The 2015 AMA Supercross season kicked off in Anaheim with last year’s hotshot rookie Ken Roczen taking the win in the 450 class while Husqvarna earned a pair of podium finishes in its return to the series.
Now racing for the RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing team, Roczen led all 20 laps in handily taking the first Anaheim round. Roczen also won last year’s Anaheim I race, starting what would be an impressive first season in the 450 class with Red Bull KTM.
Roczen took the lead early, passing holeshot winner and fellow Suzuki rider Mike Alessi and BTO Sports KTM‘s Andrew Short. Roczen was uncatchable the rest of the way, leading at one point by nearly six seconds before winning by 4.199 seconds.
Finishing with an impressive second place was class rookie Jason Anderson of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team. Anderson passed Short on Lap 2 to move into second, holding that position the rest of the race for a podium in Husky’s first Supercross race since 2001.
Third place went to Team Honda‘s Trey Canard who worked his way through the ranks from eighth place to pass Short for third on Lap 10.
|2015 AMA Supercross: Anaheim I 450 Top Five Results|
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Red Bull/KTM’s Jessy Nelson led all 15 laps to take the Western Regional 250 class. Nelson snagged the holeshot ahead of Geico Honda‘s Matt Bisceglia and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne and ran away with the win.
Osborne finished in second to earn another podium for Husqvarna. Impressively, Osborne raced with a broken thumb suffered in a crash during a heat race.
Third place went to Kawasaki rider Tyler Bowers who outbattled Motosport.com Kawasaki’s Josh Hansen and Red Bull KTM’s Justin Hill for the final spot on the podium.
|2015 AMA Supercross: Anaheim I 250 Western Regional Top Five Results|
Anaheim I represented a lot of firsts, including the first round in the post-Ryan Villopoto era. The four-time champion has moved on to race internationally, leaving a large hole at the top of the AMA Supercross ranks. Roczen made a strong case for the 2015 championship while former champions Ryan Dungey and Chad Reed both finished in the top ten. Two other contenders, Davi Millsaps and Eli Tomac got off to a rough start with a couple of crashes in the opener.
Husqvarna’s two podiums in its first Supercross race in nearly 14 years established the manufacturer as a major new threat, though that might not be a surprise considering the company’s shared technology with KTM.
Roczen’s win was also the first victory for his team, which is owned by retired stars Ricky Carmichael and Corey Hart.
The 2015 AMA Supercross season continues Jan. 10 in Phoenix, Ariz.
|450 Class Top Five Standings||250 West Class Top Five Standings|
|1||Ken Roczen||Suzuki||25||Jessy Nelson||KTM||25|
|2||Jason Anderson||Husqvarna||22||Zach Osborne||Husqvarna||22|
|3||Trey Canard||Honda||20||Tyler Bowers||Kawasaki||20|
|4||Ryan Dungey||KTM||18||Justin Hill||KTM||18|
|5||Andrew Short||KTM||16||Aaron Plessinger||Yamaha||16|