The stars of tomorrow put on a show for the fans at Angel Stadium and proved that this West Region is wide open when it comes to the title fight.
Each week, Power Rankings will recognize the movers and shakers in Monster Energy Supercross. Thanks to aggressive and risky last lap pass for the win, Jason Anderson sits atop the rankings after week one.
1. Jason Anderson – Rockstar Energy Racing
Anderson developed into a consistent contender towards the end of last season and I thought he’d be the breakout rider of the 2014 season. He very well could be a true title threat after his performance last Saturday. Given the stacked field, Anderson was probably somewhat of a surprise winner and it will be interesting to see if he keeps the momentum going.
2. Cole Seely – Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda
Definitely some heartbreak for Cole, but he recognized he left the door open a bit on the last lap. It was definitely a learning experience and something he will not make the mistake of doing again. What makes Seely dangerous is his ability to run away if he gets out front early. He looked like he’d do it again on Saturday, but lappers ultimately allowed Anderson to close the gap late.
3. Zach Osborne – GEICO Honda
Osborne is ready to step up this season and he got off to a good start on Saturday. He tied for the fastest lap in practice and then fought hard for his spot on the podium in the main event. He’s the lead rider for the GEICO squad out West and so far he looks up to the task.
4. Dean Wilson – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
I think a lot of people expected more from Wilson in the opener, but he didn’t quite get the start he needed to challenge Anderson and Seely up front. He did ride strong early to move into third and his battle with Osborne for the spot was exciting to watch. However, it looked like his pace dropped off slightly there at the end. Dean’s an experienced guy who knows it’s a long, albeit abbreviated path to the title. He’ll likely come out swinging in Phoenix.
5. Cooper Webb – MyPlash/Metal Mulisha/Star Racing Yamaha
Webb rode like a rookie who was eager to make an impression, and that he did. The rising star was lurking all night long and people took notice. His ride from eighth to fifth says a lot about his ability and it doesn’t look as though nerves are a factor at all right now. He’ll be one to keep an eye on.
6. Malcolm Stewart – Troy Lee Designs/MAVTV Honda
Stewart had Anderson and Seely in his sights early on in the main event, but contact with a downed rider ended his hopes of a good night. Nevertheless, “Mookie” showed he’s ready to be a contender following his first heat race win. We’ve known Malcolm’s talent is immense and perhaps now is the time he takes that next step.
7. Justin Hill – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
Is was a solid night for the PC team all around in Anaheim and Hill showed he’s more confident in his second year as a pro. His heat race effort was a glimpse of what Hill is capable of and I’d expect him to challenge up front at some point this season.
8. Darryn Durham – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
A quiet night for Durham in his first supercross race since 2012 and he was no doubt looking to get back into a groove. Durham is one of the fastest riders in the class and his experience only works to his advantage. If he can get a good start, look to see “Double D” battling up front this season.
9. Jessy Nelson – Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda
Now in his third year, Nelson has the experience to be a consistent contender in the front half of the field. A start outside the top 10 forced Nelson to fight his way through the field, but he made good work to finish ninth and get his season off to a solid start.
10. Austin Politelli
As a full-blown privateer, Politelli will have his work cut out for him all season long, but his 10th-place effort in Anaheim shows what kind of talent this young rider possesses. He has the chance to be the top privateer each week and could be a fixture in the Power Rankings if so.