and things were looking bad during qualifying. However, the determined American pulled off a really good result coming home in third. To pass and beat Roczen as well as Tomac – two championship for the rivals even though he was battling with the flu – that’s impressive! Webb says he thrives under pressure and he looked good during the SX opener.
- Tomac off form: Yes, the Factory Kawasaki rider got a bad start but with his blistering speed he’s usually able to work up through the pack quite well. Once Tomac got into seventh he never really closed up on the riders ahead of him – we never saw the speed he has in his locker at round one. Justin Brayton and Malcolm Stewart (who came from way back) were also on the American’s rear wheel. No doubt Tomac will go away and work hard – don’t be surprised if we see a different Tomac next week but his title rivals will be feeling confident after round one.
- Roczen underwhelming: There’s been a lot of talk surrounding Ken Roczen coming into this season but unfortunately, it looked like the same Roczen from 2019. For half the race the German was doing a good job and it looked like at one stage he could push for third. In the end he faded back to sixth – he won’t be happy reigning champ, Webb passed and pulled away. Will we see a different Roczen next week? Time will tell.
- Ferrandis fast: There’s no doubt that Dylan Ferrandis was the quickest rider as he was outside the top six on the first lap. He rode the wheels off his Star Racing Yamaha on a track that was tough to pass. To come back to second was impressive – the French rider needs to improve his starts though! If he manages that he’s going to be hard to beat.
- Cooper impressive: It’s hard not be impressed by Justin Cooper who looked in his comfort zone all night and took the win. Cooper might just be Ferrandis’ biggest threat for the title.
- Bizarre decision from Forkner: After hitting the tuff blocks, Forkner decided to cut the track and it cost him. The officials decided to dock him two positions and that might come back to haunt him. The Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider also had a big off during qualifying – it’s going to be important for him to put a full season together after an injury ridden few years.
- Lawrence debut: It’s hard not to be impressed by Jett Lawrence, the kid has some talent. At his first AMA Supercross race and it a tough West Coast he ended up in the top ten finishing ninth! He has a very bright future if he can stay away from injury.
Words: Andy McKinstry