Pivotal Houston win hands Anderson supercross points lead
Plessinger charges to hard-fought 250SX main event victory.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson has won Houston’s second round of the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship following a dramatic turn of events at NRG Stadium in Texas.
Opening round victor Marvin Musquin (Red Bull KTM) crashed out of his heat race through the whoops, injuring his shoulder in the process and forcing him to the sidelines for the night.
With Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) and Dean Wilson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) unable to line up despite attempting to ride, it was a golden opportunity for those who did make the final to capture vital championship points.
And it was Anderson who came out best, moving his way by longtime leader Ken Roczen (Team Honda HRC) on lap 15 and surging to a 3.244s win from a resurgent Roczen and Justin Barcia (Monster Energy Knich Yamaha), who made it back-to-back podiums on the factory YZ450F.
After leading the opening lap and then dropping back as far as fourth, Barcia overcame Cole Seely (Team Honda HRC) for position, while Weston Peick (Autotrader Yoshimura Suzuki) crossed the line in fifth position for the second week in a row.
Anderson’s win now places him atop the standings on 49 points, seven ahead of Roczen and Barcia, who are collectively tied for second. Musquin’s non-score sees him plummet to 10th, 23 points in arrears of Anderson after two rounds.
In the Western Regional 250SX main event it was Aaron Plessinger (Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha) who raced to the top step of the podium, 4.638s ahead of early leader Joey Savatgy (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) and newcomer Chase Sexton (Geico Honda).
Plessinger finished the opening lap in 10th before working his way into the lead on lap 13 and going on to take an assertive victory. That was enough for him to take the red plate, now four points ahead of Anaheim winner Shane McElrath (Troy Lee Designs Red Bull KTM), who was fourth tonight ahead of Christian Craig (Geico Honda).
It was a frustrating night for Adam Cianciarulo, the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider going down while challenging for the lead on lap nine. He worked his way back into a podium place only to crash again in the closing laps and finish seventh.
Of the Australians, Chad Reed (Team CR22 Husqvarna) claimed 16th in the 450SX final, while Hayden Mellross (51Fifty Energy Drink Yamaha) recovered from an early incident to salvage 15th in 250SX.
The 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship will continue next Saturday night at Anaheim 2, for round three of the series and the first of the Triple Crown events when each class features three main events apiece in a revamped schedule.