This past Saturday marked the end of the ten-week dry spout for motocross fans and riders, alike. Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California overflowed with 45,050 fans to sell out the show for the fifth consecutive time. Fresh off his first ever premiere class championship in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross series, Ken Roczen led every lap of the 450 main event, to claim his second consecutive win at A1. In the 250 class, it was Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/KTM’s, Jessy Nelson who also led every lap of the main event to claim his first ever career victory.
Out of the gate in the 450 class, it was Smartop/Motoconcepts Racing’s Mike Alessi, who broke out to an early lead, capturing the first hole shot of 2015. The number twenty-nine of Andrew Short was able to make quick work of Alessi, taking over the lead on his BTOSports.com, KTM. Before the veteran could even turn one full lap, Ken Roczen took over on his RCH/Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns, Suzuki.
As Ken Roczen began to put some time between himself and the rest of the pack, all eyes turned to the rookie on the number twenty-one bike. All the way from the inside gate, shirt hanging out and all, Jason Anderson was able to make his way into second position in typical Anderson fashion, on his brand new Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna.
Eli Tomac with the fastest qualifying time, was also off to a great start, but, more surprisingly had some troubles in lap 3, pushing him well into the back of the pack.
Fresh off his win at the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas, just ten weeks back, Davi Millsaps looked to have the confidence to dominate. However, after making his way by Dungey and Alessi, to put his Monster Energy Kawasaki into fourth, Millsaps had some trouble in the whoops. The bobble put him back to fourteenth, but another crash shortly after would put him even further behind.
Factory Honda rider, Trey Canard, did not get off to the best start, but, was able to make his way into third by the half way point, pushing Short back to fourth.
With only seven laps to go, it looked as though Jason Anderson was going to make his typical end of the race push, as he began knock the seconds off between himself and the leader.
As Reed and Weimer battled it out for tenth position, Dungey was able to make the pass stick on Short to take over fourth position. Roczen was able to hold onto to the lead with a four second gap over the rookie, Jason Anderson.
Factory Honda’s, Trey Canard took third, with Dungey on his Red Bull KTM taking fourth and Andrew Short would round out the top five on his BTOSports.com KTM.
In the 250 class, many new faces made their way to the line for their professional debut. But, it was returning rider Jessy Nelson, who broke out to an early lead, capturing the first 250 hole shot of 2015. Nelson was followed into turn one by a group of the heavy hitters, including; Zach Osborne, Josh Hansen, Matt Bisceglia and Justin Hill.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider, Tyler Bowers was not far behind the top five pack and looked to be on the move.
Bisceglia and Hill were able to make their way around MotoSport.com/Team 100 rider, Josh Hansen. However, as Hill went to make the move Bisceglia, Hill pushed him out to high on the turn and Bisceglia went down.
Darryn Durham also went down hard after the rhythm section, taking himself out of the main event. GEICO Honda rider, Malcolm Stewart also found himself down and out after a pile up with 2013 Canadian Champ, Austin Politelli.
Bowers was able to make the move on Hansen, but, Hansen returned the favour and held onto fourth. Bowers managed to get back by Hansen and continued his move towards the front of the pack. On the nine-eleven bike, Bowers was able to catch Red Bull KTM’s Justin Hill and complete the pass for third, with only five laps remaining.
After a poor start for the Star Racing/Yamalube/Yamaha riders, Alex Martin and Cooper Webb, they found themselves in a four way battle for seventh position between themselves, Josh Hansen and Shane Mcelrath. McElrath managed to push Hansen out wide, but, the two ended up banging bars and Hansen went down.
It was the number twenty-eight of Jessy Nelson who had the stadium on their feet, claiming his first ever victory in his professional career. Nelson made his way into the media a few times last year with a couple solid fifth place finishes, but, never better than fifth. To take such a dominating win at the season opener, proves he has been hard at work during the off season.
Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne was not able to close the gap on Nelson, but, managed to hold off Bowers to claim second position.
2011 Arenacross champion, Tyler Bowers fought his way from sixth to third to claim the final podium spot at A1. Justin Hill and Aaron Plessinger rounded out the top five.
Next week the series will head to Phoenix, Arizona for Round two of the Monster Energy Supercorss Series, an FIM World Championship.
450 CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
- Ken Roczen – 25
- Jason Anderson – 22
- Trey Canard – 20
- Ryan Dungey – 18
- Andrew Short – 16
- Justin Barcia – 15
- Weston Peick – 14
- Broc Tickle – 13
- Mike Alessi – 12
- Chad Reed – 11
250 CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
- Jessy Nelson – 25
- Zach Osborne – 22
- Tyler Bowers – 20
- Justin Hill – 18
- Aaron Plessinger – 16
- Shane Mcelrath – 15
- Cooper Webb – 14
- Alex Martin – 13
- Josh Hansen – 12
- Michael Leib – 11