Ken Roczen dominates Supercross season opener in Anaheim

Ken Roczen kicked off the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross season Saturday night with his third win at Anaheim 1 on his third different brand.

Now racing for Honda, Roczen rode his No. 94 machine to wins in his heat race and the main, signaling a serious challenge to Ryan Dungey for the 2017 title.

Saturday night’s racing action at the Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California marked the first time the Monster Energy Supercross races had been timed events. The 450SX Main would run to 20 minutes plus one lap, and the 250SX Main would run to 15 minutes plus one lap. The heats, semis and LCQs were also timed.

The 450SX heat races were won by Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen, who were also the riders whole stole the headlines at the Monster Energy Cup back in October.

And, while Marvin Musquin took the holeshot, it was Roczen and Tomac who ran 1-2 for the first half of the Main. But the Red Bull KTM riders were on the move in the second half of the main as Dungey moved up to second and Musquin moved up to third, pushing Tomac all the way back to fourth. However, neither of them had anything for Roczen, who held a comfortable lead of over 10 seconds for most of the race. The 2016 event winner Jason Anderson placed fourth, passing Tomac in the closing stages of the race. Notables who weren’t up front included Chad Reed who retired with mechanical issues, and Trey Canard who did not start the main due to an injury. Mike Alessi went down hard during the main and had to be carried off the track, although he was conscious.

Over in the 250SX West class, Shane McElrath took his first career win on his No. 38 KTM after a strong performance all night long. McElrath took the holeshot in his heat race but spent most of it behind Jeremy Martin, only taking the lead and the heat race win from him in the final lap.

In the main event, however, McElrath had no such competition as he led the full 15-minute-plus-one-lap long race to take the win ahead of Aaron Plessinger and Martin Davalos. Hayden Mellross had been running in third early on in the main when a mechanical failure took him out of the race.

The Supercross riders will be back in action next weekend for Military Appreciation Night at Petco Park in San Diego.

Unofficial 450SX race results:

1. Ken Roczen

2. Ryan Dungey

3. Marvin Musquin

4. Jason Anderson

5. Eli Tomac

6. Cole Seely

7. Davi Millsaps

8. Weston Peick

9. Josh Grant

10. Cooper Webb

Unofficial 250SX West race results:

1. Shane McElrath

2. Aaron Plessinger

3. Martin Davalos

4. Mitchell Oldenburg

5. Justin Hill

6. Jeremy Martin

7. Dan Reardon

8. Austin Forkner

9. James Decotis

10. Kyle Chisholm