Monster Energy AMA Supercross heats up
No. 1 Ryan Villopoto
The first two events of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season got the year started off with a bang. A rookie cracked the top 5, but the leaders of the pack should come as no surprise. Here's how things stand in the 450 and 250 classes after the first two stops. Defending three-time season champ Ryan Villopoto missed a Top 3 finish in the opener in Anaheim after a crash while trying to pass leader Ken Roczen, but rebounded by passing eight riders to win the 450 class in Phoenix. His point total puts him on top of the standings thus far in the season, but it's a slim lead.
No. 2 Ryan Dungey
Only a point separates Ryan Dungey from Villopoto thanks to consistent finishes by Dungey. He benefitted from James Stewart's wreck in Anaheim for a second-place finish, then ran a solid race the next week to finish third in Anaheim. Dungey last won a season title in 2010, his rookie year, and would like nothing more than to end Villopoto's winning streak.
No. 3 Ken Roczen
Ken Roczen celebrated his graduation from the 250 class to 450 with an opening-night upset in Anaheim. Villopoto crashed on Lap 9, allowing Roczen, who was right on Villopoto's tail, to claim the lead and win his 450 debut. He also fended off an aggressive and experienced James Stewart. Stewart got caught up and crashed hard enough that he could not return to the race, but was not injured. Roczen didn't fare as well in Phoenix the next week. He finished in sixth place, enough to secure his third-place spot in the season standings.
No. 4 Justin Brayton
Justin Brayton had a mediocre finish in the season opener in Anaheim, but rebounded in Phoenix to run a thrilling race as six riders traded jabs in the front pack for most of the race. Villopoto ultimately passed Brayton, who led most of the race, then fended off a late charge, leaving Brayton in second place. The combined sixth-place finish in Anaheim and second-place finish in Phoenix puts Brayton firmly in fourth place for the season.
No. 5 Chad Reed
In the season opener in Anaheim, Chad Reed watched Villopoto make a costly error on Lap 9, which allowed Reed to jump ahead of the defending champ, and then he took advantage of an aggressive James Stewart on Lap 12, who was aiming for the lead but fell in his attempt. After a short duel, Dungey ultimately passed Reed for second place with Reed finishing third. Reed then struggled to a sixth-place finish the next week in Phoenix, and sits in fifth place.
No. 1 Jason Anderson - 250 Class
Although Jason Anderson won both 250 Class races to open the season, he had to rely on last-lap heroics in both Anaheim and Phoenix to claim his wins. But how you finish matters most in supercross, and Anderson has not lost yet this season. He sits firmly in first place in the 250 class.
No. 2 Cole Seely - 250 Class
Cole Seely might be having the most frustrating year so far of any of the riders on tour. Of 30 total laps in the final races in the first two stops of the season, Seely has led 25. In Anaheim, he led all but one -- the final lap, in which Anderson took the win on a last-second maneuver. In Phoenix, Seely conceded the win on the last lap to Anderson again, this time battling a stomach illness, which he said caused him to make a mistake on the final lap.
No. 3 Zach Osborne - 250 Class
Both of Zach Osborne's races have been battles for third place, which he emerged victorious. In Anaheim, Osborne battled Dean Wilson for most of the race, and eventually passed him for good on Lap 12. Next week in Phoenix, Wilson challenged and lost his position to Osborne, again near the end of the race.