The 2012 season of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship series kicked off this past weekend at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, to a sold-out crowd of 45,050 race fans.
Anaheim marked the debut of Team Honda Muscle Milk, with Justin Brayton finishing fourth in the Supercross class on his CRF450R while teammate Trey Canard sat the event out recovering from a recent injury. Other Honda Red Riders also started the new season strong, including Chad Reed of TwoTwo Motorsports finishing in second, while Troy Lee Designs/ Lucas Oil/ Honda’s Cole Seely took the Supercross Lites win on his CRF250R, followed by GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac rounding out the podium in third.
After going down hard in the first corner of his heat race Brayton was forced to race the Last Chance Qualifier, where he finished first, allowing him to transfer to the main. Brayton spent most of the race in eighth, but surged with five laps to go, passing fellow Honda rider Andrew Short plus Ivan Tedesco and James Stewart to take fourth. “I found my groove on the track after a few practices and bike adjustments, and was pretty confident going into the night show,” said Brayton. “I had second gate pick in heat one, where I lined up right inside Villopoto. We got a pretty good start but something happened, sending his back tire into my front, causing me to high side and crash. After getting a good start and winning the LCQ, I boosted my confidence back up going into the main. I got a decent start in the main and was able to pick it up about halfway through, where I made my way to fourth.”
Reed put in a solid ride aboard his CRF450, starting with a win in his heat race and a second-place finish in the main. Going into the first turn Reed was in third place but he quickly passed Tedesco for second, which is where he stayed throughout the rest of the race. Fellow Honda riders Andrew Short and Kevin Windham also finished in the top ten with seventh- and eighth-place finishes.
Lites rider Cole Seely had an impressive start to the season with a first-place podium finish. “It’s great to come out on top at a race that gets so much hype,” said Seely. “This year my main focus is consistency and training. As long as I stay consistent each week I think I can win the championship.”
GEICO Honda rider Eli Tomac had a disappointing heat race but was able to come back and win the LCQ to move into the main, where he placed third on the podium. His teammate Will Hahn finished a respectable eighth place, while Travis Baker with Troy Lee Designs/ Lucas Oil/ Honda finished tenth.